Clearance sale: all Benedict merchandise must go!

If you’re wondering how gift shops and purveyors of Catholic kitsch are handling the coming papal transition, here’s one answer:  Commemorative tchotchkes will be ready not long after we hear “Habemus Papam” from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Until then, Pope Benedict XVI merchandise must go. Nelson Fine Art & Gifts, a manufacturer of [Read More...]

Pope’s Twitter account to be closed—UPDATED

And a brief, bright era in new media comes to an end.  Let’s hope his successor will have his own account: At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio. The news may come as a sad blow to the [Read More...]

Vatican slams resignation “gossip” in media

From the BBC: The Vatican’s chief spokesperson has criticised the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Church. Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “slander”. Father Lombardi made the comments in an editorial on the Vatican radio website. Pope Benedict [Read More...]

British cardinal argues for married priests—UPDATED

Details:  Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry and have children, Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric said Friday. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who heads the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the requirement for priestly celibacy is “not of divine origin” and could be reconsidered. He told BBC Scotland that “the celibacy of the clergy, [Read More...]

Help wanted: Pope. Job requirements include…

If you wonder what the cardinals will be looking for when they gather in the Sistine Chapel next month, well, they’ve already narrowed their requirements. Details from CNS:  One task facing the College of Cardinals already has been completed: A job description for the Catholic Church’s chief evangelizer already is written. He must be humble, [Read More...]

The final days: details of Pope Benedict’s schedule released; SSPX matter “entrusted to next Pope”

From VIS:  This morning Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, presented information related to the Holy Father’s calendar and clarified some issues that have been raised in the past few days. At 9:00am on Saturday, 23 February, the Holy Father and the Roman Curia will conclude their spiritual exercises. Traditionally, the [Read More...]

Seminarians respond to Benedict resignation

CNS dropped by the Pontifical North American College in Rome to get some reaction to the resignation.  The result is this excellent video by producer Robert Duncan.  Check it out. [Read more...]

Who is the only living cardinal to have voted in three conclaves? —UPDATED

That would be Washington’s Cardinal William Baum. His secretary for several years was Msgr. Bart Smith. The cardinal was in poor health, so Msgr. Bart accompanied him throughout the conclave (he was the last out of the Sistine Chapel before the votes took place) and he was on the balcony behind the new Pope when [Read More...]

Dolan: “Highly possible” next pope will not be from Europe

From the New York Times:  CardinalTimothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, said on Tuesday that he believed it was “highly possible” that the next pope could come from a non-European country. “When I was growing up, it was presumed the pope would be an Italian,” Cardinal Dolan said, discussing next month’s [Read More...]

Pope Benedict’s farewell to be broadcast live

Details, from Zenit:  On the last day of his pontificate, Benedict XVI will be filmed live by television cameras during his final hours in the Vatican, according to Monsignor Edoardo María Viganó, director of the Vatican Television Center (VTC), who explained that the Pontiff’s departure to Castel Gandolfo by helicopter “will be a historic moment.” [Read More...]