- Pope Francis to Celebrate Fatima and Vatican II Anniversaries EWTN News. 08/22/13. VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis plans to take part in a mid-October Marian celebration that will commemorate the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima and the 51st anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.
- See also: Francis and Fatima, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 08/22/13: "This coming 13 October Pope Francis will entrust the world to Mary, as part of the Year of Faith initiative. This is in continuation with the acts performed by his predecessors, from Pius XII to John Paul II and is a demonstration of Francis’ deep devotion to the Virgin Mary."
- Lefebvrians against a Pope who reaches out to Muslims La Stampa 08/23/13. The General House of the Society of St. Pius X has sent a letter to the Vatican confirming once again its rejection of the Council which led to dialogue with other religions.
- The U.S. has criticised Pope Francis for not having replaced the Vatican Secretary of State yet, reports Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 08/21/13.
- The Pope encourages dialogue and mutual respect with our Muslim brothers, by Luca Rolandi. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 08/12/13.
- 'Ciao Michele, it's Pope Francis' The Telegraph 08/09/13. An Italian man whose brother was shot dead in June has spoken of his shock when he answered the phone to Pope Francis, calling this week to offer his condolences.
- The Poem that Francis Never Wrote Catholic News Agency. 07/23/13.
- Pope expands role, reach of Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 08/08/13. VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As part of the Vatican's ongoing efforts to ensure that all its financial activity complies with international standards, particularly those aimed at preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Pope Francis has expanded the role and the reach of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority.
- Pope, with fellow Jesuits, prays for 'grace of shame,' humility, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 07/31/13. Celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius with more than 200 of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis prayed that he and all of them would receive "the grace of shame" for their failures and the humility to recognize that whatever good they accomplish is really done by the Lord.
- Pope tells Latin American bishops to shun ideology, empower laity, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 07/29/13:
Reducing the faith to a worldly ideology, prizing administrative efficiency over missionary zeal, and exalting the role of clergy to the detriment of the laity are some of the major "temptations" undermining evangelization in Latin America, Pope Francis told church leaders from the region.
"The decision for missionary discipleship will encounter temptation," the pope said July 28 at a meeting with the coordinating committee of the Latin American bishops' conference, CELAM. "It is important to know where the evil spirit is afoot in order to aid our discernment."
- Fordham University announces an upcoming Panel Discussion: "Six Months of Pope Francis". Join a panel of Fordham theologians and leading religion journalist Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press for a discussion of the first six months of Pope Francis' leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. We will explore the tone that Francis has set for his papacy, the initiatives he has already undertaken, and the prospects for the months and years to come. Scheduled Sept. 9, 2013.
- The Pope’s Theology of Sin, by William Doino Jr. First Things "On The Square" 08/19/13:
Since his elevation to the episcopacy, and especially since becoming pope, Francis has promulgated a “theology of sin” with force and clarity. He often returns to the theme that we are all sinners who offend God, need to examine our consciences daily, and amend our lives accordingly. He has referred to himself as a sinner, publicly asked forgiveness for his sins, and requested that people pray for him. And when he was asked during the press conference why he “so insistently” invites prayer, he answered as a true shepherd would:
I have always asked this. When I was a priest, I asked it. . . . I began to ask with greater frequency while I was working as a bishop, because I sense that if the Lord does not help in this work of assisting the People of God to go forward, it can’t be done. I am truly conscious of my many limitations, with so many problems, and I a sinner—as you know!—and I have to ask for this. . . . It comes from within. I ask Our Lady too to pray to the Lord for me. It is a habit, but a habit that comes from my heart and also a real need in terms of my work.
- Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue, by Samuel Gregg. Crisis Magazine. 08/14/13.
- Pope Francis and the "Mission" Thing, by Kevin Tierney. 08/11/13:
What happens if Pope Francis doesn't accomplish much of anything? What if, ten years later, the Church looks a lot like what it looked like before he became Pope, for good or bad? What if he has no grand mission? Does this make his pontificate a failure? If you listen to the Catholic Acela Corridor in the commentariat, you might think so. We moderns believe that everything we do is of earth shattering importance for ages to come. The historical record really says otherwise.
- The "Segretariola" of Francis, the Pope Who Wants To Do It All Himself, by Sandro Magister. Chiesa 08/08/13. Name by name, Bergoglio's personal team. A miniscule but highly active parallel curia in which he makes all the decisions. Including the mishaps of the appointments of Monsignor Ricca and Francesca Chaouqui.
- The "Spirit" of the Pope's Return from Rio, by James V. Schall. Catholic World Report 08/03/13. "Reminiscent of the immediate post-conciliar era, we are seeing a battle between the “spirit” and the actual words of Francis."
