Swiss company gives pope a pair of donkeys

From The New York Daily News:  The head of the Roman Catholic Church has a fondness for donkey milk. Pope Francis was given two of the animals this week by the Swiss firm Eurolactis, and the Pope waxed a little nostalgic about drinking donkey milk as a baby in his native Argentina. The company’s founder, [Read More...]

Report: Retired pope wanted to be known as “Father Benedict”

From the AP: A German newspaper is reporting that retired Pope Benedict XVI says he would have liked to be known after his resignation as “Father Benedict” — a title that would have distinguished him more clearly from the current pontiff. The German-born Benedict has been known as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI since retiring last [Read More...]

In new interview, pope discusses Synod, reassignment of Cardinal Burke

This just in, from Gerard O’Connell in America magazine: Immediately after his election on 13 March 2013, Pope Francis told himself, “Jorge, do not change, continue being yourself, because to change at your age would be ridiculous.” He revealed this interesting personal detail in a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Elisabetta Piquè, for La Nacion, the [Read More...]

Pope praises diversity, “feminine genius” in talk to theologians

The Vatican text: of his brief remarks to the International Theological Commission: I meet you with pleasure at the beginning of a new five-year period – the ninth – the International Theological Commission . I thank the President, Cardinal Müller , for the words he addressed to me on behalf of all of you. Your Commission was born shortly after [Read More...]

Pope dismisses leader of Swiss Guard — UPDATED

Details:  He has dismissed and demoted cardinals, bishops and the Vatican secretary of state, and now Pope Francis’s reformist zeal has claimed a new scalp – the head of his own private army, the Swiss Guard. In a dispassionate one-sentence notice, the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced on Wednesday that Daniel Anrig will no [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...]

“Where is my confidence? In the Lord? Or am I a pagan, who confides in things, in idols I have made?”

Once again, in his daily homily, Pope Francis touches on a favorite theme and image: idols.  (Are your ears burning, Elizabeth?) From the Vatican:  “The one who trusts in himself, in his own richness or ideologies is destined for unhappiness. The one who trusts in the Lord, on the other hand, bears fruit even of [Read More...]

Gänswein: no women deacons

From the blog PrayTell:  Austrian Religion.orf, citing the January edition of Cicero, quotes Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the papal household, as saying that Pope Francis will certainly not admit women to the diaconate. He considers this possibility “excluded.” The longtime secretary of Pope Benedict XVI sharply criticized “many powerful interests” that wish usurp the new pope for [Read More...]

The many Nazareths of Pope John Paul: “Greatness begins in unexpected places”

Two years ago, for the first feast day of Blessed John Paul, my parish held a special Mass to mark the occasion. This is the homily I preached  that day.   Happy Feast of Blessed John Paul!    +++ By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope [Read More...]