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Pope John Paul II
-Special Section-
Feb. 27, 2015
During Lent, pope offers handy tips for preparing for confession
As Catholics are encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their lives during Lent, Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the sacrament of penance.

Feb. 27, 2015
Child protection expert named head of Malta archdiocese
A month after naming him president of a Vatican board hearing appeals in clerical sex abuse cases, Pope Francis tapped Auxiliary Bishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta to be the new head of the archdiocese.

Feb. 26, 2015
Homeless man of deep faith given funeral, burial in Vatican City
A homeless man who faithfully attended Mass at a church inside Vatican City for decades was buried in a Vatican cemetery after it was discovered he had died and was left unidentified in a hospital morgue.

Feb. 26, 2015
During shroud display, Turin reaches out to women who have aborted
With the aim of ensuring that the public display of the Shroud of Turin promotes conversion and healing, the archbishop of Turin has given priests throughout the archdiocese special faculties to offer absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion.

Feb. 25, 2015
Carmelite draws from life of Elijah for pope, Curia's Lenten retreat
The Lenten journey of conversion requires Christians to rediscover the "deepest truth" about themselves, cast off their masks and take on the courage to live truth, a prominent Carmelite priest told the pope and Vatican officials.

Feb. 25, 2015
Longtime worker for migrants says challenges more urgent than ever
A combination of passion and practicality, as exemplified in a story John Klink tells about Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, has marked Klink's own four-decade career promoting socio-economic development and human rights.

Feb. 24, 2015
Papal palates: Swiss Guard cookbook to hit shelves by summer
"Buon Appetito, Swiss Guard" was written by 24-year-old David Geisser, who had worked as a chef and published two popular cookbooks in his native Switzerland before joining the Swiss Guard nearly two years ago.

Feb. 24, 2015
Pope names St. Gregory of Narek a doctor of the church
The church confers this designation on saints whose writings are considered to offer key theological insights for the faith.

Feb. 23, 2015
Ukrainian Catholic leader invites pope, says visit could bring peace
On behalf of Catholics, Orthodox Christians and "people of goodwill" in Ukraine, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk personally invited the pope, telling journalists Feb. 23 that such a visit would "bring peace to that part of Eastern Europe soaked with the blood of so many martyrs for the unity of the church."

Feb. 20, 2015
Ukrainian bishops seek to be heard over the din of rhetoric
Since war broke out in Ukraine's east, the Ukrainian Catholic bishops have issued multiple calls for peace and humanitarian aid and have sought to sound the alarm on the dynamics of the conflict. But their cries, many say, often have fallen on deaf ears.

Feb. 20, 2015
Pope: Don't let meatless Fridays be selfish, soulless, seafood splurge
Real fasting isn't just restricting food choices, it must also include cleansing the heart of all selfishness and making room in one's life for those in need and those who have sinned and need healing, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 20, 2015
Pope tells Ukraine's bishops not to politicize their role as pastors
Pope Francis urged Ukraine's Catholic bishops to focus on the social and human tragedies unfolding in their country and avoid politicizing their role as church leaders.

Feb. 19, 2015
Don't be a successful failure: Choose life over false gods, pope says
Don't use peer pressure, greed or laziness as an excuse to chase after false gods and become a wildly successful failure, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 19, 2015
Liturgies need to help people experience awe, mystery of God, pope says
The liturgy should help the faithful enter into God's mystery and to experience the wonder of encountering Christ, Pope Francis told priests of the Diocese of Rome.

Feb. 18, 2015
Return with tears to God's loving embrace during Lent, pope says
Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully back to the loving arms of the merciful Father, Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass that began with a procession on Rome's Aventine Hill.

Feb. 18, 2015
Pope: Liberty, equality can turn selfish, unfair without brotherly love
Liberty and equality are not enough for the well-being of a nation, there must also be a strong sense of brotherhood that is first developed and nurtured in the family, Pope Francis said at his general audience.

Feb. 17, 2015
Education essential for abuse prevention, speakers say
Pope Francis, who has called for zero tolerance for the "despicable" crime of sexual abuse of minors, has praised new efforts aimed at helping the church better protect children.

