vatican

Pope Heads to Sweden to Commemorate Martin Luther

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY, Oct 31 – Pope Francis goes to Sweden on Monday to help start commemorations of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation, a trip that has won him praise from Lutherans but criticism from Catholic conservatives. Martin Luther, a German, started the Reformation in 1517 when he wrote 95 theses

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Pope Proclaims “Dispenser of Mercy” Mother Teresa a Saint

By Isla Binnie VATICAN CITY, Sept 4 – Mother Teresa of Calcutta, known as the “saint of the gutters” during her life, was declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Francis on Sunday, fast-tracked to canonisation just 19 years after her death. Tens of thousands of pilgrims packed St. Peter’s Square at

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Vatican Promotes American as Pope’s Spokesman

ROME, July 11 – The Vatican named former Fox News reporter Greg Burke as its new spokesman on Monday, the first time a U.S. citizen has been entrusted with leading the pope’s communications team. Burke, who is a member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei, was hired by the Vatican an adviser four years

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Vatican Hits Back at Turkey for Calling Pope “Crusader”

By Philip Pullella and Margarita Antidze YEREVAN, June 26 – The Vatican hit back on Sunday at Turkey’s depiction of Pope Francis as having a “Crusader mentality” after he used the word genocide to describe the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians a century ago. “The pope is on no crusade. He is not trying to

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Pope Gives Awards to Richard Gere, George Clooney and Salma Hayek

ROME, May 29 – Pope Francis on Sunday awarded medals to American actors Richard Gere and George Clooney and actress Salma Hayek at an event held at the Vatican to promote the work of a foundation inspired by the pontiff, Scholas Occurrentes. Clooney attended the event with his wife Amal, a lawyer. The foundation, whose

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Pope Meets Top Egyptian Cleric, Ending Five-Year Freeze in Relations

VATICAN CITY, May 23 – Pope Francis met on Monday the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential center of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago. The 1,000-year-old mosque and university center cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what

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Between Bernie, the Vatican, and a Muslim American Liberation Theology

Khaled A. Beydoun On April 15, the Bernie Sanders campaign will make a visit far from the presidential electoral map: The Vatican. Pope Francis invited the presidential hopeful to a conference addressing social and economic inequality, acknowledging Sanders’ relentless campaign against structural poverty and its attendant perils. While the presidential field is comprised of five

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Indian Priest Kidnapped in Deadly Yemen Attack; Pope Condemns World Apathy

ADEN/VATICAN CITY, March 6 – Gunmen who killed at least 15 people in an old people’s home in Yemen last week also kidnapped an Indian priest, officials said on Sunday, as Pope Francis condemned the attack and the “indifference” of the world’s reaction to it. No one has claimed responsibility for Friday’s incident in which

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Top Vatican Cardinal Says Senior Clergy Lied About Child Sexual Abuse

By Philip Pullella and Jane Wardell ROME/SYDNEY, March 1 – Australian Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on systemic sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, on Monday said senior clergy lied to him to cover up abuse in the 1970s. The Vatican’s treasurer told Australia’s Royal Commission

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Pope Calls for Worldwide Ban on Death Penalty

VATICAN CITY, Feb 21  – Pope Francis on Sunday called for a worldwide ban on the death penalty, saying the commandment “You shall not kill” was just as valid for the guilty as for the innocent. Speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, the pope also called on Catholic politicians worldwide

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