Pope Francis’ Mind, Heart and Soul

Pope Francis.

In Pray for Me : The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, First Pope From the Americas, author Robert Moynihan offers the reader an inside look at the events of the days and weeks after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio emerged onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square as Pope Francis. The book is divided […]

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The Catholic Church Looks for Dialogue with Non-Believers

Eugenio Scalfari

“We might, perhaps, set out on a part of the journey together”: these words are the heart of the letter that Pope Francis wrote to the Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari on September 11, and they reveal a central part of the Holy See’s current strategy for dealing with a Western culture which has entered a […]

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New Series of Pope Francis’ Books


“And now we take up this journey. Bishop and People … A journey of fraternity, of love and mutual trust. Let us pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there may be a great spirit of fraternity.” These words of the newly-elected Pope Francis show the essence of his teaching […]

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Ratzinger’s Students Meet Pope Emeritus Benedict for Special Mass

Father Stephan Otto Horn.

Could you briefly describe the last Schülerkreis meeting? Father Stephan Otto Horn: The Holy Father Emeritus invited members of the Schülerkreis (former students) together with those of the New Schülerkreis (scholars of Benedict’s thought) to celebrate Holy Mass privately with him at the Vatican. We were very happy that he also gave the homily. After […]

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Pope Francis Receives Hackett, New U.S. Envoy to Vatican

Pope Francis welcomes Kenneth Hackett, who presented his credentials to the pontiff October 21 (CNS photo).

Presenting his credentials to Pope Francis, Kenneth F. Hackett officially took over as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See October 21, filling a role that had been vacant for nearly a year. “The United States and the Holy See have converging interests that span a broad range of issues” including “human rights and social justice,” […]

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Pope Francis: Special Lenten Spiritual Exercises

The Pauline retreat house where Pope Francis will make his Lenten spiritual exercises in March 2014 with other members of the Curia Below, the Pauline retreat house where Pope Francis will make his Lenten spiritual exercises in March 2014 with other members of the Curia.

In mid-October, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, the head of the Vatican Press Office, confirmed press reports that Pope Francis had decided to make his first annual Lenten spiritual exercises with the Curia’s heads at a Pauline retreat house outside of Rome, instead of following the traditional practice of making the retreat in the Vatican itself. […]

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Vatican Official Reaffirms Teaching on Divorced, Remarried Catholics

Pope Francis greets newlyweds (Galazka photo).

Amid increasing speculation that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official on October 22 reaffirmed Church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine […]

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Vatican Watch – November 2013

Pope Francis and priests.

Thursday 5 A LETTER TO PUTIN Pope Francis wrote to Vladimir Putin, Russian president, host of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 5-6. The pontiff asked leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” to the Syrian civil war and promote instead a “peaceful solution […]

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The Lives Saved by Fr. Bergoglio

“What if the cardinals have elected the wrong man?” That was the doubt which blogs and websites began to spread a few hours after the election of the first Latin American Pope. Even important international newspapers, Argentinian and Italian, insinuated that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected superior of the Argentinian Jesuits three years before the military […]

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Analysis of a Religious Decline

Adam and Eve After the Pill

Readers who enjoy discussions of the “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” variety will love this book. Starting with the all-but-universal assumption that today’s lower birthrates throughout the West are a consequence of the decline in religious belief and practice, Eberstadt provides abundant evidence that this reverses the actual causality. “Smaller families mean […]

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A Trip to Ceri, Near Rome, with a Charming B&B and a Special Restaurant

Heading north from Rome, leaving the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea, on an outcrop of volcanic tufa is the medieval village of Ceri. A ring of crenelated walls surrounds the ancient dwellings, the Church of Mary Immaculate, a place of pilgrimage, and the Torlonia Palace, all facing the village square. Ceri is an ideal starting […]

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St. Edmund of Abingdon (November 16)

“There are four planes or fields in which God is reflected. Two within, reason and revelation, or the light of nature in the intelligence, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit elevating the intelligence by a supernatural light. Two also without, creation and the Church, or in other words, the world of nature, which is the first creation whereon the traces and outlines of God’s being, presence, and image are inscribed in characters of goodness, wisdom, and power; and the second creation, or the mystical Body of the Incarnate Word, in which the image of the invisible God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Edmund Rich was born in Abingdon on November 20, the feast of St. Edmund, the King of East Anglia, about the year 1175. He was the son of a local merchant named Edward or Reynold Rich. Of his three brothers, Robert supposedly wrote one of his biographies. His two sisters, Margaret and Alice, became prioresses […]

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Jorge Mario Bergoglio Like Oskar Schindler? Interview with Nello Scavo

Nello Scavo, author of La lista di Bergoglio. I salvati da Francesco durante la dittatura (“Bergoglio’s List. The People Saved by Pope Francis During the Dictatorship”)

Before this year’s March conclave, but also before the 2005 conclave, some Argentinians circulated a dossier accusing the archbishop of Buenos Aires of collaboration with the military regime in the 1970s. The media amplified these rumors even after the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Bishop of Rome. The rumors originated for the most part […]

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Three Popes of Inside The Vatican

“I arrived in Italy on the same day as Bob — on May 17, 1984. He arrived in Rome by plane from the United States; I entered northern Italy by bus from Poland. I wanted to be at Monte Cassino on May 18, but the pilgrimage was organized in such a way that we were […]

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Hildesheim’s Medieval Church Treasures at the Met

St. Bernward’s Smaller Gospelbook.

Germany is home to 38 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since 1985, two of them, the Ottonian Romanesque St. Michael’s Church, built between 1010 and 1020 by Bishop Bernward, and St. Mary’s Cathedral and its extraordinary medieval treasury of more than 2,000 artifacts (many of which were also accumulated by Bishop Bernward), have […]

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The Torch Passes From Bertone to Parolin

The last day of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as Vatican secretary of state.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin was absent from the ceremony of his installation as the new Vatican secretary of state on October 15. Struck by gallstones (or appendicitis, according to other sources), Parolin had to undergo an urgent, though not grave, operation. During the ceremony, Pope Francis thanked the outgoing secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Ber­tone, with […]

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How the Canonization Process Works

Pope John Paul I

  St. Pius X (Pope from 1903 to 1914) was the last Pope to be canonized. Now, after almost six decades, causes for the last five Popes, with the exception of Benedict XVI, have been initiated. Don’t you think that’s too many? And why almost all at the same time? Don Nicola Bux: Too many? […]

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To Feel Ashamed is a Grace

“I do not understand my own actions… For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want, that I do… For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making […]

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People – November 2013

Father Gustavo Gutierrez is pictured in 2007 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. (CNS photo)

MEETING On September 11 Pope Francis met, in a private audience, Dominican Father GUSTAVO GUTIÉRREZ, one of the founders of liberation theology and author of a book entitled Liberation Theology (1971), regarded as the manifesto of that current of thought within the Catholic Church. Liberation theology developed in the 1960s and 1970s in response to […]

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