NY Times: “A surprise pope keeps on surprising”

The paper sniffs around for some analysis of the pope’s interview:  Francis is challenging the status quo of the Roman Catholic Church so determinedly and so unexpectedly that Vatican watchers are debating whether this is merely a change of tone, as many had thought at first. Some now think the pope may be making a [Read More...]

Cardinal Seán O’Malley responds to Pope Francis interview

The cardinal, of course, is part of the “Super 8″ group of advisors to Pope Francis who will be convening next month in Assisi. From the cardinal’s blog:  For although the Church’s principal activities are the pastoral work of our parishes, Catholic education, social services and health care — which serve millions — people can [Read More...]

The Francis Effect: 8 ways he’s changing the Catholic Church

Elizabeth Tenety in the Washington Post offers some anecdotal evidence: increased Mass attendance, larger crowds at papal audiences, more people lined up for confession. And that’s just for starters. Read it all.   [Read more...]

Who said that?

 “I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems. If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists [Read More...]

Turnabout? Bishop Tobin, once “disappointed” in Francis, now “grateful”

From NCR:  The U.S. Catholic bishop who grabbed headlines when he said he was “disappointed” Pope Francis had not spoken more about abortion now says he is “grateful” to the pope for widening the vision of the church. Providence, R.I., Bishop Thomas Tobin made his newest remarks in a statement Friday, one day after Jesuit [Read More...]

“A pope for the Catholic middle”—UPDATED

That’s how John Allen sizes up yesterday’s headline-grabbing interview with Pope Francis.  His take: In political terms, Francis says something out loud that arguably had already become clear, but with a degree of candor that popes don’t often provide: “I have never been a right-winger.” At the level of content, there’s not much groundbreaking in [Read More...]

Pope: “There is no human life more sacred than another”

From Vatican Radio: Pope Francis on Friday received members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations who are in Rome on the occasion of their 10th International Conference on Catholicism and Maternal Healthcare. Following a greeting to conference participants, Pope Francis went on to address those gathered in three succinct points. Firstly, he described what [Read More...]

How America got the biggest interview of the year

Editor Matt Malone, S.J., explains:  As with a lot of things, it began with an innocent, offhand remark. James Martin, S.J., America’s editor at large, and I were catching up in my office a few weeks after the election of Pope Francis. We were talking generally about our editorial approach to the new papacy when [Read More...]

The pope speaks—and the whole world is listening

This is truly remarkable: an extended and exclusive interview published today in AMERICA. In the introduction, the editors note: This interview with Pope Francis took place over the course of three meetings during August 2013 in Rome. The interview was conducted in person by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the [Read More...]

Pope to bishops: careerism is a “cancer”

From the Vatican news site :  Pope Francis received new Bishops from around the world in audience today in Rome. The audience marked the end of the annual Conference for New Bishops, which provides formation and orientation for men who have been elevated to the episcopate each year. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Prefect of the [Read More...]