John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis has many times called upon a "culture of encounter," which Francis intends to mean reaching out and fostering dialogue.
John Allen in Rome: There are so many consultants in Rome these days, it's a wonder Pope Francis can cross Vatican grounds without bumping into one.
John Allen in Rome: According to Vatican statistics, Catholic education is a growth industry these days, especially in the global south.
John Allen in Rome: The Vatican on Thursday awarded contracts to two major international consulting firms to reorganize its communications operations.
Pope Francis on Tuesday set aside the normal process for canonizing a saint and extended sainthood to arguably his favorite Jesuit, Fr. Peter Faber.
John Allen in Rome: What do "Francis bishops" look like? Yesterday's appointments to the Congregation for Bishops are telling.
News about Pope Francis continues to flow at such a torrid pace that it's hard to digest one development before the next one hits. His Dec. 15 blockbuster interview with La Stampa is a case in point, with a shake-up at the Congregation for Bishops 24 hours later making it already seem ancient history.
One difference between Pope Francis and his predecessors: He doesn't give speeches. He talks.
At events in late November and early December, the pattern was the same: Meeting with a group, the pope sat among them, gave no prepared remarks, but conversed freely and at length.
Describing the experience of meeting Francis, Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga said that "to speak with the pope face to face is a spiritual experience."
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis on Monday named new members of the Congregation for Bishops, and one American name was notably absent.
"We have been implementing the [second Vatican] council only halfway," Pope Francis told Dutch bishops.