Happy Anniversary to Pope Francis who today marks the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination!

It has been interesting to read the many articles about the appointment by Pope Francis of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to head the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the almost 400-year old dicastery originally known as Propaganda Fide (Spreading the Faith). A number of sites have suggested that Francis, in naming a charismatic personality, is also indicating one possible successor of his to the papacy.

That interested me and I looked at the history of this Congregation and found that of Tagle’s 40 predecessors as cardinal prefects of Propanganda Fide, only one, Cardinal Mauro Capellari had been elected as Pope, becoming Pope Gregory XVI. Born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari in September 1765, he had adopted the name Mauro upon entering the religious order of the Camaldolese. He was prefect of the Congregation from 1826 to 1831 when he was elected Pope. He was also ruler of the Papal States until his death in 1846.

Just sayin….it doesn’t mean it can’t happen a second time.


My guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is well-known to many of you – Janet Morana – executive director of Priests for Life and also one of the main hosts of EWTN’s “The Catholic View.” Janet was in Rome for a forum of and by Catholic-inspired NGOs – Non-governmental organizations. Priests for Life is a member of that forum and Janet tells an exciting story about the meeting – so stay tuned for that!

I interviewed Janet on Saturday, December 7 in my office at 5 pm. After that conversation, we went to 6 pm Mass at St. Patrick’s and then to my parish’s annual gala dinner dance for charity. Of necessity, we were both dressed for the gala, not for a radio interview and I announce this at the end of our talk. Here is a photo to prove it!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)


Vaticannews yesterday reported on the Pope’s address to members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Dicastery. It noted that, “the tasks of what are today called the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Congregation for Divine Worship, had been carried out earlier by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, instituted over 4 centuries ago in 1588. Pope Saint Paul VI in 1969, Pope Francis said, split the Congregation into two dicasteries that have “two large areas that are clearly distinct.”

Thus, a 50th anniversary for the Congregation for Causes of Saints, a congregation that inaugurated a new website – http://www.causesanti,va – that very same day.

Francis said that the many beatifications and canonizations that have been celebrated in recent decades mean that saints are models and guides of Christian life, but they are not unreachable human beings. In fact, he said, “they are people who have experienced the daily toil of existence with its successes and failures, finding in the Lord the strength to always get up and continue the journey.”

In what appeared to be remarks aimed at the recent postponement by Vatican orders of the scheduled December 21 beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen in the Illinois diocese of Peoria, the Holy Father exhorted the Congregation in its task of carrying out with scrupulosity and accuracy its investigative research into the martyrdom, heroic virtues, the offering of life and miracles of men and women candidates, in order clear the field of any ambiguity or doubt and achieve full certainty in the proclamation of their holiness.