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Pope Francis

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WORLD
March 19, 2013 | By Henry Chu
VATICAN CITY -- Before crowned heads, government leaders and masses of the faithful, Pope Francis formally took office Tuesday as head of the Roman Catholic Church in a ceremony replete with pageantry and symbols from ancient Christendom. In a homily, the church's 266th pontiff exhorted his listeners and 1.2 billion followers to care for the environment and for other people, especially the poor and forgotten -- themes closely associated with the saint whose name he picked for his own as pope, Francis of Assisi.
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WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Tom Kington
Reporting From Vatican City -- Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for two former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, marking  the first time in the  church's long history that two ex-popes have been canonized at the same time. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors crammed into St. Peter's Square and nearby streets for the solemn ceremony, which was followed by a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis. Adding to the uniqueness of the event was the presence of a former pope, Benedict XVI, Francis' predecessor, who stepped down last year in a rare example of a pope retiring.
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WORLD
March 13, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
The Vatican clarified Wednesday that the new pope -- the first to take the name Francis -- will be known as Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I. The Wednesday bulletin issued by the Vatican announcing his selection as pope called him simply Francis, as did the cardinal who announced his name from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. “It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi quipped to the Associated Press. The new name, taken by Argentine Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio, marks the first time that the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to be known as Francis.
WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Tom Kington
Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter's Square and nearby to witness the unprecedented double canonization. It marked the first time in the church's more than 2,000-year history that two former popes had been canonized on the same day. And, though the focus was on the two late pontiffs, the extravagant ceremony and Mass will probably provide another boost for the soaring popularity of Francis, the Argentine pope who has only held office for slightly more than a year.
NEWS
December 17, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Journalists and liberal Roman Catholics are making much - perhaps too much - of Pope Francis' decision to remove a conservative American cardinal from the congregation that helps choose bishops. The New York Times said that the pope “moved … against” Cardinal Raymond Burke by not reappointing him to the Congregation of Bishops. That makes the decision to (in effect) replace Burke with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., sound more punitive than it might be. It's true, however, that Burke is the darling of “rad trad” (radical traditionalist)
NEWS
June 12, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Is Pope Francis, who has been almost universally welcomed as a kinder, gentler shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church, a homophobe? That possibility explains the consternation produced by reports that the pontiff acknowledged that there was a “gay lobby” at work in the Vatican. But it's premature to conclude that the pope bears any animus toward gay clerics (assuming that they abide by their vows and abstain from sex) or gays and lesbians in general. The English phrase “gay lobby” appears in a “synthesis” -- otherwise written in Spanish -- of the pope's comments to a delegation of representatives of Latin American and Caribbean religious orders.
NEWS
July 8, 2013 | By Michael McGough
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post has congratulated Pope Francis for what in a political context might be called a balanced ticket. By deciding to confer sainthood simultaneously on Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, Dionne writes, Francis has pleased two constituencies in the church. “On the whole,” Dionne says, “conservative Catholics will cheer swift sainthood for John Paul, while progressive Catholics will welcome the news that an overly long process of elevating John to the same status had reached its culmination.
NEWS
March 14, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Much has been made about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's dedication to the poor. Almost immediately after becoming the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church and renaming himself Pope Francis , the commentary began, some of it predicting his legacy before his first day on the job. “In the end, it is Pope Francis's standing as a Latin American and as an advocate of the poor that may well define him,” wrote the Washington Post's E.J....
NEWS
December 2, 2013 | By Daniel Rothberg
During a four-hour visit to a church near Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis shared with parishioners some of the finer points of his résumé, including a stint working as a bouncer. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reported that the pope told a group of parishioners at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino about his earlier jobs, which also included sweeping floors and running laboratory tests, according to a report from the Catholic News Service. Many were quick to note that nightclub bouncers are not exactly known for the inclusiveness that has marked Pope Francis' reputation during his first year.
NEWS
March 14, 2013 | By Monte Morin
His predecessor was the first pope to retire due to deteriorating health -- a condition no doubt exacerbated by frequent world travel and a demanding schedule. Yet at age 76, Pope Francis arrives at the Vatican with his own medical history. Specifically, the new leader of the Catholic Church had one of his lungs removed as a teen, likely due to an infection. We asked two medical experts whether such a condition was likely to hamper the new pope's ability to manage one of the world's largest nonprofit organizations.
WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Tom Kington
Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter's Square and elsewhere to witness the double canonization. It was the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church that two ex-popes were canonized in the same event. Although the focus was on the late pontiffs, the elaborate ceremony and the global attention it generated seemed likely to provide another boost for the soaring reputation of Francis.
