Pope: the Christian life is like soccer

It came up yesterday during his homily (which, appropriately, included a mention of the first deacons): To solve the problems of life it is necessary to look reality in the face, ready like the goalkeeper of a football team to grab the ball whatever side it comes from. And without giving in to fear or [Read More...]

Our surprising pope continues to surprise

This story is rather loosely sourced—there are versions of it here and here—but it’s too good to pass up: A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up, he came out to the corridor, and he found in front of his door the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at [Read More...]

“Bombshell”: pope names advisors to reform Vatican bureaucracy—UPDATED

From the Associated Press:  Pope Francis marked his first month as pope on Saturday by naming nine high-ranking prelates from around the globe to a permanent advisory group to help him run the Catholic Church and study a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy — a bombshell announcement that indicates he intends a major shift in [Read More...]

15 days in Rome: how Jorge Bergoglio became pope

The Wall Street Journal has just published an e-book on the papal election, and there’s a fascinating excerpt in today’s paper: On March 5, after a long day of speeches at the Congregation, a group of cardinals arrived at the Pontifical North American College under the cover of night and were directed through long quiet [Read More...]

Cardinal Kasper: Pope is launching a “new phase” of Vatican II

John  Thavis takes note:  Cardinal Walter Kasper has an important piece in today’s Osservatore Romano, saying that Pope Francis, with his focus on poverty and social justice issues, has launched a new phase of implementation of the Second Vatican Council. Cardinal Kasper makes a strong argument that the council’s journey of renewal is not over and [Read More...]

Pope Francis and the reform of the laity

Some insight into the pope’s mindset from Fr. Roger Landry in the National Catholic Register:  The reform of the Church already evident in the words and witness of Pope Francis may be starting, but it won’t be stopping at the revamping of the Vatican Curia and the renewal of the clergy. It also will involve [Read More...]

Just another Wednesday at the Vatican

Gathering for daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta with, among others, employees of the Fabric of St. Peter, which deals with the maintenance and running of the Basilica. Photo: L’Osservatore Romano. [Read more...]

The Francis Effect: lapsed Catholics lured back by new pope

It’s a phenomenon I know a lot of clergy have reported at their parishes: a dramatic uptick in Mass attendance over the last few weeks, and not just because of Easter. Is it the “Francis Effect”? NBC News takes a look: Twenty million Americans consider themselves lapsed Catholics, but Pope Francis is convincing many to [Read More...]

Pope makes personal call to refugee center to plan visit

More and more, it seems, you never know if the next call you get might be from the pope. Details:   A priest in Rome says Pope Francis personally called him to say he will visit the Astalli Center, a local facility run by the Jesuits, that helps thousands of undocumented refugees – many with tragic [Read More...]

Pope Francis on the temptation to gossip: “These everyday things happen to everyone, including me…”

It’s rare to hear this kind of candor from the pulpit—let alone, from a pope. This comes from his daily homily this morning. Details:  In his homily Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel passage that recounts the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, who did not immediately grasp how a man can be “born again”. Through [Read More...]