COLOMBO (Reuters) – Pope Francis called on Sri Lanka to uncover the truth of what happened during its bloody civil war as part of a healing process between religious communities, as he arrived in Colombo a few days after the island’s wartime leaders were voted out.
Soon after landing in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, Francis appeared to make the case for a truth commission to investigate the 26-year civil war, an election pledge of the government voted into office on Thursday.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican denied press reports on Monday that it had received specific warnings from Israeli and U.S. intelligence services that it was a probable next target of an Islamist attack.
La Repubblica, Corriere della Sera and other Italian papers reported on Monday that the CIA and Mossad had warned Italian and Vatican authorities that the Vatican may be a target. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said there were normal contacts among security services but the Holy See had been given no “concrete and specific” information over any risk.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Monday condemned last week’s killings by Islamist militants in Paris and urged Muslim leaders around the world to denounce fundamentalist interpretations of religion that use God’s name to justify violence.
“Violence is always the product of a falsification of religion, its use a pretext for ideological schemes whose only goal is power over others,” the pope said.
COLOMBO/VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis returns to Asia for the second time in less than six months, travelling to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in coming days to underscore his concern for inter-religious dialogue, poverty and the environment.
Security will be a main issue in both countries, particularly in the Philippines, Asia’s only majority Catholic country, where up to six million people are expected to attend an outdoor Mass on Jan. 18.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero, who was murdered by a right-wing death squad in 1980 and is an icon of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, has moved closer to being declared a saint.
Avvenire, the official newspaper of Italy’s Roman Catholic bishops, reported on Friday that a Vatican theological commission had ruled that Romero had been killed “in hatred of the faith”, meaning that he will be considered a martyr.
ROME (Reuters) – Pino Daniele, one of Italy’s most popular singer-songwriters, who fused the musical traditions of his native Naples with jazz and blues, has died of a heart attack at age 59, his agent said on Monday.
Daniele was born and raised in the tough, crime-infested Sanita neighborhood of Naples and drew on that experience to tinge his love songs with themes of poverty and injustice.
Pope Francis on Sunday named new cardinals to the group that will choose his successor, with appointments that strengthened the Catholic Church in Asia, Africa and Latin America and further shifted its power center away from the developed world.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Sunday named new cardinals to the group that will choose his successor, with appointments that strengthened the Catholic Church in Asia, Africa and Latin America and further shifted its power center away from the developed world.
It was the second time the 78-year-old Francis has used the appointment of cardinals to put his stamp on the 1.2 billion-member church. The two sets of appointments increase the chances that the next pontiff will, like Francis, be a non-European.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged people of all religions and cultures on Thursday to unite to fight modern slavery and human trafficking, saying in his first Mass of 2015 that everyone had a God-given right to be free.
The service at St. Peter’s Basilica marks the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace. This year’s theme is “No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters.”
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis condemned on Wednesday administrators and criminals in Rome who allegedly pocketed public funds meant to help poor migrants, saying the eternal city needed a “spiritual and moral renewal”.
Francis, who has made defense of the poor a trademark of his papacy, forcefully defended their rights in his homily at a New Year’s Eve vespers service for thousands in St. Peter’s Basilica.