• Pope open to studying ordination of married men as priests

    The Associated Press
    Updated: Fri, Mar 10, 2017

    BERLIN — Pope Francis says the church must study whether it's possible to ordain married men to minister in remote communities facing priest shortages. In an interview published Thursday with Germany's Die Zeit, Francis stressed that removing the celibacy rule is not the answer to...

  • Sex orgies, prostitution, porn: Allegations shake Catholic Church in Italy

    Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service
    Updated: Fri, Mar 10, 2017

    ROME — Lurid accusations of priests involved in sex orgies, porn videos and prostitution have emerged from several parishes in Italy recently, sending shock waves all the way to the Vatican and challenging the high standards Pope Francis demands of clergy. In the southern...

  • Pope marks Ash Wednesday with prayer and solemn procession

    The Associated Press
    Updated: Wed, Mar 1, 2017

    ROME — Pope Francis is marking Ash Wednesday with prayer and a solemn procession between two churches on one of ancient' Rome's seven hills. The day begins the Catholic church's annual Lenten period of reflection in preparation for Easter. The day's rituals include rubbing ashes on...

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