Report: Benedict may be blind in one eye

From the Los Angeles Times, more details are emerging about Pope Benedict’s health: Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has interviewed Benedict on numerous occasions, said that when he last saw the pope 10 weeks ago, his hearing had deteriorated and he appeared to have gone blind in his left eye. “His body had become [Read More...]

Under the dome: a glimpse inside “the management crisis” within the Vatican

The Washington Post gives another perspective on the papal resignation—and lifts the curtain on the mess that is the Curia: Guests at the going-away party for Carlo Maria Viganò couldn’t understand why the archbishop looked so forlorn. Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Viganò ambassador to the United States, a plum post where he would settle [Read More...]

Does the Holy Spirit pick the pope? Ratzinger didn’t think so.

Some more great context and insight on the upcoming conclave from NCR’s John Allen:  People typically ask two kinds of questions about conclaves: those that deal with the event in general and those that pertain to this one specifically — who the leading candidates are, what the issues seem to be, and so on. We’ll [Read More...]

Report: Pope Benedict last summer indicated “not much more” could be expected of him

Details from AP:  Journalist Peter Seewald recalled in an article for German weekly Focus published Saturday asking Benedict during a meeting last August at the pontiff’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, what more could be expected of him and his papacy. Seewald said Benedict replied: “From me? From me, not much more. I am an old [Read More...]

Reports of an early conclave—and tweeting cardinals will go silent

A few tidbits this morning from Catholic News Service:  Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, confirmed this morning that top cardinals and canon lawyers at the Vatican are studying the possibility of beginning the conclave to elect a new pope before March 15. But only the cardinals can announce the exact date the conclave will [Read More...]

What about the pope’s last, unfinished encyclical?

His planned trilogy on the theological virtues will remain, it seems, incomplete.  Catholic News Service has some interesting background:  In December, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said that Pope Benedict’s fourth encyclical would be released in the first half of 2013. Treating the subject of faith, the encyclical would complete a trilogy on [Read More...]

Archbishop Lori pens “Prayer for the Church in Time of Transition”

This is an initiative launched by the Knights of Columbus.  A press release sent out tonight reads: The Knights of Columbus – the world’s largest Catholic fraternal group – is asking its members and all Catholics to pray daily for the pope and the church in anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement and the election of a [Read More...]

The Vatican confronts the digital age

Is the changing media landscape becoming a growing problem for the church?  One writer thinks so, and makes some compelling observations:  When Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, the most common assumption (made by his fans and detractors alike) was that he’d continue in his role as an enforcer of theological orthodoxy. There were visions of [Read More...]

Cardinal: next pope should not condemn contraception

Details:  The new Pope should not condemn contraception, its former leader in England and Wales suggested today as speculation began about the future of the Church following the surprise resignation of Benedict XVI. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said that while a radical departure from previous teaching was not likely, it would be “wise” to focus on [Read More...]

Here’s a news flash for you: the Catholic Church can’t change

That, at least, is one view in this morning’s Washington Post. Ashley McGuire explains: Sorry to be a wet blanket, but the Catholic Church is not going to change its teaching on any of the fun stuff (contraception, female “ordination,” homosexuality, abortion, etc.) with the next pope. Nor will it ever. When news of the pope’s [Read More...]


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