Technology Meets Tradition, As Pope Francis Lights Tree with a Tablet

The world's largest Christmas tree is aglow again on a hillside above the Umbrian town of Gubbio.  Pope Francis used a tablet to light the tree, which is made of 1,000 colored lights and measures 2,460 feet (750 metres) tall by nearly 1,500 feet (450 metres) wide.The Gubbio tree was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1991 as the "world's largest Christmas tree."In 2011, Pope Benedict touched the button which lighted the tree.Photo source:  Vatican Radio … [Read more...]

As Scottish Bishops Oppose “Opt-Out” for Organ Donation, a Review of Catholic Church Teaching

As Scottish voters take to the polls today to vote on whether or not to declare independence from the United Kingdom, the Scottish bishops have released a statement on another matter:  proposed "opt-out" legislation concerning organ donation in that country. The Proposed Organ and Tissue Donation (Scotland) Bill, according to the Bishops Conference of Scotland, removes the"...important principle of consent in our legal system and undermines the integrity of the person."The bill in que … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict, the Pianist

One of the pleasures in which Pope Emeritus Benedict is said to indulge in his retirement is playing the piano.A skilled pianist, he was unable to spend much time at the keyboard during the years of his papacy.  Now, perhaps, he returns to that great love.A Redditor pointed out this video this morning.  (Click the link--for some reason, the video could not be embedded.)Besides being able to speak ten languages and fly a helicopter, the pope emeritus is at home in the music room. … [Read more...]