The Current

Pope Francis: From quiet bishop to charismatic pontiff

He's done more in two years to change the way the world sees the Catholic Church than many popes would accomplish in all of their papacies...But Pope Francis' unorthodox ways have also alienated many Catholics. John Allen shares his assessment of the transformation that Pope Francis has brought.
The world was ready for Pope Francis but was the Catholic Church? The transformation he's wrought inside the church has divided the Vatican but united many others around the world. (Getty Images)
People crowd in front of the Colosseum before the start of the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession to be celebrated by Pope Francis on Good Friday in Rome. (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

At Easter Mass yesterday at the Vatican, Pope Francis He called for an end to the violent conflicts happening around the world and prayed for the victims of persecution, including Christians.The 78-year-old pope was celebrating the third Easter since his election two years ago.

Once known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he chose to go by the name Francis once he became head of the Catholic Church ... in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi.

And Pope Francis seems to have borrowed more than just the name from Saint Francis. The Saint was known to talk to the birds, and care for the poor... And similarly this pope's style has had an uncommonly, common touch.

The style has been called, "No Frills." He's forgone the usual finery that other popes have worn and opted for simple frocks... not to mention, spartan accommodations. He's made care for the poor a legitimate priority, criticized the capitalist system, and even wondered aloud, 'who is he to judge homosexuals?'

Many have found his approach refreshing ... others infuriating.

John Allen Jr. is the associate editor of the Catholic site Crux, sponsored by The Boston Globe, and has written extensively on the Vatican. His latest book is "The Francis Miracle: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church". John Allen joined us from Denver, Colorado.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien.