NY Times: “Has the cool pope left the building?”

That’s the eye-catching question posed at the beginning of this op-ed piece by Peter Manseau in The New York Times.  The key to understanding the pontiff, he explains, is his consistency:  No matter if in his meeting with Kim Davis we cast Pope Francis as a bumbling victim of his own lieutenants, or a back-room [Read More…]

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Pope begins Synod: “The Church is called to carry out her mission in truth, which is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions”

From his homily this morning: The Church is called to carry out her mission in truth, which is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions. The truth which protects individuals and humanity as a whole from the temptation of self-centredness and from turning fruitful love into sterile selfishness, faithful union into temporary bonds. “Without [Read More…]

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Notre Dame to honor Little Sisters of the Poor

The press release arrived in my mail box this morning:  The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture will award the 2016 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to the Little Sisters of the Poor and their Mother Provincial, Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire. “For more than 175 years, the Little Sisters of the Poor have dedicated [Read More…]

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New Jersey priest arrested, accused of pointing musket at 8-year-old boy

From The New York Daily News:  A football loving New Jersey priest was arrested Friday for allegedly pointing a musket at an 8-year-old boy who committed the cardinal sin of cheering for the Dallas Cowboys. Father Kevin Carter, a devout Giants fan, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by [Read More…]

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Vatican fires gay priest ahead of Synod—UPDATED

Fron AP:  The Vatican on Saturday fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families. Monsignor Kryzstof Charamsa was a mid-level official in the Vatican’s doctrine office. In newspaper interviews published in Italy [Read More…]

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CNN: Pope had private meeting with gay couple during U.S. trip

Details:  The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years. Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on [Read More…]

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Egypt to begin construction of “Church of the Martyrs” to honor slain Christians in Libya

Details:  Work will begin in the coming days in Minya on a church that was planned to honor the deaths of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians who died in a brutal sectarian attack by militants in Libya earlier this year. Plans and licences for the ‘Church of the Martyrs’ have been finalised to begin the work, [Read More…]

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Holy See: “The Pope’s meeting with Mrs. Davis should not be considered a form of support…”

Here it is, via Vatican Radio:  Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Holy See Press Office has released a statement on the brief meeting between Kim Davis and Pope Francis during his visit to Washington, DC. The full statement is below The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the [Read More…]

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Westward, ho!

I’m heading to Montana early Thursday morning to lead a retreat for deacons and their wives in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Checking reviews for the resort where we’ll be staying, I was a little surprised to learn there may be bears. I’m hoping it’s more like this: I’ll let you know. Blogging may be light, and [Read More…]

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3 leadership lessons from Pope Francis

Forbes magazine gets it: Last week the Pope visited the United States for the first time in his life, and showed off many of his wonderful leadership attributes. Here are three lessons from this extraordinary leader: Stay Focused: the Pope’s message, over and over again, to multiple audiences is the same: Show mercy to the poor [Read More…]

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Francis Effect: A lapsed liberal Catholic writes of “how Pope Francis brought me back to the Church”

View image | gettyimages.com From the website Vox, writer Gillea Allison explains: Just as President Obama provided an opening for an entire generation to get involved in the political process, what we see now in Francis — in a more profound and global sense — seemed to be welcoming people in by looking out. The [Read More…]

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Lawyer says Kim Davis met with Pope Francis during his visit

Details from CBS News:   Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, met with Pope Francis last week during his visit to the U.S., Davis’ attorney Mat Staver told CBS News. According to Staver, the two met briefly last Thursday, September 24, at the [Read More…]

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Phoenix bishop releases Apostolic Exhortation to men, “Into the Breach,” complete with its own website and video

Bishop Thomas Olmstead just might be making history with this, and utilizing the tools of the modern era in a bold new way. This is an Apostolic Exhortation, targeting specifically men, released with its own splashy website and dramatic promotional video, almost like the trailer of a Hollywood movie. I received an email about this Tuesday afternoon: [Read More…]

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Meet the deacon who’s been a foster parent 50 times

This is humbling and inspiring:  He never expected it, but Deacon Neil Tift realized he was making a difference when he came home from work on his birthday to find a card and a chocolate candy bar, a gift from JR, the adult foster son who has been living with him and his wife, Denise. [Read More…]

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Mercy is the message: Vatican announces theme for World Communications Day 2016

From CNS:  For World Communications Day 2016, Pope Francis has chosen the theme “Communication and Mercy: A fruitful encounter.” As the church celebrates the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, which begins Dec. 8, the pope also wanted to invite deeper reflection on the link between communication and mercy, said a statement from the Pontifical Council for [Read More…]

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He’s back: Cardinal Burke reappointed to the Curia

Details:  Via Zenit The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, metropolitan archbishop of Bologna, and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints controls the process that leads to the canonization of saints. [Read More…]

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One of the pope’s unscheduled stops: to bless a statue showing respect for Jewish people

This didn’t get much attention, but it should. From The Forward: Nearly 50 years after the Vatican officially proclaimed Jews free of guilt in the killing of Jesus, Pope Francis made a surprise change to his schedule on the final day of his U.S. tour to convey his own message of respect for the Jewish [Read More…]

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Francis Effect: “I don’t want to go back to the way it was before Pope Francis visited America”

View image | gettyimages.com From the blog of Maria Shriver: Pope Francis has had a dramatic impact on my life this past week. It’s almost hard to put into words. I got into journalism long ago because I wanted to tell stories that inspired people. Stories that moved people. I’ve covered a lot of big events in my [Read More…]

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