Pope Francis Punishes Another Conservative American Catholic Leader: Report

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Pope Francis is reportedly planning to remove an American conservative cardinal, who has been critical of the Vatican in the past, from his apartment over issues of “disunity,” according to ABC News.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, 75, was removed by the pope as the Vatican’s high court justice in 2014 and has been openly critical of Francis’ statements on LGBTQ issues and reform of the Catholic Church. Francis allegedly held a meeting with other Vatican leaders on Nov. 20 to discuss his plan to remove Burke’s apartment and salary as a retired cardinal because he is a source of “disunity,” according to ABC News, which cited two anonymous sources.

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Catholic All-Girls College Will Admit Men Who Identify as Trans Women

Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, will begin allowing men who identify as women to enroll at the college in the fall of 2024, an email obtained by The Daily Signal shows.

President Katie Conboy told faculty in an email sent Tuesday afternoon that “Saint Mary’s will consider undergraduate applicants whose sex assigned at birth is female or who consistently live and identify as women.” That news was first reported by the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer.

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Commentary: Pope Francis Creates 21 New Cardinals

On September 30, in advance of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals in St. Peter’s Square. The ceremony to install them, called a consistory, was the ninth during Pope Francis’s pontificate.

Cardinals play an important role in the Catholic Church and serve as principal advisors to the Pope, chief officials of the Roman Curia, and archbishops of major dioceses around the world. Additionally, cardinals under the age of 80 serve as cardinal electors in conclaves. 

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Commentary: With Fewer than 1,500 Catholics in Mongolia, Pope Francis’ Upcoming Visit Brings Attention to the Long and Complex History of the Minority Religious Group

Pope Francis is set to make the first-ever visit to Mongolia, a country with fewer than 1,500 Catholics, all of whom have come to the faith since 1992. But the pope’s visit is a reminder that the country has a long and complex history with Christianity, among many other faiths.

Mongolia has only 3.4 million people, and at least 87.4% are Buddhists. The small Catholic community came into existence after this landlocked country, bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, began to abandon its communist ideology and embraced different religions. At that time, it also restored diplomatic relations with the Vatican and welcomed Catholic missionaries.

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Pope Francis Warns About the ‘Disruptive Possibilities’ of Artificial Intelligence

Pope Francis is warning about the possible adverse effects of artificial intelligence and the need to monitor the technology in his message for World Day of Peace.

The cautionary message came Tuesday when the Vatican released the theme of the pope’s message for World Day of Peace, which is Sept. 21.

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Commentary: The Age of the Coot

It’s a good time to be a coot, especially an old one. Old coots rule the roost (or more accurately, the nest) in the world’s most powerful and populous countries.

The leaders of the nine most populous countries in the world are today all led by men in their seventies and eighties. U.S. President Joe Biden is 80 years old as is the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. President Lula of Brazil is 77. Pakistan’s president Arif Alvi is 73 and its prime minister is 71. Narendra Modi of India is 72.

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Pope Francis Will Allow Women to Vote in Bishop Meeting for the First Time

The Vatican announced Wednesday during a press conference that women would be allowed to vote during the upcoming Synod of Bishops in October, according to The Associated Press.

Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the synod, and Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, the relator general of the synod, announced that Pope Francis had approved the proposed changes by the council overseeing the synod, according to American Magazine. Under the new rules, both women and laymen will be allowed to vote for the first time in the history of the practice, and five religious sisters will be appointed as representatives for different orders, according to the AP.

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Commentary: Saint John Paul II’s Enduring Legacy

In recent weeks, slanderous allegations have been made against Saint John Paul II.

On Divine Mercy Sunday, a day established by John Paul II, Pope Francis defended his predecessor saying, “Certain of interpreting the feelings of the faithful throughout the world, I direct a grateful thought to the memory of Saint John Paul II, the object of offensive and unfounded inferences these past few days.”

