VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met on Monday the grand imam of Egypt's highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential center of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago.
The 1,000-year-old mosque and university center cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults toward Islam from Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict.
The decision came just days after Benedict denounced what he called "a strategy of violence that has Christians as a target" following a bomb attack outside a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria that killed 23 people. more >>
Pope Francis decried greedy business practices and prosperity gospel preachers during a mass at the Vatican Thursday morning.
During his homily at Casa Santa Maria, one of the Vatican's chapels, the pontiff excoriated business owners who don't provide healthcare coverage for their employees because they don't want to deal with the extra expense.
Specifically, Francis pointed to employers who seek to profit off of their employees without offering any benefits in return, such as pension plans or healthcare. more >>
Pope Francis has announced that he will create a commission to study the possibility of the Roman Catholic Church allowing women to serve as deacons, which would end the historic practice of exclusively male clergy.
The National Catholic Reporter reported on Thursday that Francis agreed to the commission following a meeting with the leaders of the world's congregations of Catholic women religious, which urged the pope to reconsider the Vatican's traditional standing on the matter.
Francis noted in his conversation with the nuns that the use of female deacons in the early centuries of the Church had been studied in the past, but there was no definitive conclusion on what their role was. more >>
On Thursday, some big news emerged regarding the rough-talking and Donald Trump-like president-elect of the Philippines, saying that Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte would like to pay Pope Benedict a visit so he can apologize for his profane remark that gained international criticism.
According to Inquirer, Duterte's spokesman Peter Lavina said, "The mayor [Duterte] repeatedly said he wants to visit the Vatican, win or lose, not only to pay homage to the pope but he really needs to explain to the pope and ask for forgiveness."
During one of his campaign speeches, Duterte, who is also called "Digong" in his hometown, recalled the time when Pope Francis visited the Philippines and the said visit caused massive traffic jams in Manila. "It took us five hours to get from the hotel to the airport. I asked who was coming. They said it was the pope. I wanted to call him: 'Pope son of a whore, go home. Don't visit anymore,'" he said. more >>
The University of Notre Dame and the Vatican Library have made an unprecedented agreement to collaborate on various projects pertaining to the two Roman Catholic entities' collections.
The five-year agreement has several parameters, including the holding of jointly sponsored academic conferences, the first of which was completed on Tuesday at Notre Dame.
"We've never had anything formal like this. Members of our faculty have utilized Vatican Library but this is the first time we've had a substantial agreement like this one," Chuck Lamphier, director of Church Affairs at Notre Dame, told The Christian Post. more >>
Roman Catholic nuns are warning that the security of "first-world entitlements" is getting in the way of the women's commitment to fight poverty and environmental destruction.
U.S. St. Joseph Sr. Carol Zinn addressed 900 women representing nearly 500,000 sisters globally at the International Union of Superiors General gathering, cautioning them against accepting the "entitlement creep" of the first-world, the Global Sisters Report said.
Zinn noted that some of the major benefits of living in the first-world include opportunities for higher education and job and housing security, but warned that they "can create a numbness of consciences and a blindness of heart through which we can easily see not the pain, but see what we want to see." more >>