VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis is set to make the most important decisions of his young papacy in the next few weeks by naming new cardinals – the “princes of the Church” who will help him set its future course and one day elect his successor from their number.
A pope’s choice of cardinals is one of the clearest signals of the direction in which he wants the 1.2 billion-strong Roman Catholic Church to go, and what type of man he wants to succeed him.
The Vatican has denied Italian media reports that recent comments by Pope Francis signaled his openness to the legal recognition of same-sex unions in Italy.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Sunday denied Italian media reports that recent comments by Pope Francis signaled his openness to the legal recognition of same-sex unions in Italy.
Francis, in a conversation with leaders of religious orders published by a Jesuit journal on Friday, said the Catholic Church had to try not to scare away children who live in complex family situations, such as those whose parents were separated and those living with gay couples.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis is to visit biblical sites in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories in May, his first trip to the Christian Holy Land as pontiff and only the fourth by a pope since biblical times.
The May 24-26 trip to Amman, Jerusalem and Bethlehem will mark the 50th anniversary of a historic trip to the region by Pope Paul VI. Pope John Paul II visited in 2000 and Benedict XVI went in 2009.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has told Roman Catholic priests to leave their comfort zone and get out among people on the margins of society or else risk becoming “abstract ideologists”.
The Italian Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica published an exclusive text on Friday of a three-hour, closed-door meeting the Argentinian-born pontiff had in late November with heads of orders of priests from around the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.