The Blog

Click on titles below to read the entire post, access the archive, and make comments.

A Latin American pope takes his own approach to Europe’s problems

In some ways, Pope Francis’ visit to the European Parliament this week evoked similar encounters by his predecessors, Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II. There were Big Speeches (no doubt written with input from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State), a defense of religious and spiritual values, and a call for cooperation on the European continent. In a passage quoting Pope Benedict, Francis reminded European leaders of the continent’s “religious roots” and warned of the risk of “forgetfulness of God.” Yet there were a few distinctive differences about this visit, too. One thing that struck me was that Pope Francis did not dwell so much on the past. For John Paul II and Benedict, Europe was th

Archbishop Kurtz hits the right notes in opening talk to U.S. bishops

The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, gave an important talk on the first day of the U.S. bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore today. I was impressed by the tone and points of emphasis, especially when he spoke about how the church evangelizes: “We all strive to be faithful pastors, so we know what this looks like. Think of the home visits we’ve all done in parishes. When I’d come to someone’s home, I wouldn’t start by telling them how I’d rearrange their furniture. In the same way, I wouldn’t begin by giving them a list of rules to follow. Instead I’d first spend time with them, trying to appreciate the good that I saw in their hearts. I’d ack

A signal on removal of bishops?

A single sentence in a papal document issued today may signal that Pope Francis is willing take a stronger hand in removing some bishops from office. The one-page document deals primarily with the age of a bishop’s retirement. But it also states: “In some particular circumstances, the competent Authority (the pope) may consider it necessary to ask a bishop to present the resignation of his pastoral office, after letting him know the motives for such a request and after listening attentively to his justifications, in fraternal dialogue.” The power of a pope to sack a bishop has always been presumed, but here it is spelled out. It comes after Pope Francis has already removed a Paraguayan bisho

© 2020 by John Thavis - All Rights Reserved