Welcome to a new Rome-centric version of your weekly international edition of the daily briefing, where we'll highlight the most recent news out of or about the Vatican. Here we go:
- In a preface to a new book out Oct. 19 collecting some of his media interviews, Pope Francis says he chooses to speak freely in press conferences as part of his desire to create a Catholic Church that understands how to dialogue with the people of today.
"I desire a church that knows how to insert itself into the conversations of people, that knows how to dialogue," states the pope. "For me, the interview is part of this conversation of the church with the people of today."
- At an event Oct. 11 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said the death penalty is "contrary to the Gospel."
The pontiff also said that developing doctrine in the church is not the same thing as contradicting or changing prior church teaching. Said Francis: "Tradition is a living reality and only a partial vision would lead to thinking of 'the deposit of faith' as something static."
- The former head of the Vatican's famous Bambino Gesu hospital was found guilty Oct. 14 of abuse of office for using donations belonging to the hospital's foundation to refurbish the apartment used by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's former secretary of state.
Giuseppe Profiti, president of the hospital from 2008-15, was sentenced to one year in jail and fined 5,000 euros, but his sentence was suspended.
- Contrary to some thinly sourced rumors, Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich is not expected to be moved out of his archdiocese for a new Vatican post.
- Also contrary to some thinly sourced rumors, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, denies reports the former pontiff is near death.
- Pope Francis had a symbol-rich lunch with prisoners during his trip to the Italian city of Bologna earlier in the month. Turns out, two of the inmates used the opportunity to give their prison the slip.