TIME faith

Pope Francis Says Arms Manufacturers Can’t Call Themselves Christian

"Duplicity is the currency of today...they say one thing and do another"

Pope Francis continued his week of politically charged comments on Sunday, saying arms manufacturers who call themselves Christians are hypocrites.

At a rally of thousands in the Italian city of Turin, the Pope said that those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ but also manufacture weapons “leads to a bit of distrust.”

His criticism was not limited to the manufacturers, however; Francis also called out investors, saying “duplicity is the currency of today…they say one thing and do another.”

Francis’ comments come on the tail of the leak, and subsequent release of, his 192-page climate change encyclical on Thursday, in which he said that man-made climate change disproportionately affects the world’s poor.

[Reuters]

Read next: Pope Slams ‘Great Powers’ Over Mass Deaths in 20th Century

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME Pope Francis

Pope Francis’ Climate-Change Encyclical Leaked Four Days Early by Italian Magazine

The 192-page document is Pope Francis' first major teaching letter on climate change and its effects on the planet's poor

Italian magazine L’Espresso leaked Pope Francis’ hotly anticipated encyclical on climate change on its website on Monday, breaking an embargo on the document set for Thursday.

The 192-page document is Pope Francis’ first major teaching letter on climate change and its effects on the planet’s poor. Hailed by some as the “Pope of the poor,” Francis’ linkage of environmental and economic issues puts the Vatican out front on a closely watched topic.

A Vatican official told Bloomberg News that the leak was a “heinous act.”

“An Italian text of a draft of the Pope’s Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ has been published. Please note that it is not the final text, and that the rules of the Embargo remain in place,” read an official statement from the Vatican. “We ask journalists to respect professional standards, which call for waiting for the official publication of the final text.”

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Gears Up for Environmental Push

'It is man who continuously slaps down nature'

Pope Francis called on the world’s Catholics to pay attention to environmental issues on Sunday, only days before the he’s due to release a landmark encyclical, or teaching letter, calling on people across the world to act as “stewards of creation.”

“Let us pray that everyone can receive its message and grow in responsibility toward the common home that God has entrusted to us,” Pope Francis told Vatican Radio.

The papal message on the environment comes months before a landmark United Nations meeting on climate change that many activists and policymakers think may yield the first binding agreement between countries on the issue. Environmentalists hope the encyclical will inspire some of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to pressure officials to adopt policies that address climate change and other environmental issues. People familiar with the encyclical say that it will support the scientific consensus that humans have caused climate change, according to Reuters.

The anticipated encyclical is the latest in a string of actions from the Vatican to show support for tackling environmental issues. Pope Francis hosted a United Nations delegation that discussed the issue in April and has made a point of discussing the issue publicly.

“I don’t know if it is all [man’s fault] but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature,” he said in January. “I think man has gone too far… thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this.”

TIME Pope Francis

Liberal Clergy Lobby Vatican Ahead of Pope’s U.S. Visit

Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for an audience with President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on June 7, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Franco Origlia—Getty Images Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for an audience with President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on June 7, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

A group of liberal clergy and union leaders headed to the Vatican this week to lobby for Pope Francis to address race relations, income inequality and immigration reform, among other issues, in his upcoming trip to the United States.

During the four-day trip, the group of 14 met with representatives from a host of Catholic organizations, including two key cardinals who work on social justice issues.

Organized by the U.S. faith-based grassroots group PICO and the Service Employees International Union, the trip’s main goal was to get Pope Francis to highlight some liberal causes during his September visit.

“God cares about poor, low-wage workers. God cares about immigrants. God cares deeply about racial justice,” Bishop Dwayne Royster of the Living Water United Church of Christ in Philadelphia, one of Francis’ three major stops, told TIME. “So it’s very important that the faith community continue to lift up a moral voice and also a mirror to those in power.”

Read More: Pope Francis’ Poverty Agenda Draws President Obama

An advocate of the “Fight for 15” movement, Royster hoped to get the Pope’s attention on labor relations in his home city. When Francis arrives, Royster noted, “he will come into an airport where we support poverty wages and people are working in an oppressive environment.”

Participants on the trip also took to social media, tweeting images from the Vatican with captions such as “#TellthePope,” “BlackLivesMatter,” and “IBelieveWeWillWin.”

Overall, the people on the trip said their goal was to advocate for the marginalized.

A former undocumented immigrant from California, Father Jesus Nieto-Ruiz went on the trip to push for Pope Francis to back President Obama’s recent executive actions allowing undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.

“The Pope and his advisors should listen to the real stories that we have picked up from people who are struggling in this society of exclusion,” he said. “People who have been here for many years, 25 or 30 years, and are now facing deportation because they don’t have documentation—they suffer in the shadows. And that’s not human.”

Read Next: Pope Francis’ Latest Mission: Stopping Nuclear Weapons

For PICO, the trip was also part of an ongoing “Year of Encounter” campaign to tie together various liberal causes, such as universal health care, a path to citizenship and police brutality, into a broader mission.

It succeeded in one respect, with Cardinal Peter Turkson from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace inviting PICO to send a delegation in July to the Bolivian Assembly, where Pope Francis will speak during a Latin American tour.

For clergy members on the trip, the issues are both political and moral.

“The Gospel is political,” said Nieto-Ruiz. “We cannot distinguish and say, ‘Okay, the Gospel must explain theocracy,’ and then let the politicians run our lives with no principles whatsoever. Pope Francis is really incarnating for us the meaning of the Gospel. He’s inviting us to get involved in politics, even when politics is dirty.”

