Analysis: The addition of Kim Daniels, who is a leader of the conservative media lobby Catholic Voices USA, seems aimed at revamping the hierarchy's communications strategy.
Analysis: One man's word put four men in prison. But stories conflict, and there's no real evidence to support his claims.
Reports this week that the late Pope John Paul II may be on the verge of sainthood after a second miracle was credited to his intercession aren't a huge surprise: When he died eight years ago, crowds were already clamoring for his canonization, and Pope Benedict XVI quickly waived the usual five-year waiting period to get the process rolling.
Analysis: If Pope Francis undertakes curial reform, the first question is not where might he begin, but how long does he have?
Analysis: As Pope Francis basks in broad approval, some constituencies in the Catholic church are cautious or even angry at his election.
Analysis: The only question about the election of our new pope is which is the greatest surprise: that he is a Jesuit, that he is Latin American, or that he is 76?
Benedict stands in a long line of popes whose teachings challenge both the political left and right, but conservatives found more challenge and less solace from Rome.
For the first time in history a former head of state, Guatemala's Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, is on trial for genocide in the country where the crime occurred. Two hundred thousand died over 36 years of armed conflict in the Central American nation, mostly Maya indigenous noncombatants at government hands. The unfolding judicial process has global repercussions, strengthening possibilities for prosecution of other prominent human rights cases.
Analysis: The Vatican is stuck in a time period full of court behavior and palace intrigue, trying desperately to stave off 21st-century reality.
Analysis: The insult of the investigation of American nuns, which came in the middle of Benedict's reign, appears to have backfired.