Meeting reporters on plane, pope defends his teaching on social issues

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM CUBA (CNS) — Pope Francis defended his position on the economy, the environment and other social issues as faithful repetitions of the basic Catholic social doctrine. Speaking to reporters flying with him from Cuba to Washington Sept. 22, the pope was asked about comments, mainly from the United States, claiming…

Chefs working at a ‘different level’ cooking for Pope Francis, homeless

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Cooking for 1,900 people, no problem. Cooking for the pope? Now that requires extra care. Chefs Michael McDonald and Irshaad Ellis-Bey say they are up to the challenge. Both men are heading the effort of the Washington Archdiocese’s Catholic Charities Enterprises catering service in preparing a meal for 500 guests, including Pope…

Pope visits Fidel Castro before formal meeting with Cuba’s president

HAVANA (CNS) — Although it was not part of his formal program, Pope Francis took time after Sunday Mass to visit Cuba’s ailing former leader, Fidel Castro. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that after the Mass Sept. 20 in Havana’s Revolution Square, Pope Francis was driven to the ailing 89-year-old’s residence for the…

Cardinals with role in U.S.-Cuba deal present at Havana Mass

HAVANA (CNS) — Pope Francis, celebrating his first Mass in Cuba, was flanked by three cardinals who, with him, have been credited with helping seal the deal between the United States and Cuba to move toward normalizing relations. Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana was the host of the Mass Sept. 20 in Havana’s…

Comprehensive media coverage expected for papal visit to U.S.

NEW YORK (CNS) — “All Francis, All the Time” could be the motto for media coverage of Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States Sept. 22-27. Across network and cable television, satellite radio, the Web and social media, Catholics and the public at large will enjoy a feast of viewing and listening opportunities. Offered…

Cardboard cutout of pope takes tour of Catholic sites in Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. (CNS) — Mayor Jim Schmitt’s 2014 invitation to Pope Francis to visit Green Bay sounded like a lark or pipe dream to some people. It was right around March 1, 2014 — a month before April Fool’s Day — when the city’s mayor wrote his letter to Pope Francis. “During your visit…

Migration, freedom, ecology to be topics on pope trip, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Arriving in the United States from Cuba, Pope Francis “will enter as a migrant” as millions of people have done before him, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. The cardinal, who will accompany the pope on his Sept. 19-27 visits to Cuba, the United States and the United Nations,…