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‘Are We Prepared for the Adventure?’ Asks Pope at Launch of Synod

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 10-11-2021

 

Pope Francis leads a mass to open the synod of bishops in Vatican City, October 10, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis on Sunday launched a two-year worldwide consultative process that could change the way the Roman Catholic Church makes decisions and leave its mark long after his pontificate is over.

Proponents see the initiative called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” as an opportunity to change the church’s power dynamics and give a greater voice to lay Catholics, including women, and people on the margins of society.

Conservatives say the three-stage process is a waste of time, may erode the hierarchical structure of the 1.3 billion member church, and in the long run could dilute traditional doctrine.

Yes, Spider-Man Met the Pope

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 06-23-2021

Pope Francis greets Mattia Villardita, who was dressed as Spiderman, after the general audience, at the Vatican, June 23, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

A different type of participant dropped in on Pope Francis' general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday: Spider-Man.

A man dressed in a full, skin-tight, red, black and blue costume of the comic book and film character — including head cover — sat in the VIP section of the audience in Vatican's San Damaso Courtyard.

Pope Orders Pay Cuts for Cardinals, Clerics to Save Jobs

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-24-2021

Pope Francis leads Angelus prayer at the library of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican March 21, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

In a seven-point preface to the decree explaining why action was needed now, Francis said the pandemic "has negatively affected all the sources of income of the Holy See and the State of Vatican City."

Vatican Decrees That Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-15-2021

Pope Francis listens during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on March 14, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via REUTERS

The ruling was a response to practices in some countries where parishes and ministers have begun blessing same-sex unions.

Report Into Disgraced Ex-U.S. Cardinal Shows Failings by Popes, Top Clerics

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 11-10-2020

Saint Peter's Square a day before the Vatican releases its long-awaited report into disgraced ex-U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at the Vatican, November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

With testimony from 90 witnesses and dozens of documents, letters, and transcripts from Vatican and U.S. Catholic church archives, the 460-page document offers a remarkable reckoning by an institution known for its secrecy, portraying a man long able to convince superiors of his innocence.

Pope Francis Calls for Civil Union Rights for Same-Sex Couples

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 10-21-2020

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I arrive for an inter-religious prayer service in Rome, Italy, on October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

"Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family," says Francis in a new film.

Coronavirus Is No Excuse to Exploit Workers, Pope Says

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 05-12-2020

Pope Francis holds weekly general audience virtually from the Library of the Apostolic Palace due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Vatican April 15, 2020. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis praised the work of nurses around the world on Tuesday, saying the coronavirus crisis had shown how vital their service is, as he appealed to governments to invest more in health care.

On Earth Day, Pope Says Nature Will Not Forgive our Trespasses

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-22-2020

Pope Francis greets members of the media after leading a Mass and the Regina Coeli prayer in Rome's Santo Spirito in Sassia church, in Rome, April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for protection of the environment on Wednesday's 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, saying the coronavirus pandemic had shown that some challenges had to be met with a global response.

Pope Opens Holy Week Amid Pandemic, Says Now Is the Time to Serve

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-06-2020

Pope Francis holds a palm branch as he leads the Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Basilica without public participation due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Vatican April 5, 2020. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS 

The symbolic procession was only several meters long and a few potted olive trees were brought in.

Pope Holds His First Ever Virtual General Audience with Italy on Lockdown

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-11-2020

An empty St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis gives his weekly general audience via transmitted video a day after the Vatican closed the square, seen from Rome, Italy March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Pope Francis, holed up in the Vatican by Italy's coronavirus epidemic, held his first virtual general audience on Wednesday, thanking medical staff but urging the world not to forget the plight of Syrian refugees.

Pope Francis: Give Up Trolling for Lent

Pope Francis waves during the weekly general audience at Vatican, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

The pope made his appeal to tone things down while speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square

Ex-Pope Benedict Wants Name Removed from New Book

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 01-14-2020

Pope Benedict XVI finishes his last general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 27, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo.

Benedict wants his name removed as co-author of a new book on the issue of priestly celibacy. 

Pope Abolishes 'Pontifical Secrecy' for Sex Abuse Investigations

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 12-17-2019

Pope Francis at the Vatican, June 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo

Pope Francis on Tuesday announced sweeping changes to the way the Roman Catholic Church deals with cases of sexual abuse of minors, abolishing the rule of "pontifical secrecy" that previously covered them.

After Delivering Anti-Nuclear Message, Pope Urges Youth to Fight for the Earth

Pope Francis receives a flower after giving a speech at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan Nov. 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool

Pope Francis wrapped up a four-day trip to Japan on Tuesday by turning from the anti-nuclear message that was the backbone of his visit to other key campaigns of his, urging students to defend the earth and show greater compassion.

In Historic Shift, Vatican to Consider Married Priests for Amazon Region

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 06-17-2019

Roman Catholic pilgrims travel as they accompany the statue of Our Lady of Conception during an annual pilgrimage along the Caraparu River in Santa Izabel do Para. REUTERS/Paulo Santos/File Photo

The document also issues a strong defense for the protection of the environment in the Amazon, deforestation, illegal mining, and development projects that threaten native cultures and the delicate ecosystem vital for the planet.

Pope Denies Prior Knowledge of Expelled Cardinal's Sexual Misconduct

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 05-29-2019

U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick arrives for a meeting at the Vatican in 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

Theodore McCarrick, once one of the most powerful men in the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, was expelled from the Roman Catholic priesthood in February after he was found guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults.

Pope Declares War on Sexual Abuse But Victims Feel Betrayed

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-24-2019

Alessandro Battaglia, a survivor of sexual abuse reacts as founding member of the ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse) Denise Buchanan looks on, in front of Saint Peter's Square. Feb. 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Pope Francis ended his conference on the sexual abuse of children by clergy on Sunday by calling for an "all-out battle" against a crime that should be "erased from the face of the earth." But victims and their advocates expressed deep disappointment, saying Francis had merely repeated old promises and offered few new concrete proposals.

Pope Opens Child Sex Abuse Conference, Promising 'Concrete' Remedies

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-21-2019

Pope Francis attends the four-day meeting on the global sexual abuse crisis at the Vatican. Feb. 21, 2019. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis promised that concrete actions against child sexual abuse by priests would result from a conference he opened on Thursday, countering scepticism among survivors who said the meeting looked like a public relations exercise.

Pope Francis in UAE: 'Let Us Commit Ourselves Against the Logic of Armed Power'

Pope Francis arrives at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 4, 2019. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis denounced the "logic of armed power" in Yemen, Syria, and other Middle East wars on Monday on a landmark visit to the Arabian peninsula where Islam emerged, telling Christians and Muslims that conflicts brought nothing but misery and death.

Pope Seeks 'New Page in History' on First Trip to Arabian Peninsula

Expat worshippers pray at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic church in Jebel Ali, as Catholics are awaiting a historical visit by Pope Francis to the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai, UAE Jan. 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Pope Francis is hoping to persuade a country enmeshed in a regional war that he has condemned to give Catholics more freedom when he becomes the first pontiff to set foot on the Arabian Peninsula.