Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pope Francis Roundup


  • 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.

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