- The one word to describe Pope Francis' papacy to date, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 08/02/13. "For Francis, his signature idea is mercy. Over and over again, he emphasizes God's endless capacity to forgive, insisting what the world needs to hear from the church above all today is a message of compassion."
- After Rio, Prospects for Christianity Look Brighter, by Michael Cook. Crisis Magazine. 07/31/13:
“After more than 25 years of covering wars, drug trafficking, riots, protests, coup d’états and, yes, five Papal tours in Latin America, I have to admit that I am not very easy to impress,” wrote Lucia Newman, Al Jazeera’s Latin American editor. “But without hesitation, I confess that the scene on Copacabana Beach on Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday was extraordinary.”
- The Tedious Press Narrative of Pope Francis, by Jeffrey Tucker. The New Liturgical Movement 07/30/13:
The press decided early on that he is humble, spontaneous, liberal, broad, pro-poor, tolerant, and ready to revise doctrine. After that, the fix was in. Everything he does is interpreted in that light. Every headline presumes that underlying template. It's the only story. Everything that contradicts that is thrown out, and every utterance is framed in that preset context.(See also: Pope Francis Will Enliven the Benedict Legacy, by Jeffrey Tucker. Crisis Magazine. 08/12/13).
So, remember this, my friends. There is a lens. It is manufactured by the industry that writes that story. It probably will not change for the duration. That's why this is going to be such a long and bumpy ride.
The only way to fight back against this is to think independently. Don't let the press control your understanding and interpretation of this papacy. Look for context, full quotes, mitigating factors, hidden details, accurate translations, and the like. I know this sounds like a slog and it is. But it is essential if we are to see what is true.
- Conservative Catholics and the New Pope, by Ross Douthat. New York Times 07/31/13.
- Don’t Tell the Press: Pope Francis Is Using Them, by Elizabeth Scalia. First Things ' "On The Square". 07/30/13.
- For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict, by Sandro Magister. Chiesa. 07/29/13. He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it.
- Card. Braz de Aviz moves on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, curtails use of Usus Antiquior. Fr. Z rants, offers tough love, by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. 07/29/13.
- Right wing 'generally not happy' with Francis, Chaput says, by John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter 07/23/13.
- Five Myths About Pope Francis, by William Doino, Jr. First Things "First Thoughts" 07/22/13. "He has been called an “improv pope,” a pope of many surprises, but the biggest surprise of all is that Francis continues to elude all efforts to classify him. Since the opening days of his papacy, a flood of commentators have come forth to tell us what to expect of him, only to miss the mark. Among the numerous errors about Francis, five in particular stand out."
- Seeing Benedict Behind Francis' First Moves as Pope, by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. Aleteia. 07/18/13. Many of Francis' first acts as Pope have been simply finishing things begun by Benedict, not radical breaks with Benedict as the media portrays it.
- A Pope Like None Before. Can He Do It?, by Sandro Magister. 07/11/13. The symbolic voyage to Lampedusa. His great popularity. The reform of the curia. The calculated silence on ethical issues. But also his first error over an IOR appointment. The challenge of Francis in changing the Church is meeting with obstacles and enemies.
- Pope Francis and the mystery of the world's recognition of truth, by Philip Blosser. Musings of a Pertinacious Papist 07/15/13.
- Pope Enlists St. Michael in Reform of Curia, by Dr. William Oddie. Crisis Magazine. 07/15/13:
Last Friday, in what was surely a very striking and dramatic papal act, Pope Francis blessed a dramatic sculpture depicting St Michael the Archangel battling with the devil; but he did a lot more than that: he placed the Vatican City state and all who live and work there under the archangel’s protection.
- The Economic Vision of Pope Francis, a Pontiff for the Poor, by Michael Sean Winters. Religion and Politics 07/09/13.
- Pope Francis’ Preference for Simplicity Leaves Much To Be Spiritually Desired…, by Katrina Fernandez. The Crescat 07/08/13:
... Those things, things that Francis seems to detest, spiritually feed me. They have meaning, meaning that I need to experience through my senses. It’s just so hard to warm up to someone who feels the things you find important and meaningful to be trivial frivolities. And what does that mean for a Catholic who wants nothing more than to be faithful and obedient to carry about them these negative feelings toward their Papa? The sense of frustration has me in such a spiritual state that it turn makes me feel resentment. Which fuels the guilt, which stops up the holiness, and fuels the annoyances. And I’m stuck in this bitter cycle where I want to scream, “Would it be too much for your humble sensibilities to throw one a little brocade once and while? I mean you are Pope. I’m pretty sure it’s not a sin to look like one.”