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Pope Francis Says Celibacy for Catholic Priests Is ‘Temporary,’ Ban Could Be Reconsidered

Pope Francis says the Catholic Church’s celibacy decree for unmarried men ordained as priests is a “temporary prescription” that could be reconsidered. 

“In the Western Church, celibacy is a temporary prescription,” Francis told the Argentinian outlet Infobae late last week, as translated. “I do not know if it is settled in one way or another.”

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‘I Don’t Believe in Popes’: Nicaraguan President Reportedly Bans Easter Public Processions

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega reportedly banned public church processions for Easter after comparing the Catholic church to the “mafia,” according to the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Tensions between the government and the church have been rising due to Ortega orchestrating multiple investigations into church leaders and exiling others, according to CNA. Ortega has reportedly placed a ban on public religious demonstrations during Lent, Good Friday and Easter after he attacked the church during a speech memorializing the 89th anniversary of Nicaraguan national hero Augusto Sandino’s death, calling the Catholic church a “mafia organization” committing “grave crimes and horrors.”

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Pope Francis Criticizes ‘Conservative’ and ‘Progressive’ Wings for Politicizing Church

Pope Francis criticized attempts on both the left and the right to politicize the church in his weekly address at the Vatican Wednesday, according to remarks released by the Vatican.

Francis has been known for taking a more liberal approach to the papacy on issues of same-sex marriage, divorce and capitalism compared to his predecessor Benedict. The Pope said during his General Audience on Ash Wednesday that the church should not be run by any ideology and instead should focus on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, according to the Vatican.

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Cardinal Says Pope Francis Has No ‘Contact with the Holy Spirit’ in New Book

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is releasing a book that accuses Pope Francis of giving “privileged status” to his friends that are accused of sexual abuse in the church, according to Catholic news website LaCroix International. The Roman Catholic Church has suffered multiple sexual abuse scandals over the years after several reports from the Vatican found that the clergy, particularly in France, had abused thousands of victims. While Müller says that France’s Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (CIASE) 2021 report was “inflated and exaggerated,” the cardinal claims in his new book, “In Good Faith: Religion in the 21st Century,” that Francis has helped protect those close to him by granting them a special “status,” citing the case of Argentine Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who was convicted in March 2022 of sexual abuse of two victims during seminary, as an example, according to LaCroix International.

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Pope Francis Says Homosexuality Is ‘A Sin’ but Should Not Be Criminalized

Pope Francis I said in an interview with the Associated Press that “homosexuality is not a crime” and encouraged bishops to stop practicing forms of conversion therapy. Francis has come under scrutiny in the past for his statements regarding the LGBTQ community, including his perceived endorsement of same-sex civil unions in 2020. The pope stated during the interview that while homosexuality is considered a sin, it should not be a “crime.”

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Commentary: Remembering Pope Benedict XVI

A couple of months ago I was in a fascinating conversation with a Catholic colleague regarding the papacies of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, here in the ninth year of this curious era, 2013-22, when the world was living with, in effect, two popes of sorts, a reigning pope named Francis and a resigned pope — a “Pope Emeritus” — named Benedict XVI. We were wondering if the latter would, ironically, ultimately outlive the former, who few expected to have a papacy this long. When Francis’ papacy started in 2013, he was already known for poor health, which has progressively gotten worse.

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Dead at 95

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who shaped Catholic doctrine for decades before surprising the church by resigning as pontiff, died Saturday at age 95, the Vatican announced.

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican,” Vatican press secretary Matteo Bruni told media.

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Pope Francis Asks for Prayers for ‘Very Sick’ Benedict as Vatican Says Health Has ‘Worsened’

Pope Francis on Wednesday asked for prayers for his 95-year-old predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who the Vatican said is constantly receiving medical care.

At the end of his weekly general audience, Francis said in Italian: “I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who, in silence, is sustaining the Church,” as translated by Reuters.

