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Pope Compares Sex Abuse by Priests to a 'Satanic Mass', Says There Will be Zero Tolerance: VIDEO

Pope

Pope Francis told reporters on a plane trip back from the Middle East on Monday that he would meet with sex abuse victims at the Vatican next month and liked sex abuse by priests to a "satanic Mass," Reuters reports:

Asked about whether he would move against bishops who were accused of sexual abuse, he said "there will be no daddy's boys" and no privileges, adding that three bishops were currently under investigation.

"Sexual abuse is such an ugly crime ... because a priest who does this betrays the body of the Lord. It is like a satanic Mass," he said in some of the toughest language he has used on a crisis which has rocked the Church for more than a decade.

"We must go ahead with zero tolerance" he said.

Watch Francis make the remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Obama Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican: VIDEO

Pope_obama

President Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time today at the Vatican, in a meeting that lasted 52 minutes. The NYT reports:

In a three-paragraph communiqué released on Thursday afternoon, the Vatican described as “cordial” the meetings between Mr. Obama and Francis, as well as a later meeting among the president, his aides and other top Vatican officials. The discussions touched on “current international themes,” according to the statement, as the Vatican also expressed hope for respect for humanitarian and international law in “areas of conflict.” Immigration reform was discussed, while both sides shared a “common commitment” to fighting human trafficking.

As expected, the Vatican communiqué also alluded to the ongoing dispute between American bishops and the Obama administration over provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the mandate that for-profit corporations must provide contraception coverage in health care plans. American bishops argue that the mandate is a violation of religious freedom. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the mandate.

In the communiqué, the Vatican noted that discussions were held on questions of particular relevance for the Church, including “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.”

Watch scenes from their meeting, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican: VIDEO" »


German Customs Intercepts Box Of Cocaine-Filled Condoms Addressed To The Vatican

Condoms

German customs officials intercepted a package at the international airport of Leipzig last January to find that it contained 340 grams of liquid cocaine, stored in condoms, and bound for the Vatican. The $55,000-worth of the narcotics were being shipped in from somewhere in South America and addressed to the main postal center in the Vatican.

Authorities initially handed the package over to Vatican police in hopes of trapping the buyer, but the box went unclaimed leaving police to believe that whomever intended to claim the drugs had been tipped off about the interception. The Vatican office of Interpol is now working on the investigation with the Leizpig prosecutor's office.


Peace Doves Released From Pope Francis’s Window Immediately Attacked By Other Birds: VIDEO

Pope francis

The AP reports on a bad omen out of Vatican City, where two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture were quickly attacked by other birds.

Bird attack_1As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.

One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.

It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.

New York quips, "Hopefully, they recovered and intend to continue to their avian fight for good. But, if something terrible happens somewhere in the world today, no one can say that there weren't any signs."

Any thoughts on what doom scenario the seagull and crow might symbolize? Bonus points for creativity.

Check out some more shots and footage of the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Peace Doves Released From Pope Francis’s Window Immediately Attacked By Other Birds: VIDEO" »


Vatican Calls On Former Swiss Guard To Expose ‘Gay Lobby’

Swiss

Earlier this month we reported on an allegation made by a former member of the Swiss Guard, the military unit charged with protecting the Pope with their lives, that he had been solicited for sex at least 20 times by members of the clergy during his tenure with the guard. The AP now reports that a top official at the Vatican has called on the former guard to name names:

Elmar Maeder, who headed the Swiss Guards from 2002-2008, told the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that he didn't doubt that predatory gays worked at the Vatican. He was quoted as saying that in his experience, "many homosexuals tend to be more loyal toward each other than toward other people or institutions." He said he wouldn't promote gay guards out of fear they might be disloyal.

In an interview with La Repubblica, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, No. 2 in the Vatican's secretariat of state, urged Maeder to provide names to back his accusations. His office confirmed his quotes Friday.

(Photo via Instagram)


Vatican Denies Pope is Open to Recognition of Same-Sex Unions

Pope Francis has been lauded recently as both Time Magazine and The Advocate's "Person of the Year," with many citing his more socially conscious piety as a revolutionary stance within the Catholic Church. The Advocate in particular recounted the Pope's now famous quote as evidence of his, and the Church's, evolving stance on issues surrounding the LGBT community: "If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?"

Popefrancis1More recently, however, the Pope said he was concerned and "shocked" about news of possible gay adoptions in Malta.

Over the weekend, the Vatican denied that new remarks from Pope Francis are an indication he is open to the idea of same-sex unions.

Reuters reports:

Francis, in a conversation with leaders of religious orders published by a Jesuit journal on Friday, said the Catholic Church had to try not to scare away children who live in complex family situations, such as those whose parents were separated and those living with gay couples.

Francis gave the example of a little girl in Buenos Aires, his former diocese, who confided to her teacher the reason she was always sad was that "my mother's girlfriend doesn't like me".

The pope told the leaders of religious orders that a great challenge for the Church would be to reach out to children living in difficult or unorthodox domestic situations.

"The situation in which we live now provides us with new challenges which sometimes are difficult for us to understand," the pope said, according to the transcript of the conversation.

"How can we proclaim Christ to these boys and girls? How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing? We must be careful not to administer a vaccine against faith to them," he said.

Italian media sources claimed on Sunday that the Pope's words indicated an openness to legal recognition of civil unions for gay couples, with some even stating that the Pope explicitly spoke about such unions. He did not, and now Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has said that the media's reports were a "manipulation" and "paradoxical" to Pope Francis's worldview. 

Lombardi said the pope was merely "alluding to the suffering of children" and not taking a stand on the political debate in Italy.


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