papal transition

Update: U.S. denies spying on Vatican cardinals ahead of conclave

By Eric J. Lyman — October 31, 2013

ROME (RNS) “Assertions that NSA has targeted the Vatican, published in Italy’s Panorama magazine, are not true,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines told the Los Angeles Times.

Report says U.S. tapped cardinals’ phones ahead of conclave

By Eric J. Lyman — October 30, 2013

ROME (RNS) The news magazine Panorama said the NSA eavesdropping program also listened in on calls to and from the Vatican, including the phones in the Santa Marta guesthouse that housed Pope Francis and the rest of the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis taps diplomat Pietro Parolin as Vatican’s new ‘prime minister’

By Alessandro Speciale — August 31, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis’ new Secretary of State will replace Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a trusted aide of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who had been blamed for the mismanagement and scandals that plagued the Vatican in recent years.

Secretary denies God told Benedict XVI to resign

By Alessandro Speciale — August 26, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The personal secretary of former Pope Benedict XVI said the pontiff didn’t resign because of a “mystical experience” with God, saying “There is nothing true in that story.”

Benedict XVI: ‘God told me’ to resign

By Alessandro Speciale — August 21, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Reports say retired Pope Benedict XVI decided to become the first pope in 600 years to resign because “God told me” to step aside.

Highlights from Pope Francis’ first encyclical

By Alessandro Speciale — July 5, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI had almost finished “Lumen Fidei” when he resigned on Feb. 28. Pope Francis took up the unfinished work, adding a “few contributions” and published it under his own name.

Benedict and Francis: How much difference is there?

By Alessandro Speciale — June 19, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Both Pope Francis and Benedict XVI want the same thing – to lead people to “understand and accept” the church’s teachings. But they go about it in very different ways.

Pope Francis’ first 100 days: What we’ve learned so far

By Alessandro Speciale — June 13, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A week before Pope Francis reaches the critical 100-day mark, Alessandro Speciale takes stock of his young papacy and what Francis’ early days say about this most unconventional of popes.

Visitors say Benedict XVI is in declining health

By Eric J. Lyman — June 10, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A month after returning to live at the Vatican, visitors say retired Pope Benedict XVI is in failing health even as his mind remains sharp.

Pope Francis welcomes Benedict XVI back to the Vatican

By Alessandro Speciale — May 2, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) While some church observers worry that Benedict XVI could overshadow Pope Francis and his course of reforms, one veteran commentator said the side-by-side popes shouldn’t cause a “crisis in the church.”

Former Pope Benedict XVI to return to the Vatican on Thursday

By Alessandro Speciale — May 1, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Benedict XVI’s return to Vatican City will present church leaders with the unprecedented situation of a reigning pope and a retired pope living a short distance from each other, both sharing the same top aide.

COMMENTARY: Pope Francis and a new vision of Catholic reform

By David Steinmetz — April 8, 2013

(RNS) It would be a mistake to conclude from his first unprecedented actions that Pope Francis is disdainful of Catholic tradition. On the contrary, the new pope seems attuned to very specific Catholic traditions of church reform that claim his attention and color his vision of genuine Christianity.

Pope Francis a huge hit with U.S. Catholics (for now)

By Cathy Lynn Grossman — April 4, 2013

WASHINGTON (RNS) Pope Francis is known now for his keep-it-simple style and focus on the poor. But once he starts making appointments and taking action, his favorable ratings may change.

Pope Francis opts for Vatican guesthouse instead of papal apartment

By Alessandro Speciale — March 26, 2013

VATICAN CITY (RNS) With his move to a Vatican guesthouse, Pope Francis becomes the first pope since 1903 not to live in the regal papal apartment that overlooks St. Peter’s Square.

ANALYSIS: How long will the pope’s honeymoon last?

By David Gibson — March 22, 2013

(RNS) Since the moment of his election on March 13, Pope Francis has been warmly embraced by his own flock and even the media. But some constituencies in the church are decidedly cautious or even unhappy with Francis, and their grumbling may portend future troubles for the pope.

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