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Pope Francis meets with the cardinals in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on March 15, 2013. Credit: CTV.

The Pope’s agenda

Despite Pope Francis’ immense popularity with the masses, some Catholic pundits have expressed angst and irritation over not knowing clearly where Pope Francis is going. He hasn’t yet been officially inaugurated as Pope, but already some are clamoring to know what his agenda is, how he is going to handle this or that, (with “this [...]

Leon bloy

A Pope who quotes Bloy

Very few Catholics today are familiar with the writings of French convert Léon Bloy. Among other things, it is very likely that the term “politically incorrect” was coined in reference to him. During his first homily, Pope Francis quoted Bloy: “When one does not confess Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the expression of Léon [...]

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris and the Pope

It seems like all my conversations over the past 24 hours have revolved around this mysterious new Pope of ours. “Apparently he cooks his own meals.” “Did you hear he actually used to take the bus to work; even when he was a cardinal?” “Wait…he only has one lung?!” I’d be lying if I said [...]

Pope Francis_Credit EWTN_CNA_Vatican_Catholic_News_3-13-13

The profound minimalism of Francis

I cannot say that Pope Francis is my friend; but I am honored to say I know him well. I first met him many years ago in Buenos Aires in 1993, less than a year after his predecessor, Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, rescued him from the ecclesiastic exile he was confined to by his congregation, the [...]

Conclave bird: ruining lives

Let me introduce you to the most persistent bird in the history of the world. Definitely does NOT help that he is white. A co-worker commented: “Well, it’s probably toasty warm…”

Life on Hold

We have plans to spend the next however many days it takes (1 more, by my official bracket position) making twice daily pilgrimages to St. Peter’s Square to smoke watch with a couple thousand of our best friends. Today’s itinerary has been completely designed around trips to the Square at noon and at 7:30, in [...]

Will the next Pope be a ‘Baby Boomer’?

The identity of Pope Benedict XVI’s successor is still unknown. Yet we can say with confidence that the next Pope will mark a shift to a younger generation. It’s likely the next Pope will even be a ‘Baby Boomer’ born after World War II. Pope Benedict reigned with such apparent vigor and such undeniable mental [...]

Let’s also pray for families of cardinals

Black smoke Tuesday – and suspense continues for the elderly mother of Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn. Eleonore Schoenborn, 92, recently told a local newspaper that she hopes her son will not be elected pope because she will miss him. U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s youngest brother, Patrick, expressed similar sentiments in a recent interview. “A question [...]

CNA-Election-Process-Infographic

Infographics: The conclave – who, where, how

Now that the conclave has started, it is anyone’s guess as to how long it will last or who will emerge from the Sistine Chapel as our next Holy Father. In the meantime, here are some infographics to give you a better idea of what’s going on as the cardinals begin voting. (Click on any [...]

Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgement inside of the Sistine Chapel

Time for the Microculture

In 2005, while covering the conclave that elected Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, I told Laurie Goodstein at the New York Times: “Do not underestimate the power of the microculture that is generated among the cardinals when they are together. The kind of reflections that end up influencing them are completely unpredictable.” In other words, for [...]

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Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

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