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Rome

Report that pope to exile Law 'totally false,' Vatican says

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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.

Pope shocks Jesuits with unexpected phone call

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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.

Brazilian Cardinal Scherer shows pastoral warmth

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On Sunday March 10, as the cardinals fanned out across Rome to celebrate Mass at their titular churches -- those assigned to them in an ancient linkage with the Bishop of Rome -- Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer celebrated a mid-morning liturgy at Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, a beautiful if comparatively small church with pews for 200 worshipers.

Twice that many media members surrounded the seating area, the camera operators angling to position their viewfinders as the cardinal preached his homily in Italian, reflecting on the Gospel parable of The Prodigal Son.

Papabili who just missed the cut

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Now that my "Papabile of the Day" series is over, several readers have asked if there were cardinals who just missed the cut, meaning contenders I would have liked to profile if time had permitted, even if I regard them as long shots.

At one level, I'm tempted to say I would have liked to profile all 115 electors, so no matter what happens I can't possibly be wrong!

Seriously, however, there are a few plausible candidates I would have liked to get into the mix had not the clock run out.

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August 29-September 11, 2014

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