ROME — Written between 1938 and 1944, and previously unreleased to the general public, the letters reveal desperation and fear. They reflect the humiliation, discrimination and confinement Jews were subjected to during a dark moment in European history. In one, a Milanese lawyer asks the Vatican to intervene in favorContinue Reading

Pope Francis weighed in on Wednesday on a debate roiling the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, where bishops are considering denying Communion to politicians, like President Biden, who support abortion rights. “I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone,” Francis said, adding that bishops should be pastors, notContinue Reading

ROME — Pope Francis announced Sunday that he would create 21 new cardinals in August, selecting clerics from all corners of the world to reinforce the church’s global reach, as he has done with past choices to the rank of cardinal. “Let us pray for the new cardinals, that byContinue Reading

VATICAN CITY — David Kertzer put down his cappuccino, put on his backpack and went digging for more Vatican secrets. “There’s an aspect of treasure hunting,” said Mr. Kertzer, a 74-year-old historian. Moments later he cut through a crowd lined up to see Pope Francis, showed his credentials to theContinue Reading

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolded, Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church, had an awkward Zoom meeting with Pope Francis. The two religious leaders had previously worked together to bridge a 1,000-year-old schism between the Christian churches of the East and West. But the meeting,Continue Reading

“In the 1990s and early 2000s, it looked like I was ahead, but after Sept. 11, people started arguing he was right,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s conclusive that I’m going to lose.” Liberal democracy, he believes, isn’t just an accidental, culturally contingent byproduct of a particular historicalContinue Reading

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis approved spending up to one million euros to free a Colombian nun kidnapped in Mali, a cardinal told a Vatican court on Thursday, revealing previously undisclosed negotiations to secure her release. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, formerly one of the Vatican’s highest-ranking prelates, said the popeContinue Reading

The first flurry of diplomats decamped from Kyiv in mid-February, well before shells began slamming into and around the historic city. The next wave of embassies packed up and left Ukraine’s capital a few weeks later, when the war began in earnest, moving their operations west and away from theContinue Reading

Francis called for peace in Libya so it could find “stability after years of tension,” and for Yemen, “which suffers from a conflict forgotten by all, with continuous victims.” He called for an end to the “hatred and violence” in Myanmar and cited the “tragic humanitarian crisis” in Afghanistan “bringingContinue Reading

ROME — Ukraine hung heavily on Pope Francis’ heart on Sunday as he delivered the annual “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and the World”) message in St. Peter’s Square, in which he called for peace on what he described this year as an “Easter of war.” Francis, who pleadedContinue Reading