The Conversation

The Pope: All Pope All the Time

Obama to Discuss 'Income Inequality' with Pope Francis

Jan 21, 2014 6:35 AM PT

USA Today has the announcement that President Obama will meet with Pope Francis next month, and hopes the Pontiff will prove useful to his political agenda:

President Obama will meet with Pope Francis on March 27, capping a European trip that will take him to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

"The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality," said a statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney.

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Pope Francis auctions off his Harley for charity

Jan 16, 2014 8:57 AM PT

Yes, Pope Francis has a Harley.  It was given to him as a gift by motorcycle enthusiasts on the occasion of Harley-Davidson's 110th birthday in June.  They also gave him a leather jacket, which he's also auctioning off for charity, after having signed it.

The Pope doesn't like using flashy vehicles, preferring a humble Fiat to the classic Mercedes Popemobile.  Proceeds from the sale will go to a hostel for the homeless in Rome.  The New York Daily News says the Dyna Super Glide bike is expected to bring $25,000 at auction, which seems awfully low for the Pope's motorcycle, since that model sells for around $13k new.  Hopefully there will be a nice surprise waiting for the hostel when bidding opens in Paris next month.  (Hint, hint, wealthy bidders of good heart!)

Pro-Abort Catholic Joe Biden Says He Must Attend Mass for Pope Francis or 'I'll Lose My Soul'

Mar 18, 2013 11:22 AM PT

Not that bizarre utterances are anything new to this Vice President....

Life News reported:

Vice-President Joe Biden has put his foot in his mouth again, this time with regard to the controversy over his leading the American delegation to attend the installation of Pope Francis as the new Pope.

Never mind that Vice President Joe Biden has been rebuked by his own bishop over his pro-abortion views, President Barack Obama chose him to lead the delegation. That decision prompted an outcry from Catholics and pro-life non-Catholics alike because of Biden’s longstanding pro-abortion record. Some pro-life advocates have called for Biden to be prohibited from receiving communion at any ceremony for Pope Francis.

Now, Biden has said he plans to attend the celebratory Mass. He confirmed he will be attending a reception tonight with the presidential delegation to the inaugural mass with American officials based in Rome. Biden says he has to attend “or I’ll lose my soul.”

Biden’s comment came as he met at the Villa Aurelia with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, according to reporters on the scene.

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Do Catholics now truly have a Pope of the people?

Mar 17, 2013 4:57 PM PT

Other Popes in modern times have been hidden behind the Pope-mobile and immense security. It was and still is necessary at times in a world of unknowns. I pray Pope Francis I can change this and be among the people as he seems to prefer.

Reported in The Telegraph 

Around 1,000 people thronged a narrow passageway outside the Church of Saint Anna, his local parish church just inside the Vatican gates, as he arrived for mass.

In dramatic contrast with the reserved style of his predecessors, he walked along a hastily constructed barrier reaching deep into the crowd, shaking hands, laughing and joking.

It is the first time he has had a chance to meet members of the public up close since being elected on Wednesday.

There were chants of "Francesco, Francesco" as he turned and walked through the iron gates out onto the main street, where most of the crowd were waiting, leaving his anxious security men rushing to keep up.

When two clerics were brought up and introduced to him, attempting to drop to their knees, he hurriedly ushered them back onto their feet.

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Media Demands New Coke From Vatican

Mar 15, 2013 3:53 PM PT

Against the advice of its self-appointed marketing consultants in the media, the Vatican has once again lost a strategic opportunity to reinvent itself as the new improved religious brand of politically-correct liberal hipsters. You know, the same strategy that's been such a boffo box office hit for the Episcopalians.

Hope spring eternal, though. Reporters are still forwarding the latest Gallup results to the new Il Papa, under the assumption that a guy who wears a 2 foot tall hat, golden robes, and answers to "Your Holiness" pays attention to opinion polls or the NY Times Op-Ed page.

