Pope Francis

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

You may have heard of the local group of nuns who go to Bridgeton to pray for and protest over the West Lake and Bridgeton landfills, which have been the subject of much controversy in recent years.

Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 8 will mark the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. At the time, the council was a groundbreaking move as an assembly of Roman Catholic religious leaders had not met for nearly 100 years. What would happen during the council was even more groundbreaking.

John Thavis covered the Vatican for 30 years.
Provided by the author

When veteran Vatican journalist John Thavis interviewed exorcists for his new book, many said right off that exorcism was “nothing at all like the movie.”

These American and Italian priests were referring to the 1973 movie “The Exorcist” made from William Peter Blatty’s novel, which was based on a St. Louis event.

Pope Francis waves to crowds gathered in Philadelphia, which include a group of De Smet Jesuit High School students and faculty.
Courtesy of Kenneth Luecke, De Smet Jesuit High School

As St. Louisans who traveled to see Pope Francis during his U.S. visit in Philadelphia last weekend return home, some said they were "awestruck" by an experience they described as "thrilling."

But not everyone was pleased with the pontiff's words, particularly around the issue of clergy sex abuse. 

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

Dozens of St. Louis Catholics are headed to Philadelphia this week to see Pope Francis, who arrived in the U.S. Tuesday, and they bring with them a wide variety of expectations.

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square in May 2013
Wikipedia

Approximately 800 St. Louis Catholics on Saturday sang, played, prayed and had their photo taken with a life-size flat poster of a smiling Pope Francis at Papa-palooza on the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary grounds in Shrewsbury. The archdiocesan-wide, church picnic was aimed to give St. Louisans a family celebration in advance of the international Vatican's World Meeting of Families, which begins Tuesday in Philadelphia. 

Pope Francis meets with four representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the Vatican April 16.
Vatican

Pope Francis gave his blessing Thursday to a leadership network of Catholic nuns closing early what was set up as a four-year investigation.

The pope didn’t say “go forth and sin no more.” The message was more like keep up your good work, but tip toe around some flaky-‘60s style programing at your annual meetings. He encouraged their missions:  Keep helping the poor, the sick, children, youth and the marginalized.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Casa Rosada)

In the 11 months since Pope Francis began his papacy, he has gained widespread approval and a reputation for shaking things up.

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

The new pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first-ever Jesuit pope and the first non-European pope of the modern era.  He is the first to adopt the name Francis.

Pope Francis now leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Host Don Marsh spoke with a variety of guests to talk about the meaning behind Pope Francis’ selection and about some of the major controversial issues within the Church, including clergy sexual abuse, the role of women and same sex marriage.

(via Flickr/Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires)

The head of the Archdiocese of St. Louis says he is "delighted" with the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

White smoke from the Sistine Chapel  announced the selection of a new pope  just about 1 p.m. local time. Bergoglio's name was revealed about an hour later. Until today, he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.