The figures in the world-famous Nativity scenes of Naples are all meant to illustrate "the permanent coming of the Lord into history."
On Monday, Pope Francis visited his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to deliver best wishes for the Christmas season. The Vatican released the following statement on the meeting on Monday evening Rome time:
Latin-rite Patriarch Faoud Twal of Jerusalem told reporters he expected to host Pope Francis on a visit to the Holy Land in May.
Listing "upcoming events for next year," Twal began with "the pope's visit to the Holy Land planned for next May, first in Jordan, then in Israel-Palestine."
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.