John Allen in Rome: The fact that Pope Francis seems the lone authority in Italy at whom the country's protest movement isn't angry shows how wide his appeal is.
Every so often a day rolls around that seems to perfectly sum up the arc of a story, and Saturday, Dec. 21, felt like one of those days vis-à-vis the priority of attitudes over structures in Pope Francis’ ongoing reform campaign.
Indeed, if the Vatican under Francis were the 1992 Clinton campaign, there might well be a sign in room 201 of the Casa Santa Marta reading: “It’s the attitudes, stupid!”
In what amounts to his first “State of the Union” speech, Pope Francis warned Dec. 21 that without a spirit of service the Vatican risks becoming no more than a “heavy bureaucratic customs house,” and insisted that its personnel shouldn’t constantly be “inspecting and questioning.”
The pope did not roll out a specific reform plan, but laid out the basic values he believes curial personnel must have: professionalism and a dedication to service.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis has many times called upon a "culture of encounter," which Francis intends to mean reaching out and fostering dialogue.
John Allen in Rome: There are so many consultants in Rome these days, it's a wonder Pope Francis can cross Vatican grounds without bumping into one.
The unidentified man doused himself with gasoline he carried in a bottle then lit himself aflame at the end of the colonnade near Piazza Pio XII.
John Allen in Rome: According to Vatican statistics, Catholic education is a growth industry these days, especially in the global south.
John Allen in Rome: The Vatican on Thursday awarded contracts to two major international consulting firms to reorganize its communications operations.
Pope Francis said Christmas is an occasion of joy but also a lesson in humility, when the faithful are called to imitate the example of God-made-man.
The pope made his remarks Wednesday during his weekly public audience in St. Peter's Square.
"God abases himself, descends to earth as someone small and poor, which means that to be like him we should not put ourselves above others, but on the contrary, abase ourselves, give ourselves in service, make ourselves small with the small and poor with the poor," he said.
Just Catholic: Folks can't get enough of Francis. But he's still a Latin American male. Will he do anything for the women of the church and of the world?