Is Pope Francis the Catholic Princess Diana?

That’s the provocative question at the heart of this piece over at CNN’s Belief blog:  There are obvious differences between a Catholic pontiff and a princess. But watching Francis’ first few months in office, it’s hard not to notice that he seems to have taken a page from the late Princess Diana’s playbook. The Princess [Read More...]

Pope Writes Letter to Imprisoned Argentine Rock Singer

  Details:  Pope Francis answered a letter from former singer Patricio Santos Fontanet, which begins: “Pato, I received the letter you sent me three days ago. Thank you for your gesture …,” indicated yesterday the Buenos Aires newspaper Clarin, to which Estefania Miguel from Cordoba, who had a child by “Pato” nine months ago, said: [Read More...]

Following Pope’s Call, Priest Puts Mercedes Up for Sale

Any takers? Details:  It may be back to a bicycle for a Colombian priest who’s heeding Pope Francis’ call for austerity. The Rev. Hernando Fayid said he’s going to sell his white Mercedes Benz E200 convertible with a black top following the pope’s recent statement that it wounds his heart to see a priest in [Read More...]

“A Pope Like None Before”

That’s the headline accompanying this piece by veteran Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister, who offers his take on the early days of the Franciscan pontificate, and why there is a “benevolence of secular public opinion” toward him: One key element of Francis’s popularity is his personal credibility. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he lived in a modest [Read More...]

Pope Used 20-Year-Old Fiat for Lampedusa Visit

Is this a sign of things to come? From the Los Angeles Times:  Pope Francis is on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, where instead of tooling around in the popemobile, he’s making his rounds in a borrowed 20-year-old Fiat Campagnola. He also has let it be known how he feels about priests and nuns who [Read More...]

Buenos Aires Erects Statue of Pope; Francis Orders It Removed

Attractive, isn’t it? Details:  A life-size sculpture of Pope Francis was installed yesterday on a patio outside Buenos Aires’ cathedral, where Jorge Bergoglio presided over daily Masses before he became pope in March. The sculpture, made of fiberglass and resin, is in a courtyard closed to the public, but can be glimpsed from the street, [Read More...]

Why the Pope Went to Lampedusa

An interesting nugget or two here, from Cindy Wooden at CNS:  “I hope people understand the meaning of this gesture,” Pope Francis told his aides after arriving in Lampedusa yesterday. In what the Vatican newspaper described as the first pastoral trip of his pontificate, Pope Francis knew his arrival would create the climate of a celebration, [Read More...]

“Would It Be Too Much to Throw One a Little Brocade Once in a While?”

I saw the striking image above, from the pope’s Mass yesterday, with those unusual vestments and plain altar, and think that’s something of what The Crescat is talking about in her latest post: Every time I read about how humble Francis is I take it personally, as a slight meant to imply that his predecessor [Read More...]

Vatican Hosts Hundreds of Homeless for Dinner

Details:  On July 1 Pope Francis invited a group of 200 homeless individuals to dinner at the Vatican, where they were served in his name by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello. Cardinal Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, spent the entire evening with the special guests, with whom he chatted at length and shared personal [Read More...]

The Blood of Christ, the Blood of Immigrants

For the pope’s visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where scores of immigrants have died trying to reach safety, CNS notes: In his homily at an outdoor Mass, Pope Francis said he decided to visit Lampedusa, a small island with a population of 6,000 and just 70 miles from Tunisia, after seeing newspaper headlines [Read More...]