- Jan 18, 2020
There is apparently nothing in Canon Law against the idea of pets and other animals being at Mass. We already have animals in church when, especially on the feast of St. Francis, they receive blessings from a priest, so why not expand the idea?
The iconography of Christmas, especially the nativity scene, is central to Catholic culture, especially in Rome. Herewith, then, three things one can learn about Catholicism from observing the special place that the nativity scene occupies in Catholic hearts.
Yes, Pope Francis is a Jesuit to his core, from his spirituality to his leadership style, and that’s especially clear now as the Jesuits meet in Rome. Yet there’s a sense in which, despite that Jesuit background, this is nonetheless also a deeply “Franciscan” papacy.
Explaining the decision to welcome pets into Catholic Churches around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, one parish in Maine explained, “The love we give to a pet, and receive from a pet, can draw us more deeply into the larger circle of life, into the wonder of our common relationship to our Creator.”
As violence erupts anew along the India/Pakistan border over the disputed province of Kashmir, Catholic leaders are urging calm, with Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, declaring a day of prayer for peace and reconciliation.
This week, Pope Francis will make his third visit to Assisi since his election to the papacy. The “Francis effect” on the town appears to be real: a spokesman said that since the pope’s first visit in 2013, the number of visitors to Assisi has risen from 4.5 million to 6 million a year.