With the church at a crossroads, Catholics look to Pope Francis for guidance. Former Vatican ambassador Miguel Díaz says the new pope must embrace the church’s diversity.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The 115 cardinals participating in the conclave will know the identity of the new pope before the rest of the world, but their advance knowledge is likely to last for well over an hour, and even more in the unlikely event that the candidate they choose is not in the Sistine Chapel with them.
The last time cardinals in a conclave did not choose one of their members was in 1378 when they voted for the archbishop of Bari, Italy, who became Pope Urban VI.
Most popes take the job to their grave, but a few others before Benedict XVI have opted for early retirement.
The answer may be more complicated than you thought.
The easy answer to that question is, we, the church, did. The feasts and seasons of the liturgical year all developed from the church’s desire to remember, celebrate, and live the great mysteries of our faith.
The answer gets more complicated when we realize that these seasons originated centuries ago and developed independently in different places, spreading, combining, and sometimes dying out.
Before we can talk about Advent, we have to talk about Christmas, obviously, and, less obviously, Epiphany.
Our understanding of priests, bishops, and deacons has changed dramatically in the church's long history, says historian Gary Macy.
After giving one of the three plenary addresses on the Eucharist at a gathering of the Catholic Theological Society of America in 1997, church historian Gary Marcy and two theologians were lambasted in an article for Commonweal by Cardinal Avery Dulles. Macy’s address suggested that in the Middle Ages, women may have presided at communion ceremonies. Dulles did not approve.
When tragedy hits, think twice before claiming what God intended.
Of the many issues that drove last November’s election, few might have guessed that “God’s will” would become a major spoiler in the Indiana Senate race. When GOP candidate Richard Mourdock suggested that a life created through rape is “something God intended,” it cost him an easy path to victory. But while pundits and Democrats were quick to make as much political hay as possible out of Mourdock’s gaffe, only a few commentators, theologians, and pastors took it on.
The new missal has made priests watch their language, but after one year most say the meaning of the Mass is getting lost in translation.
Though the cross reigns over Good Friday, Easter's mystery needs a symbol of its own.
I don't usually think of Jesus' crucifixion when passing the sweets table, but there it was: A big rich dark chocolate cake adorned with white sugary latticework in the shape of-you guessed it-a cross.