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Repent, Bieber, the Pope just cracked 10 million Twitter followers

Pope Francis welcomed news on Sunday that his Twitter account @pontifex had attracted more than 10 million followers. “Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me,” the pontiff tweeted early Sunday.…

Why is Latin making a comeback?

POPE BENEDICT XVI was a Latin lover. In January, not long before stepping down, he launched a Latin language Twitter account that has since attracted more than 130,000 followers. People have used it to follow the visit to Brazil of the new pope, Francis…  …

WATCH LIVE: White smoke rises over Vatican to signal election of new pope

White smoke was seen rising over the Vatican on Wednesday, signaling the election of a new pope following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church and spiritual figurehead to 1.2 billion people around the world. After more than an hour of tense speculation in the…

New York Catholics hold special Mass to pray for Benedict

As Pope Benedict XVI was officially stepping down on Thursday in Rome, several hundred faithful paid homage to him and prayed for his successor at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. The special Mass, held under the gaze of a large, specially-installed portrait of the retiring pontiff, was led by…

Watch live: Ex-pope departs the Vatican

NBC News Special Report: Pope Benedict XVI departs the Vatican aboard a helicopter for Castel Gandolfo in Lazio, Italy. Watch live, broadcast via NBC News on Feb. 28. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

Benedict will head to Italian villa immediately following papal retirement

Once he steps down on Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI will begin his retirement in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, a sumptuous villa outside Rome with ornamental gardens, breathtaking views and its own farm. Benedict will spend around two months in the palace, which is perched high on a…

Senior British cardinal quits after allegations of ‘inappropriate acts’

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has resigned in the wake of allegations of inappropriate behaviour, the Catholic Church said on Monday. “The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has accepted on the 18 February 2013 the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the pastoral…

Most Catholics in the United States approve of a Third World pope: poll

Sixty percent of Catholics in the United States think it would be a good thing for the next pope to come from South America, Asia or Africa, a Pew Research Center poll said Thursday. Another 20 percent said it would not matter if Pope Benedict XVI’s successor hails from a…

Pope’s resignation ‘linked to sex abuse crisis’, says ‘Mea Maxima Culpa’ director

Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney suggests Pope Benedict XVI’s departure stems from recent sex scandals Oscar-winning film-maker Alex Gibney, whose documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God details a small part of the current wave of accusations surrounding the Catholic church, has suggested that the Pope’s resignation…

Pope to make first appearance since shock resignation in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday

Thousands of the faithful will flock into St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to bid farewell to Pope Benedict XVI at his first public appearance since the shock announcement of his resignation. The 85-year-old Benedict, who said on Monday that he would step down on February 28 because of his advancing…

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