vatican

Pope Francis Holds Talks With Sunni Islam Leader in Breakthrough Vatican Meeting

Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb with Pope Francis. Image via REUTERS / Max Rossi / RNS

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.

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.

Trevi Fountain Lit Red to Honor Today's Christian Martyrs

Screenshot via Aiuto alla Chiesa che Soffre Italia / Youtube.com

The Eternal City’s iconic Trevi Fountain was bathed in vivid red light late April 29 to honor the blood shed by Christian martyrs and what organizers said are an estimated 200 million Christians suffering persecution around the world.

Hundreds of people gathered at the historic fountain for the event organized by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic foundation backed by the Vatican.

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.

Vatican Unexpectedly Suspends Independent Financial Audit

Image via REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/RNS

The Vatican has put a stop to the work of international auditors just months after they were hired to review the city-state’s bookkeeping — a move said to have surprised Pope Francis’ handpicked financial czar, Cardinal George Pell. The suspension earlier this month of the audit, well underway by the global firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was also viewed as threatening the pope’s broader efforts to clean up the Vatican’s murky finances.

Sanders Delivers His Campaign Pitch, Wrapped in Praise for the Pope

Image via REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/RNS

In the end, Bernie Sanders got something almost as good as a picture with Pope Francis: blanket international news coverage and a chance to deliver his stump speech wrapped in the words of the pontiff, one of the most popular leaders on the planet.

Oh, and, rumor had it, a sleepover in the pope’s own Vatican guest house.

'You Are Not Alone,' Pope Francis Tells Stranded Refugees, Brings 12 to Rome

Image via REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/RNS

Pope Francis brought 12 Muslim refugees to the Vatican with him aboard the papal plane following a politically-charged one-day visit to the Greek island of Lesbos intended to draw attention to the plight of migrants fleeing to Europe.

“I want to tell you that you are not alone,” Francis told people at Moria refugee camp, urging them to not lose hope.

Read the Full Text of Bernie Sanders' Speech at the Vatican

R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock
Photo via R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock

"The Church’s social teachings, stretching back to the first modern encyclical about the industrial economy, Rerum Novarum in 1891, to Centesimus Annus, to Pope Francis’s inspiring encyclical Laudato Si’ this past year, have grappled with the challenges of the market economy. There are few places in modern thought that rival the depth and insight of the Church’s moral teachings on the market economy."

Pope Francis Names New Vatican Ambassador to U.S.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre. Image via REUTERS/Henry Romero/RNS

Pope Francis has named the Vatican’s envoy to Mexico as his new ambassador to the U.S., replacing the Vatican diplomat who sparked controversy last September by setting up a secret meeting between the pontiff and Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who briefly went to jail rather than certify same-sex marriages. The appointment to Washington of French-born Archbishop Christophe Pierre, now the Vatican’s representative, or nuncio, in Mexico City, was announced by the Holy See on April 12.

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