Pope Francis: Zen, yoga and catechism classes won’t open your heart; turn instead to the Holy Spirit

Yogi seated in garden c. 1620-40 (from Columbia University / U.S. Public Domain / Wikipedia) From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis said only the Holy Spirit has the power to open our hearts to God and his love and not thousands of yoga sessions or Zen spirituality courses. His words came during his homily at morning [Read More...]

Philippine traffic officers will wear diapers during papal visit

Seriously? From RTE: Philippine traffic officers and crowd control personnel are to wear adult diapers on the job during next week’s visit of Pope Francis. They will spend long hours marshalling crowds expected to run into the millions, authorities said this morning. The nappies will ensure that about a thousand of the personnel can stay [Read More...]

The pope meets with Cardinal Burke—and Angelina Jolie

Photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano From John Allen in Crux:  Pope Francis met two American media stars on Thursday, though of vastly different types and levels of celebrity: Actress Angelina Jolie, whose fame speaks for itself, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, a hero to conservative Catholic critics of the maverick pontiff. Jolie was in town to promote a new [Read More...]

Recalling Oscar Romero, pope speaks of a “martyrdom of mothers”

It happened yesterday, during his catechesis during his audience. From Vatican Radio:  Reflecting on the role of mothers in society and in the Church, he pointed out that the Church too is a mother, “our mother” and that no believer is an orphan.  The Pope said that for all our symbolic glorification of mothers, their [Read More...]

Report: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to meet the pope

From that venerable news source, Us Weekly:  Hollywood meets the Holy See! Tinseltown royalty Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are taking a very special trip to Rome this month, not to eat pasta and tour the Colosseum, but to meet the Pope, an insider reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly.   The A-listers will fly to Italy [Read More...]

Fasten your seatbelts: a quick trip on the pope’s plane

Here’s something altogether different, from Rome Reports: a glimpse inside the plane that carries the pope on his various trips. Take a look. And remember to keep your tray table closed and your seat in the upright position. [Read more...]

About those new cardinals: the Vatican’s explanation

From Vatican Radio:  Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, head of the Holy See Press Office, has published the following “notes” on the new Cardinals, whose names were announced by Pope Francis at the Angelus on Sunday: With respect to the number of 120 electors, there were 12 places “open” in the College today or in the [Read More...]

Pope names new cardinals “from 13 countries from every continent”

And: No one from the United States is on the list. The Wall Street Journal notes:  The 15 men are all under the age of 80, which makes them eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a future pope. The majority of the new batch of cardinals is from the developing world, reflecting the Argentine-born [Read More...]

New Year’s resolutions from Pope Francis

  Pope Francis at Asian Youth Day in August 2014. (photo: by Korean Culture and Information Service / Jeon Han / Wikipedia) A writer in the Philippines has compiled a list, and it’s a good one: 1. Don’t gossip. It’s one of our hobbies. For Francis, it’s also one of the most evil activities. The [Read More...]

Boom: nearly 6 million attended papal events at Vatican in 2014

Photo: by Edgar Jiminez / Wikipedia Tour operators must be thrilled. That’s nearly three times the number from Benedict’s final year as pontiff. From Vatican Information Service:  In a communique published today, the Prefecture of the Papal Household reports that during the year 2014, more than 5,900,000 faithful participated in the various encounters with Pope [Read More...]