John Allen in Rome: A senior Vatican official today asserted that the Catholic church wants to be "an example of best practice" in the prevention of abuse.
Pope Francis replaced four cardinals serving on a five-person commission overseeing the Vatican bank.
On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.
On Monday, the pope told the Vatican diplomatic corps that he found it "horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Vatican counterpart for more than 90 minutes Tuesday, discussing the Syrian civil war and the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, and hinted that President Barack Obama hopes to meet with Pope Francis in the coming months.
Kerry did not meet with the pope, but rather with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state. Kerry called the meeting "as comprehensive a conversation as I've had with any secretary of state or foreign minister in the course of my tenure."
Priests, brothers and sisters in Catholic religious orders around the globe should "wake up the world" by being "real witnesses" to a countercultural way of life that relies on generosity and self-forgetfulness, Pope Francis told a meeting of superiors general of religious orders in November.
Those religious, the pope added, should also not be afraid of making mistakes or even committing sins.
Pope Francis fueled hope for renewed interest in the pastoral theology inspired by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) when he announced Sunday in Rome that Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato is among new cardinals he will instate next month.
The pope during his weekly Sunday public address at St. Peter Square named Quevedo among 19 bishops he will formally instate as cardinals at a Feb. 22 consistory. Quevedo was FABC secretary general until 2011.
We say: From the start, the pope has been slowly dismantling that portion of the clerical culture that has led to destructive secrecy, corruption and lack of accountability.
Taken together, these developments suggest not only that Pope Francis is pressing ahead, but that his example is emboldening others.
Under ordinary circumstances, a religious order's general chapter is nobody's idea of a news event. Basically a business meeting for representatives of the order from around the world, a general chapter typically is consumed by minutiae and insider baseball, and elections for new leaders are often of interest only to the candidates themselves -- sometimes, honestly, not much even to them.
For the embattled Legionaries of Christ, however, the circumstances are anything but ordinary.
NCR Today: In his choice of new cardinals, Pope Francis both respected tradition and broke from it.