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After Pope’s surprise retirement, a shocked media speculates on successor

The world’s media speculated on whether the next pontiff may come from the developing world, while paying mixed tributes to Pope Benedict XVI following his shock resignation announcement. The 85-year-old Benedict said on Monday that he would step down at the end of this month because of health reasons, becoming…

Pope Benedict XVI leaves the Catholic Church in a state of crisis

Pope Benedict XVI will leave behind a Catholic Church grappling with crises from child abuse scandals involving priests to confronting radical Islam as well as struggling to find its place in an increasingly secular Western world. German cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who will step down at the end of this month…

Violence blights pope’s Easter peace appeal

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI appealed for peace in the world’s troublespots in his Easter Sunday message but one of the holiest days for Christians was marred by fresh violence in Nigeria and Syria. At least 20 people were killed in northern Nigeria in a car bombing outside a…

Pope commissions custom-blended eau de cologne

By Tom Kington– Fragrance, which mixes hints of lime tree, verbena and grass, was concocted by Italian boutique perfume maker Silvana Casoli He is picky about his robes and his red shoes are tailor-made, but Pope Benedict has taken the meaning of bespoke to a whole new level by ordering…

Pope wants to see Fidel Castro on Cuba trip: source

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict wants to see Fidel Castro on his trip to Cuba next month but the meeting will depend on the health of the communist country’s revolutionary leader, a senior Vatican official told Reuters on Saturday. The official, speaking of the sidelines of a ceremony after…

Pope: Same sex marriage a threat to humanity’s future

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.” The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the…

Catholics cannot accept gay marriage, pope says

(Reuters) – Pope Benedict said on Saturday the Catholic Church could not accept gay marriage and urged young people to root out evil in society and shun a “lukewarm” faith that damages their Church. The 84-year-old pope ended the third day in his homeland with a rally for more about…

Pope ‘shaken’ by talks with sex abuse victims

Pope Benedict XVI met victims of sexual abuse by clergy on the second day of his visit to his German homeland, an encounter that left him “deeply shaken”, Vatican officials said. He also held joint prayers with members of the Protestant faith in Germany, in a bid to build bridges…

Berlin police detain two terror suspects in bomb plot

Berlin police arrested two men Thursday on suspicion of acquiring chemicals for a planned bomb attack and searched a mosque in the German capital, a spokesman told AFP. The arrest of a 24-year-old German of Lebanese origin and a 28-year-old from the Gaza Strip, comes ahead of the 10th anniversary…

Hackers attack site of Catholic youth celebrations

MADRID — Hackers temporarily blocked the official World Youth Day site Thursday just as Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid to preside over the festivities, a spokeswoman for the event said. The site (www.madrid11.com) was taken down for about an hour at around midday (1000 GMT) and the event’s computer…

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