Habemus papam!

As I mentioned on Facebook: we are in very good hands:   Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina’s conservative Catholic church. Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals [Read More…]

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“We are living in a particularly beautiful and intense moment”

Those are the words of Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, from today’s briefing to reporters: “We are living a particularly beautiful and intense moment,” Fr. Lombardi said. “We have reached the final stage of the period that begin last month with Benedict XVI’s renunciation and that will conclude with the election of his successor. We [Read More…]

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Obama on possibility of an American pope: “Bishops in U.S. don’t seem to be taking orders from me”

He spoke with ABC News this morning and in a wide-ranging interview touched on the subject of the papal conclave: As cardinals gather at the Vatican to elect a new pope, President Barack Obama said he believes U.S. politics wouldn’t stand in the way of an American pope doing his job. “It seems to me [Read More…]

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What the Vatican needs is a “Hall of Humility”

A worthy idea from the indispensable John Thavis, describing the hallway cardinals passed through on their way to the Sistine Chapel: If the cardinals glance at the frescoes, they have to be thinking: How times have changed. The paintings celebrate the pope as a worldly power. Kings are depicted presenting territories to ruling pontiffs, while [Read More…]

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Covering the conclave: how the Italian press drives the story

How does media coverage of the Vatican work?  Some insight from someone who knows, via web journalist Tom McGeveran:  I Skyped Jason Horowitz, an old colleague of mine who’s been dispatched to the Vatican by The Washington Post, and who worked a while back in the New York Times’ Rome bureau, for some perspective. And immediately we got [Read More…]

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What’s in a name? Oddsmakers predict one for the next pope

Maybe another Gregory?  Leo?  John? See what others are saying:  As Catholics around the world watch for white smoke above the papal conclave this week, speculation about the next pope’s choice for a holy moniker is heating up. Bookies are even following the action, with popular Irish bookmaker Paddy Power offering 10/11 odds on Leo, 9/2 odds [Read More…]

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Cardinal’s mother hopes he won’t become pope: “He would not be up to the bitchiness of the Vatican”

Bless her. Details:  Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn’s elderly mother hopes he won’t become pope because she fears she would never see him and that he would be overwhelmed by Vatican intrigues. “The whole family is afraid that Christoph will be elected pope,” Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, told the Kleine Zeitung newspaper in an interview printed on [Read More…]

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From Cardinal Dolan: “Arrivederci!”

His final blog post before the conclave: I hope the conclave will not go on too long. All I know is that I’m just taking in a small “carry-on” piece of baggage. If we’re in there too long, and if they show photographs of St. Martha’s from outside Vatican City, my room will be the [Read More…]

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It isn’t just the cardinals who are sworn to secrecy

This video from Rome Reports shows some other staffers in the Vatican taking oaths of secrecy this morning, and explains who they are and what their role will be in the days to come. [Read more…]

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What do Muslims want in the next pope?

An interesting perspective, from Religion News Service:  Together, Islam and Catholicism represent about 40 percent of the world’s population, so the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims in the world have more than a passing interest in the new pope who will shepherd the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. Too often, relations between the two groups have been [Read More…]

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