Cameras catch a glimpse of the Ratzinger brothers—who now use walkers

From the German newspaper Bild:  On the head, a white cap against the Roman spring sun, a walker in front of him: The Lord in the white cassock is Joseph Ratzinger (87), our Emeritus Benedict XVI. For the first time, there are photos that show the Holy Father retired with a walker. Together with his brother [Read More...]

History’s first “multi-polar pope”

From John Allen in The Boston Globe:  Francis, an Argentine, is the first pope in history to bridge the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres — the first multipolar pope, that is — and so he doesn’t carry the baggage of being seen as a Western leader. For centuries, the Vatican’s default setting was to align [Read More...]

Pope on celibacy: “The door is always open” to changing the discipline

While he’s not saying anything we didn’t already know, it is the first he’s spoken about the issue as pope. Details:  Pope Francis says he believes that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma and “the door is always open” to change. Francis made similar comments when he [Read More...]

Pope to meet with sex abuse victims next month, compares betrayal of young people to a Black Mass

Details from CNS:  Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26. During an inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated [Read More...]

The pope who kisses hands—UPDATED

Are we seeing a new papal tradition? St. John Paul in his travels would famously kiss the earth of every country he visited.  His successor, Francis, appears inclined to kiss something else: hands. A few weeks ago, Pope Francis caused a small sensation when he kissed the hand of the elderly Salesian Don De Paolis, a [Read More...]

Pope and patriarch meet, sign Common Declaration

From CNS:  Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ’s death and resurrection. “We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so, too, every [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Invoke from God the gift of peace”

Two remarkable moments from a remarkable day, via CNS. Pope Francis makes an unscheduled stop to pray at the West Bank wall dividing Palestine and Israel. And he meets and embraces the Patriarch of Constantinople. [Read more...]

Pope Francis’s homily in Manger Square: “Look to the child…”

Via Vatican Radio:  “This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). What a great grace it is to celebrate the Eucharist in the place where Jesus was born! I thank God and I thank all of you who have welcomed [Read More...]

“Peace is a gift to be sought”

From CNS’s talented Robert Duncan, a video compilation below of some memorable moments from Pope Francis’s first day in the Holy Land, with powerful words preached in Jordan.  Read more about the trip here.  Snip: Celebrating Mass on his first day in the Holy Land, Pope Francis said hope for peace in a region torn by [Read More...]

It was 20 years ago yesterday…

…that Pope John Paul II issued his apostolic letter  Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “reserving priestly ordination to men alone.” The document was issued on May 22, 1994. The conclusion: The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As [Read More...]