Pope Francis will be speaking to “the most Catholic Congress ever”

Some interesting observations from Roll Call:  It will be the most Catholic Congress ever that hears from Pope Francis — and, as of this month, the first with as many Republican as Democratic members of the church. Two decades ago, the year before Speaker John A. Boehner initially became part of the GOP leadership and started working [Read More…]

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In new interview, Pope Francis addresses refugee crisis, blames “culture of ‘well-being'” for low birth rate in Europe

Details from CNA: In a new, wide-ranging interview Pope Francis spoke at length of the European refugee crisis – saying that incoming migrants are now filling the void left by a sterile continent that refuses to have children. “The migrant phenomenon is a reality…when there is an empty space, people look to fill it. If [Read More…]

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Changes in Catholic America: a snapshot of the country the Pope will be visiting

The good folks at Pew offer this demographic snapshot of the country Pope Francis will be visiting next week: Today, immigrants make up a considerable share of Catholics, and many are Hispanic. At the same time, there has been a regional shift, from the Northeast (long home to a large percentage of the Catholic faithful) and [Read More…]

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Congressman: U.S. has “disrupted” planned attack on pope

Details:  Plans to attack the Pope Francis during his U.S. visit have already been thwarted, Homeland Security committee chairman Michael McCaul said on Sunday. Less than 10 days before the pope’s visit to Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia, McCaul said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that he was “concerned” about the pope’s safety, [Read More…]

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“Priest on the Street” asks: “What would you like Pope Francis to say to Congress?”

A nifty new video from those talented folks in the Archdiocese of Washington media office. Fr. Michael Paris, chaplain at the University of Maryland (my alma mater: Go Terps!) asks some people in D.C. what they’d like to hear from the pope. Check it out: [Read more…]

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Pope Francis: “A person who can only see the splinters in the eyes of others falls into pettiness”

Highlights from today’s homily: Pope Francis says that we must learn to not judge others or we all risk becoming hypocrites including the Pope himself. At the same time, he said, we need to have the courage to acknowledge our own faults in order to become merciful towards others. The Pope’s comments came during his [Read More…]

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Cuba announces it will release prisoners as “goodwill gesture” ahead of pope’s visit

View image | gettyimages.com From the BBC: Cuba has said it will release more than 3,500 prisoners in a goodwill gesture ahead of a visit by Pope Francis. The government in Havana says those to be freed include inmates due for conditional release next year, as well as a number of foreign prisoners. Those found [Read More…]

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Oprah joins celebrities welcoming Pope Francis to U.S.

Check this out, from Catholic Charities of New York, and then read the story behind it:  [Read more…]

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“Flat Francis” meets Pope Francis

Remember when “Flat Francis” went to Epcot? Well, he finally made it to the Vatican, through the folks who created him at Catholic Extension. And he got to meet The Real Guy. About the visit: On a pilgrimage to Rome with the Catholic Extension Board of Governors, our chancellor Archbishop Blase Cupich and president Fr. [Read More…]

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Pope Francis tells priests if they aren’t merciful, stay out of the confessional

From CNS: To be a true Christian means being forgiving, kind, humble, gentle, generous, merciful and very patient with one another, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. Priests must be especially merciful, he added, saying if that they weren’t, then they should ask their bishop for a desk job and “never walk into a [Read More…]

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