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Pope John Paul II
-Special Section-
Oct. 2, 2009
Holy See urges establishment of 'nuclear-free zone' in Middle East
BA Vatican official called for the establishment of a "nuclear-free zone" in the Middle East and urged all countries to work toward total the elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Oct. 2, 2009
African synod members include representatives from around the world
Bishops, priests and laity from each of the 53 African nations, as well as from Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches on the continent, will be the chief protagonists of the Synod of Bishops for Africa. But they will not be the only participants.

Oct. 2, 2009
Charity in action: Impact of new saints continues in United States
Both Blessed Damien de Veuster and Blessed Jeanne Jugan, who will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 11, are important figures for U.S. Catholics and reflect the pope's priority on the faith as charity in action, especially toward society's outcasts and forgotten.

Oct. 2, 2009
Pope welcomes new US ambassador, prods on right to life issues
Welcoming the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI outlined wide areas of potential cooperation with the administration of President Barack Obama, but drew a sharp line on the issues of abortion and the rights of conscience.

Oct. 1, 2009
Religious discrimination must be stopped, pope tells Pakistani leader
Pope Benedict XVI met with Pakistan's president and emphasized the need to overcome all forms of discrimination based on religious affiliation, with the aim of promoting respect for all citizens.

Oct. 1, 2009
Pope to visit Cyprus, present topics for Middle East synod
The pope will deliver to church leaders from the Middle East a summary of topics to be discussed at the October 2010 special Synod of Bishops on the Middle East, according to the Web site of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.

Oct. 1, 2009
Pope names six from US to Pontifical Council for the Family
Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston and five other U.S. Catholics to positions on the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Oct. 1, 2009
Remembering WWII, Vatican hosts concert of young musicians for peace
The Vatican will host an unusual concert with an eye to encouraging future generations to turn to music rather than violence when faced with conflict between nations.

Sept. 30, 2009
Vatican envoy to UN defends church's response to sex abuse
The Vatican has defended its response to the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, saying that the church had been "cleaning its own house" and that other religions and institutions were similarly tainted.

Sept. 30, 2009
Czechs should resist relativism, consumerism, pope says at audience
Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped that his recent trip to the Czech Republic would help the largely secular country rediscover its Christian roots and resist the evils of relativism and consumerism.

Sept. 30, 2009
Aid tied to family planning is 'an abuse of power,' says papal nuncio
The Vatican's chief representative to the United Nations said giving foreign development aid only if a country adopts family planning programs that promote artificial birth control is "an abuse of power."

Sept. 30, 2009
Caritas responds to tsunami in South Pacific
Relief workers for the Catholic aid organization Caritas responded immediately after a violent tsunami struck the South Pacific island groups of Samoa and American Samoa.

Sept. 29, 2009
Vatican, food experts say biotechnology will improve African farming
African farmers should be able to use new biotechnology, including genetically modified organisms, to help lift their continent out of poverty, Vatican officials and agricultural experts said at a symposium in Rome.

Sept. 29, 2009
Pope is pleased with greater debate on ethics in the economy
Pope Benedict XVI said he is pleased that his recent encyclical has prompted increased debate over the role of the profit motive in world economies.

Sept. 29, 2009
Theme for 2010 communications day invites priests to use digital media
For World Communications Day 2010, Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: New media at the service of the Word."

Sept. 28, 2009
Foundation seeks place of honor for Pope Pius XII at Yad Vashem
An effort to add the name of Pope Pius XII to the official list of people who helped protect Jews during the Holocaust is gathering steam and is supported by Pope Benedict XVI, the project's main promoter said.

Sept. 28, 2009
Pope says he still cannot fully use his right wrist, but he can write
Pope Benedict XVI said his right wrist has still not fully recovered from being broken after he fell this summer, but that it has healed enough so that he can write again.

Sept. 28, 2009
Pope urges Czechs to regain values that inspired fight for freedom
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the peaceful revolt that brought down the country's communist regime, Pope Benedict XVI urged people in the Czech Republic to rediscover the spiritual and moral values that sustained their struggle for freedom.

Sept. 25, 2009
Pope to visit Fatima shrine in Portugal next May
The pope will preside over ceremonies May 13, the date of the first apparition of Mary to three shepherd children in 1917.

Sept. 25, 2009
Divorce, cohabitation ruin the lives of many children, pope says
Many children raised by cohabitating, separated, divorced or remarried parents are deprived of fixed points of reference and can suffer from inner conflict and confusion, Pope Benedict XVI told Brazilian bishops.

Sept. 25, 2009
Curtain's up on Africa: Scripted synod -- but maybe some improv
A Synod of Bishops is a little like a short-run Broadway play, and after four years of preparation the curtain is about to go up on the African synod at the Vatican.

Sept. 23, 2009
Knights of Columbus leader named to Vatican bank supervisory panel
The head of the Knights of Columbus has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to a five-member council that supervises the activities of the Vatican bank.

Sept. 23, 2009
One must first believe in order to understand God's truth, says pope
Understanding the divine mystery will never come from study alone -- one must first believe in the Christian faith in order to understand it, said Pope Benedict XVI weekly general audience.

Sept. 21, 2009
Heavy workloads must not let bishops forget to make time for Christ
As priests and bishops juggle an ever-increasing workload attending to their pastoral and administrative duties, they must never forget to make time for Christ, Pope Benedict XVI told newly ordained bishops.

Sept. 21, 2009
Pope announces synod on Middle East for 2010
The pope said the synod would look at the various problems faced by the minority Christian communities in Middle Eastern countries, from migration to interreligious dialogue.

Sept. 18, 2009
Pope's trip to Czech Republic takes him to highly secularized nation
The Sept. 26-28 trip was scheduled to coincide with the feast of St. Wenceslas -- a 10th-century prince who is credited with bringing Christianity to the Czech people.

