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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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OPINION
March 29, 2014
Re "The president and the pope," Opinion, March 26 Doyle McManus wrote a balanced article about President Obama and Pope Francis "trading notes on practical politics" at a Vatican visit. As McManus points out, Francis has the advantage by not having "to worry about midterm elections or a balky Congress. " That being said, perhaps it's time for America to revisit the relevancy of the constitutional amendment that limits the number of times a person can be elected president. This could curtail the balkiness of Congress, by getting things done with prodding from a non-lame-duck president.
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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
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
VATICAN CITY - President Obama visited Pope Francis for the first time Thursday, a meeting the White House hoped would amplify the two men's shared concern about economic inequality rather than the president's conflicts with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy at home. Obama introduced himself to Francis as a "great admirer. " The pope has become internationally popular as he has shed some of the lavish trappings of the papacy and focused his teachings on caring for the poor. Obama has sought to borrow some of that goodwill for the new pope to help promote his own effort to reduce income inequality in the United States.
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 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
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.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Charles Fleming
Holy motors! The Popesicle is for sale! The Bonhams auction house will shortly be selling a Harley-Davidson FXDC Dyna Super Glide owned by, and signed by, Pope Francis. The motorcycle, which His Holiness personalized with a signature on the gas tank, comes with a matching leather jacket. STORY: Dirt bikers bring new life to ghost town The auction will take place at the Grand Palais in Paris on Feb. 6.  It is not clear whether His Holiness has ridden the 1,585cc machine.
OPINION
March 26, 2014 | Doyle McManus
President Obama is scheduled to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, and the meeting will probably take the usual form of encounters between presidents and pontiffs: a polite conversation about their common agenda on poverty and world peace, plus a gentle remonstrance from the Holy Father on abortion and religious liberty. But if Obama and Francis had time to get to know each other, they might each benefit by trading notes on practical politics, as presidents and British prime ministers often do, and on the lessons they can draw from each other's experiences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2014 | Steve Lopez
A 10-year-old student from Noble Avenue Elementary School in North Hills visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels last week on a diplomatic mission. Jersey Vargas, a fourth-grader, was about to leave for Rome and a possible visit with Pope Francis, but first she wanted to ask Archbishop Jose H. Gomez for his blessing and his help. Jersey said she hoped the archbishop will "help my Dad out, so he can be with me and my family, and we won't be separated ever again. " Her father has been in custody since September, Jersey told me. She said he "was caught driving without a license, and because he wasn't born in the United States, that also didn't help him out….
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
"Noah" star Russell Crowe and a few of the filmmakers behind the upcoming movie epic made it to Vatican City on Thursday for Pope Francis' weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. It wasn't a private meeting with the pope, and apparently a screening of the film wasn't going to happen, but the trip to Rome had the actor upbeat on social media nonetheless. "What a privilege , attended the Udienza with the holy father @Pontifex . St.Joesephs day & Fathers Day," he wrote, tweeting a picture of the crowd of about 80,000 at Vatican City.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Following days of conflicting reports whether Russell Crowe would get his wish to meet with Pope Francis, the "Noah" star did make the pontiff's acquaintance on Wednesday, albeit briefly, at Francis' weekly audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Also joining Crowe were "Noah" director Darren Aronofsky, producer Scott Franklin and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, according to the Hollywood Reporter and other outlets. The group met with the pope at the "udienza generale," which is open to the public and can draw thousands of faithful.
NEWS
March 13, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- Speaker John A. Boehner has invited Pope Francis to deliver a joint address to Congress, in what would be the first such session by the head of the Catholic Church. The invitation was made on the first anniversary of popular pope's election, and meshes with efforts by Republicans to portray the party as more engaged on the issues of poverty and inequality that have been priorities for Pope Francis. "Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manners and servant leadership," wrote Boehner, a Roman Catholic, in the invitation letter, noting "his tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us. " Boehner noted that "these principles are among the fundamentals of the American idea.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
Pope Francis is one of the best-known religious figures in the world, but a new Pew Research poll seeking to quantify his popularity raises questions about the so-called Francis effect. The poll found an overwhelming embrace of Francis, who has been trying to steer the Catholic Church toward a greater emphasis on compassion for the poor and marginalized. Sixty percent of non-Catholics and 85% of Catholics surveyed said they viewed the pontiff favorably - numbers approaching those of Pope John Paul II, whose peak popularity ratings among Catholics hovered just above 90%. However, the poll found no change in the number of people who self-identify as Catholic or in the number sitting in church pews on Sundays.
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.
OPINION
December 3, 2013
Re "Pope's manifesto calls for decentralized church," Nov. 27 Contrary to Pope Francis' comments, capitalism has done more to empower people and raise living standards than any other force in history. As Milton Friedman pointed out years ago: "The only cases in which the masses have escaped from … grinding poverty … in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it's exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
There are myriad ways to promote a film these days, most notably through trailers, billboards, media junkets and talk-show appearances. Now "Noah" star Russell Crowe is trying to reach a higher power, beseeching Pope Francis on Twitter to watch his upcoming biblical adventure, which is based on the Noah's Ark story from the Book of Genesis. Addressing the pontiff as "Dear Holy Father," Crowe on Monday tweeted , "#Noah film. Screening?The message of the film is powerful , fascinating , resonant.
NEWS
February 24, 2014 | By Michael McGough
Vaticanologists inside and outside journalism have been puzzling over the surprise appearance of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at a ceremony Saturday at which his successor, Pope Francis, installed new members of the College of Cardinals. ABC News described the event as “an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future” (the “future” referring to the presumed presence of Francis' successor among the new and veteran cardinals in attendance). But what did Benedict's presence signify?
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