The creation of new cardinals may determine whether the papacy of Pope Francis is a flash in the pan or a turning point in history.
Controversy over family issues and the ongoing serach for peace in the Middle East were just some highlights of Vatican news in 2014.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis and certain members of the Curia's old guard are openly at battle for the soul and future of the church.
Pope Francis said while the Curia is called to "always improve and grow in communion," it is also prone to "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" like every human institution.
The pope did not say which prelates would be named cardinals, but the names are expected to be made public in mid-January.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn also said open controversy is "absolutely essential" when discussing the future of the Catholic church.
Faith and Justice: Pope Francis' planned reform of the Curia continues to roll along. Potentially up next? The creation of a new congregation just for the laity.
NCR Today: Streets of Ferguson erupt; Francis discusses reform inside the Curia; new reality TV show to air featuring religious life; Houston Catholic Charities facing lawsuit
A Roman Observer: If reports on the reform scheme are correct, the pope has decided that several councils established after Vatican II will be merged into major congregations.
NCR Today: Pope Francis is moving ahead with plans to reform the Curia, meeting Monday with the heads of each of the Vatican's various departments to discuss pending changes.