Sept. 18, 2009
'Nulli secundus': Recovering U.S. priest leaves hole in Latin office
Over the last four decades, even as Latin declined as the common language of the church, the Vatican's Latin section has continued to translate and publish virtually everything that comes off the pen of the pope and much more -- everything from congratulatory letters to papal bulls.

Sept. 18, 2009
Pope ready to announce synod on Middle East for 2010
Vatican sources said Pope Benedict XVI was preparing to convene a Synod of Bishops for the Middle East to be held in October of 2010, to address the trials and tribulations of the Christian population in the region.

Sept. 18, 2009
Pope meets with Russian Orthodox official, Vatican says ties improved
Pope Benedict XVI met with a key official of the Russian Orthodox Church amid signs of a significant improvement in relations.

Sept. 18, 2009
Pope says roles of priest, laity should not be blurred
The special role of priests should be kept distinct from that of lay people even in parts of the world where there is a shortage of ordained clergy, Pope Benedict XVI told Brazilian bishops.

Sept. 17, 2009
Pope greets Rome's Jewish community, plans to visit synagogue
Pope Benedict XVI has told the Jewish community of Rome that he plans to visit its synagogue in the near future, the Vatican has confirmed.

Sept. 17, 2009
Grand Duke of Luxembourg receives 2009 Cardinal Van Thuan Prize
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg was awarded the 2009 Cardinal Van Thuan Prize for his efforts in defending the right to life and freedom of religion, the Vatican said.

Sept. 17, 2009
Pope holds meteorite during visit to Vatican astronomers' headquarters
Pope Benedict spent the evening of Sept. 16 in the company of papal astronomers who conduct study and research in Castel Gandolfo, outside of Rome, and at its other research center in Tucson, Ariz.

Sept. 16, 2009
God is present in those who respond to hatred with love, pope says
When one's love for others is so great that he or she can respond to hatred with love and forgiveness, God is truly present in that person's heart, Pope Benedict XVI said at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 14, 2009
Second volume of 'Jesus of Nazareth' expected next spring
Pope Benedict XVI's second volume on the life of Jesus is expected to cover Christ's childhood, passion, death and resurrection. The first volume, the best-selling "Jesus of Nazareth," was published in 2007.

Sept. 14, 2009
Drug-production is driven by market, not ethics, says Vatican official
A top Vatican official lamented that producing urgently needed medicines is no longer driven by traditional medical ethics, but by money.

Sept. 14, 2009
True faith in God also requires loving, serving others, pope says
Being a true believer in God requires living a life of love and concrete service toward others, said Pope Benedict XVI. It is not enough to believe Jesus is God, he said; a true Christian must also follow in Christ's footsteps and take up his cross out of love.

Sept. 14, 2009
Pope to visit Malta in spring of 2010
Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit Malta next April to commemorate the 1,950th anniversary of St. Paul's shipwreck on the Mediterranean island.

Sept. 14, 2009
Pope ordains bishops, emphasizes spirit of service to church
Ordaining five new bishops, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged a spirit of service and warned against careerism in the church.

Sept. 11, 2009
Vatican's got game: The Holy See's sports hall of fame is revealed
No one would ever mistake St. Peter's Square for Giants Stadium. But for centuries, the Vatican has hosted countless competitions and dozens of high-caliber athletes -- most of them lay employees, some of them monsignors and popes.

Sept. 11, 2009
Vatican installs solar collectors for heating, cooling buildings
The installation came about a year after the tiny city-state turned the roof of its Paul VI audience hall into a giant solar-power generator to produce energy for the Vatican's power grid.

Sept. 11, 2009
Vatican says Christians, Muslims should unite against poverty
Christians and Muslims share concern and compassion for those suffering in poverty and can find common ground to work toward eradicating both the causes and the problems it creates, the Vatican said.

Sept. 10, 2009
Pope to meet artists in Sistine Chapel to rekindle faith-art dialogue
Pope Benedict XVI has invited hundreds of artists to meet with him in the Vatican in an attempt to rekindle the special historical relationship between faith and art.

Sept. 10, 2009
Vatican encourages strong content in religious education classes
In a letter to bishops' conferences around the world, the Vatican said true religious education in schools is at risk of being replaced with a more "neutral" teaching about religious ethics and culture.

Sept. 9, 2009
Take time out daily for silent prayer to hear God's voice, says pope
People need to carve time out of their busy day to dedicate to silent prayer or meditation in order to hear what God has to say, said Pope Benedict XVI at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 8, 2009
In year of crisis, pope urges generosity to missionary agencies
Pope Benedict XVI asked Catholics to give generously this year to the church's missionary agencies, saying that young church communities need the funding at a time of economic crisis.

Sept. 8, 2009
German pope recalls Holocaust, other 'barbarities' of World War II
Pope Benedict XVI said the memory of the Holocaust and other "barbarities" of World War II should lead people to press for an end to contemporary conflicts around the globe.

Sept. 4, 2009
War of words: Berlusconi, Boffo, beauties and bishops
An unusually acrimonious fight has erupted this summer between the Vatican and the government of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, fueled by growing unease over Berlusconi's personal life and some of his government's policies.

Sept. 3, 2009
Learning Eastern, Western spirituality aids Christian unity, says pope
Common ground in Eastern and Western spirituality "is the valuable lifeblood for a broader relationship between Catholics and Orthodox," the pope told an inter-Christian symposium.

Sept. 3, 2009
Pope praises film on St. Augustine as an authentic slice of life
Pope Benedict XVI praised a made-for-television movie dedicated to St. Augustine, saying the two-part miniseries "represents every aspect of the human life experience with all of its problems, sorrows and failures."

Sept. 2, 2009
German-born pope decries 'absurdity of war,' urges reconciliation
Speaking in Polish to pilgrims attending his Sept. 2 general audience, the German-born pope recalled that Sept. 1 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.

