ROME (AP) — Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Monday defended his invocation of God at a political rally, after Italy's Catholic establishment criticized it as a cynical exploitation of...
Retired Pope Benedict wades into clergy sex abuse debate
Pope Benedict XVI has ventured out of retirement to publish an essay blaming the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal on the sexual revolution of the 1960s and church laws that protected...
Pope OKs miracle needed for Briton’s sainthood
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has approved a miracle needed to make Cardinal John Henry Newman, a prominent Anglican convert, a saint, the Vatican announced on Wednesday.
Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, beatified Newman during a visit to Britain in 2010. In the Catholic church's saint-making process, one miracle is necessary for beatification, and a second miracle, occurring after the beatification ceremony, must be certified by Vatican experts for sainthood to be conferred.
Second sex abuse claim made against former Oklahoma priest
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City says it has received a second credible accusation of child sexual abuse against a former priest.
Pope gives Vatican’s sex abuse expert new role amid crisis
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is giving a prominent new role to the Vatican's most trusted sex crimes investigator as he seeks to improve the Holy See's response to abuse at a time when the church and papacy are facing a credibility crisis.
Francis on Tuesday named Archbishop Charles Scicluna as a deputy, or adjunct secretary, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that processes sex abuse cases globally.
Pope accuser strikes back, blames gay priesthood for abuse
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican ambassador who accused Pope Francis of rehabilitating a disgraced ex-American cardinal is doubling down on his claims, asserting that the "scourge of homosexuality" in the priesthood is responsible for sex abuse and that the Vatican is being hypocritical in refusing to acknowledge it.
Saginaw Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Cistone dies at age 69
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — The Roman Catholic bishop who leads the Saginaw Diocese has died. He was 69 years old.
The Diocese says Bishop Joseph Cistone died overnight at his home. He had cancer and was scheduled to undergo a medical procedure Tuesday.
Cistone was ordained a priest in 1975 and spent more than 30 years in the Philadelphia Archdiocese before Pope Benedict XVI sent him to Michigan in 2009.
Pope OKs study of Vatican archives into McCarrick scandal
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has authorized a "thorough study" of Vatican archives into how a prominent American cardinal advanced through church ranks despite allegations that he slept with seminarians and young priests, the Vatican said Saturday in its first response to explosive allegations of a cover-up that is roiling the papacy.
The Latest: Pope quips “I am the devil” next to John Paul
VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to the Baltic countries (all times local):
Pope Francis has acknowledged that his reputation pales a bit compared to St. John Paul II — at least as far as Poles are concerned.
Report: Benedict XVI hits back at criticism of resignation
BERLIN (AP) — A German newspaper has quoted a letter allegedly written by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in which he hit back at criticism of his 2013 resignation.
The Bild daily reported Thursday that it had obtained correspondence from November between the German-born pontiff and an unidentified German cardinal. The paper published a photo of a small excerpt with Benedict's signature.
Sanctions, sex abuse and silence: A primer on the pope saga
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Two weeks after Pope Francis' papacy was thrown into crisis by accusations that he covered up sexual misconduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Francis has refused to respond, his accuser has changed his story and a host of new characters have entered the fray.
Bishop says pope’s alleged cover-up needs to be investigated
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop says the accusation of a sex abuse cover-up against Pope Francis needs to be investigated "in a prompt and just manner."
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano alleges Francis knew of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual misconduct starting in 2013, but rehabilitated him from sanctions Pope Benedict XVI had imposed.
Pope’s alleged cover-up pivots on when, if sanctions imposed
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The archbishop of Washington on Monday "categorically denied" ever being informed that his predecessor had been sanctioned for sexual misconduct, undercutting a key element of a bombshell allegation that Pope Francis covered up clergy abuse.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has named an Italian journalist as prefect of the Vatican's communications office, the first time a layman has headed a Holy See department.
Paolo Ruffini fills the position vacated in March by Monsignor Dario Vigano, who was forced to resign after he misrepresented a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI.
NEW YORK (AP) — Tiaras encrusted with thousands of diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Papal cloaks and vestments with golden embroidery so fine they took 16 years to produce.
