On feast of St. Joseph the Worker, pope pleads for an end to trafficking and slave labor

From the Vatican news site:  Marking the feast of St Joseph the Worker and World Labor Day this Wednesday May 1st, Pope Francis launched an urgent appeal to Christians and men and women of goodwill worldwide to take decisive steps to end slave labor. Speaking during the general audience in Italian he said : “I [Read More...]

Cardinal Bergoglio on denying communion

Before he became pope, he had some thoughts on the subject.  Fr. Thomas Reese explains in the National Catholic Reporter:  In On Heaven and Earth, the book he co-authored with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Cardinal Bergoglio wrote, “One could deny communion to a public sinner who has not repented, but it is very difficult to check such things.” [Read More...]

Peres to pope: “I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel.”

Details:  Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel and left their meeting at the Vatican telling the pope, “I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel.” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters, “The pope would be happy to go to the Holy [Read More...]

Francis slept here: inside Cardinal Bergoglio’s apartment in Argentina

Take a look:  “A man drunk with God”, the title (from the French) of the classic biography of Saint Sharbel by Fr Paul Daher, spontaneously comes to mind when listening to those who were close to Pope Francis when he was still the archbishop of Buenos Aires. We are in the Archbishop’s Palace in the [Read More...]

Pope compares preparation for heaven to cataract surgery

His homily from today: Our journey of faith is not one of alienation, but prepares our hearts to see the beautiful face of God: this was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. On Friday Mass was attended by Staff from the Vatican Typography, the Vatican Labor Office and Vatican State Police. [Read More...]

Pope Francis will reportedly complete encyclical on faith

From John Thavis:  It looks like Pope Francis will be finishing ex-Pope Benedict’s encyclical on faith. The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said he would not exclude the possibility that Francis’ first encyclical would be issued later this year. The spokesman noted that before his resignation, Pope Benedict had already done initial work on an [Read More...]

Reading the tea leaves: married priests and women deacons?? —UPDATED

Fr. Michael P. Orsi—a research fellow and scholar at Ave Maria University in Florida— makes some observations about what Francis can change, and what he can’t:  Church discipline is the rules the church enforces for the good of her members.  These often have a long history and must not be tampered with lightly.  However, they can [Read More...]

Pope Francis “unblocks” Romero beatification

Some potentially big news on the sainthood front, from John Allen:  A Vatican official responsible for the sainthood cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador announced Sunday that the cause has been “unblocked” by Pope Francis, suggesting that beatification of the assassinated prelate could come swiftly. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia spoke Sunday in the Italian [Read More...]

Vatican: “There is a move toward putting more women in key roles”

Details:  Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras said he was backing more posts for women after the Pope named him this month to lead a task force of eight cardinals from around the world to reform the Roman Curia, an alleged hotbed of intrigue, infighting and corruption. The cardinal’s comments, made to The Sunday [Read More...]

Picture of the week: Pope blessing a mother and her unborn child

Over at NCR, Tom Fox notes:  I think this is the first time I have ever seen a pope touching a woman or have seen a woman’s hand on a papal hand. The times are changing! Well, “touching a woman” beyond a handshake, that is.  I have to say: the image here is strikingly warm [Read More...]