pope benedict xvi
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."