February 20th, 2013
05:48 PM ET
CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on Pope Benedict's plans after he leaves his post and where he will live.
February 18th, 2013
10:01 AM ET
By Livia Borghese and Laura Smith-Spark for CNN
Rome (CNN) - The cardinals who must pick a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he steps down on February 28 could meet to make the decision sooner than thought, a Vatican spokesman said Saturday.
The conclave, the meeting which will bring together the 117 cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, could start before March 15 if all the cardinals are already in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi said.
Lombardi had previously said the conclave was likely to start between March 15 and 19.
But he gave new details Saturday, saying that because the pope had resigned rather than the conclave being triggered by his death, there was scope for the time frame to be brought forward.
The decision may not come until after Benedict's departure and lies in the hands of the cardinals, he added.FULL STORY
October 21st, 2012
01:56 PM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
(CNN) - Sunday was a big day for Catholics in North America. Thousands of miles away in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI named 17th century Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha the first Native American saint.
Another newly named saint is Marianne Cope, a German-born woman who emigrated to the United States as a child, became a nun and went on to devote 30 years of her life helping lepers in Hawaii.
Their canonization, along with that of five other saints, was celebrated at a special Mass in St. Peter's Square Sunday morning.
"This is a great weekend for America in the Vatican, and it's really a great weekend for Native Americans. Sainthood is the guarantee that this person is close to God," said Vatican senior communications adviser Greg Burke.
"There's a vast history of people the Catholic Church has made saints over the centuries. Holiness is absolutely a matter of equal opportunity, but this certainly is special because it marks the first time a Native American becomes a saint."FULL STORY
May 31st, 2012
01:39 PM ET
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI's spokesman has denied the pontiff will resign over the arrest of his butler on suspicion of leaking confidential documents, the Vatican press office said Thursday.
During a Wednesday meeting with journalists to answer questions about the situation, the Rev. Frederico Lombardi said the "hypothesis" advanced by some media outlets that the pope would resign are "baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality."
Butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested last week and accused of illegal possession of confidential documents. Lombardi said Wednesday that Gabriele has met with his attorneys, "who will probably request monitored surveillance or house arrest for their client."
Gabriele, one of only a handful of people with access to the pontiff's private desk, has been charged with aggravated theft for allegedly stealing private documents, Lombardi said earlier. He is suspected of leaking the papers to an Italian journalist.FULL STORY
May 28th, 2012
12:21 PM ET
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.FULL STORY
March 26th, 2012
09:52 AM ET
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
March 24th, 2012
10:00 PM ET
By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
Santiago, Cuba (CNN) - Facing the stage where Pope Benedict XVI will deliver his first Mass in Cuba during his visit here this week is a giant neon billboard of a young and victorious Fidel Castro brandishing a rifle.
It would appear to be a poor omen for the pope’s visit, if not for the message printed beside the Cuban leader: “Rebels yesterday, hospitable today, always heroic.” It’s the slogan for Santiago de Cuba, the first stop on the pope’s three-day trip to the island nation.
The freshly erected sign offers insight into the changing, often hard to read, relationship between the Cuban government and the Catholic Church.
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.