VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and gave a bemused pontiff culinary delights from the royal estates, including a dozen eggs and a bottle of whisky.
“I’ve also brought something from all our estates, which is for you personally,” said the queen, wearing a lavender dress and a purple hat, as she handed Francis a wicker basket full of food at the end of a 17-minute private meeting in the Vatican.
The Vatican has removed a German bishop because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In a new blow for the troubled Vatican bank, lawyers for its former head who was abruptly fired in 2012 threatened legal action on Friday to clear his name and show that he was unfairly dismissed.
The surprise move by lawyers for Ettore Gotti Tedeschi came after months of relative calm for the Vatican bank under its new president, German Ernst Von Freyberg.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama heard the Catholic Church’s concerns over his health care plan while on a visit to the Vatican on Thursday, but drew a cheerful response from Pope Francis when inviting him to visit Washington.
The president appeared at ease and joked during the parts of his meeting with the pope that were open to a few reporters, but a brief Vatican statement issued later indicated that Obama’s private talks there had a more serious side.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Calling himself “a great admirer”, President Barack Obama held nearly an hour of private talks about the global situation with Pope Francis on Thursday and invited the pontiff to visit the White House.
Obama appeared at ease and joked with the pope during the parts of their first meeting that were open to reporters, at one saying he did not know how his wife and children “put up with me”.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican removed a German bishop on Wednesday because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity.
It said the atmosphere in the diocese of Limburg had become such that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst could no longer carry out a “fruitful exercise” of his ministry there.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Despite differences on moral issues, U.S. President Barack Obama will find in Pope Francis a welcome ally on issues of poverty and social justice when they meet for the first time at the Vatican on Thursday.
The president has sparred with the Catholic Church hierarchy in the United States over his support for abortion rights, gay marriage and the “contraception mandate” that requires employers to provide health insurance cover for artificial birth control.
Thursday marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.
Vatican City (Reuters) – Pope Francis marked the first anniversary of his election as head of the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday with a tweet from his retreat.
“Pray for me,” Francis tweeted on his English account @pontifex. If you are a Latin lover, the literary kind, it was “Orate pro me”.