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Retired Pope Benedict XVI greets Pope Francis at the Vatican May 2. The 86-year-old retired pontiff, who had been staying at the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo since retiring Feb. 28, returned to the Vatican to live in a monastery in the Vatican Gardens. (CNS photo/L’Ossevatore Romano via Reuters) [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Patheos shill?!

Elizabeth Scalia notes the pope tweeted a little something yesterday that sounds uncannily like the theme from her new book, “Strange Gods.” But it turns out, he was just getting warmed up. In his homily at St. Paul’s yesterday, the Holy Father elaborated: We have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols [Read More...]

Vatican releases text for Pope Francis’ Way of the Cross

The text, to be prayed at the Col0sseum on Good Friday, was supervised by a newly created cardinal, Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, and written by Lebanese young people with a special emphasis on the struggles of people in the Middle East. CNS notes:  A group of Lebanese young people wrote the meditations at the [Read More...]

Did you ever think you’d see a picture like this?

Two men in white. The story: In a historic meeting, Pope Francis has paid a visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, with the new Pope telling his predecessor “we are brothers”. The Pope set off from the Vatican by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo, a 15 minute flight away, where Benedict was waiting to greet him, [Read More...]

Bergoglio’s ministry of mercy: “He was the only Catholic cleric to visit Podestá in the hospital…”

It concerns  Jerónimo José Podestá, an Argentine bishop who left the priesthood to marry. One person remembers this striking detail: [Bergoglio]  has been classed as a conservative. But a different picture has been painted by one of Bergoglio’s friends, a radical feminist and Catholic called Clelia Luro, who is about as far to the left [Read More...]

St. Oscar Romero?

Some think his chances have just improved.  From CNS: Salvadoran clergy are hopeful that the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered while celebrating Mass March 24, 1980, during El Salvador’s civil war, will move forward under the church’s first Latin American pope. “We are in the best of circumstances. The time is ripe for a [Read More...]

VIDEO: Pope Francis meets the press

If you want a sense of the new pontiff’s personality and his thinking, check out the brief video below from Rome Reports, featuring some candid moments from his encounter with the media on Saturday. As CNS noted, in addition to explaining the story behind his name and his devotion to the poor, the new pope [Read More...]

“We are living in a particularly beautiful and intense moment”

Those are the words of Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, from today’s briefing to reporters: “We are living a particularly beautiful and intense moment,” Fr. Lombardi said. “We have reached the final stage of the period that begin last month with Benedict XVI’s renunciation and that will conclude with the election of his successor. We [Read More...]

Obama on possibility of an American pope: “Bishops in U.S. don’t seem to be taking orders from me”

He spoke with ABC News this morning and in a wide-ranging interview touched on the subject of the papal conclave: As cardinals gather at the Vatican to elect a new pope, President Barack Obama said he believes U.S. politics wouldn’t stand in the way of an American pope doing his job. “It seems to me [Read More...]

What the Vatican needs is a “Hall of Humility”

A worthy idea from the indispensable John Thavis, describing the hallway cardinals passed through on their way to the Sistine Chapel: If the cardinals glance at the frescoes, they have to be thinking: How times have changed. The paintings celebrate the pope as a worldly power. Kings are depicted presenting territories to ruling pontiffs, while [Read More...]