Last March, the election of Pope Francis was announced with a billow of white smoke. Nine months later, the media remain in a papal haze. Time Magazine named Pope Francis its person of the year. Francis also topped Esquire's list of 2013's best-dressed men, and Buzzfeed jumped on the papal bandwagon with its list of "The 19 Best Pope Francis Moments of 2013".
Pope Benedict the 16th stunned the Catholic world in February by announcing his retirement: the first papal resignation in 700 years. And since the election of Pope Francis in March, the surprises have only continued: he’s the first Latin American pope, the first Jesuit, the first pope from the southern hemisphere.
Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a spontaneous and startling frank press conference on a plane ride following his week-long trip to Brazil. In response to a question about gay priests, he said: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
This stands in stark contrast to the views of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, who publicly and repeatedly stated that gay relationships were “evil” and “contrary to natural order.”
Here to talk about what might some are saying is a monumental shift for the LGBT community and the Catholic Church is Joe Jervis, the blogger behind “Joe. My. God.”, which covers LGBT issues, the media, and politics.
Catholic cardinals from around the world are meeting now, as the process of choosing a new leader gets underway at a time of tremendous upheaval for their church. We’ll find out what religious leaders and others in the Granite state are saying about this and what they think it means for the future.
Thursday marked the end of Pope Benedict's nearly eight year tenure as spiritual leader of the Catholic Church. In New Hampshire, 150 parishioners attended a noontime mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Manchester honoring the Pope.
Pope Benedict’s surprise announcement that he would leave his post at the end of the month is prompting plenty of reflection on his papacy and the state of the Church among Catholics, from clergy to laypersons to scholars.
Michele Dillon is such a scholar. She's a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire and has written extensively about Catholicism, both in the US and in the rest of the world. She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the pope's tenure and what may come next for the Catholic Church.
In 1998, when Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Cuba, few Cuban-Americans made the pilgrimage across the Florida straits.
But when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cuba on Monday, hundreds of Cuban-Americans will be on hand in Santiago de Cuba when he celebrates Mass.
Carlos Saladrigas is well-known in Miami's Cuban-American community. He's a prominent businessman and co-chairman of the Cuba Study Group, an organization working to make Cuba a free and open society. He'll be in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square for Mass.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.