Pope Francis ranks #1 most talked about name on the net

VATICAN CITY — Of the 1.83 billion people chatting and posting in English on the Internet, guess what they’ve been talking about most ?

Pope leads general audience at Vatican

Crowd captures Pope Francis on their mobile devices as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square May 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Not only is Pope Francis the most talked about name of 2013, his twitter handle @Pontifex ranks in the top-five “top words” on the World Wide Web.

The Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor combs the web and ranks the words, phrases and names that get the heaviest and widest usage in the English language worldwide.

The results of their annual survey of top terms used during 2013 rank “Pope Francis” as the #1 proper name most talked about on the web ahead of “ObamaCare” and “NSA” — the U.S. National Security Agency.

@Pontifex ranked fourth in the list of top words being used.

http 404Coming in first for top words on the Internet, according to GLM, was “404″ — an HTTP code that appears after trying to follow a broken link; second  goes to “fail,” which was a popular catchphrase and Internet meme depicting failed outcomes; and third is “hashtag” — the pound sign that turns any word or phrase into a kind of metadata tag #LookItUp.

Some past top words and names from other years include “Apocalypse,” “Occupy,” “Newtown,” and “Steve Jobs.”

GLM said it determines the top words, names and phrases by analyzing “global discourse” on the Internet, blogs, media outlets and social media.


It’s not Eettway…


A copy of the Borgianus Latinus, a missal for Christmas made for Pope Alexander VI. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — How do you say “tweet” in Latin? Well, don’t feel badly if you don’t know because even the pope’s own Latin Academy is incertus.

At a Vatican news conference today, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Latinity, Ivano Dionigi, said they are still up in the air about what the best term is.

It’s a relevant enough question given that Pope Francis has more than 182,000 fautores on his @Pontifex_ln Latin Twitter account.

latin pontifex

Screengrab of @Pontifex_ln Twitter account.

Twitter seems to have been defined, according to the account’s header, as breviloquentis.  But such a word lacks the eloquence and onomatopoetic (Greek infiltrator) qualities a good brand demands.

Dionigi said the two front-runners for tweet and Twitter would be some derivation of pipiare from the “cheep” of little chicks and fritinniare from the chirp of cicadas.

We asked our @CatholicNewsSvc followers today for their suggestions. Vote below for your favorites or add to the debate:

replies 1

replies 2

And finally, for those wondering why Latin is still the official language of the Catholic Church, watch this great video our own Robert Duncan did back in 2012 with Vatican Latinist, Msgr. Daniel B. Gallagher, and students from the Pontifical North American College.

Powerful pictures should make more than headlines

VATICAN CITY — It was to have hands and be able to touch and heal people that Christ became human, Pope Francis has said.

Pope greets man with disability after Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greeting a man with a disability after celebrating a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

“God meddles in our miseries, he approaches our wounds and heals them with his hands; it was to have hands he became man.”

“God does not save us only by decree, with a law, he saves us with tenderness, he saves us with caresses, he saves us with his life given for us.”

Pope Francis Oct. 22 homily

Pope Francis' General Audience

Pope Francis embracing a man at the Nov. 6 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA)

This passage seemed appropriate to accompany the pictures of Pope Francis embracing and kissing a man disfigured by neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder resulting in numerous, often painful, tumors.

The gesture at yesterday’s general audience has grabbed people’s attention, as well as news headlines.

But, every time we are struck by such poignant and moving movements, we should also consider something else the pope has said.

Pope visits St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro

Pope Francis greeting a young man as he visits St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The people behind the picture aren’t just an image to be digested and forgotten with the next news cycle; they are people who need to be heard every day:

“In the people we find the wounds of Jesus. Jesus hidden in the Eucharist and Jesus hidden in these wounds. They need to be heard!

Maybe not so much in newspapers as news; there they take notice for one, two, three days, then something else comes up, and another thing. The wounds should be heard by those who call themselves Christian.

Pope Francis meeting with children Oct. 4 in Assisi

As gestures often communicate more powerfully than words, we’re sharing some of our favorite Francis moments and inviting people to think about the message: What is it that needs to be heard and then lived?

