Pope Francis holds a crucifix as he lead the Easter vigil mass in Saint Peter's basilica at the Vatican

Pope Francis Ushers in Era of Vatican Austerity

The pontificate of Pope Francis with his emphasis on poverty has resulted in a new tone of austerity in Vatican circles, with clerics avoiding any show of ostentation in favor of a new sobriety in dress, transportation and manners. Francis


Papal Commission Briefs Cardinals on Proposed Vatican Downsizing

Pope Francis’ reform of the Vatican departments, one of the priorities of his pontificate, seems to be nearing completion. The 165 Cardinals in Rome for meetings with Francis were briefed Thursday on a proposal to shrink the Vatican Curia, merging several existing departments into just two.