The Blog

Everything listed under: Thavis

  • At Ohio Dominican University in Columbus this week

    I'll be speaking at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus this Tuesday at 7 p.m. The topic is "Decoding the Vatican," and that's what I find myself doing in most of the talks I've been giving lately. 

    Despite a new pope who communicates pretty directly, I find that the Vatican still needs decoding. I also find that what's on most people's minds is whether Pope Francis can possibly succeed in the reforms he's undertaken, and whether his inspiring words will be followed by changes in structures and attitudes and ways of doing things in the church. There is a great deal of interest in the Vatican right now, and it's great to see big audiences with lots of questions.


  • A few modest proposals for the next pope

            Pope Benedict at his blessing last Easter

    Throughout my career, I've wisely refrained from giving advice to popes or the Vatican. I make an exception today, because in the wake of ex-Pope Benedict's resignation I'm hoping the cardinals give some creative thought to how a pope governs in the modern age.

    It's on the op-ed page of USA Today. I tried to keep it short: Seven Steps for a New Pope.


  • Cardinal O'Brien's salvo on celibacy

    Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien has raised the possibility of a change in the priestly celibacy rule, saying many priests struggle because they are unable to marry and unable to have children. In an interview with the BBC, O'Brien said that while he had never considered marriage, "I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married." He noted that some branches of the Catholic Church already allowed married clergy. "It is a free worl...  Read More...

  • A 'young' pope?

    One of the generally accepted assumptions about the next conclave is that cardinals will be looking for a relatively young and energetic candidate. So it’s worth examining what passes for “young” in the College of Cardinals. The average age of the world’s 209 cardinals is 78.   Read More...