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Confidant cardinal tells new tales about Pope John Paul's role in scandal

Analysis: In a new book, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz absolves John Paul of blame for praising a priest accused of pedophilia, claiming that the pope was unaware of the accusations at the time.
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Pope John Paul II is helped by secretary bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz during his weekly general audience, in October 2002, on Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

In a new book, John Paul II’s longtime secretary claims that the former pope is not to blame for his support and praise of a disgraced power broker accused of pedophilia and bribery, according to a Catholic News Service report.

The book, written in Italian by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz and titled Ho Vissuto con un Santo (I Lived with a Saint), has apparently changed certain memories of factual inconvenience — creating a sort of performance piece that sings truths people never knew.

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Catholic elites' finery flouts Pope Francis' call for humility

As Pope Francis urges church officials to live more modestly, the chief judge of the Vatican's supreme court dons lavish vestments.
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Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke ((L) Jornal O Bom Católico/Flickr, (R) Geerlingguy/Wikimedia commons)

In trying to live up to Jesus’s message about solidarity with the poor, Pope Francis has called for a church geared to social justice. This pope wants church officials to live more modestly.

As he told newly-named bishops in Rome on Sept. 19, according to The Tablet, “We pastors must not be men with a ‘princely mindset.’”

But try telling that to Cardinal Raymond Burke, the chief judge of the Vatican’s supreme court.

The fruits of high officialdom come naturally to Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American, as found in photographs that show him in lavish procession with a train of watered silk, wearing fine scarlet gloves and jeweled red hats, suggesting nobility.

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World Youth Day: Pope Francis gets warm welcome in Brazil with tough task ahead

RIO DE JANEIRO — The warm reception will be greeted with relief within the church, which has been hemorrhaging followers to evangelical Protestant churches across Latin America in recent decades, and whose election of a leader from the continent indicated a resolve to tackle the Pentecostal challenge in a region that is home to around 42 percent of the world’s Catholics.

Philippines: Priests wage losing battle against condom law

They preach that birth control pills are akin to murder. They warn that condoms defy God's will. And in Asia's Catholic stronghold, the Philippines, priests hope to convince Supreme Court judges that a new law subsidizing contraception must be scrapped.

Catholic Church takes on reproductive rights in Philippines, risks further alienation

MANILA — Experts say that the influence of church leaders has been steadily declining as Filipinos disregard Catholic doctrine or, in some cases, find other faiths.

Francis becomes first pope to wash women's feet (VIDEO)

American Jesuit priest James Martin called the gesture "hugely significant," a powerful symbol of "the all-embracing love of Christ."

Irish Catholics continue to flee the church

BELFAST — As Pope Francis takes over the global church, many church-watchers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland ascribe Catholicism’s current troubles to secularization. In 1946, Pope Paul VI called Ireland “the most Catholic country,” but starting in the mid-1960s, a growing number of the Irish began questioning the authority of religious institutions.

Chatter: Francis becomes Pope

Pope Francis is inaugurated, bombs hit Baghdad, Cyprus rethinks its unpopular tax on bank deposits, and Syria gets a second prime minister.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
Pope Francis is inaugurated, bombs hit Baghdad, Cyprus rethinks its unpopular tax on bank deposits, and Syria gets a second prime minister.
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Pope Francis to meet with Argentina President Cristina Kirchner

Arguably the most powerful Argentines, the two have clashed over the past years over numerous social issues.

The significance of Pope Francis, first Jesuit pontiff

ROME — Pope Francis introduced himself to the world as a humble pastor, bowing to 100,000 from the balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica and drew on his focus on behalf of the poor to turn the center of gravity in the Catholic Church from Rome to the global south.
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