Pope begs Putin to end ‘spiral of violence and death’, cites nuclear threat

Pope begs Putin to end ‘spiral of violence and death’, cites nuclear threat

VATICAN CITY, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal on Sunday to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop "this spiral of violence and death" in Ukraine, saying the crisis there was risking a nuclear escalation with uncontrollable global consequences. In an address dedicated to Ukraine and made to thousands of people in St. Peter's Square, Francis also appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be open to any "serious peace proposal". Francis said he was making an urgent appeal "in the name of God" for an end to the conflict and said it was "absurd" that the…
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Vatican says Pope to visit Bahrain for conference in November

Vatican says Pope to visit Bahrain for conference in November

VATICAN CITY, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Pope Francis will visit predominantly Muslim Bahrain Nov. 3-6 to attend an international conference, the Vatican announced on Wednesday. The Vatican said the pope would visit the Gulf island country off the Arabian peninsula to take part in the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence. In 2019, Francis visited Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the first pontiff to visit the Arabian peninsula and say a Mass there. Bahrain is about 70% Muslim and, unlike Saudi Arabia, allows the small Christian community - made up mostly of foreign workers…
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Vatican sought Xi-Pope meeting in Kazakhstan, China declined – source

Vatican sought Xi-Pope meeting in Kazakhstan, China declined – source

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, (Reuters) - The Vatican told China that Pope Francis was willing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping while both leaders where in the Kazakh capital but China said there was not enough time, a Vatican source said. The source gave no details on how or when the Vatican approached China, with which it is involved in a delicate dialogue over the status of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. The source said the Vatican made "an expression of availability". The Chinese side said they "appreciated the gesture" but that there was no free time on…
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Pope arrives in Kazakhstan, says ‘always ready’ for China visit

Pope arrives in Kazakhstan, says ‘always ready’ for China visit

Pope Francis said on Tuesday he was willing to go to China at any time but had "no news" to offer over speculation he might meet Chinese President Xi Jinping while both are in Kazakhstan. Francis arrived in Kazakhstan after a six-hour flight from Rome at the start of a three-day trip to attend a peace meeting of world religious leaders. Francis, who suffers from a knee ailment, for the first time on his trips used a finger ramp to exit the plane and enter the terminal on a wheelchair. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev greeted the pope briefly at the airport before the pope travelled in…
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Praying for ‘martyred Ukraine’, Pope urges halt to ‘world war’

Praying for ‘martyred Ukraine’, Pope urges halt to ‘world war’

VATICAN CITY, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Wednesday called for a stop to the current "world war", calling on "everyone to be builders of peace" as he invoked special prayers for "martyred Ukraine." "I am not forgetting the martyred Ukraine," Francis said at the end of his weekly audience in St Peter's Square. "Faced with all the war scenarios of our time, I ask everyone to be builders of peace and to pray that thoughts and projects of harmony and reconciliation may spread throughout the world. Today we are living through a world war, let us stop please,"…
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UPDATED: John Paul I, pope who reigned for only 33 days, moves closer to sainthood with beatification

UPDATED: John Paul I, pope who reigned for only 33 days, moves closer to sainthood with beatification

VATICAN CITY, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after only 33 days as pontiff, moved closer to sainthood on Sunday with the Vatican still having to dismiss lingering conspiracy theories that he was a victim of foul play. Pope Francis beatified his predecessor at a ceremony in St. Peter's Square before tens of thousands of people. Beatification is the last step before sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQzSi0ORIug John Paul was known as "The Smiling Pope" because of his meekness and simplicity. "With a smile, Pope John Paul managed to communicate the goodness…
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Pope dissolves Knights of Malta leadership, issues new constitution

Pope dissolves Knights of Malta leadership, issues new constitution

VATICAN CITY, (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Saturday dissolved the leadership of the Knights of Malta, the global Catholic religious order and humanitarian group, and installed a provisional government ahead of the election of a new Grand Master. The change, which the pope issued in a decree, came after five years of often acrimonious debate within the order and between some top members of the old guard and the Vatican over a new constitution that some feared would weaken its sovereignty. The group, whose formal name is Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of…
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WANTED: 25 men to guard the Pope. Must be Catholic. Must be Swiss

