Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

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.


  1. I like this summary. It is very hard for any leader to turn something as massive as the R.C. church. It resists change. But it must change (and it out to be a church of the poor). Jesus ministry was the poor (not he Imperial church of Constantine). The entire Christian community has to “discover” the poor and wine them back from godless communism (before it is too late). Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam .. godspeed Fancis; God be with you and guide you .. in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior Amen

  2. David Thompson

    I am definitely a non-believer, but if Pope Francis could actually reform that nest of thieves and pedophiles, what a great organization it could be for ministering to the poor and disenfranchised. But unfortunately he probably won’t live long enough to make a serious impact.

  3. Dr. Matthew Bunson wrote a very interesting book about the pope and the transition between Francis and Benedict called “Pope Francis”. I found it interesting and recommend it because this new leader of the Catholic Church is an amazing and authentic Christian man. He really has lead his life fighting against oppression, poverty and corruption. We are so lucky to have him.

  4. We’ve heard this before — it’s all about style, style, style — yet John Paul II’s populist style was just as successful as Francis’s, and that did not prevent him being a hardline conservative. Francis has repeated Benedict’s condemnation of the dictatorship of relativism and holds the same conservative views as Benedict on abortion, samesex marriage, women priests, etc. Benedict never called sisters old maids, careerists, and pantheists, nor did he ever scoff at a spiritual bouquet received from the faithful.