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What's in a selfie?

What's a world leader gotta do these days to prove he or she is with it? That's easy, grab the nearest teenager and snap a selfie! As if yesterday's news that "selfie" is now an official word wasn't legitimizing enough of the self-aggrandizing act, today word on the street is that the pope has given the selfie some major cred.

Why Catholic saints are marching into Latin America

MEXICO CITY — Many Roman Catholics believe their church's future may well hinge on the ability of Pope Francis, an Argentine barely two months into his reign, to revive the faith in Latin America. That wager was underscored with Francis' canonization Sunday of two very different and long dead nuns — one Mexican and the other Colombian — who together enshrine the church's mission of both defending the faith and nurturing hope in the all but hopeless.

Coming soon: A Mormon temple in Rome

The first Mormon temple in the Mediterranean region will be built in Rome, just eight miles from the Vatican.
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Just eight miles from the Vatican, a Mormon temple is being built. (Jeff Tyson/GlobalPost)

ROME — The world’s focus turned to the Catholic Church last month, when Catholics filled St. Peter's Square to witness Pope Francis’ inauguration. But just a few miles away, Italians are building a tribute to a different sect.

Italy, known for its strong Catholic presence, is also home to nearly 25,000 Mormons. And just eight miles from the Vatican, a Mormon temple is being built—the first in the city, the first in Italy, and the first in the Mediterranean region.

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Francis becomes first pope to wash women's feet (VIDEO)

American Jesuit priest James Martin called the gesture "hugely significant," a powerful symbol of "the all-embracing love of Christ."

Young Irish Catholics reject conservatism of new pope

The Vatican expects Francis to rebuild the church, but disaffected young Catholics are skeptical.
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The bell tower of Trinity College in Dublin. (Paige Brettingen/GlobalPost)

DUBLIN — Pope Francis received a resounding welcome on Wednesday evening as the first non-European pope, but some college students at Dublin’s Trinity College saw the conservative choice as one that would push them further away from their Catholic ties.

The College of Cardinals chose 76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina to succeed Pope Benedict XVI and to represent the burgeoning Catholic population outside of Europe. But they did so at the risk of alienating another essential demographic group: young adults.

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Chatter: Francis becomes Pope

Pope Francis is inaugurated, bombs hit Baghdad, Cyprus rethinks its unpopular tax on bank deposits, and Syria gets a second prime minister.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
Pope Francis is inaugurated, bombs hit Baghdad, Cyprus rethinks its unpopular tax on bank deposits, and Syria gets a second prime minister.
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Pope Francis calls for 'poor Church for the poor' at debut audience

The papal name that Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose is a symbol of his vision for the Church: St Francis of Assisi is "the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects others," the new pope explained.

Jesuit priests in Ireland see hope in Francis

The election of the first-ever Jesuit pope signifies a desire for change in the church, say Irish priests. Can Francis avoid becoming a 'prisoner' of the Vatican?
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Inside a Dublin Church (Omar Shamout/GlobalPost)

DUBLIN — The morning after being selected to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis returned to the Roman hotel where he stayed during the conclave to retrieve his luggage and pay his bill.

It was one of the new pontiff's personal, everyman gestures that drew notice from Jesuit priests in Ireland. They see in Francis a leader, shaped by the Jesuit tradition, capable of reorienting the Catholic Church's relationship with its members.

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Act of God of the Day: Chavez nudges Christ to pick South American pope

Even in death, Chavez's politicking is not over.
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Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez laughs during a news conference while attending the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 20, 2006. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
According to Venezuela's acting President, Nicolas Maduro, when it came down to choosing the next Pope, the late Chavez gave his pal, Christ, some direction — in a southward trajectory, to be specific.
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Fun Fact of the Day: Hunger Games, Vaticano style

In recent memory, the papal conclave has generally been a rather quick affair — but that wasn't always the case.
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Cardinals attend a mass at the St. Peter's basilica before the start of the conclave on March 12, 2013, at the Vatican. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)
While this gradual starvation of cardinals as impetus to make a decision is perhaps a necessary evil, we still aren't sure that forcing such a momentous decision on a group of hungry older gentlemen is necessarily the most logical option.
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