In his first Christmas as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis used his “Urbi et Orbi” address to call for an end to the conflict in South Sudan and peace worldwide.
Pope Francis led Catholics worldwide in a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, urging world leaders to remove their nations from a “spiral of sorrow and death.” In a five-hour prayer vigil in Vatican City, Francis reminded worshippers that “violence and war lead only to death.”
Meanwhile, demonstrations in Lebanon against a possible U.S. military intervention in Syria intensified. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with European leaders to look for international support of U.S. action, protests in D.C., New York and Paris sprung up on Saturday.
Six days after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new head of the Catholic Church, the newly dubbed Pope Francis was formally installed as the church’s next pontiff. Addressing thousands of people at his inauguration mass at the Vatican, the first Latin American pope delivered a homily on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new pope by the Papal conclave on Wednesday. His selected name: Pope Francis. He is the first Jesuit to become pope.
Sometime in March – Vatican rules seem to indicate March 15 – an estimated 115 Catholic cardinals will enter the Sistine Chapel to deliberate and elect the next head of the Roman Catholic Church. The proceedings of this papal conclave will be kept secret while crowds gather outside awaiting the announcement of the 266th pontiff. To get a better idea of the proceedings, take a look at these photos from the election of Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
Masses of pilgrims queued to enter St. Peter’s Square to hear Pope Benedict XVI’s final weekly public audience in Vatican City, Vatican on Wednesday. The Pontiff attended his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. The weekly event, which would normally be held in a vast auditorium in winter, was moved outdoors to St. Peter’s Square so more people can attend. Pope Benedict XVI had been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from public engagements.