- Pope Francis: the priest of the slums The Telegraph UK. 03/08/12. Peter Stanford, author and former editor of the Catholic Herald, retraces the trip Pope Francis used to take to the outskirts of Buenos Aires to try to understand the man who was known as 'the priest of the slums'.
- The Pope appoints 8 cardinals and 7 lay people to the new Council for the Economy La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 03/08/14. The Pope has appointed eight cardinals and seven lay people as members of the Vatican Council of the Economy which is to be co-ordinated by the cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx. Their mandate will last five years. The Secretariat for the Economy, essentially the Vatican “ministry of finance”, was established just a few days ago and Australian cardinal George Pell chosen as its head.
- Francis Gives an Ignatian Twist to the 2014 Vatican Lenten Retreat, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 03/07/14. Drawing on the spirituality of the founder of his Jesuit order, the Holy Father has moved this year’s retreat to a secluded retreat center near Castel Gandolfo.
- Francis: I carry crucifix I took from a dead priest, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic Herald UK. 03/06/14.
- Bergoglio opens Castel Gandolfo gardens to the public La Stampa "Vatican Insider" 03/03/14. As of 1 March tourists will be able to visit the Barberini gardens and admire the natural beauty and archaeological treasures of the surroundings.
- Pope Francis overhauls Vatican finances, names Australian cardinal George Pell as comptroller Religion News Service. 02/24/14. Pope Francis launched a sweeping reform of the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system by naming one of his closest advisers on reform, Australian Cardinal George Pell, to head a powerful new department that will oversee the entire management of the Holy See.
- http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/english-translation-of-pope-francis-corriere-della-sera-interview ZENIT publishes below the first English translation of Pope Francis’ interview with Ferruccio de Bortoli that appeared today in Corriere della Sera. The text has been published by kind permission of the newspaper's director.
- Francis: the Pope is “a normal person”, not Superman La Stampa 03/05/14. In an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis says he is a normal person, not superman, and speaks about the family, child abuse, foreign trips, relations with the Orthodox, China, and how he governs the Church.
- Pope, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions, by Francis X. Rocca. Catholic News Service. 03/05/14. "Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with 'much mercy.'"
- Italian Editor Calls Interview with Francis 'Extraordinary Privilege' Zenit News Agency. 03/06/14. “A great emotion, an extraordinary privilege.” These were the words Ferruccio de Bortoli, editor in chief of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, used to describe his recent interview with Pope Francis.
- Pope Gives New Interview to Secular Newspaper, by Edward Pentin. National Catholic Register 03/05/14:
This is Pope Francis' sixth interview to the mainstream media. Some in the Vatican have quietly expressed disappointment that the Holy Father has so far only given interviews to the secular press and denied any to his own media outlets such as Vatican Television, Vatican Radio or the semi-official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. But Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II didn’t do so either, most probably as part of a strategy to reach out and evangelize secular society.
- Pope Francis Lets A Vulgarity Slip During Vatican Address, by Bill Chappell. NPR. 03/03/14. It was a simple slip of the tongue, people say. But when the pope accidentally utters a vulgarity during a public speech, people notice. That's what happened during Sunday's weekly blessing by Pope Francis, sparking a flurry of comments on social media.
- "Who Am I to Judge? Pope Francis T-Shirt Celebrates Diversity" PR Newswire (via Rorate Caeli). 02/27/14. "'Who am I to judge?' -- This universal message is especially timely with the recent news about Michael Sam and Ellen Page coming out. However, "Who Am I to Judge?" goes beyond the gay, lesbian and LGBT community. It's a global message that applies to communities and Archetypes everywhere."
- Pope Francis, with retired Pope Benedict present, creates new cardinals, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 02/26/14:
In his homily Pope Francis did not mention the standard point that the cardinals' new red vestments are symbols of the call to serve Christ and his church to the point of shedding their blood if necessary. Rather, he focused on their being called to follow Christ more closely, to build up the unity of the church and to proclaim the Gospel more courageously.
The Bible, he said, is filled with stories of Jesus walking with his disciples and teaching them as they traveled.
"This is important," the pope said. "Jesus did not come to teach a philosophy, an ideology, but rather a 'way,' a journey to be undertaken with him, and we learn the way as we go, by walking."
After listening to a reading of Mark 10:32-45, Pope Francis also spoke about the very human, worldly temptation of "rivalry, jealousy (and) factions" the first disciples faced.
The reading is a warning to the cardinals and to all Christians to put aside concerns of power and favoritism and "to become ever more of one heart and soul" gathered around the Lord, he said.
- Pope at audience: Make sure your children are confirmed by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 01/29/14:
Many Catholic parents go to great lengths to ensure their children are baptized, and they must make similar efforts to see that their children are confirmed, Pope Francis said.
Without confirmation, he said, young people will remain "halfway" on the path of Christian maturity and membership in the church.
- Francis: “It’s absurd to claim that we love Christ without the Church” La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 01/30/14. Loving Christ but not the Church makes no sense. This was Francis’ message at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House. The Pope also emphasised the three pillars of belonging to the Church: humility, faithfulness and prayer.
Commemoration: Pope Francis' First Year
- Virtual Booklet Marks Francis' 1st Year as Pope The Vatican has prepared a virtual book to mark the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis' election. Called "Do We Want to Become Holy? Yes or No?", the 36-page book includes some of the most striking of Francis' messages since he became the Successor of St. Peter last March 13. Zenit News Agency. 03/07/14.
- Pope Francis - the first year: From atheists to gay marriage, 12 months in his own words Independent.co.uk 03/07/14. "In his first year as pontiff, Pope Francis has enjoyed a very positive media image compared to his predecessors. He is certainly the first pope to have been compared to both a rock star and to Superman."
- Pope Francis - the first year: Is the rebel too good to be true?, by Paul Vallely. 03/08/14. He is cleaning up the Vatican bank. He thinks the Catholic Church should worry less about homosexuality and more about the poor. He has ruffled feathers - but, asks his biographer Paul Vallelly, is he as radical as he seems?
- Pope Francis wants you to get over him, by Michelle Boorstein. Washington Post 03/07/14. "If you’ve posted inspiring Pope Francis quotes on Facebook, if you’ve devoured every article about him, if you’re banking on him to revolutionize a tradition-heavy, 2,000-year-old institution by force of personality, Francis has a message for you."
- "Francis Effect" analysis: Confessions in sharp decline Rorate Caeli. 03/07/14.
- Pope Francis on casuistry and faith, by Edward Peters. In The Light of the Law 02/22/14. "Many people are, I fear, going to read the pope’s recent comments on casuistry and faith in quite a different sense than they were, I think, intended."
- Francis, Faith, and False Assurances, by Carl E. Olson. Catholic World Report "There are a lot of people who are going to be surprised by how Catholic the Pope really is."
- Pope Francis' Gentle Revolution: "The times they are a-changin’ at the Vatican" Rolling Stone 01/28/14.
- The Best Dressed Man of 2013: Pope Francis Esquire 12/27/13.