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Pope Warns Nations Against Defining Power as Military Strength

Pope Francis celebrates a Holy Mass at Freedom Square in Tallinn, Estonia September 25, 2018. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis said on Tuesday as he wound up a trip to the Baltic states, all nervous about what they see as a newly aggressive Russia next door, that nations should not measure their strength by their military capability to prevail over others. "Some people speak in a loud voice, full of self-assurance – with no doubts or hesitation. Others shout and hurl threats about using weapons, deploying troops and implementing strategies...That way they appear to be stronger," he said in a homily of a Mass in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

How Conservative Media Factor into the Allegations Against Pope Francis

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 08-30-2018

FILE PHOTO: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano delivers a Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, Nov. 18, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Rex Arbogast/Pool/File Photo

The full extent of journalists' involvement in the statement — from conception and editing to translation and publication — emerges from a series of Reuters interviews that reveal a union of conservative clergy and media aimed at what papal defenders say is a campaign to weaken the reformist Francis's pontificate.

U.S. Cardinal Steps Down Amid Widening Sex Abuse Scandal

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 07-30-2018

Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick smiles during an interview with Reuters at the North American College at the Vatican February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

The allegations against McCarrick, which first surfaced publicly last month, came with Francis facing an image crisis on a second front, in Chile, where a growing abuse scandal has enveloped the Church.

Pope Says Walls, Occupation, and Fundamentalism Hamper Mideast Peace

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 07-09-2018

Pope Francis prays inside the cripta of the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari, southern Italy July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

"Truces maintained by walls and displays of power will not lead to peace, but only the concrete desire to listen and to engage in dialogue will," he said in his second speech of the day, after a private meeting among the religious leaders.

Pope Criticizes Trump's Family Separation Policy

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 06-20-2018

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis has criticized the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world's immigration problems.

Vatican Document Suggests Role for Married Priests, Women in the Amazon

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 06-08-2018

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, May 23.

A document for a meeting of Catholic bishops from the Amazon, expected to evaluate ordaining elderly married men as priests for the vast region, says the Church should make "daring proposals."

Pope to Address Oil Companies in Vatican Climate Conference

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 06-01-2018

Pope Francis arrives to lead the Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, May 23, 2018. Image via REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini. 

He said there was a "very solid scientific consensus" that the planet was warming and that people had to "combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it" because greenhouse gases were "released mainly as a result of human activity."

The Rising Demand for Exorcisms ... Even by Cellphone

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-16-2018

A priest attends a course for aspiring exorcists in Rome, Italy April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
 

Father Benigno Palilla, an exorcist for the diocese of Palermo, told Vatican Radio in February that he had performed about 50 exorcisms in the past two and a half years.

Fighting Social Injustice as Important as Fighting Abortion: Pope

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 04-09-2018

Image via Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Since the start of his papacy in 2013, conservatives have criticized Francis, accusing him of not defending moral teachings such as those on abortion, homosexuality and divorce as strongly as his predecessors.

Pope Francis Washes Feet of Prisoners, Says Death Penalty Is Not Christian

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-29-2018

Pope Francis kisses the foot of an inmate at the Regina Coeli prison during the Holy Thursday celebration in Rome, Italy, March 29, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via REUTERS

Since his election in 2013, Francis has several times called for an worldwide ban on capital punishment, prompting criticism from Church conservatives, particularly in the United States.

Keep Shouting, Don't Become Anesthetized, Pope Tells Young People

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-25-2018

Pope Francis after the Palm Sunday Mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, March 25, 2018 REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
 

Pope Francis, starting Holy Week services leading to Easter, urged young people on Sunday to keep shouting and not allow the older generations to silence their voices or anesthetize their idealism.

On Pope Francis' 5-Year Anniversary, Predecessor Defends Pontiff

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-13-2018

Pope Francis (L) meets Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican June 28, 2017. Picture taken June 28, 2017. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters
 

In his letter, former Pope Benedict disputed suggestions by conservatives that Francis' academic qualities were lacking, praising his successor as a "man of deep philosophical and theological formation" and praising an "interior continuity between the two pontificates".

Vatican Signals Its Concern Over Populist Rise in Italy Elections

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 03-07-2018

Pope Francis talks to Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, as they arrive at the Cathedral San Juan Apostol y Evangelista in Lima, Peru, January 21, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

"The Holy See has to work in whatever conditions arise. We can't [always] have the society that we would like to have, or the conditions that we would like to have," he told the Catholic news agency SIR.

Pope Says Syria Being 'Martyred,' Urges Humanitarian Aid for Ghouta

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-28-2018

Pope Francis waves as he leads his Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, Feb. 25, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
 

Pope Francis on Sunday said Syria was being "martyred" by continued attacks killing civilians in the eastern Ghouta district, calling for an immediate end to violence and access to humanitarian aid.

Opening Lent, Pope Francis Urges People to Rediscover Power of Silence

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-14-2018

Pope Francis has his head sprinkled with ashes by a cardinal during the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome. Feb. 14, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters
 

Pope Francis, leading Catholics into the season of Lent, urged people on Wednesday to slow down amid the noise, haste, and desire for instant gratification in a high-tech world to rediscover the power of silence.

China-Vatican Deal on Bishops Ready for Signing

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 02-01-2018

Faithful from a Catholic church take part in a Christmas parade in Shanghai, China December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

"Afterwards we will still be like a bird in a cage but the cage will be bigger," he said. It is not easy. Suffering will continue. We will have to fight for every centimeter to increase the size of the cage," he said.

Pope Sends Envoy to Chile to Investigate Bishop Accused of Abuse Cover-Up

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 01-30-2018

Pope Francis celebrates a mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy, January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
 

Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. 

Pope Francis Condemns ‘Evil’ of Fake News, Calls for ‘Education for Truth’

by Philip Pullella, Reuters 01-24-2018

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square. Jan. 24, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the "evil" of fake news, saying journalists and social media users should shun and unmask manipulative "snake tactics" that foment division to serve political and economic interests.

Pope Urges Hope in Visit to Peru Area Devastated by Floods

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to celebrate a mass at Huanchaco beach in Trujillo, Peru Jan. 20, 2018. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
 

Pope Francis, visiting an area of Peru that was devastated last year by heavy rains linked to climate change and plagued by gang violence, urged people not to lose hope.

Pope Francis: Protect the Amazon from ‘Consumerist Greed’

Pope Francis (R) greets a member of an indigenous group of the Peruvian Amazon region, at the Coliseum Madre de Dios, in Puerto Maldonado, Peru January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

"The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present," the pope told a crowd of indigenous people from more than 20 groups including the Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Shipibos, Ashaninkas, and Juni Kuin.