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...]

It’s official: Pope Francis to visit Holy Land in spring

Details:  Pope Francis announced Sunday that he would travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan on May 24-26, his first visit to the Holy Land and one that comes amid a new U.S. push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Francis told people gathered in the rain for his weekly Sunday blessing that [Read More...]

Pope Francis abolishes title of “monsignor” for those under age 65

That sound you hear is heads exploding in rectories. From Vatican Insider:  In a new move aimed at reforming the clergy and eliminating careerism in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has abolished the conferral of the Pontifical Honor of ‘Monsignor’ on secular priests under the age of 65. Henceforth, the only Pontifical Honor that will [Read More...]

Carmelite nuns get voice mail message from Pope Francis

Details from HuffPo:  On New Year’s Eve at 11:45 am, Pope Francis called up the small community of the Carmelite nuns of Luccena in Cordoba, Spain, but they didn’t pick up the phone. Their once-large community has now dwindled to a mere five nuns, three of which are from Argentina, which is also the pope’s home country. [Read More...]

Pope Francis to religious: “Wake up the world!”

The Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta’ Cattolica offers an account of Pope Francis’s recent meeting with 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders in late November. CNS has highlights:  While you can access the full 17-page article in English, Spanish or Italian at the journal’s website, here is a sampling of some of our favorite excerpts (CNS translations of [Read More...]

Pope Francis, Superstar: crowds to Vatican increase 300%

The Rome tourist industry be pleased. From the BBC:  Pope Francis drew more than 6.6 million people to his audiences, Masses and other events in Vatican City during his first year in office, figures show. The statistics cover the period from the Argentinean’s election in March to the end of 2013, the Vatican said. His [Read More...]

A rabbi on Pope Francis: “All of us who do religious work can learn from his example”

From Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie:  The Pope is not just a leader; he is a religious leader who, precisely because of his religious vitality, has succeeded in touching human hearts. The Pope Francis phenomenon is a reminder, yet again, that spirituality and not secularity is the driving force of modern life; it is his spiritual [Read More...]