Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pope Francis Roundup!


  • Round-up of Pope's Early Morning Homilies This Week, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 05/25/13. Among the themes covered in his early morning homilies this week, Pope Francis preached about the importance of praying courageously, of doing good to all, and how to guard against losing the spiritual salt of one’s faith.
  • Gauchos and God: Pope draws life lessons from Argentine cowboy culture, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 05/24/13.
  • El Salvador's leader gives pope bloodstained relic of Archbishop Romero Catholic News Service. 05/23/13.
  • Francis may write first encyclical on poverty, sign Benedict's on faith, by Joshua J. McElwee. National Catholic Reporter 05/24/13:
    Pope Francis may write his first encyclical, a high and authoritative letter from the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, on poverty, several Italian media outlets are reporting.

    Additionally, the new pontiff may give his signature to an encyclical being completed on faith by the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

    While new popes have been known to complete encyclicals begun by their predecessors, Italian Bishop Luigi Martella has said the retired pope is still working on the document, which Francis has then agreed to sign and promulgate.

  • Pope Francis to Visit Assisi on October 4th Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi, confirmed that Pope Francis will visit the city of his namesake, Assisi, on October 4th. Zenit. 05/23/13.
  • A Pope Trip to the "School" of Charity, by Rocco Palmo. Whispers in the Loggia 05/22/13.
  • “Without Christ we are insipid, museum-piece Christians” Pope Francis’ exhortation at his Thursday morning mass in St. Martha’s House was that “Christians might spread the spiritual salt of faith, hope and charity". La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 05/23/13.
  • Vatican denies pope performed public exorcism Catholic News Service. 05/21/13:
    When Pope Francis solemnly laid both hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair Sunday and prayed intently over him for several minutes, he was not performing an exorcism, the Vatican spokesman has said.

    The young man, who was among dozens of people in wheelchairs greeted by the pope at the end of Mass May 19, appeared somewhat agitated when the pope approached. A priest with him said something to the pope, who then prayed over the man.

    "The Holy Father had no intention of performing an exorcism, but -- as he often does with the sick and suffering people presented to him -- he simply intended to pray for the suffering person before him," said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi.

    See also: Holy See says Pope’s alleged exorcism was in fact a prayer La Stampa 05/21/13.

  • Pope's Q-and-A With Movements Zenit 05/21/13. Here is a translation of the question-and-answer session with Francis held Saturday evening, the vigil of Pentecost, with ecclesial movements and communities.
  • Pope's Rio Trip to Include a Stop at One of Poorest Favelas Zenit. 05/22/13. Pope Francis’ program during the 2013 Rio World Youth Day reportedly will include a visit to the parish of Varginha, located in the favela of Manguinhos, one of the poorest of Rio. While there the Holy Father will lead a prayer in the parish of Saint Jerome Emilian, where he will bless the new altar.
  • Francis laments not being able to listen to confessions outside the Vatican La Stampa 05/20/13:
    As a bishop and then cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was a relentless confessor and the homilies and speeches he has give over these first few months testify to this. For Francis, engaging in dialogue with faithful during confession is key. But now he is Pope he is no longer able to “leave” the Vatican and listen to confessions in parishes as he used to do back in Buenos Aires. ...

  • At Pentecost vigil, pope shares personal stories of his faith, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 05/20/13.
  • Pope calls for global, ethical finance reform, end to cult of money, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 05/16/13:
    "Money has to serve, not to rule," he said in his strongest remarks yet as pope concerning the world's economic and financial crises.

    A major reason behind the increase in social and economic woes worldwide "is in our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society," he told a group of diplomats May 16.

    "We have created new idols" where the "golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal."

  • Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope Catholic News Service. 05/15/13. The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said that while he does not like the terms "Francis effect" or "Francis bump," it is true that "Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people."
  • Pope Announces Visit to Marian Shrine in September Zenit 05/15/13. Before concluding his weekly General Audience. Pope Francis announced his intention to visit the Marian Shrine of Bonaria, located in Cagliari, Sardegna. The Marian Shrine is the namesake of the Holy Father’s birthplace, the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pope Francis Roundup!


  • Pope canonizes Martyrs of Otranto, Colombian Laura Montoya, and Mexican Guadalupe Garcia Zavala Vatican Information Service. 05/12/13:
    “Let us look to the new saints in light of the Word of God that has been proclaimed,” the Pope said during his homily at the Mass in which three new saints were canonized. “It is a Word that has invited us to faithfulness to Christ, even unto martyrdom. It has recalled for us the urgency and beauty of bearing Christ and his Gospel to all. It has spoken to us of the witness of charity, without which even martyrdom and mission lose their Christian savour.”

    The Martyrs of Otranto were more than 800 men from the southern Italian city who had survived the siege and invasion of Otranto only to be decapitated on the outskirts of the city when they refused to renounce their faith and died witnessing to the Risen Christ. “Where did they find the strength to remain faithful,” the Pope asked. “Precisely from the faith, which makes us see beyond the limits of our human sight, beyond this earthly life … God will never leave us without strength and serenity. While we venerate the Martyrs of Otranto, let us ask God to sustain the many Christians who, precisely at this time, now, and in many parts of the world, are still suffering violence, that He give them the valour to be faithful and to respond to evil with good.”

