Pope Benedict XVI Expresses Thanks for Birthday Wishes

On Day Marking 11-Year Anniversary of German Pope’s Election, Pope Benedict Sends Message of Gratitude Via Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation Today marks the 11-year anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s election as Pope, and the German retired Pontiff has reached out to thank those who have given him 89th birthday wishes on Saturday. “Giving thanks for [...]

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

Pope Francis' simple pectoral cross, not of gold 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 [...]

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, November 29 (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 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” [...]

Little Patience for “Law”

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washes and kisses the feet of residents of a shelter for drug users during Holy Thursday Mass in 2008 at a church in a poor neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNS photo/Enrique Garcia Medina, Reuters) Francis has consistently characterized the law and lawyers as “pharisaical,” but societies — and [...]

Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Pope Leo X’s Election in 1513

Raphael’s portrait in the Uffizi Gallery (Florence) of Pope Leo X and Cardinals Giulio di Giuliano de’ Medici, later Pope Clement VII, and Luigi de’ Rossi, with the Hamilton Bible. Overlapping until August 18 with “Springtime of the Renaissance,” the subject of my June/July’s “Of Books, Art, and People,” but continuing, most appropriately, at [...]

Waiting for John Paul II’s Canonization

Reverend Slawomir Oder was born in Poland in 1960 and was or­dained at the age of 28, but he has spent most of his life as a priest outside of Poland, in Rome. He studied at the Lateran Pontifical University, where he obtained his doctorate in both canon and civil law; he also taught at Rome’s [...]