Pakistani in viral pope selfie speaks of ‘heartache’ for minorities

Saturday, 7 April 2018

A Pakistani Christian whose selfie with the Pope has gone viral has spoken of his “heartache” at the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, and said the pontiff told him he was praying for peace.Daniel Bashir, a 26-year-old doctor in Karachi, told AFP he took the selfie with the leader of the world’s Catholics during a youth conference at the Vatican last month.He presented Pope Francis with an ajrak shawl, a traditional block printed garment from Sindh province, and the two ...

Vatican rebukes journalist who quoted Pope as denying existence of hell

Sunday, 1 April 2018

The Vatican on Thursday rebuked a well-known Italian journalist who quoted Pope Francis as saying hell does not exist. The Vatican issued a statement after the comments spread on social media, saying they did not properly reflect what the pope had said. Eugenio Scalfari, 93, an avowed atheist who has struck up an intellectual friendship with Francis, met the pope recently and wrote up a long story that included a question-and-answer section at the end. The Vatican said the pope did not grant him ...

Church conservatives question pope’s airborne nuptials

Saturday, 20 January 2018

The honeymoon, as it were, is apparently over. A day after Pope Francis grabbed headlines by pronouncing two flight attendants man and wife while flying 36,000 feet over Chile, the conservative Catholic commentariat on Friday questioned the legitimacy of the impromptu sacrament and warned it could cheapen the church’s marriage preparation down the line. “Do you know what’s a ‘marriage’ ripe for annulment?” tweeted the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli. ...

Children in Portuguese village encouraged to smoke to mark Christian festival

Monday, 8 January 2018

Christian Epiphany celebrations took place around the world on January 6, however in the village of Vale de Salgueiro in Portugal, these celebrations include a strange tradition where parents encourage children as young as five years old to smoke cigarettes.The local centuries-old tradition takes place every year in what is also known as the King’s Feast, where parents are permitted to provide kids with cigarettes even though the country’s legal age to purchase cigarettes is ...

Pope: Don’t be misled by making money and career your life

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Pope Francis is advising against making the pursuit of money, a career or success the basis for one's whole life.Francis said during a homily on Saturday to mark Epiphany that people “often make do” with having “health, a little money and a bit of entertainment.”He urged helping the poor and other needy communities instead, while giving freely without expecting anything in return.Most Christian religions observe Epiphany to recall the three wise men who followed a star to ...

Pope prays for Egypt's church attack victims

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Pope Francis has prayed for the victims of attacks on Copts in Egypt. Francis expressed closeness Sunday to “the Orthodox Copt brothers” of Egypt after the attacks two days earlier in a Cairo suburb. At least nine people died in the attack on a church and on a nearby store that was owned by a Copt. The pope prayed that God “welcome the souls of the dead, sustain the wounded, their relatives and the entire community, and convert the hearts of the violent ones.” Francis was ...

Pope Francis on Christmas: Bethlehem trek’s like today’s migrations

Monday, 25 December 2017

Pope Francis in Christmas Eve remarks Sunday likened the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to the migrations of millions of people today who are forced to leave homelands for a better life, or just for survival, and he expressed hope that no one will feel “there is no room for them on this Earth.” Francis celebrated late evening Christmas vigil Mass in the splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica, telling the faithful that the “simple story” of Jesus’ birth in a ...

Pope Francis blows out birthday candle on extra-long pizza

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Pope Francis has blown out his birthday candle on an extra-long pizza at the Vatican to the delight of children. Francis, who turned 81 today, then told the children, who use a Vatican health service, to "eat all four meters (13 feet)" saying it will make them grow. Later, thousands of children in St. Peter's Square shouted birthday wishes to Francis. He replied from his window overlooking the square: "Thanks a lot, thanks a lot." His birthday coincided with his weekly Sunday ...

Pope lands in Bangladesh with Rohingya crisis looming large

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Pope Francis arrived Thursday in Bangladesh for the second leg of his six-day trip to Asia with the Rohingya crisis looming large. Francis arrived in the capital amid tight airport security and much anticipation. Huge banners with pictures of the pope and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were put up around Dhaka, and St. Mary’s Cathedral was decorated with lights in preparation for his three-day trip to the Muslim majority nation. Security was a concern after a Christian priest ...

Pope Francis to meet Myanmar’s Suu Kyi amid Rohingya crackdown

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Pope Francis will be meeting with leaders of Myanmar's different religious communities at the Catholic archbishop's residence in Yangon. He arrived in the country on Monday and is scheduled to meet separately Tuesday with the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the capital. Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist with small Muslim, Hindu and Christian populations. The country's most revered and prominent Buddhist leader Sitagu is not among the religious leaders expected to meet the pope on Tuesday ...

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