Colbert the Catechist

Saint Stephen of Comedy Central takes on Garry Wills, a terrific and maddening writer and historian — and confessed Catholic — who may be veering perilously close to caricature these days. He has a new book out, “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition,” and an Op-Ed in the New York Times arguing that Catholics who look with hope for change from a new pope are like Charlie Brown kicking the football — Lucy will always yank it away. But when he went on “The Colbert Report” to promote his new book he got some pretty good pushback from his host, a real-life catechist who came the closest I can ever recall to coming out of character while on the set. Watch:

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Religon & Ethics Newsweekly Video: Papal Succession

After Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise announcement that he is resigning February 28, 2013, the Roman Catholic Church is preparing for a “conclave,” where cardinals under the age of 80 will gather to elect his successor. Managing editor Kim Lawton looked at the centuries-old process of selecting the pope. Video courtesy Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Pope Benedict Sultanahmet

Pope Benedict’s Resignation–a Muslim perspective

Muslims have had by and large a very tense relationship with Pope Benedict, yet I would hope that we as Muslims can practice the divine qualities of mercy and forgiveness at this time, and stand next to our Catholic friends as they journey through this turbulent time of transition.

RNS photo courtesy Vatican Museum

Vatican opens new exhibit of papal cars

VATICAN CITY (RNS) From horse-drawn carriages to electric cars, a new permanent exhibition at the Vatican Museums chronicles the history of papal transport, including the car Pope John Paul II was riding in when he was shot in 1981. By Alessandro Speciale.

Jews ask pope to push for aid worker’s release in Cuba

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Jewish community is trying to enlist the pope to intercede on behalf of Alan Gross, the Maryland Jewish man who has been in a Cuban jail for more than two years, on his upcoming trip to the island nation. By Lauren Markoe.