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The Pope said he chose the name Francis after 12-13th Century St Francis of Assisi, who represented poverty and peace

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Pope Francis I has said he wants “a poor Church, for the poor” following his election as the next pontiff. The Pope said he chose the name Francis after 12-13th Century St Francis of Assisi, who represented “poverty and peace”. The pontiff urged journalists to get to know the Church with its “virtues and sins” and to share its focus on “truth, goodness an...

Pope Francis I has begun his first day at the helm of the Catholic Church, attempting to set out his vision for his papacy amid a testing schedule

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Pope Francis I has begun his first day at the helm of the Catholic Church, attempting to set out his vision for his papacy amid a testing schedule. The Pope will lead cardinals in his first Mass, begin appointing senior Vatican staff and may visit his predecessor, Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus. Pope Francis I is the first Latin American and Jesuit pope and has received a flood of goodwill messages...

Pope Francis has arrived in the town of Assisi to pray at the shrine of the 13th-Century saint whose name he adopted

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Pope Francis has arrived in the town of Assisi to pray at the shrine of the 13th-Century saint whose name he adopted. The pontiff is accompanied by eight cardinals chosen to help him shape a radical programme of reform for the Vatican. The Pope has said he wants today’s Catholic Church to resemble St Francis of Assisi’s “church of the poor”. He wants to use abandoned monas...

Rush Limbaugh railed against Pope Francis for written comments made on the world economy

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In a recent interview, Pope Francis said he is not a Marxist but that even Marxists can be good people. Pope Francis was responding to conservative criticisms that his economic and social ideas smack of communism. He also denied reports that he would name a woman cardinal, said there was good progress in cleaning up Vatican finances and confirmed that he would visit Israel and the Palestinian ter...

Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church is too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception and needs to become more merciful

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Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church is too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception and needs to become more merciful. The Pope warned that the Church’s moral structure could “fall like a house of cards” unless it changed. Pope Francis used the first major interview of his papacy to explain comments he made in July about homosexuality. He to...

Pope Francis I inauguration Mass is being held in St Peter's Square in Rome, marking the official start of his papacy

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Pope Francis I inauguration Mass is being held in St Peter’s Square in Rome, marking the official start of his papacy. Pope Francis first toured the square in an open-topped vehicle, descending to bless pilgrims behind the barriers. Up to a million people, along with global political and religious leaders, are attending the Mass. Pope Francis was elected by a conclave of cardinals last week...

At an Easter vigil Mass in St Peter's, Pope Francis appealed to non-believers and lapsed Catholics to "step forward" towards God

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Pope Francis celebrates his first Easter Sunday since his election, with an open-air Mass in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The Pope will then deliver an “Urbi et Orbi” address from a balcony of St Peter’s. Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. At an Easter vigil Mass in St Peter’s, Pope Francis appealed to non-believers and lapsed Catho...

Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become a compassionate NGO without spiritual renewal

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Newly-elected Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become “a compassionate NGO” without spiritual renewal. In a Sistine Chapel Mass with cardinals on his first day as Church leader, Pope Francis said: “If we do not confess to Christ, what would we be? “We would end up a compassionate NGO. What would happen would be like when children make sand castles and then...

Pope Francis has met thousands of pilgrims at Copacabana beach to hold the greeting ceremony for World Youth Day

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Pope Francis has met thousands of pilgrims at Copacabana beach, in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, to hold the greeting ceremony for World Youth Day. After arriving by helicopter, Pope Francis drove along the 2.5 miles of the beach, stopping many times to greet the crowd. An estimated 1 million pilgrims attended the event, following a papal visit to a shanty town, or favela. Meanwhile, bad...

Pope Francis has called for power in the Catholic Church to be devolved away from the Vatican

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The Vatican has unveiled Evangelii Gaudium, the first major work Pope Francis has written in the role. Pope Francis has called for power in the Catholic Church to be devolved away from the Vatican. In his Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis says he is open to suggestions to changes in the power of the papacy. The pontiff also warns that rising global economic inequality is bound to explode in conflic...

Pope Francis lying on the floor during Good Friday service in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

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Pope Francis was pictured lying on the floor during Good Friday service in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Presiding over his first Easter week as pope, Pope Francis lay prostrate, praying to God before the famous church’s alter atop a rug with his arms resting on a pillow. The position of worship was adopted as he led the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter&...

Pope Francis says Pope Benedict's decision to resign was a great example

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Pope Francis said during his Sunday Angelus address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was “a great example” of what it means to follow one’s conscience through prayer. Following one’s conscience doesn’t mean chasing after one’s own self-interests; it calls for listening to God, understanding his w...

Pope Francis told Vatican officials he wants them to display professionalism and competence as well as holiness in their lives

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Pope Francis told Vatican officials he wants them to display professionalism and competence as well as holiness in their lives. The pontiff warned Vatican administrators Saturday that their work can take a downward spiral into mediocrity, gossip and bureaucratic squabbling if they forget that theirs is a professional vocation of service to the church. Pope Francis made the comments in his Christm...

