Papal Transition

Three US cardinals discuss papal candidates, process of choosing pope

ROME (CNS) -- After Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican and began the last hours of his papacy, Cardinals Sean O'Malley of Boston (pictured), Francis E. George of Chicago and Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston spoke with reporters about the qualities of certain cardinals and what kinds of pope they would make, along with other thoughts about the coming conclave to elect a new pope.

Father Gallagher, a PhD scholar, teacher and pastor, dies at 81

Father John P. Gallagher, 81, pastor emeritus of St. John Baptist Vianney Parish in Gladwyne, died Feb. 24. Born in Philadelphia the son of the late James J. and Ann (McLaughlin) Gallagher he attended St. William School and Northeast Catholic High before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

Neumann-Goretti boys take Catholic League crown, now look ahead to states

Junior Ja’Quan Newton scored 27 points to lead Neumann-Goretti to a 60-42 Catholic League championship victory over St. Joseph’s Preparatory School Monday night at the Palestra. The Saints, who also received 11 points and 11 rebounds from senior man-child John Davis, have now captured five straight league titles. The record for consecutive championships is six, a feat pulled off […]

Charity begins at the foul line, and ends with O’Hara girls taking CL title

A trivial three-point bomb from center court was way off the mark, and a sea of purple flooded onto center court. Cardinal O’Hara had defeated Archbishop Wood and captured the girls’ Catholic League championship, 31-25, before a boisterous crowd Monday night at a packed Palestra. But why was everyone wearing purple? O’Hara senior guard Mackenzie […]

The last flight of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's final trip as pope was a 15-minute helicopter ride from the Vatican to the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo.

In farewell to cardinals, Pope Benedict pledges obedience to next pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Clementine Hall is traditionally the place where cardinals bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually when the pope in question is lying in state before his funeral. But on Feb. 28, hours before resigning from the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI briefly addressed the College of Cardinals, calling for unity and harmony among the men who will choose his successor and pledging his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to the next pope.

Defense Department lifting ban on women in combat draws mixed reaction

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- For centuries, men have formed a band of brothers as they faced the enemy on the field of battle, but now in the U.S., military women will soon be on the front lines, too, and Catholic women who have served in the military or are training to do so after college have mixed feelings about the new directive. "There's something special about that bond. It makes for a cohesive unit," said Sue Reininger, a veteran of the Air Force who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., and attends St. Peter Parish in Monument, Colo.

Curial reform ‘reasonable priority’ to help new pope, says US prelate

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation Feb. 11, various commentators on church affairs -- and also some church leaders -- said that reforming the Roman Curia needs to be a priority of the next pontiff. Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, who was named to Indianapolis last October and has several years of firsthand experience of working in and with the curia, said such reform "is a reasonable priority to have, not so much to avoid scandals, but to provide for a government that will help the Holy Father exercise his Petrine service."

Faithful throw big farewell at pope’s last general audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The last general audience in St. Peter’s Square turned into a farewell party with balloons, flowers, flags, posters, cheers, standing ovations and a touching thank-you speech from Pope Benedict XVI. Authorities estimated about 130,000 people were in attendance, most of them packed in the square, with some spillover onto the long […]

Pope delivers personal, emotional farewell address at audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On his last full day as pope, Pope Benedict XVI delivered an unusually personal and emotional farewell address, thanking the faithful around the world for their support and assuring them that he would remain in their service even in retirement.