The Puerto Rican news site El Nuevo Dia just published an account of an interview an Argentine woman who claims to be a childhood sweetheart of the newly-elected Pope Francis gave to reporters today. In the interview, the woman, who is named only as “Amalia,” said she had a relationship with Pope Francis when he was about 12-years-old and he told her, “If I don’t marry you, I’m entering the priesthood.”
Though he was a longshot, many locals were hoping Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who serves as the Catholic Church’s Archbishop of New York, would be selected pope to replace Benedict XVI, who abruptly abdicated last month. However, when the white smoke cleared over the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican announced Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to lead the Church, becoming the first pope from the Americas and the first Jesuit to hold the position. In his capacity as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Dolan released a statement reacting to the selection of Cardinal Bergoglio, who will now be known as Pope Francis I.
“The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis I, marks a great milestone in our church,” said Mr. Dolan. “As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside. The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him.”
Church & State
This morning, Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich took to his Facebook page to post a scathing review of Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House of God, an HBO documentary on the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church. Mr. Ulrich had several issues with the film, which he characterized as “an exploitive and biased account of a dark chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.”
“As a proud Roman Catholic, I am truly offended by the blatant bigotry contained in HBO’s so-called documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in The House of God,” Mr. Ulrich wrote. “It accuses His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI of being complicit in covering up sex abuses cases involving Catholic priests and unfairly criticizes the late Pope John Paul II. Above all, its chock full of anti-catholic rhetoric and demonizes members of the clergy (most of whom are dedicated, compassionate and pious men).”
From Azi Paybarah in Albany, a spokesman for State Senator Greg Ball–one of the Republican lawmakers still on the fence about same-sex marriage–handed out this list of exceptions Ball would like to see before deciding how to vote on the bill.
Ball has said before that he’s concerned about the potential effect on religious institutions Read More