Catholic Church

Loren Benoit / Press

An Idaho art gallery has received flak from the Catholic community for a sculpture sitting in its storefront window.

The piece depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe in the style of the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday when those who have died are remembered and celebrated. It shows a veiled figure standing with hands clasped in prayer. One breast is exposed, and her face appears skeletal with lips sewn shut.

Rob Howard / Flickr Creative Commons

St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry burned to the ground last spring. At the time, the loss of the building was estimated to be worth $1 million. Investigators found signs of vandalism in the church after the fire was put out, including a broken statue of Jesus they say was smashed before the fire brought the building down.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The woman known as Mother Teresa was recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church on Sunday. More than 100,000 people filled St. Peter's Square for the ceremony honoring a person who'd spent much of her life in India, helping the poor, the sick and the dying.

A Boise man who met Mother Teresa and spent time in her ministry says he knew this day would come. Rick Harvey is a local jeweler who also serves as an Archdeacon in the Episcopal Diocese.

Diocese of Boise

A new leader has been named for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.

Bishop Peter F. Christensen will be installed as the eighth Bishop of Boise at a Dec. 17 Mass in St John Cathedral.

He replaces Bishop Michael P. Driscoll, who submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis on Aug. 8 when he turned 75.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise in a statement Tuesday said Pope Frances announced earlier in the day that he had accepted Driscoll's resignation and named Christensen to replace him.

Christensen has been at the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise will offer his resignation to Pope Francis early next month in keeping with church policy.

Michael P. Driscoll has been bishop in Boise 15 years.

All bishops are asked to submit a resignation on their 75th birthday. Driscoll, who is Idaho's oldest presiding bishop, will turn 75 on Aug. 8.

The Idaho Statesman reports that it's possible his resignation could be denied, in which case he would remain bishop.

For John Thavis, the timing couldn’t have been better. His book, “The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church,” was released in February 2013, just as Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be the first pope in 600 years to resign.

It was a stroke of luck that put his book – the culmination of nearly 30 years as a journalist covering the Vatican – in exactly the right place at the right time.

catholic church, religion
Emilie Ritter Saunders

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy protection Friday as part of a proposed $15 million settlement with victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson says the diocese does not expect to have to liquidate any of its assets or close any programs because of the filing.

The settlement details are being worked out, but the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for approving and supervising the disbursement of $15 million to compensate the 362 victims identified in two lawsuits.

As the former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, few understand the inner workings of the seat of Roman Catholicism better than John Thavis. His book reveals that Vatican City’s public image of power, hierarchical authority and reverence for the past often masks a disorganized, inept and uncertain organizational culture.

ell brown / Flickr

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

After announcing "Habemus Papum" — "We have a pope!" — a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.

Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Catholics in Idaho celebrate Ash Wednesday today. It marks the beginning of the six-week Lenten season, and this year, it comes two days after the pope's surprise announcement that he's retiring.

Pope Benedict XVI will renounce his duties on February 28, at the age of 85.