Vatican City

Health
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict received first shot of Covid-19 vaccine
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict received first shot of Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Vatican News

The Vatican confirmed on Thursday that Pope Francis, aged 84, and retired Pope Benedict, aged 93, have had their first doses of a coronavirus vaccine. The pontiff and his predecessor got the first half of their vaccinations as part of a campaign for Vatican City residents and employees launched on January 13th.

"You are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others," Francis said in a recent interview with Italian broadcaster Canale 5. He said "anti-vaxxers" were living in inexplicable "suicidal denial."

In December, the head of the Vatican's health service said the tiny city-state would roll out its vaccination program with the Pfizer medication.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope's personal physician dies of Covid-19 complications after already heaving cancer

Pope Francis' personal physician, Fabrizio Soccorsi, has died as a result of an infection with the coronavirus. As reported by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the 78-year-old died after "complications" from a Covid 19 infection. Soccorsi had been admitted to Rome's Gemelli University Hospital on Christmas Day due to cancer.

The 84-year-old pontiff wants to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican: "Morally acceptable" to receive Coronavirus vaccines using abortion cell lines
Vatican: "Morally acceptable" to receive Coronavirus vaccines using abortion cell lines
Credit: Raffaele Esposito, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Vatican said that it is "morally acceptable" to receive a Coronavirus vaccine even if cell lines from tissues of aborted fetuses were used in its production. The Vatican stated that the use of such vaccines "does not in itself constitute a legitimation, even indirect, of the practice of abortion".

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions
Pope Francis
Pope Francis Credit: Long Thiên (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pope Francis as made his most explicit endorsement of same-sex civil unions since becoming pontiff while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. "You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."

Regional News • World
Pope Francis calls for reform of market capitalism
Pope Francis calls for reform of market capitalism
Credit: Granittemaj / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Laying out his vision for a world after the Covid-19 pandemic, Pope Francis has stated that the "magic theories" of market capitalism have failed during the pandemic.

He has called for a new dialogue and solidarity in order to prevent war at all costs. He stated in response to the political actions from countries during the pandemic that "anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality".

In addition, he states that "it is imperative to have a proactive economic policy directed at ‘promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity’ and makes it possible for jobs to be created, and not cut".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Vatican denies Mike Pompeo audience with Pope Francis
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City, on October 3, 2019
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with His Holiness Pope Francis in Vatican City, on October 3, 2019 Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States / Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher have stated that Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, has been denied an audience with Pope Francis and stated that "the pope had already said clearly that political figures are not received in election periods".