Pope Francis

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Pope: Safe Drinking Water Is a Human Right

It's 'shameful' that so many lack access to it, he says

(Newser) - Pope Francis has affirmed that access to clean water is a human right and that it's "enormously shameful" that millions of people get sick and die each year for lack of it, the AP reports. In a message to a water management conference Thursday, Francis lamented that war,... More »

2 'Towering Figures' of Catholicism Are Now Saints

Francis canonizes Archbishop Oscar Romero, Pope Paul VI

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Sunday praised two of the towering figures of the 20th-century Catholic Church as prophets who shunned wealth and looked out for the poor as he canonized the modernizing Pope Paul VI and martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. Francis declared the two men saints at a Mass in... More »

A Major Church Figure in US Loses His Job

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, resigns over his handling of cases

(Newser) - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl after he became entangled in two major sexual abuse and cover-up scandals and lost the support of many in his flock, per the AP . Wuerl, who turns 78 in November, becomes the most prominent head to roll in the... More »

Kim Jong Un to Pope: Come Visit Me in North Korea

A visit is considered 'highly unlikely,' though S. Korea's Moon Jae-in will still deliver the invite

(Newser) - Moon Jae-in will visit the Vatican next week, and the South Korean leader will go bearing a special invite for Pope Francis. The New York Times reports Moon will serve as the messenger for Kim Jong Un, who's requesting that the pontiff pay him a visit in North Korea.... More »

Pope Reconsiders, Defrocks a Pedophile Priest

Francis toughens Vatican's penalty against Chile's Fernando Karadima

(Newser) - Pope Francis has defrocked the Chilean priest at the center of the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy , invoking his "supreme" authority to stiffen a sentence originally handed down by a Vatican court in 2011, per the AP . The Vatican said Francis had laicized the 88-year-old Rev. Fernando... More »

Benedict to His Defenders: You're Going Too Far

Pope emeritus says 'pain has turned to anger' and is affecting the church and his own legacy

(Newser) - Pope Benedict pledged to remain "hidden to the world" when he became pope emeritus and turned things over to Pope Francis, but some newly surfaced letters are changing that. In them, Benedict sends a message to those who prefer his more conservative leadership over Francis' relatively liberal style that... More »

Pope, Tarnished Archbishop Have a Decision to Make

Cardinal Wuerl says his resignation is on the table

(Newser) - Since last month's grand jury report describing how the former archbishop of Pittsburgh reassigned priests accused of abusing children, Cardinal Donald Wuerl has had his name scrubbed from a school , been the subject of protests by Catholic schoolteachers, and faced calls from priests and parishioners to resign. Resignation is... More »

Pope's Response to Allegations Against Him: 'Not One Word'

Francis tells journalists to read what Carlo Maria Vigano wrote, come to own conclusion

(Newser) - The National Catholic Register called the 11-page statement "extraordinary"; Pope Francis called it ... well, he didn't call it anything. Reuters reports that while speaking with reporters aboard the papal plane while en route from Dublin to Rome on Sunday, Francis said he would "not say one... More »

Ex-Nuncio: Francis Knew, 'Should Resign With All of Them'

Vatican's ex-ambassador to US says pope knew as early as 2013, did nothing about McCarrick

(Newser) - While Pope Francis is facing down the Catholic Church's abuses in Ireland , a new accusation has sprung up, this time from the Vatican's own former ambassador to the United States: In an 11-page statement the National Catholic Register calls "extraordinary," Carlo Maria Vigano says that Francis... More »

In Ireland, Pope Addresses 'Repugnant Crimes' of Priests

Francis says he shares outrage over clergy abuse cover-up

(Newser) - Pope Francis said at the start of a visit to Ireland on Saturday that he shares the outrage of rank-and-file Catholics over the failure of church authorities to punish the "repugnant crimes" of priests who raped and molested children. Seeking to respond to a global outcry over the abuse... More »

Pope on Sex Abuse: We Abandoned 'the Little Ones'

Francis denounces Catholic Church's reaction to abusive priests

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Monday delivered a strong denunciation of the Catholic Church's response to abusive priests in language anyone could understand. "We showed no care for the little ones," the pope wrote in a letter to Catholics around the world, reports the AP . "We abandoned them.... More »

Pope Makes Big Doctrine Change on an 'Inhuman Recourse'

Francis says death penalty is always 'inadmissible'

(Newser) - Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published Thursday it's always "inadmissible" because it "attacks" the inherent dignity of all humans. The Vatican says Francis has approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , the compilation of... More »

Pope Accepts Resignation of Disgraced Archbishop

Australian acknowledges 'growing level of hurt'

(Newser) - After repeatedly insisting that he would remain in his position until the appeals process was exhausted, the most senior Catholic cleric ever to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse has resigned. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, who was sentenced to 12 months of... More »

Pope Consoles Sad Brazil Soccer Fans

Spotting flags in St. Peter's Square, he tells them 'Have courage! There'll be a next time'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is trying to cheer up Brazilian soccer fans after the team's quarterfinal exit from the World Cup, reports the AP . The pope, an Argentine and an avid soccer fan, noted a preponderance of Brazilian flags on display in St. Peter's Square during his traditional Sunday blessing.... More »

Gay Abuse Victim Spoke to Pope. Francis' Words Were 'Forceful'

Juan Carlos Cruz said Francis told him: 'God made you like this and loves you like this'

(Newser) - While religious conservatives have long argued being gay is a choice and even a "disorder," Pope Francis has been known to push back on those arguments, most famously with his 2013 statement : "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" Now... More »

Francis Names 14 New 'Princes of the Church'

Newest class of cardinals will be elevated on June 29

(Newser) - Pope Francis announced on Sunday he has chosen 14 men to be the newest cardinals in the church, among them his chief aide for helping Rome's homeless and poor, as well as prelates based in Iraq and Pakistan, where Christians are a vulnerable minority. "I am happy to... More »

Every Bishop in Chile Tells Pope They Will Resign

Their fate is now in hands of pope in midst of church's long-running abuse saga

(Newser) - Every Chilean bishop offered to resign Friday over a sex abuse and cover-up scandal, in the biggest shakeup ever in the Catholic Church's long-running abuse saga. The bishops announced at the end of an emergency summit with Pope Francis that all 31 active bishops and three retired ones had... More »

Pope Wants Nuns to Go Easy on the Tweets

Vatican urges them to use social media with 'discretion and sobriety'

(Newser) - The Catholic Church has advised its 38,000 cloistered nuns to use social media wisely and with “discretion and sobriety,” reports Newsweek and the Guardian . The admonishment was issued in a document published by the Vatican known as the "Cor Orans,” which provides additional guidance on... More »

In Extraordinary Letter, Pope Admits Making 'Grave Errors'

Says he made missteps in judging the case of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros

(Newser) - Pope Francis admitted Wednesday he made "grave errors" in judgment in Chile's sex abuse scandal and invited the victims he had discredited to Rome to beg their forgiveness. In an extraordinary public letter, Francis also summoned all of Chile's bishops to the Vatican for an emergency meeting... More »

Pope Francis Extols 'Middle Class of Holiness'

Francis likes the idea of 'saints next door' over dogmatists

(Newser) - Pope Francis is calling for ordinary Catholics to live holy lives in whatever they do, stressing that the "saints next door" are more pleasing to God than religious elites who insist on perfect adherence to rules and doctrine. In a new document released Monday, Francis said defending the poor... More »

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