Sept. 2, 2009
People must become more humble, less materialistic, pope says
In a world full of vice and sin, people need to radically change their lives, becoming more humble and less materialistic, Pope Benedict XVI said at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 1, 2009
Upcoming Vatican conference focuses on role of the deaf in the church
In response to numerous requests for how the Catholic community could increase its attention toward the deaf, the Vatican has organized an upcoming conference focusing on the role of deaf people in the church.

Aug. 31, 2009
Pope says families should create 'spiritual terrain' for vocations
Pope Benedict XVI said Catholic parents should make sure to create a "fertile spiritual terrain" for priestly vocations as they educate their children in the faith.

Aug. 28, 2009
New WCC leader says cooperation with Catholic Church important
The newly elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches told Vatican Radio he believes it is important to maintain and develop cooperation with the Catholic Church.

Aug. 28, 2009
Vatican dossier highlights tragedy of infant mortality
Efforts to reduce infant mortality around the world are showing positive results, but maternal death rates remain very high in many developing nations, according to a report by the Vatican news agency Fides.

Aug. 28, 2009
Top Vatican official dismisses talk of rollback on Vatican II
The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has dismissed fears that Pope Benedict XVI plans to roll back major ecclesial changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council.

Aug. 28, 2009
War and remembrance: Vatican highlights Pope Pius XII's peace efforts
Like much of Europe and the world, the Vatican was marking the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II with an act of remembrance -- the dramatic and unheeded warnings issued by Pope Pius XII to world leaders in the weeks and days leading up to the war's outbreak.

Aug. 27, 2009
New US ambassador to Vatican arrives in Rome
The new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Miguel Diaz, arrived in Rome and said he was eager to help expand the "special relationship" between the United States and the Holy See.

Aug. 26, 2009
Pope says global leaders must take care of environment, remember poor
Pope Benedict XVI, at his weekly general audience, urged world leaders to address global environmental issues "with generous courage" and reminded them that the world's resources are to be shared by all, including poorer countries.

Aug. 25, 2009
Vatican, bishops urge respect, help for migrants
Prompted by a sea tragedy involving the apparent deaths of dozens of Eritreans trying to reach Italy in a rubber raft, the Vatican and the Italian bishops urged authorities to guarantee rescue, medical help and respect to migrants in trouble.

Aug. 25, 2009
Vatican official downplays report of planned liturgical reforms
A Vatican spokesman downplayed a report that major liturgical reforms are being considered by Pope Benedict XVI.

Aug. 24, 2009
In any era, being a good Christian is not easy, pope says
Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the demands of the faith at a Sunday blessing at his villa outside Rome.

Aug. 24, 2009
Vatican economist says Christians must put ethics back into business
The current global economic crisis shows that capitalism without ethical grounding doesn't work, a top Vatican economist said.

Aug. 21, 2009
Doctors remove pope's cast, say wrist is healing well
Doctors have removed the cast and wires from Pope Benedict XVI's right wrist and said the healing process went perfectly.

Aug. 21, 2009
Media watchdog: Pope takes wary approach to communications explosion
Two pages on communications were barely noticed in this summer's encyclical, which focused on economic issues, but they underscored the pope's cautionary and critical approach to today's media revolution.

Aug. 20, 2009
Pope's former students to meet for ecumenical discussion on mission
Pope Benedict XVI's former doctoral students will meet again in late August to discuss Christian mission from an ecumenical perspective, the Vatican press office said.

Aug. 19, 2009
Well-prepared priests essential for new evangelization, pope says
Without well-prepared priests, "the new evangelization" of society will be just a slogan, Pope Benedict XVI said at his weekly general audience.

Aug. 17, 2009
Pope says Mary's assumption is sign of hope for all Christians
The assumption of Mary is a sign of hope for all Christians that through baptism and by faithfully following Christ they will have eternal life, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Aug. 17, 2009
Pope makes new appointments in Vatican Secretariat of State
Pope Benedict XVI has chosen a 42-year-old Italian priest with several years of diplomatic experience as the No. 2 official in the Vatican's foreign affairs office.

Aug. 17, 2009
Italian researchers develop heart-repair method with adult stem cells
Italian researchers have developed a method to repair a damaged heart using adult stem cells, and said it confirmed that the adult cells were more therapeutically useful than embryonic stem cells.

Aug. 14, 2009
Justice starts at home: Vatican job norms reflect church teaching
When Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his new encyclical that efficiency and profit cannot be the only things motivating an ethical employer, he was speaking for himself as well.

Aug. 14, 2009
Vatican newspaper says Allied governments did little to stop Holocaust
In a lengthy article, the Vatican newspaper said the U.S. and British governments had detailed information about the Nazi plan to exterminate European Jews during World War II, but failed to act for many months and even suppressed reports about the extent of the Holocaust.

Aug. 13, 2009
Vatican nuncio fears more anti-Christian violence in Pakistan
The blasphemy law in Pakistan, often used by Muslim extremists to foment violence, hangs like "the sword of Damocles" over Christians and members of other minority religions, a Vatican official said.

Aug. 12, 2009
Vatican official: Iraq's Christian community at risk of disappearing
A leading Vatican official called for greater protection of Iraq's beleaguered Christian minority, saying the disappearance of Christianity from the country would be an enormous religious and cultural loss for everyone.

Aug. 12, 2009
Pope prays for victims of typhoons, earthquakes
Pope Benedict XVI offered his prayers for the peoples of the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Japan facing the death and destruction of recent typhoons and earthquakes.

Aug. 12, 2009
God awaits people willing to bring Christ into the world, pope says
Respecting human freedom, God waits for Christians, especially priests, to say "yes" to his desire to bring Christ to the world, Pope Benedict XVI said at his weekly general audience.

Aug. 10, 2009
Italian bishop says national lottery fever is form of idolatry
As Italy's national lottery jackpot reached a record level of $183 million, an Italian bishop warned that the gambling fever was a form of idolatry.

