Entries in Pope (20)


New Pope Faces Old Accusations in Argentina's Dirty War

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(BUENOS AIRES) -- Human rights activists say Pope Francis, formerly Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, may have turned a blind eye to some atrocities, then later denied knowing about those atrocities despite his own testimony to the contrary and that ultimately as head of the Catholic church in Argentina, he did little to open the church's archives to reveal the truth about its complicity.

The testimony of Argentine war criminals in tribunals showed that Catholic priests and chaplains played a central role in the torture and murder of dissidents by blessing torture chambers and absolving troops of their sins after they had thrown dozens of bound and drugged dissidents from a plane into the Rio de la Plata.

There were also allegations that Father Bergoglio knew where two of his Jesuit priests were held and tortured for five months by the junta, but did little to help them.

On Friday, Rev. Federico Lombardi rejected all those charges, saying instead that "there have been many declarations of how much he did for many people to protect them from the military dictatorship."

Pope Francis has never been implicated directly in any actions, but many in Argentina who support him, including 1980 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, said that "he was not complicit in the dictatorship but he lacked courage to accompany us in our struggle."

The controversy has dogged Pope Francis throughout his entire career. As late as 2010, in a case brought against the church, he was grilled by attorney Myriam Bregman about what he knew about the eradication of almost the entire the de la Cuarda family.

Another human-rights attorney, Luis Zamora, questioned then Cardinal Bergoglio about the existence of church records that among aspects could potentially help reunite missing children with their actual families.

"Zamoro; Does any archive exist in the CEA (Episcopal Conference of Argentina) Bergoglio: I suppose yes, but I don't know Zamoro: is that archive under your jurisdiction Bergoglio: The Central Archive of the CEA is under the jurisdiction of the CEA Zamoro: And who presides over the CEA? Bergoglio: I do"

Bergoglio said he would possibly look into the records, but the Catholic Church has yet to hand over any documents about their role in the Dirty War.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pope Francis’ Official Schedule

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name of Pope Francis, became the new leader of the Catholic Church on Wednesday.

Bergoglio, 76, is a Jesuit from Buenos Aires and is the first pope from South America.  He is also the first pope to take the name of Francis.

“Let’s pray always for each other.  Let’s pray for the whole world.  May there be a great brotherhood,” Pope Francis said in Italian.

Here’s a look at the new pontiff’s schedule for the next coming days:

  • March 14: At 5 p.m., the pope will concelebrate mass with the Cardinal Electors in the Sistine chapel.
  • March 15: At 11 a.m. the Holy Father will have an audience with all the cardinals in the Sala Clementina in the Apostolic Palace.
  • March 16: At 11 a.m. the pope will hold an audience for journalists in the Paul VI Audience hall.
  • March 17: The pope will recite the Angelus from the window of the Papal apartment at noon.
  • March 19: On the Feast of St. Joseph, there will be the mass for the solemn inauguration of the Pontificate in St. Peter’s Square at 9:30 a.m.
  • March 20: The pope will have an audience with the Fraternal Delegates.  There will not be a general audience.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Black Smoke Emerges from Sistine Chapel After Second Papal Vote

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Black smoke emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel Wednesday morning indicated that the 115 cardinal electors of the Roman Catholic Church failed to elect a pope in their second vote.

The cardinals started the conclave on Tuesday afternoon, but black smoke emerged from the chapel's chimney a few hours afterwards, signaling that no candidate had received the two-thirds majority -- 77 votes -- needed for election.

With such a wide open conclave, the failure to pick the next pontiff on the first day did not come as a surprise.

"As the votes go on, a certain clarity usually arrives," Fr. John Wauck, a U.S. priest living in Rome, told ABC News.  "No one said electing a pope was going to be easy."

However, a key cardinal from the United States voiced optimism that a decision would be made soon.  Before the conclave began, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a letter to his priests in New York that he believed a successor to the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would be picked by Thursday evening.

