Vatican Smoke Signals

Here’s a curious tidbit regarding the fumata, the white or black smoke that will rise from the Sistine Chapel’’s chimney signaling whether a pope has been elected or not. “It is sometimes hard to distinguish the actual color of the smoke, such as in 2005”. Continue Reading...

At the Vatican Conclave: The Lull before the Storm

ROME — For all the ‘Vaticanisti’ (journalists specializing in the Vatican) sitting around Rome and interviewing one another for the last several weeks, the wholesale consumption of high blood pressure medication took a precipitous drop on the announcement Friday afternoon that the Conclave to elect the new pope would occur on Tuesday, March 12, one day later than I had predicted several weeks ago.  Continue Reading...

Sirico: The Drama and Reality of Choosing a New Pope

In today’s The Detroit News, the Rev. Robert Sirico seeks to set aside some of the rumors, skewered Hollywood depictions, and media predictions that swirl around any papal conclave. Of course, this time is decidedly different, as the cardinals are coming together not after the death of a pope, but one’s retirement. Continue Reading...

Jayabalan: No Rush on Papal Conclave

Detroit News reporter Oralandar Brand-Williams interviewed Kishore Jayabalan, director of Acton’s Rome office, about preparations at the Vatican to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. A date for the conclave, the assembly of cardinals that will elect the next pope, has not yet been set. Continue Reading...

Samuel Gregg: Catholicism, True Reform and the Next Pope

On the website of Crisis Magazine, Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg looks at the “tsunami of unsolicited advice from pop atheists, incoherent playwrights, angry ex-priests, and celebrity theologians that has erupted since Benedict XVI’s abdication.” Then there’s Hans Küng’s article in the New York Times: Much of Küng’s article involves his familiar tactics of citing dubious polls (as if polls somehow determine Christ’s will for His Church) about Catholics’ views of the usual subjects as well as propagating myths about Church history. Continue Reading...

Benedict XVI: Magnanimity in an Age of Self-Promotion

Since Benedict’s resignation we’ve been treated to almost two weeks of conspiracy mongering about the “real” reasons behind Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down. It’s been everything from Piers Morgan’s ceaseless yammering about his “doubts” to theories about the pope hiding out in the Vatican in fear of an arrest warrant issued by “unknown European” entities concerning clergy sexual misconduct, and still lingering hope among some that this time it really was the butler who did it. Continue Reading...

How to Become Pope

While most Catholics are likely to already be familiar with the process, my fellow Protestants will likely find this video on how the pope is selected to be helpful and informative. Continue Reading...

How Far Does Faith-Based ‘Shareholder Right to Know’ Go?

On January 31, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issued a press release, announcing the organization’s “2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide.” A quick read of the release and ancillary materials, however, reveals that these resolutions have very little to do with issues of religious faith and everything to do with the progressive political agenda. Continue Reading...