A Vatican spokesperson tells Vatican Radio that Pope Francis’ suggestion that Trump was ‘not Christian’ because of his views on immigration was not a personal attack on the candidate, and that the comments were simply an affirmation of Francis’ longstanding belief that migrants should be helped and welcomed rather than shut off behind walls.
This wasn’t in any way a personal attack, nor an indication of who to vote for. The Pope has clearly said he didn’t want to get involved in the electoral campaign in the US, and also said that he said what he said on the basis of what he was told [about Trump], hence giving him the benefit of the doubt. The Pope said what we already know, if we followed his teaching and positions: We shouldn’t build walls, but bridges.’ He has always said that, continuously. He also said that in relation to migration in Europe many times. So this is not a specific issue, limited to this particular case. It’s his generic view, coherent with the nature of solidarity from the Gospel.
Trump responds to the Pope’s comments.
If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.
The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story – he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.
For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.
At the end of his six-day visit to Mexico, Pope Francis is asked about Trump’s plan to build a border wall with Mexico.
A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel…I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.
Pope Francis publishes The Name of God is Mercy. The book makes no new leaps of doctrine, but uses a “conversational” style to discuss the Pope’s reasons for proclaiming a Holy Year of Mercy. The Pope takes particular issue with those who cast stones at others’ sins. When asked about a particular lifestyle considered sinful:
Who am I to judge? Before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity.
The Vatican says the pope’s meeting with Davis was not an endorsement of her decision to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The Vatican wanted to “clarify” what happened “in order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired.”
The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects…Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
Francis met with Yayo Grassi, a gay U.S-based Argentine caterer, Grassi’s male partner of 19 years, Iwan Bagus and three other people for 15 minutes at the Vatican Embassy in Washington during his visit to the US on Sept. 23. Grassi has known the pope since Francis taught him literature and psychology at a high school in Argentina in the 1960s and has stayed in touch. Vatican spokesperson:
As noted in the past, the pope, as pastor, has maintained many personal relationships with people in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue
What I can say is that he met with me knowing that I am gay, and we had an extraordinary, very moving conversation.
Davis’ lawyers claims that she had a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington D.C on Sept 24. Davis says she was “humbled” and never thought she would be granted an audience. She and the pontiff hugged, and he presented her and her husband with two rosaries, which she is giving to her parents, who are Catholic.
Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a county clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him. Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable. He even asked me to pray for him. Pope Francis thanked me for my courage and told me to ‘stay strong’.
While returning from his visit to the US, the pontiff tells reporters aboard the papal plane that anyone who prevents others from exercising their religious freedom is denying them a human right.
If a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right…It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right. It is a human right.
He also says he says he understands the anger of people abused by clergy.
I met a woman who told me ‘when my mother found out that I had been abused, she became blasphemous, she lost her faith and she died an atheist’. I understand that woman. I understand her. I pray for them. And I don’t judge them.
Francis also rules out the idea of the Catholic church following the Anglican example of women priests.
Not because women don’t have the capacity. Look, in the church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman. It is ‘la’ [female] church, not ‘il’ [masculine] church. The church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests.
Francis conducts an open-air mass in Philadelphia. Crowds fill Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the Pope’s last official event before he returns to Italy.
[Your presence is] a kind of miracle in today’s world. Would that all of us could be open to miracles of love for the sake of all the families of the world.
He talks about little gestures of kindness:
These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different. They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children. They are little signs of tenderness, affection and compassion.
And ends with:
I ask you to pray for me. Don’t forget!
Francis meets with five victims of child sexual abuse and tells them he is “deeply sorry” for the times they came forward to tell their stories and weren’t believed. He assures them that he believes them and that bishops who covered up for abusers will be made to answer for what they did.
I pledge to you that we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead. Clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children.
Soon after he tells a meeting of bishops from the U.S. and around the world the same thing.
God weeps [over what was done to the youngsters].
The pope has agreed to create a new Vatican tribunal to prosecute bishops who failed to protect their flock, and he has accepted the resignations of three U.S. bishops accused of mishandling abuse cases.
After a minute’s prayer, Francis leaves a white rose along the edge of the 9/11 memorial in New York, where names of the Sept. 11 dead are etched in bronze. He also meets with the relatives of some of the first responders killed in the attack, and takes part in an interfaith service with leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Hindu and other faiths.
Here grief is palpable. The water we see flowing toward that empty pit reminds us of all those lives which fell prey to those who think that destruction, tearing down, is the only way to settle conflicts…This place of death became a place of life, too. A place of saved lives, a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division.
Francis addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York. He talks about the “grave offense” of economic and social exclusion:
A selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity leads both to the misuse of available natural resources and to the exclusion of the weak and disadvantaged.
He calls on government leaders to ensure their people enjoy the minimum material means needed to live.
In practical terms, this absolute minimum has three names: lodging, labor, and land.
He also urges leaders to fight human trafficking and ban nuclear arms, and work on environmental issues.
In the first ever address of a Pope before a joint meeting of Congress, Francis calls upon lawmakers to participate in efforts to to address climate change, the Syrian migrant crisis, and the decline of the American family.
Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.
On religious extremism:
A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject. Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice.
We the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners…We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.
Francis is welcomed formally to the U.S. by President Obama. In an English speech he introduces himself as the son of the kind of “immigrant family” on which America was built. He also talks about family values, and climate change:
I would like all men and women of good will in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development.
Holy Father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere, and a better life for the Cuban people.
The president and Pope meet for one-on-one talks in the Oval Office, with the Pope receiving a sculpture of an ascending dove made from metal taken from the Statue of Liberty and wood which once grew in the White House garden.
Pope Francis arrives for his first visit to the U.S. and is greeted by President Obama, Vice President Biden and their families at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington. On the plane from Cuba Francis dismisses suggestions that he is a socialist, saying that despite his warnings of the inequities in the global economic system, his beliefs are consistent with the established social doctrine of the Church. After a brief private meeting with Obama in a VIP suite, the pope leaves for the residence of the Vatican ambassador to the United States in a black Fiat hatchback car with the number plate SCV 1.
In a document known as a Motu Proprio, Latin for “by his own initiative”, Francis reaffirms traditional teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage”, making clear that the Vatican was not in any form promoting or sanctioning divorce. However, he said he would make it easier for separated couples to obtain an annulment, by eliminating a mandatory review of an annulment decision by a second tribunal, and giving bishops sweeping powers to judge quickly the most clear-cut cases. He says Catholics who sought annulments should not be “long oppressed by darkness of doubt” over whether they could have their marriages declared void.
Francis says that every European parish and religious community should take in one migrant family each in a gesture of solidarity he said would start in the Vatican state. There are more han 25,000 parishes in Italy, and more than 12,000 in Germany. The Vatican’s two parishes will take in two families.
I appeal to the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to … take in one family of refugees…Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family.
Francis calls on priests to pardon women who have abortions during the upcoming Jubilee year — overruling hardline traditionalists within the Catholic Church.
I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness.
Francis says he knew that while “abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness” many others “believe that they have no other option” and that he has “met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonising and painful decision”. He also calls for amnesty for prisoners in jails across the world who have repented.
The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked.
Pope Francis offers a direct apology during his Bolivia tour for the complicity of the Roman Catholic Church for the oppression of Latin America during the colonial era, even as he calls for a global social movement to shatter a “new colonialism” that fosters inequality, materialism and the exploitation of the poor.
Some may rightly say, ‘When the pope speaks of colonialism, he overlooks certain actions of the church,’ I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God. I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offense of the church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.
Hundreds of environmentalists gather in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City to show support for Pope Francis’ support of environmental issues. Organized by a variety of faith leaders, including a rabbi from New Jersey, USA, the marchers wave green paper leaves to show support for the latest papal encyclical, Laudato Si.
Pope Francis blames human selfishness for global warming in his long-awaited encyclical calling for action on climate change. In the letter, he urges the rich to change their lifestyles to avert the destruction of the ecosystem. In excerpts from the 184-page document:
What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? The question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal…Today, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
The Pope presents presents Abbas with a medallion with the angel of peace on it, and praises his efforts at establishing a Palestinian State peacefully.
This gift is appropriate since you are an angel of peace destroying the bad spirit of war.
Israel is releases a statement about the Vatican’s treaty recognizing Palestine as a State.
This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations. Israel will study the agreement and will consider its steps accordingly.
During Palm Sunday’s celebrations, Francis pays tribute to those who have been and who are being killed for their faith, especially referring to victims of ISIS.
We think too of the humiliation endured by all those who, for their lives of fidelity to the Gospel, encounter discrimination and pay a personal price…We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians, the martyrs of our own time. There are many of them. They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity.
Meade responds to Pope Francis’ ‘Mexicanization’ comment.
