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Mar 22, 2013

Pope urges dialogue with Islam, more help for the poor

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged the West on Friday to intensify dialogue with Islam and appealed to the world to do more to combat poverty and protect the environment.

Speaking in Italian, the new pontiff said richer countries should fight what he called “the spiritual poverty of our times” by re-forging links with God.

Mar 21, 2013

Argentine Nobel peace laureate Esquivel defends pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel defended Pope Francis on Thursday against accusations he failed to speak out against repression during the 1976-83 military dictatorship in their native Argentina, saying he preferred “silent diplomacy”.

Links between some high-ranking Roman Catholic clergymen and the U.S-backed military regime that kidnapped and killed up to 30,000 leftists between 1976 and 1983 tarnished the Church’s reputation in Argentina and the wounds have yet to heal.

Mar 20, 2013

Pope urges religions, those with no church to ally for justice

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged members of all religions and those belonging to no church on Wednesday to unite to defend justice, peace and the environment and not allow the value of a person to be reduced to “what he produces and what he consumes”.

Francis, elected a week ago as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, met leaders of non-Catholic Christian religions such as Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists, and others including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Mar 20, 2013

Pope sets tone for humbler papacy, calls for defense of the weak

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis set the tone for a new, humbler papacy at his inaugural Mass on Tuesday where he called for the Church to defend the weak and protect the environment.

Addressing up to 200,000 people including many foreign leaders gathered under bright sunshine in St. Peter’s Square, the Argentine pope underlined his central message since he was elected by a secret conclave of cardinals last Wednesday – that the Church’s mission was to defend the poor and disadvantaged.

Mar 19, 2013

Pope tours square in open vehicle to greet crowd before mass

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis toured a crammed St. Peter’s Square in an open white jeep on Tuesday to greet a huge crowd gathered for a Mass to inaugurate his papacy, which has already fanned hope for a renewal of the scandal-plagued Roman Catholic Church.

In another sign of the informality that is already a mark of his papacy, Francis abandoned the bullet-proof popemobile frequently used by his more formal predecessor Benedict, to tour the sprawling square in bright sunshine.

Mar 18, 2013

Papal inaugural Mass will straddle religion and politics

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican was preparing for a huge crowd for Pope Francis’s inaugural Mass on Tuesday, an event straddling religion and politics that will bring together European royalty, heads of state and world spiritual leaders.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to cram St. Peter’s Square and surrounding streets for the Mass to formally install Francis as the new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

Mar 17, 2013

At Mass in Vatican parish, Pope Francis says don’t condemn others

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis took on the role of a simple parish priest on Sunday, saying Mass for the Vatican’s resident community and urging listeners to not to be so quick to condemn others for their failings.

Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, said Mass for a few hundred people in Santa Anna, a church just inside the Vatican walls that is used as the parish church for workers in the city-state.

Mar 16, 2013

Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, giving his clearest indication yet that he wants a more austere Catholic Church, said on Saturday that it should be poor and remember that its mission is to serve the poor.

Francis, speaking mostly off-the-cuff and smiling often, made his comments in an audience for journalists where he explained why he chose to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of peace, austerity and poverty.

Mar 15, 2013
via FaithWorld

Vatican denies Pope Francis stayed silent during Argentine dictatorship

Photo

(Newly elected Pope Francis I, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, checks out of the church-run residence where he had been staying in Rome before his election. March 14, 2013,  REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

The Vatican on Friday strongly denied accusations by some critics in Argentina that Pope Francis stayed silent during systematic human rights abuses by the former military dictatorship.

Mar 15, 2013

New pope urges Church to return to its Gospel roots

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In his first public Mass, Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church on Thursday to stick to its Gospel roots and shun modern temptations, warning that it would become just another charitable group if it forgot its true mission.

In a heartfelt, simple homily, the Argentinian pope laid out a clear moral path for the 1.2-billion-member Church, which is beset by scandals, intrigue and strife.