Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Urbi et Orbi: Pope calls for ‘peace for Jerusalem’

Pope Francis has used his traditional Christmas Day message to call for “peace for Jerusalem” and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

Acknowledging “growing tensions” between them, he urged a “negotiated solution… that would allow the peaceful co-existence of two states”.

US President Donald Trump recently announced that America recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The hugely controversial move drew condemnation across the Muslim world.

Last week, UN members decisively backed a non-binding resolution that said any decisions regarding the status of the Jerusalem were “null and void” and must be cancelled.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as their future capital, and all countries currently keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.

The Roman Catholic leader was giving his Urbi et Orbi speech, which in Latin means “To the city and world”, in Saint Peter’s Square.

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Pope set for key Myanmar speech and meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

Pope Francis is set to hold talks with Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, then deliver a speech that will be keenly watched for any reference to the country’s Rohingya Muslim community.

Myanmar has been accused of ethnic cleansing, with 600,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh since August.

Francis has in the past supported his Rohingya “brothers and sisters”.

But the Catholic Church in Myanmar has urged him not to use the term Rohingya for fear of a backlash.

Continue reading Pope set for key Myanmar speech and meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

Men held over Vatican Bank ‘three trillion euro bond fraud’

The Vatican bank is among the world’s most secretive financial institutions

Italian police have arrested two men who were allegedly trying to deposit trillions of euros in fake bonds in the Vatican bank.

Officials say the pair, an American and a Dutch national, claimed they had an appointment with bank officials to gain entry but were handed over to police.

Continue reading Men held over Vatican Bank ‘three trillion euro bond fraud’

Here are the hilariously awkward photos from Trump’s visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Pope Francis did not smile during President Donald Trump’s first minutes in the Vatican.

On Wednesday, Trump stopped by the seat of the Catholic Church as part of his first foreign trip, which also included visits to Saudi Arabia, Belgium, and Israel.

Throughout most of the meeting, Pope Francis maintained a serious face — and thus provoked a barrage of Twitter jokes about Trump’s first encounter with a Pope who has frequently criticized some of his policies .

The mood eventually lightened after the two exchanged gifts.

Continue reading Here are the hilariously awkward photos from Trump’s visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Pope signs up for World Youth Day using iPad

Pope Francis, accompanied by two Polish youths, uses an iPad to register online for the next 2016 World Youth Day in Poland during the Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 26, 2015
Pope Francis, accompanied by two Polish youths, uses an iPad to register online for the next 2016 World Youth Day in Poland during the Angelus prayer at the Vatican on July 26, 2015

Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Sunday became the first person registered for next year’s World Youth Day festivities, using an iPad to sign up while addressing thousands of pilgrims and tourists in Saint Peter’s Square.

“Thanks to this electronic device, I signed up as a simple pilgrim,” Francis said, declaring himself the first person registered for next edition of the Youth Day celebration while flanked by two Polish youths.

Continue reading Pope signs up for World Youth Day using iPad

Cocaine Haul Found in 91-Year-Old Vatican Librarian’s Car

Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia (R) looks at Pope John Paul II during his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican 08 October 2003

An official Vatican car with diplomatic licence plates has been found riddled with several kilos of cocaine and cannabis in the French Alps, according to local reports. 

The car belongs to an Argentine cardinal, 91-year-old Jorge Maria Mejia, who is also emeritus librarian at the Holy See. Mejia retired in 2003 and is confined to bed following an heart attack. Pope Francis visited Mejia just two days after being elected. 

According to French newspaper Le Monde, the cardinal’s personal secretary entrusted two Italian men, aged 31 and 41, with taking the car for its annual checkup.

They drove the vehicle to Spain to buy four kilos of cocaine and 200 grams of cannabis and returned to France, according to reports, in the belief that the diplomatic plates would protect them. 

But in Chambery, near the border with Switzerland and Italy, the two were stopped by customs officers for a routine check. After the bizarre discovery, they were arrested and taken into custody. Judicial police in Lyon have opened an investigation for drug trafficking.

The Vatican confirmed the car had been stopped in France with the drugs on board. Since neither of the men had Vatican diplomatic passports, the Vatican is not legally implicated, French sources say.

Pope says weapons manufacturers can’t call themselves Christian

Pope Francis adjusts his glasses in front of his chair, which has an image of the Shroud of Turin woven into the red fabric, as he leads a mass during a two-day pastoral visit in Turin, Italy, June 21, 2015.

People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

“If you trust only men you have lost,” he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.

“It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn’t it?” he said to applause.

He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying “duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another.”

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars.

He spoke of the “tragedy of the Shoah,” using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

“The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn’t they bomb (the railway lines)?”

Discussing World War One, he spoke of “the great tragedy of Armenia” but did not use the word “genocide”.

Francis sparked a diplomatic row in April calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago “the first genocide of the 20th century,” prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.

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