In response to a question from one of the 900 woman religious gathered at the Vatican today on behalf of the International Union of Superiors General (representing nearly half a million Catholic women religious on five continents), Pope Francis said he would convene a commission to study the possibility of permitting female deacons in the Catholic Church, "signaling an historic openness to the possibility of ending the global institution’s practice of an all-male clergy." [more inside]
With the release of “Amoris Laetitia,” (.pdf) or “Joy of Love,” Pope Francis has called for the Catholic Church, as the Guardian puts it, to "revamp its response to modern family life." As the New York Times notes, the document "calls for priests to welcome single parents, gay people and unmarried straight couples who are living together....But Francis once again closed the door on same-sex marriage, saying it cannot be seen as the equivalent of heterosexual unions." [more inside]
"His palms were bloody, knees beat, cross was heavy, there's wine on his torso already" From BuzzFeed.
Fresh from defeat following their face-off with Pope Francis for the souls of Philadelphia, Papa Emeritus III and the newly remasked Nameless Ghouls of Swedish occult metal band Ghost are streaming their third record, Meliora, due out August 21st, 2015. An appropriately tongue-in-check video accompanies lead-off single Cirice. [more inside]
This is an extract from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. Here are some of the early analyses.
Will Pope Francis Break the Church? [The Atlantic]
“Told this way—conservative Jesuit fights post–Vatican II radicalization, finds himself shunned by left-wing confreres, gets rescued by a John Paul appointee—the story of Francis’s rise and fall and rise sounds for all the world like The Making of a Conservative Pope. And indeed, a number of Catholic writers greeted Bergoglio’s election—some optimistically, some despairingly—with exactly that interpretation of his past’s likely impact on his papacy. But it seems fair to say that this interpretation was mistaken. So how, exactly, did the man who fought bitterly with left-wing Jesuits in the 1970s become the darling of progressive Catholics in the 2010s?”Previously. Previously.
The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.[more inside]
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium has effectively labeled unfettered capitalism a 'tyranny' (previously). [more inside]
The setting is simple, austere. The workspace occupied by the desk is small. I am impressed not only by the simplicity of the furniture, but also by the objects in the room. There are only a few. [more inside]
This past Sunday, while privately meeting with a delegation of clerics from Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious, Pope Francis reportedly confirmed the existence of a "gay lobby" within the Curia. The delegation's notes of the meeting were published by Reflection and Liberation, a Chilean website focusing on liberation theology. While the Pope's statements were not public remarks, the question puzzling most Vatican watchers is not whether he made the remarks, but rather what does gay lobby in the Vatican mean? Rocco Palmo from the blog Whispers in the Loggia. Columnist Jimmy Akin from the conservative National Catholic Register. [more inside]