Aug. 10, 2009
Traditional family vital for modern society, Vatican official says
A Vatican official sharply criticized a sentence by Italy's highest court that said there was no substantial legal difference between a family founded on marriage and a family resulting from a cohabiting couple.

Aug. 10, 2009
Pope says Nazis were extreme example of trying to take place of God
The Nazi death camps were places of extreme evil, the result of the Nazis claiming the power to decide what is good and what is bad and who should live and who should die, said Pope Benedict XVI.

Aug. 7, 2009
Pilgrimage priest's checklist: Mass kit, jet fuel price, exchange rate
Meet the chief executive officer of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, the Vatican-related agency that assists pilgrims visiting Rome. It also organizes spiritual journeys to the Holy Land, to the Marian shrines at Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal, to Santiago di Compostela in Spain, and to sites in Turkey related to the life and mission of St. Paul.

Aug. 5, 2009
Priests must help people find truth in God, pope says at audience
In a very brief general audience, Pope Benedict XVI said the church needs holy priests who can help the faithful understand that truth exists and, ultimately, is found in God.

Aug. 3, 2009
Pope deplores latest killings of Christians in Pakistan
Pope Benedict XVI deplored the killing of eight Christians in Pakistan by a Muslim mob and urged the minority Christian community not to be deterred by the attack.

Aug. 3, 2009
Pope Benedict to be featured singing on CD of Marian prayers
The music-loving Pope Benedict XVI will be featured on a new CD singing and reciting Marian hymns and prayers. "Alma Mater," Latin for "nourishing mother," will be released worldwide Nov. 30 by Geffen Records.

Aug. 3, 2009
Pope meets with swimmers, praises athletic competition
Pope Benedict XVI met with participants in the world swimming championships and asked them to be models of values and behavior for young people around the world.

Aug. 3, 2009
Pope expresses sadness at death of Aquino, praises her leadership
Pope Benedict XVI expressed his sadness at the death of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and praised her commitment to freedom and justice for Filipinos.

July 31, 2009
Franciscans, including one from US, hear confessions in St. Peter's
Each of the 14 Conventual Franciscans who live in the Vatican and hear confessions full time in St. Peter's Basilica offers absolution to an average of between 8,500 and 9,000 penitents each year.

July 31, 2009
Vatican official urges women to consider morality, safety of RU-486
After Italy's drug-regulating agency approved nationwide use of the RU-486 abortion pill, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life said use of the pill still involves the taking of an innocent human life.

July 31, 2009
From rugs to riches: Vatican storage, repair department has it all
When 30,000 chairs have to be set up in St. Peter's Square for an outdoor Mass, when a new bishop comes to town and needs to furnish an empty Vatican apartment, when a chair needs reupholstering, new drapes must be sewn or a bare office wall could use a piece of artwork ... who're you going to call? The "Floreria."

July 30, 2009
Pope will visit Viterbo, where papal conclaves were born
Between 1261 and 1281, five of the eight popes who reigned were elected in Viterbo: Pope Urban IV, elected in 1261; Pope Gregory X in 1271; Pope John XXI in 1276; Pope Nicolas III in 1277; and Pope Martin IV in 1281.

July 30, 2009
Pope's home in Bavaria becomes a solar-power generator
Workmen from the area donated some 580 square feet of photovoltaic solar panels to install on the house's rooftop, the Vatican newspaper reported July 30. The panels should generate about 5,800 kilowatt hours of energy a year, which corresponds to saving 11 barrels of petroleum.

July 29, 2009
Pope lightheartedly wonders what his guardian angel was doing
Pope Benedict XVI said the Vatican and Italian police who watched over him while he was on vacation in the Italian Alps were like "guardian angels, discreet and efficient." But he was not quite so sure what his own guardian angel was up to.

July 29, 2009
Pope's message for 2010 World Peace Day will focus on environment
Pope Benedict XVI will focus on the connection between protecting the environment and working for peace in the message he will publish for World Peace Day in 2010, the Vatican said.

July 29, 2009
Anglican leader's concern for unity reflects Vatican concerns
Vatican concerns about how some recent decisions of the U.S. Episcopal Church will impact the search for full Anglican-Roman Catholic unity are echoed in a reflection by Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican Communion.

July 28, 2009
Vatican spokesman clarifies how pope fell
Pope Benedict XVI broke his wrist when he tripped in the dark looking for a light switch; he did not slip in the bathroom as reported earlier, the Vatican spokesman said.

July 28, 2009
Promoting common good includes regulating economy, cardinal says
The fastest way to recover from the current economic crisis and the only way to ensure that a similar financial meltdown does not occur again is for governments to take seriously their role as regulators, the Vatican secretary of state told members of the Italian Senate.

July 27, 2009
After 503 years, Vatican Museums open doors to public at night
For the first time in half a millennium, the doors of the Vatican Museums were open to the public at night. Some 6,500 people took advantage of the after-hours event July 24.

July 27, 2009
Pope speaks of gift of priesthood, gift of grandparents
Praying the Angelus with thousands of people gathered in an Alpine meadow, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the gift of the priesthood and the gift of grandparents.

July 24, 2009
During Alpine prayer service, pope says real power is love, mercy
In a world where power often is used to dominate or oppress others, Christians profess belief in an all-powerful God who demonstrates his might through his love and mercy, Pope Benedict XVI said during an evening prayer service near where he has been vacationing.

July 24, 2009
Vatican taking cautious, not alarmist, approach to swine flu
Though tens of thousands of people from all over the world crowd together to attend papal Masses, weekly general audiences and Angelus addresses, the Vatican is not taking any extreme measures in the face of the swine flu pandemic, said the director of the Vatican health service.

July 24, 2009
Indiana Jones and the Christian catacombs? Not quite
Sometimes a job is just a job, even when from the outside it looks like it involves the stuff of an Indiana Jones movie. But sometimes the upkeep and preservation of 140 Christian catacombs from the third and fourth centuries scattered all over Italy produces a "wow" moment.