Today in History for April 19th
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis met Tuesday with Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in the first known contact between the two, following a major gaffe by Francis' communications chief over his misrepresentation of a letter from the retired pontiff.
The Vatican press office said Francis called on Benedict to bring him Easter greetings.
The meeting, however, came a week after Francis' hand-picked communications czar, Monsignor Dario Vigano, was forced to resign over the so-called Lettergate scandal.
- The Daily JournalFive interesting facts about Pope FrancisDecember 18, 2018
- The Santa Fe New MexicanChurch should move forward with the timesNovember 27, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewPat Buchanan: A cancer on the papacy?October 2, 2018
- Houston ChronicleCatholics face a painful question: Is it true?August 30, 2018
Tom Benson funeral moments: That time he compared rings with Pope Benedict, other memories
Tom Benson's funeral mass may have been traditional, but the memories shared in Archbishop Gregory Aymond's homily were anything but ordinary.
Benson, 90, passed away on March 15.
Aymond offered one story of when Benson met Pope Benedict XVI, and after kissing his ring, Benson said "Your Holiness, let me show you my Super Bowl ring."
He said, per Gayle Benson's recollection, the pope's response was: "Well, obviously your Super Bowl ring is bigger than my ring."
Vatican media chief resigns over doctored letter scandal
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The head of the Vatican's communications department resigned Wednesday after he mischaracterized a private letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI, then had a photo of it digitally manipulated and sent out to the media.
Vatican bows to pressure, releases retired pope’s letter
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Stung by accusations of spreading "fake news," the Vatican on Saturday released the complete letter by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis after coming under blistering criticism for selectively citing it in a press release and digitally manipulating a photograph of it.
Vatican doctors photo of Benedict’s praise for Francis
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican admitted Wednesday that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.
Francis marks 5 years as pope amid love, disenchantment
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis marked his fifth anniversary as pope Tuesday by receiving votes of confidence from his predecessor and current Vatican No. 2, even as surveys showed his reform-minded papacy was turning off some of the most faithful, church-going Catholics.
First out of the gate to give him thumbs-up was Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, whose historic resignation paved the way for Francis' election on March 13, 2013.
Pope backs down, OKs resignation of divisive Nigerian bishop
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis backed down Monday and accepted the resignation of Nigerian bishop who had been rejected for years by the priests of his diocese, setting a precedent that could have repercussions in Chile and elsewhere when papal authority is challenged.
Pope Benedict 5 years on: weaker, but ‘on a pilgrimage home’
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has commemorated the fifth anniversary of his historic decision to retire by assuring that while his physical strength is waning, he is "on a pilgrimage home."
Benedict wrote a brief letter to Italian daily Corriere della Sera after readers inquired how he was doing. The paper published the note Wednesday, just a few days before the anniversary of Benedict's stunning resignation announcement on Feb. 11, 2013.
Italian mountain retreat visited by popes up for sale
MILAN (AP) — An Alpine chalet near the French border where Pope John Paul II and his successor Pope Benedict XVI spent some summer vacations is up for sale.
The news agency ANSA reported Saturday that the Salesian order that owns the chalet is selling the property in the mountain hamlet of Les Combes, in Valle d'Aosta, because of difficulties in managing it.
Vatican prosecutors urged to go after money laundering
VATICAN CITY (AP) — European evaluators have praised the Vatican's financial watchdogs for efficiently flagging suspicious transactions but have once again faulted Vatican prosecutors for failing to bring any money laundering cases to trial.
Holy Call: Pope Francis phoning space station Thursday
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Pope Francis is making his first phone call off the planet — and into space.
On Thursday, the pope will reach out to the six astronauts on the International Space Station. It will be only the second time a pope phones the heavens like this. Pope Benedict XVI called the space station in 2011.
Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli was aboard the orbiting lab for the first papal call, and he's back up there again, along with three Americans and two Russians.
Latin Mass fans celebrate 10-year anniversary _ without pope
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage, facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis.
Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of the Latin Mass, Francis seems to be doing everything possible to roll it back or simply pretend it never happened.
