Pope on World Cup: Who am I to judge?

He’s not taking sides:  He recently renewed his Argentine passport and remains an official card-carrying member of his favorite Buenos Aires football club. But Pope Francis has pledged absolute neutrality for the World Cup. Francis recalled during an interview published Friday with the Barcelona newspaper “La Vanguardia,” that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff had asked him [Read More…]

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Francis, the saint who kissed hands—and hooves

A reader alerted me to this piece by Archbishop Charles Chaput, which talks about the significance of the saint from Assisi and offers these details, which may have some connection to a popular habit of Pope Francis: In his biography of Francis, Augustine Thompson—the Dominican author—notes that Francis had a passionate devotion to the Blessed [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: The devil is trying to destroy the family

I think that also includes the family of Christ’s Church. Details:  The “enemy attacks the family so much. The devil does not want it. He tries to destroy it, to prevent love from becoming free,” said Pope Francis in responding to a family present at the National Convocation of the Renewal in the Spirit, who [Read More…]

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Cameras catch a glimpse of the Ratzinger brothers—who now use walkers

From the German newspaper Bild:  On the head, a white cap against the Roman spring sun, a walker in front of him: The Lord in the white cassock is Joseph Ratzinger (87), our Emeritus Benedict XVI. For the first time, there are photos that show the Holy Father retired with a walker. Together with his brother [Read More…]

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History’s first “multi-polar pope”

From John Allen in The Boston Globe:  Francis, an Argentine, is the first pope in history to bridge the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres — the first multipolar pope, that is — and so he doesn’t carry the baggage of being seen as a Western leader. For centuries, the Vatican’s default setting was to align [Read More…]

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Pope on celibacy: “The door is always open” to changing the discipline

While he’s not saying anything we didn’t already know, it is the first he’s spoken about the issue as pope. Details:  Pope Francis says he believes that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma and “the door is always open” to change. Francis made similar comments when he [Read More…]

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Pope to meet with sex abuse victims next month, compares betrayal of young people to a Black Mass

Details from CNS:  Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26. During an inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated [Read More…]

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The pope who kisses hands—UPDATED

Are we seeing a new papal tradition? St. John Paul in his travels would famously kiss the earth of every country he visited.  His successor, Francis, appears inclined to kiss something else: hands. A few weeks ago, Pope Francis caused a small sensation when he kissed the hand of the elderly Salesian Don De Paolis, a [Read More…]

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Pope and patriarch meet, sign Common Declaration

From CNS:  Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ’s death and resurrection. “We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so, too, every [Read More…]

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Pope Francis: “Invoke from God the gift of peace”

Two remarkable moments from a remarkable day, via CNS. Pope Francis makes an unscheduled stop to pray at the West Bank wall dividing Palestine and Israel. And he meets and embraces the Patriarch of Constantinople. [Read more…]

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