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Former Pope Benedict XVI to Return to the Vatican on Thursday
Originally Posted: 05/01/2013 - 12:25pm | Type: Blog

More than two months after his resignation, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican on Thursday to live in a small convent that has been recently renovated for his needs. ...

John Paul II, Oscar Romero, and the Politics of Making Saints
Originally Posted: 04/25/2013 - 9:45am | Type: Blog

The news that Pope Francis, just six weeks on the job, has cleared the way for the long-stalled canonization of martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is a stunner that sends another important signal abou ...

Pope Francis’ Preaching Style is Low-Key and Mostly Private
Originally Posted: 04/23/2013 - 4:43pm | Type: Blog

When you’re the pope, few things matter as much as what you say and, especially, where you say it. When you’re the pope, few things matter as much as what you say and, especiall ...

Pope Francis Redirects Employee Bonuses to Charity
Originally Posted: 04/18/2013 - 4:07pm | Type: Blog

Vatican employees won’t receive the special bonus they are traditionally awarded when a new pope is elected, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday, under orders from Pope Francis to give extra money to charity ins ...

Pope Francis Orders Overhaul of U.S. Nuns to Continue
Originally Posted: 04/15/2013 - 2:17pm | Type: Blog

Nearly a year after the Vatican announced a makeover of the largest umbrella group for American nuns, Pope Francis has directed that the overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious continue. ...

'Pacem in Terris' — 50 Years Later
Originally Posted: 04/11/2013 - 11:39am | Type: Blog

On April 11, 1963 Pope John XXIII published an encyclical some initially dismissed as naive and myopic, as too liberal and too lofty. But today, his "Pacem in Terris" is generally lauded as genius an ...

Vatican Gets Behind Adult Stem Cell Research
Originally Posted: 04/10/2013 - 1:23pm | Type: Blog

Wading into one of the most controversial fields of modern medicine, the Vatican is pushing adult stem cell research as ethical and scientifically more promising than embryonic stem cell research. ...

Pope Francis and a New Vision of Catholic Reform
Originally Posted: 04/08/2013 - 3:50pm | Type: Blog

From the very first moment of his unexpected election as Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has embraced a series of small departures from established tradition. ...

Can Pope Francis Really Reform the Vatican?
Originally Posted: 04/08/2013 - 9:56am | Type: Blog

Pope Francis has won widespread acclaim thus far in his nascent papacy with popular gestures like washing the feet of juveniles during Holy Week and refusing many papal perks. But now comes the hard part of hi ...

Pope Francis a Huge Hit With U.S. Catholics (For Now)
Originally Posted: 04/05/2013 - 2:10pm | Type: Blog

He has been Pope Francis for less than a month, but the keep-it-simple prelate from Argentina is a wow with American Catholics — at least for now. He has been Pope Francis for l ...

Pope Francis Says Women Play a ‘Fundamental’ Role Within the Church
Originally Posted: 04/03/2013 - 4:08pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis on Wednesday said women play a “fundamental role” in the Catholic Church as those who are mostly responsible for passing on the faith from one generation to the next. ...

When the New Pope Meets the Old Pope: Awkward?
Originally Posted: 03/22/2013 - 4:59pm | Type: Blog

Now that the cardinals have elected and installed their new boss, Pope Francis can get to work being the Roman Catholic pontiff, with his next order of business doing something no other pope has done in centur ...

Transcript: Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass Homily
Originally Posted: 03/19/2013 - 3:17pm | Type: Blog

Editor's Note: Pope Francis delivered the following homily at his inaugural Mass on Tuesday, emphasizing the need to protect the poor and the environment. Editor's No ...

At Inaugural Mass, Pope Francis Calls for Defending Environment, Poor
Originally Posted: 03/19/2013 - 3:10pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis issued a powerful call for the protection of the environment and of society’s most vulnerable during his formal installation Mass at the Vatican, while qualifying his papal power as a “service” to ...

The Story Behind Pope Francis’ Election
Originally Posted: 03/18/2013 - 2:20pm | Type: Blog

Last Sunday night, the Rev. Thomas Rosica was walking through the Piazza Navona in Rome’s historic center when he bumped into Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who he has known for years. Bergoglio was walking alone, ...

The Pope and the Poor
Originally Posted: 03/19/2013 - 10:59am | Type: Press

March 15, 2013 Sojo in the News Mark Engler ...

'Rebuild My Church'
Originally Posted: 03/19/2013 - 2:35pm | Type: Press

March 14, 2013 Sojo in the News Jim Wallis ...

