Lead Story Archives

Major stories that get to the pith of the situation.

Papal Visit to Three African Countries

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“Pope Francis will shake consciences again” Rome journalists Luis Badilla and Antonio Marguccio recently conducted a lengthy interview with Comboni Missionary Fr. Giulio Albanese, veteran Africanist and founder of the Missionary International News Service, on Africa and the Pope’s scheduled visit there. We excerpt it here: Pope Francis will soon visit three countries in Africa: […]

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To Walk with Our Fellow Men and Women Who Suffer

The October 4 vigil the evening before the opening of the Synod on October 5

The Synod of Bishops on the Family opened with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, October 4, with an eloquent homily by Pope Francis, then began its actual work on Monday, October 5. At that first morning session, Cardinal Peter Erdo of Budapest, Hungary, gave a magisterial talk on the issues of the […]

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Three Cities, Three “Spheres”

Pope Francis Visits the US

The Pope will visit Washington, Philadelphia and New York. Can Americans renew the “all-encompassing Christian life”? Three cities in the United States will receive Pope Francis during his first visit here as Pope; for whatever reasons the Holy Father chose them, they are in some sense emblematic of three “spheres” of human society in which […]

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The Liturgy as a Window to Another World

Juan de Juanes Cena

A Prize-Winning German Writer Explains why the Traditional Mass is so Beautiful and so Important By Martin Mosebach Holy Mass and Modernity When it became apparent in the early 1950s that television sets would soon be in many households, German bishops deliberated about whether it would be wise to allow or even promote television broadcasts […]

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HOLY WEEK with Pope Francis

Pope Francis uses holy water to bless the crowd at the start of Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square on March 29, a week before Easter.

By Laura Ieraci (CNS) The Vatican’s office for liturgical celebrations, headed by Msgr. Guido Marini, released this schedule of events that Pope Francis presided over during Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, March 29, starting at 9:30 am, the Pope blessed the palm and olive branches in St. Peter’s Square before presiding at the celebration of […]

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Pope Francis Receives Bishops of Ukraine, Backs Peace Plans

Pope Francis receives bishops of Ukraine.

Pope Francis on Friday, February 20, met with the Bishops of Ukraine, who were in Rome for their ad limina visit. The Bishops were led by Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav Shev­chuk of Kyiv-Halych, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; and by Archbishop Mie­c­zyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins. In keeping with recent custom, the Holy Father’s prepared remarks were […]

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Pope Grants Interview about His Safety, Politics…

Italian journalist Alver Metalli and Jose Maria "Pepe" di Paola of Buenos Aires, Argentina. They interviewed the Pope.

A religious procession, a brainstorm session and a few glasses of wine led a group of residents gathered in a shantytown on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to come up with a plan to interview Pope Francis. It was a warm, Southern Hemisphere’s summer night in January when folks sitting in the church courtyard […]

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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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A Voice for Voiceless Christians

Pope Francis in deep thought.

Throughout large areas of the Middle East, the radical Islamic movement ISIS is killing innocent Christians. The Pope has now said that force may be used to stop this violence. Pope Francis in recent weeks was again one of the only world leaders willing to give a voice to the Christians being slaughtered by Islamic […]

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Will Some Resist the Pope’s Vision for the Church?

Pope Francis.

Vatican observers tended to feel that Pope Francis set out his “overall vision for the Catholic Church” during the homily he delivered at Mass for 20 new cardinals on Sunday, February 15 (note: not the less-commented-on, but for this reason perhaps equally important homily he delivered on February 14, when he created the cardinals; that […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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“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 […]

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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 […]

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