Monday, June 16, 2014
- Pope Francis sacks entire board of Vatican's financial watchdog The Independant 06/17/14:
Pope Francis’s battle to clean up the Vatican’s scandal-mired bank, the Institute of Religious Works (IoR), has entered a new stage, with his removal of the entire board of the Holy City’s financial watchdog.
The five Italians heading the Financial Information Authority (AIF) have been replaced with an international group of experts, including a woman, two years before they were supposed to step down. Vatican insiders say the drastic move followed clashes between the board members, who formed part of the old boys’ network and the body’s Swiss director, René Brülhart, an anti-money laundering expert, who remains in charge. ...
- Pope: It's 'intolerable' markets have the power to decide people's fate Catholic News Agency. 06/16/14.
- The Pope: "Let us help a tired Europe to rediscover its roots" La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 06/15/14:
“Europe is tired, let's help it to find itself”, urges Francis. “A modern culture based on discarding, where anything that is not needed or does not produce is discarded" it is a form of “underlying euthanasia” warns the Pope speaking in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, during the meeting with the Community of Sant 'Egidio.
- Truth be told: the Traditional Catholic position on the Economy is not Libertarian (and the Pope is close to it) Rorate Caeli. 06/03/14. "The positions stated by Pope Francis on economic and social matters are much closer to the Traditional Catholic position on the economy and the State than not. Indeed, it can be said unhesitatingly that this is one area in which the Pope will find mostly allies in Traditional Catholics."
- Pope, at charismatic rally in stadium, invites them to Vatican in 2017, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Agency. 06/02/14:
Meeting more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome's Olympic Stadium, Pope Francis admitted he was not always comfortable with the way they prayed, but he knelt onstage as they prayed for him and over him by singing and speaking in tongues.
"In the early years of the charismatic renewal in Buenos Aires, I did not have much love for charismatics," the pope said June 1. "I said of them: They seem like a samba school."
Little by little, though, he came to see how much good the movement was doing for Catholics and for the church, he told a gathering organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships.
- Pope Francis Meets With Doctor Who Saved His Life. National Catholic Register 05/28/14. In 1980, Argentinian surgeon Dr. Juan Carlos Parodi operated on the future pope for gall-bladder failure.
- Photo Story of Pope Francis’ Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Salt and Light TV. 05/28/14.
- Pope says his 'most authentic' gestures in Holy Land were spontaneous Catholic News Agency. 05/26/14:
Regarding his dramatic gestures during the visit, when he prayed at the controversial Israeli-built separation wall in the West Bank and kissed the hands of Holocaust survivors, the pope said the "most authentic gestures are those you don't think about ... mine were not planned gestures, it just occurs to me to do something spontaneously that way."
- Pope makes new Christian unity step in meeting with Patriarch Catholic World Report. 05/25/14. Francis and Bartholomew I emphasize defense of the dignity of the human person at every stage of life, sanctity of family based on marriage, and the promotion of peace and the common good.
- The Pope, The Patriarch and True Ecumenism, by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille. Catholic World Report 05/23/14:
With the pope of Rome and the patriarch of Constantinople going to Jerusalem this weekend, there is naturally a great deal of conversation and consideration of where Orthodox and Catholic Christians have been and where we might be going. I have discussed some of this elsewhere. Here, however, I want to do something different, following a theological method beloved of many in the Christian East, as well as many Western mystics (St. John of the Cross comes to mind), namely the apophatic or “negative” way. I wish, in other words, to explain what true ecumenism is not ...
- Author Discusses ‘The Vatican According to Francis’. National Catholic Register 5/29/14. What impact is a Latin-American pope having on a Roman Curia heavily influenced by Italians? Massimo Franco, a senior correspondent with Italy’s daily newspaper Corriere della Sera, shares his perspective in a new book called Il Vaticano Secondo Francesco (The Vatican According to Francis).
Sunday, June 8, 2014
- Invocation for Peace Vatican Gardens. June 8, 2014. Full texts for the Invocation for Peace ceremony in the Vatican Gardens on Pentecost Sunday evening. Participants: Pope Francis, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinain President Mahmoud Abbas and their delegations.
- Pope Francis’s Words to Presidents of Israel and Palestine at Invocation for Peace 06/08/14.
- Israeli President Shimon Peres speaks to peace gathering 06/08/14.
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at Invocation for Peace 06/08/14.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Addresses by Pope Francis
- Meeting with the Authorities of the Kingdom of Jordan (Amman, 24 May 2014)
- Holy Mass at the Amman International Stadium (24 May 2014)
- Meeting with refugees and young people with disabilities in the Latin Church in Bethany beyond the Jordan (24 May 2014)
- Meeting with Palestinian Authorities (Bethlehem, 25 May 2014)
- Holy Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem (25 May 2014)
- Regina Coeli Prayer (Bethlehem, 25 May 2014)
- Welcoming ceremony at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (Tel Aviv, 25 May 2014)
- Common Declaration of Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I - Private Meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the Apostolic Delegation of Jerusalem (25 May 2014)
- Ecumenical Celebration on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras (Jerusalem, Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, 25 May 2014) (Video)
- Visit to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in the building of the Great Council on the Esplanade of the Mosques (Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)
- Visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem (26 May 2014)
- Courtesy visit to the two chief rabbis of Israel at Heichal Shlomo Center in Jerusalem, next to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue (Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)
- Courtesy visit to the President of the State of Israel in the Presidential Residence (Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)
- Meeting with priests, religious and seminarians in the Church of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives (Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)
- Holy Mass with the Ordinaries of the Holy Land and the Papal Entourage (Room of the Cenacle in Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)
- Pope, arriving in Holy Land, calls for religious freedom in Middle East 05/24/14.
- At Amman Mass, pope calls on Christians to promote peace Catholic News Service. 05/24/14.
- At River Jordan, pope meets suffering, speaks against arms trade Catholic News Service. 05/24/14. Jordan's powerful and marginalized joined together at the banks of the River Jordan to welcome Pope Francis at the site believed to be where Jesus was baptized.
- When Pope Francis asked an Israeli Reporter, "How Can I Help?", by Gerard O'Connell. America 05/24/14:
On 13 June 2013, Pope Francis granted an interview to Israel’s Channel 2 TV at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where he lives. That interview made history; it was the first time that a TV crew entered Santa Marta to interview the pope.
What is not known, however, is that immediately afterwards Francis asked to speak in private with the TV reporter, Henrique Cymerman. He opened the conversation with a highly significant question regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation: “How can I help?” and he then followed up with a series of other pertinent questions. ...
- Bayit Yehudi denies boycott of Pope Jerusalem Post 05/25/14. Fewer than 10 ministers greeted Pope Francis, much fewer than US president Barack Obama in 2013; Bayit Yehudi had no representative at the greeting ceremony, insists there was not planned boycott of the pope.
- Pope concludes first day in Israel with visit to Jerusalem Jerusalem Post 05/25/14.
- Francis prays in silence before the Wall of division La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 05/25/14:
Pope Francis has touched the Wall of Division. In a resounding unscheduled stop during his visit to the Holy Land, before the Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, the Bishop of Rome asked to be driven in front of a point of the cement barrier that Israel has been constructing since 2002 and that runs largely through Palestinian occupied territory, contravening international laws. There, Pope Francis remained a few minutes in total silence, surrounded by a group of young Palestinians.
It was a silence that said more than a thousand speeches could, before the wall that, as the Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun has said, also separates the Birthplace of Jesus from the place of his Resurrection. ...