July 22, 2009
Archbishop hails Russian school move, though it excludes Catholicism
Even though the Catholic faith is not included in the project, the Moscow-based Catholic archbishop hailed the Russian government's plan to reintroduce religious education in public schools.

July 22, 2009
Public money must support life, not fund death, Vatican official says
Especially at a time of financial crisis, when life-giving initiatives are hurting for money, it appears strange for a government to expand public funding for abortion, said the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

July 22, 2009
With his writing hand in a cast, pope uses recorder to put down ideas
The right-handed pope "is still learning how to live with a wrist in a cast," the Vatican spokesman said in a written statement July 22.

July 21, 2009
Human dignity, rights always must be respected, Vatican official says
Even in emergency situations caused by war or natural disaster, the dignity of each human person must be respected, said the Vatican's representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

July 21, 2009
Pope greets Tour de France cyclists, urges respect of values in sports
World-class cyclists racing in the Tour de France received special greetings from Pope Benedict XVI.

July 17, 2009
Pope praises work by late cardinal of Mauritius to promote the family
Cardinal Jean Margeot, who was the retired bishop of Port Louis, Mauritius, died July 17 at the age of 93.

July 17, 2009
Vatican dress code: Do's and don'ts for presidential, pilgrim attire
Even the most seasoned president, prime minister and ambassador must struggle with deciphering proper protocol. But women, whether they are government leaders or the first lady, have to grapple with a lot more when they meet the pope.

July 17, 2009
Vacationing pope undergoes procedure to set wrist fractured in fall
Pope Benedict XVI underwent a procedure under local anesthesia to set his right wrist, which he had fractured during the night of July 16-17 in the Alpine chalet where he is vacationing, a hospital spokesman said.

July 16, 2009
Oklahoma priest promoted in Vatican Secretariat of State
Msgr. Peter B. Wells, 46, a priest of the Diocese of Tulsa, was named assessor for general affairs, a position similar in rank to that of an undersecretary in a Vatican congregation.

July 16, 2009
Moon landing: Vatican Radio marks anniversary with Pope Paul VI texts
Marking the 40th anniversary of the first manned mission to land on the moon, Vatican Radio published its collection of Pope Paul's audience and Angelus talks about the mission, his reflections on the day of the landing, and the text of his speech to astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, whom he met at the Vatican Oct. 16, 1969.

July 14, 2009
Vatican newspaper praises values in new Harry Potter film
The Vatican newspaper gave the new Harry Potter movie four stars for promoting "friendship, altruism, loyalty and self-giving."

July 13, 2009
Doctrinal congregation says direct abortion can never be justified
Commenting on the controversial case of a 9-year-old Brazilian rape victim who underwent an abortion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the concern the church needs to show the girl does not change the fact that abortion is wrong.

July 13, 2009
Before leaving on vacation, pope asks travelers to drive safely
The day before he left for his own vacation in northern Italy, the pope urged everyone to drive prudently and respect the rules of the road.

July 13, 2009
Knowledge of God an essential part of learning, pope says
Knowledge is the key factor driving progress today, but if knowledge of God is excluded from people's education they do not have all the information they need to help society, Pope Benedict XVI said.

July 13, 2009
Pope, Canadian prime minister discuss respect for life, economics
When Pope Benedict XVI and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met at the Vatican July 11, their discussions included protecting human life and the traditional family in Canada as well as development and peace abroad.

July 13, 2009
Pope prays for Honduras, urges dialogue
"In these days I am following with deep concern the events in Honduras," the pope said after reciting the Angelus July 12 with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

July 13, 2009
Spiritual needs must be part of solution to global crisis, says pope
An overemphasis on technology or giving in to a sort of "supremacy of technology, which finds its highest expression in some practices opposed to life, could in fact spell out disturbing scenarios for the future of humanity," the pope said before reciting the Angelus July 12 with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

July 10, 2009
Spokesman says pope wants honest dialogue with Obama on life issues
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told reporters after the meeting between the pope and the president that, in giving Obama the document July 10, "the intention was not be to divisive or political, but for clarity and objectivity; to say that, for us, this is extremely important."

July 10, 2009
White House official says Obama gave pope letter from Kennedy
President Barack Obama, meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican July 10, gave the pope a personal letter from Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., who was diagnosed more than a year ago with brain

July 10, 2009
Pope discusses bioethics, G-8 summit with Obama at Vatican
In addition to giving Obama a copy of his latest encyclical, which the pope had been presenting to visiting heads of state since its release July 7, the pope also presented a copy of the Vatican document on biomedical ethics, "Dignitas Personae" ("The Dignity of a Person").

July 10, 2009
Pope welcomes Obama to Vatican, discusses results of G-8 summit
Pope Benedict XVI welcomed U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican July 10, and the two discussed world issues addressed at the Group of Eight summit.

July 10, 2009
Pope urges Mexico to respect life, praises abolition of death penalty
"One cannot insist enough on the fact that the right to life must be recognized fully," the pope said July 10 as he welcomed Hector Ling Altamirano as Mexico's new ambassador to the Holy See.

July 10, 2009
Tourism is a chance to appreciate diversity God created, says Vatican
Tourism offers a unique opportunity to encounter the tremendous diversity God created on earth, said the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers in a message for World Tourism Day.

July 9, 2009
Presidents and popes: Obama is 12th US president to visit Vatican
While the gifts presidents and prime ministers give popes are quite varied -- but tend heavily toward old books, statues and vases -- Pope Benedict always gives heads of state a gold medal marking the current year of his pontificate.

July 9, 2009
Author hopes Legionaries' visitation will bring clarity
Author Jason Berry said he hoped the apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ and their institutions would lead to greater clarity about the life and actions of the order's founder, but also about the way the order treats its members.

July 9, 2009
World leaders attending G-8 summit squeeze in visits to pope
The pope used the occasion to present leaders with a special copy of his first social encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), which the Vatican released July 7, the day before the G-8 summit began.

