Crowds are a huge, huge thing at many major sights, including here at Rome's Vatican Museums. Emerging economies in large parts of our world are creating big middle-class populations with enough money to finally see the Europe of their dreams.
My trip up my family tree taught me that none of us is separate from one another - neither as individuals nor as groups. As such, hate that is rooted in the illusion of that non-existent separation is nothing if not absurd.
ROME -- The pope is very outspoken against contemporary Christian persecutions, which he claims are worse than during antiquity. But the Holy See is also careful not to start some religious wars and asks all religious leaders to clearly condemn any use of violence in the name of God.
Pope Francis' decision to send Juan Barros, a bishop for 11 years who served as a military chaplain, to the southern Chilean city of Osorno has ignited new media coverage on Rev. Fernando Karadima, 84, a notorious pedophile in Chile who was ousted by the Vatican four years ago, and who Barros used to share a close connection with.
"In essentials unity...in non-essentials liberty...in all things charity." I have heard this phrase for the greater part of my religious life. In fact, I am pretty sure I have used the phrase myself. It is a much more helpful position to adopt in this world of multi-religious beliefs.
Depressed, weary, or frightened by stories of USIS and ISIS and other horrors, plus by debates over "religious extremism" and the role of Islam, we focus instead on the not-unimportant figure of Pope Francis, who makes news and inspires reflection.
House Speaker John Boehner has proudly announced that Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress in September during the Holy Father's visit to the United States. But Boehner, Catholic though he is, should be careful of what he wishes for.
With every fiber of my being, I believe that Christians must act to stop the cycle of violence and take a strong stance against hitting children for any reason. What type of world do we want to live in? What type of God do we believe in?
It seems to me that more and more, children are being singled out for punishment, retribution and abuse probably because they are such easy targets and really pose little or no threat of retaliation.
In the conclave, Pope Francis touched on the early church fathers' sense of the mysterium lunae. The mystery of the moon is that it has no light of its own; it only reflects the light of the sun. He said the church should not mistake itself for the sun. It has instead the mystery of the moon. It must remember that it only shines by reflecting the light of the divine.
The Republicans in the U.S. House are obsessed with denying women the right to control their own bodies. In states like mine, local bishops are urging state lawmakers to follow suit and ban abortion, in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court's 42 year-old Roe v. Wade decision.
Our love is not bad. Our love is not destroying the world. The most significant threat to the family is failure to recognize all families. If the Pope truly wants to reach out to the marginalized, he should truly open his arms to everyone.
Surprising even myself, I will be reading the encyclical on ecology the Vatican will be releasing in June or July. However, one question does loom, call it the "cow" in the room if you will.
While all this may make him seem like a revolutionary trailblazer, sources close to Pope Francis claim the troublemaker is actually just seeing what it takes to get a Pope fired.
The Best Idea for 2014 was requiring police to wear body cameras. This idea was so good it actually cut across the lines of the protestors and the supporters of police. Many on both sides of that divide support the idea, for what boils down to the same reason: the camera doesn't lie.
As Francis has repeated on several occasions, "the Pope emeritus is not a statue in a museum. It is an institution," which "participates in the life of the Church." This new "institution" is a consequence of Benedict's historical resignation on February 11, 2013. It has "opened the door," according to Jorge Bergoglio. Meaning, he could very well do the same.