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June 29, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
An archbishop who tussled with singer Sheryl Crow, college basketball coach Rick Majerus, and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry over their support for abortion rights has been named to lead the Vatican supreme court. Archbishop Raymond Burke, an expert in church law and perhaps the most outspoken of conservative U.S. bishops, will probably be made a cardinal. The supreme court is traditionally headed by a cardinal. Burke's disputes with public figures drew attention to the archdiocese in his 4 1/2 years in St. Louis.
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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.
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NEWS
January 28, 1991
POPE JOHN PAUL II called the Gulf War unworthy of humanity and said any idea of it being a holy war is absurd. "We pray that God brings us peace very soon, that he shows those responsible that they should abandon immediately this war which is so unworthy of humanity," the Pope said. "May the infinite love of the Creator help all to understand the absurdity of a war in his name." More than 1,000 Jews demonstrated during the papal Sunday blessing in ST.
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.
NEWS
May 4, 2012 | By Paul Thornton
The Times received more than three dozen letters weighing in on the Holy See's admonition of a group of American nuns, four of which were published in the paper. None of the submissions sent to letters@latimes.com before the two batches of letters on the subject ran on April 23 and 27 took the side of the Vatican in its dispute with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and the responses that were published reflect that. After the letters ran, two readers sympathetic to the Roman Catholic Church leadership sent us their letters, one of which accused The Times of anti-Vatican bias (I address that submission in the upcoming Postscript column, which can be found Saturday at latimes.com/letters )
OPINION
February 19, 2013
Re "Stymied by Vatican," Feb. 16 Pointing the finger at the Vatican for responding too slowly to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's reports on priest misconduct in the 1990s and early 2000s diverts attention from the former archbishop's failure to report pedophile priests to civil authorities for prosecution. The issue is Mahony's handling of pedophile priests in the 1980s - when he covered up for them, failed to report them to law enforcement and allowed them to continue ministering to the congregation - not the slow Vatican response or how effective the cardinal's priest abuse reforms were in the 2000s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1992
The Rev. Richard Land, head of a Southern Baptist agency, is protesting the U.S. ambassadorship to the Vatican ("Drop Vatican Envoy, Clinton Urged," Dec. 12). Mr. Land sees this as a grievous wrong and urges President-elect Clinton to "strike a blow" for separation of church and state. For his information, the Constitution guards against the establishment of a church/state religion. Every session of our Congress is opened with a prayer by its own chaplain. The military has had a chaplaincy for over 200 years with chapel and chaplain on every base and ship.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 1992
Regarding the article titled "Vatican Statement Supports Discrimination Against Gays" (July 17): By changing two words in the Vatican's statement, the fuller scope of the its policy becomes clear. According to these Men of God, "There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account." Change the words sexual orientation to gender or race or national origin or physical limitation or marital status, and what do you have? An organization that cloaks itself in righteousness while promoting a systematic denial of rights.
WORLD
April 18, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
The Roman Catholic Church is tightening its belt. Vatican employees will not get bonuses that are traditionally handed out upon the election of a new pope, a spokesman told reporters Thursday. The last time a pope was replaced, Vatican employees were reportedly granted 1,500 euros each (close to $2,000 at the current rate of exchange), including payments upon the death of one pope and at the selection of a new one. This time, “it didn't seem possible or appropriate to burden the Vatican's budget with a considerable, unforeseen extra expense,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Associated Press.
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
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times staff and KTLA-TV
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.
WORLD
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
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.
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.
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….
NATIONAL
June 1, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos
When the Vatican released a scathing report in April excoriating a group that represents the majority of Roman Catholic nuns in the United States for deviating from church doctrine, the group kept mum. The report included a slew of positive and negative comments about the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the group called out by the Vatican for promoting “radical feminist themes.” Still, the sisters were quiet. Until now. In a statement released Friday, the conference's board of directors said the doctrinal assessment released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the church's enforcer of orthodoxy - was “based on unsubstantiated accusations and the result of a flawed process that lacked transparency.” The board members met this week to discuss the assessment, which accused the conference of deviating from church doctrine, such as opposing male-only ordination.
WORLD
February 24, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- In the most concrete sign to date of his intention to reform the Vatican, Pope Francis announced the creation Monday of a single authority to handle all business, administrative and personnel management at the Holy See, a response to the rash of financial scandals that have tarnished the Roman Catholic Church's reputation among believers and nonbelievers. The new Secretariat for the Economy will draw up the Vatican's annual budget, call on lay experts for advice and launch surprise internal audits.
NEWS
February 6, 2014 | By Michael McGough
A United Nations committee made headlines this week when it released a report criticizing the Vatican - a nation-state as well as the center of Roman Catholicism - for allowing priests to abuse tens of thousands of children over the years. The report issued by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child also urged a new commission established by Pope Francis to order an independent investigation of all abuse cases and establish clear rules for the mandatory reporting of abuse to police.
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