- 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.