Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves. He said in that case his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.
Pope Francis wasted no time wading in on the standoff over funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall on Wednesday as he started his trip to Panama, saying on the plane from Rome that hostility to immigrants was driven by irrational fear. In a brief conversation between the pope and journalists on the flight, one reporter described the barrier that juts out into the Pacific Ocean between the two countries in San Diego, California, as a “folly”.
The Pope has used his annual Christmas message to appeal for peace in conflict zones including Yemen and Syria. The two countries have both been ravaged by civil war for years, pushing their people into humanitarian crises. Francis also called for political reconciliation in Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Pope Francis has vowed that the Catholic Church will “never again” cover up clergy sex abuse and demanded that priests who have raped and molested children turn themselves in. Francis dedicated his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy to abuse, evidence that a year of devastating revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up has shaken his papacy and caused a crisis of confidence in the Catholic hierarchy.
A young boy upstaged Pope Francis on Wednesday, escaping from his mother and running onto the papal podium at a general audience, tugging on the hand of a Swiss guardsman and playing behind the pontiff’s chair.
Argentina's Security Minister Patricia Bullrich has criticized Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, saying he has not taken the necessary distance from Argentine politics.
A murdered Salvadoran archbishop associated with social justice and progressive theology was canonized over the weekend. The martyred Oscar Romero, former archbishop of San Salvador, was made a saint on Sunday morning, alongside six other canonized church figures, including Pope Paul VI.
Pope Francis Saturday stripped two Chilean bishops of their priesthood after having been found to be involved in the country's widening sexual abuse crisis, the Vatican said on Saturday. A Vatican statement in Spanish said the pope's decision was definitive and not open to appeal.
A former pontiff, a Spanish-born nun who is said to have performed her first miracle in Argentina and a slain Salvadorean Bishop were among the seven new saints canonised Sunday by Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Peace between both Koreas looks nearer after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he would ardently welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang and has officially invited him over via his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, a presidential spokesman for the Seoul government announced Tuesday.