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...]

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Pope gives sleeping bags to Rome’s homeless

I’ve never heard of something like this before. From Vatican Insider:  “This is a gift for you from the Pope on the occasion of his birthday,” volunteers and Swiss Guards were quoted as saying to hundreds of homeless people, as they handed out batches of sleeping bags to them yesterday. The sleeping bags were distributed on [Read More...]

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Pope Francis: “Sports are at home in the Church”

He spoke of sports and the Olympics today, according to Vatican Radio:  “Sports are at home in the Church” – that’s what Pope Francis told managers and athletes of Italy’s National Olympic Committee Friday.  In a meeting in the Vatican, the Pope congratulated them on Rome’s candidacy as a possible venue for the 2024 Olympics, but [Read More...]

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NY Times: “Bolder vision” of Vatican diplomacy under Francis

From Friday’s paper: Perhaps the timing was purely coincidental. But a day after he was credited with helping to broker thehistoric diplomatic breakthrough betweenCuba and the United States, Pope Francisbegan his Thursday morning by greeting a new crop of envoys to the Vatican, and offering some advice. “The work of an ambassador lies in small steps, small things, but [Read More...]

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Cancer patient gets her wish granted, meets Pope Francis

From CBS News:  Since birth, they’ve called her “one tough cookie.” Now, Gracie West is living up to that nickname as she fights cancer. She’s had nine rounds of chemotherapy, and when asked if she could have one wish, she said she wanted to meet the pope, CBS News’ Allen Pizzey reports. “My motto is, [Read More...]

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How Pope Francis helped make history with Cuba

From The Boston Globe: The restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, as well as a prisoner exchange that secured the release of American Alan Gross, was brokered, in part, by the Holy See. A high-ranking Vatican official confirmed Wednesday that the Obama administration and the Vatican have been working together [Read More...]

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Thousands celebrate pope’s birthday at Vatican with flash mob tango

Well, how else would you celebrate? See for yourself below. Details from Carol Glatz at CNS:   Pope Francis always asks for prayers, especially for his birthday, but this year he also got some tango. Thousands of tango dancers, mostly from Italy, flocked to St. Peter’s Square to wave their white scarves “A Tango for Pope [Read More...]

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Is the pope trying to tell us something?

With all the debate raging in the Catholic world about admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to communion, I couldn’t help but think Pope Francis was trying to telegraph a message in his homily Monday:  In his December 15 homily at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis decried the rigidity and lack of principle of the chief priests in [Read More...]

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The pope offers a prayer tool: your hand

From Vatican Insider:  “When I pray God breathes in me.” This is the opening phrase of the 40-page prayer book signed by Francis and handed out to faithful present in St. Peter’s Square for today’s Angelus and the traditional “Bambinelli Blessing”. The front cover of the booklet published by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishing house [Read More...]

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Another papal first: Pope has private audience with Salvation Army general

Did he bring his red bucket? Details from Vatican Radio: In a first private audience in the Vatican with a Salvation Army general on Friday, Pope Francis said theological differences do not impede the witness of a shared love of God and neighbour. He also spoke of his first encounter, as a 4-year old, with [Read More...]

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