‘I didn’t have the courage to give him the bill’

Pope heads to Vatican cafeteria for Friday lunch By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service Taking the chef completely by surprise, Pope Francis unexpectedly showed up to eat with the Vatican’s blue collar workers at their cafeteria in the tiny city-state’s “industrial park.” “He showed up, got his tray, silverware, he stood in line and we…

Woman who faced execution in Sudan meets with pope

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service Meeting a Sudanese woman who risked execution for not renouncing her Catholic faith, Pope Francis thanked Meriam Ibrahim for her steadfast witness to Christ. The pope spent 30 minutes with Ibrahim, her husband and two small children July 24, just hours after she had arrived safely in Italy following…

Changing needs, changing names: Reform of Curia is Vatican tradition

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation. For centuries, popes were assisted in their ministry by the cardinals meeting in…

Ukraine crisis shows the danger of manipulating truth, chaplain says

ROME (CNS) — Propaganda and fear were the sparks that ignited the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has become a real war, said a Jesuit military chaplain. “In Ukraine you can see how distortion of truth, how perversion of reality, can actually cause a real war where people are killed — innocent people…

Holy Land still safe for pilgrimages, says head of U.S. tour group

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The head of a Michigan-based tour company that leads trips to the Holy Land said the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas so far has not had an impact on pilgrimages he and his associates lead. “Everything is still functioning like in any other normal business day. The sector of tourism industry…

Campaign against human trafficking must focus on victims, speakers say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Estimates of the number of people around the world who are victims of human trafficking are rising, partly because globalization has made it easier to move people and partly because governments, churches and international organizations are better at recognizing the phenomenon, a U.S. government official said. Luis CdeBaca, ambassador-at-large in the…

Central American leaders on panel discuss limited options for migrants

WASHINGTON (CNS) — While Central American children and families continue risking their lives to enter the U.S. illegally, political leaders have limited some of the options available to them once they leave their countries of origin. The foreign ministers of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador described current alternatives available to migrants during a July 24…

Philippine cardinal confirms pope to visit in January

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle confirmed July 29 that Pope Francis will visit Jan. 15-19, after spending several days in Sri Lanka. Church and government officials did not give details of the visit, saying instead that specifics would be released before the end of the year. The pope is expected to…

Top 10 secrets to happiness from Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis’ secret recipe for happiness. In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life: 1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should…