WANTED: 25 men to guard the Pope. Must be Catholic. Must be Swiss

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The world's smallest army, in the world's smallest state, is growing and looking for a few good men. The Swiss Guard, the elite and colourfully dressed force whose main mission is to protect the pope and the 108-acre Vatican City, currently stands at 110 members. Ahead of the 2025 Holy Year, when millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the Vatican, the force will grow by 25 members to 135 members, an increase of nearly 23%. In order to help with the recruitment, the Swiss Guard have opened a new media office and contact point in…
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Vatican tries to mend Ukraine ties after Kyiv protests pope comments

Vatican tries to mend Ukraine ties after Kyiv protests pope comments

VATICAN CITY, Aug 0 (Reuters) - The Vatican acted to mend strained relations with Ukraine after Pope Francis upset Kyiv by referring to Russian ultra-nationalist Darya Dugina, who was killed by a car bomb near Moscow, as an innocent victim of war. Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba summoned the Vatican's ambassador in Kyiv to protest, saying the pope's words were "unfair" and had "broken Ukraine's heart". That move followed sharp criticism of the pope by Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash. Francis sparked the controversy last week while speaking off script at his weekly general audience on…
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Pope visit to Italian city spotlights need for rules on ex-pontiffs

Pope visit to Italian city spotlights need for rules on ex-pontiffs

VATICAN CITY, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Pope Francis has quashed rumours that he plans to resign anytime soon but his planned visit on Sunday to the Italian city of L'Aquila will underscore the Catholic Church's need to regulate the status of pontiffs who step down instead of ruling for life. L'Aquila is the burial place of Celestine V, who resigned as pope in 1294 after only five months to return to his life as a hermit, establishing a papal prerogative. Pope Benedict XVI, who in 2013 became the first pontiff in about 600 years to resign, visited L'Aquila four years…
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Question of who might succeed Pope Francis to loom over cardinals’ gathering

Question of who might succeed Pope Francis to loom over cardinals’ gathering

VATICAN CITY, (Reuters) - Roman Catholic cardinals from around the world gather for events at the Vatican starting this weekend that could amount to a dress rehearsal for an eventual conclave to choose a successor to Pope Francis after he dies or resigns. On Saturday Francis will induct 20 prelates into the College of Cardinals, the exclusive group whose members serve as the pope's top advisors and administrators at the Vatican and around the globe. Sixteen of the newcomers are under 80 years old and thus join the even more exclusive inner sanctum known as cardinal electors, eligible to enter…
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UPDATED: Ukraine envoy criticises pope over comments on Russian killed by car bomb

UPDATED: Ukraine envoy criticises pope over comments on Russian killed by car bomb

VATICAN CITY, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican on Wednesday criticised Pope Francis for referring to Darya Dugina, daughter of a prominent Russian ultra-nationalist, who was killed by a car bomb near Moscow, as an innocent victim of war. It is highly unusual for ambassadors to the Vatican to criticise the pope publicly. "Innocents pay for war," Francis said earlier at his Wednesday general audience in a sentence where he referred to "that poor girl thrown in the air by a bomb under the seat of a car in Moscow". Russia blamed the killing on Ukrainian agents,…
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Pope further tightens controls, centralisation of Vatican finances

Pope further tightens controls, centralisation of Vatican finances

Pope Francis acted to eliminate wiggle room or foot- dragging by Vatican departments in imposing tighter financial controls, setting a deadline for the closing of investment portfolios in foreign banks, including in Italy. Francis issued a document known as a "rescriptum," or re-writing, making clear that all investments by all departments would have to go through the Vatican bank under new rules that come into effect on Sept. 1. A greater role for the bank is a key plank in a centralisation policy announced last month that strips all Vatican departments of the ability to invest their funds independently. It…
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Pope rules against investigating Canadian cardinal over sex assault claim

Pope rules against investigating Canadian cardinal over sex assault claim

Pope Francis has decided there is not sufficient evidence to open a Church investigation into Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet over allegations of sexual assault, the Vatican said in a statement. Ouellet, a prominent Vatican official, was named earlier this week in a class action lawsuit against the Quebec Catholic diocese that alleged cases of sexual assault by some 88 priests and staff working at the diocese starting in 1940. In the filing in Quebec Superior Court, an anonymous complainant alleged that Ouellet inappropriately touched her, and made comments that made her feel uncomfortable between 2008 and 2010 when Ouellet was…
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Prominent Vatican cardinal named in Canada sexual assault lawsuit -filing

