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Apr 22, 2015

Pope to visit Cuba en route to U.S., capping diplomatic role

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis will visit Cuba en route to the United States in September, the Vatican said on Wednesday, capping his success in bringing the former enemies together after more than half a century of distrust.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi did not specify how long the stop in Cuba would last, saying only that Francis had accepted invitations made by the Cuban government and the Cuban Roman Catholic Church.

Apr 22, 2015

Italy PM urges united EU action to tackle migrant crisis

ROME (Reuters) – The European Union must take a collective stand to tackle migrant trafficking at its source in African countries, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday ahead of an emergency summit of the bloc’s leaders to discuss the crisis.

Up to 900 people were feared dead after their boat sank on its way to Europe from Libya at the weekend including many women and children locked below deck, prompting calls for joint action to stop the flow of migrants fleeing war and hardship in Africa.

Apr 21, 2015

U.S. Catholic bishop in child pornography case resigns, Vatican says

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City, who was convicted of failing to alert authorities to a trove of child pornography found on a priest’s computer in 2012, has resigned, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

Finn, 62, was the only U.S. Roman Catholic bishop to be convicted for not reporting suspicion of child abuse. Groups representing victims of abuse by clerics had been urging the pope to dismiss Finn.

Apr 20, 2015

Vatican defends canonization of founder of Californian missions

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Monday defended Pope Francis’s decision to canonize Junipero Serra, the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan priest who founded missions in California, against accusations that he brutalized Native Americans.

Francis is due to declare Serra a saint on Sept. 23 at the National Shrine in Washington during a trip to the United States that will also include stops in New York and Philadelphia.

Apr 20, 2015

Elio Toaff, rabbi who hosted first pope visit to synagogue, dies at 99

ROME (Reuters) – Elio Toaff, the chief rabbi of Rome for half a century and a pivotal player in Christian-Jewish reconciliation, has died at the age of 99.

Toaff, who a spokesman said died on Sunday night, was Rome’s chief rabbi in 1986 when then-Pope John Paul II made the first visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to a synagogue in nearly 2,000 years.

Apr 16, 2015

Activist U.S. nuns make concessions after Vatican investigation

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A six-year row between activist American nuns and Vatican officials who had branded them radical feminists ended on Thursday with the nuns conceding to demands that they keep within the doctrine of the Roman Catholic church.

The clash with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing 80 percent of U.S. nuns, became a national issue in America, with many supporters accusing the Vatican of bullying them.

Apr 13, 2015

Papal sex abuse commission members meet over Chilean bishop

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Members of a commission advising Pope Francis on how to rid the Catholic Church of sexual abuse have met a top Vatican official to express their misgivings over the appointment of a bishop in Chile accused of covering up abuse.

Marie Collins, a victim of abuse from Ireland, told Reuters the meeting four members had with Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Sunday night “went well and the cardinal promised to take our concerns to the Holy Father”.

Apr 5, 2015
via FaithWorld

Pope at Easter prays for killed Kenyan students, decries persecution of Christians

Photo

(Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.)

Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.

Apr 5, 2015

Pope at Easter prays for killed Kenyan students, decries persecution

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.

Francis, after saying Mass for thousands of people in a rainy St. Peter’s Square, delivered a mostly somber and grim “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.

Apr 4, 2015

Pope tells Catholics at Easter vigil: seek truth, beauty and love

ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis led the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics into Easter on Saturday night, urging them at a vigil Mass to shun indifference and boldly live their faith.

Marking the third Easter since his election in 2013, the pope maintained an Easter vigil tradition by baptizing late entries into the Church.