“Today, the place for Christ is in the street”

The man we now know as Pope Francis, preaching on Palm Sunday 2008:  Today, here in Buenos Aires, like in Jerusalem on that day, the street made way for Jesus. The street received Him properly. The crowd stood, begged for blessings, blessings for their families, blessings for their businesses, their houses, their autos…  Blessing, what does [Read More...]

Why Bergoglio?

As usual, John Allen has some great parsing of what happened yesterday and how the new pope reached the magic number of 77 votes: First, cardinals who spoke in pre-conclave interviews about the desirability of electing a pope from outside the West probably saw him as their best bet, especially given the strong support he [Read More...]

Pope Francis, soccer fan

An interesting tidbit from Reuters:  The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is not above the passion his countrymen share for soccer and is an avid a fan of San Lorenzo, one of Argentina’s top clubs. Bergoglio, who took the name Pope Francis when he was elected to the post on Wednesday, received his San Lorenzo membership card after saying mass at a [Read More...]

So how did Pope Francis travel on his first day as pope? —UPDATED

By bus.  Like always. The scoop, from Cardinal Dolan:  Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York spoke Wednesday evening with members of the media following the historic election of the Catholic Church’s new leader. And as usual, the head of the New York Archdiocese quickly got everyone’s attention. Dolan, who shared his thoughts on the process and [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: the man who would be pope, Holy Thursday 2005

  Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is shown washing the feet of women at a maternity hospital on Holy Thursday in 2005.  And: look closely.  The cardinal appears to be wearing a deacon’s stole.  Source.  [Read more...]

Habemus papam!

As I mentioned on Facebook: we are in very good hands:   Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernized Argentina’s conservative Catholic church. Known until Wednesday as Jorge Bergoglio, the 76-year-old is known as a humble man who denied himself the luxuries that previous Buenos Aires cardinals [Read More...]

“We are living in a particularly beautiful and intense moment”

Those are the words of Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, from today’s briefing to reporters: “We are living a particularly beautiful and intense moment,” Fr. Lombardi said. “We have reached the final stage of the period that begin last month with Benedict XVI’s renunciation and that will conclude with the election of his successor. We [Read More...]

Obama on possibility of an American pope: “Bishops in U.S. don’t seem to be taking orders from me”

He spoke with ABC News this morning and in a wide-ranging interview touched on the subject of the papal conclave: As cardinals gather at the Vatican to elect a new pope, President Barack Obama said he believes U.S. politics wouldn’t stand in the way of an American pope doing his job. “It seems to me [Read More...]

What the Vatican needs is a “Hall of Humility”

A worthy idea from the indispensable John Thavis, describing the hallway cardinals passed through on their way to the Sistine Chapel: If the cardinals glance at the frescoes, they have to be thinking: How times have changed. The paintings celebrate the pope as a worldly power. Kings are depicted presenting territories to ruling pontiffs, while [Read More...]

Covering the conclave: how the Italian press drives the story

How does media coverage of the Vatican work?  Some insight from someone who knows, via web journalist Tom McGeveran:  I Skyped Jason Horowitz, an old colleague of mine who’s been dispatched to the Vatican by The Washington Post, and who worked a while back in the New York Times’ Rome bureau, for some perspective. And immediately we got [Read More...]