When Benedict XVI stunned Catholics by announcing that he would resign, it immediately sparked concerns – which were dismissed just as quickly – that having an ex-pope around could undermine the legitimacy of his successor. Now those fears are emerging again as conservative Catholics continue to express doubts about the agenda of Pope Francis while Benedict remains a player in intrachurch debates.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Last summer, Pope Francis did not take a break and did not decamp to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, a move church officials said was part of his desire to downplay the trappings of the papacy and to save money.
(RNS) Representatives of most of the 50,000 sisters in the U.S. flatly rejected the charges by Cardinal Gerhard Mueller but said their conversation “was constructive in its frankness and lack of ambiguity.”
NEW YORK (RNS) Just as Pope Francis has downplayed rules and hot-button issues in an effort to widen the church’s appeal, Cardinal Walter Kasper has pushed the importance of pastoral flexibility and realism in walking with Catholics throughout their imperfect lives.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) For some Vatican insiders, having the pope as your boss is a good thing. For others, not so much. “I have even heard people say ‘We are praying for him (Francis) to die as soon as possible,’” says one cardinal.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jesuits provide an all-encompassing personal and professional framework that the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio brought with him from Buenos Aires, and one that continues to shape almost everything he does as Pope Francis.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Church leaders welcome the reforms and fresh air that Pope Francis is bringing to an often dysfunctional institution. But at 77, they just want him to have the stamina to keep it up.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) As important as such structural reform can be, church leaders and Vatican insiders say Pope Francis is really focused on a more ambitious (and perhaps more difficult) goal: overhauling and upending the institutional culture of Catholicism.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The leader of the new Secretariat for the Economy will have sweeping new powers, the most concrete step Pope Francis has taken to try to reform the church’s scandal-plagued finances.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Anticipation is mounting for a series of closed-door discussions on Thursday and Friday, when the cardinals will hold what are expected to be frank talks about issues such as contraception, cohabitation, gay marriage and whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion.
(RNS) A church for the poor, a church of the Southern Hemisphere, a church not focused on hierarchical perks, and a church led by pastors and doctrinal moderates: In naming his first batch of new cardinals on Sunday (Jan. 12), Pope Francis made some surprising choices that confirmed where he wants Catholicism to go in the future.