Three of Pope Francis' relatives in Argentina have died in a car crash, including two young children. The pontiff has said that he is "profoundly saddened" at the tragedy, which also seriously injured his nephew.
"Pope Francis has learnt of the tragic death of three of his relatives in a traffic accident in Argentina and is 'profoundly saddened,'" the Vatican Radio reported Tuesday. "The Director of the Holy See's Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said the Pope had received news of the tragic accident and asks that 'all those who share in his grief join with him in prayer.'"
The car crash, which according to The Associated Press occurred on a provincial highway between the cities of Rosario and Cordoba, took the lives of Valeria Carmona — the 36-year-old wife of Emanuel Bergoglio, the 38-year-old son of a brother of Pope Francis, along with their two young children, Jose and Antonio. more >>
Pope Francis has spoken out against the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq, and has addressed whether the use of force to stop their persecutors is justified.
"In these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," Pope Francis told journalists. "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated."
Hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minority members have had to flee their homes and communities in order to avoid being slaughtered by radical Muslims. The Islamic group known as ISIS has spent recent months murdering thousands across northern Iraq in an attempt to form a unified Islamic Caliphate. The militant group has already taken over a large area of Syria and hopes to "cleanse" the region of Christians and other minorities such as the Yazidids. more >>
The head of the one billion-member Roman Catholic Church has hinted that he might make a three-day visit to the United States of America next year.
Pope Francis recently stated that he was hoping to visit the United States, home to an estimated 75 million Catholics, next year likely in autumn.
Pope Francis urged South Korean Catholics to hold fast to the spirit of evangelization and reject "inhumane economic models" as their country's economy continues growing. The pope was addressing close to 50,000 people at Mass in his first ever visit to Asia.
The pontiff warned against the "allure of a materialism that stifles authentic spiritual and cultural values and the spirit of unbridled competition which generates selfishness and strife," Vatican Radio reported on Friday.
Speaking before a packed crowd at World Cup Stadium in Daejoen, Francis encouraged believers to "reject inhumane economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalize workers, and the culture of death which devalues the image of God, the God of life, and violates the dignity of every man, woman and child." more >>
For the first time since the 1959 Revolution, the Republic of Cuba will allow for a church to be constructed in the Communist state.
Cuba's Communist government has approved a permit for the building of a Catholic church building in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second largest city.
The demand for a new facility came after Hurricane Sandy destroyed an older building, reported Katherine Backler of the United Kingdom publication The Tablet, a Roman Catholic weekly. more >>
Pope Francis is sending a Cardinal to Iraq to offer support to Christians fleeing the country amid intensified persecution from Islamic militant group ISIS.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, a former papal nuncio to Iraq, will go to the country to "show the Pope's solidarity with the suffering of the population," spokesman Federico Lombardi said, according to the American Foreign Press.
Pope Francis has been vocal about his support for Christians being persecuted and has called for the Catholic Church to offer help however it can. more >>