Video footage captured on Italian TV on Sunday showed what some believe is an exorcism performed by Pope Francis at St Peter's Square after Mass, though the Vatican has explained that the pontiff was performing a healing prayer.
TV2000, the Catholic television channel, shows Pope Francis greeting and blessing a number of wheelchair-bound people after Sunday mass. In one instance, the footage shows him shaking the hand of a young man. But his expression changes quickly after a priest from the Legionaries of Christ order leans in close and says something in his ear.
The Roman Catholic Church leader then places his hands on the man's head for a number of seconds in prayer, after which the pilgrim convulses a couple of times, opens wide his mouth and drops his shoulders back. more >>
Ahead of a same-sex marriage debate in parliament on Monday, a group of Christian leaders in the U.K. said that changing the definition of marriage can have a "chilling effect" on young people seeking careers as teachers and doctors.
"These young people, from teenagers to 30-year-olds, will suffer discrimination, and will face new risks to their career and future," the group writes in a letter, signed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev. Peter Smith.
"If the Bill passes into law without much clearer protections for freedom of speech and freedom of belief, teachers, and public sector workers will have to choose between their conscience and their career; many will be deterred from a public service career and from charity involvement." more >>
Pope Francis said Saturday it is heartbreaking that the world today is more concerned about the health of banks than homeless children dying of starvation and cold, and called on the Catholic Church to seek out those who need help the most.
"This is happening today. If investments in banks fall, it is a tragedy and people say 'what are we going to do?' but if people die of hunger, have nothing to eat or suffer from poor health, that's nothing. This is our crisis today," the pope said, addressing a rally of about 200,000 people in the Vatican, according to Reuters.
The pope suggested this is reflected in what makes news, and what does not, in the media around the world. more >>
Ex-NBA player Predrag Danilovic was stabbed early Saturday morning during a brawl in a café in Belgrade, Serbian police say.
The Associated Press reports that Danilovic is undergoing surgery for injuries to his abdomen, head and arms.
The Serbian player was part of the Miami Heat from 1995 to 1997, and then played for the Dallas Mavericks in 1997. He is considered one of the best European shooting guards during the 1990s. He was voted Mister Europa Player of the Year in 1998, and was the Italian League MVP in the same year. more >>
Pope Francis is set to unveil a MISSIO app the Friday before Pentecost Sunday for the Pontifical Mission Societies.
"This App is a way for the Church and our Holy Father to reach the growing number of the world's people who have access to handheld mobile devices -- a way to connect as the one Body of Christ," Father Andrew Small, OMI, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, said in a press release. "We're delighted our new Holy Father will 'unlock' the new App. What a great use of the Keys of St. Peter!"
The launch will occur during an audience with the Pope of the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, who will be at the annual meeting to distribute collected funds. more >>
Pope Francis has spoken out against what he called a global "cult of money," including the free market system, and urged the world's leaders to come together and adopt ethics to help the poor.
"While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling. This imbalance results from ideologies which uphold the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and thus deny the right of control to States, which are themselves charged with providing for the common good. A new, invisible and at times virtual, tyranny is established, one which unilaterally and irremediably imposes its own laws and rules," Francis told foreign diplomats at the Vatican in a speech focused on the economic crisis.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church also criticized the "heartless cult of money" that many around the world have embraced, and compared it to the worship of the golden calf a found in Exodus 32:15-34. more >>