Pope Francis Explains Why He Chose to Live Away From the Papal Apartments

Details: Pope Francis has revealed for the first time the reasons for his decision to shun the official papal apartments and instead live in a much more modest Vatican ‘hotel’. He has told a friend that he likes being in daily contact with ordinary people, does not want to be isolated and enjoys sitting down [Read More...]

Cardinal O’Brien Leaving Scotland for “Spiritual Renewal, Prayer and Penance”

Details:  Disgraced former Cardinal Keith O’Brien is to leave Scotland for several months after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct during his church career, the Vatican has said. Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric resigned earlier this year amid allegations that he made homosexual approaches to young trainee priests. The Vatican confirmed today that O’Brien will leave Scotland [Read More...]

Vatican challenges “interpretation” of cardinal’s remarks on LCWR

After Cardinal João Braz de Aviz went public with his unhappiness over the handling of the LCWR probe, the Vatican has responded. Tellingly, the Vatican press office doesn’t deny the substance of the cardinal’s remarks, but instead questions the “interpretation” of them by the media. Details:  The Vatican press office issued a statement Tuesday saying recent remarks [Read More...]

“This is not the way the church should function”

A rather startling revelation yesterday from the upper reaches of the Vatican: The Vatican decision last year to place the main representative group of U.S. Catholic sisters under the control of bishops was made without consultation or knowledge of the Vatican office that normally deals with matters of religious life, the office’s leader said Sunday. [Read More...]

“Bombshell”: pope names advisors to reform Vatican bureaucracy—UPDATED

From the Associated Press:  Pope Francis marked his first month as pope on Saturday by naming nine high-ranking prelates from around the globe to a permanent advisory group to help him run the Catholic Church and study a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy — a bombshell announcement that indicates he intends a major shift in [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...]

Check out this tour of the Casa Santa Marta, where the cardinals will be staying

Want a peek at where the electors will be staying?  How about a glimpse inside the apartment of the next pope? Here’s an intriguing video of the place the cardinals will be calling home next week, courtesy Rome Reports. [Read more...]

Welcome to the first “virtual conclave”

Technology is having a dramatic impact in how the faithful follow the coming election for pope, as AP notes:  A pastor in Ontario wondered about behind-the-scenes politicking ahead of the conclave to elect the next pope. He could have read news reports or listened to briefings by the Vatican spokesman. Instead, he asked a cardinal. [Read More...]

Meet “the most powerful woman in Rome”

Details:  If the leadership of American nuns is the vanguard of a progressive spirit up against the Vatican, Mother Tekla Famiglietti is a throwback to the past: an orthodox leader who learned the rules of the game and wields power in the all-male world of the Roman Curia. The 75-year-old head of an international order [Read More...]

Vatican slams resignation “gossip” in media

From the BBC: The Vatican’s chief spokesperson has criticised the media for reporting “misinformation” about the Church. Father Federico Lombardi said some were trying to profit from a time of disorientation in the Catholic Church to spread “gossip” and “slander”. Father Lombardi made the comments in an editorial on the Vatican radio website. Pope Benedict [Read More...]