April 12, 2013 |
Twenty years ago, veteran caver Chris Nicola received an offer from a Ukrainian friend to explore the well-known gypsum giant caves in the western part of the European country. Nicola quickly accepted the invitation. "My family on my mother's side had Cossack roots and they were known to come from the Ukraine," the New Yorker said over the phone this week. "I thought in the back of my mind I could do some family research. " But his main reason was to visit the 77-mile long Priest's Grotto cave, which is part of an extensive gypsum cave system.
March 29, 2013 |
Many American Roman Catholics would like to see their church change. In mid-March, the Pew Research Center delivered this poll : 76% of U.S. Catholics countenance birth control; 59% want women as priests; 64% think priests should be allowed to marry. We've been assured by Vatican watchers of all stripes that America's liberal Catholics are probably going to be disappointed in Pope Francis; the new pontiff, wrote John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter, is "unquestionably orthodox.
March 17, 2013 |
DUBLIN, Ireland - As the shopkeepers in this capital city readied for St. Patrick's Day under typically intermittent rainy skies, Father Sean McDonagh's attention was on the new pope's agenda. The Columban priest, whose order has a long tradition of missionary work, has been an outspoken critic of Vatican policies. With Pope Francis' honeymoon period underway he, like many, is waiting to see what issues will be at the center of the new papal agenda. McDonagh, 69, believes Francis needs to go green, making environmentalism the No. 1 priority for the Catholic Church.
March 15, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican on Friday denied that Pope Francis acquiesced to Argentina's brutal military regime in the 1970s and '80s, saying the accusations are part of a "defamatory” campaign. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was elected pope on Wednesday, has been accused in some quarters of failing to protect two Jesuit priests who challenged the country's regime, leading to their kidnapping and torture by military officials in 1976. Those claims were made a decade ago but have received renewed attention since Bergoglio was appointed the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, the first Latin American to occupy St. Peter's chair.
March 14, 2013 |
BUENOS AIRES - The man who is now Pope Francis was a young Jesuit leader, not long out of seminary, when Argentina's military junta unleashed a reign of terror that became known as the "dirty war. " That was more than 30 years ago, but the reaction to the naming of the first Argentine pope shows that the wounds have not yet healed. Many Argentines were still stunned Thursday that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, had become the first pope from the Americas.
March 13, 2013 |
Roman Catholic cardinals chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope Wednesday, selecting the Argentine Jesuit to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned Feb. 28, and lead 1.2 billion church followers around the globe. He was chosen after five rounds of voting in the Sistine Chapel. Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis I, is the first Jesuit pope and has spent nearly his entire career in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. The Associated Press described him as a modernizer who has lived austerely.