VATICAN CITY — At first glance, the handwritten postcards and letters look innocuous, even warm, sometimes signed off by “Uncle T.” or “Your uncle, Father Ted.”
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By Nicole Winfield The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ summit on preventing sexual abuse was never going to meet the expectations placed on it by victims groups, the media and ordinary Catholics outraged over a scandal that has harmed so many and compromised the church’s moral authority so much.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis praised the freedom albeit “undisciplined” of a disabled child who climbed onto the stage Wednesday to play during the pontiff’s general audience.
The Swiss Guards and Vatican gendarmes stood by Wednesday and gamely let 6-year-old Wenzel Wirth run around Francis as monsignors read out his catechism lesson in various languages in the Vatican audience hall.
VATICAN CITY — As the Vatican copes with the growing clergy sex abuse scandal and declining number of priests worldwide, it is laying the groundwork to open formal debate on an issue that has long been taboo: opening up the priesthood to married men in parts of the world where clergy are scarce.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its coverup and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published Thursday that it is always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans.
VATICAN CITY — The largest association of Roman Catholic nuns in the United States urged its members Monday to report any sexual abuse of religious sisters by clergy and demanded that church authorities “take action to end a culture of silence, hold abusers accountable and provide support to those abused.”
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of an Australian archbishop convicted in criminal court of covering up the sexual abuse of children by a priest, taking action after coming under mounting pressure from ordinary Catholics, priests and even the Australian prime minister.
VATICAN CITY — The world’s oldest standing army is getting some new headgear.
The Swiss Guards plan to replace their metal helmets with plastic PVC ones made with a 3-D printer, giving the pope’s army cooler and more comfortable headgear when standing guard for hours at a time.
VATICAN CITY — It’s an incident that has stained the Vatican for 160 years: a 6-year-old Jewish boy taken from his family by papal police and brought to Rome to be raised Catholic after church authorities learned his housekeeper had secretly had him baptized.