Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Great Mosque in Rome at the end of the month, Muslim leaders confirmed this week.
Leaders from one of the largest mosques in the western world told local news outlets that they requested a special visit from the pontiff several months ago.
Although the Vatican has yet to confirm its visit, Omar Camilletti, a member of the mosque's governing council, told CBS News that the meeting is "certain" to take place, but hasn't been confirmed due to security reasons. more >>
Italian atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari has claimed that Pope Francis asked him in one of their interviews not to convert to the Catholic faith, though Catholic observers are noting it is likely the pontiff was being humorous.
The National Catholic Register reported in a story earlier this week that Scalfari, who has interviewed Francis on a number of occasions, spoke last week at the 40th anniversary of his La Repubblica newspaper about his relationship with the Roman Catholic Church leader.
"Many atheist friends have asked me: you now have such affection for Pope Francis that there's a risk you'll convert," he said. more >>
Deeply concerned about a "globalization of indifference," Pope Francis in his 2016 World Day of Peace message titled "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace," warns that "the first kind of indifference in human society is indifference to God, which then leads to indifference to one's neighbor and to the environment."
Pope Francis writes, "Some people prefer not to ask questions or seek answers; they lead lives of comfort, deaf to the cry of those who suffer. Almost imperceptibly, we grow incapable of feeling compassion for others and for their problems; we have no interest in caring for them, as if their troubles were their own responsibility, and none of our business."
To help reverse this indifference, the Holy Father appeals to national leaders for concrete gestures in the creation of "dignified jobs to combat the social plague of unemployment .… Special attention needs to be given to women — who unfortunately still encounter discrimination in the workplace — and to some categories of workers whose conditions are precarious or dangerous, and whose pay is not commensurate to the importance of their social mission." more >>
Pope Francis is scheduled to hold a rare, private meaning with Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and executive chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet.
Sources close to the Vatican have confirmed to media outlets that Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who heads Google Ideas, are set to have a 15-minute sit-down meeting with the pope at the Vatican on Friday.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has decried the practice of abortion, arguing that it has killed 10 times more people than his country's ongoing war with pro-Russian rebels.
"How many new 'Herods' there are today, who not only kill children after their birth, but have gone further … there are so many unborn children [killed] today," Shevchuk said last week during the Eastern celebration of Christmas, Catholic World News reported.
The Archbishop further warned that Ukrainian people are facing "enslavement" in the face of gender ideology. more >>
World leaders need to continue their compassion toward migrants despite concerns of national security, Pope Francis said Monday.
Speaking in his annual address to the diplomatic corps of the Holy See, Francis argued it's possible for European countries to accept migrants without sacrificing their national security or culture, saying that global leaders must "overcome the inevitable fears associated with this massive and formidable phenomenon."
The pope went on to argue that the recent, massive influx of migrants from primarily Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq to European countries "seems to be undermining the foundations of that 'humanistic spirit' which Europe has always loved and defended." more >>