Worth a thousand words: “Peter and Andrew”—UPDATED

A beautiful and poignant image from yesterday: Details: At the end of his speech, Pope Francis asked for Patriarch Bartholomew’s blessing and bowed down before him to receive it. Bartholomew then kissed Francis on the head. And so, the second day of the papal visit concluded with a highly symbolic gesture. Night had already fallen [Read More…]

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Pope visits mosque, offers moment of “silent adoration”

Details:  Pope Francis has arrived in Istanbul for the second leg of his three-day visit to Turkey, in a richly-symbolic trip. Like his predecessor, he prayed at the Blue Mosque, which was his first stop, before visiting the Hagia Sophia. The Pope was welcomed by Turkish authorities and GreekOrthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Atatürk Airport at 10.29 a.m. [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “It’s all about going out and meeting God who lives with the poor”

From La Stampa: Francis was honest from the start: “I don’t want to give a formal speech, partly because I want to be spontaneous and partly because I haven’t had time to prepare any speeches other than those for Europe and Turkey.” The Pope said this during this morning’s audience with cardinals and bishops who [Read More…]

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Cardinal Sarah named Prefect for Congregation of Divine Worship

From The Vatican: On Sunday, 23 November 2014, the Holy Father named Cardinal Robert Sarah as Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Sarah has been serving as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, Archbishop emeritus of [Read More…]

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Pope: In the Christian community “no one is a stranger,” all are welcome

From CNS:  The Catholic Church “is a mother without limits and without borders,” welcoming and assisting all of God’s children, particularly those fleeing violence, oppression and poverty, Pope Francis said. Addressing the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the pope said the church’s concern for the whole person [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “All Christians are equal in dignity before God, united by vocation to holiness”

From his General Audience this morning: Dear brothers and sisters, good morning. A great gift of the Second Vatican Council was to have retrieved a vision of the Church founded on communion, and to have also embodied the principle of authority and hierarchy in this context. This has helped us to better understand that all [Read More…]

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Patti Smith defends performance at Vatican: “I like Pope Francis and I’m happy to sing for him”

Details from The New York Daily News:  Last week, the Godmother of Punk drew criticism from all sides after accepting the invitation of Pope Francis to sing at the Vatican’s upcoming Christmas concert. One Italian Catholic organization labeled the star “blasphemous.” Meanwhile, some hipsters found Smith’s proposed appearance hypocritical, considering she opened her very first [Read More…]

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Confirmed: Pope Francis announces trip to U.S. next year

Details:  Pope Francis plans to visit Philadelphia in 2015, the pontiff announced today – his first trip to the United States as pope. The Pope made the announcement when he addressed participants at a Vatican conference on traditional marriage. The trip, expected for late September, would coincide with the World Meeting of Families organized by the [Read More…]

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Forbes on Pope Francis: “When it comes to innovation this guy is pretty epic”

The magazine also makes note of two awards the pontiff received last spring, including the “Adam Smith Prize” from the Harvard Business Review and “Book of the Year” from Forbes for his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel).  Really?? Who knew??  When was the last time a religious book took top honors from an American [Read More…]

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Patti Smith sings “O Holy Night”

Here’s an early taste of Christmas for you. A few eyebrows were raised yesterday when it was announced that punk icon Patti Smith would be singing at the annual Vatican Christmas concert. But it turns out this isn’t her first appearance there. She sang last year. Among other things, she offered her interpretation of “O [Read More…]

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