ROME – One of the Vatican's most secrecy shrouded tribunals, which handles confessions of sins so grave only the pope can grant absoluti...
ROME – One of the Vatican's most secrecy shrouded tribunals, which handles confessions of sins so grave only the pope can grant absolution, is giving the faithful a peek into its workings for the first time in its 830-year history.
The Vatican has long lamented that fewer and fewer Catholics are going to confession, the sacrament in which the faithful can receive forgiveness if they sincerely confess their sins to a priest.
By lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding the tribunal's work, the Vatican hopes to emphasize the fundamental role the sacrament plays in saving souls, the Vatican's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a paper delivered at the conference.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan has arrested 71 people in a crackdown on groups allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, officials said Thursday, while adding that the information India has handed over needs work before it can be used as evidence in court.
Still, Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik dodged a question on whether he was conceding that the plot — which killed 164 people in India's commercial capital and raised tension between the nuclear-armed rivals — was hatched on Pakistani soil.
India says a Pakistan-based militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, masterminded the November attack.
CAIRO, Egypt – A top Israeli envoy delivered his country's stance on a cease-fire agreement in Gaza to Egyptian mediators trying to seal a truce on Thursday. The Iranian president said the fighting showed Israel's continued existence in the region is "not feasible."
The development came as the U.N. secretary-general pressed Israel, and Gulf leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia to discuss the conflict.
The diplomatic push gained momentum despite competing agendas among Arab and Islamic governments, who are openly disagreeing about how to resolve — or even discuss — the conflict between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
Meanwhile, Israeli troops pushed deeper into the densely populated Gaza City on the 20th day of the offensive to rout out Hamas militants.
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has named his youngest son to succeed him as head of the Stalinist nation, a South Korean news agency report said Thursday.
Rumors have swirled for years that Kim would nominate one of his three sons as a successor, following the tradition begun when he inherited the leadership from his father, North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung.
Reports that Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke in mid-August heightened speculation about a successor.