Pope Francis made a surprising move Thursday when he ousted all five Italian members of the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, replacing them with four new, international board members.
The pope reportedly made the move after internal conflict continued among old board members of the Holy See's Financial Information Authority [FIA]. The five former board members, all male Italians, reportedly clashed with Rene Bruelhart, a Swiss lawyer who is the head of the FIA and wanted to work with more international professionals experienced in anti-money laundering work.
A group of Italian women who are in love affairs with Roman Catholic Church priests have asked Pope Francis to make the celibacy mandate for clergy optional.
Twenty six women recently wrote to the Pontiff, their letter being published on the website of the Catholic publication the Vatican Insider. "With humility, we place at your feet our suffering so that something can change, not just for us but for the good of the whole Church," reads the letter in part.
The women also stated that the celibacy mandate for priests caused "devastating suffering" within the Church and that married priests would serve "with greater passion." more >>
Pope Francis recently called for a "legitimate redistribution" of wealth when meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying governments should work to end the "economy of exclusion" that plagues the poor and the middle class from rising up the economic ladder.
The pope made his comments while meeting with Ban Ki-moon and other United Nations agency heads meeting in Rome this week. He encouraged the United Nations to help the poor around the world by mobilizing a culture of generosity.
"I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level," Francis said. more >>
The Legionaries of Christ Roman Catholic order officially apologized for the "reprehensible" behavior of its founder, who was found guilty of sexually abusing children, and announced new leadership with hopes of rebuilding the organization.
"Today we acknowledge with sadness the initial incapability of believing the testimonies of the persons who had been victims of Fr. Maciel, the long institutional silence and, later on, the hesitations and errors of judgment when setting out to inform the members of the congregation and others. We apologize for these shortcomings, which have increased the suffering and confusion of many," the Catholic organization said in a statement published on Thursday, which was approved in a plenary assembly last month.
The Catholic order also announced the election of Fr. Eduardo Robles Gil as their new general director, and Fr. Juan José Arrieta, as vicar general. more >>
Former exchange student Amanda Knox and her British ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were both convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher for the second time by an Italian appeals court Thursday night.
Prosecutors said Knox, 26 and Sollecito, 29, killed Kercher in November 2007. Knox who now lives in Seattle, Wash., was sentenced to 28 ½ years in prison while Sollecito was slapped with a 25-year prison sentence, according to CNN.
The couple was first convicted of killing Kercher in 2009 after she was discovered with more than 40 stab wounds and a deep gash in her throat. The charges, however, were overturned in 2011 on appeal. more >>
A container that holds some of the blood of the late Pope John Paul II has been stolen from a church in Italy.
Franca Corrieri told Reuters she called the police after discovering a broken window at the church of San Pietro della Ienca early Sunday morning. Corrieri serves as a custodian of the church, which is located east of Rome in the mountains of Abruzzo near the city of L'Aquila.
When they entered the building they discovered that a crucifix and the gold case that holds the blood were missing. Dozens of police officers and some sniffer dogs then swarmed the area to search for clues. more >>