We would like to express our sadness and concern about the statements made regarding a private letter from Pope Francis.
The Vatican issues a statement regarding Francis’ comments about ‘Mexicanization’. Rev. Federico Lombardi:
The pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America. It is precisely this importance that has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority for the government.
Francis comments on the ‘Mexicanization’ of his native country Argentina, referring to the increase in drug trafficking in the country, in a private e-mail to Argentine lawmaker, Gustavo Vera, who publishes it on his website for the Alameda Foundation.
Hopefully, we are still in time to avoid the ‘Mexicanization.’
Pope Francis urges 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide to allow God into their lives to help combat darkness and corruption. It is his second Christmas as the first non-European Pope in 1,300 years. Homily:
[God’s message of peace] is stronger than darkness and corruption. The question put to us simply by the infant’s presence is, ‘Do I allow God to love me?’ Do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us …? How much the world needs tenderness today!
Pope Francis makes a surprise call to refugees fleeing ISIS and located in a tent camp in Ankawa. He says they are like Jesus as there is no place for them:
You’re like Jesus on this night, and I bless you and am close to you. I embrace you all and wish for you a holy Christmas.
Text is released of Pope Francis’s Christmas Eve homily:
The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me?
More so, do we have the courage to welcome with tenderness the difficulties and problems of those who are near to us, or do we prefer impersonal solutions, perhaps effective but devoid of the warmth of the Gospel? How much the world needs tenderness today!
Pope Francis celebrates his 78th birthday by handing out hundreds of sleeping bags to homeless people living on the streets in Vatican City. His archbishop in charge of charitable giving, Konrad Krajewski, leads a group of volunteers to distribute the bags.
Pope Francis says the Islamic holy text is a book of peace and that extreme actions by fundamentalist Islamists should not be held as representative of the faith itself:
The Qur’an is a book of peace. It is a prophetic book of peace. You just can’t say that [extremists represent the entire faith], just as you can’t say all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of [fundamentalists]. All religions have these little groups.
Pope Francis tells the Second International Conference on Nutrition (CIN2) in Rome that over-use of the planet’s resources will create a doomsday event:
God always forgives, but the earth does not. Take care of the earth so it does not respond with destruction
Pope Francis plans to make his first trip to the United States as the head of the Catholic Church in September 2015. Pope Francis is to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput in a statement:
It is the answer to the countless prayers of so many people who have asked God to guide Pope Francis to Philadelphia, the culmination of many months of hopeful anticipation, and the fulfillment of my own confidence that the Holy Father would grace us with his presence next year.
Pope Francis says in a homily during Mass that heaven is like a feast or party, where people rejoice together, rather than a show or spectacle like a wedding where people go to see or be seen. Pope Francis:
The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a show. It’s a party! But it is different. And a party is beautiful, of course. A big party. And Heaven will be a party.
Pope Francis arrives in Albania to meet with 11 heads of various religious communities to promote harmony. Francis is only the second pope to visit Albania. Pope John Paul II visited the country in 1992. Due to reported planned attacks by Islamic militants, security is very tight. Albania has raised its police force alert to the highest level, and the Interior Ministry is promising “maximum” protection by the deployment of 2,500 police and the setting up of 29 security checkpoints in the capital, Tirana. During the visit, Francis will meet Albanian President Bujar Nishani, celebrate mass in Mother Teresa square in Tirana,and meet with religious leaders, including those of the Muslim, Orthodox, Bektashi, Jewish and Protestant faith. According to official data, 59 percent of Albania’s population are Muslim, while Catholics make up 10 percent and Orthodox Christian slightly less.
Pope Francis marries 20 couples at the Vatican, including some who had lived together and one that had a child before marriage. Sex outside marriage remains a sin according to Vatican doctrine. Francis says the church has a duty to forgive:
To spouses who ‘have become impatient on the way’ and who succumb to the dangerous temptation of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, abandonment, God the Father gives his Son Jesus, not to condemn them.
Guido Tassaro, who married partner Gabriella Improt with whom he has children, says being married by the Pope had seemed ‘impossible’:
When we discovered that it was happening, that it wasn’t a dream — well, it transformed us.
Vatican observers say the ceremony is designed to send a signal that the church is becoming more inclusive. The previous marriage ceremony by a pontiff was performed in 2000.
Pope Francis says that conflicts around the globe represent a third World War. During a Mass held at Italy’s largest war memorial, a Fascist-era monument where 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried, the pontiff appears to be referring to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine and Africa. The homily:
Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep … War is madness. Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction … War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying. Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology.
