Pope Francis

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Pope's Top Critic Is About to Have to Find New Digs

Pontiff has apparently had it with Cardinal Raymond Burke

(Newser) - Cardinal Raymond Burke , an American who's led conservative resistance to Pope Francis' progressive moves since his election a decade ago, has apparently poked the pontiff one too many times. As the New York Times reports, Francis has "frequently demoted and stripped the American cleric of influence"—...

Ailing Pope Will Miss UN Climate Summit

He's recovering from flu, lung inflammation

(Newser) - Pope Francis canceled his trip to Dubai for the UN climate conference on doctors' orders Tuesday, even though he is recovering from the flu and lung inflammation, the Vatican said. Francis, who turns 87 next month, was scheduled to leave Rome on Friday to address the COP28 meeting first thing...

Vatican Reminds Catholics Freemasonry Is Banned

Church believes those Catholics who join are in a state of 'grave sin'

(Newser) - In 1738, Pope Clement XII declared Freemasonry an excommunicable offense, and the Catholic Church's position hasn't softened much since then. The Vatican this week confirmed its ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons, a secretive and ritualistic society with an estimated 6 million members worldwide. "Active membership in Freemasonry...

After Fierce Criticism, Pope Fires Texas Bishop

Bishop Joseph Strickland has opposed attempts to make church more welcoming

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken the rare step of removing a bishop who has been a persistent social media critic of his leadership. Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland was relieved of his duties in the Tyler Diocese, announcements by the Vatican and the US Bishops Conference said. Neither gave a reason, Reuters...

Pope's Meeting Calls Expanding Women's Church Roles 'Urgent'

Session is part of Francis' effort to include laypeople in decision-making

(Newser) - Pope Francis' big gathering of Catholic bishops and laypeople declared Saturday that guaranteeing fuller participation of women in church governance is "urgent," calling for research on allowing women to be deacons to be released within a year. After a month of closed-door debate, the Vatican meeting on the...

Gaza Set to Run Out of Electricity Within Hours
Gaza's Sole Power Plant
Has Run Out of Fuel

Gaza's Sole Power Plant Has Run Out of Fuel

Hospitals struggle to treat the injured as fuel, medical supplies dwindle

(Newser) - Gaza's only power plant has run out of fuel, forcing it to shut down after Israel cut off supplies, the Energy Ministry said Wednesday. That will leave only generators to power the territory. The blackouts come as Israel has blocked fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip as part of...

Pope's Comments on Same-Sex Unions Make Waves

Francis suggests there could be ways to bless such unions

(Newser) - Pope Francis has suggested there could be ways to bless same-sex unions, responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to affirm church teaching on homosexuality ahead of a big meeting where LGBTQ+ Catholics are on the agenda. The Vatican on Monday published a letter Francis wrote to the cardinals...

Pope Enters 'Crucial New Phase' for Church

Francis appoints 21 new cardinals to help him enact his reforms, cement his legacy

(Newser) - Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals at a ritual-filled ceremony Saturday, including key figures at the Vatican and in the field who will help enact his reforms and cement his legacy as he enters a crucial new phase in running the Catholic Church. On a crisp sunny day filled with...

Pope to Europe: There's No Migrant 'Emergency' Here

Francis implores Macron, other leaders to open their doors to people fleeing hardships

(Newser) - Pope Francis challenged French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders to open their ports to people fleeing hardship and poverty, insisting Saturday that the continent isn't facing a migration "emergency," but rather a long-term reality that governments must deal with humanely. For a second straight day...

Pope Arrives in Country With Fewer Than 2K Catholics

Francis is the first pope ever to visit Mongolia

(Newser) - Pope Francis arrived in Mongolia on Friday morning to encourage one of the world's smallest and newest Catholic communities. It's the first time a pope has visited the landlocked Asian country and comes at a time when the Vatican's relations with Mongolia's two powerful neighbors, Russia...

