President Barack Obama offered his respect today to a pope who has excited Catholics and non- Catholics alike and refocused the world’s largest religious institution on the issues of poverty and inequality that the president has set as themes of his second term.
Pope Benedict XVI met with Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro after the pontiff called for greater freedom for the Roman Catholic Church and warned against fanatics during a three-day visit to the communist island.
The 115 voting cardinals of the Catholic church began today their secret conclave to choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. There is a saying in Rome that “he who enters the conclave a pope exits as a cardinal” and it is notoriously tricky to try to handicap the papal vote.
President Barack Obama is seeking to build ties with Pope Francis, the new spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, for help on issues such as Mideast turmoil, climate change, and global poverty.