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...]

So, what did Pope Francis and the cardinals talk about on Day One?

CNS has the answer: Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. [Read More...]

For all you folks who speak Italian …

Eugenio Scalfari talks about his interview with what’s-his-name. In Italian. [Read more...]

“In some ways, Francis is the most ‘Jewish’ Pope we have ever encountered”

Some fascinating Jewish analysis of Pope Francis, via The Jewish Daily Forward:  It is not as if the Pope is changing Roman Catholic doctrine on such matters. It simply means that the Church is going to attempt to re-calibrate itself, and to find a sense of balance, moving away from positions that have only succeeded [Read More...]

“He. Is. Peter.”

Gerard Nadal captures something I’ve been thinking for a while, but puts it better than I could. Snip:  Are we only to submit to papal authority when the mood, or mode suits us? Do we place stylistic predilection over our duty to respect and obedience to legitimate episcopal and papal authority? Is our faith on [Read More...]

First reaction to Pope Francis interview: “Context, friends, context”—UPDATED

While people try to find their balance after this morning’s seismic jolt in La Repubblica, at least one observer, Fr. Z., offers something firm to grab onto: I think the Francis has a pretty good BS detector.  He’ll need it. Conscience… Your Holiness you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you [Read More...]

Timothy Radcliffe: Pope Francis points to a “new way of being Church”

The esteemed Dominican concludes his reflection on the Pope Francis interview with this note: Pope Francis says that “the structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterwards. The first reform must be the attitude.” Structural change to the government of the church is vital, but it must follow from a new way of being church, [Read More...]

“Encounter” to be theme of next World Communications Day

Not that surprising, since Pope Francis mentions that idea often (and he’s no slouch at Close Encounters of the Pope Kind, as shown above.) Details:  As Pope Francis continues to talk about the importance of authentic encounters, both with God and with other people, he has chosen the topic of bringing people together for his [Read More...]

“How many of you pray for Christians who are persecuted?”

This was very much on the pope’s mind this morning—along with some other challenging thoughts on unity, gossip and the “privatized” Church. From CNS:  Backstabbing and gossip hurt people and harm God’s desire for a united human family, Pope Francis said. Unity is a gift from God, “but often we struggle to live it out,” [Read More...]


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