Must-see video: Francis visits Naples, blood of St. Januarius liquifies

He spoke off-the-cuff—and something extraordinary happened. From Rome Reports: Image from Wikipedia  [Read more...]

Pope Francis discards speech, and offers spontaneous thoughts on religious life: “If there’s no joy, people can smell it”

It happened on his visit today to Naples. From Vatican Radio:  He was welcomed by Cardinal Crescenzio Seppe, the Archbishop of Naples and then surrounded by an enthusiastic group of cloistered nuns who had been given special permission to attend the encounter. The spontaneity of the cloistered set the tone for a convivial meeting, so [Read More...]

Dear Pope Francis: shouldn’t the Vatican say something about this?

Today, this happened:  A bishop is being ordained in southern Chile amid protests by sex-abuse victims who accuse him of covering up crimes of a mentor whom the Vatican has sanctioned for abusing young boys. Pope Francis chose the 58-year-old Rev. Juan Barros as bishop of the southern city of Osorno. Hundreds of churchgoers dressed in the [Read More...]

Pope Francis: no crime deserves the death penalty

From Vatican Radio:  In a lengthy letter written in Spanish and addressed to the president of the International Commission against the death penalty, Pope Francis thanks those who work tirelessly for a universal moratorium, with the goal of abolishing the use of capital punishment in countries right across the globe. Pope Francis makes clear that [Read More...]

Report: Francis to have lunch with gay, transgender prisoners in Naples

From NCR:  Pope Francis reportedly will have lunch Saturday with about 90 prisoners, including 10 from a prison ward for transgender and gay prisoners and those who suffer from AIDS, as part of a visit to the southern Italian city of Naples. The prisoners won their spots after a raffle among some 1,900 detainees, according to a [Read More...]

U.N. says Pope Francis to visit on Sept. 25

From CNS: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement that Pope Francis would visit the United Nations the morning of Sept. 25 to address the U.N. General Assembly.In a statement March 18, the United Nations also said the pope would meet separately with the secretary-general and with the president of the General Assembly and would [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Who are you to shut the door of mercy?

From his homily this morning:  Pope Francis has again forcefully emphasized the Catholic church’s need to be merciful, pointedly asking who Christians that do not allow someone to renter the church community think they are. Speaking Tuesday during his daily homily at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis asked bluntly: “Who are you who shuts the door of your [Read More...]

Pope announces extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy

From CNS:  Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Catholic Church’s “mission to be a witness of mercy.”“No one can be excluded from God’s mercy,” the pope said March 13, marking the second anniversary of his pontificate by leading a Lenten penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica. “I [Read More...]

In new interview, Pope Francis talks about his pontificate: “I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time”

Vatican Radio has just posted its translation of a wide-ranging interview Pope Francis has done with Valentina Alazraki, from the Mexican broadcaster Televisa,to mark the two-year anniversary of his election as pope.  The pontiff covers a wide range of topics. In the section below, he describes the night of his election: The journalist  asks if it [Read More...]

Pope to wash feet of male and female prisoners on Holy Thursday—UPDATED

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis will visit inmates and staff of a Rome prison on Holy Thursday, April 2.   The Prefecture of the Papal Household reports that the Pope will visit the new complex of the Casa Circondariale Rebibbia in the Rome suburbs, and celebrate the liturgy of the Lord’s Supper at the “Padre [Read More...]