John Allen in Rome: Catholics can't wait to see what Francis does as pope, but the sense of expectation is intense in Syria.
John Allen in Rome: When looking into Pope Francis' background, it's easy to get caught up in what he said about same-sex marriage. But be wary.
Pope Francis today made a phone call to his predecessor, Benedict XVI, after his inaugural Mass to wish him well on his saint's name day -- the feast of St. Joseph.
The given name of Pope Benedict XVI, of course, is Joseph Ratzinger. (In addition, Ratzinger's parents were named Joseph and Mary.)
A brief Vatican statement on the phone call appears below.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis has spoken extensively on being a church for the poor, but now that the papacy has really begun, how can he make that happen?
Although the early reaction to Pope Francis has been tremendously positive, it's largely based on matters of style and personality. The extent to which his expressed dream of a "poor church for the poor" will be translated into a program of governance remains to be seen.
So far, there have been two hints that the new pope sees himself as a genuine reformer, not just in words but also in deeds.
Cardinals who spoke to NCR on background following the conclave said what turned long shot Jorge Mario Bergoglio into pope was the intersection of three basic forces.
Reports that Pope Francis has ordered Cardinal Bernard Law to stay away from the Basilica of St. Mary Major and is about to ship him off to a monastery are “completely and totally false,” according to a Vatican spokesperson.
During a press briefing on Thursday about Pope Francis’ visit to St. Mary Major, one of the four pontifical basilicas in Rome, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said that Law had briefly greeted Francis and then exited the scene.
Rome analysis: In the first clear signal the pope may be serious about reform, Pope Francis decided he's not making definitive appointments to Vatican offices.
As the receptionist at Rome's headquarters of the Jesuit order was going about his business Friday, he got an unexpected phone call.
The man on the other end of the line said simply: "This is Pope Francis. May I speak to Fr. General?"
That's former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit himself and as of Wednesday night the bishop of Rome and global leader of the Roman Catholic 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.