The Vatican has announced that Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II are to be canonized, or declared as saints of the Roman Catholic Church on April 27, 2014.
Pope Francis announced the news on Monday morning at the Public Ordinary Consistory, Vatican Radio revealed. The chosen date in April also celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy.
The Vatican added that retired Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope in nearly 600 years to retire when he stepped down in February because of health issues, might join the ceremony to honor his predecessors. more >>
The Vatican has sent a legal notice to an art gallery in Rome that was planning to hold an exhibition featuring photos of gay couples kissing at the altars of churches in the city this week. The gallery has decided to cover up the photos after consulting lawyers.
"A letter arrived from the Vicariate of Rome, an organization that is part of the Vatican, which said the church is against the exhibition," Spanish artist Gonzalo Orquin told The Local, of the exhibition opening at his Galleria L'Opera scheduled for Wednesday evening. "I spoke to lawyers and for security reasons we decided not to show the photos," said Orquín, who is also a Catholic.
More than a dozen photographs of gay and straight volunteers in local churches form the artist's exhibition. "We went to churches, took the photos at the altar and ran off...it's a bit like a flash mob," said Orquín. "A number of times we left because there were a people praying. It wasn't easy." more >>
Gay and lesbian groups are calling for consumer boycott of Barilla Group, world's leading pasta manufacturer, even after its chairman offered an apology for his remarks on Italian radio that they believe in traditional family and would never use a gay family in advertising.
The Italian pasta firm's website carries an apology by its chairman Guido Barilla. "To all those who have been offended, including the thousands of employees and partners who work with Barilla around the world, I apologize for and regret my insensitive comments," says Barilla. "I understand that they were hurtful and they are not a genuine view of my opinion."
On Wednesday, the 55-year-old chairman said in an interview with Radio 24, "I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them," according to Reuters. "Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role." more >>
League Cup champions Swansea City host Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday in the afternoon late kick off, after both teams were in action midweek.
Cup holders Swansea were knocked out of the tournament after losing 3-1 to Birmingham, while Arsenal was able to overcome West Brom at The Hawthorns after a penalty shootout.
After losing 3-1 at home on opening day to Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger has rallied his team in the group stages of the Champions League and to the top of the English Premier League table. more >>
Aston Villa will hope to earn a positive result when Manchester City visits Villa Park on Saturday.
Villa have been reasonable so far this season gathering six points while also being one of only four teams in the top flight yet to be involved in a draw.
Aston Villa have lost three of their last four games in the Premier League, but defender Leandro Bacuna is confident the squad's other strikers will do well in Christian Benteke's absence. more >>
Manchester United will work to get back to winning form in the Premier League when West Bromwich Albion visits Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Red Devils were tamed in their 4-1 drumming at the Etihad Stadium by rivals Manchester City, but seemed to rebound effectively given their defeat of Liverpool in the Capital One Cup this week.
David Moyes will, however, be aware of the need to offer a positive response in the league - especially in front of home fans at Old Trafford. more >>