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Religion

Pope Francis calls for a poor church for the poor

Pope Francis calls for a poor church for the poor

Pope Francis called for "a poor Church for the poor" as he addressed thousands of the world's journalists yesterday, saying he chose his papal name because St Francis of Assisi shunned riches to help the destitute.

Sunday, 17 March, 2013, 7:26am

Will Pope Francis visit China? And, if so, in whose dress?

Pope Francis. Photo: AP

American comedian Bill Maher compared last week's papal conclave to the Oscars, saying: "It's so exciting. We all want to know who will win and whose dress will he be wearing!"

17 Mar 2013 - 6:31am 1 comment

Pope Francis and his 'new style of papacy'

Illustration: Craig Stephens

In private meetings before their conclave to elect a new pope, Catholic cardinals took note when one of their number rose to speak - clearly, quietly and persuasively - about the need to purify the church and streamline its unwieldy bureaucracy.

17 Mar 2013 - 6:15am

Pope Francis faces daunting task to restore faith in Catholic Church

Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting of the world's cardinals. Photo: AFP

Francis, Bishop of Rome, lately known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, looked stunned when he made his appearance on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica as the first pope from Latin America or from a developing country. He did not wave his arms in triumph as Benedict XVI had done eight years ago, but just said "Good evening".

16 Mar 2013 - 2:40am

Godless Londoners flock to new atheist church

Comedians Sanderson Jones (right) and Pippa Evans (second from left) lead "worshippers" in song during an atheist service. Photo: AFP

Britain's atheist church is barely three months old but it already has more "worshippers" than can fit into its services, while more than 200 non-believers worldwide have contacted organisers to ask how they can set up their own branch.

12 Mar 2013 - 2:55am

Papal election sparks frenzy of betting and adopt-a-cardinal

Italian cardinal Angelo Scola

As the Catholic Church prepares to elect a pope, some irreverent souls are betting on the outcome while more religious-minded ones are "adopting" individual cardinals on a website to pray that they make the right choice.

10 Mar 2013 - 7:31am

Church developers remain unbowed by government rules

An artist's impression of the Hopewell Centre II in Wan Chai, which is expected to be completed by 2018.

In their ruthless pursuit of property development, some of our churches rival our developers. This is done with minimal consultation with neighbours and with the full connivance of government departments. It's all part of the government's outsourcing of social welfare services to religious bodies.

4 Mar 2013 - 3:27am 4 comments

Could a non-European be a future pope?

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful for the last time from the balcony of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Photo: Reuters

As cardinals from around the world gather in Rome to select the next pope, they must be cognizant of growing voices for a non-European to head the Roman Catholic Church. Profound shifts in the nationalities of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics mean the church's best hopes for growth lie in the developing world.

1 Mar 2013 - 3:32am

Students clash with Salafist Muslims in Tunisia over Harlem Shake

Islamists try to prevent a filming of a Harlem Shake. Photo: AFP

At another school, south of the capital, the principal called police to stop a filming there, the interior ministry said. Students reacted by hurling stones at the police, who responded with tear gas.

28 Feb 2013 - 3:16am

Catholic Church's scandals no mere 'footnotes'

The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy

Many people know Paul Kennedy as the author of the bestselling The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Now, thanks to a poignant opinion piece in The New York Times, everyone knows he is a Catholic. He notes with irony that he is probably the only known practising Catholic professor at the very liberal Yale University. 

28 Feb 2013 - 3:37am 1 comment

Britain's top Catholic cleric Cardinal Keith O'Brien resigns amid scandal

O'Brien, 74, was due to retire. Photo: AP

O'Brien announced in November that he was planning to resign in view of his 75th birthday next month, but he said on Monday: "The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February."

26 Feb 2013 - 3:36am

Vatican hits back over corruption and blackmail claims

The Vatican's Secretariat of State issued a formal statement condemning Italian media reports of intrigue, corruption and blackmail among top prelates. Photo: EPA

The Vatican's Secretariat of State - effectively the central administration of the Catholic Church - took the highly unusual step of issuing a formal statement condemning "unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories".

24 Feb 2013 - 6:25am

Priests' plagiarism sees exodus from Anglican church

St John's Cathedral. Photo: Edward Wong

A former parishioner at the Emmanuel Church in Pok Fu Lam, a St John's Cathedral affiliate, said four priests were guilty of using sermons from the internet and preaching them as if they were their own.

24 Feb 2013 - 5:02am 5 comments

Counter-attacks rage in Falun Gong 'banner war'

Booths for and against Falun Gong go head-to-head at the junction of Yee Wo Street and Great George Street in Causeway Bay. Photo: Nora Tam

Falun Gong believer Lau Wai-hing, who is responsible for the group's Causeway Bay booth near the Sogo department store, said eight of the group's booths have been disturbed by the Hong Kong Youth Care Association over the past several months.

18 Feb 2013 - 4:34am 17 comments

How they see it

Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign on February 28, 2013. Photo: EPA

It was not just the entire Roman Catholic Church, and it was not just all of Christendom that was shocked by the decision of Pope Benedict XVI to abdicate. The entire world was stunned. 

17 Feb 2013 - 6:40am