John Allen in Rome: What do "Francis bishops" look like? Yesterday's appointments to the Congregation for Bishops are telling.
News about Pope Francis continues to flow at such a torrid pace that it's hard to digest one development before the next one hits. His Dec. 15 blockbuster interview with La Stampa is a case in point, with a shake-up at the Congregation for Bishops 24 hours later making it already seem ancient history.
One difference between Pope Francis and his predecessors: He doesn't give speeches. He talks.
At events in late November and early December, the pattern was the same: Meeting with a group, the pope sat among them, gave no prepared remarks, but conversed freely and at length.
Describing the experience of meeting Francis, Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga said that "to speak with the pope face to face is a spiritual experience."
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis on Monday named new members of the Congregation for Bishops, and one American name was notably absent.
"We have been implementing the [second Vatican] council only halfway," Pope Francis told Dutch bishops.
Archbishop Pietro Parolin said he knows Pope Francis intends to reform his office but not what those reforms might entail.
The Vatican on Friday downplayed reported mob threats against Pope Francis, just two days after a high-profile anti-mafia prosecutor said Francis could be a target from the 'Ndrangheta mafia organization in southern Italy.
Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's chief spokesman, told reporters Friday that the Vatican was "extremely calm" regarding a possible mob threat against the pope.
"There is absolutely no reason for concern, no need to feed alarmism," Lombardi said.
Italy's Center for Studies on New Religions reported Sunday that around half of the 250 priests it surveyed reported a significant rise in church attendance since Pope Francis' election.
The Vatican said it would display for the first time bones believed to be the mortal remains of St. Peter, the leader of Jesus' 12 apostles, to mark the end of the Year of Faith, Nov. 24.
Pope Francis calls on Catholics "not to remain static" and to choose how they make a difference for others, Sr. Carmen Sammut said.