Eric J. Lyman is an author at Religion News Service.
Young activists push interfaith gathering to act on climate change, justice
LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — Young activists are among the 1,000 attendees, including representatives from religious groups, governments, multilateral organizations and nongovernmental groups, hailing from more than 100 countries, gathered for an international, interfaith event this week.
Italy and Vatican on guard after threat from Islamic State
(ROME) The video threat, released with images of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who were beheaded this month, warned that Islamic State forces were “south of Rome,” in Libya. At its closest point, Libya is little more than 100 miles from the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
Pope Francis summons ‘Bishop Bling’ to the Vatican for private talks
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Vatican sources confirmed Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst met with the pontiff at the Apostolic Palace but released no information about what the two men discussed.
Pope Francis hosts President Obama for talks on poverty, health care and immigration
VATICAN CITY (RNS) According to an official statement from the Vatican, Pope Francis and President Obama discussed immigration reform and “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.”
Cocaine-filled condoms intercepted en route to the Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Police said the cocaine in the shipment would have a street value of about 40,000 euros ($55,000).
Irish abuse victim, Boston cardinal named to Vatican sex abuse panel
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The high-profile names on the sexual abuse commission give some indication of the importance Pope Francis has given to the panel.
Russell Crowe meets Pope Francis but leaves without a ‘Noah’ endorsement
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Some backers of the film tried to cast Wednesday’s encounter as a kind of tacit papal endorsement for the movie, but Vatican officials made it clear that was not the case.
Mob threats aside, Pope Francis will pray with victims of organized crime
ROME (RNS) In November, famed anti-mob prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said Pope Francis’ financial reforms at the Vatican were making the Calabrian mob “very nervous” and could prompt death threats.
Benedict XVI on John Paul II: I always knew he was a saint
ROME (RNS) “The reality that John Paul II was a saint became increasingly apparent to me in the years I worked together with him,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said.
Pope Francis: ‘A pope is a man who laughs and cries’
ROME (RNS) In a wide-ranging interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis said media and popular culture references comparing him to Superman are “offensive” because he’s just a regular guy.
Italian publisher unveils magazine dedicated to Pope Francis
ROME (RNS) The publisher said it envisions the magazine being a “meeting place” for the faithful to send in letters, poems and drawings related to Francis’ papacy.
Vatican theologians OK alleged miracle attributed to Pope Paul VI
ROME (RNS) Now that a panel of theologians have signed off on a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI, it only requires a review by Pope Francis to be considered official.
Russell Crowe really wants Pope Francis to see ‘Noah’
ROME (RNS) “Screening? The message of the film is powerful, fascinating, resonant,” actor Russell Crowe tweeted to Pope Francis.
Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country
(RNS) According to the Wine Institute’s latest statistics, the tiny country consumed 74 liters of wine per person per year, nearly double the per-capita consumption of its closest neighbor.
Pope Francis uses smartphone video to urge Christian unity
ROME (RNS) Pope Francis said it doesn’t matter who’s to blame for divisions among Christians: “Who is at fault? All of us are. We are all sinners. There is only one who is right, and that is our Lord.”