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Archbishop Viganò: Holy See Delivered ‘Unjust and Illegitimate Punishment’ to Pro-Life Priest Father Frank Pavone

Outspoken former papal ambassador to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò condemned the Holy See’s decision to laicize pro-life priest Father Frank Pavone, calling the action “unjust and illegitimate punishment,” and observed hypocrisy in the move while “the Roman Curia is infested with unpresentable characters who are notoriously corrupt and heretical sodomites and fornicators.”

“[A] person’s actions are consistent with who that person is, ”Viganò wrote at LifeSiteNews Thursday, and asserted that principle has been confirmed “in the canonical sanctions recently imposed by the Holy See on Father Frank A. Pavone, a well-known and appreciated pro-life priest, who for decades has been committed to the battle against the horrible crime of abortion.”

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Commentary: Frank Pavone and the Fading Power of Pope Francis

There’s been a flurry of commentary in Catholic circles since Pope Francis decided to defrock pro-life advocate and priest Frank Pavone. One suggestion I’ve seen from many Catholic writers is that Francis is punishing Pavone because he believes clergymen should not be involved in politics. It’s a laughable argument. Francis is very frequently involved in politics and regularly encourages (leftist) priests in their activism.

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‘Laicized’ Pro-Life Priest Father Frank Pavone: Pope Francis ‘Definitely Signed Off on This’

Prominent international pro-life leader Father Frank Pavone said Monday Pope Francis “definitely signed off” on a letter that reportedly states the Vatican has laicized Pavone, for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”

“I have received nothing,” Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, told The Star News Network during a telephone interview Monday. “And what’s worse, that has been the pattern for the last 20 years of abuse by church authorities.”

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Vatican Defrocks Priests for Life Director Father Frank Pavone for ‘Blasphemous’ Social Media Posts

The Vatican defrocked Priest for Life Director Frank Pavone without the possibility of appeal for social media posts the church considered to be “blasphemous.”

The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy dismissed Pavone on November 9, according to a December 13 letter to U.S. bishops from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who serves as Pope Francis’ representative to the United States, the Catholic News Agency reported Saturday.

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German Cardinal Gerhard Müller: ‘LGBT Ideology’ Attempting ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Catholic Church

Catholics must “stay firm in the truth” as those who have embraced an LGBTQ agenda are in the midst of a “hostile takeover” of the Catholic Church, warned German Cardinal Gerhard Müller in interviews over the past week with both EWTN’s The World Over and LifeSiteNews.

Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s highest doctrinal office, is voicing his significant concerns about the dangers to the Church brought on during Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality, a process that involves collecting the views of lay Catholics in every diocese around the world prior to the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.

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Commentary: Pope Francis Set to Add 20 New Names to College of Cardinals

As most Italians are enjoying the last days of summer, Pope Francis has called the College of Cardinals to the Vatican.  From August 27-30, the Holy Father will preside over three consistories and a pastoral visit.  

On August 27, Pope Francis will convene two consistories, on August 28, he will make a pastoral visit to L’Aquila, and on August 29 and 30, he will preside over a third consistory. 

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Rumors Swirl at the Vatican That Pope Francis May Soon Retire

In the past year, rumors have swirled in Rome that Pope Francis may soon retire, and in the past few days, those rumors have accelerated. The 85-year-old’s frail health is one reason for the speculation.  In recent weeks, he has been confined to a wheelchair due to debilitating knee pain.

He also reportedly struggles to stand due to his sciatica.  The “Woke Pope” recently cancelled a trip to Africa scheduled for next month due to his knee ailment, “raising questions about his ability to walk during the rest of his papacy,” according to Reuters.

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Outspoken Archbishop Viganò Urges Catholics to Beware ‘Corrupters’ Pope Francis Has Elevated to College of Cardinals

A former apostolic nuncio, or papal ambassador, to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has warned Catholics that several of the bishops Pope Francis has recently elevated to the College of Cardinals support leftwing causes and oppose the Church’s traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass.

“Pope Francis has chosen his new cardinals for their ‘corruptibility,’” the outspoken Viganò wrote at LifeSiteNews last week.

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