Some are looking particularly at what openness Pope Francis will show to the participation of women in church leadership.
Q and A: Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, hopes to reintroduce Catholic teaching on the family in a positive key.
John Allen in Rome: Francis led the Palm Sunday liturgy Sunday, marking the opening of the Holy Week observances of the Catholic church.
For those tempted to draw an overly sharp distinction between Pope Francis and his predecessor, the new pope offered a clear reminder Friday that he's cut from much the same cloth.
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.