An Unexpected Privilege: The Day I Attended Mass with Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!It was September 2003, and I was leading a pilgrimage to Rome for a group of Catholic CEOs, members of Legatus.  We were so busy--Every day of our pilgrimage was filled with tours of historic basilicas, meetings with Vatican officials, lunches and dinners and gelato stands and, of course, daily Mass.  In the entire week we were in Rome, I slept little.  There was only one "free" night, when members of our group were encouraged to explore t … [Read more...]

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Hot Times at the Vatican, As Pope’s Climate Change Encyclical Is Leaked to the Media Four Days Early

Facade of St Peters Basilica - cropped

There’s trouble at the Vatican, where Pope Francis’s much anticipated encyclical Laudato Sii was leaked four days early to the Italian magazine L’Espresso.It’s not immediately clear where the leak originated. The bootleg release was in Italian, not in English—leaving American reporters scrambling to cut and paste the nearly 200 pages of text into Google Translate.Then, the Vatican Press Office stepped up to insist that it was only a draft, hence not worthy of media attention and analysis. … [Read more...]

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“Be Tender, As God Is Tender,” Pope Francis Tells Priests

Pope Francis in March 2013.  presidencia.gov.ar [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Leave the whip behind in the sanctuary,” Pope Francis told clergy gathered this week for retreat at the Roman Basilica of St. John Lateran. He challenged bishops, priests and deacons to mirror the tenderness of God in their ministries. They are called, the pope explained, to a ministry of tenderness which is “a divine grace.”Speaking about the tenderness of God, the pope recalled Deuteronomy 24—explaining that God, while acknowledging that men's hearts are hardened, nonetheless regards them … [Read more...]

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