ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday described how he became emotional when he met a family of Syrian refugees who have been given shelter in the Vatican.
“There are wars, refugees who are escaping in this wave of migration away from wars,” he told reporters aboard the plane taking him from Rome to Havana to start his nine-day trip to Cuba and the United States.
HAVANA (Reuters) – Pope Francis told former Cold War foes Cuba and the United States on Saturday to set an example for the world by deepening their recent rapprochement that he helped broker.
His zucchetto skullcap flying off in the Caribbean breeze at the start of a nine-day tour of Cuba and the United States, the Argentine pontiff used his arrival speech at Havana airport to praise this year’s normalization of diplomatic relations.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Was he a saint or a sinner, an evangelizer or an enslaver?
Next week in Washington, Pope Francis will preside over one of the most controversial acts of his papacy. He will confer sainthood on the 18th century Spanish missionary Friar Junipero Serra, and in doing so, dive into a cultural battle in the United States.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican said on Thursday it hoped Pope Francis’s trip to Cuba would help bring an end to a 53-year-old U.S. embargo and lead to more freedom and human rights on the communist island.
The pope will spend four days in Cuba before flying to the United States. He is visiting both countries for the first time as pontiff, after Vatican mediation that led to a restoration of ties between Washington and Havana last year.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis is expected to raise the Vatican’s opposition to the United States’ embargo against Cuba during his forthcoming trip but he will not dwell on the issue so as not to be seen as interfering in U.S. politics, Vatican officials say.
The pope leaves on Saturday on a trip that will take him first to Cuba and then to the United States and how he addresses the embargo is keenly awaited in both countries.
Pope Francis will deliver all but four of his 18 addresses during his forthcoming visit to the United States in Spanish because he is still not comfortable speaking in English, the Vatican said on Tuesday.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has warned against the risk that militants could slip into Europe under cover of a huge wave of refugees fleeing war in Syria but also said the migrant crisis could help reawaken the continent’s conscience.
In an interview published on Monday with the Portuguese Catholic broadcaster Radio Renascenca, the pope referred to the risk that Islamic State, which has killed Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, could launch attacks in Europe.
CASTELGANDOLFO, Italy (Reuters) – If you’ve ever wanted to see the world from the viewpoint of a pope, now you can.
The Vatican has turned part of the lavish papal summer estate south of Rome – which the frugal Pope Francis has never used – into a museum and linked it to Rome via a train.
ROME (Reuters) – At a recent meeting of Catholic parishioners in the small town of Castelgomberto in northern Italy, a man got up and shouted “My grandfather built that place for priests, not for Muslims”.
“It was a pretty stormy meeting,” said Father Lucio Mozzo, pastor to six parishes in the area, who was trying to convince residents to allow a family of refugees to move into a disused vicarage in a nearby valley.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Tuesday revolutionized the procedure for Roman Catholics to get marriage annulments, making them faster and simpler and calling on bishops to provide greater help to divorced couples.
The most substantial changes to Catholic marriage annulment procedures in centuries again showed Francis’ desire for the Church to be more merciful to Catholics in difficulty. The 1.2 billion member Church does not recognize divorce.