Before Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Francis personally placed a baby Jesus doll in a replica of a manger, a custom usually performed by an aid

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Pope Francis celebrated his first Christmas Eve Mass since becoming pontiff St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The pontiff once again preached the importance of acceptance and humility, qualities he has demonstrated continually in his first nine months as head of the Catholic Church. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” Pope Francis began, quoting from...

Pope Francis has arrived in Rio de Janeiro on his first trip abroad since becoming head of the Catholic Church

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Pope Francis has arrived in Rio de Janeiro on his first trip abroad since becoming head of the Catholic Church in March. The first Latin American Pope touched down at Rio de Janeiro airport on Monday afternoon and was greeted by Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. The Argentina-born pontiff has travelled to Brazil to attend the Roman Catholic World Youth Day festival. En route, Pope Francis told r...

Pope Francis has once again condemning the Roman Catholic Church’s narcissistic “Vatican-centric view” of religion

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Pope Francis has once again condemning the Roman Catholic Church’s narcissistic “Vatican-centric view” of religion. Pope Francis, who was elected earlier this year after Pope Benedict’s resignation, has been praised for his comments since taking the position. During a discussion with the atheist editor of La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, Pope Francis once again made it clear that he is lookin...

More than three million people are estimated to have gathered for Pope Francis’ final service in the city of Rio de Janeiro

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Pope Francis has closed World Youth Day festival in Rio de Janeiro with a Mass on Copacabana beach. More than three million people are estimated to have gathered for the service in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Many of the pilgrims had slept on the beach after attending an all-night vigil, which Pope Francis also led. Sunday’s ceremony marks the end of the Pope’s five-day visit to Brazi...

Pope Francis has an average approval rating from his constituency that any US presidents would envy

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...er poll has found that 40% of American Catholics are praying more often than they did a year ago. As Pope Francis wraps up his first year in the Vatican, analysts say the survey’s findings could be explained by what is called the “Francis Effect”. The “Francis Effect” is the impact of a very popular pope with the common touch who isn’t afraid to shake things up. Although Pope Fra...

Crowds of Roman Catholic pilgrims in Rio de Janeiro have joined Pope Francis for a re-enactment of Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion

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Crowds of Roman Catholic pilgrims in Rio de Janeiro have joined Pope Francis for a re-enactment of Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion. The Stations of the Cross march comes on the Pope’s fifth day in Brazil for World Youth Day – a weeklong event for more than a million young Christians. Pope Francis spoke about the lack of faith in political institutions perceived as selfish...

Pope Francis marked Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter's Square ignoring his prepared homily

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Pope Francis marked Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter’s Square ignoring his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, the pontiff hopped off his popemobile to pose for “selfies” with young people in the crowd. In his homily, Pope Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their own hearts to see how they are liv...

Vatican is celebrating Pope Francis’ first year in office

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The Vatican is celebrating Pope Francis’ first year in office. The pontiff is currently on a week-long spiritual retreat with cardinals and bishops in the Alban Hills near Rome. Italian opinion polls give Pope Francis the highest popularity rating of any recent pontiff. Pope Francis is the first Latin American – and the first Jesuit – to lead the Roman Catholic Church. Since taking of...

Pope Francis was flown by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo for a private lunch with Pope Emeritus Benedict

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Pope Francis has met his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, for a private lunch at Castel Gandolfo; the first time such a meeting has been possible for more than 600 years. Pope Francis was flown by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo for the private lunch with Pope Emeritus Benedict. Benedict has lived at the lakeside castle south of Rome since last month, when he became the first pope in six ce...

Crowds mobbed Pope Francis' car in Rio de Janeiro as it made its way from the airport

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Pope Francis has been greeted by tens of thousands of Brazilian pilgrims as he toured Rio de Janeiro in an open car and then met President Dilma Rousseff at the state governor’s palace. After the pontiff left, police fired tear gas to disperse protests against both the government and the cost of the visit. Pope Francis is in Brazil to attend the Roman Catholic World Youth Day festival. In a...

Pope Francis prepares to tackle some of the Catholic Church's major problems and he starts with the Vatican Bank, which has been accused of laundering money

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Pope Francis prepares to tackle some of the Catholic Church’s major problems and he starts with the Vatican Bank, which has been accused of laundering money. The pontiff is starting with the bank as he plans to reform the Church into a model of austerity and honesty. Pope Francis has spent the first weeks of his papacy officiating at services and demonstrating how true servants of God shoul...

Pope Francis has referred to "so many Muslim brothers and sisters" during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East

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Pope Francis has referred to “so many Muslim brothers and sisters” during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East. The newly-elected Pope, who has rankled traditionalists by rejecting many trappings of his office, mostly stuck to the traditional script during the nighttime Via Crucis (Way of the...