Prominent Vatican cardinal named in Canada sexual assault lawsuit -filing

Vatican Cardinal Marc Ouellet is the highest-ranking clergyman accused in a court document in Canada made public as part of a class action lawsuit against the Quebec Catholic diocese alleging sexual assault, the plaintiffs' lawyer said. The lawsuit represents more than 100 people, including minors, who were alleged to have been sexually assaulted by 88 priests and staff working at the Quebec diocese starting in 1940, according to a court document and a news release issued by the Arsenault Dufresne Wee firm which filed the class action. In the filing in Quebec Superior Court, an anonymous complainant alleges Ouellet inappropriately…
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Pope to visit Kazakhstan, may meet Russian Orthodox patriarch

Pope to visit Kazakhstan, may meet Russian Orthodox patriarch

Pope Francis will attend a meeting of religious leaders in Kazakhstan in September, the Vatican said on Monday, a gathering where he has said previously he hoped to meet with the Russian Orthodox patriarch, who backs the war in Ukraine. Francis is set to be in the capital Nur-Sultan from Sept. 13-15 to attend the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the Vatican said. The pope has said in several recent interviews that he hopes to meet in the Kazakh capital with patriarch Kirill, who has given his full-throated backing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began…
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Protest over 15th-century land grab doctrine interrupts papal Mass in Canada

Protest over 15th-century land grab doctrine interrupts papal Mass in Canada

 (Reuters) - Indigenous activists unfurled a banner demanding Pope Francis rescind 15th-century papal edicts justifying colonialism at a Mass he presided over Thursday, thrusting the doctrine to the forefront of his apology tour of Canada. Two Anishinaabe cousins unfurled a large banner protesting the doctrine of discovery which effectively gave Europeans moral justification for taking indigenous lands. They stood near the front row facing the congregation as the pope was starting Mass in a cathedral outside Quebec City. Most of the people in the church were indigenous. Activists interupt Pope Francis as he leads a mass at the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre,…
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Pope: Church must take institutional blame for harm done to indigenous Canadians

Pope: Church must take institutional blame for harm done to indigenous Canadians

LAC STE. ANNE, Alberta, (Reuters) - Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church should accept institutional blame for the harm done to indigenous Canadians in residential schools that tried to wipe out native cultures. Francis made his comment during a visit to Lac Ste. Anne, a lakeside pilgrimage site about 70 km (44 miles) west of Edmonton popular with both indigenous Canadian Catholics and those of European origin. Pope Francis participates in a pilgrimage to Lac Ste. Anne, in northern Alberta, Canada. This place, where a Catholic mission was born in 1842, is known to the natives as a place…
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Pope apologizes for ‘deplorable evil’ of Canadian indigenous schools

Pope apologizes for ‘deplorable evil’ of Canadian indigenous schools

Pope Francis apologized on Monday to Canada's native people on their land for the Church's role in schools where indigenous children were abused, branding forced cultural assimilation a "deplorable evil" and "disastrous error." Speaking near the site of two former schools in Maskwacis, in Alberta, Francis went even further, apologising for Christian support of the overall "colonizing mentality" of the times and calling for a "serious investigation" of the schools to assist survivors and descendants in healing. "With shame and unambiguously, I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the indigenous peoples," Francis said in the…
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When Pope visits Canada, indigenous people look for healing – and action

When Pope visits Canada, indigenous people look for healing – and action

When Pope Francis travels to Canada, indigenous leaders and residential school survivors say, they are hoping for more than an apology: They want action. Francis, who will be the first pope in nearly 20 years to visit Canada, said on Sunday he was making a "pilgrimage of penance" to help heal the wrongs done to indigenous people by Roman Catholic priests and nuns who ran abusive residential schools linked to deaths of thousands of children. More than 150,000 children were taken from their homes and many were subjected to abuse, rape and malnutrition in what Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission…
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Vatican puts brakes on progressive German Catholic movement

