vatican

the Web Editors 6-14-2016

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After Native American delegates met with Pope Francis and other Vatican representatives requesting an end to the Doctrine of Discovery, the Vatican said that it would consider rescinding the 500-year-old Catholic policy, reports APTN.

The Doctrine of Discovery is the name for a body of Catholic law that granted land rights to whichever European Christian nation settled territory in the New World. It considered as terra nullius (“nobody’s land”) any territory occupied by “heathens, pagans, and infidels” — in other words, the original inhabitants of the Americas.

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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.

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron. Image via Paul Haring / Catholic News Service / RNS

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.

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The Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have been on a long road to reconciliation in the centuries since Henry VIII broke with the pope.

But it’s unlikely that the latest faith-sharing move by a drunken Church of England vicar will do much to advance the cause of ecumenism.

Image via REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters/RNS

The Vatican has always been a hothouse for conspiracy theories, and a new controversy over the so-called Third Secret of Fatima is showing just how persistent such fixations can be — to the extent that the latest episode even forced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI out of seclusion to refute claims that he once shaded the truth about the mysterious prophecy.

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.

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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.

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.

Ryan Hammill 4-26-2016

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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 is not expected to grant an audience to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Rome this week, dashing hopes that the U.S. senator could win the backing of the popular pontiff — or at least the most coveted photo-op on the planet.

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.

Pope Francis has criticized those who care more about the letter of the law than people’s individual situations, continuing to assert the overarching theme of the landmark apostolic exhortation on the family he issued last week. Speaking during his homily at Mass on April 11, Francis warned Catholics against such behavior by recalling the day’s Scripture reading from Acts, in which Stephen is accused of blasphemy by religious leaders of the day.

the Web Editors 4-08-2016

Thanks to an invite from the Vatican, Bernie Sanders will leave the campaign trail after his April 14 debate with Hillary Clinton, and fly to Rome for an event the next day at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

He will gather with other world leaders to discuss changes in politics, economics, and culture in the light of Pope Francis' new encylical Laudato si', according to a statement released from the Pontifical Academy .

Pope Francis with Lizzy Meyers. Image via REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/RNS

Pope Francis blessed the eyes of an American girl who suffers from a genetic condition that will make her blind, in a visit to the Vatican described as a “miracle” by her father.

“We came here hoping for some amazing memories for Lizzy … but what we got, we’ve seen several miracles,” said her father, Steve Myers, after Francis’ blessing with 5-year-old Lizzy on April 6.

The Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), will be the culmination of two synods in which family matters were hotly debated by bishops. Since the second such conference concluded in October, Francis has been charged with producing a defining text to determine the Catholic Church’s way forward on everything from divorce to pornography.

Cardinal Bertone with Pope Francis. Image via Paul Haring / Catholic News Service / RNS

The Vatican has launched an investigation into the funding of its former secretary of state’s apartment restoration.The investigation involves two executives from Rome’s Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital — former chairman Giuseppe Profiti and former treasurer Massimo Spina — on allegations that they misappropriated hospital funds to pay for the restoration of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s apartment while he was Vatican secretary of state.

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