“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...]

Worth a thousand words

As the Vatican’s Greg Burke noted in a tweet for this picture: Girl looks a little excited #PapaFrancisco Great photo from Paul Haring @CatholicNewsSvc pic.twitter.com/jjTCho5IA3 [Read more...]

Pope Francis writes personal letter to atheist

From John Allen at NCR: Although the big Vatican story in the English-speaking media today is based on comments by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Secretary of State, on celibacy and democracy, attention in Italy is focused instead on the latest sensation from Pope Francis himself: a personal letter to a renowned journalist and nonbeliever, splashed across the front [Read More...]

Let there be light: the story behind Benedict’s candle at Ground Zero

At CNS’s blog, Carol Glatz has this intriguing story about meeting Martin Marklin, the man who designed the candle for Pope Benedict’s visit to Ground Zero in 2008, and the light that nearly wasn’t: When the candle safely arrived, Martin was then concerned about how it would be lit. It was Pope Benedict’s desire to light [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Empty convents are of no use to the Church. Let the refugees in.”

From Vatican Insider: “Empty convents are not for the Church to transform into hotels and make money from them. Empty convents are not ours, they are for the flesh of Christ: refugees,” the Pope said lifting his eyes from his script during his visit to Centro Astalli, a refugee centre in the heart of Rome, [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Jesus is the Winner…”

That could be the phrase on a new bumper sticker. But it’s Pope Francis in this morning’s homily:  “Jesus is the Winner who has won over sin and death.” Those were the words of Pope Francis on Tuesday morning during his Homily at morning Mass. He was referring to the Letter of St. Paul to [Read More...]

Boffo: Argentina producing a major motion picture about the pope

From Variety:  Habemus a pope pic. And from Pope Francis’ native Argentina. One of its most international directors, Alejandro Agresti (“The Lake House”) will direct “Historia de un cura” (A Priest’s Tale), a biopic of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from his childhood through to election in March as the head of the Catholic Church. Bergoglio became the first Jesuit pope, [Read More...]

Did you miss the pope’s prayer vigil Saturday? No problem. Here it is.

I was otherwise engaged this weekend—attending a family baptism in Virginia. If you missed it, too, pull up a chair, break out the rosary, and just click the PLAY arrow below. And, for added measure, here’s the text of the pope’s homily—which, at the very least, should be required reading: “And God saw that it [Read More...]

Vatican denies reports that pope called gay man in France

Given the pope’s penchant for calling anyone and everyone, I’m surprised there haven’t been more stories like this. Details:  The Vatican firmly denied reports in France on Friday that Pope Francis had telephoned a young gay French Catholic to reassure him. Christophe Trutino had claimed in a newspaper interview the Pontiff had told him “Your [Read More...]

Must-see video: the pope’s passionate plea for peace

If you haven’t seen it, take a look at this video from the weekend, wherein Pope Francis issues his call to prayer and fasting next Saturday over the situation in Syria. The last minute or so shows a side of Francis we rarely see.  (Or, as another observer put it, “He means business.”) [Read more...]