March 26, 2014 |
President Obama is scheduled to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, and the meeting will probably take the usual form of encounters between presidents and pontiffs: a polite conversation about their common agenda on poverty and world peace, plus a gentle remonstrance from the Holy Father on abortion and religious liberty. But if Obama and Francis had time to get to know each other, they might each benefit by trading notes on practical politics, as presidents and British prime ministers often do, and on the lessons they can draw from each other's experiences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 2014 |
A 10-year-old student from Noble Avenue Elementary School in North Hills visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels last week on a diplomatic mission. Jersey Vargas, a fourth-grader, was about to leave for Rome and a possible visit with Pope Francis, but first she wanted to ask Archbishop Jose H. Gomez for his blessing and his help. Jersey said she hoped the archbishop will "help my Dad out, so he can be with me and my family, and we won't be separated ever again. " Her father has been in custody since September, Jersey told me. She said he "was caught driving without a license, and because he wasn't born in the United States, that also didn't help him out….
March 19, 2014 |
"Noah" star Russell Crowe and a few of the filmmakers behind the upcoming movie epic made it to Vatican City on Thursday for Pope Francis' weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. It wasn't a private meeting with the pope, and apparently a screening of the film wasn't going to happen, but the trip to Rome had the actor upbeat on social media nonetheless. "What a privilege , attended the Udienza with the holy father @Pontifex . St.Joesephs day & Fathers Day," he wrote, tweeting a picture of the crowd of about 80,000 at Vatican City.
March 19, 2014 |
Following days of conflicting reports whether Russell Crowe would get his wish to meet with Pope Francis, the "Noah" star did make the pontiff's acquaintance on Wednesday, albeit briefly, at Francis' weekly audience in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Also joining Crowe were "Noah" director Darren Aronofsky, producer Scott Franklin and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, according to the Hollywood Reporter and other outlets. The group met with the pope at the "udienza generale," which is open to the public and can draw thousands of faithful.
March 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Speaker John A. Boehner has invited Pope Francis to deliver a joint address to Congress, in what would be the first such session by the head of the Catholic Church. The invitation was made on the first anniversary of popular pope's election, and meshes with efforts by Republicans to portray the party as more engaged on the issues of poverty and inequality that have been priorities for Pope Francis. "Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manners and servant leadership," wrote Boehner, a Roman Catholic, in the invitation letter, noting "his tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us. " Boehner noted that "these principles are among the fundamentals of the American idea.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 |
Pope Francis is one of the best-known religious figures in the world, but a new Pew Research poll seeking to quantify his popularity raises questions about the so-called Francis effect. The poll found an overwhelming embrace of Francis, who has been trying to steer the Catholic Church toward a greater emphasis on compassion for the poor and marginalized. Sixty percent of non-Catholics and 85% of Catholics surveyed said they viewed the pontiff favorably - numbers approaching those of Pope John Paul II, whose peak popularity ratings among Catholics hovered just above 90%. However, the poll found no change in the number of people who self-identify as Catholic or in the number sitting in church pews on Sundays.