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.
As 2013 reached an end, Pope Francis’ burgeoning following on Twitter crossed the 11 million mark, taking all nine of his accounts in different languages into view. Spanish leads the way, with four and a half million pope followers, while English was in second place with three and a half million.
Given the wide popularity of the new pope, the fact that he’s now the most followed religious figure in the Twitter universe, surpassing the 8.2 million who follow the Dali Lama, is probably no real surprise.