- Pope invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Rome to pray for peace, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 05/25/14:
Pope Francis invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray together at the Vatican for peace between their nations. ...
arriving at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Pope Francis was greeted by Peres and by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There the pope repeated his invitation to Peres using exactly the same words with which he had invited Abbas.
He also urged Israel to stay on the "path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace," saying "there is simply no other way."
"The right of the state of Israel to exist and to flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized borders must be universally recognized," the pope said. "At the same time, there must also be a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign homeland and their right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement."
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
- Francis meets former sex slaves on second day of conference against human trafficking La Stampa "Catholic Insider" 04/11/14.
- Francis: “Theologians who don’t pray or worship God end up sunk in the most disgusting narcissism” by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "Catholic Insider" 04/11/14. In his speech to the Pontifical Gregorian University Francis presented the identikit of a theologian.
- Pope's Address to Italian Pro-Life Movement Zenit. 04/11/14:
One of the gravest risks to which our time is exposed is the divorce between economy and morality, between the possibilities offered by a market furnished with every technological novelty and the elementary norms of human nature, ever more neglected. Therefore, it is necessary to confirm the firmest opposition to every direct attempt against life, especially innocent and vulnerable life, and the unborn in the maternal womb is the innocent one par excellence. We recall the words of Vatican Council II: “Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.” (Constitution Gaudium et spes, 51). I recall that once, a long time ago, I had a conference with doctors. After the conference I greeted the doctors – this happened so long ago. I was greeting the doctors, talking with them, and one called me aside. He had a package and he said to me: “Father, I want to leave this with you. These are the instruments that I have used to cause abortion. I have found the Lord, I have repented, and I now fight for life.” He gave me all these instruments. Pray for this good man!
- Pope and Obama discuss religious freedom, life issues, immigration, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 03/27/14:
In their first encounter, Pope Francis received U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican March 27 for a discussion that touched on several areas of tension between the Catholic Church and the White House, including religious freedom and medical ethics.
During an unusually long 50-minute meeting, the two leaders discussed "questions of particular relevance for the church in (the U.S.), such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection as well as the issue of immigration reform," the Vatican said in statement.
- Only God knows for sure: Obama, pope differ on accounts of ‘social schisms’ talk Washington Times 03/27/14:
The Vatican and White House gave starkly different versions of Mr. Obama’s meeting with Francis.
The president’s account downplayed the Catholic Church’s concerns about religious freedom in the United States and Obamacare’s mandate to pay for contraception.
- Why Bergoglio travels so little La Stampa "The Vatican Insider". 03/29/14. "Francis has never been to the US. He went to Jerusalem once but the Yom Kippur War cut his pilgrimage in half. Now he is Pope, he still keeps his trips short and focused."
- Bless me, Father: Pope leads by example, goes to confession, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 03/28/14. Leading a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis surprised his liturgical adviser by going to confession during the service.
- Pope Accepts Resignation of Controversial German Bishop Zenit News Service. 03/28/14. The Holy See today announced that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, following an investigation into the construction of a [$42 million] new residence.
- Pope Distributes Free Pocket-Sized Copies of Gospels EWTN News. 04/06/14. The copies were handed out to the crowds of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus to encourage them to read the word of God.
- The story behind a papal “selfie”, by Deacon Greg Kandra. 03/21/14. "Little did Marco Antonio Lome and his wife Zaira Venegas know that they, too, would have their own ‘selfie’ with the Pope."
- Priest Gives Insight Into Pope Francis’ Interview Style National Catholic Register 03/12/14. "Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who interviewed the Pope in August 2013, says the Holy Father makes ‘decisions by discernment,’ relying on inspiration and emotion as well as logic and reason."
- Explaining Pope Francis, or the challenge of PIA (Papally Induced Anxiety) syndrome, by Philip Blosser. The Pertinacious Papist 05/06/14:
Since the advent of his pontificate, Pope Francis has required some explaining. Particularly since a lot of the "explaining" going on in the secular drive-by media has been less than helpful for purposes of understanding Church teaching, a veritable new hermeneutical industry of orthodox pontifical interpretation has been called into existence.
- Catholics must learn to resist their popes — even Pope Francis, by Michael Brendan Dougherty. The Week 05/05/14. "Too many are becoming party apparatchiks."
- The Bactrian's vertebrae begin to crack, by Dale Price. Dyspeptic Mutterings 04/20/14. "At a minimum, it's time to face up to the glaring fact that the Roman communion is being led by a heedless, imprudent exhibitionist. The chattiest possible, it seems."
- Curia rumblings about a pope who won't be filtered, by John Thavis. 05/02/14:
While in Rome this week, I’ve made some soundings inside the Roman Curia, and found concern among Vatican officials in two areas. First, they’re worried about the doctrinal and pastoral implications of the pope’s supposed remarks, and the risk of raising expectations for a change in church policy that may never occur.
Second, and more broadly, they’re concerned that the Vatican is losing control over papal communication. In that sense, the phone call was a tipping point: an institution that has spoken for centuries in a formal, calibrated hierarchy of expression is now headed by a man who chats on the phone, delivers soundbites to reporters and improvises daily sermons.
- The Joys and Sorrows of Francis's Magisterium, by Sandro Magister. Chiesa 04/15/14:
Over the span of 36 hours, between Thursday the 10th and Friday the 11th of April, Pope Francis lashed out - and not for the first time - against the "dictatorship of uniform thought" that suppresses "the freedom of nations, the freedom of the people, freedom of conscience."
He then forcefully defended "the right of children to grow up in a family with a dad and a mom, in relation to the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother, thus preparing affective maturity."
He furthermore expressed the toughest of views on "the horrors of educational manipulation" that "with the pretense of modernity pushes children and young people to walk the dictatorial path of the single form of thought." And he added the testimony of a "great educator" who had told him a few days earlier, referring to concrete projects of education: "At times one cannot tell with these projects if one is sending a child to school or to a reeducation camp."
And finally he reiterated his opposition to the killing of all "unborn life in the mother's womb," citing the summary judgment of Vatican Council II: "Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes."
The references to events, to laws, to judicial decisions, to opinion campaigns attributable to "gender" ideology, in the news recently in Italy, France, and other countries, were transparent in the words of Pope Francis.
But in the media in general his warnings had practically no impact. As if they were a pure abstraction, with no influence on reality and foreign to any judgment. Because the key to explaining everything - in the media's narration of Pope Francis - is by now the "who am I to judge?" spoken by the pope for the first time during the press conference on the return flight from Rio de Janeiro and a second time in the interview with "La Civiltà Cattolica," in reference to the homosexual who "is of good will and is in search of God."
- Pope Francis, Obama allies in war on global inequality, by Paul B. Farrell. Marketwatch 03/31/14:
Yes, Pope Francis and President Obama are now allies in a global war against inequality and capitalism. Also on the radar: GOP conservatives, Wall Street banks, Big Oil, corporate greed, corruption, trickle-down economics, so-called invisible hands, out-of-control competition, rampant consumerism, the world’s lost moral compass and more, all in Pope Francis’ 10-part strategic war plan.
- "Pope Francis is a Father Who Cares for Persons as a Priest and Missionary" Zenit News Service. 03/17/14. Vatican Radio Interview with Father Guillermo Ortiz, SJ, on the First Anniversary of Jorge Mario Bergoglio's Election as Bishop of Rome.
- Pope Francis: A Faithful Son of the Church Zenit News Service. 03/14/14. Sean Patrick Lovett, Vatican Radio's English Language Director reflects on the first anniversary of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's election.
