“We just can’t do business as usual; we just can’t keep the status quo”

That’s Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl discussing priorities for the next pope. From Catholic News Service:  The man cardinals choose as the next pope must be someone with the requisite energy and mastery of modern communications media to promote a revival of the faith in increasingly secular societies around the world, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl [Read More...]

Latin America hopes to have greater voice in picking the pope

From the Los Angeles Times:  Next month, 19 cardinals from Latin America will be among the 117 from around the world expected to be eligible to participate in the secret meetings to choose a replacement for Pope Benedict XVI. And though the chances for a Latin American pope being elected are a long shot, regional leaders [Read More...]

Pope changes rules to allow for early conclave

Via CNS:  In his last week as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules for conclaves, including a clause that allows the College of Cardinals to move up the date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor. However, the cardinals cannot set the date until after the pope leaves office Feb. 28. [Read More...]

BREAKING: Cardinal O’Brien resigns

Details from the BBC: Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, is stepping down as the Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh. It follows allegations – which he contests – of inappropriate behaviour towards priests dating from the 1980s. The Vatican is expected to confirm Pope Benedict has accepted his resignation. The cardinal [Read More...]

“He’d make a great pope—someday”

That’s the common thinking about a personal favorite of mine among the papabile: a man dubbed the “Great Asian Hope,” the very young (55) Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila. John Allen has this overview of his life and work, and shares some great stories about him: In the Imus diocese, Tagle was famous for not [Read More...]

Benedict’s last Angelus: “The Lord is calling me to ‘climb the mountain’”

The text of the pope’s final Angelus, delivered today: Dear brothers and sisters! On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy always presents us with the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelist Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as he prayed: his is a profound experience of [Read More...]

Clearance sale: all Benedict merchandise must go!

If you’re wondering how gift shops and purveyors of Catholic kitsch are handling the coming papal transition, here’s one answer:  Commemorative tchotchkes will be ready not long after we hear “Habemus Papam” from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Until then, Pope Benedict XVI merchandise must go. Nelson Fine Art & Gifts, a manufacturer of [Read More...]

Pope’s Twitter account to be closed—UPDATED

And a brief, bright era in new media comes to an end.  Let’s hope his successor will have his own account: At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio. The news may come as a sad blow to the [Read More...]

Vatican slams resignation “gossip” in media

From the BBC: The Vatican’s chief spokesperson has criticised the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Church. Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “slander”. Father Lombardi made the comments in an editorial on the Vatican radio website. Pope Benedict [Read More...]

British cardinal argues for married priests—UPDATED

Details:  Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry and have children, Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric said Friday. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who heads the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, said the requirement for priestly celibacy is “not of divine origin” and could be reconsidered. He told BBC Scotland that “the celibacy of the clergy, [Read More...]