    The second saint canonized, Mother Laura Montoya, “was an instrument of evangelisation, first as a teacher and then as the spiritual mother of the indigenous peoples in whom she instilled hope, embracing them with the love she had learned from God, bringing them to him with a pedagogical efficiency that respected their culture and didn't put itself in opposition to it. … This first saint born in the beautiful Colombian land teaches us to be generous with God, to not live the faith in isolation—as if it were possible to live the faith in an isolated way—but to communicate it, to bear the joy of the Gospel with words and witness of life in every sphere in which we find ourselves. … She teaches us to see Jesus' face reflected in others, to overcome indifference and selfishness, which corrode Christian communities and corrode our hearts, and she teaches us to embrace everyone without prejudice, without discrimination, and without reticence, but with sincere love, giving them the best of ourselves and above all sharing with them what we have that is most precious—not our deeds or our institutions. No! What we have that is most precious is Christ and his Gospel.”

    Saint Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, “renouncing a life of ease—and how damaging the easy life, well-being, can be; the “embourgeoisement” of our hearts that paralyses us— follow Jesus' call, who taught her to love poverty so that she could love the poor and the sick more. … The poor, the abandoned, the ill, the marginalized are the flesh of Christ. Mother Lupita touched Christ's flesh and taught us this way of acting: of not being embarrassed, not being afraid, not being disgusted to 'touch the flesh of Christ'! … This new Mexican saint invites us to love as Jesus has loved us and this entails not being locked up in oneself, in our own problems, our own ideas, our own interests, in this little world that causes us so much harm, but to go out and go in search of who needs attention, understanding, and help, in order to bring them the warm nearness of God's love through tactful gestures of sincere affection and love.”

    At the end of his homily, the Pope emphasized that the new saints teach us “faithfulness to Jesus and his Gospel, to proclaim him in word and with our lives, witnessing to God's love with our love and with our charity towards all.”

    See also:

  • Francis' Pontificate Consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima Pope Francis’ pontificate was consecrated Monday to the protection of the Virgin Mary, during a Mass held at the Shrine of Fatima. Zenit. 05/14/13.
  • Pope Francis Addresses Tens of Thousands of Pro-Life Marchers, by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post. 05/13/13.
  • Pope tells sisters the church needs them, they need the church, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 05/08/13:
    "What would the church be without you?" the pope told the women May 8. "It would be missing maternity, affection, tenderness and a mother's intuition."

    Religious superiors, Pope Francis said, need to ensure their members are educated in the doctrine of the church, "in love for the church and in an ecclesial spirit."

    Quoting Pope Paul VI, he said: "It's an absurd dichotomy to think one can live with Jesus, but without the church, to follow Jesus outside the church, to love Jesus and not the church."

  • Historic Meeting Takes Place Between Pope Francis and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, Emphasize Promotion of Ecumenical Dialogue Between Both Churches. Zenit 05/10/13.
  • Pope encourages leader of Cuba’s dissident “women in white”, by Gerard O'Connell. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 05/09/13. Pope Francis blessed and encouraged Berta Soler, leader of Cuba’s “Damas de Blanco”, to continue their peaceful, non-violent struggle for human rights and freedom.
  • World Youth Day: Pope Francis’ Brazil schedule out The official schedule for World Youth day 2013 has been published. Pope Francis will visit Rio’s favelas and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida. La Stampa 05/07/13.
  • Pope Francis is attached to traditional devotions and is not afraid to show it, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 05/06/13. He has already been to pray before the icon of the Salus Poluli Romani twice and is also deeply devoted to St, Joseph and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.


  • Pope Francis and the Liturgy, by Alejandro Bermudez. National Catholic Register 05/11/13. No genius is needed to figure out that Pope Francis is not a liturgist the way Pope Benedict was. But the fear that Francis’ papacy may mark the “end of the reform of the reform” of the liturgical changes that were introduced after the Second Vatican Council is, frankly, unfounded.
  • The Catholic Church's two months with a Pope “from the other side of the world”, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 05/11/13. A look at what changes have been and will be made during Francis’ pontificate.
  • Benedict and Francis: A Lesson in Apostolic Continuity, by William L. Patenaude. Catholic World Report 05/06/13. The differences between the two men give witness to the different gifts of the same Holy Spirit.
  • Fr. James V. Schall on Pope Francis Catholic World Report 05/07/13:
    It is good that we have a Latin American pope. Something like forty percent of the world’s Catholics is in Latin America. My impression of the Latino students that I had at Georgetown over the years is that they were some of the most dynamic and culturally adjusted people to faith and reason that I had ever met.

    It is nice to have a pope who is also a Jesuit; provided that we remember that he is first pope, and only incidentally a Jesuit or anything else. Jesuits are not supposed to want to be popes or bishops or anything else elevated. This tradition does not mean there is anything is wrong with such offices. Rather it means other things need to be done that such offices would impede. But such hierarchical offices are of the very structure of the Church that Christ established. Jesuit vows were not designed as a critique of some mistake in Christ’s founding. Moreover, I suspect that Pope Francis, if he is tough on anybody, will be most tough on the Jesuits, as we would expect if we are men worthy of the tradition of St. Ignatius.

    As many have pointed out, since Pope Francis has left no real paper trail, as previous popes have done, it difficult to read him. His interest in the poor and the humble ought not to lead us to think that he wants everyone to be poor so he can care for them, or that he wants everyone to be proud so he can be humble by comparison. He seems to be a very likable and honest man. He does not have a lot of other baggage. His desire is to serve the Lord.

    The pope faces many huge problems, most of which are just below the surface. They are not only within the Church itself. In fact, I would say, for what it’s worth, that the main concern of Pope Francis’ tenure will be concerned with what can only be called persecution and legal discrimination against the Church. We are little prepared for this. In divine providence, it may take a man like Francis to deal with it.

  • Exploring the Homeland of Pope Francis, by Michael T. Luongo. New York Times 05/09/13.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pope Francis Roundup!



Via Deacon Greg Kandra: "That awkward moment when you realize everyone else got the “Friday Is Dress Like A Swiss Guard Day” memo and you didn’t…"