Feb. 17, 2015
God wants you to find real love -- lifelong love -- pope tells youths
Christianity is not a set of prohibitions, but a "project for life" that can lead to true happiness in building better relationships and a better world, Pope Francis told Catholic young people in his annual message for local celebrations of World Youth Day.​

Feb. 17, 2015
Pope urges cardinals to go in search of the lost, bring them in
The Catholic Church cannot call itself church if it is a "closed caste" where the sick, the wounded and sinners are shunned, Pope Francis told the 20 new cardinals he created.

Feb. 14, 2015
Becoming a cardinal is a call to greater love, patience, pope says
In a Valentine's Day ceremony to create 20 new cardinals, Pope Francis offered a meditation on Christian love and, especially, what it means for those who guide and minister in the church.

Feb. 13, 2015
Defend life: Economics without ethics are deadly, cardinal says
The economy is a human creation, not a god, so humans have the responsibility to manage the economy in a way that benefits the most people, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis.

Feb. 12, 2015
Pope Benedict has no regret, doubt about decision to retire, aide says
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has never doubted or regretted his decision to resign, knowing it was the right thing to do for the good of the church, said Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to the retired pope.

Feb. 12, 2015
Pope opens cardinals' discussion of Curia reform; new offices explained
The reform of the Roman Curia should promote "greater harmony" among the Vatican offices, not primarily to save money or promote efficiency, but to solidify the unity of the church and strengthen its ability to evangelize, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 11, 2015
College of Cardinals to be briefed on progress of Curia reform
High-level discussions continue on how exactly to reform the Roman Curia, but the idea of consolidating several offices into two large groups -- one with family, laity and life, and the other with justice and peace, migrants and charity -- seems to be taking form, the Vatican spokesman said.

Feb. 11, 2015
Life is enriched with the birth of children, pope says at audience
Continuing a series of talks about the family, Pope Francis said birthrates are a clear indication of the optimism and hope of a couple and of the society in which they live.

Feb. 11, 2015
Vatican's economic reform on track, resistance from some, cardinal says
As fresh economic reforms begin to take hold throughout the Vatican, the Council for the Economy has faced some resistance from larger offices that had been used to having greater autonomy, said a cardinal member of the council.

Feb. 10, 2015
Culture determines if 20-minute homily is long or short, cardinal says
As long as it is inspired by prayer, refers to the Mass readings and is in harmony with church teaching, a homily's appropriate length and style are judged largely by the particular congregation at Mass, said the new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Feb. 10, 2015
Vatican gives tips on preparing homilies, tying them to catechism
A homily at Mass is not a mini catechism class, the Vatican says in a new document on homilies, but it is an opportunity to explain church teaching using the Scripture readings and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Feb. 9, 2015
Inequity is root of all evil in economies, policies, hunger, pope says
To find real solutions to today's problems, people need to address the root evils plaguing the world: unjust economies, financial speculation and systems that create inequity, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 9, 2015
Pope makes surprise visit to immigrant settlement before parish visit
The settlement on the northeastern edge of Rome was once a Gypsy or Roma camp, but now is mainly inhabited by Latin American immigrants, who have found no other place to live.

Feb. 7, 2015
Bishops' accountability is key concern for pope's child protection commission
Bishops who do not comply with the child protection norms adopted by their bishops' conferences and approved by the Vatican must face real consequences, said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Feb. 6, 2015
Martyrdom is not a thing of the past, pope says at Mass
Reading the Gospel account of St. John the Baptist's death on the feast of St. Paul Miki and other Japanese martyrs, Pope Francis said his thoughts naturally turn to those Christians being persecuted and killed today because of their faith.

Feb. 6, 2015
Vatican makeover: New restrooms offer showers, barbershop for homeless
Hot showers, a soapy shave and spiffy haircuts are available for free for those whom the Vatican calls "our homeless pilgrims."

Feb. 6, 2015
Discover your treasure, share it with others, pope tells young people
Everyone is born with a treasure chest of gifts and talents that they need to discover and share, Pope Francis told a group of young people with disabilities who explained to him how technology has brought them joy and helps them communicate.

Feb. 5, 2015
The Romero case: Changing times bring changing definition of 'martyr'
At first glance, the 1980 assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero did not fit the classic formula for martyrdom, which relied on both the faith of the victim and the anti-Christian motivation of the killers.