Pope embraces young woman during encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia

Pope Francis embraces a young woman during an encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets woman during general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets a woman during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope leads Benediction during vigil to pray for peace in Syria

Pope Francis leading Benediction during a vigil to pray for peace in Syria Sept. 7 in St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis blesses boy during visit to slum complex in Brazil

Pope Francis blessing a boy in the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro July 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets young man after spin in popemobile chair during general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis greets Alberto di Tullio, 17, after letting him sit and spin around in the popemobile chair during the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi

A child waves a flag as Pope Francis arrives at the Caritas residence in the Italian pilgrimage town of Assisi Oct. 4. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

Pope Francis embraces emeritus Pope Benedict XVI at papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo

Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI embracing at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, March 23. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis kisses foot of prisoner at prison for minors in Rome

Pope Francis kisses the foot of a prison inmate during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at Rome’s Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility March 28. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis poses with youths during meeting with young people in St. Peter's Basilica at Vatican

Pope Francis during a meeting with young people from the northern Italian diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio in St. Peter’s Basilica Aug. 28. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis touches the head of a child during special event for families in St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis touches the head of a child during a Year of Faith celebration of the family in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 26. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Pope Francis I leads prayer as he appears for first time on balcony of St. Peter's Basilica

Pope Francis bowing and asking people to pray for him after he appeared for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election March 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

How art is saving art

By Caroline Hroncich


Inside the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran during the International Festival of Music and Sacred Art (CNS Photo courtesy of Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra)

VATICAN CITY–The sound of haunting “Glorias!” billowed through the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome Nov. 4 as the Orchestra and Choir of Naples’ Teatro San Carlo performed Nino Rota’s Mysterium. The basilica was packed, but you could barely hear the audience breathe during the piece. Classical music lovers and artists alike will tell you there are few experiences better than listening to a piece performed live, and the “Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra” has been making this a reality for 12 years now.

The International Festival of Sacred Music and Art, sponsored by the foundation, brings live performances to the four papal basilicas in Rome, as well as other important churches in the city. The foundation, started in 2002 by Hans-Albert Courtial, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of sacred music and art. The concerts, occurring throughout October and November, are meant to raise awareness about the importance of preserving these sacred treasures.

With supporters like retired Pope Benedict XVI, the foundation has a wide-reaching presence in Rome and has helped fund restoration projects, including the Vatican Necropolis, the Chapel of Sixtus V, and the Borghese statue of Pope Paul V.


Inside the Papal Basilica Saint Paul Outside the Walls during the International Festival of Music and Sacred Art (CNS Photo courtesy of Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra)

In a booklet about the initiative, foundation president Courtial says the purpose of the festival is “to move people’s hearts through music, inviting them at the same time to actively take on responsibility for important restorations of Christian art, whether they involve painting, sculpture or architecture. Our motto has therefore been from the outset: ‘Art saves art.’”

Listening to sacred music in a papal basilica is an incredibly spiritual experience, and is definitely something you don’t want to miss. All of the concerts are free and open to the public. For more information on how to attend future events follow this link.

Editor’s note: Caroline Hroncich is a student at Villanova University and is interning at Catholic News Service’s Rome bureau for the semester.

Newlyweds get VIP treatment at the Vatican

Newly married couple enjoys ice cream cones after pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

A newly married couple from Poland enjoy ice cream cones after attending Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Catholic couples who have celebrated their marriage vows recently can request special tickets to a VIP section at the Wednesday general audience and get the chance to greet the pope, receive his blessing and be given a unique rosary for newlyweds.

The personal papal meeting for newlyweds has been handled differently over time.


Newly married couples at a general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 14, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

For a few years, couples were stuck behind the same waist-high barricades as other VIP guests. That usually meant a mad crush for a papal handshake, and what should have been the moment for a perfect picture sometimes became a tangle of jutting arms, skewed veils and mussed hairdos.

Pope Francis has gone back to having newlyweds come up two-by-two to get a personal greeting and blessing after he delivers his catechesis.

Here’s a rundown of what a newlywed Catholic couple needs to do to receive special “sposi novelli” tickets:

  • The couple must have been married in a Catholic church within two months of the audience they want to attend.
  • They need to send a request for newlywed tickets and seating to visitorsoffice@pnac.org.
  • The request needs to include the name of the church where the wedding took place; the date of the wedding; the name of the priest who married them; and the full name of the bride and groom.
  • The couple must bring with them to Rome a copy of their certificate of sacramental marriage signed by their priest. This will be needed to get a special rosary for newlyweds that was blessed by the pope.
  • They can wear their wedding attire to the audience although women are encouraged to wear a shawl if their dress doesn’t cover their shoulders.
  • A papal photographer will be taking pictures during the meet-and-greet and those pictures will be available for sale later through L’Osservatore Romano’s photo service www.photovat.com 


    Newly married couples are pictured near Swiss Guards before the start of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

For more information about getting tickets to the pope’s general audience or papal liturgies and events, head to this post from last month: “Treasure hunt: Tracking down tickets to a papal Mass, general audience.”


CNS “nuclear football” prevents news coverage gaps during historic move

VATICAN CITY — After 19 years located in an apartment building half mile from the Vatican, Catholic News Service’s Rome bureau was ready for a move — to fresher digs and closer to the action.

As anyone who has ever moved knows, it’s usually not a pretty sight. Not only because a few of us (mostly me) have pack-rat tendencies, there are paper files and valuable archive materials going back to the Second Vatican Council and earlier as CNS has had a full-time presence in Rome since 1948.


