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Religions unite over anti-slavery initiative

March 19th, 2014
10:28 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Major religious faiths around the world are joining forces to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

Australian billionaire and mining magnate Andrew Forrest has signed up major religious heavyweights –Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar mosque in Egypt, Islam's highest-ranking Sunni cleric.

This week their representatives gathered at the Vatican to sign on to Andrew Forrest’s initiative, the Global Freedom Network.

Forrest joined Amanpour in her London studio, along with Archbishop David Moxon of the Anglican Church and Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo of the Catholic Church.

“I got dragged, really, kicking and screaming, into this cause by my daughter, Grace,” Forrest said. “When she was 15, she worked in an orphanage in Nepal and our intelligence was that there was something was suspect about the orphanage.”

When she returned to the orphanage they discovered that the only children left were “severely disfigured” or “mentally handicapped, i.e. could not be sold.”

The Global Freedom Network has ambitious goals: to get 162 governments to publicly endorse the fund, get 50 multi-national businesses to modern slavery-proof their supply chains, and convince the G20 to adopt an anti-slavery initiative.

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Filed under:  Catholic Church • Christiane Amanpour • Islam • Latest Episode

Two Popes with one trusted adviser

March 13th, 2014
03:55 PM ET

Did you know Pope Francis and Former Pope Benedict rely on the same man as trusted adviser? They call him Gorgeous Georg for his good looks.

Christiane Amanpour has more.

Pope Francis lives with mind in heaven and feet on earth, says Rabbi friend

November 7th, 2013
09:31 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

One of Pope Francis’ dearest friends is none other than a Jewish Rabbi.

And Rabbi Abahram Skorka, who has known Pope Francis for 15 years, since he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, has a concise description of what makes Francis’ papacy different from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger.

Pope Francis “lives with his mind in heaven and with his feet on Earth,” Rabbi Skorka told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday. “And Ratzinger lived totally in heaven.”

Abraham Skorka, a prominent Argentine rabbi, has had frank and open conversations with Pope Francis since he was Cardinal Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Those discussions are the topic of a book written by both, “On Heaven and Earth.”

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A medieval message of humility for Bling Bishop, 500 years later

October 24th, 2013
08:09 AM ET

By Lucky Gold, CNN

Imagine a world where a medieval message of humility and reform is delivered five centuries later.

From the moment he first appeared on the Vatican balcony, Pope Francis has challenged his fellow priests to put aside the trappings of wealth and power.

Whether washing feet at Eastertide or carrying his own bag and driving his own little car, the pope has walked the talk.

On Wednesday he made another kind of statement, by suspending a German bishop whose personal excesses had earned him the nickname ‘The Bishop of Bling.’

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Filed under:  Catholic Church • Imagine a World • Latest Episode

Pope Francis leading a Vatican ‘revolution,’ Politi tells Amanpour

October 3rd, 2013
03:30 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Pope Francis is leading a “revolution” at the Vatican, Italian author Marco Politi told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

The new pontiff is focussing on reforming four “key” areas, Politi said: money, power, poverty, and community.

“He told the bishops and the cardinals,” Politi told Amanpour from Rome, “that they have not to behave like princes of the renaissance. He tells the priests not to forget when they buy a car about children who starve because they don’t enough to eat.”

Pope Francis spoke out on the issues of the Church in a frank interview with Italy’s la Repubblica newspaper.

"This Vatican-centric view neglects the world around us,” the pontiff said. “I do not share this view and I'll do everything I can to change it."

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The Pope opens up

September 19th, 2013
03:05 PM ET

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour speaks with Father James Martin, editor of the Jesuit Journal "America,” about his magazine’s wide-ranging interview with Pope Francis.

Is Pope Francis endorsing Brazil protests?

July 25th, 2013
10:18 AM ET

By Mick Krever and Juliet Fuisz, CNN

In his first international trip, Pope Francis has travelled to Brazil, a country wracked in recent weeks by massive street protests.

So is the pontiff, with his message of social change and revival within the church, endorsing the activism of Brazilian youth?

“The core message that he's trying to deliver to young people on this trip is that he wants young people to see themselves as inserted into the struggles of society,” CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen told Christiane Amanpour from Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
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New direction for traditional faith

May 15th, 2013
05:55 AM ET

Father Thomas Rosica speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about the new directions Pope Francis is taking the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis rejects papal apartment

March 27th, 2013
05:56 PM ET

Pope Francis has been shunning the frills of his new job and this time he is choosing a new more modest apartment as his home for now.


Filed under:  Catholic Church

Is the new pope powerful enough to change the Church?

March 15th, 2013
11:06 AM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Many Jesuits are stunned that a Jesuit is now Pope.

"Saint Ignatius never intended for Jesuits to have positions of power, authority or influence in the Church,” Father Joseph McShane told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “So we were always told from the day we entered there would never be a Jesuit Pope and now we have one. We are all stunned."

McShane is President of Fordham University in New York and even though he didn’t expect the selection of then-Cardinal Bergoglio, he believes Pope Francis has the background to reform.

The new pope must confront a crises and crimes that have rocked the Church over the last decade.

To tackle the sex abuse catastrophe McShane said the new Pope would be “wise to listen to the American bishops” who are advocating for a policy of zero tolerance throughout the Church.

“More importantly, he has to say that whenever such an act, such a sin, such a crime is reported, the first concern is for the victim and the victim's family,” McShane said.

But is Pope Francis powerful enough to make sure the curia and the Catholic hierarchy abide by that?

“I don't know if it's a question of ‘is he powerful enough?’ I think it's a question of ‘is he brave enough to call it out,’” McShane said.

He believes Pope Francis is.

“If you look at what he has done in Buenos Aires with his own priests, it is clear,” McShane told Amanpour. “I'm sure you've read the stories about him excoriating priests who refused to baptize children who were born out of wedlock – calling them the new Pharisees, a new class of hypocrites, who forgot that the Lord ate with prostitutes and sought out sinners. So I think he's brave enough and direct enough to do this.”


Filed under:  Catholic Church • Latest Episode
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