September 5, 2013 |
As world leaders gathered Thursday for a G-20 summit in Russia, Pope Francis urged them to pursue a negotiated end to Syria's civil war and abandon the “futile pursuit of a military solution.” “It is regrettable that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding,” the pope said in a letter ...
September 3, 2013 |
Pope Francis resolutely condemned the use of chemical weapons in a message to his nearly 3 million Twitter followers on Tuesday, but has made it clear in recent days that he opposes military retaliation against Syria for the government's alleged use of the banned armaments. "With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons," the pope said in his 138th tweet since his March election as leader of the Holy See. In Sunday sermons, the pope also called on Catholics and followers of all faiths around the world to observe a day of fasting and prayer on Saturday for peace in Syria and the Middle East.
August 31, 2013 |
ROME - Pope Francis has taken a key step in reshuffling the Vatican's bureaucracy by replacing his much-criticized top aide with a career Vatican diplomat who has seen service on three continents. The Vatican said Saturday that Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, currently nuncio in Venezuela, will take office as Vatican secretary of state, the pope's prime minister, on Oct. 15, replacing Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 78. Bertone, appointed in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI, had been due to step down, and the pope, by choosing Parolin as his replacement, will please Vatican diplomats who had complained that Bertone blocked their access and concentrated power in Rome in the hands of a group of handpicked prelates from his native Liguria.
August 21, 2013 |
ROME --Former Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked the world by resigning in February, has reportedly revealed that God told him to do it during a "mystical experience. " The first pontiff to step down in six centuries, Benedict said, "God told me to," when asked about his decision to dedicate himself to a life of prayer instead. The 86-year-old pope emeritus said he had not witnessed a vision of God but had undergone a months-long "mystical experience" during which God gave him the "absolute desire" to forge a deeper relationship with him. Benedict also said that the more he witnessed the "charisma" of his extremely popular successor, Pope Francis, the more he understood how his stepping aside was the "will of God. " The former pontiff's comments were reported by the Catholic news agency Zenit, which did not disclose to whom Benedict made the remarks.
August 13, 2013 |
Is the Pope Catholic? We'll vote yes on that one. But what you may not know is the Argentine-born pontiff is also a big soccer fan, so it was hard to say who got the bigger thrill Tuesday when the pope met soccer god Lionel Messi at the Vatican. Francis, an avid supporter of the Buenos Aires team Saints of San Lorenzo, welcomed the national teams of his native Argentina as well as Italy ahead of their much-hyped friendly Wednesday in Rome. The players on both teams received a private audience with Francis in the Apostolic Palace after which the pope sidestepped the question of whether he gave a papal blessing to either team.
August 9, 2013 |
By any standard Pope Francis' Brazil trip was a great success. Enthusiastic crowds clogged the routes of the papal motorcade and reportedly more than a million people were present for the pope's final Mass on Copacabana beach. The media no less than Catholic pilgrims seemed enchanted by the new pontiff and his appeals for dialogue, conciliation and social justice. For this pope, who presents himself above all else as a pastor and teacher, the achievements of this first international foray must be satisfying.
August 4, 2013 |
Last week, Pope Francis loosed a media tsunami by dropping a pebble of sanity into an ocean of religious angst. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?" he told reporters on the flight back to Rome after his trip to Brazil. What did it mean? Was he changing church teaching? And how might it affect 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide? Hundreds of news stories and thousands of blogs, tweets and commentaries later, most observers heard in Francis' statement a proposal to end to his predecessor's hard line on homosexuality.
August 2, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - There was a last-minute change of venue that cost millions. A security scare that left a prized visitor stranded and exposed. Neighbors paralyzed by intermittent transportation breakdowns. Brazil has less than a year to ensure that the organizational breakdowns that marked the visit of Pope Francis to Rio de Janeiro last week won't be repeated at soccer's 2014 World Cup. Along with the Olympic Summer Games two years later, the sporting events may go a long way to define Brazil's global reputation and political future.
July 31, 2013
Re "Pope on gays: 'Who am I to judge?,'" July 30, and "Pope chastises Brazil church for 'exodus,'" July 28 As Catholics, we believe that God told St. Francis to "repair my house. " He mistakenly thought that he was being told to restore churches in disrepair, which he set about doing. Later he would realize that his mission in life was to rebuild the Roman Catholic Church. And so, we are all praying that our new pope, Pope Francis, will now rebuild our Catholic Church throughout the world.
July 30, 2013
Re "Brazil visit gives pope a boost," July 29 Never in a million years would I have thought that 3 million Brasileiros would come out to greet one Argentino . ¡Que viva el Papa! Myrna S. Villegas Tellez South Pasadena ALSO: Letters: No more Filners or Weiners Letters: Volunteering for foster kids Letters: Taking on the DWP sick-pay policy