One list of those who have a "better chance" of being appointed cardinal based on historical experience contains 23 names. The trouble is there are only 14 vacancies.
Analysis: Pope Francis is generating the kind of Internet buzz brand managers dream of. But is he a victim of his own good press?
Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers and bleating, baying animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem.
He even let a lamb rest on his shoulders and greeted a tiny baby named Francis, who played the part of Jesus, when he visited a live Nativity scene Monday at the Church of St. Alfonso Maria dei Liguori on the northern outskirts of Rome.
Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro wrote that both papal " 'detractors' as well as those who exalt him" twist Pope Francis' words for their own gain.
Analysis: Next month, Pope Francis will create at least 14 new cardinals. Where will they come from? Latin America? The Curia?
John L. Allen Jr.: At least eight papal storylines worth noting emerged between Jan. 1 and Jan. 6, typically a dead period in the Vatican.
Real life does not often generate an experiment to settle a historical debate, but Italian politics may create a chance to shed light on a biographical question about Pope Francis.
By comparison, during the year following the election of Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, more than 4 million people attended papal events.
After the historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and a series of innovations by Pope Francis, it is hard to imagine 2014 could be nearly as eventful.
Officially speaking, the Vatican doesn't do much to mark a pope's birthday. Unofficially, however, Francis marked the period around his 77th birthday Dec. 17.