Rosie Scammell is a British journalist with extensive experience reporting for leading international news organizations. She has been based in Italy since 2012 and covers the Vatican for RNS.
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Pope Francis' New Spokesman Is a St. Louis Native
Pope Francis has brought in a high-profile change of guard at the Vatican with the appointment of an American as press director and a Spanish woman to serve as the director’s deputy.
The announcement on July 11 means the Rev. Federico Lombardi, 73, will step down after a decade running the Holy See press office. The retirement of the Italian Jesuit priest paves the way for a younger, international leadership, with layman Greg Burke, 56, taking over on Aug. 1.
Two Rwandan Politicians Found Guilty of Slaughter Inside a Catholic Church
A French court has found two former Rwandan politicians guilty of crimes against humanity for masterminding the slaughter of 2,000 people taking refuge in a Catholic church during the country’s genocide.
Octavien Ngenzi and Tito Barahira, both former mayors of Kabarondo village, were sentenced to life in jail on July 6.
Vatican Court Sentences Monsignor to 18 Months in 'Vatileaks' Case
A Vatican court on July 7 convicted two people for leaking confidential documents to journalists, concluding a high-profile trial that had underscored the internal dysfunction that Pope Francis has been trying to end.
Eight months after the “Vatileaks II” scandal erupted and exposed secrecy and widespread mismanagement at the Holy See, the Vatican court ruled that a Spanish priest should be jailed for passing information to reporters.
British Faith Leaders Condemn Rise of Xenophobia Following Brexit Vote
Describing the uncertainty and fears that have followed the Brexit vote, religious leaders said people should not become mistrustful of "the other."
Two Popes Share a Vatican Stage to Show Only One Is in Charge
A Vatican ceremony June 28 featuring a rare joint appearance by Pope Francis and his predecessor seemed aimed at tamping down speculation about the unusual circumstance of having two living popes.
In recent weeks debate has erupted over whether there are two popes sharing authority in the church, or whether Francis is the sole successor of St. Peter.
Pope Francis to Catholics: 'Who Are You to Judge Others?'
Stop being judgmental hypocrites and take a look at yourself in the mirror — without covering up your wrinkles — Pope Francis advised Catholics in a sermon that reprised one of his favorite themes.
In his last homily at morning Mass before taking a break for the summer, Francis on June 20 said those who constantly judge people should instead reflect on their own behavior.
Vatican Signs New Contract With External Financial Auditor
The Vatican has signed a new deal with international accountants, weeks after the unprecedented audit of the Holy See’s finances came to an abrupt halt.
PricewaterhouseCoopers will advise the city-state’s auditor general, the Vatican said on June 10.
Pope Francis: A 'My-Way-or-the-Highway' Faith is Heretical
Pope Francis has called on Catholics to adopt a “healthy realism” in their approach to their faith, and he decried rigid idealists as heretics.
Speaking during morning Mass on June 9, Francis told congregants at the chapel in the Vatican guesthouse to try their best to seek reconciliation with others rather than pushing strict rules and a “take-it-or-leave-it” style of evangelism.
Pope Francis: A Wedding Without Wine Is 'Shameful!'
Pope Francis has upended many traditions during his extraordinary pontificate, to the point that some have wondered whether he is really Catholic.
But the pope has now made one thing clear: He’s sure not a Baptist.
'Gladiator' Screenwriter to Pen Biopic of Sufi Mystic Rumi
Born in present-day Afghanistan in the early 13th century, Rumi fled the Mongol invasion along with his family and traveled extensively through the Middle East before settling in Turkey. The poet’s work continues to have enduring popularity globally and has been translated into multiple languages.
In bringing his life to the silver screen, Franzoni and producer Stephen Joel Brown said they are hoping to line up an A-list cast. Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his first Oscar in February, has been named as their favorite to take on the role of Rumi.
Pope Francis Puts Guam Archbishop Accused of Sex Abuse on Leave
Mounting accusations of sexual abuse against the archbishop of Guam have prompted Pope Francis to name a Vatican official to oversee the Catholic Church on the Pacific island territory while the charges are investigated.
The decision announced June 6 to force Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, who has led the Agana Archdiocese for 30 years, to yield his authority, at least temporarily, is the latest sign that Francis is taking tougher steps to tackle the sexual abuse crisis.
Pope Francis Holds Talks With Sunni Islam Leader in Breakthrough Vatican Meeting
Pope Francis has welcomed the highest authority in Sunni Islam to the Vatican in a significant step forward in relations between the two largest blocs in Christianity and Islam.
“The meeting is the message,” Francis said on May 23 upon greeting Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, a mosque and university complex in Cairo that is viewed as the heart of Sunni Islam, which accounts for about 85 percent, or 1.3 billion, of the world’s Muslims.
Pope Francis Rips ‘Bloodsucking’ Bosses Who Do Not Provide Health Care
Pope Francis has blasted employers who do not provide health care as bloodsucking leeches and he also took aim at the popular “theology of prosperity” in a pointed sermon on the dangers of wealth.
Pope Francis on ISIS, Money, and the Tango
What do the tango, Islam and conscientious objection have in common? They are just three of the references that Pope Francis made in his latest blockbuster interview.
Speaking to the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, Francis reflected on issues affecting the church and society as a whole.
Top Nun Calls for Women to Be Ordained as Deacons
Catholic sisters globally would be better equipped to carry out their work if they could become deacons, the head of a global network of nuns has said, an important marker in the sharp debate over women deacons that Pope Francis opened last week.
“We are already doing so many things that resemble what a deacon would do, although it would help us to do a bit more service if we were ordained deacons,” Sister Carmen Sammut, president of the International Union of Superiors General, or UISG, told RNS.
Pope’s Visit to Armenian Genocide Memorial May Strain Tensions With Turkey
Francis’ trip to the site carries huge significance, following the pontiff’s description of the killings as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”
Pope Francis: Let's Consider the Idea of Women as Deacons
In an opening with historic import, Pope Francis has said he wants to study the possibility of ordaining women as deacons, a step that could for the first time open the ranks of the Catholic Church’s all-male clergy to women.
Catholic Order Covered up for Irish Priest Who Molested 100 Girls
A religious order covered up the sexual crimes of an Irish priest who abused more than 100 children, some as young as 6, according to a new report.
The failures of the Salvatorian order to act on the crimes of a priest named “Father A” were outlined in a report released May 4 by Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis Tells Europe to 'Tear Down the Walls'
Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to play a part in the “rebirth” of a united Europe that opens its doors to refugees.
The Argentine pontiff, who has been critical of European countries’ handling of the migrant crisis, made the comments as he picked up the prestigious Charlemagne Prize. The award, named after the founder of the medieval Holy Roman Empire, is given for work done in the service of European integration.
Roman Police Seize Thousands of Fake Vatican Souvenirs
Police raided a storeroom near St. Peter’s Square and seized a cache of Vatican souvenirs and trinkets including flags, bracelets, and key rings bearing Pope Francis’ image. The souvenirs, numbering some 340,000, were confiscated because they were counterfeit, Rome’s financial police said in a statement May 2.