A Pope of Surprises: Presenting the Faith in the 21st Century


Whatever the truth of Pope Francis’ statement that God is a God of surprises, Francis has certainly been the Pope of surprises. And admittedly not all the Church has received these surprises with appreciation. But there is no question that Francis has raised the profile of the Catholic Church outside the boundaries of the Church, […]

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Three Years a Pope: Anniversary Reflections on the Papacy of Jorge Bergoglio

2.06.2013 Basilica Vaticana. Adorazione Eucaristica in contemporanea mondiale presieduta dal Santo Padre Francesco.

Three years into his papacy, Pope Francis has clearly had a unique impact upon the Catholic Church, not to mention the world. But what his legacy will be, no one knows quite yet, for Francis — God willing, even as he approaches 80 — may still be leading the Church for some time. What can […]

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The New Film Risen: “About Something Greater Than Hate, Which is Ultimate Love…”


An Interview with Pete Shilaimon, Executive Producer of Risen (and refugee from Iraq) “A day without death” is the quest of the Roman military tribune Clavius, protagonist of the movie Risen. His desire resonates deeply with Pete Shilaimon, executive producer of the film. He is a refugee from Iraq who has made it to Hollywood. […]

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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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After 1,000 Years, the Pope and the Patriarch Meet

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow sign a joint declaration during a meeting at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana Feb. 12. Standing in front of Cuba's flag is Cuban President Raul Castro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-PATRIARCH-CUBA Feb. 12, 2016.

There is no doubt that the meeting between the Catholic Pope Francis and Kirill, Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ was, in every estimation, historic: the first face-to-face encounter of its kind since the Great Schism separated Catholicism and Orthodoxy in 1054. The meeting — and the “Joint Declaration” document that resulted — […]

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Righteous Judgment: On the Death of Antonin Scalia

Supreme Court justices and family members listen to prayers near the casket of Justice Antonin Scalia at the Supreme Court in Washington Feb. 19. (CNS photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Reuters) See story to come.

A brilliant jurist, he manifested the distinctively Catholic habit of self-criticism, born of humility… The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13 overwhelmed the obituary industry, in part because the balance of the Court was at stake in replacing him, but also in part because he was a figure much larger than […]

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Antonin Scalia – A Bulwark for Liberty

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is seen in this Aug. 30, 2013, file photo at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec) See OBIT-SCALIA Feb. 15, 2016.

His “originalism” was not just a sound constitutional principle. It was a defense against the encroachin­g abuse of judicial power — like the enforced legalization of same-sex “marriage” On February 13, 2016, America lost one of its greatest legal minds, a patriotic American and a devout Catholic — Justice Antonin Scalia. One of Justice Scalia’s […]

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Editorial: We Are Free, and What That Means

The great predicament in our modern age is less a belief that we moderns are “like gods” than it is a conviction that we are like animals, ruled by instinct — that we have no free will. But Christian belief is that man is in fact free… The early Church universally held that every man […]

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Food For Thought

febr 013

When I first arrived in Rome in 1972 as a young bride, there were no ethnic restaurants except French “Charlie’s Saucerie” between the Colosseum and St. John Lateran, Japanese “Hamasei” near Piazza di Spagna, and the “Cantina Tirolese” near St. Peter’s, a favorite with Cardinal Ratzinger before he was elected Pope. All three are still […]

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The Words of Pope Francis: What is True Humility?

Paris psalter  rimprovero di Nath‚n ‡ David, Davide pÈnitent

In his morning meditation at the beginning of February, Pope Francis commented on King David’s journey from sin to repentance and humble sanctity, saying, “The only path to humility is humiliation.” Humility is becoming a lost virtue in the modern world. Our digital technology seems to make us think about ourselves all the time. But […]

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People March 2016

2 Peter-Wells

High-Ranking American in Vatican “Humbled” by Appointment as Nuncio On Tuesday it was announced that Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Peter Bryan Wells (photo), the highest-ranking American in the Vatican Secretariat of State, as his new ambassador to South Africa and Botswana. “I am extremely humbled and honored by the faith which has been placed […]

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Francis in Cuba and the United States

cuba book

Pope Francis’ September 2015 trip started in Cuba and then took him to Washington, New York and Philadelphia in the United States. It generated enormous media coverage. For days, the Pope was “in the news” in an extraordinary way. Now Gilberto Marengo has analyzed this trip in Pope Francis Meets the New World (Vatican Publishing […]

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St. Paul, Witness and Preacher of Mercy


“The faith of the Apostle Paul is the experience of being loved by Jesus Christ in a totally personal way; it is the consciousness of the fact that Christ has faced death not for something anonymous, but for love of him — of Paul — and that, as the Risen One, He still loves him, […]

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Fernando Botero and his Via Crucis

Central Park

“Art is a spiritual, immaterial respite from the hardships of life.” —Fernando Botero Born in Medellín, Colombia, on April 19, 1932, Fernando Bot­ero, whose signature style, also known as “Boterismo,” depicts overly rotund human figures both in his paintings and in his sculptures, is one of today’s most prolific and beloved artists. His works are […]

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News from the East

Seraphim (Sobolev)

Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) Has Been Canonized On February 3, at the 5th plenary session of the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, held at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, the proposal to canonize Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev) was approved. The members of the Council, which included Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All […]

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Spirituality: The Orthodox Saints Speak

Russia___Kirill_Easter_Pasqua celebration

The Resurrection of Christ “Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We venerate Thy cross, O Christ, and Thy holy Resurrection we praise and glorify. For Thou art our God, and we know none other than Thee. We call on Thy name. O come, all […]

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The Message of the Icon: Extreme Humility

estrema umilt‡ ok

One of the most powerful icons for the Lenten season is that depicting the King of Glory in His tomb, commonly called “Extreme Humility.” The grave is the great human equalizer, of course; princes and paupers alike must descend into death and experience the corruption of the flesh. An honest contemplation of the grave must […]

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The Tears of This World (“Lacrimae rerum”— Virgil, Aenaeid)


Recognizing how we hurt other people can be the first step in becoming more charitable to our neighbor One of the sad facts of human existence, as mentioned by St. Augustine, is that, wittingly or unwittingly, we hurt other people’s feelings. Of this, there is a whole gamut of possibilities; let me mention some of […]

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The Papal Almoner’s Office: A Busy Modern Initiative with a Long History

Bacheca benedizioni

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Pope Francis’ Papal Almoner, carries on the legacy of St. John Paul II, whom he served With the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis, poor people were given a new place in the Church. When the number of votes for Jorge Bergoglio reached two-thirds and it started to be “dangerous,” as […]

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Pope Francis and the Orthodox

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople embrace during a prayer service in the patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul Nov. 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-ISTANBUL Nov. 29, 2014.

This humble Bishop of Rome, who says we can learn “the meaning of episcopal collegiality” from the Orthodox, has been “the right Pope at the right time” Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been slow but steady progress in the efforts of various Popes to reach out to the Orthodox Church. These efforts have […]

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