John Allen in Rome: What do "Francis bishops" look like? Yesterday's appointments to the Congregation for Bishops are telling.
News about Pope Francis continues to flow at such a torrid pace that it's hard to digest one development before the next one hits. His Dec. 15 blockbuster interview with La Stampa is a case in point, with a shake-up at the Congregation for Bishops 24 hours later making it already seem ancient history.
"How Sherlock Changed the World"
9 p.m. EST Tuesday, PBS (Check local listings)
For fans of Sherlockology, this two-hour BBC documentary will confirm the belief that Sherlock Holmes is the greatest and most influential detective in history, even if he is a fictional character created by a Scottish eye-doctor-turned-writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930).
This looks like an easy one. We're in Catholic U. stadium. Evangelii Gaudium at the plate with runners aboard. Fusion Koch Brothers on the Mound.
Here comes a fat pitch, juicy rich. A gift, you'd say, to old CU. Meant to raise crops of new entrepreneurs who could emulate their benefactors' right wing passions.
But first the Fusion must get past Evangelii Gaudium, a new star on the horizon who purportedly doesn't cotton to the Fusion's tactics which are rumored to include curve balls doctored with spit. A loud rooting section cheers EG on, booing the Koch team.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, an influential Catholic prelate who until Monday served on the Vatican congregation advising Pope Francis on who to appoint as bishops around the world, has said in an interview he does not understand why the pope does not focus more on opposing abortion.
Burke, an American who still serves as the head of the Vatican's highest court, also said in an EWTN interview he does not think Francis' recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel") can be considered official teaching of the church.
Over breakfast Thursday morning, The Washington Post (which I "eat" almost daily with my oatmeal) greeted me with new polling data on Pope Francis:
"Among Catholics, 92 percent have a favorable view of Francis and 95 percent say the same of the church," the paper reported. The poll, released Dec. 11 was commissioned by the Post and ABC News.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis on Monday named new members of the Congregation for Bishops, and one American name was notably absent.
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In a Dec. 14 interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis suggested that the common experience of anti-Christian persecution around the world could become the basis for efforts at Christian unity, calling it the "ecumenism of blood."
Here is the text of what Pope Francis said, in reply to a question from Italian writer Andrea Tornielli as to whether ecumenism is a priority for the pope, in NCR translation from the Italian.
John Allen in Rome: In a lengthy interview over the weekend, Pope Francis called the rumor "a sound bite" and said he didn't know where the idea came from.