VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis approved detailed new plans to reform Vatican finances on Tuesday, giving the Australian cardinal leading the changes sweeping powers to monitor Vatican departments and ensure budgets conform to international accounting standards.
The statutes had been keenly awaited for signs of how much power would fall to Cardinal George Pell – an outsider Francis brought in to oversee often muddled finances and who, according to Italian media, is viewed skeptically by detractors in the Vatican bureaucracy who feel he has amassed too much power.
Pope Francis urged members of Italian organized crime groups on Saturday to repent, saying the Catholic Church would welcome them if they promised to stop serving the cause of evil.
A prominent American Catholic gay rights group was given VIP treatment for the first time at an audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday, a move members saw as a sign of change in the Roman Catholic Church.
ROME (Reuters) – The U.S. cardinal who heads the Vatican’s commission on sexual abuse of children by clergy warned his fellow Roman Catholic bishops on Monday not to behave as if the problem had passed.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told a conference at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University that some prelates were still reluctant to deal with the problem openly.
Pope Francis urged Roman Catholic leaders on Sunday to shun a “closed caste” mentality, saying the Church’s credibility rested on its ability to help the poor and persecuted on the margins of society.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday inducted new Roman Catholic cardinals to the group that will choose his successor, telling them their high rank was a call to be humble and work for justice.
Francis elevated 20 prelates, many of them from developing countries, at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. It was attended by former Pope Benedict XVI, making only his fifth public appearance at a church event since his resignation in 2013.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, starting two days of closed-door meetings with the world’s Roman Catholic cardinals, on Thursday called for greater efficiency and transparency in the Church’s troubled central administration, the Curia.
Francis was elected in 2013 with a mandate from the cardinals who chose him to reform the Curia, and has made plain his determination to bring the Church’s hierarchy closer to its 1.2 billion members.
Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a shantytown on Rome’s outskirts on Sunday, stunning poor residents, many of them from his native South America.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A victim of child sexual abuse by clergy criticised Pope Francis on Saturday for appearing to endorse parents who spanked their children.
“Children don’t need to be hit. We need to talk about positive parenting … physical violence has no part in modern-day child upbringing,” said Peter Saunders, who is advising the Vatican on how to deal with its abuse crisis.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Catholic Church is studying sanctions for bishops suspected of cover-ups or of failing to prevent abuse, members said on Saturday.
“There have to be consequences,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the head of the commission, told a news conference.