Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Punch & Jesus

The Pope has revealed he would PUNCH anybody who insulted his mother as he debated freedom of speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks.

Pope Francis’ comments came as he flew from Sri Lanka to the Philippines to start the second leg of his Asian tour.

Referring to Alberto Gasparri, who organises papal trips and was standing by his side, the Pontiff said: “It is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch.’

Pope Francis then threw a pretend punch his friend’s way.



“Jesus saw his own mother, and the disciple standing near whom he loved. He said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son”. Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother. Anyone gives her lip, you clock him one from me!”.” John 19:26-27 (New Franciscan Version)

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The Amazing Pope Francis





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December 4, 2014 · 11:39



Joanna Moorhead
theguardian.com, Wednesday 26 November 2014 11.03 GMT

Pope Francis’s speech at the council of Europe, where he described the continent as ‘a grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant’
The love-in with Pope Francis is over; or at least it is as far as this Catholic feminist is concerned. On Tuesday he addressed the European parliament in Strasbourg, 27 years after a speech there by his predecessor John Paul II. That was an historic occasion, and this week’s speech was widely touted as something similar: a groundbreaking moment for the pontiff to lay out his stall on Europe and its political direction.

First came entirely laudable entreaties: European politicians, he said, should pull together a united response to assist the boatloads of impoverished and miserable people who come in search of a new life, rather than leaving them to drown on the high seas. There should be more jobs, and better conditions for workers. Europe was failing in these respects, and he wanted it to pull its socks up.

So far, so very good indeed. But then came his massive faux pas. Speaking of the need for Europe to be invigorated, he described the continent as a “grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant”, and went on to say it risked “slowly losing its own soul”.

Pope Francis surrounded by bishops
‘Few other world leaders are exclusively surrounded, as Pope Francis is, by men.’ Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
His phrase was so badly judged on so many levels, but perhaps most shocking of all is that none of his many advisers realised how insulting an analogy this was, and failed to persuade him to take it out of his speech. Any other world leader, surely, would have had someone in his entourage who was enough in touch with female feelings and sensibilities to realise that being negative about older women because of their lack of ability to bear children, and suggesting that they were no longer active, enthusiastic, lively and life-giving, was a complete no-no. But then again, few other world leaders are exclusively surrounded, as Pope Francis is, by men (many of them elderly, though I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that means they are people with reduced potency or lack of energy).

What makes the pope’s derogatory words about grandmothers all the more shocking is that he was apparently very close to his own grandmother, from whom he has said he learned a great deal; and also because he has been a witness to the formidable campaign mounted by the grandmothers of the disappeared in his own country, Argentina, during the dirty war.

From an internal political point of view, it is a bad misstep: all over the world, older women are the backbone of the Catholic church. They are its flower arrangers and cleaners, its priests’ housekeepers and its soup kitchen operators, its fete organisers and its catechists. They are also, if my parish is anything to go by, and I am sure it is, the majority of congregants at its masses: they are its spiritual well; its practical and operational workforce. Older women are a constituency that the pope insults at his peril, and he should have known that; and if he didn’t, there should certainly have been someone there to explain it to him.

Worst of all, of course, his negative labelling of older women suggests that underneath all the warm displays of touchy-feely understanding, behind his appealing reluctance to judge, and alongside his impressive championing of the rights of the poor, Pope Francis is not so very different from the other male-centric leaders of the Catholic church. The value that has been put on women through centuries of Catholic history, from the Virgin Mary onwards, has been one that is tied up with their ability to bear children: de-linking them from this one-dimensional view of what it is to be female is a move that is desperately needed in the Vatican. From the Pope’s tone it doesn’t sound as though he’s going to provoke any revolutions on that front, however mould-breaking he may be in other areas.

Most of all, though, his words suggest that he needs a smart woman to look over his speeches before he delivers them; and he might want to spend a bit of time listening to that smart woman’s views about the real lives of real women, particularly older ones, in the real world.

Fertility isn’t everything, Pope Francis, and grandmothers are one of the most vibrant forces on the planet, as the Catholic church should have discovered through centuries of its own history.

