Pope releases first message for Lent, focuses on alleviating poverty

From Catholic News Service:  Courageously follow Jesus in seeking out the poor and sinners, and in making difficult sacrifices in order to help and heal others, Pope Francis said. Christians are called to confront the material, spiritual and moral destitution of “our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to [Read More...]

Queen Elizabeth to visit pope in April

Buckingham Palace confirms:  The Queen is will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 3, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. The Queen will be accompanied by Prince Philip and the Royal visit will be her first overseas trip for three years. The Queen will visit with Pope at the Vatican after meeting the Italian President, [Read More...]

Pope praises Notre Dame, calls on university to preserve its Catholic identity

Details: In a powerful statement encouraging fidelity and strong Catholic identity in Catholic higher education, Pope Francis today urged the University of Notre Dame to be an “uncompromising witness… to the Church’s moral teaching” and to resist “efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness,” according to a translation by Vatican Radio. The Holy Father’s [Read More...]

Lombardi slams Rolling Stone cover story for treating Benedict with “surprising crudeness”

Details from The National Catholic Register:  Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Although he acknowledged that the Holy Father’s appearance on the publication’s front cover shows a diverse interest in the Pope, the Jesuit spokesman denounced the article’s negative portrayal [Read More...]

Pope Francis encourages increased role of women in church

From the Vatican’s news site:  Pope Francis earlier today met with participants at a national conference sponsored by the Italian Women’s Centre, which is due to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its foundation in October of this year. The Italian Women’s Centre (Centro Italiano Femminile, or CIF) was set up in 1944 as a federation of [Read More...]

“The pope seems to chide those who use the Internet to make statements but refuse to accept comments…”

Yesterday, Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the USCCB took a closer look at the pope’s message for World Communications Day: Toughen up, people! That seems to be one theme from Pope Francis in his annual Message for World Communications Day, which will be observed June 1, 2014. Pope Francis repeats his call that Christians must be [Read More...]

Fox News columnist slams Pope Francis for “misguided snobbery”

Yes.  “Snobbery.” Details from writer Adam Shaw:  Pope Francis has declared war on those who aspire to provide a better life for themselves and their families, expressing the misguided snobbery of a man for whom money has never been an issue. In the first week of his papacy, when briefing the media, the pope exclaimed: [Read More...]

Style and substance: measuring the Francis Effect

As Pope Francis gets ready to create new cardinals—and not long after that, mark his first year anniversary as pope—Huffington Post looks at some of the changes underway in the Church: Perhaps the pope’s most significant decision to date was his choice of 19 Catholic leaders slated to become the newest class of cardinals. Nine out of [Read More...]

Pope Francis calls Internet “a gift from God,” a network “not of wires, but people”

Details from the AP:  The Internet is a “gift from God” that facilitates communication, Pope Francis said in a statement released Thursday, but he warns that the obsessive desire to stay connected can actually isolate people from their friends and family. Francis made the observations in a message about Catholic Church communications, meditating on the [Read More...]

Pope Francis sends tweet to March for Life

I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable — Pope Francis (@Pontifex) January 22, 2014 [Read more...]