March 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.
March 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.
March 13, 2013 As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of a new pope, anticipation began to build for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. Here's a quick rundown of what happens after cardinal electors choose a pope.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 8, 2013 After a special Mass, the closed-door gathering to choose a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI will begin.
March 6, 2013 Alleging that the cardinals either ignored or covered up cases of sexual abuse involving priests, the groups are pushing to keep those cardinals from being part of the deliberations. The cardinals have either not commented or denied wrongdoing.
March 5, 2013 Roman Catholic cardinals are in Rome and are discussing when to begin their formal deliberations on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. On Monday, a German man pretending to be a bishop tried to get into one of their meetings. The Swiss Guards led him away.
March 4, 2013 The College of Cardinals must first decide on a date for the start of the conclave at which the new pope will be elected. It's likely they'll decide to start sometime next week. Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down last Thursday.
February 27, 2013 "March madness" is around the corner. So is the selection of a new pope. Religion News Service is bringing the two together.
February 25, 2013 The church's cardinals can start the process of choosing a new pope right after Benedict's resignation takes effect later this week — rather than wait the 15 days that rules had required. One cardinal, Keith O'Brien of Britain, has stepped down after being accused of inappropriate behavior.