February 2013

It’s common for Catholics to say that a newly elected pope is “God’s choice” or that, the Holy Spirit chooses the new pope. There’s a sense in which this is true. But does that mean that we can just sit back and assume the ideal candidate will be elected? If so, why do we need […]

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This version of The Weekly Benedict covers material released in the last week from 4 February 2012 – 17 February 2013 (subscribe here; get as an eBook version for your Kindle, iPod, iPad, Nook, or other eBook reader): Angelus 10 February 2013 General Audience 6 February 2013 Homilies 13 February 2013 – Penitential Procession – Holy Mass, […]

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Pope Benedict’s resignation has stirred up a good bit of discussion of the so-called “Prophecy of the Popes,” attributed to St. Malachy of Ireland (1094-1148). The prophecy is a list of 112 mottoes that allegedly describe the popes stretching from St. Malachy’s time to the end of time. Supposedly, Pope Benedict is identified with #111, […]

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There haven’t been that many popes who have resigned, and none of them offer an exact parallel to the case of Pope Benedict. However, there is one pope–St. Celestine V–who is by far the closest parallel. Who was he? Why did he resign? And what does his strange case tell us about Pope Benedict’s decision […]

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On June 10, 2004, Pope John Paul II announced a special Year of the Eucharist, which would begin in October of that year and last until October 2005. It was not the first special year that John Paul II proclaimed. In fact, it followed close on the heels of the Year of the Rosary (2002-2003), […]

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The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know.   1. What does the word “transfiguration” mean? The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots […]

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Yes, there is a physical object known as “the Chair of St. Peter.” It is housed at the Vatican, at the back of St. Peter’s basilica. February 22 is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. And there is more to the story. Here are 9 things you need to know . . . […]

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This version of The Weekly Benedict covers material released in the last week from 4 February 2012 – 17 February 2013 (subscribe here; get as an eBook version for your Kindle, iPod, iPad, Nook, or other eBook reader): Angelus 10 February 2013 General Audience 6 February 2013 Homilies 13 February 2013 – Penitential Procession – Holy Mass, […]

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In the wake of Pope Benedict’s announcement that he is resigning from the papacy, I thought I would speak with the historian Dr. Andrew Jones about the history of papal resignations. While it hasn’t happened often in history, there have been popes who have resigned before, and their resignations (technically, their renunciations of the papacy) […]

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This Sunday the gospel reading speaks of a mysterious event, just after Jesus’ baptism, in which he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. How could Jesus–the All-Holy Son of God–be tempted? Why did this event happen, and what was going on? Here are 9 things you need to know about Jesus’ “temptations” . […]

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