Meet the man who sang at Rio’s Eucharistic Adoration: “The arms of St. Peter’s are really big”

It was a mesmerizing and deeply moving moment during the pope’s visit last week.  But who was the guy on his knees strumming the guitar? From Religion News Service:  Growing up Roman Catholic in Newfoundland, Matt Maher never imagined that his childhood interest in music would lead to a career as a Grammy-nominated, chart-topping Christian rocker — [Read More...]

Francis’s papacy in just one word

Photo: CNS And it’s: mercy. John Allen explores that theme and posts this singular quote from the pope’s presser on the plane:  “I believe this is the time of mercy. This change of epoch, also because of many problems of the church — such as the example of some priests who aren’t good, also the [Read More...]

On Pope Francis: “The press decided early on that he is humble, spontaneous, liberal, broad, pro-poor…”

One man’s view of the pope and the press:  The press is lazy. There’s not a great deal of depth or historical context there. Also, the press needs to sell newspapers and click throughs. To do this, it is best to have a narrative. Everything that happens has to fit into the narrative. The narrative begins [Read More...]

Is Francis too radical for his flock?

That’s the provocative question at the heart of this piece from Foreign Policy:  While the Church still regards homosexual acts as sinful, no previous pope has offered a “who am I to judge?” response to the question of what to do with gay priests. Indeed, under the reign on Francis’s immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, top [Read More...]

More Pope Reaction: “He is Leading with Mercy”

From the Washington Post comes this roundup of reaction to Pope Francis’s comments yesterday—including some astute thoughts from our own Eve Tushnet:  “Pope Francis’s brief comment on gays reveals great mercy,” said the Reverend James Martin, an influential Catholic commentator. ”That mercy, of course, comes from Jesus Christ. And we can never have enough of [Read More...]

Pope Francis on Gays: “Who Am I to Judge Them If They’re Seeking the Lord in Good Faith?”—UPDATED

The interview that will be making headlines around the Catholic media this morning, from John Allen in NCR: On the way to Rio de Janeiro on July 22, Pope Francis told reporters that “I don’t give interviews.” But at the end of his seven-day tour de force in Brazil, not only did the pope give an [Read More...]

John Allen on “What We Learned About the Pope in Brazil”

He filed this for the CNN Beliefs blog: Francis was elected at 76, so he doesn’t exude the animal magnetism of the early John Paul II, the last pope to command this kind of popular affection. Elected at 58, John Paul delivered dramatic gestures like the actor he once was. For instance, he would kiss [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “We Need a Church Capable of Warming Hearts”

This is simply beautiful:  Francis was addressing the Brazilian Church but today’s lunch with the region’s cardinals and bishops in Rio’s Archbishopric was much more than this. The Pope laid out a plan for his pontificate. He presented the image of a Church which walks beside its faithful in order to be truly missionary and [Read More...]

What’s the Media Saying About the Pope in Rio?

Vatican Radio’s Sean Patrick Lovett has the answer:  One thing that really stands out in headlines across the media spectrum, is how the Argentine Pope is conquering everybody – even the Brazilians (!) – with his warm and simple attitude and with the direct way he uses words… Both local Rio papers, O Globo and [Read More...]

On Pope Francis: “You Can See He is a Pastor. He is Not a King.”

Some provocative insights on Pope Francis from a provocative former Franciscan, via Vatican Insider:  “Three weeks before Bergoglio’s election, I tweeted: Francis is going to be the next Pope because as St. Francis did, the Church needs someone who can restore its lost credibility…” Leonardo Boff no longer wears a habit after his clash with [Read More...]


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