Rocco balks: “Whispers” writer scraps plans to go to Rome

The latest on the uber-blogger, from Poynter:  During an interview this weekend with Philadelphia Inquirer culture reporter Stephan Salisbury, Vatican blogger Rocco Palmo whipped out his iPad and canceled his flight to Rome. Palmo had planned to be near the Vatican for the next two weeks of historic doings, but the cost of the trip proved [Read More...]

Pray for Benedict during the Mass—just not out loud

It happened at my parish this weekend — and no doubt, at countless others around the world: the priest, out of habit, accidentally mentioned the name of Benedict during the Eucharistic Prayer. It’s one small change to the liturgy that takes place during the “sede vacante” period.  CNS has more:  The resignation of the pope, [Read More...]

Cardinals begin pre-conclave meetings

And they have a lot on their plate. Details:  Cardinals from around the world gathered Monday inside the Vatican for their first round of meetings before the conclave to elect the next pope, amid scandals inside and out of the Vatican and the continued reverberations of Benedict XVI’s decision to retire. Cardinals were treated like [Read More...]

Benedict makes the cover of the New Yorker

Details:  This week’s cover by Barry Blitt, “Sic Transit Gloria Mundi,” is not the first time that a Pope has been portrayed on our cover. “I wish I could say something in Latin to make the image sound smart,” said Blitt, when asked what inspired him. The New Yorker has other pope-themed illustrations on display [Read More...]

What sort of man are the cardinals looking for in the next pope?

Some ideas, from Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George, interviewed by NCR’s John Allen.  A snip:  There’s got to be an identification with Jesus as shepherd of his church. The mystery of Jesus is infinite, but there’s a certain dimension of it that’s particularly necessary for being a pastor. Quite apart from personal sanctity, you have to [Read More...]

Cardinal Dolan: “The life of the church goes on”

From the New York Times, some thoughts from another conclave cardinal: The cavernous nave of St. Peter’s Basilica was nearly empty when Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan arrived Sunday morning, shortly after dawn, a fading moon still hanging in the sky, and red streaks of sunlight illuminating the facade. Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, is a [Read More...]

Cardinal Sandri: “Women must have a more important role in the life of the Church”

One of the cardinals often being mentioned for pope granted an exclusive interview to Reuters recently, and shared his thoughts about the future of the Church: The Roman Catholic Church must open itself up to women in the next pontificate, giving them more leadership positions in the Vatican and beyond, according to a senior cardinal who [Read More...]

“The precedent has been set”: What Benedict’s decision may mean for the next pope

An interesting overview, from a variety of voices (including some cardinals) from the New York Times:  The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who last week renounced what for nearly 600 years has been a lifelong office, will reverberate for years to come and could change the nature of the modern papacy, starting with the election of [Read More...]

Have we already had a black pope?

David Gibson does some digging into the question and finds some interesting nuggets of history: Ghanaian cardinal Peter Turkson is frequently mentioned amid all the speculation about who might succeed Pope Benedict XVI. If picked, some would see him as the first African and the first black pontiff in the nearly 2,000-year history of the papacy. [Read More...]

Watching TV, taking a walk: Benedict begins life as Pope Emeritus

From Catholic Online:   Benedict, who has retained his papal name rather than returning to Ratzinger as expected, spent his first few hours watching television and strolling through the papal villa. After his final goodbye, the Holy Father boarded a helicopter which spirited him away to the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo. After arriving, he [Read More...]