Savvy pope wooing the Catholic middle

Sep 21, 2013

Savvy pope wooing the Catholic middle

by Michelle Boorstein

On Thursday, Pope Francis said in a historic interview that the Catholic Church talks too much about abortion. The following day, he gave his most forceful anti-abortion comments to date. What’s the strategy here? Since becoming pope last spring, Francis has electrified people with ...

Mar 17, 2013

New pope faces challenging times

It is hoped that Pope Francis will be successful in restoring and strengthening trust in the Catholic Church by squarely addressing problems plaguing it.

Mar 16, 2013

Pope-to-be turned to the church after young love thwarted

“If I don’t marry you, I’ll become a priest.” They didn’t get married. He became a priest. And on Wednesday, he became the pope. According to a bespectacled, white-haired woman identified only as Amalia, Jorge Bergoglio wrote those words to her in a letter ...

Mar 15, 2013

Choice of saint's name signals solidarity with the poor

For his name as pope, Jorge Bergoglio chose one that harks back eight centuries to St. Francis of Assisi, a man who renounced a life of privilege, gave away everything he owned, wore a coarse woolen tunic, lived in a hut and took a ...

What's in a name? A lot if you're pope

Mar 14, 2013

What's in a name? A lot if you're pope

From Pius to Clement, Hilarius to Simplicius, papal names from down the centuries are inextricably linked to the brilliant or wretched legacies of the men who have ruled the Vatican. Cardinals gathered in a secret conclave to elect a new pope to head up ...

Vatican reveals formula for smoke

Mar 14, 2013

Vatican reveals formula for smoke

The famous smoke from a chimney to indicate whether cardinals locked away in the Sistine Chapel have elected a pope is not created just by burning used ballots, the Vatican said Tuesday. “We use smoke flares,” said Paolo Sagretti, who was in charge of ...

Mar 3, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI bows out

Big problems — from child sex-abuse cases to Vatican politics — probably proved too much for an aging academic theologian like the outgoing pope.

Mystery shrouds pope's retirement

Feb 28, 2013

Mystery shrouds pope's retirement

On an April 2009 visit to the Italian mountain town of Sulmona, Pope Benedict XVI solemnly placed his pallium, the vestment symbolizing his papal authority, on the tomb of Celestine V. The medieval pontiff’s abdication in 1294 had resulted in imprisonment by his successor ...