July 8, 2009
U.S. archbishop is part of Legionaries' visitation that starts July 15
A Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ and their institutions will begin July 15, and the papal delegates carrying out the investigations will include U.S. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver.

Pope prays G-8 summit will promote true development, help poorest
On the day heads of governments from the world's wealthiest industrialized nations were convening for the start of the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila, Italy, Pope Benedict XVI prayed the decisions coming out of the meeting would promote the true development of all people, especially the poorest.

July 8, 2009
Pope says doctrinal congregation will dialogue with traditionalists
Pope Benedict XVI has placed the commission responsible for relations with traditionalist Catholics under the authority of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

July 7, 2009
Ethical policies needed to tackle crises, religious leaders tell G-8
If political leaders are to address today's challenges, their foreign and national policies need to be based on moral values, said religious leaders from around the world meeting ahead of the Group of Eight summit.

July 7, 2009
Economist: UN could create economic body with teeth, as pope suggested
Pope Benedict XVI's call for an international authority with "real teeth" to guide the global economy could be realized with the creation of a U.N. "socio-economic security council" to stand alongside the current Security Council dedicated to peacekeeping, said an economist who advises the Vatican.

July 7, 2009
Love for others requires involvement in politics, pope says
The Christian call to love one another and to work for justice requires the active participation in the political process, Pope Benedict XVI said in his new encyclical.

July 7, 2009
In new encyclical, pope calls for sharing earth's resources equitably
Pope Benedict XVI dedicated a portion of his new social encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), to the urgent duty to share the earth's resources equitably and safeguard the environment for future generations.

July 7, 2009
Main encyclical story: Pope says moral values must be part of economic recovery, development
Ethical values are needed to overcome the current global economic crisis as well as to eradicate hunger and promote the real development of all the world's peoples, Pope Benedict XVI said in his new encyclical.

July 6, 2009
Pope to visit Infant of Prague, honor St. Wenceslas during Czech trip
On his first trip to the Czech Republic, Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Infant of Prague and celebrate the feast of St. Wenceslas in the town where the 10th-century prince was murdered.

July 6, 2009
Pope deplores bomb blast near Philippine church, violence in world
He called the July 5 attack "an ignoble gesture" and condemned "the recourse to violence which is never an appropriate way to solve existing problems."

July 6, 2009
Art in private chapel is a meditation on following Christ, pope says
The private Pauline Chapel in the Apostolic Palace is a place for the pope and his closest aides to contemplate their call to follow the crucified and risen Christ and to lead believers in hope, Pope Benedict XVI said.

July 6, 2009
Pope urges world to continue aid for Haiti after disasters
Pope Benedict XVI urged the international community to continue to help Haiti recover from recent natural disasters by offering concrete aid and support.

July 6, 2009
Council of cardinals blames Vatican budget deficit on economic crisis
The global economic crisis, along with some extraordinary maintenance work, had a big impact on the budget of Vatican City State, which usually ends the year with several millions of dollars in surplus. It ended 2008 with a deficit of more than $21 million.

July 6, 2009
Archivist says at least five years needed to open Pope Pius XII files
The prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives said he has 20 employees sorting and cataloging documents related to the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, but it will take another five or six years before the archives are ready for scholars to access.

July 6, 2009
US deacon's healing clears way for Cardinal Newman's beatification
Pope Benedict XVI signed the decree recognizing as miraculous the healing of a U.S. deacon, which clears the way for the beatification of British Cardinal John Henry Newman.

July 6, 2009
Pope urges G-8 leaders to listen to poor, continue development aid
Pope Benedict XVI asked leaders of the world's wealthiest countries to "listen to the voice of Africa" and poor countries during their summit in Italy.

July 6, 2009
Vatican used nighttime mission to gather relics from St. Paul's tomb
Vatican technicians entered the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in the dead of night, drilled a small hole in the tomb under the main altar and extracted fragments of what was inside.

July 2, 2009
Pope accepts resignation of Brazilian who spoke about girl's abortion
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of the Brazilian archbishop at the center of a controversy over excommunications related to the case of an abortion performed on a 9-year-old rape victim.

July 2, 2009
Out with a bang: Vatican closes Pauline year with a few surprises
Talk about a grand finale. The Vatican waited until the last day of the year of St. Paul to wow the world with two surprising scientific findings: the presumed bones of the apostle and the oldest known portrait of the saint.

July 2, 2009
Bishop says scientists, church still can learn from Galileo case
The 400-year-old case of Galileo Galilei and the Inquisition still serves as a valid warning that scientists should not presume to teach the church about faith and that the church must approach scientific discoveries with great caution, said the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives.

July 1, 2009
New encyclical should prompt ethical review, Knights' leader says
When Pope Benedict XVI's social encyclical is released, Catholics shouldn't just ask, "What does the pope say I'm doing right?" but "What should I do to act more morally?" said the head of the Knights of Columbus.

July 1, 2009
Church social teaching confronts world problems with Gospel power
Backgrounder: Instead of focusing on theological beliefs, social encyclicals written by most modern-day popes have tried to shape the way Christians and all people of good will can better serve the common good.

July 1, 2009
More places for prayer, Gospel needed for new vocations, says pope
Young men need more places and more opportunities to listen to the word of God and reflect in silence so that they can better hear if God is calling them to the priesthood, Pope Benedict XVI said.

June 29, 2009
New archbishops find pallium shows their ties to pope, parishioners
The pallium "strikes me as somewhat of a wedding ring -- that we are intimately bound to our people -- our sheep -- as shepherds," said Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, "and we're also bound to the universal pastor of the church, Pope Benedict XVI."

June 29, 2009
Role of bishop of Rome key to Catholic-Orthodox progress, pope says
A common understanding of the role the bishop of Rome played in the united Christianity of the first millennium is essential for resolving the question of the primacy of the pope in a united church, Pope Benedict XVI said.