© 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


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The Pope Jokes….

Addressing engaged couples on Valentine’s Day at St.Peter’s Square

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World Cup – Argentina v Switzerland

World Cup - Argentina v Switzerland

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July 1, 2014 · 17:35

Papal Blessing for Scotland’s Italian Chapel


Pope Francis has sent a special blessing to mark the 70th anniversary of one of Scotland’s most unusual landmarks. The Italian Chapel in Orkney was built during the Second World War by Italian POWs and has since become the island’s number one tourist attraction. In his message, Pope Francis prays; “that this Chapel, built in time of war, may continue to be a sign of peace and reconciliation”


The magnificent interior, created with scraps of wood and metal and paints provided by an enlightened camp commandant turned the Nissen huts into a tiny basilica-style space filled with light and images of angels and the Blesed Virgin Mary under the title Regina Pacis – Queen of Peace. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the departure of the Italian prisoners from Orkney.

On Sunday (18 May) a special Mass will be held in the tiny chapel, celebrated by the Papal Ambassador (Nuncio) to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini and former Glasgow Archbishop Mario Conti.


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Walls and Bridge Maker (the Pontiff)

Walls and Bridge Maker (the Pontiff)

In One Photo, the Pope Does What Many World Leaders Haven’t Had the Guts For

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May 26, 2014 · 14:06

Maundy Thursday – Foot Washing

From God’s Politics blog by Jim Wallace and friends via Sojourners

When Pope Francis Washes Women’s Feet, Arguments Follow. Who’s Right?
by David Gibson 04-15-2014

>On Thursday evening, in a familiar reprise of an ancient rite, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., will wash the feet of 12 men, all seminarians — a re-creation of Jesus’ action at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples and, according to Catholic doctrine, formally instituted the priesthood.

That same evening, thousands of miles away, Pope Francis will also observe the Holy Thursday rite, though not in a cathedral like Morlino but at a center for people with disabilities. There he will wash the feet of a number of residents, all lay people and perhaps some of them women and even non-Christians or nonbelievers.

Francis did something similar last year, shortly after his election, when he stunned church observers by traveling to a juvenile detention center outside Rome and washing the feet of 12 young people, two of them women and two of them Muslims.

More than a few tradition-minded Catholics were aghast at the pope’s example and they welcomed Morlino’s effort to hold the line against innovations, at least in his Wisconsin diocese.

“The Church’s law says that only men may be the recipients of this foot washing,” wrote the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a scrappy blogger popular with the Catholic right. “Morlino’s guidelines” — that his priests must wash the feet of 12 men or not do the foot washing at all — “do nothing but reiterate the Church’s laws, which bishops and priests are obliged to follow.”

So who’s correct?

Is the pope a dissenter? Or are Morlino and others being legalistic? What does the foot washing ritual represent, anyway?

There are no simple answers to those questions, though the weight of history and custom — not to mention authority — seems to be on the pope’s side.

An ancient rite

Accounts of Christian foot washing rituals go back as far as the sixth century. As Peter Jeffrey writes in his 1985 book, A New Commandment: Toward a Renewed Rite for the Washing of Feet, there were generally two forms: the “Mandatum Pauperam,” or washing of the feet of poor people, and the “Mandatum Fratrum,” the washing of the feet of “the brothers.”

Neither were part of the Holy Thursday liturgy, and popes and clerics routinely washed the feet of poor people as a sign of service and humility. In convents, as well, “woman washed feet and had their feet washed,” and they washed the feet of guests and children, said Rita Ferrone, the author of several books about liturgy and a consultant to U.S. dioceses on liturgical matters.

“Foot washing does have a long tradition,” Ferrone said, “and it didn’t exclude women up until 1955.”

That’s when Pope Pius XII simplified the Holy Week rites, a reform that included folding the foot washing ritual into the Holy Thursday Mass before marking Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday.

The problem is that back then, Catholic women were not allowed into the restricted space near the altar and, unlike today, they could not have any part in the Mass. So the rule was that 12 chosen men — “viri selecti” in the Latin — would have their feet washed by the priest or bishop.

