• Two boosts to the case for continuity between Benedict and Francis

    Two boosts to the case for continuity between Benedict and Francis

    • Nov 4, 2017

    Although the mainstream press loves to posit a fundamental difference between Popes Benedict XVI and Francis, this week the case for continuity between the two pontiffs also got a boost in two different quarters. The bottom line, actually, is probably that Benedict and Francis are alike in some ways and different in others, and a review of papal history would suggest it’s pretty much always been thus.

  • In speech on Europe, Pope Francis lays out his own ‘Benedict option’

    In speech on Europe, Pope Francis lays out his own ‘Benedict option’

    • Oct 30, 2017

    Catholic bishops across Europe largely have been making a stand in defense of continental unity, a position backed by Pope Francis. Yet in a major speech on Europe Saturday, Francis made clear he’s also no champion of the European status quo, and in fact seems to regard it as passing away. In that context, he laid out his own version of the “Benedict option” for the Church’s role.

  • Pope boosts the stock of quite possibly the Vatican’s nicest guy

    Pope boosts the stock of quite possibly the Vatican’s nicest guy

    • Oct 29, 2017

    Pope Francis on Saturday named Irish Bishop Paul Tighe the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, essentially cementing his status as the top aide to Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. For the better part of a decade Tighe has been an effective emissary for the headquarters of the Catholic Church, among other reasons because he’s widely regarded as perhaps the Vatican’s nicest guy.

  • How to know if Trump is for real about helping Middle East Christians

    How to know if Trump is for real about helping Middle East Christians

    • Oct 27, 2017

    Vice President Mike Pence’s announcement Wednesday night that the U.S. will bypass UN-sponsored programs designed to help genocide victims in Iraq and Syria and begin funding faith-based groups directly, has drawn acclaim from advocates for persecuted Christians. The question is whether the policy will be implemented fast enough to help those Christians, now preparing for the hardships of winter.

  • How a Catholic reacts to the ‘Superpope’ shirt probably says a lot

    How a Catholic reacts to the ‘Superpope’ shirt probably says a lot

    • Oct 25, 2017

    In January 2014, a Roman street artist put up an image of Pope Francis as a superhero on a street near the Vatican. City authorities scrubbed it off within 48 hours, but now it’s back in the form of a line of T-shirts, with proceeds going to papal charities and explicit Vatican support. Some Catholics may see that as exciting, others as a worrying risk of pursuing profit and celebrity under the guise of good intentions.

  • Why was Pope Francis so quick to answer these ‘dubia’?

    Why was Pope Francis so quick to answer these ‘dubia’?

    • Oct 23, 2017

    Given Pope Francis’s usual disinclination to answer his critics, it may seem a little puzzling as to why he quickly and publicly responded to Cardinal Robert Sarah about the implications of the pontiff’s recent decisions on liturgical translation. The nature of Sarah’s position, the pope’s readiness to be precise, and his personal investment in the issue may all help explain why Francis appears so ready to reply this time.