pope francis

Top Nun Calls for Women to Be Ordained as Deacons

Sr. Carmen Sammut. Image via Rosie Scammell / RNS

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 Francis Tells Europe to 'Tear Down the Walls'

Image via Osservatore Romano / Reuters / RNS

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

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

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.

Joe Biden and Pope Francis Meet to Talk Cancer Care

Image via Reuters/Max Rossi/RNS

It may be a sign of the shifting dynamics in the Catholic Church that Biden was welcomed on April 29 to the Vatican to address a church-sponsored conference on cutting-edge therapies to treat diseases such as cancer, and he was warmly greeted by the local bishop of Rome — aka Pope Francis.

Biden in turn praised the pontiff, and noted that the pope met with him and his family during Francis’ visit to the U.S. last September and “provided us with more comfort” after the death of Biden’s son Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer nearly a year ago.

Could Pope Francis Be Ready to Throw Out Just War Theory?

Image via Philip Chidell / Shutterstock.com

For over 1,500 years, the Catholic Church has promoted “just war theory” as a way to determine in what cases a war can be considered morally justifiable. But all of that may change.

In an interview, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana said that it is “plausible” that Pope Francis may write a new encyclical updating Catholic teaching on war and peace, an update that could include a retreat from just war theory. Francis’ last encyclical, “Laudato Si,” made waves for its condemnation of capitalism and call to address climate change.

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