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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Advocate for homeless LGBT youth calls on Pope to end religion’s anti-gay messaging

Sunday, April 13, 2014
NEW YORK -- Homeless LGBT youth advocate Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, America's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth, is calling on Pope Francis to to lead the world's religious communities in bringing an end to the "grave moral failure" by the Church to embrace LGBT youth and families. [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis presses anti-AIDS chastity strategy in Africa

Monday, April 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has praised church workers in Africa who promote chastity as a key way to prevent the spread of HIV. [ Read more → ]
Pablo Martinez Monsivais,  APPresident Barack Obama in Brussels, Belgium, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

On eve of meeting with Pope Francis, Obama lectures Russia on LGBT rights

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday again took aim at Russia's anti-gay laws following talks with European Union and NATO leaders on Russia's military-backed annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis suggests Catholic Church could support same-sex civil unions

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
ROME -- While reaffirming the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage, Pope Francis said in a newspaper interview Wednesday that the church could support some form of civil unions. [ Read more → ]
Andrew Medichini, APPope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican to attend the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.

Pope opens big week with sex, divorce, homosexuality, gay marriage on agenda

Monday, February 17, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Meetings this week between Pope Francis and his cardinals will deal with some of the thorniest issues facing the church, including the rejection by most Catholics of some of its core teaching on premarital sex, contraception, gays and divorce. [ Read more → ]
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Vatican surveys find Catholics reject rules on morality, gay marriage

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Surveys commissioned by the Vatican have shown that the vast majority of Catholics in Germany and Switzerland reject church teaching on contraception, sexual morality, gay unions and divorce. [ Read more → ]
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‘Advocate’ names Pope Francis ‘most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people’

Monday, December 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES — The Advocate, the oldest and largest gay-interest magazine in the U.S., on Monday announced it has selected Pope Francis as “the single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people.” [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis named Time magazine’s Person of the Year

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
NEW YORK -- Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year on Wednesday, saying the Catholic Church's new leader has changed the perception of the 2,000-year-old institution in an extraordinary way in a short time. [ Read more → ]
Patrick Semansky, AP

Vatican ambassador: U.S. bishops shouldn’t preach ideology

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
BALTIMORE — The Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said Monday they should not "follow a particular ideology" and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church. [ Read more → ]
Alessandra Tarantino, APPope Francis

Vatican polls parishes on birth control, same-sex marriage

Thursday, October 31, 2013
NEW YORK -- The Vatican is taking the unusual step of conducting a worldwide survey on how parishes deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce and gay marriage, seeking input ahead of a major meeting on the family that Pope Francis plans next year. [ Read more → ]
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Catholic priest excommunicated over support for women priests, gay marriage

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Just one day before Pope Francis criticized the Catholic Church over its obsession with gays, an Australian priest learned he had been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
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Catholics cheer Pope Francis’ remarks on gays, abortion

Monday, September 23, 2013
NEW YORK -- Catholics attending Sunday services around the globe said they were heartened by Pope Francis' recent remarks that the church has become too focused on "small-minded rules" on hot-button issues like homosexuality, abortion and contraceptives. [ Read more → ]
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the bishops' conference, has been a polarizing figure in the same-sex marriage debate in the U.S.

Pope’s blunt remarks on gays, abortion pose challenge for outspoken bishops

Sunday, September 22, 2013
NEW YORK — In recent years, many American bishops have drawn a harder line with parishioners on what could be considered truly Roman Catholic, adopting a more aggressive style of correction and telling marriage equality and abortion rights supporters to stay away from the sacrament of Communion. [ Read more → ]
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Despite Pope’s message, R.I. bishop to continue to speak against gay marriage

Friday, September 20, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, known for his activism against legalizing same-sex marriage, struck a conciliatory tone Friday after Pope Francis criticized the Catholic Church for being too obsessed with gays and abortion, but signaled little change in his anti-gay activism. [ Read more → ]
Riccardo De Luca, APPope Francis looks on during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013.

Pope Francis criticizes Catholic Church’s obsession with gays, abortion

Thursday, September 19, 2013
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis is warning that the Catholic Church's moral edifice might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn't balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all. [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis’ revolution is underway and not everyone is pleased

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
VATICAN CITY -- The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased. Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up a dusty, doctrinaire church that is losing faithful and relevance. He... [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis on gay priests: ‘Who am I to judge?’

Monday, July 29, 2013
Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn't judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip. [ Read more → ]
Felipe Dana, APPope Francis waves from his popemobile as he makes his way into central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday.

LGBT Brazilians greet Pope with ‘kiss-in’ to protest stance on gay marriage

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
RIO DE JANEIRO -- LGBT Brazilians on Monday greeted Pope Francis with a "beijaco," or kiss-in, upon the pontiff's arrival in Rio de Janeiro as protest of the Catholic Church's stance on same-sex marriage. [ Read more → ]
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Pope Francis wades diplomatically into gay marriage debate

Friday, June 14, 2013
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis waded diplomatically into the gay marriage debate Friday, telling the Archbishop of Canterbury he wants to work together to promote family values "based on marriage." [ Read more → ]
Alessandra Tarantino, APPope Francis

Stunning acknowledgment: Pope Francis confirms ‘gay lobby’ at work at Vatican

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis lamented that a "gay lobby" was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group - a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See. [ Read more → ]
In this July 14, 2010 photo, a demonstrator looks on between banners that read in Spanish: "Satan take off your cassock," during a rally to support a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.Photo: Natacha Pisarenko, AP

Argentina’s gay community not thrilled with selection of new pope

Friday, March 15, 2013
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — While the appointment of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope has filled many in this deeply Catholic country with pride, members of the gay community are unsurprisingly less than enthusiastic with the Vatican's choice. [ Read more → ]
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A gay dad’s open letter to Pope Francis

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
As a gay dad, and a professional, I thought it would be fitting to do what one should, as a matter of courtesy, when someone gets a new job. You send a note of congratulations. So, on behalf of my family, including my two 10-year old sons, I am doing just that. Our note includes a suggested five point plan based on the principles that I have used with my sons, and that they have found effective... [ Read more → ]
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Argentine Cardinal elected pope — first pontiff from Americas

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
VATICAN CITY — Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis. [ Read more → ]
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