Faith

VATICAN CITY – The Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, who has worked as an astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican for more than 20 years, told journalists Monday that faith and reason are hardly at odds.

Pope Francis dances with Hasidic Jews at the Vatican

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VATICAN CITY – It’s rare to see Pope Francis bopping behind the walls of the Apostolic Palace.

Actually, if anyone has ever seen any pope dancing they've never said anything, nor filmed it and put it on YouTube.

Yet there was Francis with a smile on his face, grooving to the music with a delegation of Hasidic Jews at the Vatican this week as they serenaded him with guitars and a chant in Hebrew of "Long years shall satiate him."

If Francis was swaying more than dancing, well, the Argentine Pope's tastes run more to tango. And he is 80 years old and has a sore back.

Still, when Yeshiva World News posted the brief video to YouTube it quickly became something of a sensation.

The encounter took place during a 45-minute papal audience on Monday (May 8) with a delegation led by Polish Rabbi Edgar Gluck, who was accompanied by his son Zvi, who lives in New York, and other rabbis.

While the Pope warmed to the traditional Jewish music and dance, the delegation also discussed issues of common concern, including the protection of Jewish cemeteries in Europe and fighting child sex abuse.

After the meeting, Zvi Gluck tweeted that the Pope had told him and the delegation:

“Zero tolerance” Said Pope Francis, “We need to keep kids safe.”

Zvi Gluck is the founder and director of Amudim, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual and substance abuse and other problems in the Jewish community.

His 80-year-old father, Edgar Gluck, is the chief rabbi of Galicia and divides his time between Poland and the U.S.

The elder Gluck has been involved in preserving Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe for many years and discussed the issue when he met Francis during his official visit to Poland for World Youth Day in July 2016.

Gluck previously served as a member of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

Pope accepts resignation of Melkite patriarch

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VATICAN CITY – Two months after bishops of the Melkite Catholic Church declared they had reconciled with each other and found a way to move forward together, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham.

Pope to future Romanian priests: seminary is your 'gym' for ministry

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VATICAN CITY – On Friday Pope Francis told seminarians studying in Rome to resist complacency and to think of their studies as strength training for their hearts and wills, preparing them for service to others.

Pope Francis to meet Trump at Vatican May 24

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WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump will visit the Vatican and meet with Pope Francis May 24 as part of his first foreign trip as president.

We must not be afraid of reform, Pope tells Vatican media office

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VATICAN CITY – To best respond to new challenges in the field of communication, the Vatican needs smart, courageous teamwork, not nostalgia for a glorious past or doomsday forecasts, Pope Francis said.

Pope advances sainthood causes of U.S. priest, Vietnamese cardinal

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of Wisconsin-born Capuchin Father Solanus Casey, five religious, four laypeople and two cardinals, including Vietnamese Cardinal Francois Nguyen Van Thuan.

Pope makes a push for solutions to global issues in Egyptian visit

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Pope Francis visited Egypt for two days and for two days he made Egypt his platform.

Francis and Benedict: two popes, two divergent approaches to Islam

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ROME – The global growth of Islam and in particular the rise of Islamic extremism have forced recent popes to set out, with increasing urgency, a strategy for engaging the religion.

Pope plans Pentecost celebrations with charismatics, Pentecostals

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has invited thousands of Catholic charismatics and members of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches to Rome to celebrate Pentecost and mark the 50th anniversary of what became the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Pope Francis: Work is more than money, it's about the person

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VATICAN CITY – Reflecting on the dignity of work, Pope Francis said that a society of fraternity promotes the dignity of the person and provides a solution to the “global economic dictatorship.”