December 2013

The pope’s weekly audiences offer a fascinating look at topics that often aren’t covered in the major papal documents. Unfortunately, in recent years, the folks at the Vatican web site have not been giving titles to the audiences that indicate their content. All you get (normally) is a list of dates. To help me navigate […]

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I’ve been doing some work on biblical chronology–the study of precisely when in history various events recorded in the Bible took place–and I thought of something that I haven’t seen pointed out before. In Acts 1, Peter prompts the Eleven to replace Judas Iscariot, and they do, with Matthias being selected to take his place. […]

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Over the past year or so, I’ve being doing a particular type of blog post that tends to be longer, exclusively faith-based, and coordinated either with the liturgical year or the news. It’s been a very successful effort! Unfortunately, it’s been mostly done at my Register blog, with comparatively little totally fresh content here at […]

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January 1 is an important day in the Church’s liturgy. There is a lot that we commemorate on this day! What we are celebrating, and why we are celebrating it now, can be a little confusing. Here are nine things you should know . . .   1. What exactly are we celebrating on January 1? According to the Universal Norms for […]

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This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 30 November to 21 December 2013. Angelus 15 December 2013 General Audiences 18 December 2013 Messages 6 December 2013 – World Day of the Sick Speeches 30 November 2013 – Vespers with the university students of the Roman atheneums 12 December […]

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In Luke 1, the Angel Gabriel appears twice. First, he appears to Zechariah the priest, to tell him that he will be the father of John the Baptist. Then, a few verses later, he appears to the Virgin Mary to tell her that she will be the mother of Jesus Christ. Both Zechariah and Mary […]

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This Sunday the readings include the famous prophecy of Immanuel. They proclaim God’s supremacy and our call to holiness. They review the basics of the gospel message. And they record the birth of Jesus and how it came about. Here are 10 things to know and share . . .   1) What does the […]

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The Gospel reading for December 19 contains the familiar story of Zechariah in the temple. You can read it here. It is the occasion when the Angel Gabriel appears to him to announce the birth of John the Baptist. Although the story is familiar, there are some fascinating details in this account, and their significance […]

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You sometimes hear people claim that the Catholic Church was founded by the Emperor Constantine, who reigned in the early 300s. If so, the Catholic Church could not be the original Church founded by Jesus. That’s precisely why this claim is made. But it’s a false claim. As I reveal in this video, the Catholic […]

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Pope Francis has given a new interview in which he makes several important clarifications. These concern allegations that he is a Marxist, suggestions that he will soon appoint women cardinals, and proposals to give Holy Communion to those who have divorced and remarried without an annulment. He also makes several other interesting comments, including plans […]

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