Dolan himself is viewed as a potential candidate to become the next pope, as is fellow American Cardinal Sean O'Malley from Boston.  But there has never been an American pope or any pope from outside of Europe.  Other candidates viewed as potential frontrunners are cardinals Angelo Scola of Italy, Marc Ouellet of Canada, Peter Erdo of Hungary and Odilo Scherer of Brazil.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Italian Cardinal Could Have the Inside Track in Pope Sweepstakes

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Is there a favorite to become the next pope?

The Washington Post lists Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola as the leading candidate based on his popularity with conservative theologians and the fact that the 71-year-old came very close to succeeding Pope John Paul II in 2005.

As it happened, the cardinal from Venice lost to Joseph Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI, perhaps because he was too young -- that is, in his mid-60s.

However, Scola, a strict adherent to Roman Catholic doctrine but someone who is also media savvy, doesn't seem to have that problem now.  If chosen, he would resume the long line of pontiffs from Italy going back centuries that was broken by John Paul II in 1978.

Familiar in the way of Italian politics, it’s also reported that Scola has a particular empathy for the poor and disenfranchised and is regarded as something of a reformist who has called African, Asian and Latin American churches “beacons of hope” while also encouraging inter-faith dialogue with Islam.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Chance of American Pope Are Slim to None

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- The College of Cardinals begins it conclave on Tuesday at the Vatican to select the next pope and there's been no shortage of rumors as to who might be selected as the new leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.

Some of the buzz is that an American cardinal might be in the running for pontiff but as Monsignor Christopher Nalty explains, "There's probably 20 or 25 of those cardinals who we can see walking out on that piazza, walk out on that loggia in a couple of days and whichever one is, will be our pope."

A former official of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, Nalty says people shouldn't read too much into New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan's frequent appearances on TV.

According to Nalty, "The Americans have let their personalities shine and I think that's getting people to talk about them.  Whether that's getting the other cardinals to talk about them is another thing."

The monsignor, in fact, would be stunned if Dolan or another American becomes the successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned on Feb. 28, adding, "My jaw would drop so much I'd need reconstructive surgery after it hit the cobble stones on the piazza."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Vatican Begins Papal Conclave with Mass, First Vote

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- A new pope could be elected Tuesday as the 115 Roman Catholic cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel for the conclave that will select the next pontiff.

The first vote is set to take place Tuesday evening in Rome (afternoon ET), although it is unlikely that on the first ballot any candidate earns the two-thirds majority needed for election.  If no pope is elected on Tuesday evening's vote, the 115 cardinal electors will resume the conclave on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning, the cardinals celebrated a mass in a packed St. Peter's Basilica with a homily from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the college of cardinals.

"We implore the Lord that through the pastoral solicitude of the cardinal fathers, He may soon grant another good shepherd to his holy church," Sodano said.

When Sodano praised the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as a "beloved and venerable" pontiff, cardinals responded with a lengthy applause.

In recent days, cardinals have expressed optimism that the conclave will be a quick one and a new leader of the church's 1.2 billion followers will be swiftly selected.  The start of Holy Week on March 24 gives the conclave an added sense of urgency.

"In a few days we will have a new holy father," Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Austria said on Sunday.

When the cardinal electors -- only cardinals under 80 can vote -- enter the conclave, they will be shut off from the outside world: no television, Internet or newspapers.  Electronic jamming devices have been installed in the chapel.

The cardinal electors Tuesday morning moved into Santa Marta, the house where they will reside during the conclave.  Later in the day, they will gather in the Pauline Chapel before proceeding into the Sistine Chapel, where the doors will then be locked.

After each session of voting, the ballots are burned and smoke is emitted from the chapel's chimney, with black smoke signaling that no candidate has been elected in the preceding rounds of votes and white smoke indicating a new pope has been picked.

