Philip Pullella, Reuters

Philip Pullella writes for Reuters and RNS.

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Pope Asks Trump to Be Peacemaker, Gives Him Copies of Nonviolence Message and ‘Laudato Si’

Pope Francis meets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandra Tarantino/Pool

Pope Francis urged U.S. President Donald Trump to be a peacemaker at their highly anticipated first meeting on Wednesday, and Trump promised he would not forget the pontiff's message. Under clear blue skies, Trump, who exchanged sharp words with the pope during the U.S. election campaign last year, received a tribute from the Swiss Guard in a Vatican courtyard when he arrived.

Pope Names Five New Cardinals, All From Outside Italy and the Vatican

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 05-22-2017

Image via Reuters/Gregorio Borgia/Pool

The fact that none of the five are Italian, and none hold Vatican positions, underscores Francis' conviction that the Church is a global institution that should become increasingly less Italian-centric.

 

Pope Francis on U.S.-North Korea Escalation: ‘We Are Talking About the Future of Humanity’

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-29-2017

Pope Francis talks to journalists during a press conference on his return flight from Cairo to Rome April 29, 2017. REUTERS/Gregorio Borgia/Pool

Pope Francis said on Saturday a third country, such as Norway, should try to mediate the dispute between North Korea and Washington, to cool a situation that had become "too hot" and posed the risk of nuclear devastation. Francis said he believed "a good part of humanity" would be destroyed in any widespread war.

Pope Francis in Egypt: Say No to Hatred in ‘the Name of Religion or in the Name of God’

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-28-2017

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi meets Pope Francis upon his arrival to Cairo, Egypt April 28, 2017. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis, starting a two-day visit to Egypt, urged Muslim leaders on Friday to unite in renouncing religious extremism at a time when Islamist militants are targeting ancient Christian communities across the Middle East. Francis's trip, aimed at improving Christian-Muslim ties, comes just three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in two Egyptian churches.

Cardinal O’Malley: The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Is Far from Over

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-18-2015
Photo via REUTERS / Alessandro Bianchi / RNS

Irish abuse victim Marie Collins, left, looks at Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley. Photo via REUTERS / Alessandro Bianchi / RNS

The U.S. cardinal who heads the Vatican’s commission on sexual abuse of children by clergy warned his fellow Roman Catholic bishops on Feb. 16 not to behave as if the problem had passed.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told a conference at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University that some prelates were still reluctant to deal with the problem openly.

“It would be perilous for us, as leaders of the Church, to consider that the scandal of clergy sexual abuse is for the most part a matter of history and not a pressing concern here and now,” said O’Malley, whose commission advises Pope Francis on how to root out the abuse that has shamed the Church.

“Its not a pleasant topic. It’s easier just to ignore it and hope it will go away (but) when we are defensive and secretive, the results are disastrous,” he said in his speech.

Vatican to Offer Haircuts, Shaves as well as Showers to Rome’s Homeless

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 01-30-2015
Photo via Josephine McKenna / RNS

A homeless man sits in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican. Photo via Josephine McKenna / RNS

The Vatican will offer homeless people in Rome not only showers but also haircuts and shaves when new facilities open next month, the head of Pope Francis’ charity office said.

The Vatican announced last year that it would provide shower facilities in St Peter’s Square for homeless people.

Bishop Konrad Krajewski told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Jan. 29 that it would also offer haircuts and shaves when the services start on Feb. 16 in an area under the colonnade of the square.

Krajewski, whose official title is the pope’s almoner, said barbers and hairdressers would volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.

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