Analysis: The pope has appointed eight cardinals to help with reform. Here, John Allen talks about what that means and what comes next.
Pope Francis has formed a group of eight cardinals from around the world to "advise him on the government of the universal church."
Column: Those who left the church because of child abuse, the scrutiny of American nuns or other reasons are watching this new pope carefully.
Column: Much remains to be seen about what kind of pope Francis will be, but for progressives, cautious optimism is in order.
The Franciscan leader Pope Francis named to be the Vatican's second-in-command for religious life has written to his order, saying the appointment leaves him with "divided feelings" of joy and sadness and that he will miss his confreres' company "at all times."
Additionally, Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo asks his fellow Franciscans for forgiveness for times he may have not fulfilled his role as the successor of 13th-century St. Francis of Assisi.
John Allen in Argentina: Go to the slums of Buenos Aires, and there's a very good chance you'll meet someone who has met Jorge Mario Bergoglio personally.
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Under the heading of “it’s better to be lucky than good,” here’s the kind of happy accident that sometimes falls into the lap of a reporter.
I knew coming to Argentina that among other points on the biography of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the man who is now Pope Francis, is the fact that he’s a huge fan of the soccer club San Lorenzo. The team plays in the Primera División, which is the top flight of soccer in Argentina. (San Lorenzo is currently in 11th place in a 20-team field.)
Some are looking particularly at what openness Pope Francis will show to the participation of women in church leadership.
Buenos Aires, Argentina – When the Vatican released a statement yesterday indicating that Pope Francis wants to move aggressively on the child sexual abuse scandals in the church, it was met by skepticism from victims groups insisting that “actions speak louder than words.”
Over the years, perhaps the most persistent such demand for action has been that bishops who mishandle abuse cases should be held accountable. Yesterday, a senior aide and confidante to then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio predicted that Francis will plug this hole as pope.
A U.S. group that advocates for survivors of clergy sex abuse has sharply criticized reports that Pope Francis told the Vatican's chief doctrinal enforcer to act "decisively" on the matter.
The pope, the National Survivors Advocates Coalition said in a release Friday afternoon, "doesn’t need to call for action in the Roman Catholic Church regarding the sexual abuse crisis. He can take action."