- Pope Francis, the Church and the Big Picture, by Father Roger Landry. National Catholic Register 03/12/14. "As we approach the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on March 13, it’s a fitting time to step back from the whirlwind of papal activity to look at the big picture of what Pope Francis has been trying to do and what it heralds for the future."
- Francis: Reader of Souls, by Ashley McKinless. America 03/12/14. "It must be disarming to meet Pope Francis in the confessional, as his insights into the sins and foibles of the people of our times are so penetrating. He cuts right to the quick without evasion, and he names often subtle ways in which we abuse the grace God gives us."
- Francis: Far More than Show, by Ashley McKinless. America 03/10/14. "Here are four ways in which Pope Francis has shown he means business: 1) His choice of advisers; 2) institutional renewal and innovation; 3) decisiveness in his governing; and 4) setting the Gospel as priority over moral crusades."
- Pope Francis' top 10 most quotable quotes of the year, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 02/28/14.
- Pope Francis' constant refrain: 'Go forth,' evangelize, help the poor, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 02/27/14. (In Italian, the phrase is even snappier: "Avanti").
- In Argentina, pope's impact has moved beyond spiritual realm, by David Agren. Catholic News Service. 03/10/14:
Revolution may overstate the reality in Argentina, and the size and scope of any changes remain relative. The lasting impact also remains uncertain. But Argentines have embraced the election of Pope Francis -- to the point that parents began naming babies "Francisco" in large numbers, priests report increased parish attendance and the previously antagonistic president and her supporters act as if he were an ally.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- Pope Francis: the priest of the slums The Telegraph UK. 03/08/12. Peter Stanford, author and former editor of the Catholic Herald, retraces the trip Pope Francis used to take to the outskirts of Buenos Aires to try to understand the man who was known as 'the priest of the slums'.
- The Pope appoints 8 cardinals and 7 lay people to the new Council for the Economy La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 03/08/14. The Pope has appointed eight cardinals and seven lay people as members of the Vatican Council of the Economy which is to be co-ordinated by the cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx. Their mandate will last five years. The Secretariat for the Economy, essentially the Vatican “ministry of finance”, was established just a few days ago and Australian cardinal George Pell chosen as its head.
- Francis Gives an Ignatian Twist to the 2014 Vatican Lenten Retreat, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 03/07/14. Drawing on the spirituality of the founder of his Jesuit order, the Holy Father has moved this year’s retreat to a secluded retreat center near Castel Gandolfo.
- Francis: I carry crucifix I took from a dead priest, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic Herald UK. 03/06/14.
- Bergoglio opens Castel Gandolfo gardens to the public La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 03/03/14. As of 1 March tourists will be able to visit the Barberini gardens and admire the natural beauty and archaeological treasures of the surroundings.
- Pope Francis overhauls Vatican finances, names Australian cardinal George Pell as comptroller Religion News Service. 02/24/14. Pope Francis launched a sweeping reform of the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system by naming one of his closest advisers on reform, Australian Cardinal George Pell, to head a powerful new department that will oversee the entire management of the Holy See.
- http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/english-translation-of-pope-francis-corriere-della-sera-interview ZENIT publishes below the first English translation of Pope Francis’ interview with Ferruccio de Bortoli that appeared today in Corriere della Sera. The text has been published by kind permission of the newspaper's director.
- Francis: the Pope is “a normal person”, not Superman La Stampa 03/05/14. In an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis says he is a normal person, not superman, and speaks about the family, child abuse, foreign trips, relations with the Orthodox, China, and how he governs the Church.
- Pope, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 03/05/14. "Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with 'much mercy.'"
- Italian Editor Calls Interview with Francis 'Extraordinary Privilege' Zenit News Agency. 03/06/14. “A great emotion, an extraordinary privilege.” These were the words Ferruccio de Bortoli, editor in chief of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, used to describe his recent interview with Pope Francis.
- Pope Gives New Interview to Secular Newspaper, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 03/05/14:
This is Pope Francis' sixth interview to the mainstream media. Some in the Vatican have quietly expressed disappointment that the Holy Father has so far only given interviews to the secular press and denied any to his own media outlets such as Vatican Television, Vatican Radio or the semi-official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. But Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II didn’t do so either, most probably as part of a strategy to reach out and evangelize secular society.
- Pope Francis Lets A Vulgarity Slip During Vatican Address, by Bill Chappell. NPR. 03/03/14. It was a simple slip of the tongue, people say. But when the pope accidentally utters a vulgarity during a public speech, people notice. That's what happened during Sunday's weekly blessing by Pope Francis, sparking a flurry of comments on social media.
- "Who Am I to Judge? Pope Francis T-Shirt Celebrates Diversity" PR Newswire (via Rorate Caeli). 02/27/14. "'Who am I to judge?' -- This universal message is especially timely with the recent news about Michael Sam and Ellen Page coming out. However, "Who Am I to Judge?" goes beyond the gay, lesbian and LGBT community. It's a global message that applies to communities and Archetypes everywhere."
- Pope Francis, with retired Pope Benedict present, creates new cardinals, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 02/26/14:
In his homily Pope Francis did not mention the standard point that the cardinals' new red vestments are symbols of the call to serve Christ and his church to the point of shedding their blood if necessary. Rather, he focused on their being called to follow Christ more closely, to build up the unity of the church and to proclaim the Gospel more courageously.
The Bible, he said, is filled with stories of Jesus walking with his disciples and teaching them as they traveled.
"This is important," the pope said. "Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology, but rather a 'way,' a journey to be undertaken with him, and we learn the way as we go, by walking."
After listening to a reading of Mark 10:32-45, Pope Francis also spoke about the very human, worldly temptation of "rivalry, jealousy (and) factions" the first disciples faced.
The reading is a warning to the cardinals and to all Christians to put aside concerns of power and favoritism and "to become ever more of one heart and soul" gathered around the Lord, he said.
- Pope at audience: Make sure your children are confirmed by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 01/29/14:
Many Catholic parents go to great lengths to ensure their children are baptized, and they must make similar efforts to see that their children are confirmed, Pope Francis said.
Without confirmation, he said, young people will remain "halfway" on the path of Christian maturity and membership in the church.
- Francis: “It’s absurd to claim that we love Christ without the Church” La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/30/14. Loving Christ but not the Church makes no sense. This was Francis’ message at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House. The Pope also emphasised the three pillars of belonging to the Church: humility, faithfulness and prayer.
Commemoration: Pope Francis' First Year
- Virtual Booklet Marks Francis' 1st Year as Pope The Vatican has prepared a virtual book to mark the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis' election. Called "Do We Want to Become Holy? Yes or No?", the 36-page book includes some of the most striking of Francis' messages since he became the Successor of St. Peter last March 13. Zenit News Agency. 03/07/14.
- Pope Francis - the first year: From atheists to gay marriage, 12 months in his own words Independent.co.uk 03/07/14. "In his first year as pontiff, Pope Francis has enjoyed a very positive media image compared to his predecessors. He is certainly the first pope to have been compared to both a rock star and to Superman."
- Pope Francis - the first year: Is the rebel too good to be true?, by Paul Vallely. 03/08/14. He is cleaning up the Vatican bank. He thinks the Catholic Church should worry less about homosexuality and more about the poor. He has ruffled feathers - but, asks his biographer Paul Vallelly, is he as radical as he seems?
