Top Spanish football medic to treat Pope Francis over knee problem

The head of Atlético Madrid’s medical team has been summoned to the Vatican to help treat Pope Francis, who is suffering from an arthritic knee. The 85-year-old Pope has cancelled various activities in recent months, including a trip to Africa, because of mobility problems. José María Villalón said the Pope was “very nice” but also “very stubborn” as he refused to undergo surgery. The Pope is a big fan of Argentinian club San Lorenzo – not the Madrid club. San Lorenzo’s football base is Buenos Aires, where the pontiff – Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born. Since May the Pope – … Continue reading Top Spanish football medic to treat Pope Francis over knee problem

Catholic Cardinal among 11 French bishops accused of abuse

French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard has been named by the Church as one of 11 serving or former bishops accused of sexual violence. In a statement, the cardinal said he had abused a 14-year-old girl when he was a parish priest 35 years ago and would now withdraw from his functions. A year ago, a panel found evidence of thousands of paedophiles operating in the French Catholic Church for decades. All 11 accused face either prosecution or disciplinary action in the Church. The latest revelations came during the French bishops’ conference in Lourdes in south-western France. Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort told … Continue reading Catholic Cardinal among 11 French bishops accused of abuse

LOL: Even nuns watch porn, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis has warned priests and nuns about the dangers of watching pornography online, saying it “weakens the priestly heart”. The Pope, 86, was responding to a question about how digital and social media should be best used, at a session in the Vatican. Pornography, he said, was “a vice that so many people have… even priests and nuns”. “The devil enters from there,” the Pope told priests and seminarians. As to how to navigate social media and the digital world, he said that they should be used but told them not to waste too much time on it. “The … Continue reading LOL: Even nuns watch porn, says Pope Francis

Cardinal asked Vatican police to keep woman’s embezzlement secret

A cardinal at the centre of a Vatican corruption trial asked the city-state’s police in 2020 not to disclose evidence that a woman who was working for him had embezzled money for personal use that was supposed to pay ransom for a kidnapped nun, a police officer told a court on Thursday. Commissioner Stefano De Santis, a financial crimes specialist, testified for the second consecutive day as a prosecution witness against Cardinal Angelo Becciu, once the third-most powerful person in the Vatican and now among 10 defendants on trial on charges of corruption and other financial crimes. All 10 deny … Continue reading Cardinal asked Vatican police to keep woman’s embezzlement secret

Indian Minister asks Bollywood star to avoid ‘anti-Hindu’ ads

An Indian state minister has “requested” Bollywood star Aamir Khan to avoid doing advertisements that “hurt religious sentiments”. The comment by Narottam Mishra, home minister of Madhya Pradesh state, came as a new ad featuring Khan sparked outrage among Hindu right-wingers. The ad, for a bank depicts Khan and actor Kiara Advani as newlyweds participating in Hindu wedding rituals. But critics alleged that the ad attacked Hindu traditions and culture. The latest ad, for a financial services company, shows Khan’s character taking the ceremonial first step into his bride’s home after marriage – a ritual traditionally performed by Hindu brides. … Continue reading Indian Minister asks Bollywood star to avoid ‘anti-Hindu’ ads

Children removed from Jewish sect’s jungle compound in Mexico

Children and older teenagers have been removed from the jungle compound of a Jewish sect in Mexico following a raid by police. It took place against the Lev Tahor group, which was investigated on suspicion of trafficking minors. The children and teenagers are being flown to Israel where they have extended families. Lev Tahor (Hebrew for Pure Heart) is known for extremist practices and imposing a strict regime on members. It advocates child marriage, inflicts harsh punishments for even minor transgressions and requires women and girls as young as three years old to completely cover up with robes. The stricture … Continue reading Children removed from Jewish sect’s jungle compound in Mexico

Pope Francis says he is ‘deeply sorry’ to Canadian residential school survivors

In his first public remarks in Canada, Pope Francis has asked indigenous residential school survivors for forgiveness. “I am deeply sorry,” the Pope said on the grounds of a former residential school in Maskwacis, near Edmonton. He said his apology is a first step, and that a “serious investigation” into abuses must occur to foster healing. The pontiff is in Canada to apologise for the Church’s role in schools meant to assimilate indigenous children. The government-funded schools were part of a policy meant to destroy indigenous cultures and languages. The papal apology was received by applause from survivors in the … Continue reading Pope Francis says he is ‘deeply sorry’ to Canadian residential school survivors

India state on alert after beheading over Prophet Muhammad row

The murder of a Hindu man in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan has sparked religious tensions in the area. The victim, a tailor named Kanhaiya Lal, was killed in Udaipur district on Tuesday by two Muslim men, who filmed the act and posted it online. They claimed the act was in retaliation for the victim’s support for controversial remarks made by a politician on the Prophet Muhammad. The government has suspended internet services and banned large gatherings. The police have arrested the two men, who had identified themselves in the video. In another video, they boasted about the murder … Continue reading India state on alert after beheading over Prophet Muhammad row

Controversial televangelist in Pakistan dies at 50

One of Pakistan’s most prominent and contentious TV hosts, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, has died aged 50 after being found unconscious at home in Karachi. The anchor was taken to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem exam is being carried out. Aamir Liaquat Hussain switched from televangelism to politics, becoming an MP for Imran Khan’s PTI party. His career was dogged by controversy – he gave babies to childless couples on TV and was banned for hate speech. The outspoken anchor’s personal life was public fodder too, often fuelled by his activities on social media. In the last … Continue reading Controversial televangelist in Pakistan dies at 50

Nigeria mob burns man to death over row with Muslim cleric

Nigerian police say a man who had a row with a Muslim cleric died in the capital, Abuja, after being set ablaze by a mob supporting the cleric. Ahmad Usman, 30, was in a local vigilante group and police say about 200 people were mobilised against him. Eyewitnesses said the row was over an alleged blasphemous remark, but the police have not confirmed this. Last month, a Christian student was killed by Muslim students who accused her of blasphemy in the city of Sokoto. The Abuja victim was described by police as “a member of the local vigilante around Tipper … Continue reading Nigeria mob burns man to death over row with Muslim cleric

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Vatican Secretary of State dead

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Vatican Secretary of State, who has died aged 94, may have been little known in the English-speaking world, but he was for decades one of the most important prelates in the Catholic Church.Cardinal Angelo Sodano His influence and power, though discreet, were pervasive, and all the stronger for being nearly invisible. Every scandal in the Church, and there have been many, either led back to Sodano or had a Sodano component, yet he was never brought to book. Like the fictional Baron Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca, “before him all Rome trembled”. Unlike Scarpia, Sodano lived … Continue reading Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Vatican Secretary of State dead

Vatican: Pope names 21 new cardinals

Pope Francis said on Sunday that he will elevate 21 churchmen to the rank of cardinal in a ceremony at the Vatican this summer. Among the churchmen tapped by the pontiff to receive the prestigious red hat will be two prelates from India and one each from Mongolia, Ghana, Nigeria, Singapore, East Timor, Paraguay, and Brazil, in keeping with Francis’s determination to have church leaders reflect the global face of the Catholic Church. Francis read out his choices at the end of his traditional Sunday greetings to the public in St Peter’s Square. At least 16 of the new cardinals … Continue reading Vatican: Pope names 21 new cardinals