Roman Catholic Church

NPR Story
2:12 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Nun Hopes For More Gender Equality In The Church

Sister Joan Chittister speaks on 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios on April 12, 2006, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 3:26 pm

Pope Francis over the weekend became the first pontiff to hold a private meeting with a transgender person. It’s one of many firsts for Pope Francis that have been seen as promoting greater inclusiveness in the church.

But what about women in the church? According to a Georgetown University study, 72 percent of nuns in the U.S. have left the church in the last five decades, compared with 35 percent of priests.

Just six years ago, the Vatican’s launch of an investigation into American nuns sparked outrage, but the release of the report in December was more warmly received.

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World Views
4:30 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

World Views: July 18, 2014

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the conflict in Ukraine that likely led to the surface-to-air missile attack on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, and the increased flow of unaccompanied minors over the U.S.-Mexico border.

Later, a conversation with Francis Rooney, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. President Bush appointed him to the post in 2005 shortly after the death of Pope John Paul II, and he's just written a book about his three-year tenure called The Global Vatican: An Inside Look at the Catholic Church, World Politics, and the Extraordinary Relationship between the United States and the Holy See.

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World Views
10:33 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Despite Rough Start, Uncertain Transition, U.S.-Vatican Relationship Personal, Principled

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney with First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Barbara during a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI - Feb. 9 2006
Shealah Craighead The White House

The United States has had a long-but-rocky relationship with the Vatican and didn’t formally establish diplomatic relations and appoint an ambassador until 1984. That 21-year stretch of U.S. representatives serving with a single pope ended when John Paul II died in 2005.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Vatican Puts St. Peter's Bones On Display For The First Time

For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, relics of St. Peter the apostle (fragments of bone) are displayed for veneration.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:43 am

In the Vatican today, a surreal scene:

That's Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome, holding what the church believes are the bone fragments of St. Peter, the apostle and the first bishop of Rome.

Pope Francis cradled the relics during a mass at St. Peter's Square, which marked the end of the global church's Year of Faith. It was also the first time the Catholic Church has displayed the relics in public.

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