Being honest about Francis: one conservative’s reflection

A writer shares some reservations about the pope, and concludes: I will be honest here: I really do not like liberal, secular Lefties. But our Lord forbids this to me. In some sense, yes, they are my “enemies” in this cultural battle. But the motivations we bring to that battle are critical. If I just [Read More...]

On a woman cardinal: the lady in red?

You might think, from various excited postings around the Interwebs, that Pope Francis is about to name a woman cardinal. Andrea Tornielli at Vatican Insider unpacks this notion: The idea of appointing women to the College of Cardinals is not new…It was mentioned during the Synod of Bishops for Africa held on 10 October 1994, [Read More...]

“How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted?”

This was very much on the pope’s mind this morning—along with some other challenging thoughts on unity, gossip and the “privatized” Church. From CNS:  Backstabbing and gossip hurt people and harm God’s desire for a united human family, Pope Francis said. Unity is a gift from God, “but often we struggle to live it out,” [Read More...]

The pope makes his mark in Newark, “the first truly Francis appointment”

And what is happening in Newark may be telling.  Rocco has everything you need to know,with some wide-ranging analysis: For all the smiles at the cameras and talk of a smooth transition, the difference between Newark Catholicism’s present and future can be boiled down to this: while John Myers prefers to be addressed as “His [Read More...]

Benedict writes to atheist, says he never tried to hide abuse cases

From CNS:  In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician’s total reliance on scientific facts for meaning. “I never sought to conceal these things,” the pope said of cases of clerical abuse, [Read More...]

Fr. James Martin on The Big Interview: “We both had the same thought: ‘You know, this could be kind of a dud.’

Hours after that interview with the pope was published, the grumbling began—and from some unexpected places.  One of them was in Catholic media. Greg Erlandson, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, complained on his blog: While I am at the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications with such leaders as Cardinal Thomas Collins of [Read More...]

The pope’s powerful outreach to a prodigal people

I’ve been reading some of the reaction to the ground-shaking interview with Pope Francis. Not all of it has been warm. Traditionalists, in particular, find it worrisome, and some conservative commentators have been downright hostile. It seems to me they are missing the point.  The Holy Father was speaking to the world, but he was [Read More...]

What’s in a name? Some insight into Pope (George Mary) Francis

From Dr. Edward Mulholland in Zenit:  Jorge María Bergoglio is now better known as Pope Francis. An hour after we saw him on the balcony, asking for our prayers for him as Pope, I wrote that the three keys to this pontificate would be humility, reform and evangelization. After six months of homilies, travels and surprises, I [Read More...]

“A man can wear the loftiest of miters without having his head swell to fit it…”

Another voice added to the “Amen” chorus singing the praises of Pope Francis, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni:  It wasn’t the particulars of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking message in an interview published last week that stopped me in my tracks, gave fresh hope to many embittered Catholics and caused hardened commentators to perk up. It [Read More...]

Pope Francis on social communication and “the great digital continent”

The scoop, and text of his remarks today, from Vatican Radio: Pope Francis on Saturday addressed the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Pope Francis said the goal of the Church for its communications efforts is “to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of [Read More...]