Vatican puts brakes on progressive German Catholic movement

The Vatican slammed the brakes on a German progressive movement that aims to give lay Catholics a say in doctrinal matters such as homosexuality and women priests, saying this risked causing a schism in the universal Church. A short but stern statement said the so-called "Synodal Path" could not assume it had the authority to instruct bishops on doctrine or morality. The movement's co-chairs responded that they made no such claim and expressed surprise. The movement, a regular gathering of equal numbers of bishops and ordinary German Catholics, has been outspoken in its demands for the Vatican to let priests…
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New Vatican policy orders foreign investment accounts closed

New Vatican policy orders foreign investment accounts closed

The Vatican issued an overarching investments policy to ensure they are ethical, green, low-risk, and avoid weapons industries or health sectors involved in abortion, contraception or embryonic stem cells. The guidelines order Vatican departments to close their investment accounts or stock holdings in foreign banks, including in Italy, and transfer them to the Vatican Bank, to be overseen by a department called the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA). The investments are estimated at just under 2 billion euros ($2.05 billion). The Investment Policy Statement (IPS), a radical overhaul after years of financial scandals, strips all Vatican…
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Pope Francis denies he is planning to resign soon

Pope Francis denies he is planning to resign soon

VATICAN CITY, July 4 (Reuters) - Pope Francis has dismissed reports that he plans to resign in the near future, saying he is on track to visit Canada this month and hopes to be able to go to Moscow and Kyiv as soon as possible after that. In an exclusive interview in his Vatican residence, Francis also denied rumours that he had cancer, joking that his doctors "didn't tell me anything about it", and for the first time gave details of the knee condition that has prevented him carrying out some duties. In a 90-minute conversation on Saturday afternoon, conducted…
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Vatican takes big loss in sale of London building at heart of trial

Vatican takes big loss in sale of London building at heart of trial

The Vatican said it had completed the sale of the luxury London building at the centre of an ongoing corruption trial, taking an estimated hit of about 140 million euros. The building was sold for 186 million pounds ($223.6 million) to Bain Capital, a Boston-based private investment firm, a Vatican statement said. Friday's statement did not give a definitive figure for the loss but a person familiar with the various transactions over the years said it amounted to slightly more than 140 million euros. Losses were covered by Vatican reserve funds, the statement said, stressing that donations from the faithful…
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Pope: Ukraine shopping centre bombing the latest ‘barbarous’ attack

Pope: Ukraine shopping centre bombing the latest ‘barbarous’ attack

VATICAN CITY, June 29 (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Wednesday called the bombing of a crowded shopping centre in the city of Kremenchuk the latest in string of "barbarous attacks" against Ukraine. Ukraine said at least 18 people were killed and about 60 injured on Monday by a Russian missile strike. Russia's defence ministry said it had hit a legitimate military target in the city, and that the shopping centre was not in use. "Every day, I carry in my heart dear and martyred Ukraine, which continues to be flagellated by barbarous attacks like the one that hit the shopping…
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Vatican says pro-life is not just opposing abortion

Vatican says pro-life is not just opposing abortion

Anti-abortion activists should be concerned with other issues that can threaten life, such as easy access to guns, poverty and rising maternity mortality rates, the Vatican's editorial director said. In a media editorial on the United States Supreme Court's ruling to end the constitutional right to abortion, Andrea Tornielli said those who oppose abortion could not pick and choose pro-life issues. "Being for life, always, for example, means being concerned if the mortality rates of women due to motherhood increase," he wrote. He cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing a rise in maternity mortality rates…
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Vatican discloses uses of pope’s fund

Vatican discloses uses of pope’s fund

VATICAN CITY, June 16 (Reuters) - The Vatican, in an apparent attempt to boost the confidence of the faithful in how their charitable contributions to the pope are used, on Thursday issued the first detailed disclosure of his main fund. The Peter's Pence fund, whose aim is to help the pope run the Church, is made up income from a collection taken up in Roman Catholic dioceses around the world once a year, individual contribution and inheritances and bequests. According to the "Annual Disclosure" for 2021, contributions amounted to 46.9 million euros. Compared to previously released figures, this was down…
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Pope raps Russian ‘cruelty’ in Ukraine but says war perhaps provoked

