Pope Francis plans to visit Morocco in March next year, a two-day trip that is likely to highlight the plight of migrants, given the kingdom's role as a transit route for Africans looking to migrate to Europe. The Vatican announced the trip on Tuesday, saying the Pope had accepted an invitation from King Mohammed VI and would visit the north African country on March 30 and 31, stopping in Rabat and Casablanca. The Pope told Reuters in an exclusive interview this year that Europe needed to focus on education and investment in Africa if it wanted to stem the flow of migrants. As Italy closes its ports to most African asylum-seekers, more are entering Spain with the majority coming via Morocco.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: This week, U.S. Catholic bishops were supposed to say how they will deal with priests who sexually abuse children and the bishops who cover for them, but their fall meeting in Baltimore ended without that announcement. Pope Francis asked them to hold off. NPR's Tom Gjelten is covering the story, and he's here in the studio. Hi, Tom. TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: Hi, Ari. SHAPIRO: The Catholic Church has been hammered for not having accountability. Why wouldn't they have done something at this Baltimore meeting? Why did the pope tell them not to? GJELTEN: Well, we don't know for sure. The bishops did have a bunch of proposals ready. Not everybody was on board with them, and the pope
The shootout was captured in a dramatic dashcam video released by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Brett Thompson stopped a car Sunday for a traffic violation in Tontitown, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock. The video shows the car's driver, 29-year-old Luis Cobos-Cenobio, open his door and begin firing at the officer.
TROY, Ala. (AP) — Cortez Edwards scored 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor to propel Southern Miss to an 81-66 victory over Troy on Thursday night. The Golden Eagles (3-0) shot 53 percent from the floor, including 45 percent (13 of 29) from 3-point range. Edwards nailed 4 of his 6 shots from distance and added six rebounds and five assists. Tyree Griffin totaled 10 points, nine assists and five rebounds, while Leonard Harper-Baker chipped in with 10 points and eight boards. Charles Norman came off the bench to hit 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and score 16 for the Trojans (1-3). Alex Hicks had 13 points and eight rebounds, B.J. Miller scored 11 and Jordon Varnado contributed 10 rebounds
The Vatican owes Rome some 5 billion euros. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ordered Italy to recover the ICI property tax that the catholic Church never paid to the Italian government. The European judges have decided to rule out a 2012 decision of the European Commission and a 2016 judgment of the EU Court which allowed Rome to exempt the Vatican from paying taxes on its real estate. The previous verdicts stated “the impossibilities of recovering the aid due to organizational difficulties”, but now the judges in Luxembourg have revised their position, asserting that it's a matter of mere “internal difficulties” in Italy and that there is no reasons for those moneys not to be
ROME (AP) — An Italian Catholic priest who considers Pope Francis an antipope and claims to have supernatural communications with angels, saints and the Madonna has been excommunicated. The archdiocese of Monreale, Sicily said the Rev. Alessandro Minutella was informed Tuesday of his excommunication for spreading "heresy and schism." Monreale Archbishop Michele Pennisi issued a public notice in 2015 warning the faithful that they risked "grave danger to their souls" by listening to Minutella. Pennisi said the priest was suspected of manipulating parishioners with his prophesies and "seriously posed a risk to the genuine popular devotion to the Madonna, angels and saints." Minutella has described
Sand castles are coming to the Vatican. The Vatican said Wednesday its Nativity scene this year will be built from sand and sculpted by an international set of artists. About 700 tons of sand will be shipped to St. Peter's Square for the sculpture, which will be the centerpiece of the Vatican's Christmastime decorations along with a giant tree. The first phase of construction begins Saturday with the forming of a sand pyramid in the square. Blocks of pressed sand will be made from it. Four sculptors — one each from the United States, Russia, the Netherlands and Czech Republic — were asked to carve out figures from the blocks. The completed scene is scheduled to be unveiled Dec. 7. The Vatican
Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi met Pope Francis at Vatican seeking support for a new legally binding International law against 'online child sexual abuse', a statement said. For over a year, Satyarthi has been demanding a legally binding United Nation convention against online child sexual abuse, like pornography and trafficking, which is backed by a new global task force and could provide victims with holistic support. Offering him full cooperation, Pope appointed an officer from the Vatican to coordinate with Kailash Satyarthi's Children's Foundation to work in the direction, said a statement from Satyarthi's office. "Father has extended his full cooperation and support to Kailash Satyarthi
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Cletrell Pope missed just two shots on the night to total 20 points while grabbing 16 rebounds to lead Bethune-Cookman to a 97-47 thumping of Johnson University (Florida) on Thursday night.
BEIJING (AP) — A bishop who has resisted demands to join China's Communist Party-controlled church body has been taken into custody, a Catholic news service reported, despite recent moves by Beijing and the Holy See toward reconciliation. Asia News reported that Peter Shao Zhumin dropped out of sight several days ago, but gave no details other than saying he had been subjected to "dozens of days of indoctrination as in the times of the Cultural Revolution," a reference to Mao Zedong's radical 1966-76 attack on traditional Chinese culture, religion and the intelligentsia. Shao was appointed by the pope in 2016 and was posted to the southeastern city of Wenzhou, which has a large Christian community.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is going to Morocco in March in what is expected to be a heavy year of foreign travel for the 81-year-old pontiff. The Vatican on Tuesday confirmed the March 30-31 visit to Rabat and Casablanca. Previously, there were rumors that Francis would travel to Marrakesh next month to participate in the adoption of a new U.N. global compact on migration. The March visit is likely to feature migration, as well as touch on relations between Christians and Muslims. Francis has several trips under consideration for 2019, though Morocco is the first to be confirmed. He is expected in Panama in January for World Youth Day. In addition, he has said he hopes to visit Japan, while
Pope Francis has denounced gossip as a form of 'terrorism' and is warning the faithful against telling lies. Francis explored the Catholic commandment against 'bearing false witness' during his general audience in the Vatican on Wednesday. He warned the faithful in a chilly St Peter's Square that 'We all live by communicating, and we are continuously on the edge between truth and lies.' He repeated his complaint about gossip, saying it 'kills because the tongue kills like a knife'. He warned: 'Gossipers are terrorists because with their tongues they drop a bomb and then leave, and the bomb they drop destroys reputations everywhere.' 'Don't forget: to gossip is to kill.' Francis frequently rails
U.S. Catholic bishops made clear their frustrations Wednesday as a national assembly focused on clergy sex-abuse neared its conclusion without strong new steps to combat the multifaceted crisis. Avoiding any direct confrontation with the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ended the public sessions of its three-day meeting without any vote on two major anti-abuse proposals that had been drafted weeks ago. On the eve of this week's meeting, the Vatican issued a surprise order for such action to be delayed until after a global meeting on sex abuse scheduled for February.
Pope Francis has appointed Bishop of Homa Bay Philip Anyolo as Archbishop of Kisumu. Archbishop-designate Anyolo, who is also the Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), will be taking over from Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth who is set to retire. The appointment came barely a day after Archbishop Okoth celebrated 50 years in priesthood. Archbishop Okoth has been serving as Archbishop of Kisumu since May 21, 1990. "The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has already been notified of the appointment," said outgoing Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya and South Sudan, Charles Daniel Balvo in a statement. The news of Bishop Anyolo's appointment was officially published in L'Osservatore Romano