The Vatican has announced that Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II are to be canonized, or declared as saints of the Roman Catholic Church on April 27, 2014.
Pope Francis announced the news on Monday morning at the Public Ordinary Consistory, Vatican Radio revealed. The chosen date in April also celebrates the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy.
The Vatican added that retired Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope in nearly 600 years to retire when he stepped down in February because of health issues, might join the ceremony to honor his predecessors. more >>
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has denied covering up child sex abuse by priests and called a Richard Dawkins book "science fiction" in a long letter to one of Italy's most well-known atheists.
"I never tried to cover these things up," the former pope says in the letter.
"That the power of evil penetrated so far into the interior world of the faith is a suffering that we must bear, but at the same time we must do everything to prevent it from repeating." more >>
Pope Francis challenged the Church to pray for its most vulnerable yesterday, in his weekly general audience remarks at the Vatican, in the wake of a church bombing in Pakistan and continued violence against Egyptian and Syrian Christians.
"How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted" said the Pope, calling upon his audience to be "genuinely concerned about their plight, just as one would be for a family member in distress."
When one of them is under duress, "am I indifferent or is it like someone in the family is suffering?" the Pope added. more >>
A Missouri-based group devoted to helping victims of clerical sexual abuse is critical of former Pope Benedict XVI's recent claim that he did not hide sexual abuse incidents.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of St. Louis took issue with Benedict XVI's recently published letter denying involvement in a cover-up.
David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, told The Christian Post that the Pope Emeritus' recent words were "hurtful and deceitful." more >>
The excommunication of an Australian priest known for being outspoken on his support of same-sex marriage and ordaining women for priesthood is keeping the discussion about where Pope Francis stands on moral and social issues at the forefront.
Earlier this year, Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated for his views via a direct order from the Vatican, according to the Australian publication The Age. Reportedly the first excommunicate in Melbourne, Reynolds had already resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and had founded a progressive Catholic group known as Inclusive Catholics.
Negotiations are still in the process regarding benefits for Reynolds in light of his 32 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, according to The Age. more >>
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is certainly right when he says that Pope Francis "wants to shake us [Catholics] up." But is he doing more harm than good?
Among his most quoted recent statements are:
"I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else." more >>