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Pope Francis

Pope, Abbas discuss Jerusalem at first meeting after US embassy move

VATICAN CITY: The Vatican expressed concern over the status of Jerusalem on Monday as Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held their first meeting since the United States stirred international anxiety by moving its embassy there. The two embraced and kissed on the cheek as the pontiff welcomed Abbas to a library in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for a private, 20-minute meeting. “Particular attention was reserved for the status of Jerusalem, underlining the importance of recognizing and preserving its…

Pope says will not respond to allegations of abuse cover-up

VATICAN: Pope Francis said on Sunday he would not respond to explosive accusations by a former top Vatican official that the pontiff had covered up sexual abuse, saying dismissively that the document containing the allegations “speaks for itself”. Francis, talking to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from Dublin, said he would “not say one word” on the 11-page document, in which the former official says Francis should resign. The pontiff said journalists should read the document carefully and decide for…

Pope Francis meets Irish abuse survivors

DUBLIN: Pope Francis met with eight Irish survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse for 90 minutes on Saturday during the first papal visit to Ireland since 1979, a Vatican spokesman said. Those who met the pope included Marie Collins and Paul Redmond, two leading campaigners. Some victims of abuse had wanted for Francis to meet such campaigners who they said would challenge him on the Vatican’s role in the scandals. Redmond, who was born in one of Ireland’s church-run “Mother and Baby Homes” and adopted…

Astronauts give Pope Francis personalized space suit, add white cape

VATICAN CITY: Astronauts from the International Space Station gave Pope Francis his own blue jumpsuit on Friday but to distinguish him from ordinary planetary pilgrims like themselves they added a white cape. “Since clothes make the man, we thought we’d have a flight suit like ours made for you,” Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli told the pope at a meeting in the Vatican also attended by four other Space Station veterans - three Americans and one Russian. “OK, and you will plan my trip,” joked the 81-year-old pontiff,…

Pope condemns Gaza killings, says Mideast needs justice, peace

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the killing of Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border, saying the deaths would only lead to more violence, and appealed for dialogue to bring justice and peace to the Middle East. “I express my great pain for the dead and wounded and I am close in prayer and affection to all those who are suffering,” he told tens of thousands of people at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square. “I repeat that the use of violence never leads to peace. War begets war and violence…

Pope becomes ice cream man for a day

Here’s the scoop: Pope Francis became an ice cream man for a day on Monday as Rome charity workers dished out 3,000 helpings of gelato to the homeless and needy as his gift to them on his name day. Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio and, in keeping with papal tradition, does not celebrate his birthday, but the feast day of the saint he was named after at birth. Monday is the feast of St. George and a holiday in the Vatican. The Vatican’s alms-giving office said 3,000 ice creams would be given out in the pope’s…

Pope wears Sindhi Ajrak gifted by a Pakistani

A Pakistani man recently presented Sindhi Ajrak to Pope Francis as an Easter gift and he happily accepted the present and wore it. According to reports, Daniyal, a member of Jesus Youth of St. Paul’s Parish Mehmoodabad Archdiocese Karachi, was in Vatican to attend the central ceremony of Easter, a Christian holiday. While presenting the gift, the man also took a selfie with Pope and posted on the social media. Reports say the man snapped the picture in March, however it didn’t come to notice. It started to get…

Pope, after Gaza violence, says ‘defenseless’ being killed in Holy Land

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis, in his Easter address on Sunday, called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there “does not spare the defenseless”. The pope made his appeal in his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to tens of thousands of people in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass. He also appealed for an end to the “carnage” in Syria, calling…

Pope rails against ‘fake news’

ROME: Pope Francis warned on Wednesday against the temptation of fake news, drawing a parallel between ethically compromised journalism and the biblical tale of Adam, Eve, the snake and the forbidden fruit. In his annual World Communication Day message held on the feast day of Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists, the Pope referred to Eve being fooled by the snake as "the first fake news". "We need to unmask what could be called the 'snake-tactics' used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike,"…