When Michael Odermatt was a small child, his godfather gave him a stamp depicting the Swiss Guard, an image that fascinated him.
Opinion: Pope Francis' style has moved discussion from governance to the leadership he will provide. But church governance is more complex than style.
More than a month into the Francis era, it's still easier to talk about the much-ballyhooed reform of the Vatican expected under this outsider pontiff in aspirational terms than at the level of concrete developments.
In broad strokes, most observers believe Francis wants to accomplish at least three things:
In a bid to improve its checkered record on financial transparency, the Vatican on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. agency that fights against financial crimes.
The Vatican's Institute for the Works of Religion, known as the Vatican bank, has a long history of secrecy and scandals, and it has reportedly been involved in several shady operations during the course of its history. In recent years, top bank officials have been put under investigation by Italian magistrates for alleged money laundering.
Q and A: Cardinal João Braz de Aviz said NCR's report of his talk Sunday gave one inaccurate translation but otherwise was accurate.
Q and A: The new secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Religious also said the church should not exclude anyone.
Patience in the midst of trials and patiently putting up with other people are marks of Christian maturity, Pope Francis told ushers and other staff members of the office that cleans and repairs St. Peter's Basilica and watches over the millions of people who visit it each year.
The Vatican's decision to criticize the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was made without the knowledge of a key Vatican office, its leader said Sunday.
The death May 2 of Bishop Joseph McFadden, who headed the Harrisburg Diocese since August 2010, hands Pope Francis a unique opportunity to choose a U.S. bishop of his personal liking.
Church observers will watch carefully what happens in the Pennsylvania diocese in the coming months. It will send signals throughout the church.
Sisters from around the world are gathered in Rome and say a meeting scheduled with Pope Francis is a "sign of hope."