- Pope Francis wants you to get over him, by Michelle Boorstein. Washington Post 03/07/14. "If you’ve posted inspiring Pope Francis quotes on Facebook, if you’ve devoured every article about him, if you’re banking on him to revolutionize a tradition-heavy, 2,000-year-old institution by force of personality, Francis has a message for you."
- "Francis Effect" analysis: Confessions in sharp decline Rorate Caeli. 03/07/14.
- Pope Francis on casuistry and faith, by Edward Peters. In The Light of the Law 02/22/14. "Many people are, I fear, going to read the pope’s recent comments on casuistry and faith in quite a different sense than they were, I think, intended."
- Francis, Faith, and False Assurances, by Carl E. Olson. Catholic World Report "There are a lot of people who are going to be surprised by how Catholic the Pope really is."
- Pope Francis' Gentle Revolution: "The times they are a-changin’ at the Vatican" Rolling Stone 01/28/14.
- The Best Dressed Man of 2013: Pope Francis Esquire 12/27/13.
Monday, January 27, 2014
- Feathers fly at the Vatican after Pope's doves attacked by gull and crow Slate 01/26/14. (Associated Press reports: "Fate of white doves unclear").
- Francis thanks the many holy priests who give their lives in the anonymity of their daily service La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/27/14:
At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, Francis asked: “do the papers carry news of what great charity so many priests, so many priests in so many parishes of the city and the countryside, perform? Of the great work they do in carrying their people forward? No? This is not news.”
- Pope Francis Prays (and Tweets) for March for Life. Catholic News Agency / EWTN News. 01/22/14:
Pope Francis sent a tweet offering support for the annual March for Life in Washington, praying that all human life would be valued.(See also: Not Part of the Script—Pope Francis' Critique of Abortion Ignored, Spun by Media, by Joanne Frawley Desmond. 01/15/14).
“I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable,” he told his 3.5 million English-speaking Twitter followers Jan. 22.
The Pope sent the same message in Spanish to his Spanish-speaking Twitter followers, who number more than 4.5 million.
- Pope's Message to World Economic Forum - Full Text National Catholic Register 01/21/14:
Pope Francis has sent a message to the World Economic Forum in Davos, delivered by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on Jan. 21.
- Pope Francis Visits Parish Serving Homeless, Poor in Rome’s Center National Catholic Register 01/21/14.
- Pope invites Christian and Muslim refugees to share each others suffering and faith La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/20/14:
The Pope asked young people to “cause a stir” on Church reform during the course of a closed-door meeting with youth from the parish of the Basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Castro Pretorio, near Rome’s termini railway station. Francis went on a four-hour visit of the parish yesterday afternoon. During today’s meeting Francis confided that he also felt “suffering” and invited those among them who were Christians who read the Bible and those of them who were Muslims and read the Koran to share their suffering and faith because there is one single God, one same God.
- Pope to moms: It's OK to breast-feed in public, even in Sistine Chapel, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 01/13/14:
No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12.
- Pope names 16 new cardinal-electors, from 12 countries and all continents La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/12/14. Francis will create 16 new cardinal electors on February 22, and give red hats to 3 who are over the age of 80 that cannot vote in a conclave. Five are from “the peripheries”. His first consistory shows he is beginning a process to limit significantly the number of electors from Europe and the Roman Curia.
- Pope orders new rules on relations between bishops, religious orders, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 01/02/14:
Pope Francis referred to "Mutuae Relationes," a set of directives issued jointly by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Religious in 1978. The document said that religious orders are part of the local church, though with their own internal organization, and that their "right to autonomy" should never be considered as independence from the local church.
"That document was useful at the time but is now outdated," the pope said. "The charisms of the various institutes need to be respected and fostered because they are needed in dioceses."
- Pope Francis makes visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for Christmas Telegraph UK. 12/24/13:
... “It is a pleasure to see you looking so well,” Pope Francis told his 86-year-old predecessor, who met him at the door of the ex-convent where he has been living in isolation.
Pope Francis was accompanied by his person secretaries and also greeted members of Pope Benedict’s “pontifical family,” which include Archbishop George Gaenswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household and Benedict's personal secretary, as well as the “Memores Domini,” a small group of consecrated women who help him.
The two walked to a nearby chapel to pray, Pope Benedict with the aid of an ivory-handled wooden cane.
They then held private talks for a half hour. Photos showed the two popes in white robes chatting in one of Pope Benedict’s sitting rooms, its all-white interior decorated with religious art and a Christmas wreath with red candles flickering on the coffee table.
It is the first time the inside of Benedict’s retirement residence has been shown. When the two parted, Pope Francis said “Merry Christmas, pray for me,” to which Benedict replied “Always, always, always.”
- Is Francis Building Benedict’s Church?, by Timothy Kirchoff. Ethika Politika 01/13/14:
It does not take much imagination to see the connection between the poisonous spirituality of the scribes and pharisees and the appearance-focused spiritualities that Francis has recognized as obstacles to the realization of the Church’s vocation in the world. Francis and Benedict, in presenting their shared prescription for the modern Church, are not merely showing continuity with each other, but with Christ.
- How popes, baptism, marriage, and form, all come together by Dr. Ed Peters:(In the Light of the Law 1/12/14):
if the pope’s action today was as reported (again, we don’t know that yet), pastors who delay a baby’s baptism in order to help reactivate the Faith in the baby’s parents are going to have a harder time doing that as word gets out about the pope’s (apparently) different approach to the rite. Whether that was the message Francis intended to send is irrelevant to whether that is the message that he seems to have sent.[See also: "Cdl. Bergoglio’s comments on baptism are being misapplied by folks debating Pope Francis’ baptismal actions" -- response to John Allen, Jr.].
But, I suggest, the whole question of whether to baptize the baby of these parents surfaces a yet deeper question. ... [W]hether canonical form—a remedy that nearly all would agree has outlived the disease it was designed to cure (clandestine marriage)—should be still be required for Catholics or whether the price of demanding the observance of canonical form has become too high for the pastoral good it might serve.
- Capitalism and the Pope, by Guy Sorman. City Journal. Winter 2014. "Francis’s criticisms of the free market ignore its usefulness."
- Francis gives priest a ride on the Popemobile: “Come! Hop in!” La Stampa 01/09/14. Vatican Insider interviews Fabián Báez, the Argentinean priest Francis spotted among the crowd in St. Peter’s Square at yesterday’s General Audience, offering him a ride on the Popemobile.
- Pope Francis, Economics, and Poverty, by James V. Schall, SJ. Comments made by Cardinal Bergoglio in 2010 shed light on his understanding of capitalism, work, and the poor. Catholic World Report January 6, 2014.
- Who am I to judge? - A Radical Pope's First Year, by James Carroll. New Yorker 12/23/13. A characteristically progressive assessment of Francis' first year:
"Who am I to judge?" With those five words, spoken in late July in reply to a reporter’s question about the status of gay priests in the Church, Pope Francis stepped away from the disapproving tone, the explicit moralizing typical of Popes and bishops. This gesture of openness, which startled the Catholic world, would prove not to be an isolated event. In a series of interviews and speeches in the first few months after his election, in March, the Pope unilaterally declared a kind of truce in the culture wars that have divided the Vatican and much of the world. Repeatedly, he argued that the Church’s purpose was more to proclaim God’s merciful love for all people than to condemn sinners for having fallen short of strictures, especially those having to do with gender and sexual orientation. His break from his immediate predecessors—John Paul II, who died in 2005, and Benedict XVI, the traditionalist German theologian who stepped down from the papacy in February—is less ideological than intuitive, an inclusive vision of the Church centered on an identification with the poor. From this vision, theological and organizational innovations flow. The move from rule by non-negotiable imperatives to leadership by invitation and welcome is as fundamental to the meaning of the faith as any dogma.