Pope raps Russian ‘cruelty’ in Ukraine but says war perhaps provoked

Pope Francis has taken a new series of swipes at Russia for its actions in Ukraine, saying its troops were brutal, cruel and ferocious, while praising "brave" Ukrainians for fighting for survival. But in the text of a conversation he had last month with editors of Jesuit media and published on Tuesday, he also said the situation was not black and white and that the war was "perhaps in some way provoked". While condemning "the ferocity, the cruelty of Russian troops, we must not forget the real problems if we want them to be solved," Francis said, including the armaments industry among…
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Pope postpones Africa trip due to knee problems

Pope postpones Africa trip due to knee problems

Trip to Congo, South Sudan put off 'until further notice' Pope Francis has decided to puts off a trip to Africa due to knee problems, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Friday. "Taking on board the request of his doctors, and in order not to nullify the results of the ongoing knee therapies, the Holy Father regretfully sees himself forced to postpone the Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan scheduled on July 2-7, until further notice," he said. The 85-year-old Argentine pontiff has been suffering from strained ligaments in his right knee for months, and on…
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Vatican unveils investment ethics body

Vatican unveils investment ethics body

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican unveiled a committee to oversee the ethics of its investments, even as a corruption trial related to a botched London real estate deal in which it lost more than 200 millions euros continued. The committee will be headed by a cardinal, Irish-American Kevin Joseph Farrell, who is based at the Vatican, but include four outside lay financial experts, a statement said. They are Jean Pierre Casey of RegHedge investments in Britain, Giovanni Christian Michael Gay of Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH in Germany, David Harris of Skagen Funds in Norway and John J. Zona, head…
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Pope Francis sends greetings on Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

Pope Francis sends greetings on Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

This Thursday marks the start of a weekend of celebrations across the United Kingdom to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne. Marking this milestone, Pope Francis has sent a telegramme to the Queen offering his prayers and good wishes. In it, he says: “On this joyful occasion of your Majesty’s birthday, and as you celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year, I send cordial greetings and good wishes, together with the renewed assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will bestow upon you, the members of the Royal Family and all the people of the nation blessings of unity,…
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UPDATED: Pope to appoint 21 new cardinals in August, putting stamp on Church’s future

UPDATED: Pope to appoint 21 new cardinals in August, putting stamp on Church’s future

VATICAN CITY, May 29 (Reuters) - Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he would appoint 21 new cardinals in August, including an Italian leading the Church in Mongolia, again putting his stamp on the future of Catholicism. Of the 21, 16 are cardinal electors under 80 years old and thus eligible to enter a conclave to elect his successor after his death or resignation. After the Aug. 27 ceremony to officially install them, known as a consistory, Francis will have appointed about 83 of the some 133 cardinal electors, increasing the possibility his successor will be a man reflecting his…
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Pope’s July visit to Africa to go ahead despite health issues

Pope’s July visit to Africa to go ahead despite health issues

Pope Francis is set to make a gruelling trip to two African countries in July despite knee problems that have forced him to use a cane and wheelchair in recent weeks. The Vatican issued a full programme on Saturday for the July 2-7 trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. There had been speculation the pope's visit to Africa might be postponed, as was a trip to Lebanon scheduled for June. The 85-year-old pope has been undergoing treatment for knee pain, believed to be caused by a torn ligament. The trip's pace suggests the Vatican expects the…
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Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State under two Popes, dies

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State under two Popes, dies

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, a controversial Vatican power broker for more than a quarter of a century who was accused of covering up one of the Catholic Church's most notorious sex abusers, has died at the age of 94. Sodano, who had been ill for some time and died on Friday night, was secretary of state under two popes -- John Paul II and Benedict XVI -- holding the number two post in the Vatican hierarchy for 16 years between 1990 and 2006. It was widely believed that Sodano, together with John Paul's secretary, then-Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, ran the Church in…
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Bono and the Pope harmonize on climate change, girls’ education

