Pope Francis Gets a New Speechwriter

Pope Francis speaking

Pope Francis has said that we should "mess up the Church"--and there are those among the Vatican-watchers who would claim that's exactly what's happened in the first eight months of his papacy."Who am I to judge?" he said, when asked about homosexuality; and several Illinois lawmakers cited his remark in defense of their vote to legalize same-sex marriage in their state. “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules," he said. "The most important thing i … [Read more...]

The Poor, the Pure, the Merciful: Pope Francis Chooses Themes for World Youth Days

World Youth Day 2013

The Vatican has announced this morning that Pope Francis has chosen the themes for the next three World Youth Days.The Holy Father invites young people to focus for the next several years on the Beatitudes, the eight Blessings which Jesus explained in the Sermon on the Mount.  Specifically, Pope Francis chose the following themes for the three-year spiritual journey: 2014 - Twenty-ninth World Youth Day:  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."2015 - T … [Read more...]

Medjugorje: What I Saw at the Apparition

Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic

This week, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter instructing U.S. bishops not to permit appearances of the Medjugorje visionaries in their churches unless and until the apparitions are ruled to be authentic.The news sparked a firestorm of commentary, of both the "I-told-you-so" variety and the "Oh-no-they're-wrong" variety.Given all the excitement in the blogosphere, I thought I'd share my personal report of an experience I had a dozen or so years ago, … [Read more...]