Lead Story Archives

Major stories that get to the pith of the situation.

One Pope, One Petrine Ministry

Pope Francis greets emeritus Pope Benedict XVI during an encounter for the elderly in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-ELDERLY Sept. 29, 2014.

A Response to Archbishop Georg Gänswein’s Recent Remarks on Benedict and Francis On May 20, during the presentation of a new book on Pope Emeritus Benedict and his pontificate, his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, delivered an address at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, that raised many questions and concerns among Catholics. Instead of […]

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Power Struggle in Vatican City

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney greets Pope Francis during his audience with cardinals March 15 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) (April 9, 2013)

A financial battle is raging inside the Vatican. At the center of the conflict is Australian Cardinal George Pell, brought to Rome by Pope Francis to oversee the Vatican’s financial reforms. Now Pell faces tough opposition… Is Cardinal George Pell’s reform of the Vatican’s finances in trouble? It seems so. A headline in a major […]

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The Tenderness of a Papal Document: “The Joy of Love”

8/04/2016 Vatican City. Press conference presenting Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris laetitia", on love in the family, in the Holy See Press Office. Bishop Fabio Fabene, Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., Archbishop of Vienna; Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office, and the spouses Prof. Francesco Miano, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Prof. Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, Professor of Philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy of Naples. Photo Grzegorz Galazka.

Francis has given us a poetic, eloquent, moving hymn to love in Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), issued April 8. This text is really for families: one part of this letter, the marvelous Chapter 4 on the true nature of love, should be printed out and read at the family dinner table — one […]

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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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Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13). 1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy […]

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The Pope and the Patriarch

12/12/2015 Vatican Basilica. Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“In full awareness, and at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome that Peter bathed with his blood, the current successor assumes as his primary commitment that of working tirelessly towards the reconstruction of the full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers. This is his ambition and compelling duty.” —Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, April […]

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Francis on the African Continent

Clergy process at the start of the closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops for Africa in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (Oct. 26, 2009) See SYNOD-CLOSE Oct. 26, 2009.

Pope Francis traveled to Africa November 25-30, bringing a message of hope and reconciliation to three nations which continue to experience exploitation, violence, and even war: Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic. But he also acknowledged something Africa has to offer to the world, what he called “wisdom and spiritual values… that are the […]

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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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Archbishop Gänswein Praises Cardinal Sarah for His Prophetic Witness

Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, and Pope Francis are pictured during the pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-AUDIENCE March 11, 2015.

Cardinal Robert Sarah’s boldness in proclaiming the Gospel and resisting the Zeitgeist is a prophetic witness reminiscent of a 5th century North African Pope who laid the foundations for healthy church-state relations, Archbishop George Gänswein has said. In a well-received speech in Rome Nov. 20 at the launch of the German edition of the book God or […]

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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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