Sexist Dalai Lama Gets a Pass; Kirsten Powers Doesn’t

silencing powers

Can you imagine the uproar, on campuses and in the press, if the Pope, or any bishop, cardinal or priest had been so blatantly "lookist" and "sexist"?The Dalai Lama could be reincarnated as a blond woman in his next life, he quipped in a recent interview from his home.But not just any blonde.She should be “mischievous” and “her face must be very attractive [or] nobody [will] pay much attention,” the monk said in an interview on Friday, according to The Sunday Times of London.Got t … [Read more...]

Cardinal George: Another “Model Francis”, Open to the Spirit

Image by Adam-Bielawski, via WikiMediaCommons

The "arch-conservative" narrative on Cardinal George needs to be introduced to the reality.By Sean ConnollyPope Francis is known for his openness to the Spirit, his emphasis on evangelism and his embrace of evangelical Protestants and Pentecostals. A little-known story about Cardinal Francis George, who died on April 17, reveals that he too was open to the Spirit and to graces from other Christian denominations.The story starts in 1990 after Bishop George was appointed to lead the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis, Tony Palmer, an iPhone & the Holy Spirit

Tony Palmer and Pope Francis, image courtesy of Life Today

As I am still trying to finish a book, and also assist with a technical transition here at Patheos, I am pleased to present this ecumenically-minded post that focuses on the beginnings of the relationship between Pope Francis and the late Rev. Tony Palmer, and where the writer hopes it will lead. --ES Guest post by Sean J. Connolly It all started with an iPhone.On January 14, 2014, Tony Palmer, a charismatic bishop from a little-known Anglican communion, used his phone to … [Read more...]

For Credibility of the Church, Should Francis Reconsider Barros Appointment?

Juan Barros Madrid via WikimediaCommons/Gabriel12

I never write about these stories because they make me physically ill, so I leave it to others. But it seems like this story is dying on the vine, and I'm not sure it should. And it's Lent, when we're supposed to do difficult things, so here goes.Pope Francis has appointed Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid to a Bishopric in Southern Chile, and Barros is set to be installed there tomorrow, March 21.This may be a problematic appointment, one that blows up in the Holy Father's face, because it … [Read more...]

Benedict: Anchoring Pole for Francis and John Paul II

catwalker / Shutterstock.com

Over at Aleteia, Father Dwight Longenecker has a piece about Pope Francis as "reformer":Francis is hailed as a “reforming Pope” and he certainly seems intent on carrying through the plans initiated by Pope Benedict. Is it best, however, to regard him as a “reforming Pope”?People can and will make their own determination about that, but Dwight's not wrong that -- public perceptions and media narratives aside -- Francis is certainly moving forward on some Benedictine initiatives, even as h … [Read more...]

Francis “Endorses Referendum” Denying Gay Marriage, Adoption

Image MyImages - Micha, via Shutterstock.com

At yesterday's General Audience, Pope Francis -- greeting Slovak pilgirms, and apparently referencing an upcoming vote in Slovakia on same sex marriage and adoption -- encouraged them to work "to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society."I'm not sure anyone -- except the most extreme and unrealistic of Francis' haters and admirers, both of whom seem to believe that he intends to upend church teaching any minute, now -- would expect him to say differently. … [Read more...]

Amid Storms and Wars, the Daily Outrage that is Francis

"Great Battle in Heaven" by the brilliant Daniel Mitsui. Used with permission.

He is the most exhausting pope of my lifetime.Deacon Greg sent this cute video to me today, and while I appreciate its cleverness and the work that went into it, I couldn't help but think, "I'm getting burned out on Francis."I'm getting burned out, not because I dislike him. I like Francis just fine, although Pope Benedict XVI will always be the pontiff of my heart, because his writings have penetrated it and poured the merciful balm of Christ Jesus into it as little else ever has. As … [Read more...]

Francis Sounding Like a Catholic Pope in Thrilla at Manila

wave papa wave

Paul VI was right to warn against contraception, Pope Francis says:After discussing various threats to the family, including “a lack of openness to life,” he deviated briefly from his prepared remarks, transitioning from English to his native Spanish in order to speak from the heart about the subject.“I think of Blessed Paul VI,” he said. “In a moment of that challenge of the growth of populations, he had the strength to defend openness to life.”In 1968, Pope Paul VI released the ency … [Read more...]

Francis and Autism and Worship: All May Be One?

Image by Andrea Izzotti, courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Ever since October's Synod on the Family issued its final relatio -- which managed to pay one line of lip-service to single parents, Katrina Fernandez has been feeling all-too-keenly aware of how detrimental it can be for a church to label-and-divide the flock for tailored worship and social events. When the news broke that Pope Francis would be meeting with families living with autism, she sounded a well-pitched note of concern:I’m glad the families in the video above are finally able to h … [Read more...]

Pope Francis Not Stupid; Knows What Marriage Is

If you can see something that's obvious, it's a pretty sure bet that the Pope can see it, too.:In an audience with members of an international Marian movement, Pope Francis warned that the sacrament of marriage has been reduced to a mere association, and urged participants to be witnesses in a secular world.“The family is being hit, the family is being struck and the family is being bastardized,” the Pope told those in attendance at the Oct. 25 audience.He warned against the common v … [Read more...]


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