(RNS) The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests gathers this month to discuss an agenda for church reform. They point to support among the laity as well as inspiration from the top: Pope Francis.
SHREWSBURY, Mo. (RNS) About 125 Catholics packed a basement conference room — most of them lay people, many of them older. They gathered to learn how to spread the faith, a concept that is both fundamental to Christianity and nearly foreign to modern Roman Catholics.
(RNS) Reports this week that the late John Paul II may be on the verge on canonization isn’t a huge surprise, but Pope Francis’ decision to take a second look at martyred Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero shows that the process of making saints is as much about politics as anything else.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis apparently meant what he said when he spoke of a “poor church, for the poor”: Vatican employees won’t get the $1,300 bonus many were expecting with the election of a new pope.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Pope Francis is known now for his keep-it-simple style and focus on the poor. But once he starts making appointments and taking action, his favorable ratings may change.
Just as many Catholics have connected Pope Francis’ humility and austere lifestyle with that of St. Francis of Assisi, those seeking clues on the new pontiff’s approach to Christian-Muslim relations see another example in his iconic namesake.
(RNS) Jews worldwide welcomed newly elected Pope Francis as a friend on Wednesday (March 13), and pointed in particular to his sympathetic and strong reaction to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in his native Argentina — the deadliest bombing in the country’s history.
(RNS) No one knows what name the next pope will pick. But choosing a new moniker is a decision that’s tied up in history, tradition and more than a little symbolic value.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The tradition of voting for the new pontiff in the Sistine Chapel dates back to the Renaissance, but the location of the voting didn’t become a fixed feature of the conclaves until the 19th century — and only with John Paul II’s rules did the Sistine Chapel become the official theater of papal elections.
(RNS) What are the firsts and lasts, quirks and facts of papal history that you should know about? There are plenty, and Religion News Service has compiled a handy guide.