POPE BENEDICT XVI
Pope Benedict XVI defends resignation to 'fanatic' doubters
FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 file photo, Pope Francis, right, hugs Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI prior to the start of a meeting with elderly faithful in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has marked the eighth anniversary of his historic resignation by insisting in an interview published in Corriere della Sera Monday, March 1, 2021, that he stepped down knowingly and that there is only one pope _ Francis. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribuROME – Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has marked the eighth anniversary of his historic resignation by insisting in an interview published Monday that he stepped down knowingly and that “there is only one pope” — Francis. But I did it fully conscious and I think I did the right thing,” Benedict was quoted as saying. Ad“They don’t want to believe in a choice that was taken knowingly,” Benedict was quoted as saying.
Pope seeks to encourage musicians silenced by coronavirus
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass with members of religious institutions on the occasion of the celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, pool)ROME – Pope Francis on Thursday offered encouragement to musicians who have been silenced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, acknowledging many have lost work and the ability to practice together due to closed concert halls and social distancing norms. AdFrancis ended his message to the musicians with a question, asking them if the silence imposed on them as a result of the pandemic isn't actually a sign that something new is coming. “Is the silence we're living in an emptiness or are we just in a phase of listening?" “Will (the silence now) let a new song emerge afterward?"
The Latest: Sri Lanka reopens tourism after 10-month closing
(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka is welcoming tourists again after keeping the doors closed to visitors for nearly 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ontario's leader asks Biden for 1 million vaccine shots due to Pfizer shortfall for Canada. ___BEIJING — China is imposing some of its toughest travel restrictions yet as coronavirus cases surge in several northern provinces ahead of the Lunar New Year. ___MEXICO CITY — Mexico has had a second consecutive day of COVID-19 deaths surpassing 1,500. The state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritizes health care workers and nursing homes in its first phase, which is almost complete.
Religious leaders worldwide, across faiths who died in 2020
They were among many religious leaders — some admired worldwide, others beloved only locally — who died in 2020. It occurred in April, during a period in which numerous Church of God in Christ bishops and pastors died of COVID-19. 2 leader, Bishop Amfilohije -- who also died after COVID-19 complications -- both downplayed the dangers of the pandemic and avoided wearing masks in public. Edward Kmiec, 84, who between 1992 and 2012 served as the Roman Catholic bishop of Nashville, Tennessee, and Buffalo, New York. John Yambasu, 63, a bishop of the United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone who died in a traffic accident in August.
Pope, with new cardinals, warns church against mediocrity
Cardinals sit as Pope Francis celebrates Mass the day after he raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy, at St. Peter's Basilica, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, Pool)VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis, joined by the church’s newest cardinals in Mass on Sunday, warned against mediocrity as well as seeking out “godfathers” to promote one's own career. The freshly-minted cardinals who did come to the Vatican wore protective masks and purple vestments, as the Church began the solemn liturgical season of Advent in the run-up to Christmas. Among those raised to cardinal's rank on Saturday by Francis was the current archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, the first African-American cardinal. “When the Church worships God and serves our neighbor, it does not live in the night.
Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place
Pope Francis leaves at the end of a consistory ceremony where 13 bishops were elevated to a cardinal's rank in St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. Gregory also was one of the only new cardinals who kept his mask on when the group paid a singing courtesy visit to retired Pope Benedict XVI. He also eschewed a red cassock for Saturday's ceremony, using instead his brown hooded friar's robes covered with a white “rochet" vestment. The cardinals greeted Benedict, kissed his hand and sang a prayer as the retired pope, who is 93 and frail, listened. With Saturday’s new cardinals, Francis has named 73 of the 128 voting-age cardinals, compared to 39 for Pope Benedict XVI and 16 for St. John Paul II.
Vatican butler convicted in Benedict XVI leaks case dies
ROME – Paolo Gabriele, the Vatican butler who was convicted of stealing and leaking Pope Benedict XVI’s private papers in 2012, has died. Vatican News, the Holy See’s media portal, said Gabriele died Tuesday after a long, undisclosed illness. Gabriele was arrested in May 2012 after Vatican police found what they called an “enormous” stash of papal documents in his Vatican City apartment that he had stolen from the papal apartments. He was convicted of aggravated theft by a Vatican tribunal and served a few months of his 18-month sentence in the Vatican police barracks before Benedict pardoned him at Christmas 2012. The Gabriele scandal was believed to have played at least a small part in Benedict's eventual decision to resign as pope two months later.