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Manufactured momentum and the Pope

Mar 13, 2013 2:18 PM PT

In response to Media Sickened That Backwards New Pope Is Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage, Pro-God:

Just wait until the media digests the new Pope's views on abortion, which include a strong argument that pro-abortion Catholics should be denied communion:

In an October 2, 2007 speech Bergoglio said that “we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty,” but “in Argentina we have the death penalty.  A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”

The remarks came during the presentation of a document called the Aparecida Document, a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America.  In the document, the new Pope referred to abortion and communion, saying “we should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated.  This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

Archbishop Bergoglio said then that “the most mentioned word in the Aparecida Document is ‘life’, because the Church is very conscious of the fact that the cheapest thing in Latin America, the thing with the lowest price, is life.”

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Media Sickened That Backwards New Pope Is Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Marriage, Pro-God

Mar 13, 2013 12:58 PM PT

In response to White Smoke Rises From Sistine Chapel: A New Pope Has Been Chosen:

Although the only cite I have for this is TMZ (whose headline shudders with loathing over the unabashed Catholicism of the new Vicar of Rome), every election of a new pope offers the media fresh and exciting opportunities to embarrass itself.  And they seize upon these opportunities with relish.

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Benedict Celebrates Last Public Mass as Pope

Feb 13, 2013 10:46 AM PT

Though my priest didn't speak of it, Pope Benedict XVI's retirement announcement was felt throughout this afternoon's Ash Wednesday mass. Today also marked Benedict's final public mass as our Holy Father:

Starting his public farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff, presiding over Ash Wednesday services hours after a bittersweet audience that produced the extraordinary scene of the pope explaining his decision to step down directly to the faithful.

The mood inside St. Peter's Basilica was somber during the Mass, as if the weight of Benedict's decision and the finality of his pontificate had finally registered with the thousands of faithful present. But the basilica erupted in a rousing, minutes-long standing ovation as Benedict exited for the last time as pope, bringing tears to the eyes of some of his closest collaborators.

"We wouldn't be sincere, Your Holiness, if we didn't tell you that there's a veil of sadness on our hearts this evening," Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Benedict's longtime deputy, told the pope at the end of the service, his voice breaking.

"Thank you for having given us the luminous example of the simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord," Bertone said, quoting Benedict's own words when he first appeared on the loggia overlooking St. Peter's Square after he was elected pope.

"Viva il papa!" the crowd yelled as Benedict stepped off the altar.

Hours After Pope Resigns, Lightning Strikes the Vatican ... Twice

Feb 12, 2013 10:33 AM PT

Most secular historians will tell you that with his 12 apostles, a man named Jesus walked the earth and was crucified for claiming to be the Son of God. You might not believe the "Son of God" part, but the rest is history documented in the Bible and elsewhere. At the request of Jesus, it was Peter who would build the Church and become its first Pope. This means that the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI represent a straight line all the way back to Peter, and therefore Jesus Christ.

As a believer raised in a secular family, and as someone who after much soul-searching due to the appalling child-rape scandal, chose to become a Catholic at the age of 43, the Pope's surprise resignation yesterday came as a significant blow. If you're not in the Church, you're not expected to fathom what the Holy Father means to those of us who are. And as only a three year-old Catholic, it's something I'm just starting to understand.

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The Pope and the dignity of resignation

Feb 11, 2013 4:50 AM PT

It takes greater courage to resign power, when appropriate, than to cling to it. Pope Benedict XVI may be the first to resign since the 15th century, but his example reminds us that resignation need not mean defeat. 

It is a lesson our American politicians have forgotten. The only notable recent resignation was that of CIA Director David Petraeus, over an affair. No one resigns on principle any more, never mind because of actual failure. White House adviser Dennis Ross could have resigned over Obama's ill treatment of Israel. Speaker John Boehner could have made a powerful statement by resigning when "Plan B" failed in December.

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