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Sunday Roundup

Arianna Huffington | Posted 12.28.2014 | Politics
Arianna Huffington

This week, a world facing crises on many fronts rang in Christmas. Though this is traditionally a season of good cheer, in his holiday address at the Vatican, Pope Francis showed it could also be a time of sober reflection. The often good-humored pontiff delivered a somber message of concern for abused children, refugees, and victims of violence and war. The speech was similar in tone to his annual message to the cardinals, bishops, and priests who run the Vatican, delivered earlier in the week, in which the Pope decried 15 "ailments of the Curia." These included "careerism and opportunism," "social exhibitionism," and "spiritual Alzheimer's," seen in those who "become enslaved to the idols that they have built with their own hands." His words stand as a worthy challenge to us all to combat indifference and tap into the better angels of our nature -- no matter what religious tradition you may follow (including none at all).

Vatican Frees Woman Who Bared Breasts In St. Peter's Square On Christmas

AP | Posted 12.27.2014 | World

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Holy See has released a Ukrainian activist who bared her breasts in St. Peter's Square on Christmas Day and snatched the sta...

The Vatican's Spectacular Christmas Stamps

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 12.25.2014 | Religion

It's easy to forget that while Pope Francis is a renowned religious leader, he's also the ruler of the world's tiniest independent state. Vatican C...

6 Reasons Having A Latino Pope Has Made A Difference

The Huffington Post | Ana Maria Benedetti & Roque Planas | Posted 12.24.2014 | Latino Voices

Ever since Pope Francis started his papacy in 2013 he has proved to be very different than his predecessors. The first Latino and first Jesuit pop...

5 Of The Harshest Things Pope Francis Has Said To Vatican Curia

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 12.22.2014 | Religion

For the second year running, Pope Francis delivered what sounded like a not so Christmas-y Christmas message to Vatican Curia. In his 2014 Christmas g...

Pope Delivers Blistering Christmas Message To Vatican Curia

AP | NICOLE WINFIELD | Posted 12.22.2014 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — To the Catholic Church's "seven deadly sins," Pope Francis has added the "15 ailments of the Curia." Francis issued a blisterin...

Pope Francis Hopes Rome Hosts 2024 Summer Olympics, With A Caveat

The Associated Press | Posted 12.20.2014 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has given a papal thumbs up to Rome's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics amid talk that the Vatican might host some e...

Viva Estados Unidos

Amb. Marc Ginsberg | Posted 12.19.2014 | World
Amb. Marc Ginsberg

The impact of Obama's decision is going to be felt far beyond Miami and Havana. America's standing in Latin America just received a zeppelin-sized dose of helium.

Jaweed Kaleem

How Pope John Paul II Paved The Way For The U.S.-Cuba Thaw | Jaweed Kaleem | Posted 12.18.2014 | Religion

While Pope Francis is being credited with orchestrating the detente between the U.S. and Cuba, the roots of the delicate agreement stretch to the last...

8 Quotes In Honor Of Pope Francis' 78th Birthday

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 12.17.2014 | Religion

Pope Francis celebrated his 78th birthday on December 17. He was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936 to Italian immigrants who had made a home in ...

Hundreds Tango At The Vatican For Pope Francis' Flashmob Birthday Surprise

The Associated Press | Posted 12.17.2014 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis got a cake, cards and a tango demonstration for his 78th birthday Wednesday — and 800 kilograms (1,760 pounds) of...

The Vatican Vs. The Nuns: 3 Takeaways From Tuesday's Report

Religion News Service | David Gibson | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion

(RNS) The moment was more “Kumbaya” than “Come to Jesus” on Tuesday (Dec. 16) as the Vatican released the much-anticipated results of an inves...

Vatican Ends Six-Year Investigation On U.S. Nuns

Religion News Service | Josephine McKenna | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican ended a six-year inquiry into U.S. nuns with a report designed to bury their differences and celebrate their contributi...

Vatican To Open Pope's Farm To Public In 2015

AP | DANIELA BERRETTA | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — Pope Francis is opening the doors to an earthly paradise: the working farm at the papal summer residence here that pro...

Apostolic Visitation Report Suggests Challenges, Hope for Nuns

Sister Mary Ann Walsh | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Sister Mary Ann Walsh

The church's challenge now is to deal with the hurt that erupted when the church's call for visitations seemed to disregard what tens of thousands of nuns accomplished both in the past and today.

Thank You, Sisters

Rev. James Martin, S.J. | Posted 12.16.2014 | Religion
Rev. James Martin, S.J.

Women religious as well as their colleagues and friends will find in the report a fair depiction of the state of Catholic sisters in the United States.

The U.S. Is Asking The Vatican For Help With Guantanamo Inmates

Reuters | Posted 12.15.2014 | Politics

VATICAN CITY, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The United States, which is seeking ways to close Guantanamo Bay prison camp and to transfer inmates to third count...

Do Bacteria Go to Heaven?

Clay Farris Naff | Posted 12.15.2014 | Religion
Clay Farris Naff

Pet owners are rejoicing, and indeed even a nonbeliever like me finds it charming. Still, I worry: does His Holiness include bacteria? He had better, because bacteria are part of who we are -- a big part.

Dalai Lama: Pope Unwilling To Meet Because 'It Could Cause Problems'

Religion News Service | Josephine McKenna | Posted 12.11.2014 | Religion

ROME (RNS) The Dalai Lama said Thursday (Dec. 11) that he would not meet Pope Francis while in Rome for a summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners. “T...

Prayers Answered

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 12.10.2014 | Religion

Sister Cristina has had her prayers answered. The Italian nun who shattered stereotypes this year with her powerful voice and electric stage prese...

Pope Francis Challenges World On Exploitation And Slavery

Reuters | Philip Pullella | Posted 12.10.2014 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis called for a global mobilization to combat human trafficking and slavery on Wednesday, appealing to consumers to...

Pope Francis Critics Cite Conclave Conspiracy To Question His Papacy

Religion News Service | David Gibson | Posted 12.06.2014 | Religion

NEW YORK (RNS) Was there a secret plot to elect Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the papal conclave last year? Did Bergoglio — who became Pope F...

Pope Francis Dismisses Chief Of Swiss Guard

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 12.04.2014 | Religion

Pope Francis is dismissing the commander of his Swiss Guard, Daniel Anrig. The Vatican quietly announced the move in a short paragraph buried in it...

Pope's Astronomer Says He Would Baptize An Alien

Religion News Service | David Gibson | Posted 12.04.2014 | Religion

NEW YORK (RNS) With Christmas just around the corner, Brother Guy Consolmagno gets a lot of questions this time of year about the Star of Bethlehem th...

Pope Francis Wades Back Into Mideast Turmoil

AP | NICOLE WINFIELD and SUZAN FRASER | Posted 11.28.2014 | Religion

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorit...