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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.

Sep 22, 2013
via FaithWorld

Pope attacks global economics for worshipping ‘god of money,’ slams “throwaway culture”

Photo

(Pope Francis looks on as he leads a mass outside the Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria in Cagliari September 22, 2013. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)

Pope Francis made one of his strongest attacks on the global economic system on Sunday, saying it could no longer be based on a “god called money” and urged the unemployed to fight for work.

Sep 22, 2013
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis’s interview message heralds change of tone on gays, abortion

Photo

(Pope Francis waves from a car as he leaves at the end of his visit to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

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.

Sep 22, 2013

Pope attacks global economics for worshipping ‘god of money’

CAGLIARI, Sardinia (Reuters) – Pope Francis made one of his strongest attacks on the global economic system on Sunday, saying it could no longer be based on a “god called money” and urged the unemployed to fight for work.

Francis, at the start of a day-long trip to the island’s capital, put aside his prepared text at a meeting with unemployed workers, including miners in hard hats who told him of their situation, and improvised for nearly 20 minutes.

Sep 20, 2013

Pope message heralds change of tone on gays, abortion

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.

Sep 20, 2013

Pope says Church must end obsession with gays, contraception, abortion

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.