Opinion: The election of Pope Francis was an inspired choice who might be able to make some changes at the highest levels of church.
Rome dispatch: Cardinals who voted for Pope Francis in this week's conclave said they believe Francis is the right man for the job.
Storify: This is the first papacy in a world with social media, and people from around the world are talking. Here's a snapshot of who's saying what.
Rome dispatch: Thousands watched black smoke rise from the Sistine Chapel in Rome this morning. No pope yet.
From Rome: White smoke poured from the Sistine Chapel a little after 7 p.m. Rome time Tuesday.
Map: Need a visual of where each cardinal is from and which countries have the most representatives? Look no further.
Rome dispatch: As the cardinals head into conclave to elect the next pope, a special Mass held Tuesday morning offered much pomp, but little direction.
Essay: The fundamental need within Catholicism is to grow institutionally and structurally into the interrelated three-fold form of ecclesial existence.
Tens of thousands of words have been written about the cardinals and candidates who will be entering the conclave tomorrow at the Vatican. One of these men will almost certainly emerge as our next pope.
I hope he is a good man, an honest person who will live transparently and run a transparent church. I hope his reach will have no bounds, embracing all the sinners and saints who make up the human family. I hope he will be merciful and will restrain from judgments.
In the opening days of the general congregations, the series of meetings the College of Cardinals convene in the lead-up to the conclave that will choose the next pope, an idea was floated in the Italian press about a way to clean up the governance issues that have plagued the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI’s reign. The idea was to elect one of the over-80-year-old cardinals as pope. Such a pope, a curial old hand, would have a clear understanding of how the Curia actual works and could rein it in.