Vatican City

COVID-19 case confirmed in pope's Vatican residence

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A man living in the same Vatican residence as Pope Francis has tested positive for COVID-19 and gone into isolation, the Vatican said on Saturday.

The man, who was not identified and did not have symptoms of the illness, left the Santa Marta residence and went into isolation along with others with whom he had had direct contact, a statement said.

Someone else living in the residence - which has about 130 rooms and suites - tested positive for the coronavirus when the pandemic hit Italy in March.

VATICAN CITY: Fired cardinal denies wrongdoing, says ready to give life for pope

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - An Italian cardinal fired from his powerful Vatican post said on Friday Pope Francis had accused him of embezzlement and nepotism, but he denied wrongdoing and said he was still ready to lay down his life for the pontiff.

Speaking to reporters the day after his shock ousting, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, a key mover and shaker in the Vatican hierarchy, said he had had a “surreal” meeting with the pope on Thursday night when he was sacked.

Vatican City: Pope to travel outside Rome for first time since coronavirus pandemic

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will next month visit the Italian town of Assisi, his first trip out of Rome since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in February, and will sign a new encyclical, a spokesman for the Assisi Basilica said on Saturday.

The encyclical, which is the highest form of papal writing, is expected to focus on what Francis believes the post-pandemic world should look like, and will be called “Brothers All...”.

Vatican City: Pope warns rich countries against coronavirus vaccine nationalism

(Reuters) - Rich countries should not hoard a coronavirus vaccine and should only give pandemic-related bailouts to companies committed to protecting the environment, helping the most needy and the ‘common good’, Pope Francis said on Wednesday.

“It would be sad if the rich are given priority for the Covid-19 vaccine. It would be sad if the vaccine becomes property of this or that nation, if it is not universal and for everyone,” Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Pope 'very pained' by decision to turn Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum into mosque

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Sunday he was hurt by Turkey’s decision to make Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum a mosque, the latest religious leader to condemn the move.

“My thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very pained,” he said during his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the first prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24, after declaring the ancient monument was once again a mosque following a court ruling revoking its status as a museum.

Vatican City: Pope names administrator for Polish diocese hit by abuse allegations

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis appointed an administrator on Thursday to run the Polish diocese of Kalisz, whose bishop has been accused of shielding priests known to have sexually abused children.

The move came little more than a month after Church leaders in Poland announced that they were referring Bishop Edward Janiak to the Vatican for eventual judgement.

The Vatican said the pope had appointed Archbishop Grzegorz Rys of the city of Lodz as apostolic administrator, a temporary post. Janiak will remain bishop of Kalisz while the accusations are investigated.

VATICAN CITY: Pope says coronavirus should spark new environmental awareness

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The drastic reduction in pollution during coronavirus lockdowns around the world should lead to greater concern for the environment as restrictions are lifted, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

At his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the pandemic made many people reflect on their relationship with the environment. The square reopened to the public a month ago and Italy’s last travel restrictions were lifted on June 3.

Pope makes anti-corruption spending rules mandatory in Vatican

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has approved sweeping new rules for procurement and spending in the Vatican meant to cut costs, ensure transparent competition and reduce the risk of corruption in awarding contracts.

An Apostolic Letter and 30 pages of new norms released on Monday are the culmination of a four-year process to rationalise spending procedures and tackle nepotism and cronyism.

They come as the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the Vatican’s finances, forcing it to implement some of the toughest cost-control measures ever.

People more important than the economy, pope says about Covid crisis

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Sunday that people are more important than the economy, as countries decide how quickly to reopen their countries from coronavirus lockdowns.

Francis made his comments, departing from a prepared script, at the first noon address from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square in three months as Italy’s lockdown drew to an end.

“Healing people, not saving (money) to help the economy (is important), healing people, who are more important than the economy,” Francis said.

Pope: Easter gives hope in our ‘darkest hour,’ despite fear

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Easter offers a message of hope in people’s “darkest hour,” Pope Francis said, as he celebrated a late-night vigil Mass Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the public barred because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pontiff in his homily likened the fears of current times to those experienced by Jesus’ followers the day after his crucifixion.

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