• Fracas over divorce stirred by call from the pope

    • Apr 25, 2014

    Since his election, Pope Francis has displayed a generally unerring PR touch. This week, however, he stepped on his own story, creating a distraction from the impending canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II with a phone call that stoked confusion about where he stands on divorced and

  • What the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II tell us

    • Apr 19, 2014

    Every spring in Rome, the big production is normally the Easter Mass celebrated by the pope. This year Easter remains the spiritual linchpin, but in popular terms it’s more like a warm-up act for next Sunday’s double-play canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. This will be the

  • When pope meets president, a ‘reset’ may not be in the cards

    • Mar 26, 2014

    Though at first glance the two things may seem utterly unrelated, there’s something oddly fitting about the fact that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the controversial bishop of Limburg, Germany, just 24 hours before his much-anticipated first meeting with President Barack Obama of the United States. Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van

  • Many points of praise for pope’s first year

    • Mar 12, 2014

    One year ago Thursday, a relatively obscure prelate from Argentina made his debut as the new leader of the world’s oldest Christian church, stepping out onto the fabled balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square and joking that his brother cardinals had gone to “the end of the earth” to find a

  • How Benedict XVI set the stage for Pope Francis

    • Feb 10, 2014

    Pope Francis is shaking things up in the Catholic Church to such an extent that many talk about a “Francis revolution.” Yet the single most revolutionary act committed by any pope in at least the last 600 years fell exactly one year ago tomorrow, and it wasn’t Francis who did

  • UN report on Vatican and sex abuse may hurt reform cause

    • Feb 5, 2014

    Because the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has no police power, it relies on moral pressure to get states to adopt its child protection recommendations. That’s obviously what it hoped to accomplish with a Feb. 5 report on the Vatican and the child abuse scandals that