NEW YORK - Fr. Martin Schlag is a trained economist as well as a Catholic moral theologian, and when he first read some of Pope Francis’ powerful critiques of the current free market system he had the same thought a lot of Americans did: “Just horrible.”

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Promoting dialogue, education and strong families, the Catholic Church in Africa fulfills its mission to proclaim God's love and to work for the common good, Pope Francis said in separate meetings with the bishops of Mozambique and of Togo.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - When Pope Francis tweets, the world listens.

According to “Twiplomacy,” a study of the Twitter accounts of world leaders and their retweet rates, U.S. President Barack Obama has the most Twitter followers, but Pope Francis’ @Pontifex is the most influential Twitter account — his average “retweet” and “favorite” rate is more than eight times higher than Obama’s.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - After spending close to an hour with Pope Francis, Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters he is so impressed by what the Pope does and says that he might start praying and could even return to the church.

Published in International

With Catholics anticipating Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on the environment, many are looking to discuss how they can be stewards of creation within their own communities.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

NEW YORK - It used to be that just saying the words “liberation theology” around Catholics was enough to start a schism-level fight, or at least raise a red flag in Rome.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Never let practice and competition get in the way of going to Mass, studying for school, being with friends and helping the poor, Pope Francis told an Italian sports association.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Catholic charities around the world have no doubt about the reality of a "Francis effect" on their work.
Because of the ongoing global economic crisis, most of the 164 national Catholic charities that form the Caritas Internationalis confederation report no significant increase in donations. However, the secretary-general of the Vatican-based network says Pope Francis has had a huge impact on their programs and priorities, on the number of volunteers and, especially, on their sharing.

Published in International

The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis by Garry Wills. (Penguin, 288 pages, hardcover, $32.95)

At first glance, Garry Wills’ latest book might appear to offer insight into the life and intentions of Pope Francis. But anyone familiar with Wills’ polarizing views might well guess that is not the case. He does discuss Pope Francis — in the introduction and in the epilogue — but his treatment of the Pope is minimal.

Published in Book News

Perhaps the single, most-often quoted line from Pope Francis is his response to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly dicey issue. His, infamous-famous reply: “Who am I to judge?”

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Some time next month the Vatican will release the Pope’s much-anticipated encyclical on the environment. It will be the first time a pope has devoted an encyclical to environmental matters and already critics are questioning Pope Francis’ qualifications to address this complex scientific issue.

Published in Editorial

IRBIL, Iraq - The head of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches visited Iraq to convey Pope Francis' blessing and concern for Church officials and the displaced living and working in difficult circumstances.

Published in International

While reading through former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s convocation speech at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia on May 3, it was as if he was talking about a modern-day Pope Francis leadership style.

Published in Robert Brehl

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis was scheduled to meet Cuban President Raul Castro at the Vatican May 10, less than five months ahead of the pontiff's visit to the island nation.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" is more than a literary masterpiece, it is an invitation "to rediscover the lost or obscured meaning of our human path and to hope to see again the glowing horizon on which the dignity of the human person shines in its fullness," Pope Francis said.

Published in Vatican