So, what did Pope Francis and the cardinals talk about on Day One?

CNS has the answer: Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. [Read More...]

Vatican’s new secretary of state: celibacy is open to discussion—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From NBC News:  The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. “Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [Read More...]

Cardinal Bertone lashes out at “crows and vipers” in the Vatican

Details:  The Italian prelate who was Pope Benedict’s righthand man in theVatican during his scandal-dogged papacy has defended his much-criticised record, insisting he “gave everything” to the job despite the activities of “vipers” in the Roman curia. Speaking a day after Pope Francis named a Vatican diplomat as his new secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone appeared defiant as [Read More...]

It’s official: Pope appoints Archbishop Parolin Secretary of State

From the Vatican news site:  Pope Francis named Archbishop Pietro Parolin to succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as the Holy See’s Secretary of State. Until now, Archbishop Parolin had been Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela. From 2002 until 2009, he served in the Secretariat of State as Undersecretary for Relations with States. Archbishop Pietro Parolin is fifty-eight [Read More...]

Reports: Pope Francis to name Archbishop Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

It could happen as early as tomorrow, according to John Allen at NCR: Multiple reports suggest Pope Francis intends to name 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin to the key position of Secretary of State, traditionally the most important figure in the Vatican after the pope himself. Although the pope is the head of state, the [Read More...]

Obama Nominates Former CRS Head as Vatican Ambassador

Details from David Gibson:  President Obama on Friday nominated Ken Hackett, former head of Catholic Relief Services, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. It’s a savvy move, picking a Catholic whose career in the church has been dedicated to alleviating suffering as America’s representative to a pope whose has made helping the [Read More...]

Pope Francis Explains Why He Chose to Live Away From the Papal Apartments

Details: Pope Francis has revealed for the first time the reasons for his decision to shun the official papal apartments and instead live in a much more modest Vatican ‘hotel’. He has told a friend that he likes being in daily contact with ordinary people, does not want to be isolated and enjoys sitting down [Read More...]

Cardinal O’Brien Leaving Scotland for “Spiritual Renewal, Prayer and Penance”

Details:  Disgraced former Cardinal Keith O’Brien is to leave Scotland for several months after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct during his church career, the Vatican has said. Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric resigned earlier this year amid allegations that he made homosexual approaches to young trainee priests. The Vatican confirmed today that O’Brien will leave Scotland [Read More...]

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks on LCWR

After Cardinal João Braz de Aviz went public with his unhappiness over the handling of the LCWR probe, the Vatican has responded. Tellingly, the Vatican press office doesn’t deny the substance of the cardinal’s remarks, but instead questions the “interpretation” of them by the media. Details:  The Vatican press office issued a statement Tuesday saying recent remarks [Read More...]

“This is not the way the church should function”

A rather startling revelation yesterday from the upper reaches of the Vatican: The Vatican decision last year to place the main representative group of U.S. Catholic sisters under the control of bishops was made without consultation or knowledge of the Vatican office that normally deals with matters of religious life, the office’s leader said Sunday. [Read More...]