“Bienvenido!” Pope welcomes Raul Castro to the Vatican

Details from AP: Cuban President Raul Castro received a warm welcome at the Vatican Sunday from Pope Francis, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Washington and Havana aimed at restoring U.S.-Cuban diplomatic ties. “Bienvenido!” Francis said in his native Spanish, welcoming Castro in a studio near the Vatican public audience hall. The [Read More...]

Pope: church is about unity, not forming lobbies

I can’t imagine what he’s talking about, can you? Details:  Pope Francis says discussions within the Church are to seek unity and and it should not be a place where people are always clashing, betraying each other and forming lobbies to win their argument. He said the Holy Spirit helps bring change and moves things [Read More...]

Pope blesses small statue for Maryland family whose daughters died in fire

From Catholic News Agency:  After reading a letter while visiting Rome’s North American Seminary detailing the death of two young girls in a house fire, Pope Francis blessed their picture and a small statue to be given to their parents.“The Holy Father read the story about what happened and he was very moved by it. [Read More...]

Coming to a church near you: “Missionaries of Mercy” for the Year of Mercy

The full text of the papal bull announcing the Jubilee of Mercy was published several days ago, and is now available on the Jubilee of Mercy website. There are a number of specific, concrete details worth noting: The initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week [Read More...]

The Jubilee Year of Mercy now has a website—and a logo

The website, unveiled today, is here.  The logo:   A description of the image and its meaning: The logo and the motto together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The motto Merciful Like the Father (taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who [Read More...]

A message from the pope in English

These are the words he left in the guest book at the Pontifical North American College this weekend: Photo via Twitter [Read more...]

Man hangs up on Pope Francis, thinking it’s a prank call

Yeah, this sounds like something I’d do:  An Italian man hung up the phone on Pope Francis twice thinking he was being pranked, but later apologised to him for his error, the Vatican newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano, has reported. The pontiff, who often contacts strangers who write to him or whose problems he hears about, called Franco [Read More...]

Pope Francis on the crisis of marriage: “Let us not be afraid to invite Jesus and Mary to the marriage feast”

Details from Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis appealed for equal pay for equal work today, calling compensation disparity a “pure scandal”. The Holy Father made his remarks during the course of his catechetical reflection on marriage and family at his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday. In discussing the causes of family dissolution, [Read More...]

Cardinal announces furniture design contest for papal visit

The story, from the Catholic University of America website:  The leaders of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America met today with students from CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning to announce a contest for the design of the altar, chair, and [Read More...]

I can think of two priests who will be including this image in their Christmas card this year…

From Paul Haring at Catholic News Service comes this wonderful picture from Sunday. Caption: Pope Francis and two newly ordained priests give a blessing during the “Regina Coeli” led from the window of the pope’s studio at the Vatican April 26. The priests and 17 others were ordained by the pope during a liturgy in [Read More...]