Fasten your seatbelts: a quick trip on the pope’s plane

Here’s something altogether different, from Rome Reports: a glimpse inside the plane that carries the pope on his various trips. Take a look. And remember to keep your tray table closed and your seat in the upright position. [Read more...]

About those new cardinals: the Vatican’s explanation

From Vatican Radio:  Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, head of the Holy See Press Office, has published the following “notes” on the new Cardinals, whose names were announced by Pope Francis at the Angelus on Sunday: With respect to the number of 120 electors, there were 12 places “open” in the College today or in the [Read More...]

Pope names new cardinals “from 13 countries from every continent”

And: No one from the United States is on the list. The Wall Street Journal notes:  The 15 men are all under the age of 80, which makes them eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a future pope. The majority of the new batch of cardinals is from the developing world, reflecting the Argentine-born [Read More...]

New Year’s resolutions from Pope Francis

  Pope Francis at Asian Youth Day in August 2014. (photo: by Korean Culture and Information Service / Jeon Han / Wikipedia) A writer in the Philippines has compiled a list, and it’s a good one: 1. Don’t gossip. It’s one of our hobbies. For Francis, it’s also one of the most evil activities. The [Read More...]

Boom: nearly 6 million attended papal events at Vatican in 2014

Photo: by Edgar Jiminez / Wikipedia Tour operators must be thrilled. That’s nearly three times the number from Benedict’s final year as pontiff. From Vatican Information Service:  In a communique published today, the Prefecture of the Papal Household reports that during the year 2014, more than 5,900,000 faithful participated in the various encounters with Pope [Read More...]

Pope Francis praises large families: “I’m like a grandfather for all of you”

Photo: Jeffrey Bruno, Wikimedia Commons From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis said on Sunday that “in a world often marred by selfishness, a large family is a role model for solidarity and sharing and this benefits the whole of society.” The Pope’s remarks came during an address to a gathering of around 7,000 people belonging to [Read More...]

Did you get a Christmas card from the pope?

Mine must have gotten lost in the mail. But if you’re wondering what a card from Pope Francis looks like, the good people at Rome Reports have the scoop: [Read more...]

Pope writes Christmas letter to persecuted Christians of the Middle East

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis has written a pre-Christmas letter to the Christians of the Middle East  to express his closeness to them at a time of “afflictions and tribulations” due to “the continuing hostilities in the region, but especially because of the work of a newer and disturbing terrorist organization.” The full text: Dear [Read More...]

Pope Francis reveals a saint he prays to every day

From The Catholic Herald:  Pope Francis has revealed that he prays to the English martyr St Thomas More every day. In his annual end of year address to Vatican officials the Pope said that there is a prayer to the saint for good humour which he prays daily saying that a healthy dose of humour [Read More...]

Cuban-American protest in Miami: “I am a Catholic without a pope”

From the AP:    The key role Pope Francis played encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro left fractures among his flock in South Florida, where many older Roman Catholics equate the Castro brothers with the devil. Many Catholics worldwide have expressed pride in seeing Francis stirring hopes of progress in communist Cuba, [Read More...]