Pope Francis in Asia

Interreligious meeting in Sri Lanka.

Pope proclaims Sri Lanka’s first saint, right to religious freedom Canonizing Sri Lanka’s first saint, who ministered to Catholics under persecution three centuries earlier, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the “fundamental human right” of religious freedom. “Each individual must be free, alone or in association with others, to seek the truth, and to openly […]

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15 New Cardinal Electors, Most from Global South

1 French Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, 62.

On January 4, Pope Francis announced he would create 20 new cardinals, 15 of them voting members of the college. The ceremony will occur on February 14 and 15 in Rome. There were no Americans named… On January 4, the Pope announced the names of 20 new cardinals, 15 of them under age 80. Underscoring […]

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“Do not manipulate young members,” Pope warns movements

October 25 2014, Vatican City, Paul VI Audience Hall.

The Pope met with the third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on Saturday, November 22, 2014. Pope Francis has told lay Catholic movements to respect the freedom of young members and not take advantage of their immaturity. The Pope also called on the movements to avoid “rivalries and backbiting” and cooperate for the common good […]

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“Bless Me, and Bless the Church of Rome”

The single most significant image of the Pope’s trip to Turkey — his request for a blessing from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on November 29 in Istanbul, in the Patriarchal Church of St. George at the Phanar (the Orthodox Vatican, a small section of Istanbul).

On his three-day trip to Turkey (November 28-30), Pope Francis reached out to Muslims and to Greek Orthodox Christians, making his journey one of outreach and profound gestures. The second day was Nov­ember 29, after hearing Turkish leaders on the first day demand that the West show more respect for Islam. Pope Francis seemed to […]

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Francis: “I Want to Unite My Voice with Yours”

The Angelus, oil painting by French painter Jean-Francois Millet.

Pope Francis delivered an off-the-cuff, mini-encyclical on the rights of the poor, the in­justices of unemployment, and the need for environmental protection on Tuesday, October 28, in Rome, saying he’s not preaching communism but the Gospel. Francis’ remarks to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, delivered in his native Spanish, ran for more than six […]

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Pope Francis leads the way for Israel and Palestine

Pope Francis tells presidents that "only God can bring peace to the Holy Land".

Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil. “More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, […]

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Vatican official rebukes US Nuns’ Group for “fundamental errors”

Cardinal Mueller, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office.

Using what he acknowledged was unusually “blunt” language, the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office in late April rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for honoring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged “seriously inadequate” and for promoting futuristic ideas he described as “opposed to Christian revelation.” Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, prefect of […]

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Pope to Mafia: “Turn Away from the Road to Hell”

Pope Francis bows his head as people read the names of Mafia victims during a prayer service at the Church on March 21.

The Pope of mercy and forgiveness used unusually tough words for Mafia members, urging them to change their lives to avoid going to Hell . Surrounded by survivors of innocent people killed by the Mafia, Pope Francis made an emotional appeal to Italian gangsters to give up their lives of crime and avoid eternal damnation. […]

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Pope reforms Vatican finances

Pope Francis in an informal meeting with Vatican employees.

Pope Francis, on the eve of his first anniversary as Pope, has decided to bring an Australian cardinal, George Pell, to Rome to be the chief executive officer in charge of all Vatican financial matters. Pell will take up his new post in Rome at the end of March.  In a move reflecting both his […]

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“A Human Being is Always Sacred and Inviolable”

A copy of the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), seen during a news conference at the Vatican November 26. In his first extensive piece of writing as Pope, Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization, with a focus on society’s poorest (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters).

On November 26, the Holy See released Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), an apostolic exhortation which lays out Pope Francis’ vision for a Church dedicated to evangelization. In his first extensive piece of writing as Pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, […]

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Pope Francis Receives Hackett, New U.S. Envoy to Vatican

Pope Francis welcomes Kenneth Hackett, who presented his credentials to the pontiff October 21 (CNS photo).

Presenting his credentials to Pope Francis, Kenneth F. Hackett officially took over as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See October 21, filling a role that had been vacant for nearly a year. “The United States and the Holy See have converging interests that span a broad range of issues” including “human rights and social justice,” […]

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Vatican Official Reaffirms Teaching on Divorced, Remarried Catholics

Pope Francis greets newlyweds (Galazka photo).

Amid increasing speculation that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official on October 22 reaffirmed Church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine […]

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Pope Francis Grants an Interview to La Civiltà Cattolica

In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with one of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Cath­olic teaching on sexual and medical ethics; the reasons for his deliberate and consultative governing style; and his highest priority for the Church today. The Pope’s remarks appeared in an interview with […]

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Prayer Vigil for Peace: Pope Francis Calls Selfishness the Cause of War

Leading a crowd in prayer for peace in Syria on September 7 in Rome, Pope Francis said that war is ultimately caused by selfishness and can be overcome only though expressions of fraternity and never with violence. “Leave behind the self-interest that hardens your heart, overcome the indifference that makes your heart insensitive towards others, […]

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Pope Francis Meets Diplomats

Moral relativism “endangers the coexistence of peoples,” Pope Francis told diplomats March 22, and said a common ethics based on human nature is an indispensable condition for world peace. The Pope made his remarks to the Vatican diplomatic corps in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the vast “royal hall” where Popes traditionally received Catholic monarchs. […]

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Four Years Later, Vatican Takes a Different Approach Toward Obama

Vatican calls on re-elected Obama to “acknowledge demands arising from religious communities” regarding “the natural family, life, and religious liberty itself” The day after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, hailed his election as a “choice that unites,” exemplifying America’s ability to “overcome fractures and divisions that until only […]

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Celebrating Church’s Universality, Pope Creates New Cardinals

On November 24, Benedict XVI appointed six new cardinals from the US, Lebanon, Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia and India, in a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. Recalling that Christ’s mission transcends “all ethnic, national and religious particularities,” Pope Ben­e­­dict XVI on November 24 created six new cardinals from four different continents, representing the Latin rite of […]

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Benedict’s Presence Was the Message… and that message was “peace”


  When Pope Benedict XVI stepped off the plane in Beirut on September 14, he said he had come to Lebanon, and to the Middle East in general, as a “pilgrim of peace.” In five major talks over the next three days, the Pope repeatedly called for peace and underscored the role of Christians in […]

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