January 13th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) - Amid the iconic art in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday, Pope Francis told mothers that it's acceptable to breastfeed their children in public, even in holy sites like churches.
Children's voices, even when crying, make "the most beautiful choir of all," Francis said during a service in which he baptized 32 children.
"Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry," the Pope said. "If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here, they are the main focus."
The Sistine Chapel, with its famous frescoes by Michelangelo, is the official chapel of the Apostolic Palace, traditionally the papal residence. Francis, though, lives in the Vatican guesthouse, Casa Santa Marta, saying it better suits his low-key style.
The Pope's remarks echo statements he made to an Italian newspaper in December in which he tied breastfeeding to the problem of global hunger.
November 26th, 2013
10:21 AM ET
By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) - Pope Francis on Tuesday called for big changes in the Roman Catholic Church - including at the very top - saying the church needs to rethink rules and customs that are no longer widely understood or effective for evangelizing.
"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," the Pope said in a major new statement.
"I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures," Francis added.
The Pope's address, called an "apostolic exhortation," is part mission statement, part pep talk for the world's 1.5 billion Catholics. Francis' bold language and sweeping call for change are likely to surprise even those who've grown accustomed to his unconventional papacy.
February 27th, 2013
11:35 AM ET
(CNN)– Justin Bieber's pastor, Judah Smith, says his book 'Jesus Is" challenges people to have a discussion about who Jesus was.
April 9th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
(CNN)–Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina had its Easter service in a local Jewish temple because of an earthquake centered in Virginia. CNN affiliate WCSC reports that the earthquake last August weakened the mortar between the bricks in the church that dates back to 1886.
The Easter service was held at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue two blocks from the church.
April 6th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
By Catherine E. Shoichet and Nelson Quinones, CNN
(CNN) - An emotional Hugo Chavez discussed his struggle with cancer Thursday night, tearing up at times as he spoke at a Mass in western Venezuela.
"Christ ... give me life, because I still have things to do for the people and this country. Do not take me yet," the Venezuelan president said.
At a service in his home state of Barinas billed by state television as giving thanks for his health, Chavez described cancer as "a true threat that marks the end of the path for many people. The end of the physical path, that's the truth."
But Chavez stressed that he was recovering, saying he had "much faith, much hope, much willpower to defeat this threat, as many people have, with the help of God and medical science."
He ended his sometimes somber, sometimes jocular remarks at the Holy Thursday Mass with what he said was his message for God.
"Give me your crown, Christ, give it to me. Let me bleed. Give me your cross, 100 crosses, so I can carry them. But give me life, because I still have things to do for the people and this country," Chavez said. "Do not take me yet. Give me your cross, give me your thorns, give me your blood. I am prepared to carry it. But with life, Christ. Amen."FULL STORY
March 10th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
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