As photos of Pope Francis embracing and comforting a disfigured man suffering from a rare disease are being reposted and talked about by people around the world, a Jesuit priest has found parallels between the present news story with St. Francis of Assisi and his meeting with a leper.
The photos, which can be viewed on the Vatican Insider, feature Pope Francis meeting, embracing and kissing a man suffering from neurofibromatosis, a disfiguring skin condition, on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
The images have made news around the world, been shared throughout social media, and one Jesuit priest has likened them to a story about St. Francis of Assisi, the 13th century Italian friar whose name Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio borrowed when he was elected as pope earlier this year. more >>
Pope Francis is making headlines again for recently sending out a "modern family" survey to bishops around the world to ask what church leaders think about hot button issues such as gay marriage and surrogate mothers, among other topics relating to family life.
The survey has been sent to every nation's conference of bishops and asks questions on topics ranging from birth control and surrogate motherhood to gay marriage and inter-religious unions, as well as divorce, premarital cohabitation, and single-parent families. The questionnaire states that it is addressing "many new situations requiring the Church's attention and pastoral care," including some "concerns which were unheard of until a few years ago have arisen today as a result of different situations, from the widespread practice of cohabitation [...] to same-sex unions."
"The social and spiritual crisis, so evident in today's world, is becoming a pastoral challenge in the Church's evangelizing mission concerning the family," the Vatican survey reads, according to BBC News. more >>
Pope Francis has suspended German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, nicknamed "the luxury bishop" and the "bishop of bling" by German newspapers, following uproar over revelations that he spent over $42 million on a luxury residence.
"A situation has been created in which Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst currently cannot exercise his episcopal ministry," the Vatican press office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Pope Francis, who has led as an example of modesty and has called on church leaders to live humbly, has apparently been "continually, broadly and objectively informed" about the situation in the Diocese of Limburg, and has authorized the suspension with immediate effect. more >>
NEW YORK – Comedian Stephen Colbert cracked jokes at major Catholic figures such as Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and Pope Francis during Thursday's Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, which raised $3 million in charity for children.
Colbert, a Roman Catholic who teaches Sunday school, declared himself "America's most famous Catholic" in his opening remarks, according to The Associated Press, then turned to Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
"I know what the cardinal is thinking: 'Stephen, pride is a sin.' Well, Cardinal, so is envy, so we're even." more >>
Pope Francis has met with Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of the German bishops' conference, to discuss the fate of the so-called "luxury bishop" of Limburg who has spent $42 million on a lavish residence including a free-standing bath, conference table and private chapel worth millions.
"I am convinced that the bishop of Limburg... will confront this situation in a spirit of self-criticism," Archbishop Zollitsch said following his meeting with Pope Francis, Reuters reported.
The bishop in question, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, is facing calls for his resignation after causing an uproar with lavish expenses that seem to contradict the pope's call for austerity and example of humble living. more >>
German Catholic bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg is set to answer questions before the Vatican about an excessive $42 million sum he has spent on a luxury residence, causing uproar in the Catholic Church.
"The bishop has made it clear that any decision about his service as a bishop lies in the hands of the Holy Father (Pope Francis)," a statement by the Limburg diocese read, according to Reuters.
"The bishop is saddened by the escalation of the current discussion. He sees and regrets that many believers are suffering under the current situation." more >>