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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has won widespread acclaim thus far in his nascent papacy with popular gestures like washing the feet of juveniles during Holy Week and refusing many papal perks. But now comes the hard part of his new job: reforming the Vatican.

Categories: Institutions

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Alessandro Speciale

Alessandro Speciale

Alessandro Speciale has been covering the Vatican since 2007 and wrote for Religion News Service from 2011-2013. Born in Rome, he studied literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and journalism at City University, London. He has appeared as an expert on Vatican affairs on CNN, BBC World and Al Jazeera English.
David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


  1. My prayer is that Francis will understand the importance of the inclusiveness of women ( nuns and laywomen ) in leadership appointments ….. My hope is that the days of a “Patriarchal Church” will very soon be history.

    • Agreed. We need more women religious and lay people in more senior positions. I’m optimistic that this will come – but we cannot be sure. Wait in hope, and see.

  2. I believe strongly that it is of outmost importance that one should not have to be a, “Priest or Cardinal” or of some other church title to be involved in the leadership of the Church.

    There are many wise, gifted and talented lay women and men who live in the “real world” and understand the challenges of today, regarding faith, morals and spirituality from a different perspective. I think their contribution would be vital in many ways.

    Lay people, in their, “secular vocations” are as worthy and informed about the teachings of Jesus Christ as men and women who have chosen to follow a, “religious vocation”.