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...]

“There is an old guard at the Vatican, and they’ve lost control of the papacy”

Longtime Vatican observer John Thavis, author of the best-selling memoir “The Vatican Diaries,” talks with The Christian Science Monitor about Pope Francis and what some people in Rome think of him: Q: Is there an internal old guard that’s working against the Pope in the Vatican bureaucracy known as the Curia? A: There is an [Read More...]

First look: Salt + Light’s documentary “The Francis Effect”

This looks excellent, coming up in April on Salt + Light. (And I’m not just saying that because one of the people featured prominently is my boss, CNEWA‘s Msgr. John Kozar.) You can read more about it here.  [Read more...]

NY Times: The Catholic roots of Obama’s activism

Ahead of the president’s meeting with Pope Francis, a little backstory, from The New York Times:  In a meeting room under Holy Name Cathedral, a rapt group of black Roman Catholics listened as Barack Obama, a 25-year-old community organizer, trained them to lobby their fellow delegates to a national congress in Washington on issues like [Read More...]

The story behind a papal “selfie”

It happened this week, and ZENIT has the story: Little did Marco Antonio Lome and his wife Zaira Venegas know that they, too, would have their own ‘selfie’ with the Pope. Like many newlywed couples, Lome and Venegas travelled to Rome after their recent nuptials to receive a papal blessing. As is customary, at the [Read More...]

Fortune favors the pope: magazine names Pope Francis world’s greatest leader

David Gibson has the scoop:  Fortune magazine today released its list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and guess who came in at Numero Uno? Yep: Francis recently asked the world to stop the rock-star treatment. He knows that while revolutionary, his actions so far have mostly reflected a new tone and intentions. His hardest work [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...]

Report: Russell Crowe meets Pope Francis

From Religion News Service:  Russell Crowe, who plays the title character in the new Hollywood blockbuster “Noah,” lobbied hard for a personal audience with Pope Francis. What he got Wednesday instead was a blessing. Crowe used social media in recent weeks to try to cajole Francis to watch “Noah,” which has drawn fire from religious [Read More...]