Report: the man in white will stay that way

A report this morning, quoting his brother, indicates that the Holy Father will continue to wear his signature white cassock after he’s retired.  (If you’re wondering why the pontiff wears white, Rocco had a good explanation a few years back: it is in honor of Pius V, who died in 1572.  Writes Rocco: “As a [Read More...]

VIDEO: The people and places of the conclave

Robert Duncan over at CNS in Rome has put together this lovely meditative video, featuring some of the people and places that we’ll be hearing much about in the weeks to come. Consider this a preview of Coming Attractions, if you will—and, quite possibly, a peek at the next pope. Check it out below. [Read more...]

So just how do they pick a pope?

Wondering just what goes on inside the Sistine Chapel?  Where do the cardinals stay?  How is the vote carried out?  There’s an excellent interactive graphic at Vatican Insider that explains it, with some fascinating nuggets of history, to boot. Try it out and see.    [Read more...]

O’Malley rising?

John Allen this morning has some buzz surrounding the cardinal archbishop of Boston: While the U.S. media has focused on Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as the most plausible, if still remote, American prospect, another name has generated a surprising degree of buzz in the Italian press: Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, partly on [Read More...]

Pope Benedict, pensioner

He’ll have a little spending money, it seems.  Details:  Pope Benedict XVI does not, officially, have an income. The head of the Catholic Church doesn’t really get paid, the Vatican has said repeatedly in response to inquiries from the press over the years; he has his every need provided for by the Holy see. But we know what [Read More...]

“‘The church is alive,’ he said, and he set out to keep it that way…”

A comprehensive and interesting roundup of reaction to Benedict’s resignation, from the terrific Ann Rogers in Pittsburgh: Pope Benedict XVI, the German pope who some feared would spend his pontificate scourging liberal Roman Catholics, focused on preaching about God’s love. “His greatest legacy is his spiritual hunger and thirst to bring people closer to God,” [Read More...]

Report: Benedict may be blind in one eye

From the Los Angeles Times, more details are emerging about Pope Benedict’s health: Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has interviewed Benedict on numerous occasions, said that when he last saw the pope 10 weeks ago, his hearing had deteriorated and he appeared to have gone blind in his left eye. “His body had become [Read More...]

Does the Holy Spirit pick the pope? Ratzinger didn’t think so.

Some more great context and insight on the upcoming conclave from NCR’s John Allen:  People typically ask two kinds of questions about conclaves: those that deal with the event in general and those that pertain to this one specifically — who the leading candidates are, what the issues seem to be, and so on. We’ll [Read More...]

Report: Pope Benedict last summer indicated “not much more” could be expected of him

Details from AP:  Journalist Peter Seewald recalled in an article for German weekly Focus published Saturday asking Benedict during a meeting last August at the pontiff’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, what more could be expected of him and his papacy. Seewald said Benedict replied: “From me? From me, not much more. I am an old [Read More...]

Reports of an early conclave—and tweeting cardinals will go silent

A few tidbits this morning from Catholic News Service:  Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed this morning that top cardinals and canon lawyers at the Vatican are studying the possibility of beginning the conclave to elect a new pope before March 15. But only the cardinals can announce the exact date the conclave will [Read More...]