Pope Francis

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Gay Abuse Victim Spoke to Pope. Francis' Words Were 'Forceful'

Juan Carlos Cruz said Francis told him: 'God made you like this and loves you like this'

(Newser) - While religious conservatives have long argued being gay is a choice and even a "disorder," Pope Francis has been known to push back on those arguments, most famously with his 2013 statement : "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" Now... More »

Francis Names 14 New 'Princes of the Church'

Newest class of cardinals will be elevated on June 29

(Newser) - Pope Francis announced on Sunday he has chosen 14 men to be the newest cardinals in the church, among them his chief aide for helping Rome's homeless and poor, as well as prelates based in Iraq and Pakistan, where Christians are a vulnerable minority. "I am happy to... More »

Every Bishop in Chile Tells Pope They Will Resign

Their fate is now in hands of pope in midst of church's long-running abuse saga

(Newser) - Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church's long-running abuse saga. The bishops announced at the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones had... More »

Pope Wants Nuns to Go Easy on the Tweets

Vatican urges them to use social media with 'discretion and sobriety'

(Newser) - The Catholic Church has advised its 38,000 cloistered nuns to use social media wisely and with “discretion and sobriety,” reports Newsweek and the Guardian . The admonishment was issued in a document published by the Vatican known as the "Cor Orans,” which provides additional guidance on... More »

In Extraordinary Letter, Pope Admits Making 'Grave Errors'

Says he made missteps in judging the case of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros

(Newser) - Pope Francis admitted Wednesday he made "grave errors" in judgment in Chile's sex abuse scandal and invited the victims he had discredited to Rome to beg their forgiveness. In an extraordinary public letter, Francis also summoned all of Chile's bishops to the Vatican for an emergency meeting... More »

Pope Francis Extols 'Middle Class of Holiness'

Francis likes the idea of 'saints next door' over dogmatists

(Newser) - Pope Francis is calling for ordinary Catholics to live holy lives in whatever they do, stressing that the "saints next door" are more pleasing to God than religious elites who insist on perfect adherence to rules and doctrine. In a new document released Monday, Francis said defending the poor... More »

Vatican Clarifies Pope's Words on Hell

Statement faults journalist for inaccurately quoting Francis as denying its existence

(Newser) - Pope Francis has found himself in a controversy about the existence of hell, on Easter Week no less. The brouhaha started when atheist and Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari wrote an article in the newspaper La Repubblica claiming that Francis told him hell doesn't exist, reports the Guardian . By Scalfari'... More »

Pope to the Kids: Keep Shouting

'The temptation to silence young people has always existed'

(Newser) - A day after hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets to call for gun control, an old man used his bully pulpit to urge them to keep shouting, reports Reuters . Speaking at his Palm Sunday Mass, 81-year-old Pope Francis warned that "the temptation to silence young... More »

'Lettergate' Takes Down Vatican Media Chief

Dario Vigano will remain at Vatican following resignation

(Newser) - The head of the Vatican's communications department resigned Wednesday in a scandal about a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI that he mischaracterized, then had digitally manipulated in a photo sent to the media. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Monsignor Dario Vigano on Wednesday and named his deputy,... More »

Vatican Relents, Releases Benedict's Full Letter on Francis

It previously blurred part of it, fueling claims of censorship

(Newser) - Stung by accusations of spreading "fake news," the Vatican on Saturday released the complete letter by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis after coming under criticism for selectively citing it in a press release and digitally manipulating a photograph of it. The previously hidden part of the... More »

Vatican Doctors Photo of Benedict Praising Francis

It turns out retired pope hasn't actually read current pope's books

(Newser) - The Vatican admitted Thursday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards, the AP reports. The Vatican's communications office released the... More »

On Francis' 5th Anniversary, Ex-Pope Sticks Up for Pontiff

Benedict XVI says it's 'foolish prejudice' to say dogma under Francis is 'adrift'

(Newser) - Pope Francis marked his fifth anniversary as pope Tuesday by receiving votes of confidence from his predecessor and from the current Vatican No. 2—as well as faithful around the globe—seeking to rebut criticism about his reform-minded papacy and encouraging him to push the envelope even further, per the... More »

Archbishop Murdered During Mass to Become a Saint

Oscar Romero was slain by right-wing death squads in 1980

(Newser) - Pope Francis has cleared the way for Archbishop Oscar Romero to be made a saint, declaring that the churchman murdered in El Salvador for standing up for the poor and oppressed should be a model for today's church. Francis signed a decree confirming a miracle attributed to Romero's... More »

2015 Letter May Be Trouble for Pope Francis

Francis says he's seen no evidence against accused bishop, but now a 2015 letter surfaces

(Newser) - Pope Francis found himself courting controversy on a recent visit to Chile when he defended Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused of covering up the actions of a pedophile priest. Francis insisted that he considers the allegations against the bishop "slander" because nobody has ever come forward with... More »

Pope Apologizes to Abuse Victims Over Comments

But he continues to defend Chilean bishop accused of cover-up

(Newser) - Pope Francis apologized for insisting that victims of pedophile priests show "proof" to be believed, saying he realized it was a "slap in the face" to victims that he never intended. But he doubled down on defending a Chilean bishop accused by victims of covering up for the... More »

Pope's Remarks Stun Victims of Pedophile Priest

He accuses them of slandering bishop

(Newser) - Pope Francis accused victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country. Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop... More »

Pope Marries Flight Attendants, Makes History

It was 1st-ever airborne papal wedding

(Newser) - Pope Francis celebrated the first-ever airborne papal wedding on Thursday, marrying two flight attendants from Chile's flagship airline during a flight from Santiago, the AP reports. Bride Paola Podest, 39, and groom Carlos Ciuffardi, 41, said "I do" after telling Francis that they had been married in a... More »

Pope's New Year's Message: Dump Life's 'Useless Baggage'

Francis also told congregants: 'Do not extinguish' hopes of migrants, refugees

(Newser) - Jan. 1 isn't just New Year's Day for the Roman Catholic Church. It's also the World Day of Peace , and Pope Francis used the occasion Monday to remind 40,000 congregants at St. Peter's Square about the plight of one of the world's "weakest... More »

Topless Activist Tries to Steal Baby Jesus From Vatican

She's a member of Ukraine-based feminist group Femen

(Newser) - A topless "sextremist" attempted to grab the baby Jesus from a Nativity scene at the Vatican while yelling "God is woman" just hours before Pope Francis' Christmas Day address, Reuters reports. The woman, who also had "God is woman" painted on her back, hopped guardrails in St.... More »

Pope Warns of 'Winds of War'

Francis' Christmas message focuses on Mideast, Korea

(Newser) - Lamenting "the winds of war" blowing around the world, Pope Francis in his traditional Christmas message on Monday called for a two-state solution to find peace in the Middle East and prayed that confrontation can be overcome on the Korean Peninsula—taking particular aim at areas of global tension... More »

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