Famously, Francis has adopted the custom of celebrating his daily 7 a.m. Mass not in the private confines of the Apostolic Palace, where the goings-on can be kept under wraps, but in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, the hotel on Vatican grounds where he’s taken up residence. Each morning, he delivers a largely off-the-cuff homily for a group of around 50 people, excerpts from which are later provided by Vatican Radio and Vatican TV as well as the daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
The homilies are pastoral in nature, often using homespun language to make his points. On May 10, for instance, Francis compared overly grim Christians to “pickled peppers.” On May 18, he said gossip in the church is like eating honey — it tastes sweet at first, but too much gives you a stomachache.
There’s no ghostwriter penning these homilies, nor do they reflect a script worked out in a Vatican war room. They’re highly personal reflections from the pope himself, tied to the day’s Scripture readings.