An 'Unsettling:' Non-Catholics and Pope Francis
Originally Posted: 03/14/2013 - 1:41pm | Type: Blog

On Wednesday, the white smoke got in my eyes, and rather than confusing my sight, it’s made things a little clearer. When I heard about the white smoke on Wednesday, I wrote on my ...

'Rebuild My Church'
Originally Posted: 03/14/2013 - 11:01am | Type: Blog

Will simplicity and social justice become the witness of the Roman Catholic Church around the world — and will it emanate from the first pope from the Global South, which is clearly the growing future of the c ...

Bergoglio: A Pope of Paradox for a Church in Transition
Originally Posted: 03/13/2013 - 9:24pm | Type: Blog

What, in fact, does the election of Francis say about the Catholic Church at this point in its history? VATICAN CITY — A hierarchy looking to make a clear statement about where th ...

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected as Pope Francis I
Originally Posted: 03/13/2013 - 9:17pm | Type: Blog

Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis I on Wednesday, after only two days of voting in the conclave tasked with choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. ...

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican: Prayers to ‘Shatter the Stained-Glass Ceiling’ of Leadership
Originally Posted: 03/13/2013 - 9:18pm | Type: Blog

As cardinals in the Vatican wrapped up the first day of the conclave with no decision on the next pope, a small crowd assembled on the steps of the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle here in Washington, D.C., ...

Papal Election is Anyone’s to Win … or Lose
Originally Posted: 03/13/2013 - 8:17am | Type: Blog

National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen, a top Vaticanologist, perceived four main camps pushing different types of candidates: a pope who would overhaul the Roman Curia, the pontiff’s dysfunctional civil serv ...

Black Smoke: First Day of Conclave Ends Without New Pope
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 7:27pm | Type: Blog

Black smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel signaled that the first day of the conclave ended without the election of a new pope. VATICAN CITY — Black smoke from the chim ...

Cardinals Begin Conclave to Elect the Next Pope
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 2:56pm | Type: Blog

The doors of the Sistine Chapel closed behind the cardinals on Tuesday, marking the official start of the conclave that will elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI. The 115 cardinal-electors walked in proces ...

Vatican Makes Final Preparations for Papal Conclave
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 2:57pm | Type: Blog

As the Vatican prepares for the opening of the conclave today to elect a new pope, officials announced that the personal secretary of former Pope Benedict XVI will return to Rome for the first time since Bened ...

Sistine Chapel Plays a Key Role in Electing a New Pope
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:01pm | Type: Blog

As if the task of choosing the Vicar of Christ and the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics wasn’t daunting enough, the voting must also take place under the gaze of Michelangelo’s brilliant but imposin ...

The ‘Tough Guy’ Option: Picking a Pope to Serve as Sheriff
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:02pm | Type: Blog

Is now the time for a pope who could be more of a Ratzinger than a Benedict? VATICAN CITY — Amid all of the prognosticating about who the cardinals could choose as the next pope i ...

Vatican: Conclave To Start on Tuesday
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:02pm | Type: Blog

The conclave to pick a new pope will begin on Tuesday the Vatican said on Friday, resolving an open question that had dogged the cardinals meeting here over the past week. VATICAN ...

Cardinals Move to Plug Leaks Ahead of Papal Conclave
Originally Posted: 03/18/2013 - 4:11pm | Type: Blog

Tensions among the Roman Catholic cardinals meeting here to choose a new pope appeared to escalate on Wednesday as the American prelates in Rome canceled their daily press briefing under pressure from colleagu ...

Pope Benedict XVI Leaves Office, Promises ‘Obedience’ to Successor
Originally Posted: 02/28/2013 - 9:07pm | Type: Blog

The papacy of Benedict XVI came to a quiet end at 8 p.m. on Thursday, making him the first pope in 600 years to voluntarily leave office. VATICAN CITY — The papacy of Benedict XVI ...

Vatican Intrigue Is Age-Old Part of Papal Politics
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:20pm | Type: Blog

Vatican experts say if you think the world’s largest nongovernmental institution is in unprecedented chaos right now, think again. The Vatican appears rocked by scandalous rumors ...

Pope Benedict Defends Choice to Resign in Last Public Address
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:32pm | Type: Blog

In his final public address, Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday forcefully defended his decision to resign while trying to reassure Catholics still reeling from the shock of his unprecedented move. ...

What Pope Benedict XVI Shares With His Notorious Namesake
Originally Posted: 02/27/2013 - 12:30pm | Type: Blog

You won’t find many Catholic churches named after Pope Benedict IX. You won’t find many Catholic churches named after Pope Benedict IX. Benedict IX squandered the papacy’s ...

