The pope baptized a baby, and that’s really all we know—UPDATED

Some eyebrows (and some blood pressures) shot up on the news that Pope Francis had baptized a baby yesterday whose parents were reportedly married civilly, but not sacramentally. To wit: Among the baptized – according to the report in the daily “Il Tirreno” – there is also Giulia, caught of a couple married civilly but [Read More...]

Pope Francis announces names of 19 new cardinals

From the Vatican news site:  After the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the names of those who will be created Cardinals at the upcoming situation. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s announcement: As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the [Read More...]


That is how Pope Francis described some priests this morning in his daily homily, reminding those who are ordained to be attentive of their behavior. Summaries of his talks have become commonplace, thanks to the Vatican news service. But here is a rare video showing the pontiff in action today at the Casa Santa Marta [Read More...]

A dying priest’s letter to the pope

A remarkable testament, from  the website Aleteia:  The Rev. Fabrizio De Michino was born in Naples on 8 September 1982. Nearly 3,000 people gathered in Ponticelli to bid him a final farewell at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Snows, where he served as a parochial vicar. Fr. Fabrizio suffered greatly in his last [Read More...]

Picture of the day. Maybe of the year.

And the year is only seven days old. Priceless: Photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters  From Catholic News Service: Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers and bleating, baying animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem. He even let a lamb rest on his shoulders and greeted a tiny baby [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “The heart is a road, everything passes there. Put it to the test!”

Part of the pope’s homily today that hit close to home: The Pope  invited everyone to think about what happens in their own hearts. What do we think and feel, what do we desire, do I examine the spirits? “Do I test what I think, what I want, what I desire – he asked – [Read More...]

My Lord: some reaction to the pope’s reported decision on monsignors

Around the blogosphere, there’s been some interesting reaction to the much-reported move by Pope Francis. From a monsignor, Charles Pope:  Somehow, we have lost the ability in our culture to confer honors, and bestow rewards without others taking offense. Yes, I fear that we, as a wider culture, have lost the important ability to bestow [Read More...]

“We must press on towards Bethlehem…”

“On the feast of the Epiphany, as we recall Jesus’ manifestation to humanity in the face of a Child, may we sense the Magi at our side, as wise companions on the way. Their example helps us to lift our gaze towards the star and to follow the great desires of our heart. They teach [Read More...]

NY Times: Popular voice in DC? The pope

Will wonders never cease? Details:  Shortly before leaving the Capitol for the holiday recess, Senate Democrats gathered behind closed doors to lay out an agenda for 2014. When the majority leader, Harry Reid, exhorted colleagues to “deal with the issue of income inequality,” the talk took a spiritual turn. “You know,” declared Senator Bernard Sanders, [Read More...]

Pope Francis on children of gay unions, divorce: “How can we proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing?”

Somehow I missed this nugget yesterday, from AFP:  Pope Francis has called for a rethink in the way the Catholic Church deals with the children of gay couples and divorced parents, warning against “administering a vaccine against faith.” “On an educational level, gay unions raise challenges for us today which for us are sometimes difficult [Read More...]