Jan 1, 2020

Pope Francis apologizes for slapping woman's hand away at New Year's event

Pope Francis at the New Year's Day mass. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis apologized Wednesday for slapping a woman's hand away after she unexpectedly grabbed him during a New Year's Eve event in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square, according to Reuters.

What he's saying: "So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example." He also used his first homily during his first Mass of 2020 to denounce violence against women, comparing it to "a desecration of God."

  • "We can understand our level of humanity by the way we treat a woman’s body."
  • He also praised immigrant mothers who "risk perilous journeys to desperately try to give the fruit of the womb a better future and are judged to be redundant by people whose bellies are full of things, but whose hearts are empty of love."

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Pope Benedict prods Pope Francis on Catholic Church's celibacy policy

In 2017, Pope Francis (left) and Pope Benedict meet at the Vatican on the occasion of the elevation of five new cardinals. Photo: Maurix/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Former Pope Benedict, 92, in a book written with a conservative cardinal, defends priestly celibacy in an apparent strategic appeal to Pope Francis, 83, to keep the centuries-old rules, reports Reuters.

What's happening: Pope Francis is considering a recommendation that would allow the ordination of married men as priests in the remote Amazon.

Go deeperArrowJan 13, 2020

Pope Francis praises China's "commitment" on coronavirus

Pope Francis, Jan. 26. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for those killed or infected by the coronavirus outbreak in China and praised the Chinese government’s “great commitment” to contain the virus, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The new coronavirus strain, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 56 people and infected nearly 1,975.

Go deeperArrowJan 26, 2020

Pope Francis urges people to vow "never again" on Holocaust

Pope Francis, Jan. 26. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis on Sunday invited prayers and reflection on the Holocaust and called people to vow “never again," AP reports.

Why it matters: Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp where the Nazis murdered 1.1 million men, women and children, mostly Jews, according to the New York Times.

Go deeperArrowJan 26, 2020