Pope Francis has urged religious orders of the Catholic Church to strive to mold both the hearts and the minds of those studying in seminaries to become priests, warning that they can otherwise become "little monsters."
"We must form their [seminary students'] hearts. Otherwise we create little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps," Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica quotes the pope as telling the superiors general of religious orders in a conversation.
The pope stressed that sinners, not corrupt people, were admitted in the seminary. "I am not speaking about people who recognize that they are sinners: we are all sinners, but we are not all corrupt. Sinners are accepted but not people who are corrupt," Francis said in the three-hour conversation that took place in late November. more >>
Although Pope Francis is hardly the first Vatican figurehead to critique the free market, his criticisms have not gone unnoticed by certain would-be donors of the Catholic church.
Home Depot founder and investor Ken Langone, who is currently leading the $180 million fundraising efforts to complete the renovations on St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, recently told CNBC that a potential million dollar donor has voiced apprehension about donating to the project after Pope Francis critiqued trickle-down economics in November as "naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."
"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," Pope Francis wrote. more >>
The men's magazine Esquire elected to pick an unorthodox icon of men's fashion this year – Pope Francis. A new poll also shows a majority of American Catholics approve of the pope and say he is leading the church in the right direction.
"The humility of his garments offers a way to visibly display his theological and material concerns for the poor," Ann Pellegrini, associate professor of performance studies and religious studies at New York University, told the magazine. "This Holy Roman emperor really does have new clothes."
This pope's humble fashion sense began as early as his installment in March. After being chosen by the conclave, Francis decided to keep the same coat of arms he held as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and picked the simplest ring offered him, The Huffington Post reported. The only symbols added to his original coat of arms are those customary for every pope – a gilded miter and crossed gold and silver keys. more >>
"Esquire" has picked Pope Francis as its "Best Dressed Man of the Year,"a designation that the men's fashion and lifestyle magazine has previously doled out to actors such as Bradley Cooper and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
"Esquire" asserted that the Catholic leader's dress reflected "a new era (and for many, renewed hope) for the Catholic Church."
Since assuming the papacy in March of this year, Pope Francis has continually made waves in the media, less for key disruptions or reforms in church policy, but largely because of small, more intimate and personal gestures, many of which when leaked to the press or photographed, have gone viral. more >>
Thousands of Catholics gathered in the capital of Spain to celebrate an open-air mass as the Western European nation's government has promised a stricter abortion law.
Led by Archbishop Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, throngs of Catholics came to Madrid for the worship service. The mass was held on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph day on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar.
In his remarks before those gathered at the Plaza de Colon square, Varela stated that families in Spain face a public concept of life as mere "transience." more >>
Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, said during a television interview aired Sunday that Pope Francis, who appears to have a more accepting view of gays, is not the judge on homosexuality, but God is and He says it's a sin.
"I want to warn people: I think the pope is right when he says he's not the judge," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "He's not the judge. God is the judge."
Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said this after he was asked about the pope's views on homosexuality. Francis made headlines earlier this year when he said, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge them?" more >>