Tag Archives: Pope Francis

What Rachel, Brett, Johnny, Millennials, Pope Francis and Toby Keith All Have in Common

Talk about an innocent blog posting that goes viral. It seems that everyone in the blogosphere (my apologies to Scott Rosenburg) is well aware of a recent blog written by Rachel Held Evans entitled, Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church. There have been so many likes, tweets, recommends—and whatever else they are called—that I don’t know if there is a computer out there that can count the related comments and blogs written to comment on those comments. And, yet, I seem to feel called to add to that number. Rachel certainly hit a nerve. It …

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Solidarity Revisted

“Pope Francis denounces corruption and a culture of selfishness and individualism, while calling for a culture of solidarity.” With these words, Catholic News Service summed up Pope Francis’ visit to one of Rio de Janeiro’s notorious slums, Varginha, where the pope reminded the people:  “You are not alone.” To understand the full meaning of the pope’s words requires a sense of what John Paul II did. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, John Paul II supported the solidarity movement in his homeland of Poland. Solidarity was the first independent labor union that broke free …

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Pope Francis and Gays

As a former journalist with 24 years as a reporter and editor at a daily newspaper, I try to be understanding when news coverage of the Catholic Church falls short of the gold standard. News budgets at TV stations and newspapers have been shredded over the last decade, causing staffs to shrink. Few news organizations have religion experts on staff. But the recent media feeding frenzy over Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff remarks about homosexuality was truly exasperating. Let’s see what the Holy Father actually said. Here’s a transcript provided by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: …

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A Seeker’s Guide to Lumen Fidei

Recently, Pope Francis released his first Encyclical titled Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). Pope Francis described the Encyclical as a “work of 4 hands” as it was started by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and is a completion of a trilogy of encyclicals on the 3 theological virtues of faith, hope and love. On the Sunday following the release of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis explained the meaning of the encyclical during his Angelus Prayer. Primarily, this encyclical is for the People of God. It is a document meant to “go to the essentials of the …

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9 Things I Learned about Evangelization from Papal Memes

Pope Francis is a wonderful example of a “New Evangelist.” One way that the Pope is effectively communicating the Gospel in the modern world is through the image. Compelling images of Pope Francis being a simple disciple of Christ have spread across the internet like wildfire over the past few months. How many of us have not been moved – inspired – edified – and challenged by the images we have seen of Pope Francis riding the bus, embracing a handicapped child, washing the feet of a prisoner, or blessing an expectant mother? Another way …

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Today, Our Father Was Born

“Today our father was born,” I remarked to my husband over dinner on March 13.  Odd as it sounds, it’s true.  Earlier that day, our new father was presented to us, and to the world, wearing white with a single-handed wave and a simple greeting – “Fratelli e sorelle, buonasera!” (Brothers and sisters, good evening!)  Our pope is our father.  When the white smoke began puffing out of the Vatican chimney, and bells, beeps and rings were heard around the world, Catholics rejoiced because they once again had a Papa.  Catholics also took a deep …

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Popes of Our Church

This recent time of resignation, conclave, and new pope is an intriguing and interesting time, which has about it excitement, challenges, questions, and reflections about the popes and papacy in the present, in history and certainly some thoughts for the future. The Pope I grew up with was Pope Pius XII, Eugene Pacelli, an austere-looking, distant figure whose picture was on the wall of St. Rita School in Dayton. We who lived then considered him a saint just because he was Pope. We were told about his concern for the Jews during World War II and …

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The Pause

I am sure many of you out there had the same experience as me when the new pope was announced: Silence and Confusion.  “George who?  Where did they say he was from?  Why isn’t he coming out?”    Millions of souls were dumbstruck for over a minute as they awaited further clarification.  It was not the first time an unexpected cardinal had been named pope, but it is still always surprising to have to reach out in search of an unfamiliar name.  Even the news commentators were for once, silent…  Finally, after what felt like an …

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Prayer for Pope Francis

Lord, make Pope Francis an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let him sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that he may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that he receives; it is in pardoning that he is pardoned; and it is in dying that he …

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