- On the pope’s selection as Person of the Year...by the LGBT community, by Dr. Jeff Mirus. CatholicCulture.org. 12/17/13.
- Snippets From an Exhortation: The Anti-Modernism of Pope Francis, by John Medaille. Catholic Lane. 12/16/13.
Friday, December 20, 2013
- Pope proclaims sainthood of Jesuit companion of St. Ignatius Catholic News Service. 12/17/13. Pope Francis issued a decree declaring one of his favorite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber, a saint.
- Happy Birthday Holy Father! - Pope Francis invited four homeless people to celebrate his 77th birthday at the Vatican. National Catholic Register 12/17/13.
- Pope Francis makes significant changes in the Congregation for Bishops (La Stampa);
Francis Dumps U.S. Cardinal Who Is Outspoken Critic Of Abortion, Gay Marriage (Associated Press); Reality Check: Burke's star will shine on, by Thomas Peters (CatholicVote.com) 12/17/13:
The knives are out for Cardinal Burke this morning. He’s on the next plane out of Rome after Pope Francis sacked him and summarily ended all of his duties this morning. . . . Oh wait, that’s not what happened.
- Pope Francis’ Christmas Gift to Rome’s Poor: Phone Cards and Metro Tickets, by Kathy Schiffer. Seasons of Grace 12/16/13. On his first Christmas as Pope, the Holy Father is giving 2,000 prepaid telephone cards and 4,000 day tickets for the Metro, Rome’s underground rail system, to Rome’s poorest and most marginalized citizens.
- Padua prison inmates send Francis Italian panettoni for Christmas La Stampa 12/07/13:
Benedict XVI was the first Pope to place an order in for 250 Christmas treats produced by Giotto’s prisoner workforce. Given that it’s Vatican spending review time, it was thought that the Pope would not be placing an order this year. But Francis decided to continue the tradition and will be offering a number of home made Christmas sweets, prepared by the prisoners. Bergoglio’s fondness for the prisoners is no secret: every eleven days, on a Sunday, he calls up a group of them who are being held in an Argentinean establishment. “When I telephone the prisoners I ask myself: “Why not me? … Why did he fall and I didn’t? Because we have the same weaknesses and for me it is a mystery that makes me pray and brings me closer to the,” Francis told the prison chaplains.
“We are so grateful to Francis for continuing this tradition. It means so much to our inmates. The cooperative employs 120 prisoners, 15 of them externally. A part from the pastry lab there is also a catering service that employs another 25 prisoners,” Mr. Boscoletto stated.
- Pope Francis Creates Commission on Sexual Abuse National Catholic Register 12/06/13. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the council, told reporters this afternoon that the creation of the commission continues “decisively along the lines undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI.”
- Pope, cardinal council begin work on reorganizing Roman Curia Catholic News Service. 12/4/13. Pope Francis and the eight members of his international Council of Cardinals have begun their discussions on specific ways to reorganize the Roman Curia with the aim of "a renewal that will truly be a service to the universal church," the Vatican spokesman said.
- Pope ramps up charity office to be near poor, sick Associated Press. 11/29/13:
As Americans gathered for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Krajewski described how Francis has redefined the little known office of papal almoner and explained the true meaning of giving during a chat with journalists over coffee and pastries a few steps from the Vatican gates.
"The Holy Father told me at the beginning: 'You can sell your desk. You don't need it. You need to get out of the Vatican. Don't wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor,'" Krajewski said.
Krajewski gets his marching orders each morning: A Vatican gendarme goes from the Vatican hotel where Francis lives to Krajewski's office across the Vatican gardens, bringing a bundle of letters that the pope has received from the faithful asking for help. On the top of each letter, Francis might write "You know what to do" or "Go find them" or "Go talk to them."
- Pope Dedicates 2015 to "Year of Consecrated Life" Zenit. 11/29/13.
- Pope Names Personal Secretary to Oversee Financial Reforms Zenit 11/28/13. Msgr. Alfred Xuereb will inform the Pope on the working procedures of the Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) -- colloquially known as the Vatican Bank -- as well as Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organisation of the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See.
- Pope Francis, the comic book hero Argentine pope features as a cartoon character in a children's comic that has gone on sale across Italy. Telegraph UK. 11/28/13.
- Argentina weighs putting Pope Francis' face on a coin CNN. 11/27/13.
- Study finds massive 'Francis effect' in Italy, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 11/11/13. One of Italy’s best known sociologists of religion says more than half the country’s pastors report an increase in attendance at Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation that they attribute to a “Francis effect,” and that “hundreds of thousands” of Italians have returned to the practice of the faith because of the new pope.
- Pope Francis backs public breastfeeding! And that makes him traditional…, by David Gibson. RNS (Religion News Service) 12/17/13.
- Pope Francis' Missionary Church, by James V. Schall. Catholic World Report 12/13/13. The Pontiff's focus (and impatience) is “this-worldly,” but it is not “utopian” or modernist.
- Just how cool is the Pope? Wayward millennials flocking to church New York Post 12/12/13.
- “The change Francis is bringing risks being downplayed,” says Community of Sant’ Egidio founder, La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 12/9/13:
“We must all take the changes introduced by Francis as an opportunity to do a bit of soul searching instead of downplaying the importance of his work. There is a great interest and sense of expectation among Catholics and non-believers. But some have shown a lazy opposition to what Francis has been doing, claiming they already do it.”
- 'In our time': Francis moves beyond Nostra Aetate, by Jordan Denari. Commonweal 12/08/13:
Francis’ writing on Islam reminds us that spreading the joy of the Gospel isn’t about simply about proselytizing or conversion. Rather, telling the Good News is about encountering the Love of God and pointing it out, even when it appears in unexpected places. Francis challenges us to see that Love, those “rays of Truth,” in Islam, too.
- Fox News columnist rips Pope Francis, loses Catholic News Service gig, by David Gibson. Religion News Service. 12/06/13. Adam Shaw, an editor for the Fox News website, has been taking a lot of heat, even from some conservatives, for a rip-roaring assessment of the pope’s recent apostolic exhortation.
- Wall Street vs. Main Street: Pope's words on economy stir controversy, by Francis Rocca. Catholic News Service. 12/3/13.
- Why Netanyahu Gave Pope Francis His Father’s History of the Spanish Inquisition "It might seem undiplomatic, but it was actually pretty clever." The Tablet 12/02/13.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Full Text of Evangelii Gaudium
- Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World
- PDF Download
- Synthesis of the Apostolic Exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel" Vatican Information Service. 11/26/13.
- Reforming Pope Francis tells Catholics to stop focusing on the liturgy' and to get 'dirty' by reaching out to their fellow man News.com.au. 11/27/13.
- Pope Sets Down Goals for an Inclusive Church, Reaching Out ‘on the Streets’, by Laurie Goodstein. New York Times 11/26/13. "[Francis] announced his agenda in his own unfiltered words, reaffirming the impression that he intends to jolt the church out of complacency and enlist all Catholics in his ambitious project of renewing the church by confronting the real needs of people in need. In a challenge to the Vatican hierarchy, Francis called for decentralizing power in the church, saying the Vatican and even the pope must collaborate with bishops, laypeople and in particular women."
