National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope Francis

The unfailing hope of progressive Catholics


I just came back from lunch when a co-worker scurried to my cubicle.

"White smoke," she said. "There's white smoke."

My feet had a mind of their own as I ran to the nearest television, absolutely transfixed. I remained glued to the news coverage, with the Latin names of who I thought were likely choices on a Post-it note in front of me (Georgium wasn't on the list). My pulse was racing. My stomach was in knots.

Pope Francis' first papal appearance sparked joy, hope


No more chimney watching. We have a pope!

The chimney gained star status in this papal election. It was a quaint reminder of the traditions in our church. In the midst of instant social media, our eyes were glued to a smokestack. Chimney cams were fixed in corners of TV screens on news stations around the world. The appearance of a now-famous seagull provided some comic relief.


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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015


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