Pope consoles Congolese victims: ‘Your pain is my pain’

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday urged Congo’s people to forgive those who committed “inhuman violence” against them, celebrating a Mass for 1 million people and then hearing first hand of the atrocities some of them have endured: a teen- age girl “raped like an animal” for months; a young man who watched … Read more

‘Hands off Africa!’: Pope blasts foreign plundering of Congo

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis demanded Tuesday that foreign powers stop plundering Africa’s natural resources for the “poison of their own greed” as he arrived in Congo to a raucous welcome by Congolese grateful he was focusing the world’s attention on their forgotten plight . Tens of thousands of people lined the main road … Read more

Pope Francis to spotlight conflicts ‘world has tired of’ on trip to DR Congo, South Sudan

Pope Francis arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday for a six-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan, two fragile African nations where protracted conflicts have displaced millions of civilians, sowing death, hunger and despair. The trip – his fifth to Africa – takes the 86-year-old pope to countries blighted by conflict … Read more

Pope’s Africa trip spotlights conflict, and church’s future

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis began a six-day visit to Congo and South Sudan on Tuesday, aiming to bring a message of peace to two countries riven by poverty, conflict and what Francis has called a lingering “colonialist mentality” that still considers Africa ripe for exploitation. Francis landed at Kinshasa’s airport and was greeted … Read more

Pope discusses his health, his critics and future of papacy

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he hasn’t considered issuing norms to regulate future papal resignations and plans to continue for as long as he can as bishop of Rome, despite a wave of criticism from some top-ranking conservative cardinals and bishops about his papal priorities. In his first interview since Dec. 31 death … Read more

The AP Interview: Pope Francis: Homosexuality not a crime

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. Francis … Read more

The AP Interview: Pope Francis: ‘Homosexuality not a crime’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. Francis … Read more

‘Catastrophe’: Cardinal Pell’s secret memo blasts Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will deliver a final send-off for Cardinal George Pell during a funeral Mass on Saturday, the Vatican said, as revelations emerged of the Australian prelate’s growing concern about what he considered the “disaster” and “catastrophe” of the papacy under Francis. The Vatican on Thursday said the dean of the … Read more

Book by Pope Benedict’s Aide Threatens Pope Francis With Vatican Scandal

VATICAN CITY—The body of Pope Benedict XVI had barely been lowered into its tomb in the crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica when wild speculation started swirling. Now that Benedict, who retired in 2013, was gone, would that pave the way for Francis to be the second pope in modern history to become a papal pensioner? … Read more

Cardinal Pell, whose convictions were overturned, dies at 81

ROME (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, a one-time financial adviser to Pope Francis who spent 404 days in solitary confinement in his native Australia on child sex abuse charges before his convictions were overturned, died Tuesday in Rome. He was 81. Pell suffered fatal heart complications following hip surgery, said Archbishop Peter Comensoli, Pell’s successor … Read more