New & Noteworthy:

Pope Francis

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio (b. Dec. 17, 1936) is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, a position also holding the roles of Sovereign of Vatican City and the Bishop of Rome. Born in Buenos Aires as the son of Italian parents, Bergoglio was ordained a priest in 1969. From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina’s Provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and a cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, on 13 March 2013 the papal conclave elected Bergoglio, who chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first from the Southern Hemisphere. [ Wikipedia ]

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Report: Pope rejected gay French diplomat over displeasure with same-sex marriage in France

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Laurent Stéfanini
A French newspaper reports that Pope Francis met France’s nominated ambassador to the Holy See, who is openly gay, and told him that the Vatican would not accept his appointment. [...]

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Vatican mum on why France’s appointment of a gay diplomat has stalled

Friday, April 10, 2015
St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City
The Vatican has yet to approve the appointment of an openly gay French ambassador to the Holy See, prompting observers to interpret the silence as a rebuke of the man’s sexual orientation. [...]

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Pope Francis to lunch with gay, transgender, HIV positive prison inmates

Friday, March 20, 2015
Pope Francis
The Italian news site Vatican Insider reports the Pontiff will lunch with about 90 prisoners on Saturday as as part of a day trip to Southern Italy. [...]

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Gay Catholics get Vatican welcome, but no papal shout-out

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Sister Jeannine Gramick, left, and Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of Catholic gay rights group New Ways Ministry, pose for a photo in front of St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, after attending Pope Francis' weekly general audience, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.
The Vatican did something it has never done before by giving a group of U.S. gay and lesbian Catholics VIP seats at Pope Francis' weekly general audience Wednesday. [...]

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Pope Francis urges Slovakia to vote ‘yes’ on referendum to restrict gay rights

Friday, February 6, 2015
Slovakia
Slovakia's anti-gay marriage movement has received massive support from the Catholic Church, and Pope Francis this week even gave his blessing to the referendum in an address on St. Peter's Square. [...]

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Vatican says bishops should be led by Pope on issues relating to gay families

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Vatican City
The Vatican is urging bishops to be guided by Pope Francis on family issues and pastoral care for gay and divorced Catholics and those living in civil unions. [...]

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Austria politician tells Pope Francis to speak up for same-sex marriage

Friday, November 28, 2014
Ulrike Lunacek
STRASBOURG, France -- A prominent, openly lesbian politician from Austria presented Pope Francis with a rainbow scarf on Tuesday, and called on the Pontiff to speak up for women’s rights and same-sex marriage. [...]

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Why I want Pope Francis to write a requiem for Gabriel Fernandez, the boy tortured to death for appearing gay

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Gabriel Fernandez
There is a story that I have felt compelled to write for three months. I have not written it because I have found it difficult to find the words. I have the words. I have the exact words. I have written them before. The story that has nagged at me [...]

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Pope reinforces ‘traditional’ family values in opening religious conference

Monday, November 17, 2014
Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said Monday that children have the right to grow up with a mother and a father, emphasizing traditional family values as he opened an interreligious conference on the "complementarity" of men and women in marriage. [...]

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Hardline anti-gay U.S. cardinal loses another Vatican job

Sunday, November 9, 2014
Cardinal Raymond Burke
VATICAN CITY -- American Cardinal Raymond Burke, a fervent opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage, was removed by Pope Francis from another top Vatican post on Saturday. The removal of Burke as head of the Holy See's supreme court was widely expected in church circles. [...]

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