Pope Francis “unblocks” Romero beatification

Some potentially big news on the sainthood front, from John Allen:  A Vatican official responsible for the sainthood cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador announced Sunday that the cause has been “unblocked” by Pope Francis, suggesting that beatification of the assassinated prelate could come swiftly. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia spoke Sunday in the Italian [Read More...]

Vatican: “There is a move toward putting more women in key roles”

Details:  Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras said he was backing more posts for women after the Pope named him this month to lead a task force of eight cardinals from around the world to reform the Roman Curia, an alleged hotbed of intrigue, infighting and corruption. The cardinal’s comments, made to The Sunday [Read More...]

Picture of the week: Pope blessing a mother and her unborn child

Over at NCR, Tom Fox notes:  I think this is the first time I have ever seen a pope touching a woman or have seen a woman’s hand on a papal hand. The times are changing! Well, “touching a woman” beyond a handshake, that is.  I have to say: the image here is strikingly warm [Read More...]

Pope Francis at priestly ordinations: “You are pastors, not functionaries”

To mark the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations —which falls every year on Good Shepherd Sunday—Pope Francis ordained 10 men to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica today.   Below, his homily, from Vatican Radio. +++ Beloved brothers and sisters: because these our sons, who are your relatives and friends, are now to [Read More...]

SSPX criticizes Pope Francis’ focus on the poor

Details:  A rebel Catholic group at the heart of major controversies that plagued former Pope Benedict has begun criticising his successor Pope Francis for the popular approach he has taken since his election last month. In a letter to supporters this week, the head of the ultra- traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) asked [Read More...]

What does Jorge Bergoglio keep in his breviary?

An excerpt from “Francis: Pope of  New World” by Andrea Tornielli: When he traveled, Jorge Mario—who likes to be described as “a priest who is happy to be a priest”—was inseparable from his date book, in which were written by hand the telephone numbers of his friends and acquaintances. And he always carried with him his [Read More...]

Pope nixes bonus for Vatican employees

Details: The global economic crisis is hitting Vatican employees in their cassock pockets. The Vatican said Thursday that Pope Francis, known for his frugal ways, decided Vatican employees won’t be getting the bonus that traditionally comes with the election of a new pope. In the past, the Vatican’s 4,500-plus workers — both religious and lay [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “A Church that does not go out of itself…sickens from the stale air of closed rooms”

That comment, and more, is contained in a message the Holy Father sent to Argentine bishops. Details: Pastoral ministry should always be missionary and its ministers must be courageous evangelizers not afraid to go out ‘into the deep’, the outskirts of existence, to bring the ‘sweet and comforting joy’ of faith to people today. This [Read More...]

Pope Francis prays that “all Bostonians will be united in a resolve not to be overcome by evil”

The Holy Father sent a telegram today, through his Secretary of State: His Eminence Cardinal Sean O’Malley Archbishop of Boston Deeply grieved by news of the loss of life and grave injuries caused by the act of violence perpetrated last evening in Boston, His Holiness Pope Francis wishes me to assure you of his sympathy [Read More...]

Germany to unveil portrait of Benedict to mark his birthday

The pope emeritus turns 86 today. From Vatican Radio:  The German Embassy to the Holy See will be hosting a party which will unveil a new portrait of the former pontiff painted by German artist Michael Triegel, who is known as “Papstmaler”, or “Pope Painter”. The painting is on permanent loan to the Embassy. A [Read More...]


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