April 26, 2014 |
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.
April 7, 2014 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 |
Pope Francis met with two Americans on Thursday -- one the leader of the free world, the other a 10-year-old girl from Panorama City. Before Francis received President Obama at the Vatican, young Jersey Vargas delivered letters from children of undocumented immigrants, asking that the two leaders discuss immigration reform. Jersey's own father, who arrived in the U.S. at age 16, was caught driving without a valid license and is now facing deportation, KTLA-TV reported . “My dad was the provider for my family and when I heard about my dad it really broke my heart because I would never think of my dad being away from me and I feel like I'm never going to see him again,” Jersey said.
March 27, 2014 |
VATICAN CITY -- Greeting a man he has called an “inspiration,” President Obama paid his first visit to Pope Francis on Thursday, opening a meeting the White House hopes will highlight the leaders' shared views on economic inequality and poverty and perhaps drown out the president's conflicts with the Catholic Church hierarchy at home. A cordon of members of the Swiss Guard greeted the president in a modest Vatican courtyard behind St. Peter's Basilica as he arrived for his first encounter with a man whose popularity and international fame match few figures, one of those, perhaps, being Obama himself -- five years ago. "It is a great honor.
March 27, 2014 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2014 |
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….