Bono and the Pope harmonize on climate change, girls’ education

They didn't sing together but U2 frontman Bono and Pope Francis were in harmony about their concern for the planet and the power of women to change the world when they met in Rome on Thursday. Bono, 62, and the 85-year-pope shared star billing at an event organised by Scholas Occurrentes, a worldwide network of schools that promotes virtual and in-person encounters and aims to boost educational opportunities. A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis greeting Bono, frontman of Irish rock band U2, during the launch of the Scholas Occurrentes International Movement at the Pontifical Urbaniana…
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The Pope declares 10 new saints

The Pope declares 10 new saints

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized 10 new saints on Sunday -  six men and four women. Declaring ten women and men - Five from Italy, three from France, one from India and one from the Netherlands - to be saints, including a martyred monk considered a pioneer of Catholic-Muslim relations and a journalist-priest murdered by the Nazis, Pope Francis said Sunday that sainthood is not out of reach but is rather to be found “among the pots and pans.” Sainthood, Francis said, has been idealized excessively, and made about “our personal heroics, our capacity for renunciation, our readiness for self-sacrifice…
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Vatican number two says giving Ukraine weapons legitimate, with conditions

Vatican number two says giving Ukraine weapons legitimate, with conditions

ROME, May 13 (Reuters) - The Vatican's number two said on Friday that supplying weapons to Ukraine to help it defend itself against Russian aggression is morally legitimate under certain conditions, citing the Catholic Church's teaching on "just war". Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Rome, as the topic of supplying arms to Kyiv was discussed at a meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 rich nations in Germany. "There is a right to armed defence in the case of aggression," Parolin said in response to a question about countries…
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Health problems will not stop Pope Francis, cardinal says

Health problems will not stop Pope Francis, cardinal says

Pope Francis is "not going to stop," despite recent health problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair, a cardinal said on Tuesday. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, an Irish-American Vatican official, made the comment while presenting the pope's message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, celebrated this year on June 24. Francis established the day in 2021 to bring attention to the needs of the elderly and underscore their potential as active members of society who should not be discarded. "He accepts his limitations at this moment with a great spirit and a great…
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Vatican preparing for possibility of women Swiss Guards

Vatican preparing for possibility of women Swiss Guards

VATICAN CITY, (Reuters) - The new barracks of the Vatican Swiss guards will be built to accommodate female members if Pope Francis or his successors allow women to join the elite and colourfully dressed force. Officials of the Swiss foundation that is raising the estimated 45 million Swiss Francs ($46 million) to replace the current 150-year-old barracks signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vatican's Secretary of State on Wednesday. "The project includes single rooms with private bathrooms," Riccardo Boscardin, an executive of the foundation, said in the courtyard of the barracks after the signing. "There are two reasons. One…
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Pope says he wants to go to Moscow to meet Putin over Ukraine

Pope says he wants to go to Moscow to meet Putin over Ukraine

Pope Francis said in an interview published on Tuesday that he asked for a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to stop the war in Ukraine but had not received a reply. The pope also told Italy's Corriere Della Sera newspaper that Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, who has given the war his full-throated backing, "cannot become Putin's altar boy". Francis, who made an unprecedented visit to the Russian embassy when the war started, told the newspaper that about three weeks into the conflict, he asked the Vatican's top diplomat to send a message to Putin. The…
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Limping Pope again appeals for peace in Ukraine

Limping Pope again appeals for peace in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY, April 27 (Reuters) - A badly limping Pope Francis again appealed for an end to the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, as he held his general audience a day after a fresh flare-up of knee pain forced him to abruptly cancel all activities. Francis, 85, arrived in St. Peter’s Square sitting in an open popemobile, which drove him to just behind a platform facing the crowd of several thousand. He walked slowly and with a pronounced limp while holding the arm of an aide to his seat about 10 metres (yards) away. Pope Francis, helped to walk by…
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Pope says June meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch suspended

Pope says June meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch suspended

VATICAN CITY, April 22 (Reuters) - Plans for Pope Francis to meet in Jerusalem in June with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has backed Russia's war in Ukraine, have been suspended, the pope has told an Argentine newspaper. Reuters reported on April 11 that the Vatican was considering extending the pope's trip to Lebanon on June 12-13 by a day so that he could meet with Kirill on June 14 in Jerusalem. Francis told La Nacion in an interview that he regretted that the plan had to be "suspended" because Vatican diplomats advised that such a meeting "could lend itself…
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Text at Pope’s Good Friday service scrapped after Ukrainian protest

