Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes first Black US prelate

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat. In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated […]

Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The papal thumbs-up came midway through the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the […]

Two popes — one retired, one reigning — cause a furor

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ever since Benedict XVI announced he would become the first pope in 600 years to resign, Catholic theologians, canon lawyers and others warned of the potential confusion in having two popes living side by side in the Vatican, one reigning, the other retired but calling himself “emeritus pope” and still wearing […]

Francis fulfills dream, goes to Japan as missionary pope

TOKYO (AP) — Pope Francis will fulfill his dream to be a missionary in Japan when he arrives for a three-day visit with two main aims: to appeal for nuclear disarmament and minister to a tiny Catholic flock with a rich but bloody history. Francis travels Saturday from Thailand to another Asian country where Catholics […]

Dismissive words on abuse scandal cast pall over pope’s trip

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Pope Francis ventured into the Amazon to demand rights for indigenous groups, decried the scourge of corruption afflicting the region’s politics and denounced a culture of “machismo” in which violence against women is too often tolerated. Yet his latest visit to South America is likely to be remembered most for 27 […]

Pope prays in silence for all mothers in heaven and on earth

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has invited faithful in St. Peter’s Square to join him in silent prayer for each one’s own mother, including those in Heaven. Greeting tourists and Romans on Sunday from a window overlooking the square, Francis noted that in many countries Mother’s Day was being celebrated. He said: “So let’s […]