Pope Francis

Pope Francis and Rabbits

This post appeared originally on January 22, 2015 at my Huffington Post Column. On the flight back to Rome from the Philippines, the papal spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, indicated that Pope Francis was ready for another of his now famous airplane press conferences. And this one did not disappoint. He covered a number of topics,… Read more »

Pope for the Holidays

This post appeared originally on December 19, 2014 at my Huffington Post Column. The holiday season is always a good time to take stock of the year just past and see what we might anticipate in the 12 months to come. In the case of Pope Francis, it is fair to say that a great… Read more »

Pope Francis, Papal Diplomacy and US-Cuban Relations

Pope Francis is clearly making a name for himself as a world-historical figure. He has gained great respect for his efforts to reform the Catholic Church internally — by cleaning up the Vatican Bank, by restructuring the Curia, by opening up debates over divorced and gay Catholics. These accomplishments alone are significant. He is changing… Read more »

Pope Francis and the Catholic Crisis

This post appeared originally on December 15, 2014 at my Huffington Post Column. There is a growing crisis haunting the Catholic Church. And it is a crisis larger than the events that have so greatly afflicted the American Catholic Church. The pedophilia scandals are a horrifying element of this crisis. So, too, are the bishops… Read more »

Pope Francis Speaks to Europe — and the World

This post appeared originally on December 4, 2014 at my Huffington Post Column. Popes are not merely the head of a Church. Because they are the spiritual leader of a billion people, popes also have a role to play in shaping and forming global order. And historically, there have been popes who have used this… Read more »

Post Card From the Fringe: Right-Wing Dissidents Against Pope Francis

This post appeared originally on November 14, 2014 at my Huffington Post Column. The Catholic Church at this moment in history is faced with a rising chorus of right-wing dissent. This movement poses a threat to Pope Francis’s reforms, but the threat should not be overblown. The self-proclaimed leader of the resistance movement has become… Read more »

Catholics and Religious Progressivism

Our Twitter Pope, Pope Francis, tweeted a message a week or so ago that seems to summarize so much about his papacy: “Inequality,” he taught his tens of thousands of followers, “is the root of social evil.” And this was merely the opening act. He followed this message up with an urgent call for the “legitimate redistribution” of wealth… Read more »

A Joyous Welcome: The Baptism of Umma Azul

Welcoming — the sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church is the sacrament of welcoming. The child is presented to the Church, the community of believers, usually by the parents. The priest calls upon the parents, the godparents, and the entire congregation, to assume the solemn obligation of raising the child in the faith. And… Read more »