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WORLD
March 13, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
What's in a pope's name? By choosing the name Francis, the Argentine Jesuit who will lead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics has signaled a devotion to simple living and social justice, analysts say. No pope has ever chosen to be called Francis before, and it was not among the names favored by oddsmakers betting on which the new pontiff would choose. The name harks back to St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan order. PHOTOS: Electing a pope Picking a name is the first decision made by the new pontiff and a closely watched sign of how he will lead the church.
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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.
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OPINION
February 17, 2013 | By Charlotte Allen
I'm a Catholic, but I'll admit it (or should I say "confess" it?): When Pope Benedict XVI announced his pending resignation, my first thought wasn't religious. It was in fact downright superficial. "There goes the best-dressed pontiff ever!" During his nearly eight years on the throne of St. Peter, Benedict has always looked absolutely perfect, sartorially speaking, whether garbed in elaborate vestments for an Easter liturgy or clad in the simple but meticulously tailored white caped cassock (it's called a "simar" in church lingo)
WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Tom Kington
Everything about Pope John Paul II was larger than life: his constant globetrotting, his naming of 483 saints -- more than all his predecessors combined -- and his 27 years in office, making him one of the longest serving pontiffs. The Polish pope even set records at his funeral in 2005, which was estimated to be the largest gathering of heads of state and government in history. But Karol Wojtyla also won over Catholics with a distinctly self-effacing charm, famously asking the crowd on the night of his election in 1978 to correct him if he stumbled in his Italian.
AUTOS
December 12, 2012 | By David Undercoffler
What do you get for the holy man who has everything? If he's Pope Benedict XVI, you get him a new Mercedes-Benz Popemobile. Based on the company's midsize M-Class SUV, the new diamond-white Popemobile replaces an older Mercedes model that had served his holiness since 2002. The automaker has been providing popes their eponymous vehicles since 1930. Photos: All-new Mercedes-Benz Popemobile Mercedes says the new model has an upgraded dome for the Pope to ride in. It features easier access for the 85-year-old pontiff, larger bulletproof glass panels for better visibility and lights in the roof to illuminate the subject below.
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.
WORLD
July 18, 2009 | Associated Press
Pope Benedict XVI waved reassuringly to well-wishers outside a hospital Friday where he underwent surgery to set his right wrist, fractured in a fall at his Alpine vacation chalet. The 82-year-old pope's accident was the first significant medical issue of his 4-year-old papacy, but doctors said he would suffer no long-term effects and would be able to return to playing piano and writing once the wrist heals. His cast will be removed in a month.
NATIONAL
February 28, 2013 | By David Horsey
When Pope Celestine V quit his job in 1294, his successor locked him in prison and kept him there until he died. Pope Benedict XVI will not suffer the same sad fate. When he resigns Thursday, not only will he not be jailed, exiled or even sent to a retirement home. He will get to stay in the Vatican. This worries some Catholics who think having two popes in the house will make things a little crowded. Some even fear there is a nefarious scheme at work that will allow Benedict to exert undue influence on his successor.
WORLD
April 6, 2013 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
CALI, Colombia - To say Luis Abel Delgado of Cali occupies a special niche in the global rag trade is an understatement: He's made vestments for two Roman Catholic popes, as well as inaugural sashes for several Latin American presidents. His sartorial skills have taken him from extreme poverty in southwest Colombia to the Vatican and several presidential palaces as an honored guest. He says that he's on a first-name basis with newly elected Pope Francis, who calls him Abelito, and that he spoke monthly with Pope Benedict XVI. "The new pope is as humble as they say. He insists I call him Don Francisco," Delgado said at his modest apartment in a southern suburb of Cali.
NEWS
July 1, 2013 | By Michael McGough
The awkwardness of having two popes -- one active, one emeritus -- is dramatized by a controversy over the rumored appointment of a new head of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the Vatican office that oversees Catholic liturgy. The Catholic News Agency reports that Pope Francis is considering entrusting that post to Archbishop Piero Marini, who served as “master of ceremonies” for Pope John Paul II. As I discussed in an Op-Ed article for The Times several years ago, Piero Marini is the “bad Marini” in the eys of Catholic traditionalists, who prefer the "good" Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies for Pope Benedict XVI who was inherited by Pope Francis.
WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Tom Kington
For a pope who was elected when he was 76 and served for just five years, John XXIII has nevertheless come to be seen as one of the most influential popes of the 20th century. Viewed as a mere stopgap when he was elected in 1958 in the wake of the 20-year reign of Pius XII, John took the Vatican by surprise by calling the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Vatican II, as it came to be known, ushered in Masses in the vernacular instead of Latin, handed more power to bishops and launched a new outreach to other religions.
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.
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
October 11, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Doctors of Pope John Paul II were considering putting the pontiff on kidney dialysis to cleanse his body of drugs he was taking for Parkinson's disease, an Italian news agency said. A Vatican official said the report by AGI "seemed correct" but offered no details. Later, papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls denied the pope was undergoing dialysis.
NEWS
April 19, 1988 | Associated Press
The remains of Pope Celestine V, who resigned in 1294 after a five-month papacy, were stolen Sunday night from the cathedral in the city of L'Aquila, authorities said Monday.
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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