Faith and Justice: The work of reforming the Roman Curia is not easy, but it is going well, two members of the Council of Cardinals say.
What does it take to produce the first-ever papal high-five? A meeting with American televangelists, apparently.
The gesture came during a three-hour meeting of Pope Francis and Texas televangelists Kenneth Copeland and James Robison, just weeks after the pontiff met with televangelist Joel Osteen and other religious leaders. At the June 24 meeting, Robison said he was so moved by Pope Francis' message of the Gospel that he asked the translator to ask Francis for a high-five. The pope obliged, raised his arm and the two men smacked hands.
"This should, we hope, result in financial gains generating revenue for the work of the church, especially in the service of the wider society."
Seven months after hiring a consulting firm to study the Vatican's communications structures, the Vatican has set up an 11-member committee -- which includes Our Sunday Visitor's Greg Erlandson -- to suggest ways to increase collaboration and cut costs.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy and a member of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals, announced the formation of the committee at a news conference Wednesday.
The Vatican's final budget figures for 2013 showed a deficit on the part of the Roman Curia, but a strong performance by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget covered the deficit and helped the Vatican end the year 8.5 million euros ($11.6 million) in the black.
The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Vatican's budget management office, presented the consolidated budgets for the Holy See and for Vatican City State to members of the new Council for the Economy on Saturday, and a summary was released by the Vatican press office Tuesday.
The Vatican bank's net profit for 2013 was 2.9 million euros, down from the 2012 net profits of 86.6 million euros.
One thing the pope and his Council of Cardinals discussed was how bishops currently are chosen for dioceses around the world.
One of the Irish survivors of clerical sexual abuse who met Pope Francis on Monday described the encounter as a "huge vindication" for her.
The victim, Marie Kane, also asked the pope to remove Cardinal Sean Brady as archbishop of Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Although the Legionaries of Christ have returned to a normal form of self-governance, the Vatican named a top canon lawyer as a special adviser to the religious community.
Pope Francis told abuse survivors that "despicable actions" caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been "camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained."