Co-exist: Pope underlines importance of interreligious dialogue

  An overview from the Vatican news site:  Speaking to the participants of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pope Francis underlined the importance of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.He noted that due to increasing movement of peoples because of phenomena such as migration, Christians [Read More...]

Meet the pope’s almoner: “The Holy Father told me, ‘You can sell your desk. You don’t need it.’”

Some weeks back, I posted an item on this position’s unique diaconal dimension. Now, here’s more about the job, and the man carrying it out: When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis was known to sneak out at night and break bread with the homeless, sit with them literally on the street and [Read More...]

“I, too, must think about a conversion of the papacy…”

One more striking excerpt from “The Joy of the Gospel”:     32. Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the [Read More...]

“We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church…”

From Pope Francis’s “The Joy of the Gospel”:  102. “Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the People of God. The minority – ordained ministers – are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay [Read More...]

It’s here: “The Joy of the Gospel”—with homily hints from the pope

From Vatican Radio:  “The Joy of the Gospel” is the title Pope Francis has chosen for this first major document of his pontificate, putting down in print the joyous spirit of encounter with Christ that characterizes every public appearance he has made so far. The man who has constantly kept the media’s attention with his [Read More...]

Pew: No “Francis Effect” in U.S.

From Reuters:  The popularity of Pope Francis, who became pontiff in March, has failed to draw more U.S. Catholics to attend Mass, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Monday. While media reports indicate a significant rise in church attendance in some European countries in recent months, the United States saw a slight [Read More...]

Putin meets pope, venerates icon of Mary

Details from AP:  Russian President Vladimir Putin showed off his religious side during a visit Monday to the Vatican, stopping to cross himself and kiss an icon of the Madonna that he gave to Pope Francis. But Moscow’s improving relations with the Vatican went only so far: Putin didn’t invite Francis to visit. The Vatican [Read More...]

Papa, don’t preach: Pope Francis, the nudge

CNS takes note of an interesting papal characteristic: nagging.  To wit: When Pope Francis mills through the crowds, especially during a Wednesday general audience, people notice his warmth and tenderness, whether he’s caressing a baby, comforting an older person or hugging someone with a disability. But he also has a “nagging” side, a playful side [Read More...]

What you might not know about the pope’s “huge following” on Twitter

Details:  A good number of Pope Francis’ followers on Twitter are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) concentrated in Islam-dominated Middle East, a Vatican official said on Thursday. “When the Pope went on Twitter. We can see where in the world the Pope has followers,”  Msgr. Paul Tighe, among the Pope’s advisers managing his Twitter account @Pontifex, [Read More...]

Beautiful: Pope blesses man with severely disfigured face

Details: While many spiritual leaders preach the importance of compassion, Pope Francis gives us all yet another example of what it really looks like to live a compassionate and caring life. Just weeks after a photo of him kissing a man with a rare skin disorder moved many to tears, another picture was taken showing the pope [Read More...]


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