Pope to canonize Junipero Serra

Image from Serra Club of Bethlehem, PA From Catholic News Agency:  In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California’s first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra.“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” declared Pope Francis aboard Sri [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Respect for religion should limit freedom of expression

From the CNS blog:  Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence. Asked by a French reporter to compare freedom [Read More...]

Pope Francis makes unscheduled visit to Buddhist temple

From AP:  Pope Francis has become the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple, changing his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of [Read More...]

Pope in Sri Lanka: “Mary forgave her son’s killers at the foot of his cross…”

Photo: from Vatican Radio / Facebook From Catholic News Agency: At a Marian shine during his three-day trip to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis touched on the country’s brutal decades-long civil war and pointed to the Mother of God as the ultimate witness of forgiveness. “In this difficult effort to forgive and find peace, Mary is [Read More...]

Lights, camera, Francis: two papal film biographies start production

Actor Dario Grandinetti (photo: Prensa TV Pública via Wikipedia) From Variety:  A battle between rival Pope Francis biopics has just kicked off, with shooting starting this week in Buenos Aires on two feature films about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, both toplining Argentine A-list actors as the Jesuit priest and tracing the path to his groundbreaking papacy. Thesp Rodrigo de la [Read More...]

In Manila, helping the homeless get ready for the pope

From the CNS blog, this is remarkable:   Everyone — rich or poor — wants to look his or her best when greeting the pope. Today volunteers at a three-year-old program to assist the homeless at Manila’s Ermita Church made sure their clients will be ready for the pope’s arrival Thursday. The program, run by the Knights [Read More...]

Pope to diplomatic corps: “Every war is emblematic of the throwaway culture”

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis has called on the international community to take concrete steps to bring about peace and to protect all those who are victims of war and persecution. In  a wide-ranging discourse to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, the Pope focused on a series of urgent issues which [Read More...]

In new interview, pope defends his criticism of the global economy

From National Catholic Reporter: Pope Francis strongly defends his repeated criticisms of the global market economy in a new interview released Sunday, rebutting those who accuse him of “pauperism” by saying he is only repeating Jesus’ message of caring for the poor. “Jesus affirms that you cannot serve two masters, God and wealth,” Francis states [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Don’t forget the Holy Spirit!

“Dove of the Holy Spirit” by Bernini (ca. 1660, stained glass, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, via Wikipedia) From Vatican Radio: Remember to pray to the Holy Spirit: this was the message Pope Francis had for pilgrims and tourists who braved the drear and drizzle of a January morning in Rome, to [Read More...]

Must-see video: famed Cebu prison dancers practice routine for Pope Francis

You may remember these orange-clad dancers from their iconic performance of “Thriller” some years back: Some background: CPDRC Dancing Inmates or the CPDRC dancers is a collective of prison inmates in Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), a maximum security prison in Cebu, in Cebu Province, Philippines where the prisoners perform dance routines as part of their daily exercise and rehabilitation, and many of their [Read More...]