“He wants pastors”: Pope Francis mandates members of Curia to hear confessions

Details:  As part of Pope Francis’ pastoral reforms, all 44 senior members of the Roman Curia, or governing body, must take turns hearing confession at a church near the Vatican. There is even speculation that Francis himself could hear confessions at the Church of the Santo Spirito in Sassia, just outside the Vatican walls, where [Read More...]

How to have a Pope Francis-style Christmas

Some advice from a professor at Santa Clara University: Time Magazine‘s pick of Pope Francis as “Person of the Year” came as no shock to those paying attention to the way the pontiff connects with the masses and inspires people of any faith to focus on what’s important. The pope chose his name from the [Read More...]

“The scandal of preaching”

From today’s homily:  Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican this Friday morning, focusing his remarks on the attitude of some Christians who seem to be “allergic” to preachers and overly critical of those who proclaim the Gospel, suggesting that they are often afraid of letting [Read More...]

On Pope Francis: “He’s made Catholicism cool”

From The New York Post:  On the night of Dec. 4, more than a thousand eager young Catholics braved the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting gridlock to pack into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But it wasn’t to take photos or marvel at the neo-Gothic interior (which is under renovation). It was to hear New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan [Read More...]

What does Pope Francis have in common with Nelson Mandela?

I think it’s a compelling quality of leadership—and style of leadership— that is exceedingly rare. Writing about Nelson Mandela yesterday, Thomas Friedman touched on some themes that I think have echoes in Pope Francis: Mandela had an extraordinary amount of “moral authority.” Why? And how did he get it? One way leaders generate moral authority [Read More...]

Pope Francis medallion added to St. Paul Outside-the-Walls

The Vatican’s Facebook page notes: Pope Francis’ medallion portrait has just been added yesterday to the series of mosaic medallions depicting all the Popes throughout history, situated around the transept and nave of the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. Read more about the basilica’s history here.  CNS notes:  St. Paul’s is today the only [Read More...]

TIME names Pope Francis “Person of the Year”

From the beautifully-written cover story, by Nancy Gibbs:  Rarely has a new player on the world stage captured so much attention so quickly—young and old, faithful and cynical—as has Pope Francis. In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, [Read More...]

Pope Francis on Nelson Mandela: “I pray his example will inspire generations…”

From the Vatican:  Pope Francis on Friday paid tribute to Nelson Mandela expressing his hope that the late President’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and common good at the forefront of their political aspirations. The Pope’s words came in a telegramme of condolences that he sent to the South African [Read More...]

Pope establishes special commission on child sex abuse

From Catholic News Service:  Pope Francis accepted a proposal to set up a special commission on the sexual abuse of children, which will advise him on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, a member of the pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, announced [Read More...]

Boston Globe: Francis giving other faiths “pope envy”

The reader who sent me this noted: “This is incredible for a Boston Globe editorial.” It comes from columnist Alex Beam.  Details:  Pope Francis (real name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio) has shaken up the Catholic church with some plain speaking about faith and about life in the 21st century. He has had an impact on other [Read More...]


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