The Vatican downplays the possibility of ISIS posing a threat to the Pope, following a report by Il Tempo newspaper that the pontiff is being targeted by the militant group as the world’s most prominent Christian leader. A spokesman:
There is nothing serious to this. There is no particular concern in the Vatican.
A report in Il Tempo newspaper cites unnamed intelligence officials as saying that ISIS is targeting Pope Francis in order to ‘raise the level of confrontation’ in the Western world. It says the pontiff is the ‘greatest exponent of the Christian religions’ and a ‘bearer of false truths’ against Islam, and that he is…
…in the crosshairs of ISIS
A Vatican spokesman confirms that three of Francis’ relatives, a niece and two great-nephews, died in a car accident in Argentina. Francis’ nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in intensive care in an induced coma. He is seriously injured with liver trauma, a fractured femur and other injuries. His wife, Carmona Valeria, and their eight-month-old son Jose die at the scene. His other son, Antonio, dies later at the hospital. Father Federico Lombardi:
The pope has been informed and he is painfully sorry.
Francis is asking for prayers.
The Pope baptises 62-year-old Lee Ho-Jin, the father of one of the victims from the Sewol Ferry tragedy, at Seoul Nunciature 0n Sunday. He meets with some of the family members from the ferry tragedy before Mass with thousands of Koreans at the World Cup stadium in Daejon. Last week Lee had completed a pilgrimage from the site of the ferry disaster to Daejeon, to help overcome the grief of losing his son. Vatican spokesperson:
The pope was only too happy to be able to conduct an unscheduled baptism of an adult into the Korean Church
Francis takes time to pose for a ‘selfie’ while in South Korea. He was onstage greeting visitors when a young man asked him to pose with him in a ‘selfie.’ Francis obliged, smiling and pointing at the young man as he took the photographs of the two of them together.
Francis visits South Korea, marking the first papal visit to the country in 25 years. A small percentage of the country’s population, around 10 percent, practices Catholicism, but it is considered to be the fastest growing religion there. Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame:
The Pope’s visit to South Korea is the first part of a very intelligent opening to Asia. The Pope’s presence is a powerful symbol of the Vatican’s recognition that it is in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa that the church is growing most prominently.
Francis will stay in the country for five days, and his itinerary includes: beatifying 124 Korean martyrs, helping with celebrating the 6th Asian Youth Day, which is a gathering of Asian Catholic youth and holding a Holy Mass for Peace and Reconciliation, expected to be aimed at prayers for peace, including South and North Korean relations.
During his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square, Francis says what is happening in Iraq “leaves us in disbelief.” He urges the international community to find a political solution “to stop these crimes.” He specifically cites:
the thousands of people, including Christians, who have been brutally forced from their homes, children who have died from thirst during the escape and women who have been seized.
In a letter read at a Vatican conference in Mexico City on human migration and development, Francis says migration “has now become a hallmark of our society and a challenge.” The Pope says immigrants:
continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes…Many people forced to emigrate suffer, and often die, tragically; many of their rights are violated, they are obliged to separate from their families and, unfortunately, continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes.
Francis tells an Italian newspaper that the Catholic Church’s requiring its clergy to remain celibate is a “problem” for which “there are solutions.” Allegedly, the Pope told the newspaper that one in 50 members of the clergy are pedophiles, and he says the Church’s sex abuse scandal is “a leprosy in our house.” The Pope tells Eugenio Scalfari, the 90-year-old founder of La Repubblica:
The 2 percent of pedophiles are priests, and even bishops and cardinals. And others, even more numerous, know about it but keep quiet. They punish without saying the reason why. I find this state of things untenable and it is my intention to confront it with the severity it requires.
For the first time as leader of the Catholic church, the pope meets with victims of clerical sexual abuse. The meeting takes place at the pope’s private residence, Casa Santa Marta , located in Vatican City. Six victims from Europe meet with Francis. The Vatican says:
It is important that we respect the delicate nature of such a meeting and the dignity and privacy of those involved.
In a homily given during a private mass today with six victims of clerical sexual abuse, Francis apologizes and asks for forgiveness:
I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk.
The Pope brands the destruction of rain forests in South America and other forms of environmental exploitation as a sin of our time. He calls for more respect for nature and urges the attendees of his address at the University of Molise to convert themselves: to a type of development that knows how to respect creation.
This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her.