Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:40 am
Almost one year to the day since Benedict XVI stepped down as spiritual leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, the former pope has issued his first public comment on recurring rumors in the Italian media that he didn't resign of his own will.
President Obama plans to meet this spring with Pope Francis.
On Tuesday, a White House spokesman announced the president will visit the Vatican as part of European trip in March. The president is said to be looking forward to talking with the pope about their "shared commitment to fighting poverty" and income inequality.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:28 pm
Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."
In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.
Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. This time, in what observers are calling a major move, he reshuffled the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important organizations in the Vatican.
In the biggest shakeup announced on Monday, Francis removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the group and replaced him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..
Around the world today, the powerful "feed upon the powerless" and too many people are treated as "consumer goods to be used and then discarded," Pope Francis writes in his first major paper since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic church last May.
In the seven months since he was elected, Pope Francis has shaken up the Catholic world and beyond with off-the-cuff homilies, phone calls to ordinary folk and unscripted interviews. His Twitter followers now exceed 10 million. Described by the Vatican as "conversational," the new papal style is drawing praise from large numbers of Catholics and nonbelievers alike.
But it's also making some conservative Catholics deeply uncomfortable.