Francis remembers Paul

From the CNS blog this morning: Holding his weekly general audience today in the Vatican’s air-conditioned Paul VI audience hall, Pope Francis reminded people that today is the 36th anniversary of the death of the pope who commissioned the hall. Pope Paul VI died Aug. 6, 1978, at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. [Read More...]

Another papal first? Pope Francis to be interviewed live on radio show

I can’t recall anything quite like this. From CNA:  This Friday Pope Francis will give a live interview on an Argentine radio station that he helped raise the money to found while Archbishop of Buenos Aires.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., confirmed the event, telling CNA Aug. 4 that although he doesn’t know exactly how [Read More...]

CNN’s “gotcha” piece: Hitting bishops where they live

A few people sent me this link from CNN yesterday, forwarding it with a mix of agitation and umbrage. I meant to get to it and post on it, but stuff—including three Masses and 10 baptisms—kept me occupied most of the day. The piece notes, with a tone of forehead-slapping disbelief, that archbishops tend to [Read More...]

“The Vatican’s media machine is broken”

That’s the assessment of Fr. Raymond de Souza: Whether it was the imbroglio over the Society of St Pius X and the Holocaust-denying Bishop Williamson, or the Argentine woman whom Pope Francis (allegedly) told to ignore her parish priest’s advice about not receiving Holy Communion while living in an invalid union, it is the international headlines [Read More...]

Confirmed: Francis to Philly in ’15

From CNS:  Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Pope Francis has accepted his invitation to attend the World Meeting of Families in the U.S. next year.Archbishop Chaput made the announcement July 24 before giving his homily during the opening Mass of the Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo. “Pope Francis has told me that he is coming,” [Read More...]

Picture of the Day: Meriam Ibrahim meets Pope Francis

Frank Weathers has the scoop. Details from CNS:  Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told journalists that the encounter in the pope’s residence was marked by “affection” and “great serenity and joy.” They had “a beautiful conversation,” during which the pope thanked Ibrahim for “her steadfast witness of faith,” the priest said. Ibrahim thanked the [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Child migration demands the attention of the entire international community”

From the BBC: Pope Francis has added his voice to calls to help thousands of unaccompanied Central American children migrating to the US every month. In a letter read by the Vatican envoy to Mexico, the Pope said the region was facing “a humanitarian emergency”. He urged Central American governments to offer protection to the [Read More...]

Coming in September: an elderly “encounter” with Pope Francis

From the CNS blog:  The Vatican is inviting the world’s older generation to a special day and Mass with the pope in St. Peter’s Square. All you have to do is “apply” to request attendance by writing to or by sending a fax to +39.06.698.87272. “The Blessing of Long Life” event will be held [Read More...]

The hardest working priest at the Vatican has to be…

…Fr. Federico Lombardi. After the pope, of course. And stepping up to the microphone after the pope, to explain what he really meant, is becoming a full time job for the Vatican spokesman. Yesterday, this was the big story:  An interview that credits Pope Francis as saying about 2% of Roman Catholic clerics are pedophiles stirred controversy [Read More...]

Pope Francis to sex abuse survivors: “I beg your forgiveness”

From his homily this morning, where six survivors of clerical sex abuse were present: The scene where Peter sees Jesus emerge after a terrible interrogation…  Peter whose eyes meet the gaze of Jesus and weeps…  This scene comes to my mind as I look at you, and think of so many men and women, boys [Read More...]