Pope approves synod members elected by U.S. bishops, other conferences

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally approved the delegates to October’s synod on the family elected by 28 bishops’ conferences, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; other conferences have yet to elect their delegates or have done so only recently. The pope approved the U.S. bishops’ election of: Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of…

CSI mummy: Vatican experts use forensic science to unravel mysteries

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Scientific advancements in imaging technology, genetics and nano research have allowed museums to make new and surprising discoveries about the tightly wrapped mysteries of ancient mummies. The Vatican Museums also have been employing the latest state-of-the-art laboratory tools and tests to find out more about the ancient mummies in its collections….

Pope: Tree, creche inspire everyone, even nonbelievers, to love, share

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God did not come to the world with arrogance to impose his might; he offered his powerful love through a fragile child, Pope Francis said. The Christmas tree and Nativity scene are reminders of this mystery of the Incarnation and they both carry “a message of light, hope and love,” he…

Cuba-U.S. reset long promoted by church leaders in both countries

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A not-insignificant part of the diplomatic coup pulled off by the White House and Cuban leaders Dec. 17 was that hardly anyone knew they had been working toward a reset in relations between the two neighbors and longtime antagonists. That the two nations had been negotiating in secret for 18 months and…

Kerry asks Vatican for help in relocating Guantanamo detainees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Vatican counterpart Dec. 15, and asked him to support the Obama administration’s efforts to close the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, met with Kerry for an hour, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi,…

Pope Francis commissions showers for homeless by St. Peter’s Square

Vatican Radio –  Pope Francis has commissioned three showers to be built for use by the homeless in the area under St. Peter’s colonnades. The showers will be installed in an existing lavatory block used by pilgrims and tourists and the building works are set to begin on November 17th.  The initiative was inspired by…

Vatican public restrooms to include showers for the homeless

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The archbishop who distributes charity on behalf of Pope Francis has announced that the public restrooms in St. Peter’s Square will include showers where the homeless can wash. The service will require volunteers and donations of soap, towels and clean underwear, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, told Catholic News Service…

Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis removed U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, 66, as head of the Vatican’s highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post for a chivalric religious order. Cardinal Burke, formerly prefect of the Apostolic Signature, will now serve asCardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Vatican announced Nov. 8. The move…

Vatican official says U.N. framework is best way to fight terrorism

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The U.N.’s framework provides the “only viable way” of dealing with the global nature of modern terrorism “which knows no borders,” the Vatican’s secretary of state told the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 29. “This reality requires a renewed United Nations that undertakes to foster and preserve peace,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin,…