On Pope Francis: “The lapsed are listening”

From Timothy Egan in the New York Times:  He is — gasp — a liberal. Or at the least, as he said, “I have never been a right winger.” But to put him in those restrictive political terms does a disservice to the quiet revolution of Pope Francis. It’s long been known that most North [Read More...]

The Francis Effect

“Every day, I hear from Catholics who, like me, are reconsidering their lives, their actions, their faith practice, all because of an Argentine priest who proclaims, ‘I am a sinner.’ The pope isn’t getting this reaction by outlining a list of do’s and don’ts. Instead, the world’s parish priest proclaims the message of God’s mercy [Read More...]

This is why God made spellcheck: papal medal misspells “Jesus”

Oops:  An official medal to commemorate the first year of  Pope Francis’s reign has gone on sale with a spelling mistake in Jesus’s name. The medal, commissioned by the Vatican, spells the son of God’s name ‘Lesus’. Created by the Italian State Mint, the coin features the Pope’s motto as seen on his coat of [Read More...]

Pope writes letter to gay Catholics in Italy

America has the details:  Pope Francis turned to pen and paper to respond to a letter from a group of gay and lesbian Italian Catholics sent in June, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica(Note: this account in English relies on a Google translation; it may be imperfect). The group had written to Pope Francis in a [Read More...]

Pope Francis on what it means to be “catholic”

From his general audience today: In the Creed, we profess that the Church is “catholic”; in other words, she is universal. We can understand this catholicity in three ways. First, the Church is catholic because she proclaims the apostolic faith in its entirety; she is the place where we meet Christ in his sacraments and [Read More...]

Historic: Pope Francis calls an Extraordinary Synod on the family

Such synods are rare.  This one will be only the third of its kind ever.  Details from the National Catholic Register:  Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”, the Vatican has announced. The synod, which [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Pope Francis embraces a disabled young man in Assisi on Friday. Photo from News.va via L’Osservatore Romano. [Read more...]

Two popes, one mother and the rosary

In 2005, the monthly magazine 30 Days invited 20 cardinals from around the world to share their remembrances of the just-deceased Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio—now, of course, Pope Francis—wrote the following: If I remember well it was 1985. One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by [Read More...]

Cardinal friend to Pope Francis: “You’re not the same guy”

John Allen has some fascinating details about the papal election and the “mystical experience” of the night he was elected, in NCR: I published a column Oct. 4 in which I quoted a cardinal on background (not an American) who recently had a private session with Francis. This cardinal said he’s been struck by the [Read More...]

Scalfari interview with Francis: he didn’t tape it or take notes. So how accurate is it?—UPDATED

From John Allen in NCR:  While stressing the basic “trustworthiness” of a recent blockbuster interview with Pope Francis by Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, left room on Oct. 2 for the possibility of small imprecisions. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who was among the cardinals who elected Francis, today [Read More...]