Popes no longer ride the sedia gestatoria. They no longer wear the triple tiara. But other aspects of the monarchy remained firmly in place until the auspicious year 2013.
He lives in a Vatican guest house rather than the ornate Apostolic Palace. He gets around in a Ford Focus. In his recent, startling critique of capitalism, he called on the free world's most powerful organizations to have a conscience.
In America, most of us celebrate a new year on January 1, according to the Gregorian calendar. But some parts of the world have different traditions.
A look back at the sand slipping through the hourglass that was 2013 and very few of the headlines circulating reflect on a positive year. We remember...
My book has generated a lot correspondence from people all over the world. Few have been negative. The rest are a combination of affirming supportive emails and emails from those who have been hurt by the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality.
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column! Part one of this column ran last week, just in case you missed it. We've got a lot to cover, so let's jump right in with no further introduction.
Say what you want about 2013. But before you dismiss it, cranky style, for being as lousy as any other year you didn't get everything you wanted from Santa, try to remember the few good things that happened in the last twelve months.
What would Jesus do about the profound inequality of opportunity that both the pope and our president have identified as the most pressing moral crisis of our time? It is a timely question to ponder when many of us honor the purported moment of Christ's birth with a last-minute burst of shopping.
Both popes face the daunting task of restoring confidence in a religious institution rocked with scandal both sexual and financial. Can he restore the faith of fallen-away Catholics like myself, who could no longer bear the dichotomy between institutionalism and morality?
One who would preach the gospel effectively must, like Jesus, identify with the vulnerable of the earth, stand with them, and be a voice for their liberation.
The new Christmas will overshadow the oh-so-sappy Valentine's Day and the all-too-awkward "Presidents Day." (Blend two birthdays and then shut down the mail? Is that any way to honor our most heroic leaders?)
Little boys and girls in Catholic schools all across the world are still being taught that homosexuality is "intrinsically disordered." And Catholic teachers have been removed from jobs simply for exercising their rights as gay Americans. I haven't heard the pope weigh in or stop it, while many other people are actually fighting the fight for them.
In response to critics who label him a Marxist, Pope Francis is taking a page from the famous Seinfeld scene: No, my critique of capitalism is not because I'm a Marxist (not that there's anything wrong with that) -- it's because I'm a Christian.
He delights in meeting children as well as the disabled. He picks up the phone and cold-calls people just to say hello or to tell them to hang in there. He drives a beat-up old car. So here are the top 10 things we could do to emulate Pope Francis and how he might approach the holidays.
Yes, we should solve the problems of poverty and growing inequality, but how? Is there any clear and better alternative to replace the existing free market or economic system? What is the real structural cause of inequality?
The pope is not a politician, a media loudmouth or an activist. He is a religious figure.