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...]

Benedict’s resignation: what happens next?

A good primer on the days ahead, from Rome Reports:  During this transition, the chamberlain will be in charge. Right now, that post is held by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who also serves as the Vatican’s Secretary of State. To prevent any forgery, he must also break the pope’s fisherman’s ring by hitting it with a [Read More...]

Dolan statement on pope’s resignation

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued this statement moments after learning of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013: +++ The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united [Read More...]

Looking at your computer screen and seeing the “kindly light of faith”

That’s one of the connections the Twitter-happy Pope Benedict makes in his message for World Communications Day, released today at the Vatican. Much of the message is devoted to what the pontiff has called the “digital continent,” and the growing use of social networks to evangelize, share, teach, connect: In social networks, believers show their [Read More...]

Arabic to become part of papal audience

This is huge.  Not too long ago, it would have been unthinkable. From the Vatican news site:  Beginning on Wednesday 10 October, during the Holy Father’s weekly general audience, an Arabic speaker will join the other speakers who provide a summary of the papal catechises in various different languages. In this way, in the wake [Read More...]

Pope Benedict: “Religious freedom is the pinnacle of all other freedoms”

This morning, I attended a staff meeting where we spent over three hours dissecting and reflecting on parts of Pope Benedict’s recent apostolic exhortation delivered in Lebanon. Many Catholics, I suspect, haven’t read it, or read it closely. But in the course of just 100 paragraphs, The Holy Father  presents some  challenging and  timely themes [Read More...]

Cutest baby picture ever: papal edition

From Catholic News Service’s Paul Haring.  The caption: A woman holds her son with a handwritten note as Pope Benedict XVI — the former Joseph Ratzinger — leads his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Sept. 5. The woman held up her son when a group of 50 people from Benedictine College in [Read More...]

Pope to altar servers: “You are close to the altar, close to the Lord”

Details, from CNS:  Marking the feast of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, Pope Benedict XVI said Christians must not bow to the pressure of the powerful who demand a denial of Christ or of the truth he taught. “The truth is the truth and there is no compromise,” the pope said at his [Read More...]

What would you give the pope?

You won’t believe some of the things people have given him over the years. [Read more...]

Benedict and his bishops

A friend recently noted that, for all his greatness, Blessed John Paul was not necessarily the best judge of character or ability when it came to appointing bishops.  This piece from Vatican Insider/La Stampa may help to explain why; it also points out what his successor is doing differently: Not many are aware of the [Read More...]