Italy reacted with disgust last week to the lavish funeral procession held for alleged Mafia boss Vittorio Casamonica, including a gilded horse-drawn carriage procession.
A Tuscany priest is offering a baby bonus of more than $2,000 to Italian Catholic families who have three or more children. But there are strings attached.
NCR Today: LCWR annual meeting; the plight of Iraqi Christians; the legacy of proslavery's theology; priests use social media to connect with flock; Francis chooses World Day of Peace theme
Pope Francis is shunning the expansive papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, for the third time since 2013.
NCR Today: Memoir from Guantanamo; world's mayors meet at Vatican; Catholic circus priests; Newark disputes ban on selling headstones
A new Gregorian chant CD by a group of Benedictine monks in Norcia, Italy, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's classical music chart last week. The album, "Benedicta," was also the top overall seller at Barnes & Noble, was No. 2 on Amazon and made iTunes' Top 40.
Pope Francis on Sunday stressed the importance of children having heterosexual parents, just a day after Rome's gay pride march demonstrated the changing attitudes about same-sex couples outside the Vatican walls.
Addressing around 25,000 followers from the diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and "an integral part of being human."
The pope likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.
With financial assistance from Pope Francis, a Rome parish led 50 homeless and poor people on a pilgrimage to see the Shroud of Turin on Thursday and has provided the money needed for another Rome parish to do the same a week later.
Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said the pope supported the pilgrimages particularly as part of the preparation for his own trip to Turin June 21-22 to venerate the shroud, which has been on public display since late April.
Pope Francis urged Franciscan friars to hold true to their charism of fraternity, humility and poverty and not lose the respect they have earned over the centuries for living up to those ideals.
The more one feels small before God and in need of his mercy, "the closer we are to salvation; the more we are convinced of being sinners, the more we are willing to be saved," he said in an audience Tuesday with 200 Franciscan leaders.
Pope Francis will spend two days in Turin to venerate the Shroud of Turin; meet young people, workers, juvenile detainees, immigrants and the sick; and visit with his Italian relatives from northern Italy.
The papal visit June 21-22 also will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco, a 19th-century priest from the Turin region who was a pioneer in vocational education, worked with poor and abandoned children and founded the Salesians, a religious order specializing in youth work.