Nicole Winfield is an author at Religion News Service.
Pope arrives in Iraq to rally Christians despite pandemic
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s foreign minister said Iraqis were eager to welcome Francis’ ‘message of peace and tolerance’ and described the visit as a historic meeting between the ‘minaret and the bells.’
‘Not a good idea:’ Experts concerned about pope trip to Iraq
(RNS) — The public health message a papal trip to Iraq sends amid a global pandemic is not advisable, health experts say.
Nun named to voting position at Vatican praises ‘brave’ pope
(AP) — Sister Nathalie Becquart in all likelihood will have a right to vote in the next synod of bishops, scheduled for 2022, given her new rank.
Pope moves ahead with plans to meet Shiite leader in Iraq
ROME (AP) — Francis has spent years trying to improve Christian relations with Muslims, and his meeting with Ali al-Sistani will mark one of his most important encounters with a Shiite leader.
Patriarch: Pope to meet Iraqi Shiite leader Sistani in Iraq
(RNS) — The Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, provided the first details of Francis’ March 5-8 itinerary during a virtual news conference hosted by the French bishops’ conference.
Vatican convicts ex-bank chief in property embezzlement scam
(RNS) —The scam allegedly involved the suspects selling 29 different properties in Rome and elsewhere to offshore companies that then resold them at market rates, with the suspects pocketing the difference.
Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can’t be priests
(RNS) — Francis amended the law to formalize and institutionalize what is common practice in many parts of the world.
Cardinal Pell’s prison diary explores suffering, solitary lockup
Rome (AP) — “Prison Journal,” an account of Pell’s months in solitary lockup, also provides personal insights into one of the most divisive figures in the Catholic hierarchy today.
Vatican cardinal says ouster deprived him of possible papacy
ROME (AP) — Cardinal Becciu claims his ruined reputation has eliminated his chances of becoming pope and will undermine the legitimacy of any future papal election.
Pope reverts to maskless old ways amid growing criticism
ROME (AP) — Francis has faced sharp criticism even from his most ardent supporters and incredulousness from some within the Vatican for refusing to wear a mask.
Vatican says bishops should report sex abuse to police
(AP) — A long-awaited manual on sex-abuse investigations goes beyond current Vatican policy about cooperating with law enforcement agencies.
Vatican prosecutors seize data from St. Peter’s Basilica
ROME (AP) — Vatican prosecutors have ordered the seizure of documents and computers from the administrative offices of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope creates new expert commission to study women deacons
ROME (AP) — The 10-member commission, the second of Francis’ pontificate to study the fraught issue, includes equal numbers of men and women representing the United States and six European countries.
Caution, cancellations mark Ash Wednesday in time of virus
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass as planned, but elsewhere in Italy services were canceled over fears of the new coronavirus.