Reports this week that the late Pope John Paul II may be on the verge of sainthood after a second miracle was credited to his intercession aren't a huge surprise: When he died eight years ago, crowds were already clamoring for his canonization, and Pope Benedict XVI quickly waived the usual five-year waiting period to get the process rolling.
Also, Pope Benedict will soon return to live in the Vatican, and Pope Francis will not be moving into the papal apartments.
Pope Francis called on Venezuela's political leaders to resolve their differences through respectful dialogue and he urged the nation's people to reject all forms of violence as the country seeks to move ahead.
Venezuelans went to the polls April 14 to elect a successor to President Hugo Chavez, the socialist who died of complications from cancer March 5.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis' support of the sainthood cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador means beatification could come quickly.
In his first month in office, Pope Francis continually preached about God's love and mercy, but he also frequently mentioned the devil.
By his sheer "simplicity of life," Pope Francis has set a new tone for the Roman Curia, African Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told NCR April 10 in an interview in Washington.
NCR Today: Pope Francis criticized those who resist change and "wish to turn back the clock" and "to tame the Holy Spirit" 50 years after the council.
Finding safe and effective cures to disease and illness does not have to go against moral and ethical principles; that was the message of a three-day conference at the Vatican on adult stem-cell therapies.
"To address global suffering, one does not have to choose between faith and science. ... These two ideas fit together symbiotically," said Dr. Robin Smith, chairman and CEO of the for-profit NeoStem biopharmaceutical company and president of its nonprofit Stem for Life Foundation.
My first take on Pope Francis was that he is masterful in the use of symbols. More recently, I'm asking myself if his core strength is a simplicity and transparency so attuned with the Gospels they shine through him, preached almost without words.
Most NCR readers I've spoken with seem to take one of two approaches to this young pontificate, both encouraging, one more guarded.
A year ago, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the US sisters' work contained "themes incompatible with the Catholic faith." Pope Francis has reportedly reaffirmed the assessment.