Last Updated Apr 21, 2014 8:06 AM EDT The "mass appeal" of Pope Francis was on clear view as he celebrated Easter at the Vatican this morning. Popular as he is, he is still just one man, and the church he leads is large and complex. Mark Phillips reports from Rome: It's not too much of a leap of faith to think of the Catholic Church over the past few decades as a big multi-national corporation in trouble -- its product no longer selling like it once did, its reputation tainted by the whiff of corruption and scandal. It did, after all, do what big businesses in trouble do: Its CEO announced he was retiring. Its board of directors was called in to appoint new management, to try to restore the appeal of its products -- to re-launch Brand Vatican. And Pope Francis is its face. In just over a year since the election of this outsider from Argentina, who was given a papal mitre and a figurative broom to sweep out the ecclesiastical cobwebs, the Catholic Church is a place … [Read more...] about How much change can Pope Francis bring to the Catholic Church?
FILE -- Pope Francis celebrates a mass with members of different religious orders in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis) In his new book, "Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer," Pope Francis offers his insights into some of Jesus’s most profound words. In this excerpt from the book, the Pope discusses the importance of spiritual fatherhood. The first thing needed is this: that the father be present in the family. That he be close to his wife, to share everything, joys and sorrows, hardships and hopes. A father needs to be close to the children as they grow up; when they are playing and when they are working on a task; when they are carefree and when they are troubled. He needs to be there when they are outgoing and when they are withdrawn; when they are daring and when they are fearful; when they make a misstep and when they get back on track; the father must be present, always. Being present does not … [Read more...] about Our Father: Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer by Pope Francis
next Image 1 of 2 prev Image 2 of 2 ROME – Pope Francis has asked forgiveness for all Christians who buy sex from women, saying that men who frequent prostitutes are criminals with a "sick mentality" who think that women exist to be exploited. He insisted Monday: "This isn't making love. This is torturing a woman. Let's not confuse the terms." Francis spoke during a four-hour long listening session with 300 young people invited by the Vatican to brief church leaders about what kids these days think about the Catholic Church. It's a preparatory meeting for a big synod of bishops on the fall on young people. Francis had urged the delegates to speak with courage. He insisted: "Young people must be taken seriously." … [Read more...] about Pope Francis condemns prostitution as torture
Pope Francis was officially installed this morning during a mass ceremony and highlighted the issues he hopes to emphasize as leader of the Catholic Church -- chief among them, protecting the environment and defending the poor and vulnerable. “It was a message Francis has hinted at in his first week as pontiff, when his gestures of simplicity often spoke louder than his words. But on a day when he had the world’s economic, political and religious leadership sitting before him on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica for the official start of his papacy, Francis made his point clear,”the AP reports. In other pontiff news, Religion News Service reporter David Gibson offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of how the new pope -- Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, of Argentina -- was picked. “...Bergoglio’s name had not surfaced as an option in the week of closed-door discussions among the cardinals before the conclave, and Bergoglio had also dropped off … [Read more...] about Pope Francis emphasizes helping the poor, protecting environment
When a pope’s reign passes the four-year mark, enough time has passed to assess the meaning of the papacy. Our nation’s founders recognized this crucial span when they afforded presidents exactly that amount of time before giving the electorate the opportunity to weigh in with their votes. Pope Francis has made quite a mark in four short years, so much so that many of my Catholic friends say they have the contradictory sense that his papacy has just begun while it seems he has been pope for a lifetime. It’s hard to imagine the church without him in charge. The early images were startling. From the balcony at the Vatican, where the world first laid eyes on him, he asked us to pray for him. He took the name Francis, so novel that none of us place a Roman numeral after it. He is just Francis. No one since Peter has gotten away with that. Even Pope Gregory the Great went by Gregory I. Those first impressions were strong ones. When a camera caught him paying his own hotel … [Read more...] about Pope Francis’ first four years have been astonishing