pope benedict xvi

Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Alan Gross' wife Judy Gross and daughter Nina Gross. Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

WASHINGTON--Pope Benedict XVI will use his upcoming trip to Cuba to press for the release of Alan Gross, a Jewish man who has languished in a Cuban jail for more than two years, according to Gross' supporters.

That's the latest Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said he has heard through Vatican back channels.

In recent weeks, the council has circulated a petition asking the pope to intercede on Gross' behalf when he visits the island on March 26-28.

"He represents humanitarianism and cherished values, and hopefully his presence could help lead to Alan Gross' release," Halber said.

Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI waves from his papamobile, arriving for his weekly audience on March 7. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY — Despite differences over women's ordination and a controversial Vatican initiative to woo back disgruntled Anglicans, Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will pray together in Rome on Saturday (March 10).

The heads of the Roman Catholic Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion will celebrate vespers to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Camaldoli monastery in Italy, which is revered by both Catholics and Anglicans.

Benedict and Williams are scheduled to have a private meeting on Saturday morning.

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican | Honza Hruby, Shutterstock.com

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican | Honza Hruby, Shutterstock.com

VATICAN CITY — The secretive hackers group Anonymous targeted the Vatican website on Wednesday (March 7), cutting off access from users for several hours and disabling internal mail servers.

In a statement posted on several blogs in Italian, the group said the attack was a response to the Catholic Church's "doctrines," its "absurd and anachronistic precepts," and the "crimes" of the sexual abuse scandal and cover-up.

The Vatican's chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that the attack against the Vatican website came from Anonymous. He said Vatican technicians were "actively working to restore the website's functionality."

VATICAN CITY — Ten years after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in the United States, Catholic bishops from all over the world will meet next week at a Vatican summit aimed at preventing abuse and protecting children.

The conference, "Towards Healing and Renewal," will be held on Feb. 6-9 and is organized by the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome.

The Vatican's top spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told reporters on Friday (Feb. 3) that the summit enjoys the "full support and participation" of the Vatican's highest offices, but Pope Benedict XVI is not expected to attend.

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's chief abuse prosecutor, said the protection of children must become "a permanent principle and concern" in every decision of the church.

"There cannot be a distinction between the good of the church and the protection of youth," he said Friday.

Duane Shank 1-26-2012
Pope Benedict XVI's profile picture from his Twitter account @PopeBenedictXVI

Pope Benedict XVI's profile picture from his Twitter account @PopeBenedictXVI

In his message for the 2012 celebration of World Communications Day, Pope Benedict XVI praised the benefits of social media, while also cautioning against its dangers.

the Web Editors 12-14-2011
Osama bin Laden in 1997. Image via Wiki Commons http://bit.ly/pJ0ufx

Osama bin Laden in 1997. Image via Wiki Commons http://bit.ly/pJ0ufx

Each year, members of the Religion Newswriters Association, the world’s premier association dedicated to helping journalists write about religion, vote on what they believe are the top religion stories of the year. 

This year, more than 300 religion journalists cast their ballots in an online survey conducted Dec. 10-13, choosing the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2 in a covert operation in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs and CIA operatives ordered by President Barack Obama as the top story of 2011.

See the complete list of RNA's top religion stories of the year inside.

Jack Palmer 11-21-2011
newspapers

In 'God's Country': Voting Wallets Over Religion. Why Evangelicals Forgive (Republican) Sex Scandals. The Gospel According To Herman Cain. Pope Asks African Catholics To Be ‘Apostles Of Reconciliation.’ Super Screwed. Congress May Try Blocking Cuts If Debt Panel Fails. Too Much Violence And Pepper Spray At The OWS Protests: The Videos And Pictures.

 

 

the Web Editors 10-24-2011

Vatican Meets OWS: 'The Economy Needs Ethics'; Lack Of Jobs Leaves More Suburban, Middle Class Sliding Into Poverty; Rick Perry Challenges Opponents' Abortion Stances At Iowa Faith & Freedom Dinner; Rick Perry Talks Iraq And His 'Love Affair' With Guns; Ask Candidates For Office About Poverty; Bachmann Gives 'Faith Testimony' At An Iowa Church; Evangelical Voters Hold Sway In Iowa

Jeffrey Wilson 4-21-2011
Last year, I was deeply troubled by the Gulf Oil Spill, having been born and raised on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Duane Shank 3-29-2011
Last evening, President Obama forcefully defended his decision to launch airstrikes against Libya in or
Duane Shank 2-18-2011
An estimated 30,000 people converged in Madison, Wisconsin's Capitol Square and inside the Capitol building on Thursday http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-rt-usreport-us-usa-wisctre71h07e-2
Rose Marie Berger 5-12-2010
On the papal plane, Shepherd One, en route to Portugal to visit the Shrine of Our
John Gehring 4-27-2010
As financial reform legislation stalls in the Senate for the moment and embattled Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein testifies today before a congressional subcommittee, faith-based organizations an
John Gehring 4-23-2010
These are dark days for Catholics and our church. The clergy sexual abuse scandals are a source of profound pain and raw anger.
Cesar Baldelomar 4-08-2010

The Catholic church is reeling from the several sexual abuse allegations that have come to light over the past three months. Downplaying the severity of this scandal will only further damage the already beleaguered church's image and credibility. Many in the media blame Pope Benedict XVI for the mismanagement of the sexual abuse crisis.

Wendy Murray 3-30-2010
The sex abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church simply will not go away. Even the Pope himself is not immune.
Jim Wallis 3-24-2010

When Glenn Beck promised to devote a whole week of his television show to come after me, I wasn't sure he really meant it. I guess he did. Last night he began to make good on the threat he made on his radio show that "the hammer will fall."

John Gehring 2-19-2010
The recent blizzard of bunk coming from climate change deniers giddy over the recent Snowmageddon that paralyzed the nation's capital is a classic case of putting ideology and politics before scien
John Gehring 2-05-2010

Former President George W. Bush receives a pro-life award this weekend from Legatus, an organization of Catholic business professionals.

Pages

Subscribe