Roman Catholic Church
Mar 13, 2013 — One of the first personal tidbits to emerge about Pope Francis: He cooks for himself. But austerity and humility are two of the new pontiff's defining characteristics. And they seem to extend to his eating habits.
Mar 20, 2013 — The new pontiff has no real record of speaking out about sexual abuse cases, though one prominent priest under his leadership was convicted in 2009 in Buenos Aires.
Mar 19, 2013 — The new pope pledged to "embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important."
Mar 14, 2013 — The job is hard, she told an Argentine news station, and the world is also tough. She asked the world to pray for her brother.
Mar 14, 2013 — The Jesuits are the single-largest Catholic order, known for their dedication to education and devotion to the poor. But in the past, they have also proved controversial.
Mar 14, 2013 — The first pope from the New World must now confront some old problems. He's begun his first full day as head of the church by slipping out of the Vatican to visit an ancient basilica. There, he quietly prayed with priests.
Mar 13, 2013 — On the second day of their conclave, 115 Roman Catholic cardinals settled on their selection. Now, the new pontiff faces the challenge of leading a church that is confronting many challenges. His chosen name honors a saint known for works of mercy and a simple lifestyle.
Mar 13, 2013 — Catholics around the world are watching the roof of the Vatican again to learn if their church has a new pope. If they see black smoke, that means the church's cardinals still haven't decided. White smoke and bells signal that a pope has been chosen.
Mar 12, 2013 — One name has been "retired." Others have never been reused. John is the most popular. It's a tradition going back to the year 533 that a new pope chooses a name other than the one he was born with. He's likely sending a message about what type of leader he hopes to be.
Mar 12, 2013 — In the Sistine Chapel, cardinals have begun voting. It takes the votes of two-thirds (77 cardinals) to become pope. In between the votes, the cardinals will be "busy murmuring in each others' ears over coffee and pasta" as they form alliances, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says.