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  • Originally published 03/14/2013

    David M. Perry: What the Name 'Francis' Means for the Modern Church

    David M. Perry is an associate professor of history and director of the Catholic studies minor at Dominican University in Illinois. Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam ... Qui sibi nomen imposuit Franciscum. "I announce to you with great joy: We have a pope. ... Who has taken for himself the name Francis!"There are two immediate messages to take away from the election of Francis. First, this quick vote reflects a clear unity of purpose among the cardinals. Second, his selection of the name Francis speaks volumes about his potential approach to the coming papacy.

  • Originally published 02/11/2013

    The Next Pope: What Happens Now?

    Basilica of St. Peter. Credit: Wiki Commons.In a surprise announcement this morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign the office of the papacy effective at 8:00 p.m. on February 28. Per the Vatican's official announcement, Benedict declared to the cardinals gathered in consistory that given his advanced age (the pope is 85 years old), he feels he lacks the physical strength to continue fulfilling the duties of the papal office.The announcement took the world, including those at the Vatican, by surprise -- a "bolt of lightning from a clear sky," one cardinal reportedly remarked. Papal resignations are not unprecedented, though they have proven extremely rare. Along with death, resignation is one of the two ways the papal office can be vacated according to canon law. Benedict will be the first pope to resign in nearly six hundred years, making his announcement all the more remarkable.

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Cardinal Jozef Glemp, longtime leader of Poland’s Roman Catholic church, dies at 83

    WARSAW, Poland — Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the longtime head of Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church at a time when it played a key role in the fight against communism, has died. He was 83.Jozef Kloch, a church spokesman, said in a statement that Glemp died Wednesday evening in Warsaw. Glemp had been ill for many years, and the Polish news agency PAP said he had lung cancer. Earlier in the day Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz had asked the faithful to pray for Glemp, noting that his condition was deteriorating.Glemp oversaw the church at a critical time in its history and in that of Poland, a largely Catholic nation....

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