The Canonization Chronicles: A deacon’s view in Rome this week

Deacon Bill Ditewig, in Rome for the canonizations, found the most important spot in the Eternal City: Bill will be blogging in the days ahead. His first impressions: I’m sitting at the base of one of Bernini’s great columns waiting for a deacon-friend to arrive from the Netherlands. Sitting near me, the next column over, [Read More...]

NY Times: Some in Vatican are “like frustrated teenagers, closing the door and putting their headphones on”

The paper sizes up various headlines of the last few months, and gets some reaction:  To some degree, Francis, 77, is simply bringing in his own team and equipping them to carry out his stated mission of creating a more inclusive and relevant church that is more sensitive to the needs of local parishes and [Read More...]

Pope Francis announces names of 19 new cardinals

From the Vatican news site:  After the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the names of those who will be created Cardinals at the upcoming situation. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father’s announcement: As was previously announced, on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, I will have the [Read More...]

Pope Francis to religious: “Wake up the world!”

The Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta’ Cattolica offers an account of Pope Francis’s recent meeting with 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders in late November. CNS has highlights:  While you can access the full 17-page article in English, Spanish or Italian at the journal’s website, here is a sampling of some of our favorite excerpts (CNS translations of [Read More...]

CNN poll: 88% approval rating for pope in US

Details from Daniel Burke at CNN:  As Pope Francis prepares to celebrate his first Christmas at the Vatican, Americans’ opinions of the pontiff appear to be as high as the dome on St. Peter’s Basilica, according to a new survey. A CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday found that 88% of American Catholics approve of how [Read More...]

Pope shoots down idea of women cardinals: “Women must be valued, not clericalised”

Details from National Catholic Reporter:  Pope Francis has denied rumors that he intends to name women as cardinals in the Catholic church, telling a prominent Italian newspaper he was unsure where the idea, which has circulated in recent weeks, had come from. “I don’t know where any such an idea came from,” the pope told [Read More...]

Pope Francis sends a message to the Americas

For the first time, a pope from the Americas has sent a message to the Americas.  Details:  Pope Francis has sent a Message to the Americas to mark the Dec. 12th Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is venerated as Patroness of the American continent. The Holy Father delivered the message during the course [Read More...]

Putin meets pope, venerates icon of Mary

Details from AP:  Russian President Vladimir Putin showed off his religious side during a visit Monday to the Vatican, stopping to cross himself and kiss an icon of the Madonna that he gave to Pope Francis. But Moscow’s improving relations with the Vatican went only so far: Putin didn’t invite Francis to visit. The Vatican [Read More...]

Controversial interview with pope removed from Vatican website

Details from National Catholic Register:  Pope Francis’ interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist founder of La Repubblica, has been taken down from the Vatican website, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed today. The Oct. 1 interview, which was also published in L’Osservatore Romano, was criticised for its inaccuracies after it emerged that Scalfari hadn’t recorded it. “The [Read More...]

Historic: Vatican to put St. Peter’s relics on display for first time

From CNS:  For the first time, the bones traditionally believed to be the relics of St. Peter the Apostle will be on public display for veneration. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said the veneration of the relics at the Vatican is a fitting way to conclude the Year [Read More...]


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