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Oct 4, 2013

Pope, in Assisi, calls on Church to shun vanity

ASSISI, Italy (Reuters) – The Roman Catholic Church, from the lowliest priest to the pontiff himself, must strip itself of all “vanity, arrogance and pride” and humbly serve the poorest members of society, Pope Francis said on Friday.

The pope’s appeal, made in the central Italian hill town of Assisi where his namesake Saint Francis lived in the 12th century, comes amid a drive by Francis to turn around a Church plagued by financial and sexual abuse scandals.

Oct 3, 2013

Vatican administration needs total overhaul, cardinals tell pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Cardinals advising Pope Francis on how to reform the Vatican believe the Holy See’s central government is so problem-ridden that only a total overhaul can fix it, the Vatican said on Thursday.

The unusually stark acknowledgement came on the third and final day of closed-door meetings between the pope and eight cardinals from around the world who are discussing the Vatican’s troubled administration and mapping out possible changes in the worldwide Church.

Oct 1, 2013

As reform talks start, Pope vows to change Vatican mentality

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis began landmark meetings on Tuesday to reform the Vatican, promising to do all he could to change the mentality of an institution he said was too focused on its own interests.

Francis and eight cardinals from around the world are holding three days of closed-door meetings to discuss the Vatican’s troubled administration and to map out possible changes in the worldwide Church.

Oct 1, 2013

In move to transparency, Vatican bank issues first report

VATICAN CITY, Oct 1 (Reuters) – The Vatican bank, dogged for
decades by scandals and opaque dealings, published the first
annual report in its 125-year history on Tuesday.

The report covered 2012, a tumultuous year that saw its
former president ousted in a boardroom battle and leaks of
documents on internal disagreements on how it should be run.

Oct 1, 2013

Pope, in new interview, vows to change Vatican mentality

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has promised to do everything in his power to change the Vatican’s mentality, saying in an interview published on Tuesday that it was too focused on its own interests.

He also revealed that he had briefly considered not accepting his election as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years when his fellow cardinals chose him in March.

Sep 30, 2013

Exclusive: Vatican Bank likely to close embassy accounts after Iran, Iraq red flags

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The Vatican’s financial watchdog, which examined the transactions in 2011, believed the embassies’ justifications for the transactions were too vague or disproportionate to the amounts — up to 500,000 euros at a time — these people said. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for “refurbishment”, one person added.

Sep 30, 2013

Vatican Bank likely to close embassy accounts after Iran, Iraq red flags

VATICAN CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The Vatican bank is likely
to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following
concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the
missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with
knowledge of the situation.

The Vatican’s financial watchdog, which examined the
transactions in 2011, believed the embassies’ justifications for
the transactions were too vague or disproportionate to the
amounts — up to 500,000 euros at a time — these people
said. In one case, a large cash withdrawal was said to be for
“refurbishment”, one person added.

Sep 30, 2013

Cardinals to begin reform summit with pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Eight cardinals will begin closed-door meetings with Pope Francis on Tuesday to help him reform the Vatican’s troubled administration and map out possible changes in the worldwide Church.

Francis, who has brought a new style of openness, simplicity and a conciliatory tone to the papacy, wants to consult more with Church officials around the world before making decisions affecting the life of the 1.2-billion-member Church.

Sep 24, 2013

Ex-pope Benedict denies covering up sexual abuse

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Former Pope Benedict has denied that he tried to cover up sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, in his first direct published comments since he stepped down.

The comments came in an 11-page letter to Italian author and mathematician Piergiorgio Odifreddi, who had written a book about the problems facing the Roman Catholic Church before the pope resigned in February.

Sep 24, 2013

Pope defends immigrant rights, denounces ‘slave labour’

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged countries on Tuesday to welcome and respect migrants and refugees and not treat them as “pawns on the chessboard of humanity”.

Francis, who has made the defense of the poor and vulnerable a cornerstone of his papacy, said in a message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees that there should be a change in attitude on the part of host countries.