Pope Francis writes to Muslim leader, expresses respect for Islam and calls for mutual understanding

Details: The Al-Azhar University in Cairo – considered one of the most important centres of Sunni Islamic learning  – has announced that Pope Francis has sent a personal message to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayyeb. The most important Catholic website in Arabic,www.abouna.org, published the communiqué issued by Al-Azhar, which mentions that a [Read More...]

Is the world making an idol of Pope Francis?

That’s the provocative question our own Elizabeth Scalia is asking in today’s Washington Post:  It has only been six months since Jorge Mario Bergoglio came to the world with a new name, but already MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, channeling his inner tween, has gushed, “is it too early to say Francis is the best pope ever?” His effusion [Read More...]

Vatican publishes e-book of Benedict’s World Communications Day messages

Something new and nifty, from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications:  The Pontifical Council for Social Communication has published an eBook entitled,“Benedict XVI: World Communications Day Messages“. The eBook, which is free, contains the eight messages released during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. The digital publication is a first for the Council and intended as a [Read More...]

“With fraternal good wishes, Francis”

That’s how the Holy Father has signed the now-famous letter to an atheist.  In an unusual move, the Vatican has published the entire text of the letter, in English, on its website. Check it out.   [Read more...]

Forbes calls pope a “social media phenomenon”

From columnist Tom Watson:  Pope Francis – or @pontifex to his Twitter followers – has quickly become a social media phenomenon, adding five million followers since his installation six months ago. He is gaining more than 4,000 followers a day and knocking at the door of three million followers for his English language feed alone. He’s got more [Read More...]

Report: Francis urges priests to “welcome” couples living together—UPDATED

That’s just one part of a two-hour discussion he had with the priests of Rome Monday. Details:  “Sanctity is greater than scandal”. This was the message Pope Francis extended to Rome’s parish priests at a meeting in St. John the Lateran this morning, the Diocese of Rome’s weekly newspaper RomaSette reports. The Pope asked for this meeting [Read More...]

Best pope ever?

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes goes ga-ga over Papa (reminding me of another MSNBC anchor, Chris Matthews, who once expressed similar enthusiasm, and a tingling leg, for Barack Obama.) Snip:  You know who I freakin’ love? This new pope. Pope Francis. You know who I’m talking about, right? The pope. Are you watching this guy? Because you should [Read More...]

“Car talk” about the pope’s Renault

Earlier this week, the pope got a new set of wheels.    And now CNS has collected some priceless reaction: Leave it to the slapstick brothers, Tom and Ray, at Car Talk to have a field day with the news of Pope Francis’ recent present: a lovingly used 30 hp 1984 Renault 4. As soon as the [Read More...]

Report: pope stops naming monsignors

 Details:  Pope Francis has stopped granting priests the honorary title of “monsignor” in advance of an October meeting with several cardinals on possible reforms in the Catholic Church, the London-based Catholic weekly The Tablet is reporting Thursday. According to the Tablet‘s Rome correspondent Robert Mickens, Francis first made the decision in April shortly after his election as pope. The decision [Read More...]

“Bergoglio’s List”: new book details future pope’s secret effort to protect suspected dissidents

From Catholic News Service:  While a military-backed dictatorship in Argentina was conducting a clandestine war on suspected dissidents, then-Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pope, masterminded a secret strategy to save those being targeted, according to a new book. Titled “Bergoglio’s List: Those Saved by Pope Francis; Stories Never Told,” also includes the transcript of [Read More...]


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