Was Twitter to blame?

The Anchoress has a fascinating insight into the pope’s pending retirement:  Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict’s recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement. The pope’s interest in, and support of, [Read More...]

What might a papal retirement look like?

My blog neighbor Fr. Dwight Longenecker has his take in the Washington Post:  Apostles has become a traveling missionary–reaching out to the entire world. John Paul II showed the apostolic power of the pope in a fresh and dynamic way. He became the predominant religious leader in the world. Benedict XVI showed that he understood [Read More...]

Confirmed: pope recently underwent pacemaker surgery

From the BBC:  A day after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the Vatican has acknowledged that the pontiff has had a pacemaker for years. But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reiterated that he was not stepping down because of any specific illness. His last public appearance will be his final mass in Saint Peter’s Square [Read More...]

How understanding Latin led reporter to the scoop of a lifetime

From AFP:  An Italian journalist who beat the world’s media on Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign got the scoop on the utterly unexpected news thanks to her knowledge of Latin. “Our Vatican expert, Giovanna Chirri, was listening to the Pope’s speech,” the ANSA news agency’s head of information Luigi Contu told AFP. “At one [Read More...]

BREAKING: Pope to resign

Multiple news sources are now reporting it, saying it will take effect on February 28, with a conclave in March. From BBC:   The 85-year-old Pope is to resign at the end of this month in an entirely unexpected development, saying he is too old continue. He became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005 following the John [Read More...]

Maronite patriarch will compose text for Way of the Cross

This is pretty big news:   Recalling his trip to Lebanon and inviting the whole Church to remember the problems of and the Christian communities in the Middle East in their prayers, the Holy Father has invited―through his cardinal secretary of state―His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, O.M.M., Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, to prepare [Read More...]

Pope: lack of faith may harm validity of marriage

A little something for all you canon lawyers out there, via Vatican Radio:  Lack of faith may hurt the intrinsic goods of marriage: procreation, marital fidelity and its indissolubility. This was the message at the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s address Saturday morning to members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota received in audience [Read More...]

Holy Father? There’s an app for that

Our tweeting pontiff is delving deeper into the world of social media and modern technology, and now can be as close as your iPhone. From CNS:  The Vatican launched a new “Pope App” on the eve of the release of the pope’sWorld Communications Day message, which will be dedicated to social networks as important spaces [Read More...]

“Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd!”

During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, I stumbled on Pope Benedict’s homily from his inauguration as pontiff.  It seems a good moment to reflect on a subject that was very much on his mind eight years ago: Both the image of the shepherd and that of the fisherman issue an explicit call to [Read More...]

Pope to start tweeting in Latin

Details:  Pope Benedict XVI plans to tweet in Latin, Vatican spokesmen have announced, resurrecting the dead language in a postmodern medium starting Sunday. “Twitter is a tool which requires rapid communication,” Roberto Spataro, secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies, told the Guardian U.K. “In English you say ‘the corruption of the best one [Read More...]