The next pope? — UPDATED

The new Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, automatically leaps to the top of the list. NCR’s John Allen has a very good overview of the man he calls the “new Crown Prince of Catholicism”: Among insiders, he was already considered an ecclesial heavyweight and top-tier future prospect. Yet Milan is, well, sui generis. It’s [Read More...]

"Papa's got an iPad and Twitter account — he's not gonna get any work done now!"

That’s how Elizabeth Scalia celebrated the historic moment, captured in the photograph below. The pope launched the Vatican’s new online news site with a gesture that must have sent Apple stock soaring: tweeting on an iPad. Rocco has more. [Read more...]

Quote of the day

“There exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world: this takes the form of a communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others. To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in [Read More...]

Set your TiVo for "Today"…tomorrow

Evidently, Matt Lauer and company will be offering an extended look at life at the Vatican — including a day in the life of the pope, and more. Over a “Whispers,” Rocco has posted a tease video, featuring a sweet moment when Lauer got to meet Benedicit (under the bear paw of the always-affable Archbishop [Read More...]

Fun fact to share at Friday's fish fry: half of our bishops are Benedict's

From the USCCB: This month brings the sixth anniversary of the pope’s election — a brief length of time for an institution that “thinks in centuries” — yet of the178 Latin rite dioceses and archdiocese in the U.S., 86, or 48 percent of them, are headed by bishops appointed by this pope. Take into account [Read More...]

Papal ring and cross to be sold on eBay

Get ready to update your PayPal account.  Now you can own some priceless religious objects — for a price. From the Associated Press: A lavishly jeweled cross and a ring once owned by Pope Paul VI are heading to auction on eBay. The items have turned up at a U.S. store owned by a Southern [Read More...]

New website launched ahead of JP II beatification

It comes from the Diocese of Rome … From Catholic News Service: Published in seven languages, the site — — offers news updates and background information on the late pope and his sainthood cause, as well as a live webcam of his tomb in the grotto of St. Peter’s Basilica. The website also announced [Read More...]

Lambs of God

If you’ve ever wondered just where the wool comes from that is used for the pallium, CNS has the answer: Certain things — such as a bath and getting dressed up — are universal before a personal meeting with the pope, and the rule holds even for lambs. As he does every year, Pope Benedict [Read More...]

Pope: no one has the right to wed

As fate would have it, I’m meeting with a couple of people this week to help them begin the annulment process.  So this news out of the Vatican today was especially timely. Details: Pope Benedict has asked Catholic priests to do a better job preparing people for marriage, saying that no one has an automatic [Read More...]

Historic first: Vatican appoints Protestant to head science academy

Details: Pope Benedict XVI named Saturday Nobel laureate Werner Arber, a Protestant, to head the Vatican’s scientific academy, the first time a non-Catholic is heading the centuries-old body. The 81-year old Swiss microbiologist will succeed Italian Nicola Cabibbo, who died in August, to lead the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican announced in a press [Read More...]