June 29, 2009
Closing Pauline year, pope reveals results of tests on apostle's tomb
Closing the year of St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI announced that tests done on the presumed tomb of the Apostle revealed the presence of bone fragments from a human who lived between the first and second century.

June 29, 2009
Healthy collaboration between church, government of Vietnam possible, says pope
The Catholic Church is not a threat to the Vietnamese government and a healthy collaboration between the two is possible, Pope Benedict XVI told Vietnamese bishops.

June 29, 2009
Bishops must be loving shepherds, pope tells archbishops
During the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, 34 archbishops from 20 countries knelt before Pope Benedict and received a pallium, a woolen band worn around their shoulders as a sign of their authority and their responsibility as shepherds.

June 26, 2009
At end of jubilee year, figure of St. Paul stands in clearer focus
After 12 months of special liturgies, conferences, Bible reflections, indulgences, concerts and pilgrimages, the Year of St. Paul has left the Apostle a more clearly defined figure on the Catholic landscape.

June 25, 2009
Even in midst of economic crisis, charity must continue, pope says
In the midst of an economic crisis, Catholic charitable agencies that assist Christians in the Middle East must give priority to caring for migrants and refugees and to reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip, Pope Benedict XVI said.

June 25, 2009
Pope offers support to UN campaign to end use of child soldiers
Pope Benedict XVI offered his public support to the United Nations' efforts to prevent the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers and said he prays each day for suffering children around the world.

June 24, 2009
Marking Red Cross anniversary, pope appeals for release of volunteers
Marking the 150th anniversary of what became the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for the release of all people held by kidnappers in conflict zones and especially for the release of an Italian Red Cross worker in the Philippines.

June 24, 2009
Priestly ministry requires giving oneself to Christ, pope says
At his weekly general audience June 24, the pope said the fact that the new Year for Priests overlapped for 10 days with the concluding year of St. Paul is a useful reminder that priests must be missionaries as well as celebrants of the sacraments.

June 23, 2009
Christian leaders say Obama's Cairo speech built bridges
Two weeks after President Barack Obama's groundbreaking speech in Cairo, several Christian leaders gave the president positive marks and expressed hope that it would open a new chapter of dialogue.

June 23, 2009
Conference focuses on religious traditions of majority, minorities
In the increasing global mixture of peoples, balancing the religious traditions of minorities and those of the dominant culture has proven to be a crucial and delicate task, said participants at an international conference in Italy.

June 23, 2009
Receiving woolen pallium, archbishops are reminded they are shepherds
Every year on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the pope places a pallium around the neck of each prelate named in the past year to head an archdiocese.

June 23, 2009
Pope to meet Obama July 10
Pope Benedict XVI will welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican July 10 for an audience scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

June 22, 2009
Vatican official: Relations with Muslims better, but problems remain
Relations with Muslims have improved significantly in recent years, but problems remain on issues like conversion and freedom of worship, the Vatican's top interreligious dialogue official said.

June 22, 2009
Pope names envoys to celebrations closing Pauline year
While Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the closing of the year of St. Paul at the Rome basilica built over the saint's tomb, the pope has named seven cardinals to preside over events in countries where the apostle lived and preached.

June 22, 2009
Pope visits tomb of St. Padre Pio, asks priests to imitate him
St. Padre Pio's devotion to the Eucharist, the hours he spent in the confessional and his concrete care for the sick make him a model all priests should try to imitate, Pope Benedict XVI said.

June 22, 2009
Dispensing condoms in schools trivializes sexuality, says papal vicar
Distributing condoms to teens in high schools in the Italian province of Rome trivializes sexuality and neglects the need to teach responsibility and respect, said the papal vicar for Rome.

June 22, 2009
Pope Pius XII promoter says Jewish pressure an obstacle to sainthood
A top proponent of the beatification of Pope Pius XII said Pope Benedict XVI has not moved the cause forward because Jewish groups have warned it would permanently damage Catholic-Jewish relations.

June 22, 2009
Pope appeals for Africa as world's hungry reach 1 billion mark
In a letter to the president of Germany, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern at the plight of struggling African countries during the current global economic crisis.

June 19, 2009
Pope opens Year for Priests, says they must witness God's compassion
Formally opening the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict urged all priests to strive for holiness and said the ordained ministry was indispensable for the church and the world.

June 19, 2009
Pope prays every day for peace in Middle East, Christians in Iraq
"I pray constantly for peace in the Middle East, in particular for Christians who live in the beloved Iraqi nation; I present their sufferings to the Lord in the Eucharistic sacrifice every day," the pope said.

June 19, 2009
Women religious to combat human trafficking for 2010 sporting events
Criminals thinking about trafficking women and children for prostitution at the world's largest sporting events in 2010 will have to face the combined force of hundreds of women's religious orders.

June 19, 2009
Off the radar: Pope's teaching ministry finds little echo in media
News coverage of Pope Benedict XVI tends to leap from big event to big event, so perhaps it's no surprise that after his Holy Land pilgrimage last month the German pontiff has fallen off the mainstream media radar.

June 18, 2009
Pope thanks God for gift of priesthood, but also recognizes failures
In a letter for the Year for Priests, the pope said the Catholic Church must acknowledge that some priests have done great harm to others, but it also must thank God for the gifts the majority of priests have given to the church and the world.

June 17, 2009
Vatican must push for more religious freedom in China, says cardinal
Too much importance is being given to establishing diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China and not enough is being done to push for greater religious freedom on the mainland, said retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

June 17, 2009
Vatican editor says postwar hostility toward Pope Pius XII unjustified
The hostility toward Pope Pius XII in the years following World War II was the unjustified result of his firm stance against communism and an unfair comparison with his successor, Pope John XXIII, said the editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

June 17, 2009
Planned ordination of St. Pius X priests 'illegitimate,' Vatican says
If the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X ordains new priests at the end of June as planned, the ordinations would be illegitimate, the Vatican said.

