How about going HERE for a retreat?

Behold, Ariccia, where Pope Francis and the curia will be spending a few days during Lent on retreat. From CNS:  “As a good Jesuit,” Pope Francis knows it is best not to try to make a retreat where one lives and works, so he has decided the annual papal Lenten retreat with Roman Curia officials [Read More...]

Pope Francis: “Are we ‘sacristy Christians,’ Christians only by word but that live like pagans?”

“The Church is Apostolic because she is sent to take the Gospel to the whole world. The same mission that Jesus entrusted to the Apostles continues in the journey of history: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy [Read More...]

On Pope Francis: “The lapsed are listening”

From Timothy Egan in the New York Times:  He is — gasp — a liberal. Or at the least, as he said, “I have never been a right winger.” But to put him in those restrictive political terms does a disservice to the quiet revolution of Pope Francis. It’s long been known that most North [Read More...]

Pope writes letter to gay Catholics in Italy

America has the details:  Pope Francis turned to pen and paper to respond to a letter from a group of gay and lesbian Italian Catholics sent in June, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica(Note: this account in English relies on a Google translation; it may be imperfect). The group had written to Pope Francis in a [Read More...]

Pope Francis on what it means to be “catholic”

From his general audience today: In the Creed, we profess that the Church is “catholic”; in other words, she is universal. We can understand this catholicity in three ways. First, the Church is catholic because she proclaims the apostolic faith in its entirety; she is the place where we meet Christ in his sacraments and [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words

Pope Francis embraces a disabled young man in Assisi on Friday. Photo from News.va via L’Osservatore Romano. [Read more...]

Cardinal friend to Pope Francis: “You’re not the same guy”

John Allen has some fascinating details about the papal election and the “mystical experience” of the night he was elected, in NCR: I published a column Oct. 4 in which I quoted a cardinal on background (not an American) who recently had a private session with Francis. This cardinal said he’s been struck by the [Read More...]

Just another quiet week at the Vatican

And veteran Vatican-watcher John Thavis helps put it in perspective: It’s been a busy week at the Vatican: a date set for the canonization of two popes, a stunning new papal interview, a meeting of the pope’s “Group of 8” cardinal advisors and an important visit by the pope to the birthplace of his namesake, [Read More...]

Worth a thousand words: “You sit here”

Priceless: a little boy shows Pope Francis to his seat during a lunch break in Assisi today. Vatican Radio reports what the Holy Father had to say: Christians and the Church must strip themselves of worldliness, said Pope Francis while addressing some of the poor in the Italian hill town of Assisi early Friday. The [Read More...]

Papal interviews are “a genre to which we are not accustomed”

From Catholic News Service:  When Pope Benedict XVI answered a journalist’s 2010 question about condom use by offering a nuanced reflection on the ethical complexities of a hypothetical case, his words led to a worldwide media sensation, a clarification by the Vatican spokesman, and a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [Read More...]


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