ROME -- Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope three years ago. He is now 79 years old and still seems willing to go further to set his reforms on an irreversible track. But the Curia grumbles against what is perceived from the inside as an authoritarian and unpredictable boss.
At calibrated intervals, Benedict XVI's interpretation of the role of the Church in salvation history could come as an unending series of syllables: a solemn pronouncement delivered over millennia in inarticulate snatches.
ROME -- "Vatileaks 2" is the latest scandal to emerge from the Vatican. How many real friends Pope Francis has there today looks harder to count than ever.
ROME -- Understanding the culture and history of a host country enables one to be accepted and heard there. Thus, Pope Francis could raise as gently as possible some of the most debated issues in the U.S. while still ending his speech in Congress with a standing ovation.
Pope Francis and Neil Armstrong, outstanding men, honored men, accomplished men, all while being also, humble men. Rest in peace Neil Armstrong. And long live Pope Francis.
As Pope Francis visits the United States many church watchers will be curious to learn of any current project our reforming pontiff may have in mind respecting the future role of Catholic women.
ROME -- Francis recently went in a shop in Rome to get new lenses for his glasses and payed what he owed. His short and unexpected visit depicts attitudes he wants for his Church.
ROME -- "Welcome, this is a house for all. Your house."
Pope Francis is revolutionizing how the Vatican operates, encouraging officials to remain faithful to what they have dedicated their lives to, and to the global Catholic community. If the pope is no more than a king in his church, then there shall be no room for princes.
Mary Deeley looks me in the eye and laughs as she tells me the three men who top the invite list for her daughter's wedding. Sitting with her arms outstretched in a chair at Northwestern University's Sheil Catholic Center, Mary continues our conversation in a speedy and reverent tone.
Let's begin on what Pope Francis has done just last year as we are now in this brand new year of 2014. He ditched the Papal limousine, and instead is driven around in a regular car. He refused the traditional gold Papal cross, yet instead chooses a simple silver one. And there is more.
I sat down to discuss a wide range of topics with the idol of my high school days, Noam Chomsky, in early October. This was before the release of Evangelii Gaudium, but after a lot of encouraging words about economic justice from Pope Francis.
The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, has been a ray of sunshine since his elevation in March. His charm, humility and generosity, and his respect even for gays and atheists, have made him far more appealing than the authoritarian medievalist he replaced.
We are all waiting to see how the new pope, who opposed liberation theology and yet champions the poor and oppressed so vigorously, will speak on political issues when faced with them.
That was Argentina in the late 1970s. While the scale may differ substantially, is this not also a description of the United States since 9/11?
The new pope can do small, seemingly trivial things that can have a huge symbolic effect and show people that, while he may not be able to fix everything that is wrong and unjust within the Church, he "gets it."