Category Archives: The Catholic Church

Habemus Papam! Cardinal Bergoglio Chosen to be Benedict’s Successor and Becomes Pope Francis

Well. That was quick!

On only the second day of the Conclave of Cardinals, and after the BBC had reported this morning (after three ballots!) that the Cardinals were “deadlocked”, by last night we had a new Pope.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, became Pope and created numerous “firsts”.

He is the first Pope from Latin America. Continue reading



Filed under Personal, The Catholic Church

Henry Clarson and I Debate the Death of Pope John Paul I

I appreciate all (well, almost all) comments on the blog. One of its strengths is, I think, that we are able to have discussions about a variety of issues and generally, even where we come from different viewpoints, we can debate points with courtesy and respect for others’ views.

I think the discussion following my previous post about the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a credit to civilised conversation, and I am very proud that such a debate takes place here. I find it amusing how many readers were at Bellahouston in 1982. Who knew we would meet again across the ether 31 years later!

One of my favourite commenters, both for his writing and for the pleasure of his company in person, is Henry Clarson.

He posted a comment regarding my observations about the death of Pope John Paul I.

His comment is below, and it is followed with some of my thoughts on the specific issue he raises. Continue reading


Filed under Guest Posts, The Catholic Church

Thoughts on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

I will confess to having been shaken when I saw the news yesterday that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was going to resign from his position as Supreme Pontiff at the end of this month. It is a momentous occasion when a new Pope is to be chosen and, for several hundred years, has been caused only by the death of the preceding Pontiff.

John Paul II, of blessed memory, decided to carry his burden to the end of his life, even though, as the years passed, he was a physical shadow of the vibrant figure who stepped onto the balcony of St Peter’s in 1978. The contrast between the vigorous ski-ing, footballing Pope, and that of the hunched and mumbling figure as his end neared was stark, but His Holiness, guided by the Holy Spirit, wanted to show how service to God can come from anyone, no matter their state of health.

When Cardinal Ratzinger, as he then was, was chosen to succeed the first Polish Pope, he was already a man rich in years, one of the oldest to follow in the shoes of St Peter. Continue reading


Filed under Personal, The Catholic Church