Text at Pope’s Good Friday service scrapped after Ukrainian protest

ROME, April 15 (Reuters) - A Ukrainian and a Russian woman took part in Pope Francis' Good Friday "Way of the Cross" service, but the meditation they wrote was scrapped after Ukrainians protested, saying the war made it inopportune. The traditional Via Crucis procession at Rome's Colosseum had become embroiled in controversy earlier this week when the programme showed that the two friends, a nurse and a student nurse at a Rome hospital, would take part. Irina e Albina, from Russia and Ukraine, post the cross during Pope Francis' Via Crucis - Way of the Cross - torchlight procession on…
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Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch -sources

Vatican mulling Jerusalem meeting between pope, Russian patriarch -sources

The Vatican is studying the possibility of extending Pope Francis' trip to Lebanon in June so he can fly to Jerusalem to meet there Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who has backed Russia's war in Ukraine, two sources told Reuters on Monday. It would be only their second meeting. Their first, in Cuba in 2016, was the first between a pope and a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since the Great Schism that split Christianity into Eastern and Western branches in 1054. Kirill, 75, has given his full-throated blessing for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a position that has splintered the worldwide Orthodox…
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Pope not expected to take sides if he goes to Kyiv

Pope not expected to take sides if he goes to Kyiv

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on the possibility of a papal visit to Kyiv that "certainly the Pope would not go to take a stance either in favour of one or in favour of the other as he has always done". Pope Francis repeated he is willing to go to Kyiv if it might help stop the Russia-Ukraine war. "I am willing", Francis said on the flight back to Rome from a three-day visit to Malta. Revealing that he had not spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow invaded its neighbour over a month ago, the…
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Canada indigenous ask pope for residential schools records

Canada indigenous ask pope for residential schools records

Survivors of Canada's residential schools on Monday asked Pope Francis to guarantee unfettered access to Church records on the institutions where indigenous children were abused and their culture denied. Francis met for about an hour each with representatives of the Métis and Inuit nations, the first of four meetings this week with Canada's native peoples in what both sides have called a called a process of healing and reconciliation. "It was a very comfortable meeting," Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council, told reporters afterwards, adding that the pope listened attentively as elderly survivors told their stories. The stated…
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Pope says ‘slaughters and atrocities’ committed daily in Ukraine

Pope says ‘slaughters and atrocities’ committed daily in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY, March 20 (Reuters) - Pope Francis, continuing his implicit criticism of Russia, on Sunday called the conflict in Ukraine an unjustified "senseless massacre" and urged leaders to stop "this repugnant war". "The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down," he told about 30,0000 people in St. Peter's Square for his weekly Sunday address and blessing. "It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated," Francis said in his latest strong condemnation of the war, which has so far avoided mentioning Russia by name. "There is no justification for this," he said.…
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Pope rules any baptised lay Catholic, including women, can head Vatican departments

Pope rules any baptised lay Catholic, including women, can head Vatican departments

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -Pope Francis on Saturday issued a new constitution for the Vatican's central administration, known as the Curia, stating that any baptized lay Catholic, including women, can head Vatican departments. Most Vatican departments have been headed by male clerics, usually cardinals. The new, 54-page constitution, called Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel), took more than nine years to complete. It will take effect on June 5, replacing one approved in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. One part of the preamble of the constitution says: "The pope, bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelizers in the…
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Russian Orthodox Church leader discusses Ukraine war with Pope Francis

Russian Orthodox Church leader discusses Ukraine war with Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY(Reuters) - Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and Pope Francis discussed the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, Kirill's office said, the first known contact between the two religious leaders since the conflict began. The Moscow Patriarchy said in a statement that the two discussed the "humanitarian aspects of the ongoing crisis" and the importance of pursuing peace talks. They also discussed "what actions the Russian Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches could take to overcome its consequences," the Russian side said. In its readout of the conversation, which took place in a video call, the Vatican said…
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Vatican protests over expulsion of its ambassador to Nicaragua

