Vatican real estate deal trial gets underway with defense on the attack


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — A dull silence filled the room when Cardinal Angelo Becciu, shoulders hunched and eyebrows furrowed, walked in for the first day of a historic Vatican trial, in which he is one of 10 facing a wide range of charges for their part in a real estate deal using Catholic Church funds. … Read more

Historic Vatican trial may change Catholic Church’s finances forever


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Ten Catholic clergymen and laypeople will answer charges of corruption and fraud from Vatican judges on Tuesday (July 27) in preparation for the largest trial ever held in the city-state and the first in memory to put a cardinal in the dock.  But the trial is in many ways as much … Read more

Sharon Stone says Vatican must listen to Pope Francis and welcome LGBTQ Catholics


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Hollywood’s ultimate femme fatale, actress Sharon Stone, has spoken up once again regarding the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality, this time urging the Vatican Curia to listen to what, in her view, is Pope Francis’ push for the inclusion of LGBTQ Catholics. “On gay marriage, on adoptions for singles, on various … Read more

Pope Francis, Catholic bishops call for dialogue in Cuba


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — When St. John Paul II landed in Cuba in January 1998, he became the first pontiff to visit the country, where he shared his hope for peace and freedom among its Catholic faithful. “May Cuba, with all its magnificent potential, open itself up to the world, and may the world open … Read more

When it comes to LGBTQ Catholics, what Pope Francis giveth, the Vatican taketh away


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — At last month’s Pride parade in Rome, members of the city’s LGBTQ community waved rainbow flags, strewed glitter and generally exuded love to fellow marchers and those along the route. When they occasionally showed flashes of ire, their mockery and ridicule were aimed at some of Rome’s most familiar figures: Pope … Read more

Vatican indicts cardinal and nine others connected to financial scandal


VATICAN CITY (RNS) – The Vatican indicted ten former officials and business partners on Saturday (July 3), including a cardinal, in connection to a controversial investment in property in London that depleted the church’s finances and undermined its credibility. Cardinal Angelo Becciu, 73, who Pope Francis stripped of his cardinal rights and Vatican titles in … Read more

Pope Francis urges political leaders in Lebanon to overcome partisan interests


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pope Francis shone a light on the troubled country of Lebanon, currently faced with deep economic, social and political unrest, during an ecumenical day of prayer at the Vatican, calling the country’s political leaders to set aside self-interest for the benefit of their people. “Stop using Lebanon and the Middle East … Read more

Pope Francis and Blinken discuss climate change, China at the Vatican


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Pope Francis on Monday at the Vatican, where the two discussed religious freedom in China, the climate crisis, immigration and refugees. “The meeting was extremely warm and very wide ranging,” Blinken told reporters after the meeting. “Just speaking for myself and … Read more

Vatican steps into heated debate on anti-homophobia law in Italy


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As Italy considers legislation that would make homophobia and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals punishable by law, the Vatican has been forced to weigh how its own teachings on sexuality and its claims of religious freedom will play in a changing social context. The Italian Senate is discussing a law that, if … Read more

How Pope Francis and Vatican activists helped rein in Big Oil on climate change


VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Big oil companies in the United States and Europe were forced to come to terms with their role in climate change last month after shareholders, including large mutual funds and private equity firms, pressured the companies to shift their long-criticized environmental policies. The shareholder rebellions at Chevron and Exxon made front-page … Read more