Rape victim consoled by phone call from Pope Francis: “Now I know that I am not alone…”

He really is the world’s pastor. Read on:  A 44-year-old woman from Argentina said that after writing a letter to Pope Francis telling him that she had been raped by a local police officer, the Pope called her personally to tell her, “You are not alone.” “The Pope told me he receives thousands of letters [Read More...]

How life in the slums changed the Pope

A friend passed along a recent issue of The Tablet, the weekly magazine from the UK. It includes an excerpt from a new book on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis: Untying the Knots by Paul Vallely. Unfortunately, it’s only available online to subscribers. (You can visit the link here). But the excerpt charts the transformation [Read More...]

“Jesus does not exclude anyone…”

From Pope Francis today: Jesus tells us that there is a gate that allows us to enter into God’s family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him. This gate is Jesus himself (cf. Jn 10:9). He is the gate. He is the gateway to salvation. He leads us to the [Read More...]

You say you wanna revolution? It’s here.

Photo: Reuters And John Allen is taking notes. From NCR: One could argue that in most of the ways that matter, the change has already arrived. In just four months, Francis has revived the international prestige of the papacy and its moral capital. The Italian edition of Vanity Fair recently declared him its “Man of the Year,” [Read More...]

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...]


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