Vatican refuses comment on reports Kentucky clerk met pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has refused to comment on reports that while in Washington, Pope Francis briefly met with Kim Davis, the county clerk from Kentucky who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses. Davis, the elected clerk of Rowan County, initially refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples and then…

Pope Francis to see ‘Homeless Jesus’ during U.S. visit

WASHINGTON — When Pope Francis approaches the Catholic Charities building in downtown Washington during his U.S. visit in September, he will encounter a “homeless person” covered in a blanket laying on a park bench.The scene actually is a sculpture. And it’s not a work of art depicting any homeless person; it’s the bronze image of…

Vatican U.N. representative reports high interest in papal visit

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Requests for copies of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical and the demand for tickets to see him at the United Nations indicate enthusiasm and expectations for Pope Francis’ visit are running high, said the Vatican representative. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, head of the Holy See’s permanent observer mission at the United Nations, told…

Ideals worth sacrificing for: Pope to challenge U.S. Congress, U.N.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Along with having a winning smile and a warm embrace, Pope Francis is known for challenging people. He does it regularly at morning Mass — particularly calling out hypocrisy and gossip — and does not spare even his closest aides in the Roman Curia, so it is unlikely his speeches to…

Pope says Paraguayans in poor barrio remind him of Holy Family

ASUNCION, Paraguay (CNS) — Pope Francis returned to his roots July 12 when he visited Banado Norte, a poor neighborhood near the Paraguay River where residents battle seasonal flooding and face possible eviction. “I couldn’t be in Paraguay without being with you, in your land,” he told the crowd gathered outside St. John the Baptist…

At Bolivian prison, pope calls himself man ‘saved from his many sins’

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia (CNS) — Pope Francis visited one of Latin America’s most notorious prisons, calling himself “a man who was and is saved from his many sins.” “I couldn’t leave Bolivia without seeing you, without sharing the hope and faith given in the cross,” he told people at Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz. Speaking…

Polish leaders hope Pope Francis visits Auschwitz when he comes in 2016

OXFORD, England (CNS) — Although no date has been set, church leaders in Poland hope Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during a July 2016 visit to Poland for World Youth Day. “We hope Pope Francis will come to Auschwitz and deliver a warning to the world by again demonstrating…