A statue created by an artist whose work was blessed last month by Pope Francis, has been stolen from outside a Toronto church.
Maggie Helwig, who pastors the church where the statue, "Whatsoever You Do," was stolen, speculated that the burglary was prompted by individuals looking to make a quick profit.
Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for a 25-minute closed-door exchange in the Vatican on Monday.
According to the Israeli government, the pair discussed the Iranian nuclear program, the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as recent peace negotiations, and the current, beleaguered state of Christians in the Middle East.
Since assuming the papacy, Pope Francis has been vocal about the need to protect the Middle East's persecuted Christians. more >>
Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh attacked Pope Francis' letter, condemning the pope's comments on the "new tyranny" of "unfettered capitalism" as uninformed and somehow planted by the Marxist movement.
"This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope," Limbaugh declared. The commentator noted that, until this letter, he had admired Pope Francis. Now, however, he must distance himself. On economics, the pope is "totally wrong, I mean dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."
In "Evangelii Gaudium," an "apostolic exhortation" sent to the entire Roman Catholic Church, Francis insisted on a renewal of the Catholic Church and a political battle against poverty and inequality to combat a soulless economic system. "The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose," Francis wrote. more >>
Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.
"You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time," Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory," Francis declared, according to the Albany Tribune.
The pope preached on Jesus' speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times. more >>
A recent study by the Pew Research Center has indicated that while extremely popular among American Catholics, Pope Francis has not had a noticeable effect on church attendance numbers.
In results released Monday, Conrad Hackett of the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project found that trends in Mass attendance have remained basically the same since 2007.
For 2013, the year that Francis became the head of the Roman Catholic Church, 39 percent of U.S. Catholics reported attending Mass at least once a week. more >>
In his first major written work as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis denounced the world's "tyrannical" economic system while urging further support for the poor, arguing that the church must be poor and be for the poor.
Francis criticized "ideologies that defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation," which he attributed to an "idolatry of money" – much like he has done in the past, when he blasted the free market system and claimed that a global "cult of money" was holding the world captive.
The Vatican leader added in his 50,000-word "apostolic exhortation" that the current economic system is "unjust at its root." more >>