Vatican Walks Back Francis' Praise for 'Russian Empire'

Objections to unscripted remarks come from Ukraine, Eastern Rite archbishop

(Newser) - The Vatican is walking back Pope Francis' words on Russia, while Moscow is walking them forward. As the Wall Street Journal reports, a Vatican rep had this to say about the pontiff's glowing words for Russia's past: "The pope intended to encourage young people to preserve and...

Pope Plans to Visit Country With 1,450 Catholics

Francis' August trip will be first-ever papal visit to Mongolia

(Newser) - The young cardinal in charge of Mongolia's tiny Catholic community said Monday that Pope Francis' upcoming visit to a country with just 1,450 Catholics is evidence of his willingness to travel to the farthest corners of the globe to minister to even a handful of the faithful. Italian...

Pope Accepts Bishop Named By China
Pope Yields
to China on
New Bishop

Pope Yields to China on New Bishop

Government filled Shanghai post months ago, despite agreement with Vatican

(Newser) - Pope Francis has given in to China's unilateral appointment of a new bishop in Shanghai, formally recognizing the government's installation of Bishop Shen Bin three months after the fact. The Vatican said Saturday that Francis had appointed Shen as bishop of Shanghai, transferring him from Haimen. The announcement...

Pope Adds to Group That Will Pick His Successor

New cardinals include choices for Hong Kong, Jerusalem

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Sunday announced he has chosen 21 new cardinals, including prelates from Jerusalem and Hong Kong—places where Catholics are a small minority—as he shapes the body of churchmen who will select his successor. The pope announced his picks during his weekly appearance in St. Peter's...

Pope Leaves Hospital 9 Days After Operation

Surgeon says Francis is 'better than before'

(Newser) - Pope Francis was discharged Friday from the Rome hospital where he had abdominal surgery nine days earlier to repair a hernia and remove painful scarring, with his surgeon saying the pontiff is now "better than before" the hospitalization. Francis, 86, left through Gemelli Polyclinic's main exit in a...

Pope Francis Goes Under the Knife
Pope Francis'
Surgery Was

Pope Francis' Surgery Was Successful

Surgeon says Francis cracked joke afterward

(Newser) - Pope Francis underwent successful surgery Wednesday to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia in his abdominal wall. The Vatican said there were no complications during the three-hour surgery, which required the 86-year-old to be under general anesthesia, the AP reports. The pontiff is expected to remain at Rome’...

Zelensky Lobbies Pope, Italy's Leaders
In Rome, Zelensky
Pressures Pope

In Rome, Zelensky Pressures Pope

President asks Francis for a direct condemnation of Russian invasion

(Newser) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to Rome on Saturday to make a direct appeal to the pope to support his government's approach to achieving peace—after finding Francis' proposals unsettling. While there, Zelensky also met with Italy's president and prime minister, who offered enthusiastic backing. "We bet...

Pope Francis: I Told Off Woman With Dog

Pontiff warns against pets replacing kids amid Italy's demographic crisis

(Newser) - In numerous countries in the EU, birth rates are declining, including in Italy, which could lose nearly 20% of its residents by 2050. Those stats are apparently putting Pope Francis on edge, enough to spur him to warn Italian citizens not to let their anxieties about the future keep them...

Pope Speaks of Secret Peace 'Mission' in Russia-Ukraine War

And says Vatican is willing to help return Ukrainian children to their families

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Sunday revealed that a secret peace “mission” in Russia's war in Ukraine was underway, though he gave no details, and said the Vatican is willing to help facilitate the return of Ukrainian children taken to Russia during the war, the AP reports. “I’m...

Pope Endorses Returning Artifacts Held by Vatican

'If you steal something you have to give it back,' Francis says

(Newser) - Pope Francis said Sunday that talks were underway to return artifacts in the Vatican Museum that were acquired from Indigenous peoples in Canada and voiced a willingness to return other colonial-era objects in the Vatican's collection on a case-by-case basis. "The Seventh Commandment comes to mind: If you...

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