May 28th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

No cardinal suspected of pope papers leak, Vatican insists

By the CNN Wire Staff

Rome (CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI's spokesman denied Monday that a cardinal or a woman were being investigated alongside the pope's butler on suspicion of leaking confidential documents.

"I firmly deny the reports of a cardinal being also involved in the investigations, as well as the reports of a woman allegedly also involved," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN.

Butler Paolo Gabriele has been formally charged with aggravated theft for allegedly stealing private documents, Lombardi said.

Gabriele was arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential papers to an Italian journalist, the Vatican said Saturday.

The formal investigation is ongoing, Lombardi said Monday, refusing to comment on how long it will last.

Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday, accused of illegal possession of confidential documents, found in his apartment in Vatican territory, the Vatican said in a statement issued three days later.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Vatican

Pope calls for end to Syria bloodshed in Easter message
April 9th, 2012
01:37 PM ET

Pope calls for end to Syria bloodshed in Easter message

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday called for an end to violence in Syria, as well as a renewed peace effort in the Middle East, in his annual Easter Mass message from the Vatican as Christians worldwide marked the holiday.

"May the risen Christ grant hope to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in that region to work together to advance the common good and respect for human rights," the pope said in his "Urbi et Orbi" ("To the City and to the World") message in St. Peter's Square.

"Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community, he said. "May the many refugees from that country who are in need of humanitarian assistance find the acceptance and solidarity capable of relieving their dreadful sufferings."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

March 26th, 2012
09:52 AM ET

Pope heads to Cuba after Mexico visit

By David Ariosto, CNN

Havana, Cuba (CNN) - Pope Benedict heads to Cuba on Monday on the second leg of a tour he's using not just to spread the faith but to address political issues.

Benedict will arrive at the island nation from Mexico, where he denounced drug wars and violence Friday in a visit scheduled just months ahead of its presidential elections. He also blasted Cuba's Marxist political system, saying it "no longer corresponds to reality."

The pope's comments, delivered to reporters aboard a flight from Rome to Mexico, sparked speculation over what he will say once he addresses the Cuban people directly.

Read the full story on Pope Benedict's trip to Cuba
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Americas • Belief • Catholic Church • Cuba • Pope Benedict XVI

March 24th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Mexico spends millions to greet pope

By Rafael Romo, CNN

(CNN) - It has been a project of celestial proportions, but it's finally ready. Construction workers have labored nonstop for months.

Their mission? To build an altar worthy of a pope and an outdoor venue that can accommodate as many as 700,000 people.

The altar where Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass on Sunday is located at Bicentennial Park in Mexico's Guanajuato state, the heartland of Mexican Catholicism. Guanajuato has the highest percentage of Catholics in Mexico at well over 90 percent.

Benedict is expected to arrive at 4:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET) Friday at Guanajuato's International Airport.
The nation's Catholics have been waiting for a papal visit since Joseph Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy in 2005. President Felipe Calderon invited the pontiff to Mexico when they met in Vatican City in 2007 and then again in May of last year when Juan Diego, a Mexican Indian, was canonized.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

Marxism 'no longer responds to reality,' pope says of Cuba
Pope Benedict XVI, center, is welcomed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, right, and his wife Margarita Zavala, upon his arrival at Silao's international airport in Guanajuato, Mexico, on Friday.
March 24th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Marxism 'no longer responds to reality,' pope says of Cuba

By Michael Martinez, CNN

(CNN) - Responding to Pope Benedict XVI's comment that Marxism "no longer responds to reality," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Friday that his country respects all opinions.

"We consider the exchange of ideas useful," Rodriguez said at Havana's historic Hotel Nacional, adding that his country is perfecting its system.

The pontiff answered reporters' questions about the Caribbean communist island on the papal plane Friday as he began a six-day trip to Mexico and Cuba, according to the Vatican. He arrived in Mexico on Friday afternoon.

"With this visit, a way of cooperation and dialogue has been inaugurated, a long road that requires patience but that leads forward," the pope said, according to the Vatican.

"It is evident today that Marxist ideology as it had been conceived no longer responds to reality," Benedict continued.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.