February 17, 2013 |
I'm a Catholic, but I'll admit it (or should I say "confess" it?): When Pope Benedict XVI announced his pending resignation, my first thought wasn't religious. It was in fact downright superficial. "There goes the best-dressed pontiff ever!" During his nearly eight years on the throne of St. Peter, Benedict has always looked absolutely perfect, sartorially speaking, whether garbed in elaborate vestments for an Easter liturgy or clad in the simple but meticulously tailored white caped cassock (it's called a "simar" in church lingo)
April 27, 2014 |
Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter's Square and nearby to witness the unprecedented double canonization. It marked the first time in the church's more than 2,000-year history that two former popes had been canonized on the same day. And, though the focus was on the two late pontiffs, the extravagant ceremony and Mass will probably provide another boost for the soaring popularity of Francis, the Argentine pope who has only held office for slightly more than a year.
July 18, 2009 |
Pope Benedict XVI waved reassuringly to well-wishers outside a hospital Friday where he underwent surgery to set his right wrist, fractured in a fall at his Alpine vacation chalet. The 82-year-old pope's accident was the first significant medical issue of his 4-year-old papacy, but doctors said he would suffer no long-term effects and would be able to return to playing piano and writing once the wrist heals. His cast will be removed in a month.
February 28, 2013 |
When Pope Celestine V quit his job in 1294, his successor locked him in prison and kept him there until he died. Pope Benedict XVI will not suffer the same sad fate. When he resigns Thursday, not only will he not be jailed, exiled or even sent to a retirement home. He will get to stay in the Vatican. This worries some Catholics who think having two popes in the house will make things a little crowded. Some even fear there is a nefarious scheme at work that will allow Benedict to exert undue influence on his successor.
April 27, 2014 |
Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter's Square and elsewhere to witness the double canonization. It was the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church that two ex-popes were canonized in the same event. Although the focus was on the late pontiffs, the elaborate ceremony and the global attention it generated seemed likely to provide another boost for the soaring reputation of Francis.
July 1, 2013 |
The awkwardness of having two popes -- one active, one emeritus -- is dramatized by a controversy over the rumored appointment of a new head of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the Vatican office that oversees Catholic liturgy. The Catholic News Agency reports that Pope Francis is considering entrusting that post to Archbishop Piero Marini, who served as “master of ceremonies” for Pope John Paul II. As I discussed in an Op-Ed article for The Times several years ago, Piero Marini is the “bad Marini” in the eys of Catholic traditionalists, who prefer the "good" Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies for Pope Benedict XVI who was inherited by Pope Francis.