- To go forth in evangelization, Pope Francis confronts the enemy within, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 11/27/13. "In writing the apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis departed from usual practice and declined to use the draft provided by synod officials. The result is a text in the pope's distinctive voice and focused on his particular concerns."
- All Catholics must become evangelisers, says Francis in major new document | Key Quotes Catholic Herald UK. 11/26/13.
- “Evangelii Gaudium”:The Pope’s handbook on preaching, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 11/26/13.
- Pope Francis lays out a blueprint for his papacy in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ Washington Post 11/26/13.
- Pope Francis Criticizes Economic Inequality in Mission Manifesto Wall Street Journal 11/26/13. Document Aims to Renew the Church's Evangelical Role.
- Pope Francis Backs Male Priesthood, Urges ‘Feminine Genius’ in the Church National Catholic Register 11/26/13. The Holy Father said the male priesthood is not ‘open to discussion,’ but explained the need for a ‘more incisive female presence’ in the Church’s life.
On Economic Matters
- Agreeing with Pope Francis, by Michael Novak. National Review 12/07/13. The exhortation looks very different read through the lens of Argentine experience.
- Evangelii Gaudium and Acton. Opus Publicum addressing the questions that Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute put to Francis in his response to EG.
- Morality and economics, Pope Francis, and Rush Limbaugh, by Matt C. Abbot. Renew America. Father John Trigilio Jr., Ph.D., Th.D., president of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, responds to Rush Limbaugh's "scorching" reaction to Evangelii Gaudium ("pure Marxism coming from the mouth of the Pope").
- Finances in Light of the Call for a Poor Church, by R. Jared Staudt. Crisis 11/29/13:
The Gospel and the ministry of Pope Francis invite us to “create a prophetic, counter-cultural resistance to the self-centered hedonism of paganism,” a paganism that is beginning to dominate our culture more and more (§193). Evangelical poverty, putting our finances at the service of God and others, is a crucial way to withstand this paganism. Pope Francis issues this invitation to follow Christ: “God asks everything of us, yet at the same time he offers everything to us” (§12). This is another way of saying: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all else will be added unto you.”
- A key error in translation of Evangelii Gaudium [on Section 54 referencing "trickle-down theories"], by Phil Lawler. CatholicCulture.com. 11/28/13. ("In passing let me ask rhetorically why the translation errors always seem to tilt in the same ideological direction. Almost makes you think they aren’t really "errors.'")
- Correcting a Correction of Evangelii Gaudium, para 54. (response), by Sam Rocha (Patheos.com).
- The Joy of the Gospel, by Daniel Nichols. (Caelum Et Terra) 11/27/13:
I just read Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation. Wow, Just wow. There is absolutely no room for the neocons or libertarians to spin this letter. None. While papal teaching has always been inherently radical – the principle of solidarity, of the primacy of labor over capital, of the preferential option for the poor, etc etc – it often has been cloaked in scholarly prose, in deliberately moderate tones, and even sometimes in ambiguity. Not Francis. Plain-spoken, direct, the pope of the poor and of the people. There is no way that this can be spun. ... Sorry if I seem to be gloating; this feels like victory after a long (since ’79, when I returned to the Catholic Church) war.
- Pope Francis hates trickle-down economics, but he isn't a liberal, by Peter Weber. The Week 11/27/13. The pope's first manifesto, Evangelii Gaudium, confirms a pontiff at home with Occupy Wall Street. With some big caveats.
- Let’s Listen to Pope Francis on Economics, by Pascal-Emmanual Gobry. First Things "On The Square" 11/27/13. "When Pope Francis describes inequality and exclusion as very grave moral sins, we must let ourselves be challenged, and we must open our hearts."
- The New Pope Doesn’t Heart the Free Market, by Todd Zywicki. The Volokh Conspiracy 11/26/13:
Ever since the Galileo incident, the Catholic Church has generally tried to be careful to get its science right before it opines on ethical matters related to science. It takes seriously questions of bioethics and has developed internal expertise on those issues. Yet when it comes to economics, the Church seems to have no qualms about opining on issues of economics without even the slightest idea of what it is talking about.
- When Economic Moralism Clashes with Reality, by Kishore Jayabalan. Acton Institute. 11/27/13.
- Pope Francis's Theory of Economics, by Heather Horn. The Atlantic 11/26/13. A case for the pontiff's debt not to Karl Marx but to Karl Polanyi.
- Pope Francis and Poverty, by Dr. Samuel Gregg. National Review 11/26/13:
... it is difficult not to come away from reading Evangelii Gaudium thinking that there are just too many unexamined assumptions about the economy that have made their way into this document. Indeed, towards the end of his more direct economic observations, the pope seems to indicate his awareness that some of his thoughts about poverty and economics will generate criticism. “If anyone feels offended by my words,” he says, “I would respond that I speak them with affection and with the best of intentions, quite apart from any personal interest or political ideology” (208). Instead, Francis writes, he is concerned with ensuring that people don’t succumb to the type of self-enclosed individualism that produces injustice and ultimately kills the soul.
I myself take no offense from Evangelii Gaudium’s observations about poverty and the economy. In fact I admire Francis’s determination to ensure that we don’t lose sight of the material misery in which far too many people continue to live. His words are also a powerful reminder that Christ’s commandment to love the poor is truly non-negotiable for any serious Christian.
Nevertheless, as Francis himself writes, “Ideas disconnected from realities give rise to ineffectual forms of idealism” (232). And attention to particular realities about economic life is precisely what’s missing from parts of Evangelii Gaudium’s analysis of wealth and poverty. If we want “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good” to be more than what the pope calls a “mere addendum” to the pursuit of “true and integral development” (203), then engaging more seriously the economic part of the truth that sets us free would be a good start.
- Beware the hobbyhorse. Evangelii Gaudium is not about economics, by Phil Lawler. Catholic Culture. 11/27/13:
If you read Evangelii Gaudium as primarily an indictment of free-market economics, you read it all wrong. The Pope did have a good deal to say about economic matters (more on that later), but this is not an apostolic exhortation about economics.
If you thought the big news was that the Pope reaffirmed that women cannot be ordained, or that he strongly condemned abortion, that’s wrong, too.
Evangelii Gaudium is about the urgent need to tell the world the good news of God’s love, the joy of salvation through Jesus Christ. It’s flat-out impossible for any reasonably objective person to read the document and come away with any other idea about its central theme.
... On Everything Else
- Snippets From an Exhortation: The Anti-Modernism of Pope Francis, by John Medaille. Catholic Lane. 12/16/13:
I would like to suggest that when one moves beyond these snippets, a totally different picture emerges, one in which traditionalists can take heart and one which must drive liberals—and especially economic liberals—to despair. For when we look at the exhortation in toto, what emerges is an attack on the entire Enlightenment project: an attack on secularism, rationalism, relativism, invidualism, economic liberalism, coupled with a defense of the family, popular piety, and Christian culture. And even in the attack on traditionalists, what is being questioned is not the commitment to the Tradition itself, but a certain form of traditional-ism, the conversion of the tradition into an ideology with a political agenda; it is a critique that Traditionalists would do well to take to heart in an act of self-examination. Overall, it is a document which Traditionalists should welcome, one which validates the concerns they have expressed since the beginning of the modern era. It is a document which refuses to accept the basic tenant of liberalism, the one that marginalizes the Church as an institution which should confine itself to the otherworldly and leave this world to the social scientist, the businessman, the politician, and the bureaucrat.
- "Modern Prometheuses" Disputations 12/09/13:
The modern Prometheus claims to be able to define his own nature and to create his own good, and in doing so he creates a monster. He doesn't just fail to do God's will, he fails to do his own will, because man isn't able to define his own nature and create his own good. ...
