In an unprecedented move, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who became the first pope in almost 600 years to retire when he stepped down at the end of February due to health reasons, has returned to the Vatican to live next to Pope Francis.
"He is a man who is not young: He is old and his strength is slowly ebbing," said Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, according to the Associated Press. "However, there is no special illness. He is an old man who is healthy."
Benedict will now live in a converted monastery right behind St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope Francis lives. It was previously believed that he would live out the rest of his days "hidden in the world" in a papal residence in the hill south of Rome, but now he will share the famous Vatican gardens with the newly elected Roman Catholic Church leader. more >>
The Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Metropolitan Paul Yazigi have been released unharmed after they were kidnapped by gunmen outside the city.
"We know very well that the role these bishops are playing in Aleppo is to encourage the Syrian Christians, and strengthen them to remain in their land," said Bishop Munib Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, according to Christian ministry SAT-7.
The bishops were stopped on Monday traveling back from negotiations to release captives taken by Syrian rebels when attackers shot their driver and took the bishops hostage. more >>
Pope Francis continues implementing changes in the Vatican and his latest decision was to redirect money from traditional bonuses to 4,500 city state employees and use it for charity purposes.
"I don't think there will be any bonus," said Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, as reported by The Telegraph.
"Extra expenses are something that might be normal in a situation of abundance, but that is not the world we find ourselves in now. It didn't seem possible or appropriate to burden the Vatican's budget with a considerable, unforeseen extra expense." more >>
The Vatican has declared the 1999 sudden recovery of a Colorado Springs boy a miracle. The declaration places a German nun, who is considered responsible for the healing, on the path to sainthood.
Luke Burgie, now 18 years old, was only four when he suddenly developed a severe gastrointestinal condition in 1998, which doctors couldn't explain or offer any remedies for. For the next six months, he suffered violent episodes of diarrhea eight to 10 times a day; he stopped growing and started wasting away.
"He was the sickest child or person I'd ever been around," Jan Burgie, his mother, said. more >>
In his most recent Sunday sermon, Pope Francis addressed the topic of the persecuted church, a gesture which suggests that perhaps the new pontiff will focus part of his holy career on helping the millions of persecuted Christians throughout the world.
"Let us pray especially for Christians who suffer persecution," he said during his sermon on the third Sunday of Easter at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy, in front of a crowd of nearly 80,000 Christians.
The pope then proceeded to draw a comparison between the persecution Jesus' apostles endured to the persecution of modern-day Christians. more >>
The Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of St. Mark the Apostle, H.H. Pope Tawadros II, accused Egyptian security forces for failing to prevent the sectarian attacks at El-Khosos and St. Mark's Cathedral.
Tawadros II stated that security forces came up short in performing their duties since it was possible to contain the situation, but that a state of unrest and idleness in Egypt fostered, allowing the horrific attack to take place.
He noted that this is the first time in Egypt's history that the Coptic Orthodox Church's headquarters has been assaulted. more >>