Eric J. Lyman

Eric J. Lyman is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Eric J. Lyman

On Feast of St. Valentine, a papal blessing

February 14, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis gave the couples advice on how to have a happy and successful marriage.

On anniversary of resignation, Benedict XVI has no regrets

February 11, 2014

ROME (RNS) Archbishop Georg Ganswein — who works with Benedict XVI — said one year after his resignation on Feb. 11, 2013, the former pope is at peace in his new role.

Bike owned by Pope Francis sells for 25 times its value

February 6, 2014

(RNS) A Harley-Davidson motorcycle briefly owned by Pope Francis sold Thursday (Feb. 6) for $325,000, more than 25 times the resale value for a similar bike.

Philomena Lee meets Pope Francis

February 5, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) “There is no way I could have ever imagined it,” Philomena Lee said after meeting Pope Francis. Asked if she felt resentment against the church, Lee said “You can’t go through life being so unyielding; you got to forgive.”

UN panel blasts Vatican for sex abuse policies

February 5, 2014

“The Committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” the report said.

Did Pope Francis really say that? Probably not

February 4, 2014

ROME (RNS) Bogus papal statements date back to the earliest days of the church. But with the explosion of social media and self-published blogs, they have become far more frequent in recent years — and especially in recent months.

Near St. Peter’s, an ancient burial site opens to the public

January 29, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In the first century B.C., a grassy hillside just north of what is now St. Peter’s Square was used as a burial place for local Romans. Now the Vatican is ready to let the public see what it uncovered there.

Animal rights activists push Vatican not to release doves ‘to certain death’

January 28, 2014

ROME (RNS) The Italian National Animal Protection Agency said that because the doves are bred in captivity and lack strong survival instincts, releasing them into the wild as is often done at the Vatican “is like condemning them to certain death.”

Vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood stolen from Italian church

January 27, 2014

ROME (RNS) The thief or thieves made off with a large crucifix and a gold reliquary containing the vial of the blood of John Paul, who will be proclaimed a saint in April.

Pope Francis meets scandal-scarred French President Francois Hollande

January 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The jury is still out on whether the audience with the popular pontiff would help repair Hollande’s tarnished image at home.

Vatican defends sex abuse record to U.N. panel

January 16, 2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican’s top spokesman said critics “presuppose that bishops or religious superiors act as representatives or delegates of the pope — (though this is) utterly without foundation.”

Pope Francis shakes up Vatican Bank, sets financial cap for sainthood

January 15, 2014

ROME (RNS) The most high-profile figure sacked on Wednesday was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was Pope Benedict XVI’s secretary of state and the face of administrative woes of Benedict’s papacy.

John Kerry makes first Vatican visit, hints at Obama meeting with Pope Francis

January 14, 2014

ROME (RNS) A short release from the Holy See indicated the two men discussed health care reform, which has sparked intense opposition from American bishops.

Vatican’s illegal downloads include ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Lesbian Hair Salon’

January 10, 2014

ROME (RNS) “Usually, you see a lot of downloads of the latest blockbusters or new television series,” said TorrentFreak founder Ernesto Van der Sar. “But there is almost none of that at the Vatican.”

Thomas Melady, former U.S. envoy to the Vatican, dies at 86

January 8, 2014

(ROME) As U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Thomas Melady he was instrumental in influencing Pope John Paul II’s Vatican to recognize Israel as a sovereign state.

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