SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday deemed the first known black Roman Catholic priest in the United States to be “venerable,” positioning the former slave for possible sainthood. The pontiff’s designation of the Rev. Augustine Tolton as venerable, meaning the church intensely scrutinized his life and recognizes it as one of “heroic virtue,” […]

Little Known Black History Facts

The debate over who the first African-American priest of the Catholic Church has raged on for years, but some historians point to Father Charles Uncles of Baltimore. On Dec. 19, 1891, he was ordained as a priest in the United States. Charles Randolph Uncles was born Nov. 8, 1859 in East Baltimore. This was five […]

National News

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said Friday that Catholics should look to their own consciences rather than rely exclusively on church rules to negotiate the complexities of sex, marriage and family life, demanding the church shift emphasis from doctrine to mercy in confronting some of the thorniest issues facing the faithful. In a major […]

Arts & Entertainment

NEW YORK (AP) — Getting Aretha Franklin to sing for you could be considered a gift in itself. But the Queen of Soul has something special for Pope Francis when she performs for him at the Festival of Families concert in Philadelphia on Saturday. Franklin told The Associated Press that she’ll present the pope with […]

National News, News

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching banning contraception, but said Monday that Catholics don’t have to breed “like rabbits” and should instead practice “responsible parenting.” Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said there are plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births. But he said […]

News, Top News

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant daughter born just weeks ago in prison. The Vatican characterized the visit with Meriam Ibrahim, 27, her husband and their two […]