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March 26th, 2014
02:55 PM ET

Jimmy Carter lectures the Pope on women

(CNN)– Erin Burnett talks to former President Jimmy Carter about his letter to Pope Francis concerning the abuse of women.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Francis

Kerry: Obama to meet with the Pope
January 14th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Kerry: Obama to meet with the Pope

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN)– President Barack Obama plans to soon meet with Pope Francis for the first time.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the President was “looking forward” to visiting the popular new leader of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican.

Kerry did not say when the trip would take place.

The White House said it had no specific travel announcements to make, but that Obama “very much looks forward to meeting Pope Francis at some point in the near future.”

Kerry, a Roman Catholic, met with Vatican leaders on Tuesday to discuss foreign policy and economic issues, including Francis’ outspoken stance on income inequality worldwide.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith Now • Obama • Pope • Pope Francis

December 31st, 2013
01:38 PM ET

Are rich Catholics mad at the Pope?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - At least one wealthy donor in New York City is skittish about Pope Francis' comments about capitalism.

Ken Langone, the billionaire Roman Catholic who helped found Home Depot, told CNBC he has heard grumbling about the Pope's comments about the wealthy. Langone is helping to run the New York Archdiocese's $180 million fundraising effort to restore St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

The billionaire investor and philanthropist, who gave $200 million to New York University's medical center in 2008, told CNBC an anonymous seven-figure donor felt slighted by the pope's recent comments.

Langone has not been shy about sharing those opinions with New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan, telling him, "you get more with honey than with vinegar."

Dolan told the financial network in an interview on Monday he has heard from Langone that one wealthy donor got the "sense that the Pope is less than enthusiastic about us."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • New York • Pope • Pope Francis • United States

New interview shows why the pope is so beloved
When asked “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” the pope replied, “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition."
September 19th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

New interview shows why the pope is so beloved

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Here at America magazine, we’ve been anticipating the exclusive interview with Pope Francis for Jesuit journals worldwide for weeks.

We’ve lived with the 12,000-word article we’ve titled “A Big Heart Open to God,” and, in a sense, with the pope over these last several days.

So let me suggest what I feel to be the most important parts of this remarkable interview. To focus, I’ll highlight a few quotes and unpack them.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Opinion • Pope • Pope Francis • Vatican

August 21st, 2013
08:46 AM ET

Vatican to say next month when John Paul II, John XXIII will become saints

By Jason Hanna and Hada Messia, CNN

(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church will announce next month the date when the late popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized, Vatican Radio reported Wednesday.

The canonization dates for the two former pontiffs will be announced on September 30, the radio service reported, citing Cardinal Angelo Amato.

Pope Francis announced last month that his two 20th century predecessors would be declared saints.

John Paul was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005, drawing vast crowds as he crisscrossed the globe. The third-longest-serving pope in history, died at the age of 84 after suffering from Parkinson's disease, arthritis and other ailments for several years.

Pope John XXIII was famed for calling the Second Vatican Council in 1962, which ushered in great changes in the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with the modern world. He was pope from 1958 to 1963.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

Vatican: Pope didn't perform exorcism
May 21st, 2013
02:55 PM ET

Vatican: Pope didn't perform exorcism

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – A Vatican spokesman on Tuesday refuted claims that Pope Francis performed an exorcism on a man in St. Peter’s Square after Mass on Sunday. But he did not altogether deny the encounter.

“The Holy Father had no intention to perform any exorcism,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement. “Instead, as he frequently does for the sick and suffering persons who approach him, he simply meant to pray for a suffering person who was presented to him.”

Speculation that Francis performed an exorcism began to ricochet around the Internet when video of the encounter from TV2000, a Catholic television station in Italy, was posted online.

In the video, Francis smiles and takes the hand of an unnamed man in a wheelchair. After a priest whispers in the pope's ear, his demeanor changes and he places his hands on the man’s head. The video shows the man in the wheelchair convulsing before his body goes limp with his mouth agape.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Francis

Pope Francis: Worker exploitation "goes against God"
May 1st, 2013
01:48 PM ET

Pope Francis: Worker exploitation "goes against God"

By Jethro Mullen and Farid Ahmed, CNN

Savar, Bangladesh (CNN) - Pope Francis, speaking at a Mass on Wednesday, made reference to the Bangladesh building collapse that killed upwards of 400 people in a sharp condemnation of worker exploitation and "slave labor."

"Not paying a just (wage), not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!" Pope Francis said.

He continued: "When society is organized in such a way that not everyone has the opportunity to work, to be anointed with the dignity of work, then there is something wrong with that society: it is not right! It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity, starting from here."

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Asia • Pope • Pope Francis • Work

March 23rd, 2013
10:00 AM ET

New pope, old pope meet for lunch

By Laura Smith-Spark, Ben Wedeman and Hada Messia, CNN

Castel Gandolfo (CNN)–Pope Francis is having lunch Saturday with his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in what may be an encounter unprecedented in Church history.

Since a new pope usually takes the reins only following the death of his predecessor, this is a rare occurrence.

Francis, who was inaugurated as the new head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics on Tuesday, has made some changes since taking the helm - most notably by adopting a simpler, personal style and calling for the Church to focus on serving the poor and needy.

The new pontiff was flown to Castel Gandolfo by helicopter for the lunch date.

Read the full story here

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith Now • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope Francis

Humble pope has complicated past
Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio draws the cross on the forehead of a parishioner on Ash Wednesday in Buenos Aires.
March 15th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

Humble pope has complicated past

(CNN) – Pope Francis is being painted as a humble and simple man, but his past is tinged with controversy surrounding topics as sensitive as gay marriage and political atrocities.

Questions linger about Francis' actions during the nation's dark days: the so-called Dirty War, when Argentina was ruled by dictators. The gay marriage issue came to the forefront during Francis' political fight with Argentina's president.

The conservative pontiff may hold firm on some issues, experts say, but he may be flexible on others.

"If you think that (Francis) isn't going to change anything, you're wrong," said Gustavo Girard, a retired doctor who knew Francis during his early years in the priesthood. "But is he going to approve of gay marriage tomorrow? No."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Argentina • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Francis • Vatican

Vatican denies claim that Pope Francis failed to protect Argentina priests
March 15th, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Vatican denies claim that Pope Francis failed to protect Argentina priests

Vatican City (CNN) – The Vatican pushed back Friday against claims that Pope Francis failed to protect two fellow Jesuit priests who were kidnapped during Argentina's military dictatorship.

The accusations have resurfaced since the Argentine cardinal's unexpected election to the papacy two days ago.

A book by investigative reporter Horacio Verbitsky accuses Francis, who was then referred to as Jorge Mario Bergoglio and was head of the country's Jesuit order but not yet a bishop, of deliberately failing to protect two Jesuit priests who were imprisoned by the government.

But the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, dismissed the claims - which date back to Argentina's so-called Dirty War from 1976 to 1983 - as false and defamatory.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Francis • Vatican

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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