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Dec 25, 2014

Pope’s Christmas address condemns Islamic State ‘brutal persecution’

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis condemned the “brutal persecution” of minorities by Islamic State insurgents in his Christmas message on Thursday and urged people not to be indifferent to the suffering of so many around the world.

Tens of thousands of people turned out on St. Peter’s Square to hear the Argentine pope deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing and message, marking the second Christmas since his election last year.

Dec 24, 2014

Pope, on Christmas Eve, urges world to be open to God

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis ushered the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas on Wednesday, urging them to allow God to enter their lives to help combat darkness and corruption.

The 78-year-old Argentine pope led a solemn Christmas Eve Mass for thousands of people in St. Peter’s Basilica. It is the second Christmas season for the pope, who was elected last year as the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years.

Dec 22, 2014
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis says the Vatican Curia is sick with power and greed


(Pope Francis is pictured by mobile phones at a special audience for Vatican employees and their families at the Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican December 22, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

The Vatican’s top administrators would have been expecting an exchange of pleasantries at their annual Christmas meeting with Pope Francis on Monday.

Dec 22, 2014

Pope says Vatican administration is sick with power and greed

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican’s top administrators would have been expecting an exchange of pleasantries at their annual Christmas meeting with Pope Francis on Monday.

Instead, he chose the occasion to issue a stinging critique, telling the priests, bishops and cardinals who run the Curia, the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church, that careerism, scheming and greed had infected them with “spiritual Alzheimer’s”.

Dec 20, 2014
via FaithWorld

Financial fraud uncovered at branch of Catholicism’s Franciscan order


(Catholic monks during the procession in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, 2006/Abraham Sobkowski OFM)

A branch of the Franciscan religious order that runs churches and convents in 110 countries says fraud by some of its monks has plunged it into grave financial difficulty.

Dec 20, 2014
via FaithWorld

Pope’s Latin American brains trust was behind Cuba deal


(Vatican State Secretary Cardinal Pietro Parolin looks on during the arrival of Pope Francis (not pictured) at Fiumicino airport in Rome May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

Argentine Pope Francis and a trio of top Vatican officials who helped broker the historic deal between the United States and Cuba represent an unprecedented brain trust in Latin American affairs at the Holy See.

Dec 17, 2014

Vatican leveraged ties to Cuba, U.S. to help broker deal-officials

VATICAN CITY/WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The Vatican
leveraged its good relations with Cuba and the United States to
help broker their historic resumption of ties and the deal was
spurred by letters from Pope Francis to the presidents of both

The Vatican, which facilitated the agreement along with
Canada, gave some details of its role in a statement shortly
after U.S. President Barack Obama announced the major policy
shift by Washington to resume diplomatic ties after decades of
hostility with the communist-ruled island.

Dec 16, 2014

Vatican report on U.S. nuns is conciliatory, stresses teachings

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A keenly-awaited Vatican report on Roman Catholic nuns in the United States struck a conciliatory tone on Tuesday, praising them for their social and educational work but urging them to stick to Church teachings.

The report is the result of an investigation launched in 2008 after some Vatican officials and U.S. bishops voiced concern that some American nuns had adopted a secular mentality and been infiltrated by what one official at the time called “radical feminism”.

Dec 14, 2014
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis turns out not to have made “pets in heaven” comment


(A woman poses with her dog dressed as the pope during the 24th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York October 25, 2014. Hundreds of dog owners dress their dogs and compete for fun and prizes during the parade. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

It was a heartwarming story for legions of pet owners and animal lovers around the world.

Dec 12, 2014

Vatican denies Dalai Lama papal audience over China concern

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has denied a private audience to the Dalai Lama because it could harm the Holy See’s already fraught relations with China, the Vatican said on Friday.

The request was declined “for obvious reasons concerning the delicate situation” with China, a Vatican spokesman said. The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, understood the situation, he added.