Being Human: Pope Francis Delights Many, Frustrates Some

Pope Francis wears a sombrero during his arrival to Mexico City Feb. 12. (CNS photo/Gustavo Camacho, Presidency of Mexico via Reuters) See POPE-MEXICO-WELCOME Feb. 12, 2016. Editors: editorial use only.

The mid-February trip to Mexico was a tour de force, with millions of Mexicans turning out to greet the Pope. There was a moment of anger, a moment at “the fence” and… a controversial interview The Pope is human. Pope Francis demonstrated that in Mexico, as he does wherever he goes, and most people find […]

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“Anguish and Tears Must Never Be Forgotten”

17/01/2016 Rome, Italy. Pope Francis' visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome. The Holy Father goes into the synagogue together with Ruth Dureghello, President of the Jewish Community of Rome, and Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome.

  Pope Francis visited the Jewish synagogue of Rome on January 17. He emphasized the “rich, common spiritual heritage” of Jews and Christians While the Catholic Church affirms that salvation comes through Jesus, it also recognizes that God is faithful and has not revoked his covenant with the Jewish people, Pope Francis said. Interrupted repeatedly […]

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“The crowds, the joy, the ability to celebrate…”

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door as he begins the Holy Year of Mercy at the start of a Mass with priests, religious, catechists and youths at the cathedral in Bangui, Central African Republic, Nov. 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-BANGUI-MERCY Nov. 29, 2015.

  Pope Francis told reporters he is well aware that God is a God of surprises, but he had not been prepared for what a surprise his first visit to Africa would be. Obviously tired, but equally content, Pope Francis told reporters he prayed in a mosque in Bangui, Central African Republic, and rode around […]

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Pope Will Read Critiques of His Econom­ic Thought Before US Trip

Bolivian President Evo Morales presents a controversial gift to Pope Francis at the government palace in La Paz, Bolivia, on July 8.
The gift was a wooden hammer and sickle — the symbol of communism — with a figure of a crucified Christ (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano).

After his environmental encyclical provoked criticism in some circles in the US, the Pope feels he should study those critiques before he travels to the States… Before arriving in the United States in September, Pope Francis has said, he will study American criticisms of his critiques of the global economy and finance. “I have heard […]

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Message of Mercy: Let Jesus Cleanse You of Your Sins, Francis Urges

Pope Francis talks with Kiko Argüello, founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, in Rome on March 6.

The Pope also warns members of a movement against embracing a “brand-name spirituality” that excludes others. In his talks, the Pope clarified how he sees conversion and Christian faith. Pope Francis in the first days of March received thousands of members of three of the most important “ecclesial movements” active today: Focolare, the Neocatechumenate, and Communion […]

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A Brief Pontificate?

Pope Francis during the interview with Mexican television.

In a candid interview with Mexican television, Pope Francis says his pontificate may be short… When Pope Francis went out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time, he said he did not prepare what he was going to say, but “I felt deeply that a minister needs the blessing of God, […]

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Once-Controversial Archbishop Romero’s Beatification Will Be Soon

Shot by gunmen as he celebrated Mass on March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was revered by many as a saint. But others were critical of him. Now, after 35 years, he will soon be beatified. Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be beatified in San Salvador “certainly within the year and not later, but possibly […]

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Return with Tears

Pope Francis arrives in a procession to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome February 18.

Celebrating Ash Wednesday on February 18 in Rome, Pope Francis urged Christians to “return with tears” to God and to engage in a spiritual battle against sin. The Pope received ashes on his own head from Cardinal Jozef Tomko . Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully […]

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“Go in Search of the Lost; Bring Them In”

Benedict XVI greets Cardinal Peter Erdo.

Over four days in mid-February — February 12, 13, 14, and 15 — Pope Francis convened the College of Cardinals, discussed with all of them the reform of the Roman Curia, then created 20 new Cardinals on the 14th, and celebrated Mass with them on the 15th… The Catholic Church cannot call itself Church if […]

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The Pope on Scholarship and Religious Dialogue

Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders hold a prayer service and vigil at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.

