Pope Francis, bouncer

A fascinating tidbit about the pope’s early life, from CNS:  In addition to having worked sweeping floors and running tests in a chemical laboratory as a teenager, Pope Francis revealed he also used to work as a bouncer. No longer kicking troublemakers out of clubs, he has discovered the secret to bringing people back, this [Read More...]

Pope blesses sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man

You may remember this story from last spring, about Timothy Schmalz’s sculpture of a homeless Jesus that, itself, was homeless. Now, an update:  For two years, it was the sculpture nobody would take: a life-sized Jesus sleeping on a park bench with his bare feet, wounded from his crucifixion, poking out from under a blanket. [Read More...]

“We need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church…”

From Pope Francis’s “The Joy of the Gospel”:  102. “Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the People of God. The minority – ordained ministers – are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can count on many lay [Read More...]

Pew: No “Francis Effect” in U.S.

From Reuters:  The popularity of Pope Francis, who became pontiff in March, has failed to draw more U.S. Catholics to attend Mass, according to a Pew Research Center poll released on Monday. While media reports indicate a significant rise in church attendance in some European countries in recent months, the United States saw a slight [Read More...]

Papa, don’t preach: Pope Francis, the nudge

CNS takes note of an interesting papal characteristic: nagging.  To wit: When Pope Francis mills through the crowds, especially during a Wednesday general audience, people notice his warmth and tenderness, whether he’s caressing a baby, comforting an older person or hugging someone with a disability. But he also has a “nagging” side, a playful side [Read More...]

What you might not know about the pope’s “huge following” on Twitter

Details:  A good number of Pope Francis’ followers on Twitter are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) concentrated in Islam-dominated Middle East, a Vatican official said on Thursday. “When the Pope went on Twitter. We can see where in the world the Pope has followers,”  Msgr. Paul Tighe, among the Pope’s advisers managing his Twitter account @Pontifex, [Read More...]

Beautiful: Pope blesses man with severely disfigured face

Details: While many spiritual leaders preach the importance of compassion, Pope Francis gives us all yet another example of what it really looks like to live a compassionate and caring life. Just weeks after a photo of him kissing a man with a rare skin disorder moved many to tears, another picture was taken showing the pope [Read More...]

Pope calls on priests to be “servants of the sacrament” of forgiveness, says he goes to confession every two weeks

From his Wednesday audience: Speaking to the the faithful during the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said the Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives, calling us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. He said that we receive forgiveness through priests [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Many people make human sacrifices and there are laws that protect them…”

From his homily today: Pope Francis warned the faithful against what he described as a “globalized uniformity” which is the result of secular worldliness.Often he said, the people of God prefer to distance themselves from the Lord in favour of worldly proposals. He said worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us [Read More...]

A Protestant writes: “The thing that shocked me most about Pope Francis”

From Zack Hunt at the blog The American Jesus:  I’m not Roman Catholic, but he’s the sort of leader I would gladly follow, the kind of Christ-like example I want to follow. But incarnated grace aside, the thing that’s really shocked me the most about Pope Francis is the response he’s received from those outside the faith. [Read More...]


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