“The real challenge for Francis is to go beyond rhetoric…”

There’s been some discussion around the blogosphere about last night’s “Frontline” on “Secrets of the Vatican.”  Most comments have been harshly critical. Yesterday, for example, the USCCB mailed out an “advisory” review, which noted: The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the headline-grabbing start of his successor’s ministry are certainly events worthy of close [Read More...]

NY Times: Some in Vatican are “like frustrated teenagers, closing the door and putting their headphones on”

The paper sizes up various headlines of the last few months, and gets some reaction:  To some degree, Francis, 77, is simply bringing in his own team and equipping them to carry out his stated mission of creating a more inclusive and relevant church that is more sensitive to the needs of local parishes and [Read More...]

A beggar before the baby: a preview of the Vatican’s Nativity scene

Unsurprisingly, it has a decidedly Franciscan (as in the pope) approach. From those crackerjack journos at CNS: The Vatican’s Nativity scene will be unveiled tomorrow evening, but Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples and the artists who created the scene gave a sneak preview to journalists today. Well, we were able to see most of it. [Read More...]

Pope Francis medallion added to St. Paul Outside-the-Walls

The Vatican’s Facebook page notes: Pope Francis’ medallion portrait has just been added yesterday to the series of mosaic medallions depicting all the Popes throughout history, situated around the transept and nave of the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. Read more about the basilica’s history here.  CNS notes:  St. Paul’s is today the only [Read More...]

Vatican may create new role for women—on cricket squad

From Catholic News Service:  The Vatican is about to launch its own cricket club and will field a women’s squad if it finds enough players. “It may be that instead of watching players who go out to play with cricket caps on, we’re going to have a series who play with veils on as they [Read More...]

Just another quiet week at the Vatican

And veteran Vatican-watcher John Thavis helps put it in perspective: It’s been a busy week at the Vatican: a date set for the canonization of two popes, a stunning new papal interview, a meeting of the pope’s “Group of 8” cardinal advisors and an important visit by the pope to the birthplace of his namesake, [Read More...]

Vatican’s new secretary of state: celibacy is open to discussion—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From NBC News:  The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. “Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [Read More...]

Cardinal Bertone lashes out at “crows and vipers” in the Vatican

Details:  The Italian prelate who was Pope Benedict’s righthand man in theVatican during his scandal-dogged papacy has defended his much-criticised record, insisting he “gave everything” to the job despite the activities of “vipers” in the Roman curia. Speaking a day after Pope Francis named a Vatican diplomat as his new secretary of state, Tarcisio Bertone appeared defiant as [Read More...]

Reports: Pope Francis to name Archbishop Pietro Parolin Secretary of State

It could happen as early as tomorrow, according to John Allen at NCR: Multiple reports suggest Pope Francis intends to name 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Pietro Parolin to the key position of Secretary of State, traditionally the most important figure in the Vatican after the pope himself. Although the pope is the head of state, the [Read More...]

Obama Nominates Former CRS Head as Vatican Ambassador

Details from David Gibson:  President Obama on Friday nominated Ken Hackett, former head of Catholic Relief Services, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. It’s a savvy move, picking a Catholic whose career in the church has been dedicated to alleviating suffering as America’s representative to a pope whose has made helping the [Read More...]


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