Pope Francis' recent comments that he would punch someone for insulting his mother have been criticized by some Catholics, such as former CNN host Piers Morgan. The Vatican has defended the remarks, however, noting that they represented a "free style of speech," and that the pope does not condone violence.
"The Pope's words about Dr. Gasbarri were spoken colloquially and in (a) friendly, intimate manner among colleagues and friends," Vatican spokesman Thomas Rosica told CNN. "His response might be similar to something each of us has felt when those dearest to us are insulted or harmed."
Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II have separately said that while the terror attacks on France last week were wrong, it is not right for people to insult the faith of others. The sentiment has been echoed by Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who warned that his country will not tolerate drawings of Muhammad, such as the ones made by satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others," Francis told journalists when asked about the Charlie Hebdo situation on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
A terror attack last week on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris left 12 people dead, and 17 in total were killed in other attacks carried out by Islamic extremists. The French magazine was attacked because of its drawings of Muhammad, considered a prophet in Islam, Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen revealed when taking responsibility for organizing the attack. more >>
Pope Francis spoke to a large crowd last week to address the massacre in France and condemned "deviant forms of religion" for the shedding of blood.
"Losing their freedom, people become enslaved, whether to the latest fads, or to power, money, or even deviant forms of religion," Francis said in an address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps. There is a "culture of rejection" that leads to "the breakdown of society and spawning of violence and death."
Last week was one of the worst attacks in the city of Paris, with a total of 17 people left dead after persons loyal to the Islamic State murdered 12 persons, and another two people killed a police officer and several hostages in a standoff that ended on Friday. The three suspected killers were shot dead by police after the standoff. In the wake of the assault, Parisians and European leaders came together to send a powerful message that they would not cower to terrorists. more >>
Pope Francis has said that his continued criticism of the global financial system is not because he supports Communism, but because of Jesus' call for Christians to serve the poor. The Vatican meanwhile is set to publish a report titled "This Economy Kills," highlighting the damage that the world economy brings to impoverished populations.
"Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth," Francis said Sunday in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. "Is it pauperism? No, it is the Gospel."
"Jesus tells us that it is the 'protocol' on the basis of which we will be judged, it is what we read in Chapter 25 of Matthew: I had hunger, I had thirst, I was in prison, I was sick, I was naked and you helped me: dressed me, visited me, you took care of me." more >>
Angelina Jolie paid a visit to the Vatican and hosted a screening of her latest film "Unbroken" for Pope Francis.
Released on Christmas Day, Jolie's latest directorial project follows the story of Olympian and WWII vet Louis Zamperini who survived 47 days stranded at sea and two years in a Japanese POW camp. On Thursday morning, the Oscar-winning actress arrived in Rome where she was able to share the film with the Pontiff.
"Being invited with my film to the Vatican is an honor and a great tribute to the story that I have told in 'Unbroken,'" the 39-year-old star said, according to a statement from Universal Pictures. "The story of the hero Louis is a great example of strength and forgiveness." more >>
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican later this month for a special introduction, according to reports on Wednesday.
Although the Hollywood power couple consider themselves nonreligious, the pair will fly into Rome in early Jan. in order to attend a "VIP meet-and-greet with Pope Francis," reported US Weekly. Both Pitt and Jolie "admire the Pope" as well as his message, according to a source close to the stars.
The Argentinian Pontiff is beloved for his affirmations of Catholic doctrines on abortion, artificial contraception, and homosexuality. Pope Francis maintains the Church's teaching against homosexual acts but also said gay people should not be marginalized. more >>