TIME Vatican

Pope Creates Tribunal to Hear Child Abuse Cases

Pope Francis during weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 10, 2015.
Massimo Valicchia—NurPhoto/Corbis Pope Francis during weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 10, 2015.

The move marks the biggest step yet the Vatican has taken to hold bishops accountable

(VATICAN CITY)—Pope Francis has created a new Vatican tribunal section to hear cases of bishops who fail to protect children from sexually abusive priests.

The move marks the biggest step yet the Vatican has taken to hold bishops accountable. No bishop has ever been forcibly removed for covering up for guilty clergy, although in April, Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who had been convicted of failing to report a suspected child abuser.

The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis had approved proposals made by his sexual abuse advisory board. They create a mechanism by which the Vatican can examine complaints of abuse of office by bishops and adjudicate them. It calls for the creation of a special judicial section inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

TIME Vatican

The Vatican Calls Ireland’s Vote for Same-Sex Marriage a ‘Defeat for Humanity’

Drag queen and gay rights activist Rory O'Neill, known by his stage name as Panti Bliss arrives at the Central Count Centre in Dublin Castle, Dublin on May 23, 2015
Brian Lawless—;PA Wire/Press Association Images Drag queen and gay-rights activist Rory O'Neill, known by his stage name Panti Bliss, arrives at the central count center at Dublin Castle, in Dublin on May 23, 2015

The remark is the most critical made by the church so far

Ireland’s recent referendum approving same-sex marriages has drawn sharp condemnation from a senior Vatican official, who described it as “a defeat for humanity,” the Guardian reports.

“I was deeply saddened by the result,” said the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on Tuesday. “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelization. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

Parolin is regarded as the highest official in the church hierarchy after the Pope. His hard-line stance will be greeted with dismay by Catholics hoping for a softening in the church’s position on homosexuality. They come after the Vatican’s recent refusal to accept a gay Catholic, Laurent Stefanini, as France’s ambassador to the Holy See because of his sexuality, the Guardian reports, citing French and Italian media.

This month’s Irish referendum saw 62% of voters coming out in favor of marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

[Guardian]

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Gets a Custom Jersey From the Harlem Globetrotters

Pope Francis smiles as he plays with a ball next to a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team during the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican
Giampiero Sposito—Reuters Pope Francis smiles as he plays with a ball next to a member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team during the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 6, 2015.

He isn't the first Pope to hang out with the Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters have a new star: Pope Francis.

Members of the exhibition basketball team presented the Pope with a custom jersey, showing the name “Pope Francis” and the number 90, on Wednesday at the Vatican, according to reports.

Team members showed off a few moves for the public waiting for an audience with the Pope before their own meeting.

Pope Francis isn’t the first Pope to hang out with the Globetrotters, who are in Italy as part of an international tour. Pope John Paul II met the team in 2000.

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis and Raul Castro to Meet at the Vatican

Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead his open-air weekly audience in St. Peter's square on April 29, 2015 at the Vatican.
Vincenzo Pinto—AFP/Getty Images Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead his open-air weekly audience in St. Peter's square on April 29, 2015 at the Vatican.

Pope Francis will receive Cuba’s president Raúl Castro at the Vatican on Sunday morning, May 10, the Holy See announced on Tuesday. The meeting will be “strictly private,” according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, and the two heads of state will meet in the study of the Paul VI Audience Hall.

The meeting comes as Pope Francis plans to visit the Caribbean island in September en route to the United States. The pontiff also helped to broker a deal easing relations between the United States and Cuba in December, an appeal that a senior U.S. administration official at the time called “very rare.”

“As we already know, President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, director of the Holy See Press Office, said in the statement.

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Calls for Equal Pay for Women and Men

He says gender-based pay disparities are "pure scandal"

Pope Francis expressed support for equal pay for men and women on Wednesday, calling income disparities “pure scandal.”

Speaking during his weekly general audience, Francis asked that Christians “become more demanding” about achieving gender equality, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

“Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?” he asked the crowd at St. Peter’s Square. “No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal.”

The Pope emphasized that concern for women’s equality isn’t at odds with concern for declining marriage rates around the world, a shift he said Christians needed to reflect on “with great seriousness.”

“Many consider that the change occurring in these last decades may have been set in motion by women’s emancipation,” he said. But Francis called that idea “an insult” and “a form of chauvinism that always wants to control the woman.”

[NCR]

TIME Vatican

Vatican to Host Summit on Climate Change

Pope Francis leads general audience in Vatican City
Baris Seckin—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Pope Francis arrives at St. Peter's square on April 15, 2014 to lead his weekly general audience in Vatican City, Vatican on April 15, 2015.

The move is part of Pope Francis's environmental strategy

The Vatican will host a summit on climate change and sustainability efforts later this month, officials announced on Tuesday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will give the opening address of the “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity” event, and faith and science leaders will give speeches and participate in panels. The goal of the summit is to highlight “the intrinsic connection between respect for the environment and respect for people—especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations,” according to the Vatican’s website.

The summit is part of a larger effort by Pope Francis to bring the Catholic Church into the conversation about sustainability and the environment. The Holy See will write a papal letter to bishops this summer about the Vatican’s position on climate change—a fitting mission for a Pope whose namesake, Francis of Assisi, is the patron saint of the environment.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com