The neopelagianism comes in, I suppose, in the de facto reliance on human actions -- the right prayers, said on the right day in the right language -- for salvation, rather than on Divine mercy. This reliance on human actions may perhaps be more clearly be seen in attitudes towards those who don't follow their prescribed orthopraxis. (As an extreme example, I once came across a condemnation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a ruse of the devil to trick Catholics into not praying the Rosary.)
I'll go so far as to suggest the possibility of a neopelagian orthodoxy -- placing one's hope for salvation in believing the right doctrines, according to the right formulas, rather than in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit promised to those who live according to those doctrines, and Whose presence is a guarantee of salvific grace.
- Evangelii Gaudium something to offend just about everybody, by Michael Liccione. Sacramentum Vitae 12/2/13. If Pope John Paul II liked to repeat Duc in altum!--"Go out into the deep"--Francis is reminding us that what we need to go out from is ourselves--especially our churchy selves.
- Pope Francis the Revolutionary, by George Weigel. Wall Street Journal 11/28/13:
The first nine months of the pontificate of Pope Francis have often resembled a gigantic Rorschach test in which various commentators inside and outside the Catholic Church have "seen" their dreams and fears realized. Alas, what has been "seen" has often had little to do with the record of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as priest and bishop or with his most consequential decisions as pope.
Those projections reached fever pitch with the publication on Tuesday of Francis' first apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), which was celebrated, or lamented, as if it were an Occupy Whatever position paper for a G-8 summit. Instead, the papal document should be read and appreciated for what it manifestly is: a clarion call for a decisive shift in the Catholic Church's self-understanding, in full continuity with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
- Evangelii Gaudium: grief for the faithful. Fr. Franz Schmidberger, Rector of the SSPX seminary in Germany presents an short analysis of the Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. 11/24/13.
- From Jeff Cullbreath (of the traditional Catholic blog New Sherwood): Did I read that right? (regarding the phrase "God’s saving love ... precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part"); Pope Francis, Holy Orders, the Council of Trent, and St. John Vianney; Pope Francis and non-Catholics -- as well as passages hinting at on what the Pope Francis' might propose at next year's Synod on the Family.
- Evangelii gaudium and the liturgy: First thoughts, by Fr. Christopher Smith (Chant Cafe):
One of the things I find fascinating here is that nowhere is the liturgy seen as a source of evangelization itself, nor is it seen as an end towards which evangelization should strive. Am I to conclude from this that the Bishops at the Synod and/or Pope Francis do not consider the liturgy to be even a part, much less central, to the New Evangelization? [...]
If the objective of the New Evangelization were merely to introduce the non-believer to the person of Jesus to begin some form of relationship with Him, it would be hard to find the difference between it and the admirable forms of evangelization already done by our Protestant brethren. But if its objective is full communion with the Catholic Church, it is hard to see how the New Evangelization can ignore the fact that the liturgy is not tangential to it, but part and parcel of it. [...]
Although I doubt that a Church made in the image and likeness of Evangelii gaudium would ever dispense with the Sacred Liturgy, it is clear that the perspective of the document indicates a different one than that outlined in Sacrosanctum Concilium. It is also hard to see how EG’s liturgical thought is in continuity with the broader aims of the classical or the new liturgical movements, or the liturgical theology of Pope Benedict XVI, even if EG, in many other areas, is most definitely in continuity with many insights of Ratzinger and the broader theological movements of the last century and today. In some way, EG’s liturgical theology could be said to be the triumph of an unintended by-product of the Catholic Reformation: an ecclesial culture where liturgy is merely what one has to go through to confect the Eucharistic species, and what is often set aside so people can go about the devotions of their own devising. Liturgy in EG appears far from being fons et culmen. Pope Benedict XVI’s assertion that the liturgy is a powerful element of the New Evangelization has been only weakly, if at all, carried over into the charter of that New Evangelization for our time. But that it has not, does not negate the truth of what the liturgy is in itself and its power to evangelize and equip disciples.
- Pope Francis and the Gospel of Joy, by William L. Patenaude. Catholic World Report 11/27/13. The Pontiff’s apostolic exhortation is filled with warnings, encouragement, explanations, and challenges, all rooted in a pastor's love for the flock.
- Francis and a church that breathes with both lungs, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 11/27/13:
At the big-picture level, Francis says he wants a more missionary and more merciful church, one less afraid of change than of "remaining shut up with structures which give us a false sense of security," "rules which make us harsh judges," and "habits which make us feel safe."
At the level of detail, Francis hints at reform in numerous arenas, including a blunt call for a "conversion of the papacy" toward a "sound decentralization." That includes at least one seemingly clear reversal of previous policy: assigning teaching authority to bishops' conferences, as opposed to a 1998 ruling under John Paul II denying them precisely that role.
Yet there's a deeper sense in which "The Joy of the Gospel" stands in clear continuity with Francis' immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, and in particular his 2009 social encyclical Caritas in Veritate.
In effect, both documents amount to full-frontal assaults not on Catholic doctrine or discipline, but on contemporary Catholic sociology.
- Preaching Law and Gospel – the Catholic Version, by David Schütz (Sentire Cum Ecclesia) 11/27/13.
- Francis has succeeded in doing what no Pope has ever done: divide the ‘c’atholic Left, by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. 11/27/13:
Liberals are so happy that the Pope seems to be bashing conservatives, that they are ready and willing to accept that women will never ever be ordained.
The “Joy of their Gospel” is to see conservatives get whacked. They are so overjoyed, as a matter of that, that they are willing to sacrifice their flagship.
Yes, you will find a few waayyyy out on the even leftier fringe of their fleet – you know, the Gray Panthers – for whom Francis denial of women’s ordination this is still a problem. But, for the most part, Francis hit their liberal sweet spot so perfectly that they are taking the bitter hit amidships.
“Trads to the WALL!” To them, it’s worth it.
Make no mistake. The Big Issue for liberals is women’s ordination. Francis, the fluffiest and most wonderfullest Pope since Peter has now taken the issue away from them.
- Pope Francis on the Joy of the Gospel, by Robert P. George. First Things 11/26/13.
- Pope Francis' document delivers wake-up call on evangelization, by John Thavis. 11/26/13.
- The New Apostolic Exhortation: Bothersome in more ways than one!, by Dr. Jeff Mirus. Catholic Culture. 11/26/13:
There is only so much one can say about Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), before we come up against the fact that this is a post-synodal text from which only a relatively few people are going to benefit. As with the other exhortations of this type over the years, the vast bulk of it is occupied with putting in some sort of order nearly every insight offered at the Synod of Bishops which occasioned the document. For this reason, it often seems that the main benefit is going to be for each individual participant who scans through the document until his eyes eagerly alight on the little point that can be attributed to himself.
- Pope Francis and the Old Covenant, by John Vennari. Catholic Family News, indicting Francis and his predecessors: "Pope Francis effectively continues the program initiative by the Council, and brought to fruition by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI that the Old Covenant has not been superseded by the New."
- Evangelii Gaudium: First Impressions (11/26/13) | Second Impressions (11/27/13) | Additional Impressions (11/29/13), by Michael Sean Winters. National Catholic Reporter:
Evangelii Gaudium is remarkable the way Pope Francis is remarkable. He has set forth a bold vision for the Church, in this text and in the past nine months. The "sourpusses" are grumbling but we can hope that they, too, will catch the Francis Fever and see that it is not Francis' fever at all; it is the zeal of the Gospels, a Gospel that is credible when grasped and preached as attractive, not scolding, welcoming and not exclusionary.
