“I Need to Watch This Guy Closely, Because He’s a Good Example for Me…”

That’s New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, talking about—who else?—Pope Francis. From an interview with NCR’s John Allen: You were one of the cardinals who elected Francis, and presumably you had some idea of what kind of pope he would be. To what extent has it turned out the way you expected? In some ways, it’s [Read More...]

“Why Would Conservative Catholics Be So Upset?”

That’s one of the questions Michael Sean Winters poses in this rejoinder to Archbishop Chaput’s comments yesterday in the National Catholic Reporter. An excerpt: Pastors around the world are reporting increased levels of Mass attendance and more frequent reception of the sacrament of reconciliation. Is this not what conservative Catholics have been calling for these [Read More...]

A Remarkable Meeting with Pope Francis

Robert Moynihan describes a “joyful encounter” in the Domus Santa Marta: This morning, as the hot July sun was just beginning to rise over Rome, something extraordinary happened. Wearing a bicycle helmet and black-and-purple bicycle gloves, a black-haired young man from Porto Alegre, Brazil — the country where the Pope will meet next week with [Read More...]

Vatican Grants Indulgences for Following the Pope on Twitter—UPDATED

Details:  In an effort to lure the shrinking flock of young Roman Catholics to a more wired religious world, a Vatican court has ruled that following Pope Francis online and on Twitter can earn believers time off from their sentence to purgatory for confessed and forgiven sins. The granting of “indulgences” to those who use the Internet [Read More...]

Pope Francis, Early Riser

From Vatican Insider: Francis’ alarm clock goes off at 4:45 every morning in room 201 in St. Martha’s House, when everything is still pitch black. Such an early start to the day means Francis has to have a siesta after lunch. Juan Perón called this time of rest an “almost liturgical must” which made it [Read More...]

The Salesian Who Baptized Jorge Bergoglio

A fascinating detail from his early life: The Italian daily Il Cittadino has unearthed the story of Father Enrico Pozzoli, a Salesian missionary from the province of Lodi who baptized young Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is today Pope Francis. The newspaper published an account of various episodes in the life of Bergoglio, including his baptism, [Read More...]

Following Pope’s Call, Priest Puts Mercedes Up for Sale

Any takers? Details:  It may be back to a bicycle for a Colombian priest who’s heeding Pope Francis’ call for austerity. The Rev. Hernando Fayid said he’s going to sell his white Mercedes Benz E200 convertible with a black top following the pope’s recent statement that it wounds his heart to see a priest in [Read More...]

“A Pope Like None Before”

That’s the headline accompanying this piece by veteran Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister, who offers his take on the early days of the Franciscan pontificate, and why there is a “benevolence of secular public opinion” toward him: One key element of Francis’s popularity is his personal credibility. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he lived in a modest [Read More...]

Why the Pope Went to Lampedusa

An interesting nugget or two here, from Cindy Wooden at CNS:  “I hope people understand the meaning of this gesture,” Pope Francis told his aides after arriving in Lampedusa yesterday. In what the Vatican newspaper described as the first pastoral trip of his pontificate, Pope Francis knew his arrival would create the climate of a celebration, [Read More...]

Vatican Hosts Hundreds of Homeless for Dinner

Details:  On July 1 Pope Francis invited a group of 200 homeless individuals to dinner at the Vatican, where they were served in his name by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello. Cardinal Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, spent the entire evening with the special guests, with whom he chatted at length and shared personal [Read More...]