The CNS “nuclear football” contained every item that might be needed to cover normal and unusual news events at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

Moving a news organization is also challenging because “the show must go on!” The pope and the rest of the Vatican don’t stop working and CNS client papers still need to go to press.

The day before the office was set to be boxed up and shipped off, CNS’s senior correspondent, Cindy Wooden, and I started filling a small cardboard box and wheelie suitcase with essential items that would supply our “mobile newsroom” for the next few days.

Dubbed “the nuclear football” by Rome bureau chief Francis Rocca, the suitcase needed to get us through not just a couple of typical workdays, but also had to cover us in case of some unforeseen news Armageddon.

suitcase contents

Contents of the CNS “mobile newsroom” to be used while the Rome bureau moved to a new office. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

Essential items included aspirin, gaffer tape, half a bar of chocolate, a safety pin, USB drive, telephone books, personal contacts, recording devices, notebooks and pens. It had started out as a full chocolate bar…

inside box

Books about Pope Francis, style-books, College of Cardinal statistics, batteries, recording equipment were part of the CNS mobile newsroom. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

We did pack a laptop, but it decided to give out on the first day we were office-less so I feel it doesn’t deserve to be included it in the photo-lineup. iPad minis and our booth in the Vatican press hall provided us with connectivity.

room paul

CNS senior correspondent Cindy Wooden and senior photographer Paul Haring surveying the new, yet unpacked newsroom. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

Luckily we were spared an “extreme” news event during the move. However, the “atomic suitcase” has ended up being more of a lifesaver than anticipated since we still are not completely unpacked.

Thanks to the wheelie suitcase contents, we’ve been able to have all the essentials as we continue to settle into our new office — now located next door to the Vatican press hall and 50 yards from St. Peter’s Square.

Enjoy some of these shots of our new home in Rome.

As always, CNS clients and fans are more than welcome to stop by. We still may have a box for you to sit on when you visit!

CNS's new office

CNS correspondent Carol Glatz digs out something useful during a move to the Rome bureau’s new offices on Via della Conciliazione. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

CNS's new office at Via della Conciliazione 44

A nice view of the courtyard from one of the rooms in the new CNS Rome bureau. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

CNS' new office at Via della Conciliazione 44

The CNS Rome bureau has moved offices to a renovated building on Via della Conciliazione, just a few yards from St. Peter’s Square. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

CNS' new office at Via della Conciliazione 44

CNS has had a full-time presence in Rome since 1948. Its new offices on Via della Conciliazione put CNS right at the heart of the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Saints aren’t Superheroes — the secrets to holiness


A Cuban girl is baptized at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre in Cuba Feb. 11, 2012. (CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

VATICAN CITY –  Today on the feast of All Saints, Pope Francis revealed the secrets to holiness, saying it’s not some rare “privilege for the few,” but an inheritance everyone receives at baptism.

“Saints aren’t superheroes nor were they born perfect. They are like us, each one of us,” just that when they experienced the life-changing encounter with God,” they never left his side, the pope said during today’s Angelus address.

Pope Francis essentially gave a road-map today for how to follow this path to holiness. The path “has a name and a face,” he said. “It’s the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us to become saints.”

So You Want to Be a Saint — Secrets of Success:

  • Experience God’s love.
  • Follow God with your whole heart, without compromise, without hypocrisy.
  • Spend your life serving others.


    A volunteer distributes food at the Bank of the Poor in Valencia, Spain, June 12, 2012. According to Caritas Internationalis, more than 11 million people live under the edge of poverty in Spain. ( CNS photo/Heino Kalis, Reuters)

  • Bear suffering and adversity without hating. “Saints never hated,” the pope said, because love comes from God and hate comes from the devil. “Saints kept far away from the devil.”
  • Respond to evil with goodness.
  • Have a joyous heart and spread joy and peace to others.
  • Pray.
  • Don’t derive your sense of security from things, but from God’s love.
  • Have a simple, humble heart.
  • Don’t assume you are righteous.
  • Don’t judge others.


    Daughter of Charity Sister Sophie Boueri comforts a Palestinian child at a creche for abandoned children in Bethlehem, West Bank, Sept. 22, 2010. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

  • Know how to suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with those who rejoice.
  • Don’t be violent. Be merciful.
  • Seek to be builders of reconciliation and peace. “Always help reconcile people and always help to bring peace.”

The pope said the path God shows us to holiness “is beautiful, it’s a beautiful journey!”

And along this journey, the pope said, the saints are on the sidelines encouraging everyone to not be afraid.

“Don’t be afraid to go against the current or to be misunderstood and derided when we speak about (Jesus) and the Gospels.”

The saints’ message to people today is “trust in the Lord because he never disappoints. He is a good friend, always by our side.”


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