White House: Normalization wouldn’t have happened without pontiff
NEW YORK – Having helped broker the agreement to normalize relations between the United States and communist Cuba, Pope Francis plans next to turn his attention to closing the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, a goal he shares with President Obama.
In a meeting last week at the Vatican with Secretary of State John Kerry, the Vatican secretary of state, Pietro Parolin, second in authority to the pope, offered to assist U.S. efforts to close the facility for terrorism suspects.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Vatican stood ready “to help find adequate humanitarian solutions through our international contacts” to help place current detainees,” Agence France-Presse reported.
The White House said Wednesday that the re-establishment of U.S. relations with Cuba after more than five decades came after Pope Francis and Obama discussed Cuba at their most recent meeting, which was followed by a Vatican-hosted meeting between U.S. and Cuban officials, the White House told reporters Wednesday.
But the main topic of conversation was Peres’s idea to create a UN-like organization he called “the United Religions.” Continue reading
VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope Wednesday, becoming the first pontiff from Latin America and taking the name Pope Francis I.
Appearing on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica a short time later, the new pope greeted a vast crowd gathered below in St. Peter’s Square with salutations in Italian and led a prayer for his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
“As you know, the duty of the conclave was to appoint a bishop of Rome, and it seems to me that my brother cardinals went to fetch him at the end of the world,” he said. “But here I am.” Continue reading
Live video feed of the “Vatican Smoke Cam”:
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pope in a remarkably fast conclave.
The pope, whose identity isn’t yet known, is due to emerge from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square to deliver his first words as the Bishop of Rome. Continue reading
Although he didn’t mention Damascus by name, the reference is difficult to ignore. Isaiah 17:1, anyone?
VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict on Monday urged the international community to end what he called the endless slaughter in Syria before the entire country became a “a field of ruins.”
He made the appeal in particularly strong terms during a yearly “state of the world” address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.
He said Syria, where the United Nations estimates that 60,000 people have been killed, was “torn apart by endless slaughter and (is) the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population”. Continue reading