Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 1936 as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis is pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected by a papal conclave on March 13, 2013 following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 28, 2013.
By making city bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan a cardinal, Rome has established an important bridge between mainland China and the church
On his elevation to cardinal, the head of the Hong Kong Catholic diocese, Stephen Chow Sau-yan, has renewed calls for peace in a divided society and pledged to reach out to mainland China.
Stephen Chow must balance his religious beliefs with the realities of today’s politics.
Pope Francis has made his clearest remarks yet on gay relationships, saying they should be legally protected in the form of a civil union. While this should not be confused with recognising same-sex marriages, critics cannot deny that progress has been made.
Despite pressure from the US and criticism that the agreement has so far achieved little, any move towards what supporters hope will be an eventual reconciliation is good for both sides.
Rapprochement with the Holy See will prove that the communist central government can be a trustworthy partner with major religious authorities around the world.
Francis skipped his weekly Sunday appearance at a window overlooking St Peter’s Square, a day after the Vatican said he was suffering from a mild flu.
Strickland, a fierce critic of the pontiff, had rejected the pope’s ‘programme undermining the Deposit of Faith’.
They can also be witnesses at religious weddings, the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith says, in response to questions from a bishop.
The US president held calls with the leaders of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and Italy, after speaking to Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. He also spoke to Pope Francis.
Strikes by Israeli warplanes came as the two-week-old war with Hamas threatened to spiral into a broader conflict.
Francis made his opinion known in one answer to five questions from five conservative cardinals from Asia, Europe, Africa, the US and Latin America, including Joseph Zen, the retired archbishop of Hong Kong.
Chow was among 21 bishops promoted in ceremony hosted by pontiff at St Peter’s Square, making him fourth in city’s history to hold the title.
‘Relations with China are very respectful, very. I have a great admiration for the Chinese people,’ the pope told reporters on his flight back to Rome on Monday.
The pontiff says Mongolia’s tradition of living in harmony with nature and its creatures ‘can contribute significantly’ to efforts to protect Earth.
Pope Francis sent a message of ‘unity and peace’ to China as he made his first trip to Buddhist-majority Mongolia.
In a video address to Catholic youths in St Petersburg on Friday, Francis said: ‘Don’t forget (your) heredity … You are the heirs of the great mother Russia. Go forward.’ Ukraine said the comments were ‘deeply regrettable’.
Francis, speaking to reporters on the plane returning to Rome from Portugal, said ministers in the Catholic Church had to accompany all people, including those not conforming to the rules, with the patience and love of a mother.
That South Korea will host the event is a reflection of the continent’s importance to the Catholic Church, which is young and growing in the region, as opposed to its waning popularity in Europe.
The pope is in Lisbon for the World Youth Day Catholic festival. Temperatures on Saturday reached 38 degrees Celsius.
Pope Francis is due in Portugal on Wednesday but while expected to meet some victims, over 100 suspect priests are said to still be active in church roles.
Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned Russia’s war but has also sought to keep an open channel of communication with Moscow, with limited results.
The pope, 86, is expected to meet victims of clergy abuse during his five-day visit to attend World Youth Day.
Italy hosted Mediterranean leaders in Rome at a conference aimed at extending an EU-backed deal with Tunisia to curb the arrival of migrants on European shores.
Pope Francis has named Bishop Joseph Shen Bin to head the vacant Shanghai diocese after China moved him from Jiangsu province earlier this year in an apparent violation of a bilateral pact.
Cardinal Stephen Chow will be part of 30-strong group on seven-day trip coinciding with papacy’s inaugural visit to the country.
After decades of accusations that the Vatican obstructed investigations, Pope has offered prayers for the girl, with her brother saying it was a ‘big step’ and ‘we expect acts after these words’.
Dozen of people in Uganda, mostly students, were massacred on Friday in an attack blamed on a group with links to Islamic State.
Pope Francis, underwent a three-hour operation to repair an abdominal hernia on Wednesday and was taken off intravenous tubes on Friday.
The 86-year-old pontiff is expected to remain in hospital for several days, amid concerns over his increasingly fragile health.
According to Vatican News, a number of poets, writers and film directors from around the world attended a conference with a Jesuit-run journal. The Vatican has confirmed that the pope will preside over Pentecost Mass on Sunday.