Counterintuitive, yes. But Pope Francis' focus outside the church, on the environment and poor, may be precisely what's required for a thorough inside makeover.
Rome, which was hit especially hard in the global recession, hopes a new pope will bring some new business to the hurting city.
Rome dispatch: Pope Francis opened his reign with a meditation on St. Joseph and the power and limits of the papacy.
Opinion: There is hope that the first Jesuit pope will focus more on the poor and will be more open to women in the church.
Imagine getting a call from Pope Francis asking for your advice concerning the most important issues facing the Catholic church and the world.
If he asked you what kind of pope the church and world need at this moment in history, what would you say to him?
Well, if our new Holy Father asked me that question, I would first suggest he deeply reflect on the challenge given to him by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
Editor's Note: Ivone Gebara is a Brazilian Sister of Our Lady and a leading theologian in the fields of ecofeminism and liberation theology. This article first appeared in Portuguese and Spanish on the Brazilian news site Adital. It is reprinted here with the author's permission.
Rome dispatch: Pope Francis' first Sunday as pontiff stressed both mercy and a knack for personally engaging with an audience.
A four-minute speech before the church’s cardinals a week before conclave led to the election of Pope Francis, according to a report.
Speaking in the Paul VI grand hall of the Vatican, the Argentine cardinal warned against focusing too much on matters close to home.
Rome dispatch: Pope Francis says he chose his name because St. Francis "was a man of peace, a man of poverty, a man who loved and protected creation."
How did Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio get to 77 votes so quickly? Here's some insider knowledge the cardinals have provided.