- Pope Francis' first encyclical to be published July 5 Catholic News Service. 07/01/13. Pope Francis' first encyclical -- "Lumen fidei" (The Light of Faith) -- which he has said is largely the work of retired Pope Benedict XVI, will be published July 5.
- Catholic website launches cartoon of Pope Francis La Stampa 06/29/13. The Pope is transformed into a cartoon for the first time. Catholic-link.com, a Catholic website run by a group of university students has launched a four minute animation of Pope Francis’ life, in different languages, including Italian, Argentinean media report.
- Pope creates commission to study activities, mission of Vatican bank Pope Francis has created a five-person commission to review the activities and mission of the Vatican bank. ... part of the pope's larger efforts to reform the central offices of the church. Catholic News Service 6/26/13. (For more, see: Pope Francis’ fight for transparency, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 06/29/13).
- Francis’ first encounter with world Jewish Leaders: warmth and personal commitment, by Lisa Palmieri-Billig. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 06/28/13. Pope Francis' new style shone through in his first meeting with representatives of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations on 24 June.
- Young Argentine Catholics on an underground mission in Francis' footsteps
La Stampa 06/28/13:
This coming 29 June, the young Catholics of Buenos Aires will become missionaries and take the same underground Jorge Mario Bergoglio used to use to get around town until a few months ago. Francis will therefore become an emblem of those existential peripheries he so loves talking about as Pope, from Rome, as he used to with the young Catholics of Buenos Aires. The Archdiocese of Buenos Aires has sent out an invitation to young people to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul by gathering in the subway stations Francis used to use and then attend an evening Mass in the cathedral.
- Francis breaks the mould by not attending Vatican concert La Stampa 06/23/13:
Bergoglio’s aversion to worldliness is common knowledge and he has tried his best to avoid attending certain events. On this occasion, however, he had confirmed his attendance, so he had a legitimate reason for not walking the 50 metres that separate St. Martha’s House from the concert hall to attend the concert directed by Slovakian director Juraj Valcuha Mehta with Rai state television Orchestra: he was busy at work at his desk. Francis is faced with making some important decisions which are expected to change the face of the Roman Curia in the coming months. He does not see himself as a monarch but as a shepherd: only two days ago, he urged bishops “not to have the psychology of 'Princes.'”
There were lots of long faces among dignitaries, politicians, sponsors and cardinals when it was announced that Francis would not be attending the concert, just a minute before it was due to start.
- Pope says false ideas of freedom spawn threats to human life Catholic News Service. 6/17/13:
"Whenever we want to assert ourselves, when we become wrapped up in our own selfishness and put ourselves in the place of God, we end up spawning death," the pope said in his homily during the Mass June 16.
The Mass was the culmination of a weekend dedicated to "Evangelium Vitae" (the "Gospel of Life"), a pilgrimage organized for the Year of Faith and named after the 1995 encyclical by Blessed John Paul II on the "value and inviolability of human life."
"All too often," Pope Francis said, "people do not choose life, they do not accept the 'Gospel of Life' but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.
"It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment," he said. "As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death."
"Let us say 'yes' to love and not selfishness," Pope Francis concluded. "Let us say 'yes' to life and not death. Let us say 'yes' to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time."
- Pope nixes 'boring' practice of reading text to students, uses Q&A. Catholic News Service. 06/07/13. Pope Francis ditched a 1,250-word prepared speech to students saying it would be "a tad boring" to read out loud and opted instead to just quickly hit the high points and spend the rest of the time answering people's questions.
- Man in Pope Francis Exorcism Story Says He's Still Possessed by Demons, by Leonardo Blair. Christian Post 05/31/13. "I still have the demons inside me, they have not gone away," said Angel, while admitting that he is now able to walk since Pope Francis prayed over him on May 19 at the end of Mass.
- The Hundred Days of Francis and the Enigma of the Empty Chair, by Sandro Magister. 06/24/13. "His sudden refusal to listen to the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven offered for the Year of Faith is the seal on the beginning of a pontificate that is difficult to decipher. The success that he enjoys in the media has a reason and a cost: his silence on the crucial political questions of abortion, euthanasia, homosexual marriage."
- 100 days of Francis: Reality and expectations, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 06/19/13. A summary of what’s new in Francis’ papacy, his most important messages and the changes introduced.
- Bergoglio, the "Black Pope" Dressed in White, by Sandro Magister. 06/13/13. He governs the Church like a superior general of the Jesuits. He listens, but decides on his own. Even a McKinsey man has been called in to study the reform of the curia. Which Francis wants to purify from corruption and from the "gay lobby".
- Pope is a 'spiritual success' who will emphasize change, rabbi says Catholic News Service 06/12/13. Interview with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, an Argentine biophysicist and rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, and co-author of On Heaven and Earth with Pope Francis.
- Beneath the hype, Rio a major test for Francis, by John Allen, Jr. National Catholic Reporter 05/24/13. "In exactly two months, Pope Francis will make his first overseas trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day. It shapes up as the biggest Catholic blowout of the early 21st century, a massive celebration of history’s first Latin American pope folded into what’s already the Catholic version of Lollapalooza."