ROME has spoken,” runs an ancient proverb of the Roman Catholic Church. “The case is closed.” No longer true.
Shortly before he died from brain cancer, Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI. President Obama delivered the letter to the pontiff during his visit to the Vatican in July
When Pope Benedict XVI greets U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican on July 10, the symbolism and sheer star power of the encounter will keep the pundits chattering away. The photo op alone is worth a thousand words: The 82-year-old man in white, the world’s most recognizable religious leader and head of its largest single denomination comes face-to-face with the charismatic first black President of the world’s last superpower
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for about 40,000 parishioners Thursday at the Mount of the Transfiguration, outside the city of Nazareth. Nearing the end of his eight-day tour of the Middle East, the pope also attended a reception given by the mayor of Nazareth — the city described in the Bible as the boyhood home of Jesus — and was to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pope Benedict XVI called on Israelis and Palestinian to put aside their "grievances and divisions" and work toward reconciliation in the Middle East during a speech in the West Bank. “Just and peaceful coexistence among the peoples of the Middle East can only be achieved through a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, in which the rights and dignity of all are acknowledged and upheld,” the pontiff said Wednesday at a speech attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
When Pope Benedict XVI touches down for his first papal visit in the United States next week, you may notice that he doesn’t have the same onstage flair as his predecessor, John Paul II. But you may also begin to notice a very handsome man of the cloth never far from the pontiff’s side. That would be Monsignor Georg Gänswein, the Pope’s personal secretary, responsible for everything from deciding who gets to see Benedict, to keeping His Holiness on schedule, to discreetly handing him his papal reading glasses just before a homily or other public discourse
The sign outside the door read “Cinema Club”, but inside, a Catholic priest was conducting Friday mass in Arabic for Gaza’s furtive Christians. Many of those Christians bowing their heads before a statue of the Virgin Mary were hoping that the power of prayer might nudge along the Israeli security bureaucracy. Six weeks ago, 250 Christians applied for permission from the Israelis to exit the locked down Palestinian enclave of Gaza for a day to see Pope Benedict XVI as he visits in Israel on his tour of the Middle East
Critics took to the social networking site Facebook to voice their fury over Pope Benedict’s remark that condoms do not prevent HIV. Thousands have pledged to send the pontiff millions of condoms to protest the controversial comment he made to journalists as he flew to Cameroon last week. “You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters
Pope Benedict XVI’s opposition to condoms, even as a weapon to help combat the spread of AIDS, should surprise no one who knows anything about Catholic Church teachings. The 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, penned by Pope Paul VI, explicitly forbids contraception as denying the Creator’s will that humans be fruitful and multiply