Here's a rundown of the most-read stories on NCRonline.org for the month of January. The list is compiled with the help of Google Analytics. Miss any of these stories? Now's the time to get caught up.
5. "New cardinals to be appointed may include next pope" by Thomas Reese, posted Jan. 6. In this analysis, Reese explored what Pope Francis might be looking for in new cardinals. Less than a week later, Francis announced his picks for the red hats. (See No. 3.)
4. "The top five under-covered Catholic stories of 2013" by John L. Allen Jr., posted Jan. 3. In his annual year-end news roundup, Allen looked at the news stories that should have made bigger waves in 2013. The most under-covered story in Allen's eyes? Pope Benedict XVI's revolutionary resignation, which was eclipsed by the conclave and the media maelstrom that is Francis.
3. "Pope chooses new cardinals from Africa, Asia, Latin America" by Joshua J. McElwee, posted Jan. 12. After much speculation, including that of Thomas Reese (see No. 5), Francis finally tapped the first group of men who will join the College of Cardinals under his watch. The lack of appointments from Europe (outside the Curia, anyway) or the West was noticeable.
2. "Leaving the Jesuits after 32 years" by John Dear, posted Jan. 7. In his weekly column, "On the Road to Peace," Dear explained his decision to part ways with the Society of Jesus. The two did not see eye-to-eye on Dear's role in peacemaking and protests, and Dear took to his column to share his side.
1. "John Dear, Jesuit known for peace witness, dismissed from order" by Joshua J. McElwee, posted Jan. 7. Posted side-by-side with Dear's column (No. 2 on this list), this story looked at the nuts and bolts of Dear's dismissal and what his superiors, both present and past, had to say about the matter.