“This woman has never never gossiped. Such a woman can be canonized tomorrow.”

The Holy Father returned to one of his favorite themes—the sin of gossip—during his weekly audience this morning: Francis, during the general audience, emphasised that “experience shows that there are many sins against the unity of the Church: let us not think only of schisms but also of very common faults within our communities, the [Read More...]

Pope Francis calls family of James Foley

Details:  The death of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State has been mourned internationally since the tragic news broke. On Thursday, Pope Francis personally called Foley’s grieving family in Rochester, New Hampshire, to “console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers,”according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. Foley’s relatives were “deeply [Read More...]

Pope Francis on Iraq: “To stop the unjust aggressor is licit”

From Catholic News Service:  Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop “unjust aggressors” such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.The pope also said he [Read More...]

All aboard: pope takes train to Mass in Korea

Details:  He has built a reputation for his down-to-earth style and has no patience for pomp. But even so, Pope Francis surprised hundreds of ordinary commuters when he took public transport to celebrate a Mass in Korea where he is on a five day visit. The pope scrapped his plans to take a helicopter from [Read More...]

Pope baptizes father of Korean ferry disaster victim—and the man takes the name “Francis”

Details:  On Sunday morning Pope Francis baptized 62-year-old Lee Ho-Jin – the father of one of the victims from the Sewol Ferry tragedy earlier this year – who took on the baptismal name “Francis.” Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi reported that the baptism was celebrated in 20 minutes without Mass. It was officiated by a [Read More...]

Pope to Korean bishops: “Christians don’t come as conquerers”

From John Allen: Christianity is a missionary religion, and heading into Pope Francis’s trip to South Korea one big-ticket question mark was whether he could fuel Catholic growth on a continent home to 60 percent of the world’s population. Whether the church gets a “Francis bump” remains to be seen, but in a speech to [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: the pope’s silent pro-life statement in Korea

Details:  Pope Francis has generally avoided hot-button “culture war” issues like abortion, arguing that the church’s doctrine on the sanctity of life is well-known and that he’d rather emphasize other aspects of church teaching. But he made a strong, albeit silent anti-abortion statement Saturday during his visit to South Korea, stopping to pray at a [Read More...]

“What would we be willing to die for?”

“So often we today can find our faith challenged by the world, and in countless ways we are asked to compromise our faith, to water down the radical demands of the Gospel and to conform to the spirit of this age.  Yet the martyrs call out to us to put Christ first and to see [Read More...]

In South Korea, Pope delivers major speech in English

From Vatican Radio: Many of the English-speaking journalists here at the Press Centre in Seoul were so excited about hearing Pope Francis pronounce his first speech in Korea in their language, they almost forgot to listen to what he said. Nearly all of them awarded him top marks for pronunciation, modulation and tone – which [Read More...]

“This pope means business”

From the pages of Fortune magazine (!), comes this analysis of Pope Francis, businessman and manager: The spiritual shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis, 77, has already done more in 18 months to energize the church and burnish its image than anyone has since the heyday of John Paul II in [Read More...]