Pope Francis

Sen. Charles Schumer has announced the winners of his statewide lottery for 100 pairs of tickets to be part of the papal audience on the West Lawn of the Capitol following Pope Francis' address to Congress on Sept. 24.


The announcement today by Pope Francis of a streamlining of the marriage annulment process was welcomed by one longtime adjudicator of annulment requests from western Massachusetts Catholics.

The head of the annulment tribunal for the Diocese of Springfield, Msgr. John Bonzagni said the administrative changes ordered by the pope will eliminate automatic appeals, initiate a hearing within 30 days of application, and end the practice of charging fees to people seeking to annul their marriage.

"Everybody's life is going to be made a lot easier," said Bonzagni.

The Vatican Thursday published Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical on the environment.  The Pope warns of serious consequences if the world does not act on climate change.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with a renowned climate researcher, Raymond Bradley, director  of the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst.


Pope Francis recently called the Armenian massacre the “first genocide of 20th century.” With many areas marking Genocide Awareness Month, the killings and their aftermath are being discussed tonight at Siena College.


It was announced Thursday that Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress September 24th, making him the first pope to do so.

12/23/14 Panel

Dec 23, 2014

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, and political consultant Libby Post, and College of St. Rose Communications Professor Mary Alice Molgard.

Topics include North Korea's Internet Collapse, Pope Francis warns Vatican leaders, Russian Facebook, DeBlasio Calls for Peace, Pakistan Executions, and remembering Joe Cocker.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Religious news figured prominently in the headlines during 2013.   The world was shocked in February 2013, when Benedict became the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. Fast forward nine months: Benedict's successor, the Argentine Pope Francis, was named Time Magazine's "person of the year." Not bad for a fellow who once upon at time worked as a bouncer!

Dr. Alan Chartock's Morning Commentary

Dec 12, 2013

WAMC political observer discusses why President Obama's "selfie" with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt is causing  an uproar and TIME magazine naming Pope Francis Person of the Year for 2013.

Pope Francis raised eyebrows when he announced the Vatican would conduct a global survey. The poll has made somewhat of a "soft landing" in North America.

Zennie Abraham, flickr

The head of the Roman Catholic Church has called for the faithful to be surveyed on issues facing modern families… 

In an unprecedented move to examine parishioners’ beliefs, Pope Francis is calling on bishops to measure what Catholics think about matters facing modern families, including many issues that go against the norm of the church.