Catholic Church

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican explicitly rejects blessing of same-sex couples claiming God "cannot bless sin"
St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican
St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican Credit: Érico Andrei (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Vatican issued a statement approved by Pope Francis on Monday, saying that the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions as they are a "choice" and a "sin" and therefore "cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God".

"At the same time, the Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him 'we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit'. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact 'takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are'," the statement read. "For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above."

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis starts his Iraq trip
Pope Francis and Mustafa al-Kadhimi
Pope Francis and Mustafa al-Kadhimi Credit: Vatican News

For the first time, a Catholic leader has travelled to Baghdad.

At the start of his trip, the Pope called for the coexistence of religions. Speaking at a reception with Head of State Barham Salih at the presidential palace, Francis said it was crucial to involve all political, social and religious groups and guarantee the fundamental rights of all citizens. "No one should be considered a second-class citizen," he said. At the same time, he called for an end to violence: "Let the guns be silent".

Lifestyle • Religion
First woman appointed to the Synod of Bishops
Sister Nathalie Becquart
Sister Nathalie Becquart Credit: Peter Potrowl (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In a world-first, The Pope has appointed a woman to the role of undersecretary to the Synod of Bishops.

The woman, named as Sister Nathalie Becquart from France, will have voting rights in the body which advises the pontiff and debates some of the most controversial issues in the Catholic Church.

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".

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Credit: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The second most senior official in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has unexpectedly resigned from office after being involved in a controversial deal to use church funds to invest in the purchase a London building. Becciu has denied any wrongdoings.

"Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu," so the Holy See.

"An investment was made on a building. It was good and opportune occasion, which many people envy us for today," Becciu earlier this year.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis urges politicians to move funds from weapons to medical research to prevent future pandemic

During an outdoor prayer service with around 130 attendees, Pope Francis has urged politicians to move funds from weapons towards medical research in order to prevent the next pandemic. Most of the invited people were directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and most of them wore masks during the prayer service except when leading prayers at the microphone. The Pope himself sat separated from the others and did not wear a mask himself.