Hey, it’s the pope!

John Allen in today’s Boston Globe offers some examples of what can only be called the Franciscan style: Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is a member of a Vatican council that oversees the Synod of Bishops, a summit of Catholic prelates from around the world. The council meets every so often in a building a [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “A community does not belong to the preacher, but to Christ”

Hot on the heels of that headline-making video presented to evangelicals last week, Pope Francis offered some stirring remarks on Christian unity during the Angelus yesterday: In his address to them he urged them to work for Christian unity avoiding all divisions, because he said: “a community does not belong to the preacher, but to [Read More...]

Pope Francis warns cardinals against becoming “a royal court,” calls them to conversion

From RNS:  In a forceful message to more than 100 scarlet-clad cardinals arrayed before him, Pope Francis on Sunday (Feb. 23) warned them that they are “not a royal court” and told them to avoid “habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences.” Francis has repeatedly called on [Read More...]

Cardinal Burke: Pope Francis seeks to “pare back every conceivable obstacle” to Christ

Cardinal Raymond Burke has just published an essay that David Gibson says seeks to reassure conservatives about the pope: As Pope Francis led the world’s cardinals in talks aimed at shifting the church’s emphasis from following rules to preaching mercy, a senior American cardinal took to the pages of the Vatican newspaper on Friday (Feb. [Read More...]

“You’re gonna talk about tonight for a long time”

Those words kick off this extraordinary video that is rapidly working its way around the world: Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer, addressing a group of evangelicals, and introducing a brief video, shot on his iPhone, featuring his old friend, Pope Francis. This is, in a word, stunning. It’s 45 minutes long, but take time to watch [Read More...]

Pope welcomes prisoners to his home

Details:  Nineteen prison inmates from Pisa and Pianosa, Italy, were received by Pope Francis on Wednesday morning, 19 February, in the Casa Santa Marta before the General Audience. The Pope prayed with them and for them, and he blessed them before the image of the Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, which is particularly dear to [Read More...]

Decision time at the Vatican?

Though there are several important meetings unfolding this week, Vatican watchers may have to keep watch a while longer, says John Thavis:   Pope Francis has named several advisory bodies, in addition to existing ones, to help him in the reform process. Their tasks sometimes overlap, and that complicates things. This week and next week, for [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: the pope visits a parish

  This picture charmed me: Pope Francis doing his job as Bishop of Rome, visiting one of his parishes and celebrating Mass Sunday at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish on the outskirts of Rome. Note the deacon (or maybe two?) kneeling behind him. Photo from CNS’s superb Paul Haring. [Read more...]

A coming compromise on annulments?

Maybe, according to John Allen in The Boston Globe:  Sometimes mocked as “Catholic divorce,” an annulment is a declaration by a church court that a marriage never existed in the first place because one of the conditions for validity wasn’t satisfied, such as free consent by both parties. Facing that tension, a compromise may be [Read More...]

Want to become a saint? Take a tip from Pope Francis

He mentioned it during Sunday’s Angelus:  Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life. “It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and [Read More...]