* * *
There are not enough gold and red pens in the world for George Weigel to parse the clamant social justice sections out of Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation released yesterday. ... it is vital to keep in mind that the pope’s treatment of social justice is placed within the context of evangelization: The Pope is calling the Church to be a missionary Church, an evangelizing Church, and the privileged path of fidelity to the Gospel is service to the poor.
- A New Vision for the Church, by James Martin, SJ. America 11/26/13. "In all my years as a Catholic, I cannot remember a papal document that was so thought-provoking, surprising and invigorating. Frankly, reading it thrilled me."
- 'Evangelii Gaudium' amounts to Francis' 'I Have a Dream' speech, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 11/26/13:
Dreams can be powerful things, especially when articulated by leaders with the realistic capacity to translate them into action. That was the case 50 years ago with Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and it also seems to be the ambition of Pope Francis' bold new apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of the Gospel."
In effect, the 224-page document, titled in Latin Evangelii Gaudium and released by the Vatican Tuesday, is a vision statement about the kind of community Francis wants Catholicism to be: more missionary, more merciful, and with the courage to change.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
- Pope Concludes Year of Faith Preaching ‘Centrality of Christ’ National Catholic Register 11/25/13. At his Sunday Mass on the Solemnity of Christ the King, Pope Francis displayed the reliquary containing the bones of St. Peter to the crowd of pilgrims.
- At Vatican meeting, pope discusses ongoing war in Syria with Putin Catholic News Service. 11/25/13.
- French Jesuit priest Peter Faber to be made a saint in December, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 11/24/13. Next month, the Pope to issue a papal bull decreeing the “equivalent canonization” of Peter Faber, the first companion of St. Ignatius, whom Francis considers a model figure.
- A new biography of Pope Francis hailed in Argentina La Stampa 11/22/13. A new biography of Pope Francis, based on primary sources and testimonies, is being praised in Argentina by people who know him as the most complete and authoritative portrait of him in any language to-date.
- Pope, at audience, says he goes to confession every two weeks Catholic News Service. 11/21/13. CNS) -- Pope Francis said he goes to confession every two weeks, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who repent, but also knowing that having a priest say "I absolve you" reinforces belief in God's mercy.
- Pope Francis Blesses Man With Severely Disfigured Face National Catholic Register 11/21/13:
Continuing his efforts to promote a “culture of encounter” with the disabled, Pope Francis again embraced a severely disfigured man after his Nov. 20 weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pope spoke with a man who lacks facial features, embraced him and gave him a blessing. Pope Francis then smiled at the man, kissed him and gestured toward the sky in the midst of a crowded square.
- Pope Francis: "Many people make human sacrifices and there are laws that protect them…" 11/18/13.(As reported by Deacon Greg Kandra).
- Pope reiterates call for Catholics to adopt missionary mindset Catholic News Service. 11/18/13. Pope Francis once again called for Catholics to adopt a missionary mindset and make mission the priority of all pastoral activities.
- Pope personally calls Traditional Catholic writer, says he considers it important to be criticized Rorate Caeli 11/17/13.
- Scalfari Interview Taken Down from Vatican Website National Catholic Register 11/15/13:
Pope Francis’ interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist founder of La Repubblica, has been taken down from the Vatican website, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed today.
The Oct. 1 interview, which was also published in L’Osservatore Romano, was criticised for its inaccuracies after it emerged that Scalfari hadn’t recorded it.
- The Honeymoon is Over: Pro-abortion Feminist activists burn effigy of Pope Francis in front of the Cathedral of San Juan Rorate Caeli 11/14/13.
- Pope says purported visions of Mary can lead people away from God Catholic News Service. 11/14/13. - Purported visions of Mary, if taken in the wrong spirit, can sow confusion and distance people from the Gospel, Pope Francis said.
- Francis endorses the "hermeneutic of reform in continuity" Papal letter praises critic of "Bologna School" as "best interpreter of the Second Vatican Council" Rorate Caeli 11/14/13:
In his latest post for his personal blog, Sandro Magister publicized the text of a letter sent by Pope Francis to Abp. Agostino Marchetto, a former Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. He is best-known as the author of The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council: A Counterpoint for the History of the Council, which criticizes the "Bologna School' and champions the "hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in continuity" as proposed by Benedict XVI, most notably in his speech of December 22, 2005. [Click here for English translation of the letter].
- ‘Pope Francis’s life is in danger,’ anti-mafia judge warns Catholic Herald UK. 11/13/13.
- Rabbi: His friend Pope Francis is strong, will make reforms despite criticism Associated Press / Washington Post 11/21/13. It was September, not an easy time for a religious Jew to be traveling. The Jewish month of Tishrei was ending with its marathon of holy days. Kosher wine would be needed. There were Sabbath blessings to recite. Fortunately, Rabbi Abraham Skorka had a friend with the run of a hotel who arranged for kosher meals and said “amen” to the rabbi’s prayers.
- Even the Pope Critiques Himself. And Corrects Three Errors, by Sandro Magister. 11/20/13. "He is lowering the “rating” of his interview with Scalfari. Rectifying his judgments on Vatican Council II. Distancing himself from the progressive currents that have applauded him until now. But the media are silent on this change of pace."
- 'It was like being in Paradise. I felt only love': Terribly disfigured man who was held by the Pope relives the moment that moved the world Daily Mail UK. 11/19/13:
He said: ‘His hands were so soft. And his smile was so clear and open. But the thing that struck me most is that there has not been thinking about whether or not to hug me. I'm not contagious, but he did not know. But he just did it: he caressed me all over my face, and as he did I felt only love.
He recollected the meeting of a fortnight ago: 'First I kissed his hand while he, with the other hand, caressed my head and wounds. Then he drew me to him in a strong embrace, kissing my face.
'My head was against his chest his arms were wrapped around me. It lasted just over a minute, but to me it seemed like an eternity.'
Mr Riva was accompanied to the Vatican's St Peter's square by his aunt, Caterina and his younger sister Morena, who also suffers from a lesser form of the disease. The meeting with Francis marked a new beginning for him he said: ‘Later I turned to my aunt and told her: "Here I leave my pain"'.
- Papal Style: Caring for Souls while Leaving Doctrinal Exposition to Others, by Dr. William Oddie. Crisis 11/19/13.
- Francis’ School of Love: Are We Absorbing the Lessons?, by Elizabeth Scalia. First Things "On The Square" 11/19/13. "It is a very fine thing to admire Pope Francis, but we’re meant to do more; we’re meant to surrender the idols of our own bitterness and absorb his lessons in generosity. Only then can we model ourselves after them."
- That time when Bergoglio threatened torturers with hell La Stampa 11/14/13. The Jesuit Juan Carlos Scannone recalls some memories of his relationship with the future Pope.
- “The Pope has nothing against the Old Rite and those who follow it”, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 11/13/13:
“Pope Francis has nothing against the Old Rite or the lay groups and associations that follow it,” Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos told Vatican Insider. The cardinal was formerly Prefect of the Clergy and President of the Commission that deals with the Catholic Church’s relations with the Lefebvrians and groups that celebrate the pre-conciliar Rite.
- The Francis Era: Synthesis or Civil War?, by Ross Douthat. New York Times 11/11/13.
- Just when you think another commentary may be overkill, here comes Rusty Reno - Pertinacious Papist 11/20/13.