Pope Francis and Me: A Fantasy

The scene: A sitting room in the papal residences of Domus Sanctae Marthae, The Vatican  The ambience: Warm, dim lighting. In the middle of the room between two comfy chairs is a coffee table bearing a plate of fruit, cheese and bread, two wine glasses, and a ceramic decanter filled with the finest Malbec. Pope Francis: My son, you have wandered long and far in the wilderness of doubt, but you have not completely abandoned us, have…

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Vatican News Flash: Gays are People, Too

First, all you snickering cynics out there—including my fellow Catholic atheists and otherwise gay brethren—let’s not make fun of what rhymes with “relatio.” Instead, let’s take the Vatican document released today, relatio post disceptationem (Report After Debate), seriously and at face value. One of the report’s 58 sections, “Welcoming homosexual persons,” has prompted the usual hysterical responses, both from outraged conservative Roman Catholics who think the Church is being taken over by radicals and from…

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Pope Francis: Numero Uno Paradigm-Buster

Earlier this year when I signed the book deal for The Trial of Pope Benedict, I was convinced that this would be the end of all my writing about popes—and the Roman Catholic Church, for that matter. The book was intended as a kind of closure: my one and only statement about an institution I had no intention of returning to, much less thinking about on a daily basis, and a j’accuse indictment of the…

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Gay-friendly pope? Let’s hope.

The announcement that Pope Francis has extended an olive branch to gay priests and the LGBT community in general should be seen as a major development in the Roman Catholic Church—although how much change it will actually lead to remains very much in doubt. The comments by Francis occurred during an 82-minute press conference aboard Vatican Air, following the pope’s visit to Brazil for World Youth Day. His Holiness addressed many issues during a wide-ranging…

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Daniel Gawthrop tells all on “The God Show”

If they ever make a movie, “The Vatican”, the promo text goes, you know who may play the villain? Pope Benedict XVI. Veteran U.S. radio broadcaster Pat McMahon interviews Daniel Gawthrop about his new book, The Trial of Pope Benedict. Their free-wheeling discussion covers everything from the promise of Vatican II to the Great Disillusionment, from closeted gay Curial bishops to how Pope Francis might end up playing the hero. Podcast on 92.3 KTAR-FM, “The Voice of Arizona,”…

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