With that change, the foot washing rite also came to be seen as a kind of re-creation of the Last Supper and the institution of the priesthood.

“The tradition was not to have it be a dramatization of what Jesus did at the last Supper but to be a response to the command to humble service,” Ferrone said.

Modernizing reforms

While the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s ushered in numerous reforms, including of the liturgy, the rule on only washing the feet of men was never addressed.

But in the 1970s, in an effort to reflect the new openness of the church, bishops and priests in many dioceses simply ignored the old regulation and began washing the feet of lay people, including women. Sometimes there were a dozen, sometimes more.
Indeed, there is a photograph of Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, washing the feet of women with babies, some of whom were breast-feeding.

Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledges the letter of the law but stresses that the rite aims to signify both charity and “humble service” rather than a re-enactment of the foundation of the priesthood. It drops any reference to washing the feet of 12 people (the number of the disciples) and notes that “it has become customary in many places to invite both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world.”

So in that sense, it is a return to a more ancient tradition, and very much in line with what Pope Francis is doing.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, said Tuesday that Francis’ decision to include women and nonbelievers was meant as a gesture “to embrace those who were on the fringes of society.” The official rules, he said, can sometimes be a distraction from “the profound messages of the Gospels and of the Lord of the Church.”

Still, this is the Catholic Church, and rules are rules. Even though a Vatican spokesman last year said Francis’ decision to wash the feet of women and Muslims on Holy Thursday was “absolutely licit” because it did not entail a sacrament, canon lawyer Edward Peters said that Francis set a “questionable example” by ignoring church law.

Peters, a blogger popular with church conservatives and a supporter of the rule, said it would be better to change the rule rather than risk undermining the rule of law by flouting it.

There are, of course, others who would like to see the current rule maintained and enforced the way Morlino does, and not just to maintain good order in the church.

“This is being used by those who wish to make a point about holy orders being reserved to men,” Ferrone said. The debate over the Holy Thursday foot washing, she said, “becomes yet another occasion for people who would like to see women excluded from the sanctuary.”

David Gibson writes for Religion News Service. Via RNS.


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April 17, 2014 · 15:31

They’re wondrous at crosses

Ernesto Ortiz, from the new Papa Francisco team, reacts after missing a chance to score against Trefules. Photograph: Victor R. Caivano/AP





Associated Press. via the Guardian
Monday 14 April 2014 09.53 BST

A new Argentinian football team named after Pope Francis and meant to promote non-violence has played their first official match in a regional league … a 2-2 draw in which four players were sent off.

The Papa Francisco team was founded by Jorge Ramirez, an admirer of the pope. It has 47 members and was set up in meetings at Ramirez’s house, located 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Buenos Aires, shortly after the archbishop of the city, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was named pope. Pope Francis is an avid football fan and a supporter of Buenos Aires club San Lorenzo. He has no official connection to the Papa Francisco club.

The semi-professional team plays in the lower regions of the Argentinian league system, and chose the nickname: ‘The Saint of the South’. The behaviour on the pitch in the first game against Trefules wasn’t particularly saintly, though, as two players from each team were sent off. “Our motto is no hooligans, no violence and no insults,” said Ramirez, the club president.

The club could serve as a much-needed antidote for Argentinian football, which is plagued at all levels by violence and gangs known as barras bravas. Violence is endemic in the Argentinian game, and the Argentinian Football Association has been criticised for doing little to stamp it out.

The club was almost named Real Buenos Aires, in honor of the famous Spanish club Real Madrid, but eventually the idea of naming a club to honor the Argentina-born pope prevailed. The first match was played appropriately in Lujan, a site revered by local Roman Catholics. Its famous Basilica of Our Lady of Lujan could be glimpsed from the playing field.

Several players acknowledged it may be difficult to always be on their best behaviour. But it is clear they will try. “It will be a complicated thing if we insult others,” said midfielder Fabian Gaddi. “But the pope is Argentinian and he knows and understands us.”

Tags: Argentina, Americas, Pope Francis, Religion, The papacy

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Chocolate Pope

Chocolate Pope

this was presented to Pope Francis I

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April 11, 2014 · 15:35