Obviously oblivious to the fact that he would have a son who, one day, would become pope, a 17-year-old Mario Bergoglio actually became a sort of informal expert on the papacy, giving talks on the subject in his native Italy. He was even given a very good write-up in the local paper after his talk:
The year 2013 saw dramatic events in the life of the Catholic Church. A video by Catholic News Service!
This year is the 450th anniversary of the closing of the Council of Trent. It is one of the most important councils in the history of the Church, as well as the longest council by far, which was held in response to the Protestant Reformation. So what did they talk about, and why is it important for Catholics today? Watch this video with Fr. Robert Barron for more.
Many of the people inside Rome's Church of St. Anselmo were too young to remember the Second Vatican Council. But they heard from witnesses who vividly recall the first document the Council approved, Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. Arguably, this document may have changed Catholicism for everyday churchgoers, more than any other text from the Second Vatican Council.
As Ukraine prepares to mark the 80th anniversary of "Holodomor," the man-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, the tragedy remains little known in the West. The famine swept through the Soviet Union in 1932-33 following Josef Stalin's forced collectivization of agriculture. Visit this article to read more.
The efforts of the Catholic Church were undoubtedly decisive in the escape of most of Rome's Jews during World War II, according to a Jewish historian and columnist.
911. For years, those numbers simply meant a call for help. Now they also remind us of September 11, 2001, the date of the worst terrorist attack on the United States of America and one of the deadliest days ever on American soil. We now know September 11 as "Patriot Day."
Thirty-five years ago on 26 August 1978, Cardinal Albino Luciani, Patriarch of Venice was elected Pope after the death of the Servant of God Pope Paul VI. The conclave of 101 cardinals lasted two days and he was elected on the fourth ballot. Luciani took the name of John Paul I – the first pope to have two names. He wanted to continue the work of Pope Paul VI and Pope John XXIII.
With temperatures high up in the thermometer, August in Rome can be very unpleasant. And 35 years ago, cardinals had to endure one of the most intense summers the Church has gone through in recent memory. They had not one, but two conclaves, about a month apart. The first elected John Paul I, while the second chose John Paul II. Casa Santa Marta did not yet exist, and so the cardinals experience some unique struggles.
Here's a look at a dramatic change in the Catholic Church, beginning with Pope Benedict XVI's stunning resignation announcement and the twists and turns that resulted in the election of Pope Francis, whose personality has already shaped the office of the papacy.
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