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Jan 2, 2014

Francis drew 6.6 million to Vatican in 2013, three times Benedict

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – More than 6.6 million people attended events with Pope Francis at the Vatican from his election in March to the end of 2013, figures released on Thursday showed, compared to 2.3 million for former Pope Benedict in all of 2012.

The Vatican said the figures were based on the number of tickets issued for papal events where they are needed, such as general audiences, Masses and private audiences.

Jan 1, 2014

Stop the wars, pope says in New Year appeal

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis made an impassioned New Year’s peace address on Wednesday, saying the heart of humanity seemed to have gone astray and too many people were still indifferent to war, violence and injustice.

The pontiff, who took his papal name from St Francis of Assisi, the saint most associated with peace, urged the world to listen to the “cry for peace” from suffering peoples.

Jan 1, 2014
via FaithWorld

It’s official: Vatican says Pope Francis has not abolished sin


(A panel depicting the sin of gluttony in “The Seven Mortal Sins and the Four Last Things” by Hieronymus Bosch, around 1500, now in the Prado Museum in Madrid)

The Vatican felt compelled on Tuesday to deny that Pope Francis had “abolished sin”, after a well-known Italian intellectual wrote that he had effectively done so through his words and gestures.

Dec 26, 2013
via FaithWorld

Atheists should work with believers for peace, Pope Francis says on Christmas


(Pope Francis holds the baby Jesus statue at the end of the Christmas night mass in the Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican December 24, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

Pope Francis, celebrating his first Christmas as Roman Catholic leader, on Wednesday called on atheists to unite with believers of all religions and work for “a homemade peace” that can spread across the world.

Dec 25, 2013

Be peacemakers all, Pope says in first Christmas message

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, celebrating his first Christmas as Roman Catholic leader, on Wednesday called for dialogue to end the conflict in South Sudan and all wars, saying everyone should strive to be personal peacemakers.

Speaking to tens of thousands of people from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, the same spot where he emerged to the world as pope when he was elected on March 13, Francis also made another appeal for the environment to be saved from “human greed and rapacity”.

Dec 24, 2013

At first Christmas as pope, Francis urges openness to God

VATICAN CITY, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Pope Francis, celebrating
his first Christmas as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman
Catholics, on Tuesday urged people to shun pride and selfishness
and open up their hearts to God and their fellow man.

Francis, who last March became the first non-European pope
in 1,300 years, celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve Mass for some
10,000 people in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica as hundreds of
others watched on mega-screens in the square outside.

Dec 21, 2013

Be professional, shun gossip, Pope tells Vatican administrators

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday told Vatican administrators, who were dogged by infighting and allegations of corruption during the papacy of his predecessor, to be humble professionals and “conscientious objectors” to gossip.

“When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity,” Francis said in his first Christmas greetings to the members of the Roman Catholic Church’s central administration, known as the Curia.

Dec 20, 2013

Cricket holy war on as Anglicans accept Vatican challenge

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Let the holy war begin. The holy war of cricket, that is.

The Church of England on Friday formally took up the Vatican’s challenge to settle scores on the cricket pitch nearly 500 years after the two Churches split.

Dec 19, 2013

Vatican hires two more outside firms to help clean up

VATICAN CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The Vatican has hired two
big international consulting firms to improve financial
accounting procedures and streamline media operations, its
latest bid to clean up often murky finances and improve
efficiency by cutting through red tape.

Pope Francis has already set up three commissions to advise
him on what to do with the troubled Vatican bank, how to reform
the administration and to address sexual abuse of children, a
scandal that tainted his predecessor Benedict XVI’s incumbency.

Dec 18, 2013

Pope Francis drawing crowds four times larger than predecessor

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – More than two million people have flocked to Pope Francis’ general audiences in St. Peter’s Square since his election in March, four times the number that Pope Benedict drew in all of 2012.

The Vatican said on Wednesday it had issued 1,548,500 tickets for the 30 Wednesday general audiences Francis has held since his election on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years.