The first smoke can be seen between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Vatican Installs Chimney on Sistine Chapel Roof in Preparation for Conclave

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Vatican workers placed the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel on Saturday morning. When the conclave starts on Tuesday, all eyes will be on this chimney, waiting to see if black or white smoke is coming out the top.

The chimney is an ancient tradition, the first conclave in the Sistine Chapel having been held in 1492. Cardinals burn their ballots after each inconclusive vote in a small stove connected to the chimney, and the color of the smoke signifies the outcome of each round of voting.

This famously low-tech tradition is being joined this year by the installation of a faraday cage, a wire mesh that protects against lightning strikes and prevents wireless signals from getting in or out of the conclave. This makes sure that that chimney is the only way the world will know if there is a new pope, the same way it has for centuries.

There is no definite front-runner at this point, so it could be a while after the conclave starts before we see any white smoke billowing out the top of the chimney.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Vatican Says Conclave Will Start Tuesday

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(ROME) -- The Vatican has announced that the conclave to elect the next pope will begin on Tuesday.

Catholic Cardinals from across the globe now gathered at the Vatican were waiting for the arrival of Vietnam's cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham, who arrived on Thursday, before a date could be set for the election.

When all 115 of the voting cardinals were finally together, they began to gather for the meetings known as general congregations.  During these meetings they discuss the problems facing the church, while geting to know each other.

On Thursday, U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahony caused a wave of anticipation when he tweeted that the discussions were "reaching a conclusion."

"Days of General Congregations reaching a conclusion. Setting of date for Conclave nearing. Mood of excitement prevails among Cardinals," he tweeted.

The setting of the date functions as a deadline for pre-conclave discussions.

Once the conclave begins, the cardinals will vote four times a day -- twice in the morning, and twice in the afternoon.  All of these votes are made during silent prayer within the Sistine Chapel.

Many of the over one billion Catholics across the world are waiting to see who will be selected as the next pontiff.  One hint even arrived on Friday that the next pope could be an American.

An article in an Italian magazine by a respected religion writer says that Cardinal Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York, is being strongly considered as a viable candidate to be the next pope.

The article states that he is considered a great communicator, which is an essential quality in the very public role that the pope will play.

Cardinal O'Malley of Boston is also mentioned in the same article as a viable candidate.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Papal Porta-Potties in the Sistine Chapel?

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(VATICAN CITY) -- Among the more intriguing traditions of a papal election is the little stove installed in the Sistine Chapel to burn the ballots and send out the smoke signals about the results.

But one mystery never really discussed is how 115 voting cardinals locked in a room deal with, ahem, waste of a more mundane nature.

Papal porta-potties, it turns out.

“They are installing chemical toilets inside the Sistine Chapel,” Antonio Paulucci, the director of the Vatican Museums told Italy’s Il Messagero newspaper Wednesday.

There are public bathrooms nearby -- just one floor down -- but the cardinals won’t be able to venture out of the chapel to use them.

The Sistine Chapel is under undergoing a transformation before the vote.

The Raphael Rooms will remain open, but the Borgia Apartments will be closed as will Pope Paul VI’s collection of contemporary church art.

The museum has also closed the doors of the Sistine Chapel to all tourists.

The Sistine Chapel is the museum’s biggest attraction, with 5 million visitors a year. Now even pre-paid private tour groups are cancelled or postponed until after the new pope emerges.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colombian Tailor Chosen to Make Garments for New Pope

Univision/ABC News(CALI, Colombia) -- Immediately after the world learned of Pope Benedict's resignation, a tailor in Colombia got a call from the Vatican to start working on garments for the new pope. That man is Luis Delgado, a 43-year-old tailor from Cali who was chosen to embroider some of the most delicate garments for the new pope.

Delgado got the fabric and materials straight from Rome-- enough to make three different sets, a small, medium and large, so that depending on the new pope's size, last minute alterations can be made on the spot.

Delgado is no stranger to the Vatican. He has also sewn for Pope John Paul II and for the past five years had regularly made garments for Pope Benedict XVI.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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