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.
Loath as we are to admit it, there was no single Biggest Winner Of 2014, because the award must be handed, collectively, to the Republican Party. A case could be made for Mitch McConnell, since he will win the biggest prize of any Republican next year: control of the United States Senate.
We have this conundrum of who has a soul and who goes to heaven because the basic premise on the question is rather absurd. The concept of a soul is fatally flawed, just as is the idea of dualism.
Six years ago Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone came through the front door to Cuba. This December, however, he has returned on a private visit which is evidence of the discrete recognition of failure.
So it's "malaise" time. We older Americans have been there before. On June 30, 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter gave a "Crisis of Confidence" speech which did not use the word "malaise," but most of the reporters and analysts did.
Francis is now busy with something more magisterial, more doctrinal: a new encyclical. The last one, released in July 2013, was taken from one already much prepared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. This time, it will be fully his own and deal with "human ecology."
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
Stephen Colbert takes the Polar Plunge here, highlighting the dim lights who don't ...
When you walk through the Vatican Museums, one of the things that you likely won't notice on the way to the Sistine Chapel is a wall made of windows and large doors tucked behind a gift shop that have the seal of Pope Benedict XVI above them.
While the culture wars are usually attributed to the Christian right, the U.S. Catholic bishops are in many ways responsible for starting the culture wars that have polarized society and paralyzed our political process. Today, the Catholic bishops have a chance to back down from the culture wars they started. The question is: will they?
Even though he is the mighty "sovereign pontiff," he also knows he cannot just simply impose touchy pastoral shifts overnight without harming the Church's unity. As a former archbishop coming from "the end of the world," the Argentinian pope does not want Rome to solely decide.
The news media is always rife with stories about foreign countries exporting hate and animosity to the United States, but we hear very little regarding those who promote peace and religious harmony, such as Albania. The Pope's visit focused on the harmonious co-existence between Muslims and Christians in the country.
NBA and college basketball great Jimmy Walker once said to me, 'Ray, you were one of the best outside shooters in college basketball and the highest vote getter in Boston history, when you were Mayor of Boston, so now that you are out of politics and sports, does all that excitement and meaning in life come to an end? Basketball is over for me, so what happens next?'
Pope Francis' best asset is his lasting popularity outside his own Church. His limits are his own physical capacity. He told reporters he gave himself "two or three years" before death. He does not rule out retirement before then.
Proselytizing limits the wildly beautiful story of God and God's people into a sample script. I agree we need more conversions in this world, but at least as many conversions need to take place within the Church as outside of it.