VATICAN CITY/PARIS (Reuters) – A landmark interview by Pope Francis will force conservative members of the Catholic Church to re-calibrate how they deal with gays, abortion and contraception but is not expected to be the precursor to seismic changes in doctrine, papal experts say.
Pope Francis sent a clear message to officials from the highest reaches of the hierarchy down to the most remote parish that they should not be obsessed with structures, rules and regulations and not put people in moral ghettos.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and become more merciful or risk the collapse of its entire moral edifice “like a house of cards”.
In a dramatically blunt interview with an Italian Jesuit journal, Francis said the Church had “locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules” and should not be so prone to condemn.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said the Catholic Church should not allow its bans on gay marriage, abortion and contraception to dominate its teachings, but must be a more welcoming Church where priests are understanding pastors and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats.
In a dramatically blunt interview with Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit monthly, Francis did not hold out the prospect of any changes soon to such moral teachings but appeared to be trying to shift the Church’s tone on them from condemnation to mercy.
ROME (Reuters) – The Vatican department in charge of paying salaries and managing real estate acted improperly as a parallel bank, providing accounts to outsiders, an arrested prelate who worked there for 22 years has told Italian prosecutors.
The latest allegations of misdoings come as Pope Francis struggles to tackle years of financial scandals involving the Vatican bank, which has long been in the spotlight for failing to meet international standards against tax evasion and the disguising of illegal sources of income.
Pope Francis plans to drive around Vatican City at the wheel of a “popemobile” that is a lot like him: frugal, clad in white, and with a fair bit of mileage.
ROME (Reuters) – Nearly three-quarters of Italians think ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi should be barred from the Senate after a conviction for tax fraud, and a majority want to avert a government crisis over the issue, according to a poll published on Friday.
The issue threatens the survival of the fragile ruling coalition because Berlusconi’s supporters have threatened to pull out of Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s left-right government if Berlusconi loses his seat.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican said on Thursday it would cooperate with Dominican Republic authorities investigating the Holy See’s former ambassador on suspicion of pedophilia and denied the envoy had been recalled to protect him from local justice.
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, 55, was recalled in August and relieved of his duties after local media accused him of sexual abuse of children.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A sombre-looking Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal to avert a widening of Syria’s conflict on Saturday, urging world leaders to pull humanity out of a “spiral of sorrow and death”.
Francis, who two days ago branded a military solution in Syria “a futile pursuit”, led the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in a global day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the G20 summit, urged world leaders on Thursday to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” in Syria.
The United States and France are considering military action against Damascus in response to a chemical attack on August 21 that killed hundreds of people.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to the Dominican Republic and relieved him of his duties pending an investigation, after local media accused him of pedophilia, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church said on Wednesday.
The Dominican Attorney General later announced that a special prosecutor had been appointed to investigate Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, who has been nuncio, or ambassador, in the capital Santo Domingo for nearly six years.