Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and the host of a nationally syndicated weekend show on the Talk Radio Network. Show More

Il Mio Papa!

That isn't only the name of the new Oprah-style magazine being published in Italy. "My pope" is also what flocks of modern Catholics around the globe are shouting in a burst of many languages as they adjust themselves to a pope they actually agree with.

One year in, Francis still seems to be that man.

The new fan mag was too much for the humble pontiff. "To depict the pope as a kind of superman or a star seems to me offensive," he declared. Clearly, he's still trying to get his head around the power of his own celebrity and the unexpectedly warm welcome that he's received. It's been so long since a new pope has been greeted like this, no one knows what could be achieved if the people and the pope all push the same way.

Women and married priests. Fresh looks at divorce and birth control. A strip-down of the institution's grandiosity. A franker response to various scandals. A more forceful approach to war, poverty, abuse and discrimination.

For now, Pope Francis is only given partial hints of his next-phase agenda. "Women must have a greater presence in the decision-making areas," he says. On contraception, the church must consider "that which it is possible for people to do."

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In his first 12 months, Francis has surveyed the Catholic landscape, inspired the faithful and assessed what might be achieved. Year two will be his chance to try for actual policy changes.

Il Mio Papa!





1. Holy Father

2. Bishop of Rome

3. Pontiff

4. Your Holiness

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5. Pretty Cool Guy for a Pope

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Are PSEG's "too-high" utility poles the latest cause for outrage in East Hampton? It could be anything, right? . . . Have we finally found someone who will miss all this white stuff? Cops say footprints in the snow outside Park Stationery & Smoke led to the arrest of two Massapequa Park men on a convenience-store burglary spree . . . What's that? Asphalt suppliers love the snow too? Who's surprised? . . . Why has mail service been so pokey in New Hyde Park? Postal Service staff cuts? Too many CCAs, $15-an-hour city carrier assistants. Too much snow? . . . If commercial signs aren't allowed on Brookhaven Town property, why should political signs be OK? Do the state appellate court and Supervisor Ed Romaine now agree they shouldn't be? . . . Why didn't Jasmine Joseph tell her parents she'd dropped out of NYIT in May of last year? Why didn't the quiet nursing student come home to Syosset on Feb. 24? Secret life or foul play? . . . Cop or robber? Immigrant-rights groups say 13 Latino men are now accusing ex-Suffolk Police Sgt. Scott Greene of robbery . . . Is the State Liquor Authority about to crack down on all-you-can-drink brunches? "Technically, those [bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys] are outlawed," Mario Saccente of the state Restaurant Association's LI chapter tells libn.com. Killjoy!


THE NEWS IN SONG: Can't hold it back anymore: "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel, tinyurl.com/indenadazeem


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Oh, I know. She says her name is Idina Menzel and she comes from Syosset. But she can't fool John Travolta. He's a Hollywood movie star. He can read the words off a TelePrompTer. He knows how to introduce a Best Song nominee at the Oscars. If he says she's Adele Dazeem, who are we -- who is she -- to deny it? Well, Travolta's backpedaling now, but why should we believe him? "Let It Go," Adele's Oscar-night "Frozen" track, just passed 1.5 million hits on YouTube, and now she has her much-deserved golden statuette.