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Pope Francis speaks about financial reforms to Vatican tribunal...

As the Holy See awaits the results of a scheduled financial inspection, Pope Francis spoke about ongoing financial reform and investigations at the opening of the judicial year of the Vatican City State’s court, which he attended for the first time. He said Feb. 15 the Holy See is trying to conform to international law and has put in place processes to combat “illegality in the international finance sector...

No married priests, no women deacons, says Pope Francis in long-awaited new Amazon Synod document ‘Querida Amazonia’...

Through “four great dreams” for a better ecological, social, cultural and ecclesial future, Pope Francis says he wishes his new post-synodal apostolic exhortation will “awaken” the world’s “affection and concern” for the Amazon region — and help other areas of the world to confront their own challenges. Entitled Querida Amazonia (The Beloved Amazon)...

House votes to lift 1982 deadline on Equal Rights Amendment ...

The House voted Thursday to remove the 1982 deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment for women, a move that is mostly symbolic as the Senate is not expected to follow suit and the ability of Congress to change the deadline has not been tested in the courts. The 232 to 183 vote came weeks after Virginia became the 38th – and potentially pivotal – state to ratify the amendment...

His hat stayed on: To the great but under-appreciated Hank Aaron, on his birthday...

It was unusual when you live in Massachusetts and cheer for the Red Sox. Hank Aaron was my favorite baseball player. He played in the other league for the Atlanta Braves, but he had my little boy’s heart. As a very young reader of sports magazines, nine or ten, I read an interview with him and saw he had what we called “class”: grace...

FBI arrests seminary professor accused of making death threat to Buffalo reporter Charlie Specht...

Agents from the FBI’s Buffalo field office have arrested Paul Lubienecki in connection to a death threat made against 7 Eyewitness News investigative reporter Charlie Specht. Lubienecki appeared in federal court in downtown Buffalo on Wednesday afternoon; he was charged with cyberstalking. He is an adjunct professor at Christ the King Seminary and is listed as an adjunct lecturer in the SUNY Fredonia faculty directory...

Pope Francis attempts to mend some doctrinal divisions by rejecting Amazonian Rite...

How progressive is Pope Francis? Not as much as many may think. In a surprise move, Francis rejected a proposal that had called for married men in remote areas of the Amazon to marry, a decision widely seen as a victory for conservative Catholics who feared such an exception would eventually lift the celibacy requirement of priests around the world...

With cold water thrown on hopes of progressive Catholics, ‘Querida Amazonia’ could help ‘reduce internal Church factions,’ says Cardinal Müller...

Amid great hopes and anxious fears, the post-synodal letter has arrived. It refers to the final document of the Amazon Synod on October 6-27, 2019, and the Pope does not draw from it any dramatic and disconcerting conclusions. Rather, he wishes to offer the Church and all people of good will his own answers, in order to help to ensure a “harmonious...

On the question of married priests, a papal pattern returns in ‘Querida Amazonia’...

The key question for more than two years has been whether or not the Holy Father would approve the ordination of married priests in the Amazon region. That was the same story with Amoris Laetitia; two years before its release in 2016, Cardinal Walter Kasper was invited by Pope Francis to address the College of Cardinals on admitting the divorced-and-civilly-remarried to Holy Communion...

The Little Sisters of the Poor are headed to the Supreme Court — again...

There is nothing quite so depressing as politicians jerking nuns around. The Little Sisters of the Poor are returning to the U.S. Supreme Court for a third time. They’ve already twice defended their right not to comply with the Obamacare requirement that employers provide free contraceptive coverage in their health insurance. The Little Sisters are a Roman Catholic charitable order that cares for the elderly and poor by operating 30 nursing homes across the country...

The Amazonian Synod’s final document was a mess. The Pope’s followup is far better.....

Yesterday I was able to read Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia, but didn’t get a chance to comment on it because of a busy schedule. Edward Pentin has a good summary of the document here. As for comment, Robert Royal has saved me the trouble by saying pretty much what I was going to say about the document here at The Catholic Thing...