World News

Vatican’s media adviser offers ‘Top 10’ ways to understand Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- No matter how some media may want to spin it, Pope Francis won't fit into the political categories of left or right, and he will challenge everyone with the truth of the Gospel, said the Vatican's media adviser. "The pope's picture should have one of those warning labels" much like a pack of cigarettes, said Greg Burke, but with the words, "Danger: This man could change your life." Burke offered his take on decoding the pontiff with his own rundown of "Pope Francis in 10 Words."

Vatican official reaffirms teaching on divorced, remarried Catholics

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Communion without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But the official acknowledged that many Catholics' first marriages might be invalid, and thus eligible for annulment, if spouses had been influenced by prevailing contemporary conceptions of marriage as a temporary arrangement.

Pope meets German bishop at center of spending controversy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After giving a morning Mass homily on the virtue of poverty, Pope Francis held a private meeting Oct. 21 with a German bishop under fire for a massive building project that critics have denounced as extravagant.

Pope Francis receives Hackett, new U.S. envoy to Vatican

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Presenting his credentials to Pope Francis, Kenneth F. Hackett officially took over as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Oct. 21, filling a role that had been vacant for nearly a year. Relations between Washington and the Vatican have been marked by tension over religious liberty concerns stemming from the HHS mandate.

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to help others, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Money by itself isn't a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said. "Money is needed to bring about many good things," he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, "but when your heart is attached (to money), it destroys you."

Time for Catholics, Lutherans to confront the Reformation, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation approaches, "Catholics and Lutherans can ask forgiveness for the harm they have caused one another and for their offenses committed in the sight of God," Pope Francis said.

Celluloid heaven: how popes took church, Gospel to the big screen

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Benedict XVI joined Twitter in 2012 and Pope Francis appeared on Instagram the following year, media watchers may have thought they were witnessing a Vatican revolution. In both cases, however, the pontiffs were merely following in a long tradition.

Pope’s chief of staff gives behind-the-scenes talk on media, reform

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A native Oklahoma priest who serves on a new, key Vatican council praised social media's role in telling the pope's message without filters. Still there is no method better than the pope's personal style. "One of the best things to happen to Vatican communications in years is Pope Francis," said Msgr. Peter Wells. Things changed "overnight" with the pope's open manner and the way he interacts with people.

Pope Francis prefigured: Discovering the real John Paul I

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "May God forgive you for what you have done," the newly elected pope told the cardinals who elevated him to the highest office in the Catholic Church.

Christian persecution around world has intensified, study finds

Not only are Christians in the Middle East and Africa suffering increasingly from Islamist terror attacks, but they continue to endure severe persecution and hardship in Communist, Marxist or post-Communist states, according to a report published Oct. 17. For Christians, the so-called "Arab spring" has in many cases become what the report calls a "Christian winter," a news release said.