Look who’s getting into “selfies” now!

CNS tweeted this shot this morning, announcing: This is being billed as “first ever #selfie with #PopeBenedict.” Taken by an Italian seminarian, Giuseppe Ricciardi. [Read more...]

Downsizing the papacy

An interesting take on last weekend’s remarkable consistory, from Michael McGough in The Los Angeles Times:   Almost nine years ago I interviewed John R. Quinn, the retired archbishop of San Francisco and the author of a book titled “The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity.” In a column drawn on the book [Read More...]

Benedict writes to atheist, says he never tried to hide abuse cases

From CNS:  In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician’s total reliance on scientific facts for meaning. “I never sought to conceal these things,” the pope said of cases of clerical abuse, [Read More...]

Vatican publishes e-book of Benedict’s World Communications Day messages

Something new and nifty, from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications:  The Pontifical Council for Social Communication has published an eBook entitled,“Benedict XVI: World Communications Day Messages“. The eBook, which is free, contains the eight messages released during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate. The digital publication is a first for the Council and intended as a [Read More...]

Report: Pope Benedict ordered changes to baptism rite before he resigned

A small but significant change appears to be forthcoming, according to Sandro Magister:  The Sunday after the Epiphany is the Sunday of the baptism of Jesus. And on each of these Sundays, year after year, Benedict XVI administered the first sacrament of Christian initiation to a certain number of children, in the Sistine Chapel. Each [Read More...]

Welcome home

Retired Pope Benedict XVI greets Pope Francis at the Vatican May 2. The 86-year-old retired pontiff, who had been staying at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo since retiring Feb. 28, returned to the Vatican to live in a monastery in the Vatican Gardens. (CNS photo/L’Ossevatore Romano via Reuters) [Read more...]

Germany to unveil portrait of Benedict to mark his birthday

The pope emeritus turns 86 today. From Vatican Radio:  The German Embassy to the Holy See will be hosting a party which will unveil a new portrait of the former pontiff painted by German artist Michael Triegel, who is known as “Papstmaler”, or “Pope Painter”. The painting is on permanent loan to the Embassy. A [Read More...]

Rumor control at the Vatican—UPDATED

From the indispensable John Allen:  In what has become a daily exercise in rumor control, the Vatican spokesperson on Thursday shot down one hot bit of speculation about the resignation of Benedict XVI and confirmed another one about his life after the papacy. Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi denied that an accident suffered by Benedict XVI [Read More...]

Benedict’s next home

For those wondering where Benedict will be hanging his biretta after February 28th, some answers from John Allen:  After a brief period at the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, Benedict XVI plans to move into a former convent on the grounds of the Vatican, which is currently undergoing renovations to accommodate its new resident. [Read More...]

Obama releases statement on Pope Benedict

 From the White House:  On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years.   The Church plays a critical [Read More...]