Papal Transition

Pope Benedict, citing age, announces he will resign

UPDATE -- VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month after an eight-year pontificate. See updates on this developing story in our Papal Transition section, featuring more stories and photos of Pope Benedict, and information on the coming conclave to elect a new pope.

Theologian: American youth a ravaged but promising mission field

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In sexual morality, family life and education, the Baby Boom generation ushered in a series of cultural changes that led to an "anthropological crisis" in American society, leaving younger generations yearning acutely for what the Catholic Church has to offer. That is the assessment of Pia de Solenni, a Seattle-based writer with theology degrees from two Vatican-chartered universities, who now serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Give real help to youth facing work, education issues, pope urges

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Young people's essential needs, including decent work and an education, demand a serious, effective response from both the church and the wider community, Pope Benedict XVI said. Problems facing young people "cannot be met with responses that are evasive or banal," he said, especially if humanity is going to have a hopeful, generous future.

Punk band rocks the Vatican, explains today’s youth to culture council

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture said he wanted to listen to what today's young people had to say, he wasn't afraid to hear it belted out at 100 decibels. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi invited members of the Italian rock group, The Sun, to speak their minds through music to the cardinals, bishops, lay members and advisers of the council, as well as to a large contingent of foot-stomping, cheering young fans. (Watch a video of The Sun performing their song, "Rain".)

Canada’s Salt and Light TV debuts new ‘Vatican Connections’ series

TORONTO (CNS) — Salt and Light Television in Toronto is debuting a new television series called “Vatican Connections.” The weekly show will offer viewers insight into the latest headlines coming out of the Holy See and highlight the history and traditions of Rome. Alicia Ambrosio will host the show, aimed at helping “make sense of […]

Britain’s House of Commons close to passing same-sex marriage bill

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Members of Britain's House of Commons voted, 400-175, to allow same-sex marriage, pushing a controversial piece of legislation closer to becoming law. The vote followed six hours of debate and represented the first time lawmakers were able to vote on the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

Zubin Mehta conducts concert of Verdi, Beethoven works for Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The conductor Zubin Mehta performed with an Italian orchestra at the Vatican Feb. 4, in a concert honoring Pope Benedict XVI and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. The concert, which marked the 84th anniversary of the Lateran Pacts recognizing the sovereignty of Vatican City State, was organized by the Italian embassy to the Holy See and held in the Vatican audience hall.

Ignore ‘prophets of doom’ predicting end of religious life, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI asked nuns, brothers and priests not to listen to the “prophets of doom” who say that consecrated life has no future or that it has no meaning in today’s world. “Do not join the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the lack of meaning of consecrated […]

Pope calls for protection of life, greater investment in families

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called for greater investment in families and protecting life. As the Italian Catholic Church marked Day for Life Feb. 3, the pope used his Sunday Angelus address to echo the Italian bishops’ call “to invest in life and the family, also as an effective response” to the current […]

Pro-life Vietnamese offer dignified burial for aborted fetuses

HANOI, Vietnam (CNS) -- In a 160-square-foot hut 10 miles north of Hanoi, Anna Nguyen Thi Nhiem takes aborted fetuses out of a refrigerator and wraps them in white cloth and plastic bags, all the while saying prayers. She places about 20 tiny bodies into urns and buries them in freshly dug graves in the cemetery at Ben Coc sub-parish. "Aborted fetuses are saints and worthy of being interred properly," said Nhiem, a mother of four.