Efforts to mend China-Vatican rift seem stalled over bishops
BEIJING (AP) — The Vatican's efforts to heal a decades-long rift with China appear to have stalled, with each side still unwilling to accept controversial bishops appointed by the other.
In recent months, Beijing has appeared to take a harder line toward believers, and has ordered the country's estimated 12 million Catholics to shun foreign influence and to "Sinosize" their Church.
ROME (AP) — Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, a retired Milan archbishop who was once seen as a strong bet to become pontiff, has died. He was 83.
The Milan diocese said the Italian prelate died Saturday after deteriorating health.
When Pope John Paul II died in 2005, many Vatican experts said that Tettamanzi had an excellent chance of becoming pontiff. But another theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was elected and became Pope Benedict XVI.
How the Catholic Church’s hierarchy makes it difficult to punish sexual abusers
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross
BERLIN (AP) — At least 547 members of a prestigious Catholic boys' choir in Germany were physically or sexually abused between 1945 and 1992, according to a report released Tuesday.
Allegations involving the Domspatzen choir in Regensburg, which was run for 30 years by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother, were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010. In 2015, lawyer Ulrich Weber was tasked with producing a report on what happened.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has selected the members of his bioethics advisory board, a closely watched appointment because the commission had previously reflected the conservative vision of sexual morality and life issues championed by the past two popes.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The cold-call pope has struck again, with Pope Francis surprising a dozen families with an afternoon visit to their homes to perform an annual springtime blessing.
Francis played the role of parish priest Friday as he rang apartment buzzers in Ostia, a beach community on Rome's outskirts, and blessed homes of residents.
The ritual is a post-Easter tradition in Italy, with priests posting notices on buildings announcing the dates and times they'll pass by.
Today in History for April 19th
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A "modest" 90th birthday party is being planned for Benedict XVI, who stunned the Catholic Church by resigning as pope in 2013.
His personal secretary and long-time aide, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, told an Italian Catholic news agency Saturday that Benedict's birthday, which falls on Easter Sunday this year, will be celebrated on Monday in Bavarian style, in keeping with the emeritus pontiff's roots.
Vatican confirms papal trip to Egypt under study
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is confirming a papal trip to Egypt is under consideration but that no dates or itinerary have been finalized.
The statement Saturday by spokesman Greg Burke came after Italy's state-run RAI reported Francis would visit Cairo's Al-Azhar, the leading center of learning of Sunni Islam, on May 20-21.
The Vatican and Al-Azhar recently restored relations that the Cairo institute severed in 2011 to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope eats with homeless on 80th birthday, gets 70,000 emails
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis celebrated an active if low-key 80th birthday on Saturday, sharing breakfast with eight homeless people before celebrating Mass with cardinals as greetings poured in from around the world.
The pontiff received more than 70,000 email messages wishing him a happy birthday, as well as telephone calls and telegrams from world leaders and religious figures.
By Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer
In 2012, the Vatican threw open the doors of the Roman Catholic Church to American Episcopalians wanting to jump ship from a Protestant denomination whose increasingly liberal leanings were not to their liking - but whose Anglican traditions they still treasured.
Thanks to Pope Benedict XVI, disaffected Episcopalians could have it both ways.
Vatican-Muslim dialogue to restart in April, Vatican says
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican and the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, Al-Azhar, are expected to formally reopen talks next year after a five-year lull.
Officials from the Vatican's office of interreligious affairs are going to Cairo this weekend for a preparatory meeting to lay the groundwork for the official restart of talks, scheduled for late April in Rome.
Pope to canonize ‘gaucho priest,’ earlier version of himself
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis this weekend will canonize Argentina's "gaucho priest," the poncho-wearing, mate-sipping pastor who rode his mule Malacara to the far-flung peripheries of Argentina to minister to the poor.
In many ways, Francis will be honoring a 19th-century version of himself.
Retired pope offers final reflections on papacy, Francis
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that governing the church wasn't his strong suit but says he doesn't see his papacy as a failure and that he succeeded at least in breaking up the Vatican's so-called "gay lobby."