Pope Francis married 20 couples at the St.Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Sunday, in an effort to have the Catholic Church become more forgiving in its view on premarital issues as some were already living together and had children.
The Vatican views individuals, who have had sex outside marriage as being in sin, but Pope Francis emphasized that the church needed to be inclusive and open to accepting them.
"This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences," the Pope said, reports the National Catholic Reporter. more >>
During a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, Pope Francis said this weekend that the world's conflicts today, with the kind of crimes, massacres and destruction they involve, could be called a "piecemeal" Third World War.
"War is madness," Reuters quoted the Pope as saying in the homily of a mass Saturday at the Redipuglia war memorial, where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.
"Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep," Francis said. "Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction." more >>
Recent developments of the case pointed out the new rumors concerning an alleged relationship that occurred between Knox and a drug dealer around the time of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. The connection could establish more clues in the murder case.
Knox, 27, allegedly had a contact number of a suspected drug dealer in her phone of which she met in Rome, according to Italian newspaper Giallo. It was said that the two smoked marijuana on a train traveling from Milan to France. The police report, as printed in the newspaper, further indicated that the two stayed connected even after that alleged acquaintance.
"During the course of the investigation into the Meredith Kercher murder, we have confirmed that a person whose initial is 'F' would occasionally supply drugs to Amanda Knox, as well as having a relationship with her supposedly of a sexual nature," the article read. more >>
Pope Francis spoke publicly about his death and old age for the first time earlier this week, noting that he tries to stay humble by remembering that he only has a few years left to live.
Francis was on a flight back from a five-day trip to South Korea when he made the remarks after being asked how he handles his popularity and suggested that he would consider retiring early if necessary.
"I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, so as not to think that I am somebody. Because I know this will last a short time, two or three years, and then to the house of the Father," said Francis to The Telegraph. more >>
Pope Francis' first official visit to a Pentecostal church in Italy was praised by some evangelical leaders, who thanked the pope for asking for forgiveness for Roman Catholic persecution of Pentecostals in the past. The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, in turn apologized for evangelical discrimination against Catholics.
"It is biblical and it reflects the message of Jesus…..so my hope is that this act of Pope Francis will send a strong message around the world, particularly to those countries where there are significant tensions between Catholics and Evangelicals," Tunnicliffe said regarding the pontiff's plea for forgiveness, Vatican Radio reported on Wednesday.
"But I also need to say this: I recognize that in history there have been situations where Protestants, including Evangelicals, have discriminated against Catholic Christians and I am really sorry for these kinds of actions, because while we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other. more >>
Pope Francis became the first pope to make an official visit to a Pentecostal church, after he flew on Monday to speak at the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in the southern city of Caserta, Italy. The pontiff apologized for persecution of Pentecostals the Roman Catholic Church was involved with in the past, and reached out with friendship to evangelicals.
"Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics," Francis said, according to The Associated Press, referring to Italy's fascist regime when the Pentecostal practice was forbidden.
"I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn't know and were tempted by the devil." more >>