Vatican protests over expulsion of its ambassador to Nicaragua

VATICAN CITY, March 12 (Reuters) - The Vatican on Saturday protested to Nicaragua over the effective expulsion of its ambassador to Managua, saying the unilateral action was unjustified and incomprehensible. Archbishop Waldemar Sommertag, who was ambassador since 2018, had to leave the country suddenly this week after the government of President Daniel Ortega withdrew its diplomatic approval of the envoy, known in diplomatic language as an agrément. Sommertag had been critical of the Central American country's slide away from democracy. "(The Holy See) is convinced that such a grave, unjustified and unilateral measure does not reflect the sentiments of the…
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UPDATED: Pope Francis says Ukraine conflict is “not military operation but a war”

UPDATED: Pope Francis says Ukraine conflict is “not military operation but a war”

Pope Francis on Sunday rejected Russia's assertion that it is carrying out "a special military operation" in Ukraine, saying the country was being battered by war. "In Ukraine rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not just a military operation but a war which sows death, destruction and misery," the pope said in his weekly address to crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. However, as has been the case throughout the 11-day conflict, the pope did not publicly condemn Russia by name for its invasion. Instead, he repeated his appeal for peace, the creation of humanitarian corridors and…
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Vatican judge rejects defence motions; rules fraud trial will go on

Vatican judge rejects defence motions; rules fraud trial will go on

The defence at a Vatican corruption trial failed definitively on Tuesday to have charges against their clients dropped and the judge ordered it to begin in earnest with the questioning of a cardinal. Court President Giuseppe Pignatone issued a slew of rejections of defence motions and objections that had built up during the previous eight hearings of the trial, which began in July. It took Pignatone and an assistant judge bout 90 minutes to read the 40-page decision, explaining Pignatone's reasons for rejecting the some two dozen defence motions. Pignatone ordered the trial to resume on March 17 with the…
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UPDATED: Vatican says ready to ‘facilitate dialogue’ between Russia and Ukraine

UPDATED: Vatican says ready to ‘facilitate dialogue’ between Russia and Ukraine

VATICAN CITY, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Vatican is ready to "facilitate dialogue" between Russia and Ukraine to end the war, its top diplomat said on Monday. Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who ranks second only to the pope in the Vatican hierarchy, told Italian newspapers that "despite the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine" he was "convinced there is always room for negotiations". Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash, told Reuters in an interview on Feb. 14 that Kyiv was open to a Vatican mediation of its conflict with Russia, calling the Vatican a "very influential, very spiritual place…
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Pope pained by Ukraine crisis, calls for restraint

Pope pained by Ukraine crisis, calls for restraint

Pope Francis said Wednesday that he was pained by the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and called for restrain after Russian recognized two rebel-held 'republics' in the east of the country and sent in troops. "I have a great pain in my heart for the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine," the Argentine pontiff said during his weekly general audience in the Vatican. "Despite the diplomatic efforts of recent weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. "I would like to appeal to those who have political responsibility to seriously examine their consciences before God, who is the God of…
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Speculation mounts in Vatican press linking Archbishop Scicluna to major post

Speculation mounts in Vatican press linking Archbishop Scicluna to major post

Pope Francis' visit to Malta could serve as the backdrop for an historic appointment for Maltese clergy, with current Archbishop Charles J Scicluna being touted for an important role in the newly-created disciplinary section in the Vatican that will deal with “grave” delicts, including the sexual abuse of minors. This was reported by Crux, a portal which focuses on affairs related to the wider Catholic Church. On Monday, the Vatican announced significant changes to the Vatican’s doctrinal office, known as the the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, restructuring the department to include a new independent section dealing entirely…
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Ukraine would welcome Vatican mediation, wants papal visit soon – ambassador

Ukraine would welcome Vatican mediation, wants papal visit soon – ambassador

Ukraine is open to a Vatican mediation of its conflict with Russia and wants Pope Francis to visit as soon as possible, even in the current situation, Kyiv's new ambassador to the Holy See said on Monday. Speaking to Reuters in a telephone interview from Kyiv, Andriy Yurash, said the Vatican was considering its response to invitations from both political and Catholic Church officials in Ukraine for a visit. Yurash, 53, noted that last April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told an Italian newspaper that the Vatican would be an ideal place for negotiating an end to the war in the…
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