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...]

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...]

Arf: pope’s comment about “creatures in heaven” stirs debate

Turns out, he’s not the first modern pope to hint at a heavenly kingdom that is also an animal kingdom. From The New York Times:  Pope Francis has given hope to gays, unmarried couples and advocates of the Big Bang theory. Now, he has endeared himself to dog lovers, animal-rights activists and vegans. Trying to console [Read More...]

Pew: Pope Francis enjoys broad support, positive image across much of the world

Some highlights of a new survey:  Pope Francis, leader of the world’s nearly 1.1 billion Catholics, enjoys broad support across much of the world, according to a new survey report by the Pew Research Center. A median of 60% across 43 nations have a favorable view of the pontiff. Only 11% see the pope unfavorably, [Read More...]

Here come more cardinals: Vatican announces consistory for February

From Vatican Radio:  The seventh meeting of the “C9” Council of nine Cardinals tasked with reforming the Vatican curia concludes Thursday.  The director of the Vatican press office , Father Federico Lombardi sj, briefed journalists about what the Cardinals have achieved in their latest meeting. He also announced that a consistory will be held in [Read More...]

Sister Cristina meets Pope Francis, gives him a copy of her album

Two of the most famous Catholics in the world finally met. Details:  Italy’s famed singing nun met Pope Francis this week and brought him a gift: a copy of her first album. Sister Cristina Scuccia, who won the Italian version of The Voice in June, presented the Pontiff with her debut CD during his general audience on Wednesday, [Read More...]

Pope discusses the Synod, says media covered it like sports

From Vatican Radio:  Following a series of reflections concentrating on the Church, Pope Francis at his weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square on Wednesday opened a new Chapter, a weekly catechesis focusing on the Family. He began this new cycle by recalling the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family which took place in [Read More...]

Pope: Church risks being more like an “old maid” than a mother

From CNS:  As his international Council of Cardinals began a three-day meeting to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said having a perfect organizational chart for the church won’t guarantee that the church fulfills its mission of bringing people to Christ.Celebrating an early morning Mass in the chapel of his residence Dec. [Read More...]

Swiss company gives pope a pair of donkeys

From The New York Daily News:  The head of the Roman Catholic Church has a fondness for donkey milk. Pope Francis was given two of the animals this week by the Swiss firm Eurolactis, and the Pope waxed a little nostalgic about drinking donkey milk as a baby in his native Argentina. The company’s founder, [Read More...]

Report: Retired pope wanted to be known as “Father Benedict”

From the AP: A German newspaper is reporting that retired Pope Benedict XVI says he would have liked to be known after his resignation as “Father Benedict” — a title that would have distinguished him more clearly from the current pontiff. The German-born Benedict has been known as Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI since retiring last [Read More...]


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