Pope Francis has canceled his second day of private appointments and his morning mass, with a Vatican spokesperson citing a "minor indisposition" as the reason for the pope's absence. Francis is expected to return to his regular commitments tomorrow.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for Francis, as the 77-year-old pope recently went on an activity-packed tour of the Middle East, as well as hosted an Invocation for Peace at the Vatican with Israeli and Palestinian presidents this past Sunday. A Vatican spokesperson told the Catholic News Agency that following Sunday's event in the Vatican Gardens, the pope was "very tired."
"He is not sick, and there is nothing serious; but he had a minor indisposition, and because of this, he felt that it was better to give up some commitments yesterday and the celebration of the Mass with the general public this morning in Santa Marta," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Catholic News Agency on Tuesday. more >>
At a ceremony attended by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Vatican Gardens at the Vatican on Sunday evening, Pope Francis said God alone can bring peace to the Holy Land and that it is the "evil one" who is blocking it.
"More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it," the pope said Sunday at an evening ceremony, according to Catholic News Service. "That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God."
"Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict; yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities," Francis added, according to Reuters. more >>
Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie responded to British atheist professor Richard Dawkins' comments that fairy tales and belief in Father Christmas may harm a child's development, saying "a little magic" helps impart important moral lessons.
"There are morals in these stories and you want a little magic – it's important to have something that we're a little bit in awe of," Jolie, 39, told the Psychologies magazine. "Kids grow up fast enough these days, so let's allow them to have a little bit of childhood for as long as they can."
Jolie, who is raising her six children, was responding to the 73-year-old evolutionary biologist's talk at the Cheltenham Science Festival earlier this week where he said it is "rather pernicious to instill in a child the view that the world is shaped by supernaturalism." more >>
The Catholic nun who wowed audiences with her singing ability on the Italian version of "The Voice," recently won the entire singing competition, immediately offering up praise to God and reciting the Lord's Prayer during her acceptance speech.
Sister Cristina Scuccia was announced the winner of Italy's "The Voice" televised singing competition on Thursday night. Along with winning the competition by 62.3 percent of the vote, Scuccia received a recording contract with Universal Music.
The sister, clad in a habit and crucifix, was quick to thank God for her singing success. "My presence here is not up to me, it's thanks to the man upstairs," she said as she received the award for winning the singing competition. "I'm not here to start a career, but because I want to impart a message." more >>
Joel Osteen, bestselling motivational author and evangelical pastor of America's fastest-growing megachurch, was among a small group that included Mormon Sen. Mike Lee, to meet privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, this week.
Osteen said he was honored to meet with Pope Francis, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me," Osteen told the Houston Chronicle. more >>
Prince William gave some revealing information to a group of schoolchildren – he told them what bands he enjoyed listening to. The Prince visited a group of children at Goole High School in East Yorkshire, England, to present a new award for the kids.
"I really like Coldplay, Linkin Park," William told the children. "I used to play the piano, trumpet and drums when I was your age but I couldn't read music. There's only so much you can remember from the top of your head."
William has been busy ever since returning from a three-week long tour of Australia and New Zealand with wife Kate and son George. Kate, meanwhile, has been home, preparing their new country home and taking care of George. The couple did, however, visit France to pay tribute to troops on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. more >>