Vatican UN rep notes “great warmth” in meeting between Obama and Pope Francis

David Gibson over at RNS picks up on some interesting observations via Vatican Radio, following the meeting last week between President Obama and Pope Francis: Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said that in the wake of the meeting, the Catholic Church and the Obama administration could now develop [Read More...]

Politicians aligning with Pope Francis: “He’s saying things I want my church to stand for”

Are we seeing a “Francis Effect” in American politics?  Check out this story from today’s Boston Globe: From the beginning, Representative Jim McGovern’s political life was entwined with his Catholic faith. As a young aide to Democratic Representative Joe Moakley in the early 1990s, McGovern led an investigation into the murders of six Jesuits and [Read More...]

Pope: don’t be tourists on the journey of faith

From his homily this morning: Reflecting on the day’s readings from Isaiah and St John’s Gospel Pope Francis distinguished between three different types of Christians and how they live their spiritual lives. Before God asks anything of us, the Pope said, He always promises us a new life of joy, so the essence of our [Read More...]

Pope to confessors: “The heart of a priest is a heart that knows how to be moved”

From the Vatican, Pope Francis’ remarks to participants in a “Course on the Internal Forum,” dealing with reconciliation and the ministry of confessors: You are called to always be “men of the Holy Spirit,” witnesses and heralds, joyful and strong, of the resurrection of the Lord. This testimony is read on the face, is heard [Read More...]

What should you wear to meet the pope?

CNS sent out the picture below this morning.  It’s unusual, I thought, to see a woman (in this case, Susan Rice) meeting the pope while she’s wearing both pants and a veil. I posted it on Facebook and it got a lot of comment—many wondering why it was such a big deal for a woman [Read More...]

When Barry met Francis — UPDATED with Vatican statement

From AP: A visibly energized President Barack Obama held a nearly hourlong audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, expressing his great admiration for the pontiff and inviting him to visit the White House. Although Obama and the church remain deeply split over abortion and contraception, Obama considers the pontiff a kindred spirit [Read More...]

“Who’s more important? The Pope or that little old lady who recites the rosary every day?”

That’s part of what Pope Francis had to say the other day on the subject of clericalism. I posted his comments on deacons two days ago.  Now, from that same talk, there’s more:   The Church needs the laity and they should not be “clericalised”, Francis said in this morning’s audience with Italian Catholic radio [Read More...]

Words as the conclave began: “The one who is elected will not only be yours, but will essentially be His”

After a year, L’Osservatore Romano has finally published in English the text of Cardinal Prosper Grech’s meditation, delivered to the 115 cardinals at the start of the conclave that elected Jorge Bergoglio to be the next pope. He concludes: Until now we have spoken about Popes, cardinals, bishops and priests, but there is another factor [Read More...]

Adorable: Pope meets grandchildren of President of Malta

And he receives a special gift from one of them: a toy dinosaur. Watch below. [Read more...]

Who’s the most powerful Catholic in America?

According to USA TODAY, it’s this guy: Details: If you were to see Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley walking around in his characteristic brown smock, with a small ego but a big laugh, you might not even realize that he is the single most important American prelate. As one of the eight cardinals Pope Francis famously [Read More...]