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Alexandra Zavis
As many as 1 million pilgrims and other visitors are expected at the Vatican on Sunday for the canonization of two of the most influential popes of the 20th Century, John Paul II and John XXIII. Pope Francis will be assisted during the sainthood ceremony by retired Pope Benedict XVI, the first time two living pontiffs will help canonize a pair of their predecessors. Giant screens have been erected in piazzas throughout the city for those unable to get into St. Peter's Square for the Mass, which is expected to begin at 10 a.m. local time (1 a.m. PST)
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Patrick McDonnell and Tom Kington
One helped revolutionize the church, becoming an enduring icon among progressive Roman Catholics who view religion as a vehicle for justice and peace. The other figured in a societal revolution outside the church, earning the adulation of conservatives by battling communism and contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union. On Sunday, Pope Francis will canonize two pontiffs - John XXIII and John Paul II - in a ceremony here, marking the first time that two popes were made saints at the same time.
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Tom Kington
Tens of thousands of pilgrims were gathering here Saturday in heady anticipation of Sunday's dual canonization of two of the most influential popes of recent times, John Paul II and John XXIII. It will mark the first time in the long history of the Roman Catholic Church that two ex-popes are made saints on the same day. On Saturday, the Vatican confirmed another first - retired Pope Benedict XVI will assist Pope Francis during the sainthood ceremony. That means two living popes will help canonize a pair of their predecessors in a singular celebration of four pontiffs, alive and dead.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Beyonce has been named among this year's most influential people by Time magazine.  The Grammy-winning singer, who locked in the 11th annual Time 100 main cover,  joins  this year's other honorees - director Robert Redford, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and out basketball player Jason Collins - who will be featured on the magazine's multiple inside covers. Those covers, all black-and-white shots as well, are featured inside the double issue.  The "XO" singer acknowledged the magazine's prominent accolade on her Facebook page with two words, " So honored," and shared the black-and-white cover photo, which features her in a sheer shirt worn over a white crop top and skimpy bottoms.  PHOTOS: Beyonce and Jay Z through the years The outlet was also first to reveal the  music video for her song "Pretty Hurts,"  a ballad about the perils of physical beauty.
OPINION
April 15, 2014
Re "Pope apologizes over abuse," April 12 It is great for Pope Francis to say he's sorry to those who suffered sexual abuse and to acknowledge the wrongdoing, but it is time for action. No more words, please. Children are being abused now by priests, and in many instances their bishops stand by and do nothing. When the pope defrocks a pedophile priest or castigates publicly at least one bishop failing in his duties to protect children, then I will cheer him. Until then, I remain skeptical of words without action.
OPINION
April 15, 2014
Re "Pope apologizes over abuse," April 12 It is great for Pope Francis to say he's sorry to those who suffered sexual abuse and to acknowledge the wrongdoing, but it is time for action. No more words, please. Children are being abused now by priests, and in many instances their bishops stand by and do nothing. When the pope defrocks a pedophile priest or castigates publicly at least one bishop failing in his duties to protect children, then I will cheer him. Until then, I remain skeptical of words without action.
WORLD
March 15, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Pope Francis urged cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church never to give in to pessimism, telling them Friday that they had crucial wisdom to pass on to the young, which he compared to “good wine” that gets better with time. In his first audience with the Vatican's College of Cardinals since his election Wednesday, Francis looked relaxed and smiled as he spoke, gesticulating as he drifted from his written speech, in contrast to the reserved manner of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “Let us never give in to the pessimism, to that bitterness, that the devil offers us every day,” Francis said.
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Pope Francis on Friday made his first public plea for forgiveness on behalf of priests who have abused children. “I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests -- quite a few in number, [although] obviously not compared to the number of all priests -- to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the pope said in a strongly worded, unscripted speech. The apology marked a change of tone by the pope, who has been criticized for paying scant attention to the clerical sex-abuse scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church.
WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Tom Kington, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
ROME -- Pope Francis has given his backing to the Vatican's scandal-ridden bank, Vatican officials said Monday, quashing months of speculation that he might close it down as part of wide-ranging reforms at the Holy See. In a statement, the Vatican said the bank “will continue to serve with prudence and provide specialized financial services to the [Roman] Catholic Church worldwide.” Set up in 1942 to offer accounts to priests, nuns, religious orders and Vatican employees, the bank has been embroiled in a series of scandals over alleged money-laundering and tax-dodging.
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