Pope Joe?

A favorite story of Blessed Pope John XXIII—the man born Joseph Roncalli—tells of how he greeted a visiting delegation of Jews at the Vatican and announced, “I’m Joseph, your brother.” Now Joanne McPortland is making the persuasive case that what the church needs is not necessarily another John XXIII (who is irreplaceable) or Benedict XVI [Read More…]

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An evangelical confesses: “I’m a wanna-be Catholic”

Charles Redfern spills the beans over at HuffPo: It’s time I come clean. I’m an evangelical with a secret. A covert “real me” peaks from the shadows and longs to leap into the sunlight. World events compel me to throw caution to the wind and blare my confession: I’m a wanna-be Catholic. There. I feel [Read More…]

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Historic video: the pope’s final blessing

A few weeks ago, this kind of scene was something routine in Rome.  Now, it’s a gesture of gentle farewell. See it below: two minutes of world history that, I think, are unmatched for their poignancy. Watch below, via CNS. [Read more…]

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VIDEO: Pope’s final words to his English listeners

From Rome Reports, below. [Read more…]

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His final audience: “I do not abandon the cross”

From the Vatican, the full text of Pope Benedict’s final general audience: +++ Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood! Distinguished Authorities!Dear brothers and sisters! Thank you for coming in such large numbers to this last General Audience of my pontificate. Like the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I [Read More…]

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Take a deep breath and watch something wonderful

With all the papal craziness—who’s up, who’s down, who’s electable, who’s not—here’s a welcome palate-cleanser that helps put it all in perspective. You want to see the gospel in action?  Here it is. From the CBS Evening News last Friday night, Steve Hartman has the story of a mentally challenged high school basketball manager who [Read More…]

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Gallup: Catholic Hispanic population shrinking

Details: According to a new Gallup poll, young Latinos are shedding the Catholic faith of their parents and some are turning to Protestant alternatives with fervor. Most Hispanics are still Catholic, the poll found, but they are significantly less religious than their Protestant peers. And Hispanic Protestants are not only more religious, they’re far more religious [Read More…]

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Nuncio: Benedict has “carried out a cleansing of the episcopate”

An interesting detail about the pope, via EWTN:  Throughout his eight-year papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has “carried out a cleansing of the episcopate,” said the apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan. “This Pope has removed two or three bishops per month throughout the world because either the accounts in their dioceses were a mess [Read More…]

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Cardinal Dolan’s final Mass before heading to Rome

The question some folks were asking: will he be coming back? The shot above was taken at St. John the Evangelist this morning, the parish church located in the New York Catholic Center in Manhattan, where the Archdiocese has its offices (and where I work). The cardinal celebrated Mass with some of the other priests [Read More…]

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Vatican: Benedict will be called “Pope emeritus”

Just announced this morning:  Benedict XVI will be “Pontiff emeritus” or “Pope emeritus”, as Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, reported in a press conference on th final days of the current pontificate. He will keep the name of “His Holiness, Benedict XVI” and will dress in a simple white [Read More…]

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“We just can’t do business as usual; we just can’t keep the status quo”

That’s Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl discussing priorities for the next pope. From Catholic News Service:  The man cardinals choose as the next pope must be someone with the requisite energy and mastery of modern communications media to promote a revival of the faith in increasingly secular societies around the world, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl [Read More…]

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“I am a Catholic priest,” she declared

California blogger Marissa Nichols writes of a surprising encounter she had not long ago with the woman who spoke those words: First, to her credit, she was participating in 40 Days for Life.  How rare or cool is that?  I thought all “women priests” despised Paul the VI’s Humanae Vitae and were all for “choice” (at least, if they [Read More…]

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What’s wrong with giving out blessings during communion? —UPDATED

Lots. Especially if the one doing the blessing is a lay person. Fr. Z rants about it again this morning. I posted on this topic last year. With Easter approaching, and more people crowding into churches (and more EMHCs likely being pressed into duty), it’s worth revisiting this thorny issue. As a priest mentioned last [Read More…]

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Latin America hopes to have greater voice in picking the pope

From the Los Angeles Times:  Next month, 19 cardinals from Latin America will be among the 117 from around the world expected to be eligible to participate in the secret meetings to choose a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI. And though the chances for a Latin American pope being elected are a long shot, regional leaders [Read More…]

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Pope changes rules to allow for early conclave

Via CNS:  In his last week as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules for conclaves, including a clause that allows the College of Cardinals to move up the date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor. However, the cardinals cannot set the date until after the pope leaves office Feb. 28. [Read More…]

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BREAKING: Cardinal O’Brien resigns

Details from the BBC: Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, is stepping down as the Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh. It follows allegations – which he contests – of inappropriate behaviour towards priests dating from the 1980s. The Vatican is expected to confirm Pope Benedict has accepted his resignation. The cardinal [Read More…]

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Catholicism’s explosive growth in Africa: “The church…is protector, feeder, healer.”

The New York Times looks at the continent that some think could be the home of the next pope: The young woman slept soundly on the cool marble floor before the altar, a break from the chaos at home. In the courtyard, neighborhood teenagers filled giant jerrycans with purified water from a stone fountain. In [Read More…]

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“He’d make a great pope—someday”

That’s the common thinking about a personal favorite of mine among the papabile: a man dubbed the “Great Asian Hope,” the very young (55) Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila. John Allen has this overview of his life and work, and shares some great stories about him: In the Imus diocese, Tagle was famous for not [Read More…]

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