Feb. 5, 2015
Church preaches healing, freedom, not prosperity, pope says
Salvation has nothing to do with the "theology of prosperity" some people claim to see in the Gospel, thinking material well-being comes with faith, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 5, 2015
Pope orders cooperation in preventing sexual abuse, caring for victims
The leaders of the world's bishops' conferences and religious orders must ensure they are doing everything possible to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and are offering appropriate care for victims and their families, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 4, 2015
Pope: Families need fathers who guide, love them through thick and thin
Being a father is not easy since it takes lots of patience and grace, the pope said at his general audience Feb. 4.

Feb. 4, 2015
Archbishop Romero's beatification will be soon, archbishop says
Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be beatified in San Salvador "certainly within the year and not later, but possibly within a few months," said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator or chief promoter of the archbishop's sainthood cause.

Feb. 4, 2015
War between Christians is a scandal; Ukrainians need peace, pope says
The only word worthy of being heard in the throes of war is "peace," and there is nothing more scandalous than a nation made up of Christians engaged in conflict, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 3, 2015
Religious say helping victims will entail stopping traffickers, demand
Bringing the light of hope to ending human trafficking means confronting the brutal "darkness" of evil that is driving those who exploit others, said a number of women religious helping victims.

Feb. 3, 2015
Pope gives step-by-step primer on contemplative prayer with Gospel
Turn off the television, tune out the neighbors, and spend 10 or 15 minutes reading a Gospel passage and speaking to Jesus, Pope Francis told people at his early morning Mass.

Feb. 3, 2015
Pope recognizes martyrdom of Archbishop Romero
After decades of debate within the church, Pope Francis formally recognized that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed "in hatred of the faith" and not for purely political reasons.

Feb. 2, 2015
Obedience to God's will brings wisdom, joy, hope, pope tells religious
The pope's words came during his homily at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 2 celebrating the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which the church marks as the World Day for Consecrated Life.

Feb. 2, 2015
Pope: Farmers must care for an earth more vulnerable to climate change
Farmers must find a delicate balance between reaping the precious gifts of the earth and protecting them for future generations, especially given the threat of climate change, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 2, 2015
Pope to visit Balkan nation still scarred by ethnic divisions
In an effort to help bolster a minority Catholic population and encourage dialogue and friendship among once-warring ethnic and religious communities, Pope Francis announced he would be visiting Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Jan. 30, 2015
Living memories: On DVD, council fathers share impact of Vatican II
A pivotal moment in the modern history of the Catholic Church came to life on screen with a new documentary about the Second Vatican Council.

Jan. 30, 2015
Pontifical council to consider challenges women face in society, church
Violence against women, cultural pressures regarding women's physical appearance, attitudes that subjugate women or that ignore male-female differences and the growing alienation of women from the church in some parts of the world are themes the Pontifical Council for Culture is set to explore.

Jan. 30, 2015
Pope chooses Carmelite professor to lead Lenten retreat
Pope Francis has chosen an Italian Carmelite professor of spirituality, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin, to lead him and top members of the Roman Curia on their Lenten retreat.

Jan. 29, 2015
Pope: Salvation is not for VIPs, it's offered to all God's people
Christ showed that the way to draw close to God is not by putting down other people and creating an exclusive club, but by embracing and encouraging others to love and do good works, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Jan. 29, 2015
Feed my sheep: Archbishops to receive palliums at home with their flock
The change will "better highlight the relationship of the metropolitan archbishops with their local churches, giving more faithful the possibility of being present for this significant rite."

Jan. 28, 2015
Pope to dads: Play with your kids, be strong, loving, moral role models
When their lives are all work and no play, men turn their children into "orphans" who lack a father to guide them, show them love and teach them values, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Jan. 27, 2015
Pope to celebrate Mass marking 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide
The Vatican published the list of papal liturgies for February, March and April.

Jan. 27, 2015
Become islands of mercy in the sea of world's indifference, pope says
Christians are called to overcome apathy, discouragement and pretentions of self-sufficiency by letting God enter into their hearts, making them joyful, merciful and strong, Pope Francis said in his message for Lent this year.

Jan. 26, 2015
Persecuted for faith, Christians are united in bloodshed, pope says
Christians are united in bloodshed as they suffer from violence and persecution in various parts of the world, Pope Francis said during an ecumenical prayer service marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Jan. 26, 2015
Just as Mary gave the world Jesus, women hand on faith, pope says
Why is it that mostly women are the ones who hand down the faith generation after generation, Pope Francis asked.

