I just love this

What a picture. The caption, via Zenit: Pope Francis greets Lorenzo, a young boy with type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA2) during today’s General Audience. [Read more...]

“The real challenge for Francis is to go beyond rhetoric…”

There’s been some discussion around the blogosphere about last night’s “Frontline” on “Secrets of the Vatican.”  Most comments have been harshly critical. Yesterday, for example, the USCCB mailed out an “advisory” review, which noted: The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the headline-grabbing start of his successor’s ministry are certainly events worthy of close [Read More...]

In letter, Benedict describes rumors surrounding his resignation “absurd”

From Reuters:  Former Pope Benedict, in one of the few times he has broken his silence since stepping down nearly a year ago, has branded as “absurd” fresh media speculation that he was forced to quit. Church law says a pope’s resignation is valid only if he takes the decision in full freedom and without [Read More...]

Downsizing the papacy

An interesting take on last weekend’s remarkable consistory, from Michael McGough in The Los Angeles Times:   Almost nine years ago I interviewed John R. Quinn, the retired archbishop of San Francisco and the author of a book titled “The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity.” In a column drawn on the book [Read More...]

What is Pope Francis really up to?

Over at The Jesuit Post, Jeremy Zipple, SJ took an informal poll: I resolved to poll every non-Western member of my community regarding the most urgent problems confronting the church in his home country. I polled them all – Japanese, Indonesian, Singaporean, Nigerian, Kenyan, Chilean, Brazilian, Tanzanian, Turkish, Mexican, Syrian, Rwandan, Filipino. Poverty made the [Read More...]

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...]