Who gets to unplug the pope?


(RNS) — In a recent column, I made the fairly obvious point that Pope Francis, an 84-year-old man, wasn’t going to be with us forever. The response made it obvious that many Catholics and others hadn’t thought much about this evident fact, and prompted another, less obvious — but more urgent — point: Church law … Read more

The beginning of the end of the Francis papacy


(RNS) — Pope Francis seems to be recovering nicely from his July 4 surgery, when the 84-year-old pontiff underwent a three-hour procedure for diverticular stenosis. A Vatican spokesman says he will remain “a few more days in order to optimize his medical and rehabilitation therapy.”  But even with the best prognosis, age is catching up … Read more

Indictments for Vatican financial crimes a sign of progress


(RNS) — The Catholic faithful are rightly outraged by news of financial crimes in the Vatican, especially since the latest alleged crimes involve Peter’s Pence, the collection for the pope’s charities. But last week’s announcement of indictments by Vatican prosecutors is not a scandal but a sign of progress. Indicted by the Vatican are six … Read more

Democrats should support increasing the gas tax


(RNS) — A nearly $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill of the kind that Washington has been talking about for a decade and more seems to be picking up momentum, if the White House and the Senate can agree on how to pay for it. Democrats are foolishly opposing Republican suggestions that the infrastructure bill should … Read more