Venting and Vetting: The Brutal Side of Papal Politics
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:33pm | Type: Blog

From champion of married priests to disgraced churchman within 72 hours, O’Brien’s trajectory is stunning but also emblematic of the frenetic and fever-pitched campaigning that occurs during the tiny window be ...

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien Resigns After Sex Accusations
Originally Posted: 02/25/2013 - 5:52pm | Type: Blog

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland resigned on Monday in the wake of explosive charges that he had made “inappropriate” sexual advances to four men, three of them priests, and one now a former seminarian, star ...

Who Runs the Vatican After the Pope Steps Down?
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:37pm | Type: Blog

As of 8 p.m. on Feb. 28, Pope Benedict XVI will no longer be pope and the Vatican will go into “sede vacante” mode — a Latin expression that means that the seat of St. Peter is vacant. So who’s in charge until ...

Why the Next Pope Should Come from the Global South
Originally Posted: 05/23/2013 - 4:22pm | Type: Blog

As the 117 Roman Catholic cardinals walk into the Sistine Chapel next month for the election of a new pope, one hopes that they fully recognize the unfolding, dramatic pilgrimage of world Christianity: The dem ...

Electing A New Pope Draws on Tradition and Secrecy
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:41pm | Type: Blog

Pope Benedict XVI will soon become the first pope to resign since 1415, short-circuiting many of the initial stages of electing a new pope. But the Vatican says the transition to a new papacy shouldn’t be all ...

What Happens Next at the Vatican
Originally Posted: 03/12/2013 - 3:42pm | Type: Blog

Following is a brief explanation of the process used in a conclave to elect a new pope. Following is a brief explanation of the process used in a conclave to elect a new pope. ...

Vatican Backtracks On Support for Gay Couples
Originally Posted: 02/08/2013 - 3:46pm | Type: Blog

A top Vatican official blamed the media for “derailing” his recent remarks on possible legal protections for unmarried couples, while reaffirming his support for British and French bishops who have been vocal ...

Pope Benedict XVI Says Lack of ‘Faith’ Could Be Used in Marriage Annulments
Originally Posted: 01/30/2013 - 11:04am | Type: Blog

Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Vatican’s highest appeals court to consider reviewing church rules on marriage annulments — a statement that may signal a change in tone more than a change in substance. ...

Vatican Welcomes Obama Gun Control Proposal
Originally Posted: 01/23/2013 - 10:15am | Type: Blog

The Vatican applauded President Obama’s gun control proposals. The Vatican applauded President Obama’s gun control proposals. The Vatican continues to appeal for disarmament and m ...

Vatican: Calling Jews ‘Enemies’ of the Church Is Unacceptable
Originally Posted: 01/08/2013 - 10:23am | Type: Blog

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with Jews on Monday after the head of a traditionalist breakaway group called them “enemies of the Church.” The Vatican chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that it was “me ...

On Sistine Chapel’s 500th, Foot Traffic Remains a Threat
Originally Posted: 10/31/2012 - 3:53pm | Type: Blog

As Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance masterpiece, the Vatican said the growing number of tourists who visit the historic site every year might eventually lead t ...

Pope Benedict XVI Convenes Bishops to Confront ‘Tsunami’ of Secularism
Originally Posted: 10/09/2012 - 12:02pm | Type: Blog

Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council revolutionized life inside the Roman Catholic Church, hundreds of bishops from around the world are gathered in Rome to confront an external threat: a mounting tide ...

Vatican Newspaper Calls ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment a ‘Clumsy Fake’
Originally Posted: 09/30/2012 - 12:18pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican's newspaper has declared the controversial “Jesus wife” papyrus fragment “a fake." L'Osservatore Romano on Friday (Sept. 28) devoted two articles to Harvard professor Karen King' ...

Vatican Lifts Suspension of Priest who Altered Prayers at Mass
Originally Posted: 09/28/2012 - 2:36pm | Type: Blog

An Illinois priest who was forced out of his parish by his bishop for improvising prayers during Mass has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican. An Illinois priest who was fo ...

Five Important Questions About That 'Jesus Wife' Discovery
Originally Posted: 09/20/2012 - 8:44am | Type: Blog

The discovery that some ancient Christians thought Jesus had a wife could shake up centuries-old Christian traditions, Karen King, a well-respected historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, s ...

Pope Benedict's Trip to Lebanon Still a Go, Despite Violence in Region
Originally Posted: 09/12/2012 - 4:00pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican confirmed on Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Lebanon will go ahead as planned, despite growing tension in the region after the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya by a mob enra ...