Papabili(ty): The Cardinals Who Have Seen Their Prospects in the Next Conclave Harmed and Improved by Recent Events

Stock markets are notoriously fickle, forever expanding or contracting on the basis of whatever new wind happens to blow. Let a coup occur in Bahrain, and the Dow may drop 100 points over fears about oil production; should the US land a new rover on Mars, the NASDAQ may soar amid rising confidence in American … Read more

Mixed Reactions to Vatican ‘Trial of the Century’: Will Anyone Actually be Jailed?

After a staggering total of 30 months, 85 hearings stretching over some 600 courtroom hours, 69 witnesses and almost 150,000 pages of documentation, the Vatican’s “Trial of the Century” reached a crescendo on Saturday night with guilty verdicts against Cardinal Angelo Becciu and eight of the other nine defendants. In a sense, the results marked … Read more

Trial of the Century: “When the Pope Does It, That Means Its Not Illegal.”

In the galaxy of Italian Catholicism, Alberto Melloni and Sandro Magister may not quite be matter and anti-matter, but they’re definitely not on the same planet. Melloni is a progressive historian and essayist, an exponent of the “Bologna School” and its liberal reading of Vatican II, while Magister, an influential journalist, is a voice for … Read more

Pope’s Special Nominee to Synod Facing Trial in Illegal Immigration Scheme

It has emerged that one of Pope Francis’s special nominees to the Synod on Synodality, Luca Casarini, is under investigation in Sicily. The case centres on an Italian non-governmental organization called “Mediterranea,” which Casarini runs. Casarini is a former leader in the “no-global” movement and a leftist activist; in October he took part in the … Read more

Vatican’s Star Witness Testimony in ‘Trial of the Century’ May Just Have Backfired on Pope Francis

Just when you think that the Vatican’s “trial of the century” against a cardinal and nine other defendants for various alleged financial crimes can’t get any more surreal, two developments pop out of the woodwork to prove you wrong. A hearing Thursday produced both a previously unknown, and unauthorized, recording of a phone call with … Read more

A Tough Week for Pope Francis

Every leader has stretches he or she probably would like to forget. Mid-August, for instance, was one of those times for US President Joe Biden, as the chaos of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan sent his poll numbers into a death spiral from which he still hasn’t recovered. For Pope Francis, though not quite on … Read more

Legal Tsunami May be Headed for Vatican Prosecutors in ‘Trial of the Century’

Somewhere out in the ocean right now, a small buoy is measuring wave direction and speed, along with barometric pressure and water temperature, feeding that data back to observatories. Even small upticks or downticks may signal the first stirrings of what could become a devastating storm. You don’t need special equipment, however, to detect warning … Read more