Pope Francis

Anonymous. Pope Innocent III Approving Rules of the Franciscan Order (16th C.). Monastery, Cholula, Mexico.

‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. [Jeremiah 6:14] There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. [Lord Acton] The papacy is swaddled in sycophancy in the best of times. Add to that the exultant adulation induced by celebrity culture. It is a heady mix that can beguile a decent man into a grandiose conception of himself that blinds him to the limits of his office. And encourages conceit in his own sympathies. Continue Reading
Thomas Nast. Boss Tweed. Late 19th C.

John XXIII once remarked that the Vatican was the hardest place on earth to remain a Christian. The pope’s impish bon mot floated like skywriting over the double canonization in St. Peter’s Square on the Second Easter Sunday. On the glittering heels of this production came advance notice of another: London’s The Tablet reported that Paul VI is on the books for beatification this coming October. Are we at the point where election to the Petrine office is itself a signal of godliness, a guarantee of eventual canonization? Continue Reading
Francis Votes Present

Earlier this month Sandro Magister’s Chiesa broadcast an interesting particular in the Masses celebrated by Pope Francis:
At the moment of communion, Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not administer it himself, but allows others to give the consecrated host to the faithful. He sits down and waits for the distribution of the sacrament to be completed.
At solemn Masses, Francis distributes the eucharist only to his assistants on the altar. And at the juvenile detention center on Holy Thursday, he gave the sacrament to young detainees who approached to receive it. Continue Reading
Papal Threads

Matt Malone, S.J., lives along the Via di Santa Chiara across from Gammarelli, canonical tailor to the papacy since 1798. He has a winsome column over at America on Pope Francis’ wardrobe preferences. Much to the disappointment of Gammarelli, the new Bishop of Rome is exhibiting tastes better suited to catching a bus than strolling in a papal procession. Excerpt below. You can finish reading “Clothing Optional?” in its entirety here.
Good day from Rome on the second day of the pontificate of Pope Francis.
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