Through thick and thin: Pope urges youths to read the Bible

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said his Bible is old, beat up and worth more to him than anything money can buy. “If you saw my Bible, you would not be impressed,” he wrote to young people. “You’d say, ‘What? This is the pope’s Bible? A book so old, so beat up?’ You might…

If miracle approved, Blessed Teresa could be canonized Sept. 4

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican calendar for the Year of Mercy deliberately set aside Sept. 4, 2016, as a possible date for the canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, if her sainthood cause is concluded by then. The canonization would be celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the end of a…

Catholic TV chef has cooked for two popes

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service Lidia Bastianich, even at age 68, is working like crazy. She’s on her fifth public television cooking series, “Lidia’s Kitchen,” and on Dec. 11, she will have a Christmas special on PBS. She has also written 13 books — most of them cookbooks — has a line of commercial…

Those who give their lives in service are not losers, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Serving and giving oneself for others may make one “seem like a loser in the eyes of the world,” but in reality that person is imitating Christ’s love and service, which conquered death and gave life to the world, Pope Francis said. “He who serves, saves,” the pope said. “On the…

Pope establishes new dicastery for laity, family, life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis announced he is establishing a new office for laity, family and life, which combines the responsibilities of two pontifical councils. The pope made the announcement Oct. 22 during the afternoon session of the Synod of Bishops on the family. “I have decided to establish a new dicastery with competency…

Vatican spokesman says claims pope has tumor ‘entirely unfounded’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said an Italian newspaper’s claims about the pope’s health were “entirely unfounded.” After checking with the pope himself and other sources, Father Lombardi told reporters “the pope enjoys good health” and that the unsubstantiated news report was “a serious act of irresponsibility, absolutely unjustifiable and…

Media ‘gets’ and media ‘hits’ noted in wake of papal visit

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Just as Pope Francis got what he wanted from his apostolic journey to the United States in a close-up view of American Catholicism at its most compassionate and energetic, so too did the media covering Pope Francis largely get what they sought in covering his six-day September visit in the form of…

Synod changes: Making less time for speeches, more time for dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although the public is given glimpses of what happens inside the Catholic Church’s world Synod of Bishops, the meetings themselves take place behind closed doors. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Synod of Bishops has been the object of a continual hunt to balance creating a protected space where bishops…