Curia shakeup: Burke out, Wuerl in

From David Gibson:  After last month’s annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wrote a story handicapping the four American churchman who enjoyed growing influence in the new(ish) pontificate of Pope Francis. They were Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is one of the eight members of Francis “kitchen cabinet” of advisors on reforming the Roman [Read More...]

How to have a Pope Francis-style Christmas

Some advice from a professor at Santa Clara University: Time Magazine‘s pick of Pope Francis as “Person of the Year” came as no shock to those paying attention to the way the pontiff connects with the masses and inspires people of any faith to focus on what’s important. The pope chose his name from the [Read More...]

Pope shoots down idea of women cardinals: “Women must be valued, not clericalised”

Details from National Catholic Reporter:  Pope Francis has denied rumors that he intends to name women as cardinals in the Catholic church, telling a prominent Italian newspaper he was unsure where the idea, which has circulated in recent weeks, had come from. “I don’t know where any such an idea came from,” the pope told [Read More...]

“The scandal of preaching”

From today’s homily:  Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican this Friday morning, focusing his remarks on the attitude of some Christians who seem to be “allergic” to preachers and overly critical of those who proclaim the Gospel, suggesting that they are often afraid of letting [Read More...]

What will Pope Francis do with the Legion of Christ?

From the AP: First, one of the Legion of Christ’s top officials abruptly quit the troubled religious order in frustration over the slow pace of change. Then priests in the cult-like movement empowered proteges and associates of the order’s disgraced founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, to vote for their next leader. The past month has [Read More...]

Despite what most people think, “Person of the Year” isn’t an honor

My blog neighbor Rebecca Hamilton has a good piece up today on the attention swirling around yesterday’s announcement that TIME magazine had selected Pope Francis as Person of the Year. She notes: On the one hand, he is named Person of the Year. On the other hand, he is attacked as a heretic and compared [Read More...]

On Pope Francis: “He’s made Catholicism cool”

From The New York Post:  On the night of Dec. 4, more than a thousand eager young Catholics braved the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting gridlock to pack into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But it wasn’t to take photos or marvel at the neo-Gothic interior (which is under renovation). It was to hear New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan [Read More...]

What does Pope Francis have in common with Nelson Mandela?

I think it’s a compelling quality of leadership—and style of leadership— that is exceedingly rare. Writing about Nelson Mandela yesterday, Thomas Friedman touched on some themes that I think have echoes in Pope Francis: Mandela had an extraordinary amount of “moral authority.” Why? And how did he get it? One way leaders generate moral authority [Read More...]

Pope Francis medallion added to St. Paul Outside-the-Walls

The Vatican’s Facebook page notes: Pope Francis’ medallion portrait has just been added yesterday to the series of mosaic medallions depicting all the Popes throughout history, situated around the transept and nave of the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. Read more about the basilica’s history here.  CNS notes:  St. Paul’s is today the only [Read More...]

TIME names Pope Francis “Person of the Year”

From the beautifully-written cover story, by Nancy Gibbs:  Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly—young and old, faithful and cynical—as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, [Read More...]


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