Q-and-A: Cardinal Donald Wuerl may not have rock star charisma or the reputation for simplicity, but he’s arguably the most pivotal senior prelate in the United States.
Rome dispatch: With just a few days before he resigns, Pope Benedict XVI has given his official title for when he no longer leads the Catholic church.
John Allen in Rome: The Italian election didn't go well for the incumbent. This election and the papal election intersect in two ways.
John Allen in Rome: Why is it taking so long to choose a start date for the conclave? Why not just pick a date and get on with it?
John Allen in Rome: Although the election of a pope is in many ways a scripted process, the closest thing to a wild card may be Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna.
Rome dispatch: The Vatican specified rules for the upcoming conclave, including the penalty of excommunication for those who share inside information.
Rome dispatch: Pope Benedict XVI has given the College of Cardinals authority to change the date of the upcoming conclave to elect his successor, the Vatican announced Monday.
Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien, who has been accused of inappropriate sexual relations with priests, has resigned and will not partake in conclave.
John Allen in Rome: A canon lawyer by training, Cardinal Péter Erdõ has been on the ecclesiastical fast track his entire career.
John Allen: Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer of Brazil has proof he’s capable of making decisions stick, perhaps suggesting he’s tough enough to lead.