Benedict rejects rumors on why he resigned as “simply absurd”

VATICAN CITY - As the anniversary of his surprising resignation approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he said he still wears the distinctive white papal cassock for “purely practical reasons.”

The surprising afterlife of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter a year ago this week (Feb. 28), becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, many in his conservative fan base were aghast, even angry.

Pope Francis blasts arms dealers, decries indifference to war

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis lashed out at public indifference to the many wars raging around the globe, with especially harsh words for arms makers who he said profit from the violence and suffering.

Lacroix vows to remain ‘grounded with my people’

VATICAN CITY - Canada’s newest cardinal has pledged to not let his new position take away from what he does best: being a servant of his people.

Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country

ROME - Tiny Vatican City consumes more wine per capita than any other country in the world, according to information from the California-based Wine Institute.

Pope Francis establishes panel, with lay members, to oversee Vatican finances

VATICAN CITY - In a move reflecting both his drive to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and his oft-stated desire to include laypeople in the leadership of the Church, Pope Francis established a new panel, to include almost as many lay members as clerics, to oversee the finances of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

Pope Francis, with retired Pope Benedict present, creates new cardinals

VATICAN CITY - On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave to St. Peter and his successors -- the popes -- Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Rome had the right man to bring forth historic change

Anybody who ever thought the Church never changes must have had another thought crash their party a year ago when Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from the throne of Peter.

Benedict’s bold move set Church on new course

The momentous occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation one year ago stands as an important moment in the life of the Catholic Church and in the life of the world. To his brother cardinals gathered in consistory on the morning of Feb. 11, he startled them, the Church and the entire world when he said that due to his advanced age and deteriorating health, he would be relinquishing his papacy.

Papacy stronger after turbulent year

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Benedict XVI announced, on Feb. 11, 2013, that he would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, speculation was as varied as it was excited about the long-term consequences of his historic act. But one common line of thought held that, for better or worse, his decision might leave the papacy a less exalted and powerful office, bringing the supreme pontiff closer to the level of other bishops, clergy and faithful.

Cardinals outline broad approaches to family ministry, spokesman says

VATICAN CITY - As some 150 cardinals from around the world gathered with Pope Francis to talk about the family, their two days of discussion focused particularly on three points: the Christian vision of people and family life; essential pastoral programs to support families; and ministry to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.