Takeaways from Vatican's McCarrick report as US bishops meet
U.S. Catholic bishops are holding their annual fall assembly virtually this week with the Vatican's recent report on the rise and fall of disgraced ex-Cardinal McCarrick one of their main topics for discussion. Released last week after a two-year investigation, the report found that three decades of bishops, cardinals, and popes dismissed or downplayed reports McCarrick shared his bed with seminarians. Released last week after a two-year investigation, the report found that three decades of bishops, cardinals and popes dismissed or downplayed reports McCarrick shared his bed with seminarians. Pope Francis defrocked McCarrick last year after a Vatican investigation determined he sexually abused children and adults. Instead, the Vatican’s bishops office urged McCarrick to keep a low profile and minimize his travel.
Vatican faults others for McCarrick's rise, spares Francis
Those alarms continued, when a Catholic psychiatrist traveled to the Vatican in 1997 to report that his priest-patient was a victim of McCarrick's sexual abuse. McCarrick, 90, was defrocked by Francis last year after a Vatican investigation confirmed the globe-trotting envoy and fundraiser had sexually molested adults as well as children. “Pope Francis had heard only that there had been allegations and rumors related to immoral conduct with adults occurring prior to McCarrick’s appointment to Washington,” the report said. Vigano’s most explosive claim was that Francis himself lifted “sanctions" imposed by Benedict and made McCarrick a trusted adviser. Investigators interviewed 90 people, including McCarrick’s victims, former seminarians and priests, and officials from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Fiasco over pope's cut civil union quote intensifies impact
Pope Francis, right, greets bishops at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. A source in Mexico said the Vatican, which used its own cameras to shoot the interview and provided raw footage to Televisa afterward, had deleted the civil union quote in question. After the anecdote ends, the film cuts to Francis’ civil union comments in the Televisa interview. As pope, Francis had never come out publicly in favor of legal protections for civil unions, and no pontiff before him had, either.
Plot thickens over origins of pope's civil union endorsement
Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which premiered Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 at the Rome Film Festival. While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of legal protections for civil unions as pope, and no pontiff before him had, either. The official 2019 Vatican News transcript of that interview, as well as the official Vatican edit, contains no such comment on the need for legal protections for civil unions. When The Associated Press interviewed Afineevsky on Oct. 14, the director was asked if he realized at the time that Francis’ comments were going to grab headlines.
Pompeo urges Vatican to condemn human rights abuses in China
Pompeo made the appeal at a conference on religious freedom organized by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, with top Vatican officials in the audience. Pompeo has strongly criticized the accord, penning an essay earlier this month suggesting that the Vatican had compromised its moral authority by signing it. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy See was “surprised” by Pompeo’s article. Both focused instead on the Holy See’s longstanding history of promoting religious freedom as a fundamental human right. After the conference, Pompeo met with Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, the first Group of Seven leader to sign onto China’s infrastructure-building Belt and Road initiative.
Report: Retired Pope Benedict XVI ill after visit to Germany
BERLIN Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has fallen ill after his return from a trip to his native Bavaria to visit his brother, who died a month ago, a German newspaper reported Monday. Seewald, who has published several book-length interviews with Benedict, handed over a copy of the biography to the former pontiff on Saturday, the newspaper reported. He described Benedict as being optimistic and talking about possibly writing himself if his strength picks up, though he said that Benedict is physically very frail. It was his first trip out of Italy since he resigned as pope in 2013. Benedict has lived at a monastery in the Vatican City since shortly after his retirement.
Mourners attend funeral mass for retired pope's brother
A hearse parks during the funeral service for Priest Georg Ratzinger in front of St. Peter's Cathedral in Regensburg, Germany, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The elder brother of the emeritus Pope Benedict XVI had died on July 1 at the age of 96 years. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, who led the service, told mourners that Benedict was following the mass online. The 93-year-old emeritus pope made a four-day visit to Regensburg to be with his ailing brother just over a week before Ratzingers death.
Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope's elder brother
Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who earned renown in his own right as a director of an acclaimed German boys choir, has died at age 96. The Regensburg diocese in Bavaria, where Ratzinger lived, said in a statement on his website that he died on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who died Wednesday at the age of 96. The acclaimed boys choir Ratzinger headed for several decades will stage a farewell concert Sunday. Benedict made a four-day visit to Regensburg to be with his ailing brother just over a week before his death.