Pope Francis tells scholars that Christians and Muslims need to study each other’s faith and values and “draw near each other on tip toes” without “raising dust”. Education about one’s own faith and the faith of others is the most effective antidote to interreligious violence, Pope Francis told participants in a conference on Catholic-Muslim scholarship […]

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Pope Urges Europe to Nurture religious roots, sow peace in its borders

Pope Francis addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, November 25.

The project of European unity and cooperation, ensuring peace on the continent and helping others find peace as well, requires a real commitment to dialogue and respect for others, Pope Francis said. While the Pope did not specifically mention the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, both members of the Council of Europe, he told […]

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Pope Calls on European Parliament To Rejuvenate “Grandma” Europe

Pope Francis addresses the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, November 25.

The Pope in late November made a dramatic one-day trip to Strasbourg, France, where the European Union has its headquarters. And he delivered two very important speeches… The 77-year-old grandson of European immigrants to Argentina, Pope Francis urged the European Parliament on November 25 to value the continent’s faiths and recuperate a sense of responsibility […]

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Pope Francis, Year 1 – Photo Special

March 12, 2013, St. Peter’s Basilica. Holy Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio seems pensive — perhaps he is beginning to be aware that the task will fall to him...

During the past 12 months, Francis has won the hearts of millions around the world as “Parish Priest” of the Vatican and a “Shepherd to the World”.  Pope Francis’ most frequent advice and exhortation to Catholics, from laypeople in parishes to bishops and cardinals, is “Go forth.” In Italian, the phrase is even snappier: “Avanti.” […]

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Francis creates new Cardinals – with Pope Emeritus Benedict present

Pope Emeritus Benedict surprised many with his presence on February 22.

On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave to St. Peter and his successors — the Popes — Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI… To the great surprise of most people present, Emeritus Pope Benedict, without any prior warning, entered St. Peter’s Basilica about 15 minutes […]

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Exclusive Portrait – Gualtiero Bassetti

Gualtiero Bassetti. Archbishop of Perugia-Città Della Pieve.

Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia said a parishioner told him he had been named a cardinal by Pope Francis, and “my jaw dropped” when he found out it was true. The 71-year-old archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, president of the bishops’ conference of Umbria in central Italy, said he was not informed before Pope Francis […]

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New Challenges for Francis in May

Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka jointly wrote the book On Heaven And Earth.

A rabbi who has known Pope Francis for almost 20 years and counts him as a close personal friend said the Pope’s late May trip to the Holy Land will be a challenging balancing act because of the high expectations of Israelis and Palestinians, and of Christians, Jews and Muslims. “There are many themes, many […]

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Pope frames vision for church outreach at every level

Pope Francis leads a meeting with the poor in the archbishop’s residence in Assisi, Italy, October 4. The meeting was in the famous "stripping room," where 
St. Francis stripped off his rich clothes, gave them to his father and began a life of poverty dedicated to Christ (CNS photo/Paul Haring).

Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”), which was released November 26 at the Vatican: — With a mix of conversational style and formal papal magisterial language, Pope Francis sets forth a vision for giving the entire Church, at every level, a […]

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For Jesuit, Syrian War Is Professional Challenge, Personal Heartache

For Jesuit Father Nawras Sammour, the ongoing conflict in Syria is a professional challenge and a personal heartache. Father Sammour is Jesuit Refugee Service’s regional director for the Middle East and lives in Damascus, Syria. He was born in Aleppo, and his mother, brother and sister still live there, but his nieces and nephews “have […]

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“Where there is suffering, there is Christ”

Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks during a briefing on Syria at the Vatican June 5 (CNS photo)

Christians must help the people of Syria because “where there is suffering, Christ is present,” Pope Francis told representatives of Catholic aid agencies working in Syria and with Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. “How much suffering, how much poverty, how much pain; and it’s Jesus who suffers, who is poor, who is thrown out of […]

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Vatican Financial Investigator Says Laws, Roles Will Be Strengthened

The director of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority said the Vatican will further amend its finance-related laws in the coming months, increase screening of account holders at the Vatican bank and continue assessing the potential risk that accounts could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Rene Brulhart, the Swiss finance lawyer […]

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