June 17, 2009
Pope says religious values must be part of solving world's problems
At the end of his weekly general audience June 17, Pope Benedict greeted 129 religious leaders from around the world who had been meeting in Italy ahead of the G-8 summit, scheduled for early July.

June 17, 2009
People must hear Gospel, praise God in their own language, pope says
The Gospel message cannot be fully part of people's lives unless it has been faithfully translated into their language and is reflected in their culture, Pope Benedict XVI said at his weekly general audience.

June 16, 2009
MySpace, Facebook users at Vatican hit firewalls
People trying to poke a friend or post a status update on their Facebook page from a computer connected to the Vatican network will hit a powerful firewall that says the requested page cannot be viewed because it does not fulfill the network's "access protection criteria."

June 16, 2009
Pope meets leaders of Austrian church to discuss current problems
Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials met June 15-16 with four representatives of the Austrian bishops' conference to discuss recent problems in the life of the church, including the controversy over the appointment of a bishop earlier this year.

June 16, 2009
U.S. Dominican theologian named secretary of worship congregation
Pope Benedict XVI has named U.S. Dominican Father J. Augustine DiNoia an archbishop and secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

June 15, 2009
New papal physician explains doctors' role in sainthood process
"The recognition of a miracle is not a matter for medical science," said Dr. Patrizio Polisca, president of the group of physicians who serve as consultants to the Vatican Congregation for Saints' Causes.

June 15, 2009
Vatican doing great cutting fossil fuel use, says U.S. energy expert
Vatican engineers are doing an impressive job trying to cut Vatican City's dependency on fossil fuels by tapping into renewable energy resources and finding ways to cut energy consumption, said a visiting U.S. expert on energy efficiency.

June 15, 2009
Pope chooses cardiologist as new personal physician
Dr. Patrizio Polisca, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Rome's Tor Vergata University and president of the commission of physicians who serve as consultants to the Congregation for Saints' Causes, was named personal physician to the pope and vice director of the Vatican health service June 15.

June 15, 2009
Pope urges world leaders to tackle hunger at UN summit
Looking ahead to a U.N. financial summit in New York June 24-25, the pope said the meeting should be carried out "in a spirit of wisdom and solidarity, so that the current crisis can be transformed into an opportunity."

June 12, 2009
Jobs, small business credit key for economic recovery, says Vatican official
More decent, productive employment and more credit for small- and medium-sized businesses are the best strategies for recovering from the global economic crisis, said the chief Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

June 12, 2009
Year for Priests: Pies, prayers not enough; clergy need love, support
Each and every one of the world's 408,000 priests should feel loved, respected, valued and supported in his vocation to bring the Gospel to an increasingly secular -- but still open -- world, said the cardinal overseeing the Vatican's clergy congregation.

June 10, 2009
Vatican visit to CERN opens new channel of dialogue for science, faith
A recent visit by a Vatican delegation to CERN -- one of the world's largest centers for scientific research -- has opened an important channel of communication between science and faith.

June 9, 2009
Relics of St. John Bosco will travel to five continents
Celebrations for the bicentennial of the birth of St. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesian order and champion of underprivileged children, are underway with a five-continent "pilgrimage" of his relics.

June 8, 2009
Vatican paper highlights agreement with U.S. bishops on life issues
The Vatican newspaper has again emphasized that when it comes to the Obama administration and pro-life issues, the Vatican and the U.S. bishops are in full agreement and that no compromise is possible on the right to life.

June 5, 2009
Irish church leaders meet pope to discuss report on child abuse
Two top leaders of the Irish church met with Pope Benedict XVI June 5 to discuss a report by an independent commission on child abuse.

June 5, 2009
Reporting scandal: Media coverage of abuse helps victims, church
The embarrassment and scandal raised by each new report of a case of sex abuse in the church also has a positive effect of giving other victims the courage to come forward and increasing the church's commitment to ending abuse, experts meeting at the Vatican said.

June 3, 2009
Vatican media welcome Obama’s speech in Cairo as step toward peace
U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo, Egypt, was welcomed by Vatican media as a step toward peace and a new beginning in American relations with Muslims.

June 3, 2009
Franciscans re-elect minister general to a second six-year term
Spanish Father Jose Rodriguez Carballo was re-elected to head the Franciscan order during a general chapter in Assisi, Italy.

June 3, 2009
Set aside time for God, pope says at audience
Fun-filled vacations or hectic workweeks must never distract people from dedicating a little time each day and, especially every Sunday, to God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

June 2, 2009
Pope grants congregation power to more easily laicize some priests
Pope Benedict XVI has granted the Congregation for Clergy new powers to dismiss from the priesthood priests who are living with women, who have abandoned their ministry or who have engaged in seriously scandalous behavior.

June 2, 2009
Cardinal Stafford retires from post at Apostolic Penitentiary
Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of U.S. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican office that deals with the most sensitive matters of conscience as well as with the practice of indulgences.

June 1, 2009
Vatican announces papal trip to Czech Republic in September
Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Czech Republic in late September, participating in the nation's Sept. 28 observance of the feast of St. Wenceslaus, a 10th-century Czech prince and martyr.

June 1, 2009
Pope John Paul's beatification delayed, Italian newspapers say
The beatification of Pope John Paul II may be delayed as the Vatican seeks more documentation regarding his almost 27 years as pope, Italian newspapers reported.

June 1, 2009
Meeting children, pope shares early memories, says being pope is hard
Pope Benedict XVI offered a rare glimpse into his private feelings, telling a group of children that as a boy he never dreamed of becoming pope and that he still sometimes worries he is not up to the job.

June 1, 2009
People must fight spiritual pollution, pope says on Pentecost
Just as the human body is threatened by breathing polluted air, the human soul is threatened by images and ideas that glorify violence or the exploitation of others, Pope Benedict XVI said.

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