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...]

Pope Francis to engaged couples: “Living together is an art summarized in three words: please, thanks and sorry”

To mark St. Valentine’s Day, the pope held a special audience for engaged couples this morning. He offered some wonderful insight and advice. Vatican Radio has the scoop:  Ten thousand engaged couples from all over the world gathered today, on the feast of St. Valentine, in St. Peter’s Square to consider the vocation of marriage, [Read More...]

“Beware of Pope Francis”

From writer and activist Timothy Shriver, who notes that the pope is challenging everyone: When he invited the homeless to his home for his birthday, Francis was calling on the world to end the gulf that separates those who have from those who have almost nothing. To do so, the guest list at almost every [Read More...]

Pope Francis to Jews: “Shalom!”

He spoke to members of the American Jewish Committee today. The text:  Dear friends, I welcome you here today. Your organization, which on various occasions has met with my venerable Predecessors, maintains good relations with the Holy See and with many representatives of the Catholic world. I am very grateful to you for the distinguished [Read More...]