Pope: I cry for Christians being crucified today

From his homily this morning: In his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Martha Friday, Pope Francis lamented that in today’s world there are still “masters of conscience” [thought police – ed] and in some countries you can still go to jail for possessing a Gospel or wearing a Crucifix. He also confessed to [Read More...]

Ever wonder where they got all the hosts for the canonization Mass?

Over at his blog, Deacon Bill Ditewig describes the process that unfolded in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It started by arriving at the Lateran, where priests and deacons piled into big buses that took them to various churches, which were more or less the “staging areas” for the big event. Details: We were [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “The devil always tries to divide us…”

From today’s homily—and he makes a reference to deacons, too:  In his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta Tuesday, Pope Francis focused on “the three characteristics” of this group, capable of full agreement inside the community, to bear witness of Christ to the outside world, to prevent any of its members from suffering [Read More...]

At the canonizations: “I wanted to minister literally to the fringes”

CNS wrote about the extraordinary number of people who attended the canonizations this morning—and spoke with a certain deacon who said something wise and, in fact, moving: About 150 cardinals and 700 bishops concelebrated the Mass. About 6,000 priests attended, as well as deacons, to help distribute Communion to as many people as possible. U.S. [Read More...]

Douthat: “The phone call and the coverage of it suggest perils for this papacy…”

The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat mulls the implications of Pope Francis’s controversial cold call to an Argentinian woman a few days ago: Whatever his intentions, the phone call and the coverage of it suggest two obvious perils for a papacy that leans too heavily on the distinction between the doctrinal and the pastoral, between official [Read More...]

The debate over canonizing two popes

From the always-interesting John Thavis:  The record-setting speed of John Paul II’s canonization does, indeed, raise some questions. The “Santo subito!” (Sainthood now!) banners in St. Peter’s Square at the funeral of the Polish pope reflected the sentiments of many faithful who thought his deep spirituality, evangelizing energy and strong defense of human rights made [Read More...]

Pope Francis calls politician, persuades him to break dangerous hunger fast

From The Boston Globe’s John Allen:  As he prepares to declare two revered 20th-century pontiffs as saints, Pope Francis once again proved that he rivals John XXIII and John Paul II in terms of star power by persuading a renowned anti-clerical politician to suspend a hunger and thirst strike that doctors and friends believed was [Read More...]

The Canonization Chronicles: A deacon’s view in Rome this week

Deacon Bill Ditewig, in Rome for the canonizations, found the most important spot in the Eternal City: Bill will be blogging in the days ahead. His first impressions: I’m sitting at the base of one of Bernini’s great columns waiting for a deacon-friend to arrive from the Netherlands. Sitting near me, the next column over, [Read More...]

Tweet of the day—maybe, the week

From The Boss: [Read more...]

“As a Jew, my life…has been improved by the actions of these two individuals”

A different perspective on the impending canonizations, from a Jewish news service, JTA:  Popes John XXIII and John Paul II are being declared saints of the Roman Catholic church on April 27, the day that is also the eve of Yom Hashoah. It’s a coincidence but a notable one. These two post-Holocaust pontiffs revolutionized relations [Read More...]