Philip Pullella is a reporter for Reuters.
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Pope Francis: Protecting Civilians in Mosul ‘Imperative and Urgent Obligation’
Pope Francis on Wednesday said it was "imperative and urgent" to protect civilians in Iraq, speaking as U.S. investigators looked into who caused an explosion in Mosul that killed scores of non-combatants. Addressing tens of thousands of people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Francis said he was "concerned about civilian populations trapped in the neighborhoods of western Mosul."
Pope Backs Global Nuclear Arms Ban as U.N. Conference Sputters
Pope Francis urged the United Nations on March 28 to seek the "total elimination" of nuclear weapons, speaking as the United States and some other major powers boycotted a conference considering a global ban.
In a message to the conference that started in New York on March 27, Francis called on nations to "go beyond nuclear deterrence" and have the courage to overcome the "fear and isolationism" he said was prevalent in many countries today.
Pope Francis Visits Muslim Immigrant Family in Milan
He stopped at three small apartments, one of them home to Mihoual Abdel Karim, a Muslim immigrant from Morocco who lives there with his wife and three children. "It was very emotional. It was like having a friend in the house," said Karim, who works at a pharmaceutical factory and whose wife wears the veil.
Cardinal O’Malley: The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Is Far from Over
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
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.