Lead Story Archives

Major stories that get to the pith of the situation.

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis

ORDINARY PUBLIC CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF NEW CARDINALS HOLY MASS Vatican Basilica – Saturday, February 14, 2015 Dear Brother Cardinals, The cardinalate is certainly an honor, but it is not honorific. This we already know from its name — “cardinal” — from the word cardo, a hinge. As such it is not a kind […]

Some Views of the New Cardinals

Cardinal Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet.

Inside the Vatican offered a general profile of the new cardinals in our February 2015 issue. Here we give a sampling of the positions of some of these new cardinals, some staunchly traditional, some very thoughtful, and some a bit… perplexing. Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan of Panama, 70, a native of Pamplona, Spain, was […]

“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 […]

Mamberti on the Freedom of the Church (2013)

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti speaks to the United Nations in New York.

Two years ago, Cardinal-designate Dominique Mamberti on January 16, 2013, granted an important interview to Vatican Radio which is published on the Vatican’s website. The interview is a thoughtful discussion of freedom for the Church and for Christian belief in an increasingly secular society, in light of cases then before the European Court of Human Rights. […]

Cardinals: Defenders of the Faith

Pope John Paul II and Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

The new cardinals chosen by Pope Francis are pastors of rapidly growing flocks in many “peripheral” regions of the world. But they are not “progressives.” Rather, they are staunchly orthodox men of Christian faith who are leading the Church into her future — which may not include the traditional “heartland” of the Church. In much of the secular […]

15 New Cardinal Electors, Most from Global South

1 French Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, 62.

On January 4, Pope Francis announced he would create 20 new cardinals, 15 of them voting members of the college. The ceremony will occur on February 14 and 15 in Rome. There were no Americans named… On January 4, the Pope announced the names of 20 new cardinals, 15 of them under age 80. Underscoring […]

Francis and Bartholomew Sign Joint Declaration

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I sign their Common Declaration on November 30.

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on November 30 signed a “Joint Declaration” reaffirming their desire to overcome the obstacles dividing their Churches.  The two also deplored the tragic situation facing Christians in the Middle East. We, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholo­mew I, express our profound gratitude to God for the gift of this new encounter, […]

Is Reunion Likely Still Far Off? Some Say Yes

Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on November 29.

Five recent statements from Patriarch Bartholomew, and a reminder from 2009 Compared to the reign of Benedict XVI (2005-2013), there has been less talk in the current pontificate of the reunification of Catholicism and the separated Eastern Christians that accept the first Seven Ecumenical Councils (the “Eastern Orthodox”) being a lot nearer or even imminent, but it […]

“Bless Me, and Bless the Church of Rome”

The single most significant image of the Pope’s trip to Turkey — his request for a blessing from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on November 29 in Istanbul, in the Patriarchal Church of St. George at the Phanar (the Orthodox Vatican, a small section of Istanbul).

On his three-day trip to Turkey (November 28-30), Pope Francis reached out to Muslims and to Greek Orthodox Christians, making his journey one of outreach and profound gestures. The second day was Nov­ember 29, after hearing Turkish leaders on the first day demand that the West show more respect for Islam. Pope Francis seemed to […]

Francis: “I Want to Unite My Voice with Yours”

The Angelus, oil painting by French painter Jean-Francois Millet.

Pope Francis delivered an off-the-cuff, mini-encyclical on the rights of the poor, the in­justices of unemployment, and the need for environmental protection on Tuesday, October 28, in Rome, saying he’s not preaching communism but the Gospel. Francis’ remarks to the World Meeting of Popular Movements, delivered in his native Spanish, ran for more than six […]

All eyes on Francis

Pope Francis is neither "left" nor "right", but centered on the experience of God's mercy and the forgiveness of human sins. This is what he is attempting to teach by his words and deeds.

What is he doing, and what will he do next? As the Synod opens, the world watches… People around the world are watching what Pope Francis is saying and doing, and trying to understand what it means. A friend called me recently from Switzerland: “What do you make of this alleged ‘irritation’ of the Pope […]

The Veil of Manoppello – An Unexpected Bridge to Judaism?

The Veil of Manoppello.

Welcome to Manoppello.  Rabbi Gabriel Hagaï: Thank you, Paul. You are Gabriel Hagaï, a Rabbi from Paris. Could you tell us a little bit more about your life? Well, I was born in Paris, but lived most of my life in Jerusalem, more than 20 years. I married there and all of my children were […]

Is Rome Pushing the Russian Patriarch “Into Putin’s Arms”?

A battlefield in Ukraine.

A British priest who is a leading scholar in the field of ecumenism, writing in The Catholic Herald of London, has sug­gested that Rome may be missing an opportunity to work closely with the Russian Orthodox Church, and in so doing may be pushing Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill “into Putin’s arms.” The article was published […]

Francis and Hilarion United Against War

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War I's beginning, Pope Francis issued a cry against war.

It’s time to stop war, fighting and conflicts, which do nothing but kill and maim, leaving children unexploded ordnance for toys and lives without happiness, Pope Francis said at the end of July in a dramatic Sunday noon appeal from the window of the Apostolic Palace. “Never war!” he said. “Never war! I think most […]

Pope Francis leads the way for Israel and Palestine

Pope Francis tells presidents that "only God can bring peace to the Holy Land".

Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil. “More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, […]

Two views of the encounter – President Obama and Pope Francis

Pope Francis received the US President on March 27 for 52 minutes. What did the two men discuss? Stories differ..

Following the 52-minute meeting (it went almost twice as long as expected) between Pope Francis and US President Barack Obama on March 27, two conflicting versions about what was said emerged, the President’s and the Vatican’s. And even several days after the meeting, it is still not clear which version more closely corresponds to the […]

Pope appeals for end to violence in Ukraine

In Ukraine, what started as demonstrations have quickly evolved in violent confrontations.

After months of protests, a dramatic change in Ukraine. At a high price — more than 77 people killed. Now Russia is moving. Can further bloodshed be avoided? After a day and a night of violent confrontations on February 18-19, leading to the deaths of at least 77 people, Pope Francis and Ukrainian Church leaders […]

The Thousands of Jews Saved in Churches and Convents

The front page of a newspaper close to the German SS during World War II denounces the protection received by Jews in Milan's Catholic convents.

The controversy over the “silence” of Pius XII is being reignited. But the facts speak for themselves. The Catholic Church gave refuge to a great number of Jews. With a commentary by the Italian Jewish historian Anna Foa. Fresh from a mid-January visit to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, his longtime friend and soon to be his […]

What is at Stake

hilarion

A world without God, without absolute moral values rooted in divine revelation, irrevocably turns into the realm of the rule of slavery and lawlessness. … The Russian Church, which has paid in millions of lives for the godless Soviet experiment, can and must testify before the adherents of militant secularism to the fact that a […]