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Pope Francis to meet cardinals for historic talks on church reforms

The eight cardinals picked by Pope Francis to advise him on reform of the Roman curia and the governance of the Catholic church are preparing to meet the pontiff for the first time on Tuesday, in an unprecedented three-day meeting likened to a “papal G8″. In a move already billed…

Pope Francis announces April 2014 sainthood date for John Paul II and John XXIII

The Vatican on Monday said late popes John Paul II and John XXIII would be made saints at an unprecedented joint ceremony on April 27, 2014 in a bid to unite Catholic conservatives and liberals. Pope Francis made the historic announcement at a meeting of cardinals known as a consistory.…

Pope Francis condemns the mistreatment of immigrants

Pope Francis on Tuesday called on countries to protect migrants, condemning the treatment of refugees as mere “pawns on the chessboard of humanity”. Countries should cooperate on “the broad adoption of policies and rules aimed at protecting and promoting the human person”, he said in a message for the World…

Pope Francis: It is unnecessary to talk about abortion and gay marriage all the time

In an interview with the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis spoke at length about same-sex attraction and other social issues, such as abortion and contraception. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” he told La Civiltà Cattolica. “This…

Pope Francis to atheists, agnostics: ‘God forgives those who obey their conscience’

Pope Francis responded at great length to questions from Eugenio Scalfari, the former editor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, in a letter published Wednesday. In it, he said that non-believers must “obey their conscience,” because “God forgives those who obey their conscience.” The carefully-worded letter, which stretched over four…

Pope Francis quietly removes Vatican envoy to the Dominican Republic after accusation of child prostitution surface

Pope Francis came under fire from victims groups on Thursday following news that he had quietly sacked the Vatican’s envoy to the Dominican Republic over allegations of paedophilia. “Like all of his predecessors, Pope Francis is acting belatedly, secretively and recklessly,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the US-based Survivors…

Pope Francis flick in the works: Variety

A film about the life of Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas, is in the pipeline in his native Argentina, Variety reported. The film, to be entitled “Historia de un cura” (“A priest’s tale”), will be directed by Alejandro Agresti and star Rodrigo de la Serna as the…

Pope Francis defies Vatican protocol by directly contacting Papal subjects

A teenager who wrote to Pope Francis got a shock when the Catholic leader called him up for a chat — the latest example of the pontiff’s down-to-earth approach. Francis called up a journalist friend on the day of his election and even phoned a newspaper stand in Buenos Aires…

Pope Francis strengthens Vatican law against money laundering, terrorism financing

Pope Francis intensified the fight against corruption in the Vatican on Thursday, strengthening the law to counter “money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” The short “Motu Proprio”, a decree of Francis’s own initiative, strengthens the supervision of financial transactions “in response to…

Friendly rhetoric from Pope Francis on gay priests and women: But will it translate into action?

I’ve travelled on “Shepherd One”, as the plane carrying the pope is known, and it’s very clear when you’re on board how keen the pope’s PR men – and yes (sigh) they are all men – are on declaring a foreign trip a “triumph”. In the case of Francis’ visit…

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