Pope: In the Christian community “no one is a stranger,” all are welcome

From CNS:  The Catholic Church “is a mother without limits and without borders,” welcoming and assisting all of God’s children, particularly those fleeing violence, oppression and poverty, Pope Francis said. Addressing the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the pope said the church’s concern for the whole person [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “All Christians are equal in dignity before God, united by vocation to holiness”

From his General Audience this morning: Dear brothers and sisters, good morning. A great gift of the Second Vatican Council was to have retrieved a vision of the Church founded on communion, and to have also embodied the principle of authority and hierarchy in this context. This has helped us to better understand that all [Read More...]

Patti Smith defends performance at Vatican: “I like Pope Francis and I’m happy to sing for him”

Details from The New York Daily News:  Last week, the Godmother of Punk drew criticism from all sides after accepting the invitation of Pope Francis to sing at the Vatican’s upcoming Christmas concert. One Italian Catholic organization labeled the star “blasphemous.” Meanwhile, some hipsters found Smith’s proposed appearance hypocritical, considering she opened her very first [Read More...]

Confirmed: Pope Francis announces trip to U.S. next year

Details:  Pope Francis plans to visit Philadelphia in 2015, the pontiff announced today – his first trip to the United States as pope. The Pope made the announcement when he addressed participants at a Vatican conference on traditional marriage. The trip, expected for late September, would coincide with the World Meeting of Families organized by the [Read More...]

Forbes on Pope Francis: “When it comes to innovation this guy is pretty epic”

The magazine also makes note of two awards the pontiff received last spring, including the “Adam Smith Prize” from the Harvard Business Review and “Book of the Year” from Forbes for his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel).  Really?? Who knew??  When was the last time a religious book took top honors from an American [Read More...]

Patti Smith sings “O Holy Night”

Here’s an early taste of Christmas for you. A few eyebrows were raised yesterday when it was announced that punk icon Patti Smith would be singing at the annual Vatican Christmas concert. But it turns out this isn’t her first appearance there. She sang last year. Among other things, she offered her interpretation of “O [Read More...]

“If I were The Sovereign Order of Malta, I’d be miffed…”

With those words, blogger Elizabeth Westhoff offers some insight into the ancient order to which Cardinal Raymond Burke has been assigned: In the more anxious circles of the Catholic Church, the transfer is being examined and dissected in any number of ways. In the more uncharitable circles of the Church, the transfer is being celebrated [Read More...]

Pope celebrates Mass for children at Santa Marta

Details from Vatican Radio:  Actions speak louder than words, particularly in transmitting the faith to children and young people today, the so-called ‘digital natives’. If we want to help them experience “truth and love” then we adults must lead by example, said Pope Francis at morning Mass. It was a very special celebration in the [Read More...]

Pope commissions showers for the homeless under the colonnades at St. Peter’s

Remarkable:  “Father, I can’t go to the restaurant with you because I smell.” Franco is a homeless man from Sardinia, he has a bristly grey beard and weather-beaten skin. At the beginning of October, he was the one who explained to a bishop, who invited him to dinner to celebrate his birthday, what the biggest [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “The Kingdom of God is close to us everyday”

From his homily this morning: In the silence of a home, where there may only be 50 cents left until the end of the month, but where there is always prayer, care for children and grandparents, there is the Kingdom of God. Far from the noise of the crowd, because the Kingdom of God “does [Read More...]