Pope Francis continued his unorthodox reign from the Vatican this week by placing a surprise call to tell a 44-year-old Argentinian woman who claims she was raped by local police, "you are not alone."
"The Pope told me he receives thousands of letters each day, but that what I wrote moved him and touched his heart," the woman told the National University of Cordoba's Canal 10 TV station, according to an EWTN News report.
The woman said in the report that she had written to Pope Francis for help, explaining to him how she had been raped twice by the local police officer who then turned around a threatened her. more >>
Pope Francis has condemned the current civil war in Syria where hundreds of people, many of them children, are suspected to have been killed in a chemical weapons attack last week, while another Vatican official said the country has "descended into hell."
"With great suffering and concern I continue to follow the situation in Syria," Francis said following the Angelus prayer at the Vatican on Sunday.
"The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease. It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue." more >>
Pope Francis spoke out on the Egypt crisis on Sunday, praying for peace but also declaring that violence is incompatible with Christian faith.
"The word of the Gospel does not authorize the use of force to spread the faith. It is 'just the opposite: the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible," the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said following the Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square.
Government forces in Egypt are confronting fierce protests from Muslim Brotherhood-backed supporters over the past several weeks, which has led to violence all throughout the North African country and has left hundreds of people dead. more >>
A spokesperson for the Coptic Church in Egypt said recently that the pope has canceled his weekly meetings at the Cairo cathedral due to his concern of increased hostility against Christian congregants.
"We fear that Pope Tawadros II might become a target of Islamist reprisal," Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Church in Egypt, said in a recent statement. "In recent weeks, after the fall of the Morsi administration, attacks and acts of intimidation against the Christian minority have occurred on a daily basis," Greiche added.
As a precaution, Pope Tawadros II has canceled his weekly events at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, out of concern that his congregation will be attacked by Islamic militants. The pope usually holds a weekly lecture series at the cathedral during which he discusses scripture with congregants, but this will be postponed until further notice. more >>
While Republicans were the butt of most late night comic humor last year, now that President Barack Obama is re-elected, those comics have turned most of their attention to the president. New York mayoral candidate and famed "sexter" Anthony Weiner had the second most late night jokes in the first half of 2013.
Obama was joked about in 288 monologues on late night television, over twice as many as Weiner, who came in second with 120 jokes, according to a Center for Media and Public Affairs study on late night jokes between January 1 and June 30.
Pope Benedict XVI closely followed Weiner with 112 jokes. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant fourth place with 88 jokes. The only Republicans in the top 10 were former President George W. Bush (84 jokes) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (71 jokes) in fifth and sixth place, respectively. more >>
Former Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has said in an interview Wednesday that Pope Francis' recent comments regarding homosexuality, made earlier this week following Brazil's World Youth Day, were taken out of context by mainstream media.
Santorum, a devout Roman Catholic, argues that the Pope's comments regarding homosexuality, made aboard the papal airplane on Monday, were taken out of context, as the pontiff was answering a question regarding an alleged "gay lobby" within the Vatican, and was not speaking directly about homosexuality itself.
"I've read the whole transcript, and what he said early on was that 'I don't know anybody who puts gay on their identification card.' He said it in that context," Santorum told Buzzfeed in an interview on Wednesday evening. more >>