February 20, 2016 |
Pope Francis' assertion Thursday that contraception might be acceptable in certain cases, and his criticism of Donald Trump's call for a wall at the Mexican border, may sound startling but are consistent with church teachings, according to some Catholic theologians. Francis, famous for his provocative remarks to reporters, told a news conference as he flew back to Rome that for women at risk of having babies with birth defects because of the Zika virus, using contraceptives to avoid a pregnancy is "a lesser evil" than using abortion to end one. The virus, which is spreading in parts of Central and South America, may cause microcephaly, or diminished skulls.
November 24, 2015 |
IN THE WEEKS after Pope Francis blessed their ailing daughter during his visit to Philadelphia, Joe and Kristen Masciantonio probably spent more time in the cancer ward at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia than at Mass at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church in Jamison. But last week, Joe said, scans showed that a troublesome tumor in 1-year-old Gianna's brain shrank significantly after rounds and rounds of surgeries and chemotherapy, to the point where it's "basically gone. " The tot's stunning reversal of fortune - which came after a dire diagnosis from her doctors - led one family friend to call Gianna's encounter with the pontiff "the Miracle on Market Street.
September 29, 2015
HE CAME, he saw, he conquered, which is what popes do when they travel. Pope Francis came with more on his plate than other popes. In addition to the usual and universal themes of peace, poverty and piety, Pope Francis - in recent messages - has branched out into climate change, globalization, capitalism, wealth distribution, nuclear disarmament and immigration. He wears two hats, that of pastor and politician. I don't say "politician" to denigrate him. He is the head of state of Vatican City, and he was elected pope by a vote of his fellow cardinals.
September 29, 2015 |
All else seemed but an earthly prologue by Sunday afternoon's massive outdoor papal Mass on the Parkway. The logistical hurdles, pope tchotchkes silly and sincere, the queasy police-state feeling that gripped the city starting Friday - all was set aside as the Philadelphia Orchestra and a chorus of about 500 laid down a soundtrack of contemplation and triumph for an in-person and online audience of perhaps a million or more. The orchestra, led by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, played Beethoven and Brahms as the papal motorcade arrived at Eakins Oval with the Philadelphia Museum of Art the backdrop, and a canopy of cool gray skies over the crowd.
September 28, 2015 |
THE TRIP from Damascus to Philadelphia takes about 30 hours, a jaunt halfway around the world. The contrast couldn't be greater. So when Riad Sargi stepped off the plane in South Philly yesterday, his wife and three kids at his side, he beamed with joy. Gone were the war-torn streets of his hometown, where a mortar shell recently exploded just 20 meters from his front door. They were replaced with the World Meeting of Families, an event of a lifetime for a man as devout in his faith as Sargi.
September 25, 2015 |
GOD'S BANK in Vatican City looks like a castle, the kind of place that might have some special protection from all the vices that billions of dollars might drag in. But, come on, money is money. People are people. There may be no bank in the world that was more secretive, less regulated and flat-out full of shady cash than the Institute for the Works of Religion, otherwise known as the Vatican Bank, and Pope Francis may be the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church to change it from within.
September 23, 2015 |
Madonna comes to town on tour Thursday, two days before Pope Francis arrives. Coincidence? Or, is the Queen of Pop trying to meet up with il Papa ? Madonna Ciccone, 57, has spent three decades riling up the church that inspired her holy first name. She's rolled around stages in wedding (or are they First Holy Communion?) dresses, accessorized corsets with crucifixes and rosaries (and a belt buckle reading "BOY TOY"), and spoken out loudly and proudly against Catholic orthodoxy.
September 22, 2015 |
HAVANA - Crowds began forming before dawn Sunday to see Pope Francis, who is making his first visit to this poor island nation, celebrate Mass in Havana's famed Plaza de la Revolucion. Francis arrived about half an hour before the start of the Mass to circle the square in his Popemobile, pausing at times to kiss children and bless people in wheelchairs. Many in the crowd, estimated by the government at 100,000, waved Cuban, Vatican City, and Argentine flags, the last in honor of Francis' country of birth.
September 15, 2015 |
A FULL-SIZE casting of a legendary Michelangelo sculpture will be on display at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this month, officials from the World Meeting of Families announced yesterday. Only 100 Vatican-sanctioned marble castings of "Pieta" exist, according to the World Meeting. The 1499 work depicts Jesus post-crucifixion in the arms of his mother, Mary. The World Meeting and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are hosting the replica in collaboration with Arte Divine, the Vatican Observatory Foundation's licensed distributor of Michelangelo replicas.
August 20, 2015
ISSUE | POPE FRANCIS This is a test The coming papal visit will subject Philadelphians to martial law without its declaration and without warrant ("Nutter outlines papal security," Friday). The city is being cordoned off into different high-security districts, and interstate travel is being restricted, disturbing millions of lives for the supposed benefit of a few. We were not asked whether we should be so inconvenienced. Mayor Nutter seems to have unilaterally decided he wants it and that everyone who disagrees should either submit to his desire or leave town for three days.