Who was St. Francis of Assisi? 12 things to know and share

Thursday, October 03, 2013 11:00 PM Comments (10)

Who was St. Francis of Assisi? (12 things to know and share)

St. Francis is one of the most famous saints in Church history.

He’s so significant that the current pope—Pope Francis—chose to take his name.

October 4th is his memorial day.

But who was he, and what did he do?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .


1) When did St. Francis live?

He was born in 1181 or 1182 (we’re not sure), and he died in 1226. He thus lived to be only 44 or 45 years old.

He was born—and he died—in Assisi, Italy, which is somewhat near Rome.

You can read about Assisi here.


2) How did he get the name “Francis”?

Although many people take new names upon entering religious life, this is not how St. Francis originally got his name.

He was...READ MORE

Filed under francis, francis of assisi, liturgical calendar, liturgical year, oct 4, october 4, st francis of assisi, st. francis of assisi

Is Pope Francis about to “rip up” the Vatican constitution? 12 things to know and share

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 4:37 PM Comments (36)

Is Pope Francis about to “rip up” the Vatican constitution?

Today’s entry in the media’s never-ending quest for “shock” Vatican stories declares that the Pope is going to “rip up and rewrite” the Vatican constitution.


Here are 12 things you need to know . . .


1) What’s the story and where can I read it?

The story was based on an interview with Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is the coordinator of the Council of Cardinals.

The story was written by Tom Kington, and it has appeared in several newspapers.

You can read the Telegraph version of it here.


2) What is the Council of Cardinals?

It’s a group of cardinals that Pope Francis named, shortly after his election, to help advise him on the governance of the...READ MORE

Filed under canon law, constitution, council of cardinals, pastor bonus, pope francis

Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is “nonsense”? 8 things to know and share

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 4:01 PM Comments (242)

Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is "nonsense"?

Pope Francis has given a new interview to the Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari.

Some of the things he said are already raising eyebrows, including remarks he made about trying to convert people.

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1) How did this interview come about?

It’s an outgrowth of a previous written exchange that Pope Francis had with Scalfari.

At that time, Scalfari said that he hoped at some point to meet the pope to engage in dialogue, so the Pope picked up the phone and arranged a meeting between them.

You can read the full text of the interview here.

Reportage from Edward Pentin here.


2) Are there reasons for caution in reading...READ MORE

Filed under eugenio scalfari, evangelization, pope francis, proselytization

Has the Vatican Excommunicated Pelosi? (8 things to know and share)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:52 PM Comments (194)

Has Nancy Pelosi (finally) been excommunicated for her outrageous support of abortion?

Recently a series of stories burbled through the mainstream media suggesting that Nancy Pelosi has been excommunicated or denied Communion by the Vatican.

Pelosi is a passionately pro-abortion California politician who describes herself as “a devout Catholic.”

She has long been a foe of the pro-life movement.

What’s the truth behind the story?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1) What’s the origin of this story?

The story has its roots in an interview that was given by Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Minneapolis-based paper The Catholic Servant. It was later posted online by The Wanderer.

You can read the full interview here.


2) Did the Cardinal say that Rep....READ MORE

Filed under abortion, canon 915, canon law, cardinal burke, communion, excommunication, nancy pelosi, raymond burke

Yay! Benedict writes again! (9 things to know and share)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:11 PM Comments (50)

What did former Pope Benedict say when he took an Italian atheist to the woodshed?

Pope Emeritus Benedict has kept a low profile since his retirement, but he has released a new and extremely interesting letter.

In it, he takes an Italian atheist scholar to task.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .


1) Why did he write the letter?

Former Pope Benedict wrote his letter in response to Piergorgio Odifreddi, an Italian mathematician who is also an atheist—and sharply critical of the Faith.

Some time ago, Odifreddi published a book called A Word to You, Dear Pope (Italian, Caro papa ti scrivo), which was a reply to Benedict’s own Introduction to Christianity—one of his first major works.

Apparently, Benedict read Odifreddi’s work and was moved to reply...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, benedict xvi, historical jesus, jesus, odifreddi, pope benedict, pope emeritus, priestly sex abuse, ratzinger, secularism

Did Pope Francis say atheists don’t need to believe in God to be saved? (9 things to know)

Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:14 PM Comments (390)

Did Pope Francis say that atheists can go to heaven (or that man can save himself by his own efforts?)

The press is full of accounts that, once again, claim that Pope Francis has said you don’t need to believe in God to go to heaven.

Even atheists can go there, according to these reports.

What’s the real story here? What’s going on? And why can’t the press get this kind of thing right?

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .


1) What is the basis of this story?

In July and August, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica ran a pair of open letters to the pope by Dr. Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist commentator.

In his open letters, Dr. Scalfari asked the pope a number of questions.

Much to everyone’s surprise, though thoroughly in keeping with his way of doing things, Pope...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, atheists, kirk cameron, pope francis, salvation

Is Pope Francis about to eliminate celibacy? (9 things to know and share)

Thursday, September 12, 2013 10:36 PM Comments (88)

Do recent remarks by Pope Francis's new secretary of state mean that the Church is about to eliminate celibacy?

The mainstream media is all atwitter made by Pope Francis’s incoming secretary of state about the possibility of eliminating clerical celibacy.

Is this a sign of things to come?

Is this yet another indication of Pope Francis “breaking with tradition”?

Is this an indication the mind of Pope Francis himself?

Is it a major new development?

Or is it just the press hyperventilating because they have no idea what they’re talking about?

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .


1) Who made the remarks?

That would be Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who is set to replace Cardinal Tarciscio Berone as the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

He currently lives in Caracas,...READ MORE

Filed under celibacy, pietro parolin, pope benedict, pope francis, priesthood, priestly celibacy

What should we make of Pope Francis bowing when greeting people?

Friday, August 30, 2013 9:27 PM Comments (214)

Pope Francis recently bowed to Queen Rania of Jordan. What should we make of this?

Word is racing around the Catholic blogosphere that Pope Francis recently bowed to Queen Rania of Jordan.

Is this yet another stunning break with tradition on the part of Pope Francis?

Has he overturned 2,000 years of tradition?

Is this one of the signs of the apocalypse?

Is it no big deal?

Let's look at the question . . .


According to the Telegraph

At the root of the current gbuzz is a story published by the British newspaper/website The Tablet.

It has the provocative headline:

Pope breaks with protocol by bowing to Queen Rania of Jordan

And it immediately says:

The Pope has broken yet another point of Vatican protocol by bowing when he met Queen Rania of...READ MORE

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."