Pope Francis salutes four great Americans: Lincoln, King, Day and Merton

View image | gettyimages.com   The full text of his address to Congress is here.  It is a rich and thoughtful speech, highlighting the necessity for dialogue—a word he used often—and a hunger for the common good. The conclusion: Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin [Read More…]

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Pope Francis to bishops: “Ever present is life as gift and responsibility”

From his reflection yesterday, delivered before bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington: Ours must not be just any kind of prayer, but familiar union with Christ, in which we daily encounter his gaze and sense that he is asking us the question: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” (Mk 3:31-34). One in [Read More…]

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New York’s oldest deacon to sit beside Pope Francis at St. Patrick’s

Details:  He is the New York Archdiocese’s oldest serving deacon, at a mere 91 years young.And Thursday, Deacon John Maloney will have a very special honor.Not only will he get to be part of Pope Francis’ escort to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he will get to sit right next to the pontiff.“I’m just going to say, [Read More…]

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Francis isn’t the first pope to avoid mentioning abortion at the White House

Some observers have expressed disappointment that Pope Francis did not mention abortion during his welcoming ceremony at the White House this morning. You can read the full text here. But for a little history and context, it’s interesting to read what Benedict said at the White House welcome in 2008. And what John Paul said at a similar event [Read More…]

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Francis at the White House: “As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country”

From the official text of his remarks this morning: Mr President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all Americans. As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families. I look forward to these days of [Read More…]

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Waiting for Francis in Washington

FOB (Friend of the Bench) Deacon Clayton Nickel is assigned to St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC, and he sent along these snapshots this morning. This is what awaits Pope Francis later today. After spending a few moments in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, he’ll be presiding at Midday Prayer. Great shots, Clayton—thank you! [Read more…]

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What kind of New York will Pope Francis find?

My colleague Tom McDonald writes about that in the National Catholic Register:  When Pope Francis lands at Kennedy International Airport, it will be the first papal visit to New York since Benedict spent three days there in April 2008. What kind of New York will he find? Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn [Read More…]

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Pope: “If they want me to recite the Creed, I can!”

Before landing in Washington yesterday, Pope Francis had another of his brief news conferences on the plane and, among other things, he reminded reporters he is Catholic:   Pope Francis defended his position on the economy, the environment and other social issues as faithful repetitions of the basic Catholic social doctrine. Speaking to reporters flying with [Read More…]

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Vatican confirms Pope telephoned dissident “Ladies in White” in Cuba

View image | gettyimages.com Details:  The question of Cuba’s treatment of political dissidents—and Pope Francis’ engagement with them—continued to be in the news as the Pope made his way through his island visit. On Monday, papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pontiff had telephoned dissidents on Sunday. The group Ladies in White, who [Read More…]

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Biden on Francis: “He’s the embodiment of Catholic social doctrine that I was raised with”

The Vice President sat down for a lengthy interview with the editor of America magazine: In an interview published Monday by the Catholic magazine “America,” Vice President Biden called Pope Francis “the embodiment of Catholic social doctrine that I was raised with.” The half-hour exchange with America’s editor-in-chief, Father Matt Malone, S.J. highlighted the unique role [Read More…]

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