Who did Francis call after his election as pope?

Here’s an interesting detail I hadn’t heard before, from Georg Ganswein, via CNS:  Archbishop Ganswein said Pope Benedict had told him he was retiring long before the Feb. 11 announcement, but under the strictest secrecy. “Instinctively, I said, ‘No, Holy Father, it’s not possible,’ but I realized immediately that he wasn’t communicating something he wanted [Read More...]

Pope John XXIV?

It almost happened, according to David Gibson:  On a day when everyone is recalling Pope Benedict XVI’s historic — and stunning — announcement last Feb. 11 that he intended to resign the papacy comes a fascinating revelation from the 2005 conclave that elected Benedict: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who reportedly ran second to Cardinal Joseph [Read More...]

FLASHBACK: One year ago today

What a year. I clicked on my computer early that morning to check the overseas news, and thought for sure it must have been a hoax.  “Huh. Somebody probably hacked Reuters or something…” Read John Allen’s excellent analysis from yesterday’s Boston Globe. And Rocco has more on the aftershocks. And God bless Pope Benedict. Long [Read More...]

One year after resignation, Benedict “at peace with himself…at peace with the Lord”

From Reuters:  A year after his shock resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict has no regrets and believes history will vindicate his tumultuous and much-criticised papacy, the man closest to him told Reuters in a rare interview. Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who now works for the former pope as well as being the head of Pope Francis’s household, [Read More...]

Vatican says Valentine’s Day date with Pope Francis is being moved outdoors due to demand

The much-ballyhooed event was to be held in the Paul VI Audience Hall (seen here) but will now take place outside, in St. Peter’s Square:  In a note, the Pontifical Council for the Family states that there are already more than 17,000 young people signed up for the audience with the Pope. Organizers say the [Read More...]

“What a difference a smile and a shrug make”

From the op-ed pages of The New York Times today, this assessment from Frank Bruni:  On my vague mental list of things that might someday come back into fashion, the papacy was never present. I used to cover it for The Times, from 2002 to 2004, and was convinced then that my beat wasn’t just [Read More...]

American bishop on contraception: “That train left the station long ago”

The German bishops have weighed in on their survey results for the upcoming synod, and now an American bishop offers a snapshot of what some Catholics in his diocese had to say. Bishop Robert Lynch of  St. Petersburg, Florida, reports that nearly 7,000 people responded. Some highlights, from his blog:  Before you start looking at [Read More...]

“This is going to be the most important decision by Pope Francis for the U.S. church…”

From The Wall Street Journal:  The biting winter in Chicago has been especially cold for the Catholic Church, with the revelation on Jan. 21 of embarrassing church documents describing how the archdiocese handled claims of sexual abuse. Yet a fresh chapter in the archdiocese’s history is waiting to begin as Pope Francis considers who will replace Cardinal [Read More...]

Sold: Pope’s Harley sets record at auction

From the CNS blog:  A Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide that Pope Francis put up for auction went for a hefty $326,500 today, demolishing its pre-sale appraisal of $16,000. The record sale was the hit of the day as hundreds of bidders and spectators attending the Paris auction “erupted into applause when the hammer came down,” according to the [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Detach from the idolatry of money”

He released his message for this year’s World Youth Day, and his main theme is poverty, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” An excerpt from Vatican Radio: The first Beatitude, our theme for the next World Youth Day, says that the poor in spirit are blessed for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. At a time [Read More...]