Rome analysis: The way in which Benedict is stepping off the stage may be reframing his legacy, perhaps providing a more generous optic for assessing the pope.
John Allen in Rome: This Sri Lankan cardinal might be a more compelling "Great Asian Hope" than Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
Just Catholic: Now that the Academy Awards are over, we can watch the papal election. They look pretty similar on the flat screen, even down to the red shoes.
Rome dispatch: The last public day on the job for Pope Benedict was surprisingly intimate for a man known for his formal demeanor.
John Allen in Rome: If Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco gets elected, there's a sense that the title "The Accidental Pope" would fit him.
Analysis: The Vatican is stuck in a time period full of court behavior and palace intrigue, trying desperately to stave off 21st-century reality.
Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, one of the 115 prelates of the Catholic church expected to vote to elect the next pope, has said he is hoping for the new pontiff to "help shape a new and dynamic future for the Church in today's world."
"There is concern that the Church is proceeding down two opposite directions," Mahony wrote Tuesday on his blog.
John Allen is offering a profile each day of one of the most frequently touted papabili, or men who could be pope. The old saying in Rome is that he who enters a conclave as pope exits as a cardinal, meaning there's no guarantee one of these men actually will be chosen. They are, however, the leading names drawing buzz in Rome these days, ensuring they will be in the spotlight as the conclave draws near. The profiles of these men also suggest the issues and the qualities other cardinals see as desirable heading into the election.
Q-and-A: Cardinal Donald Wuerl may not have rock star charisma or the reputation for simplicity, but he’s arguably the most pivotal senior prelate in the United States.
John Allen in Rome: The Italian election didn't go well for the incumbent. This election and the papal election intersect in two ways.