Although Pope Francis has said that women could gain greater power in the church, other comments have been typically atavistic. Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

So much for all the cozy hugs and soothing cold calls and fun selfies and humble gestures and talk of mercy, love, inclusion, equality and justice. Po(...)

 Pope Francis welcoming Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on March 18th, 2013 at the Vatican. Photograph: Getty

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis a year ago no one could have predicte(...)

 ‘Can Pope Francis  bring about the “collegiality” promised by the Second Vatican Council?’ Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

When Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, which came out last November, talked about how “th(...)

Who speaks for the Church? Pope Francis in Rome last week with a green parrot given to him by a pilgrim. Photograph:  EPA/Osservatore Romano

Is Pope Francis a liberal or a conservative? Traditionalists in the church, temporarily silenced by the whirlwind that is the new pontiff, are now ral(...)

The Vatican Bank. From day one it was clear Pope Francis was no friend of deregulated capitalism, let alone murky financial speculation.  Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

As tourists walk past the Porta Sant’Anna in Rome, just off St Peter’s Square, few pay much attention to the strange-looking, rounded tower that sits (...)

Spring turns to winter
  • World
  • December 29, 2013, 12:32

If there are common threads running through the world turmoil of 2013, notably of its most unstable region, the Middle East, they are perhaps the indi(...)

Pope Francis: spoke movingly about his parents and his grandmother. Photograph: Reuters

The election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope and head of the Catholic Church on March 13th this year seemed unprepossessing. His record as head of th(...)

 Pope Francis: “Women are asking deep questions about what must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role

  The idea that the Catholic Church’s teachings represent “a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong”. (...)

Chatting to the press posse on the return flight from Brazil, Pope Francis got the formal informality down perfectly. Photograph: Reuters

Pope Francis’s recent aerial press conference certainly tricked with the iconography of contemporary power. He may still have been wearing his cream m(...)

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before he became pope

Deep divisions between the conservative Argentine province of the Jesuits, for long headed by Fr Jorge Mario (...)