Young inmates looking forward to Holy Thursday visit from Pope Francis

And, it turns out, most of them are Muslim. From Zenit:  On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the Casal de Marmo, a juvenile detention center on the outskirts of Rome. ZENIT interviewed a chaplain at the prison, Father Gaetano Geco, who described interesting aspects of his work with minors. Father Gaetano belongs [Read More...]

Vatican releases text for Pope Francis’ Way of the Cross

The text, to be prayed at the Col0sseum on Good Friday, was supervised by a newly created cardinal, Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, and written by Lebanese young people with a special emphasis on the struggles of people in the Middle East. CNS notes:  A group of Lebanese young people wrote the meditations at the [Read More...]

Will this pope inspire more scientists to become priests?

That’s an intriguing thought.  In Forbes magazine, John Farrell mulls: A pope who’s also a scientist is rare. But these days even parish priests who are scientists are not exactly common. To be sure, everyone knows the name of Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics. And there’s my hero, the Belgian priest and physicist Georges Lemaître, who [Read More...]

Pope Francis’ homily for Palm Sunday: “Children, burial shrouds don’t have pockets”

That’s one of the improvised anecdotes that the Holy Father dropped into his remarks today: Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, encouraging people to be humble and young at heart, as tens of thousands joyfully waved olive branches and palm fronds. The square overflowed with some 250,000 pilgrims, tourists [Read More...]

Did you ever think you’d see a picture like this?

Two men in white. The story: In a historic meeting, Pope Francis has paid a visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, with the new Pope telling his predecessor “we are brothers”. The Pope set off from the Vatican by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, a 15 minute flight away, where Benedict was waiting to greet him, [Read More...]

“Francis cannot be captured by political categories. He transcends them.”

Robert Moynihan has his take on Pope Francis’ important remarks to the diplomatic corps today: What Francis said today was critical, and should be read carefully by all who want to understand “where he is coming from.” So far, the “pundits” — and really, all of us — have been “circling” Pope Francis, like the [Read More...]

Pope Francis, typical Catholic

You know the type: always has to take his favorite seat, preferably near the back… Caption: -SS. Francesco-Santa Messa presso la Cappella della Domus Sanctae Marthae 22-03-2013 - (Copyright L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO – Servizio Fotografico – L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO.   The story behind the picture is here.  And you can see more pictures at Frank Weathers’ joint.  [Read more...]

Where will Pope Francis live? “Let’s wait and see”

John Thavis has some possibilities:  Rumors are swirling inside and outside the Vatican about where Pope Francis intends to take up residence. The initial expectation was that he would move into the formal papal apartment on the top floor of the Apostolic Palace, the building where popes have lived for centuries. But Pope Francis appears [Read More...]

“There is no peace without truth!”

Pope Francis this morning addressed diplomats from nearly 200 countries—and John Allen notes a theme that is strikingly similar to his predecessor’s: For those tempted to draw an overly sharp distinction between Pope Francis and his predecessor, the new pope offered a clear reminder today that he may have a different style than Benedict XVI, [Read More...]

Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Iraq

Details:  As Saint Francis travelled to the East where he met Sultan Malik al-Kamil, so we hope Pope Francis “may come to Iraq to confirm us our faith and give our small community in the land of Abraham courage and hope,” said His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako during an audience with the pontiff [Read More...]