To make sense of all the latest news at the Vatican and even for some insight into what's in store for 2014, here are seven key players you'll want to keep an eye on.
At number seven, there's Orthodox leader, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Back in March, he told Pope Francis they should visit the Holy Land together, to mark the 50th anniversary of their ecumenical reconciliation, marked by the famous hug of their predecessors. This after thousands of years of tension and mistrust.
Pope Francis accepted the invitation.
Guzman Carriquiry is a popular name at the Vatican that will surely come up quite a bit in 2014. As Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he is an expert on matters pertaining to the Church in that continent. Back when Pope Francis was still a cardinal, Bergoglio wrote the intro of one of Carriquiry's books. He's also a personal friend of Pope Francis.
Peter Wells and Lucio Ángel Vallejo, together take the number five spot. They respectively head two committees that focus on Vatican reforms. One deals with the Vatican bank and the other oversees the financial accounts of Vatican departments. It's a delicate task that requires full attention to detail.
Fourth place is for Maria Voce, one of the most important female voices in the Catholic Church. She leads the Focolare Movement which has more than 2.5 million followers. As the Pope focuses on the role of women in the Church, Voce will surely have a lot to say. In the past she has supported complimentary participation of women in the Church, including in the Magisterium.
One of the top spots go to Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's new Secretary of State. Decades of diplomatic experience will be key as the Church strengthens its presence across the globe. But that alone won't be enough. Parolin will also have to bring in creativity and flexibility to follow Pope Francis' vision.
At number two, there's the Council of Cardinals, which includes eight cardinals who advise the Pope on ways to improve the governance of the Church. From Honduras, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, heads the group as it tries to adapt the Church to the needs of the 21st century.
The number one spot goes to two former Popes who will be declared saints. John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized on Sunday April 27th. Perhaps yet another Pope, Paul VI, could be beatified in 2014.