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...]

“Jesus can be found through your wounds”: popes and the disabled

Yesterday, during his visit to Assisi, Pope Francis made a memorable and moving stop at a home for disabled youth. Rome Reports has a video below. Commenters on social media couldn’t stop talking about it.  One reader wrote to me: “What did I do to deserve to be alive for this pope?” You’d almost think [Read More...]

Just another quiet week at the Vatican

And veteran Vatican-watcher John Thavis helps put it in perspective: It’s been a busy week at the Vatican: a date set for the canonization of two popes, a stunning new papal interview, a meeting of the pope’s “Group of 8” cardinal advisors and an important visit by the pope to the birthplace of his namesake, [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: “You sit here”

Priceless: a little boy shows Pope Francis to his seat during a lunch break in Assisi today. Vatican Radio reports what the Holy Father had to say: Christians and the Church must strip themselves of worldliness, said Pope Francis while addressing some of the poor in the Italian hill town of Assisi early Friday. The [Read More...]

Papal interviews are “a genre to which we are not accustomed”

From Catholic News Service:  When Pope Benedict XVI answered a journalist’s 2010 question about condom use by offering a nuanced reflection on the ethical complexities of a hypothetical case, his words led to a worldwide media sensation, a clarification by the Vatican spokesman, and a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Read More...]


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