Jan. 26, 2015
Education, awe must mark approach to other religions, pope says
Education about one's own faith and the faith of others is the most effective antidote to interreligious violence, Pope Francis told participants in a conference on Catholic-Muslim scholarship and dialogue.

Jan. 23, 2015
CSI mummy: Vatican experts use forensic science to unravel mysteries
The Vatican Museums have been employing the latest state-of-the-art laboratory tools and tests to find out more about the ancient mummies in its collections.

Jan. 23, 2015
Confession is time to encounter God, it's not a dry cleaners, pope says
While people must be honest and specific about their sins when they go to confession, they will miss the sacrament's key grace if they are "completely mechanical" about listing their sins, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 23, 2015
Pope urges new cardinals not to let nomination go to their heads
Writing to the 20 new cardinals he will create in February, Pope Francis said they should graciously accept that their friends, family and faithful will want to celebrate, but they also should ensure that the celebrations are not exaggerated.

Jan. 22, 2015
Maturing in faith means not just asking God for favors, pope says
The journey of faith always begins a little selfishly, seeking from God healing or help with a problem, but Christian maturity is allowing oneself to be purified and to arrive at the point of recognizing Jesus as savior, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 21, 2015
Pope names former top prosecutor to head board for clergy abuse appeal
Pope Francis named the Vatican's former chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases to head his new doctrinal team dealing with appeals filed by clergy accused of abuse.

Jan. 21, 2015
Praying for victims in Niger, pope says no war can be waged for God
Praying for victims of violent protests and targeted attacks against the church in Niger, Pope Francis said no war can ever be waged in God's name.

Jan. 21, 2015
Poverty stems from unjust economic system, not big families, pope says
The pope dedicated his general audience talk to a review of some of the highlights from his visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines Jan. 13-19.

Jan. 20, 2015
Nigerian bishop calls for Western intervention to stop Boko Haram
The Muslim militant group's increasingly deadly assaults and expanded recruitment from countries across North Africa mean "a concerted military campaign is needed by the West to crush Boko Haram," said the bishop.

Jan. 19, 2015
Pope says Catholics must practice 'responsible parenthood'
Pope Francis stressed that, despite church doctrine against contraception, Catholics fail to practice "responsible parenthood" when they have too many children.

Jan. 19, 2015
Pope says he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra in Washington
Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington -- where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra -- but probably no other stops.

Jan. 19, 2015
Philippine trip highlights pope's tenacity, attention to details
New situations are opportunities to learn new things, even about the 78-year-old Pope Francis.

Jan. 18, 2015
Pope, at Mass with millions, tells Filipinos to protect the family
Pope Francis told a crowd of at least 6 million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture."

Jan. 18, 2015
Tears often are only correct response to suffering, pope tells youths
The realities of life described by young people, especially the tearful question of a 12-year-old girl about why God allows suffering, led Pope Francis to set aside the first text he had prepared for a meeting Jan. 18 with the young people of the Philippines.

Jan. 17, 2015
Amid typhoon's devastation, pope tells survivors they are not alone
Fourteen months after Typhoon Haiyan devastated much of the central Philippines, Pope Francis braved a tropical storm to encourage survivors in their ongoing work of recovery.

Jan. 16, 2015
For heaven's sake: Papal astronomers promote harmony of science, faith
To commemorate this year's International Year of Light, which celebrates the importance of light and its role in new technologies, Jesuit astronomers at the Vatican Observatory have launched a number of new initiatives aimed at increasing dialogue with Muslims, nonbelievers and Catholics.

Jan. 16, 2015
Pope urges Filipino families: Dream, resist 'ideological colonization'
Pope Francis urged Catholic families to dream of how they might fulfill the will of God, while resisting "ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family" through such practices contraception and same-sex marriage.

Jan. 16, 2015
Surprise papal meeting with former street kids features songs, hugs
Pope Francis did not disappoint hundreds of former street children who were part of a massive campaign to show him one of the centers where they have found safety and love.

Jan. 16, 2015
Pope, in Philippines, says same-sex marriage threatens family
Appealing to the traditional values of Filipino Catholic families, Pope Francis made one of his strongest calls as pope against movements to recognize same-sex unions as marriage.

Jan. 15, 2015
Bishops appointed for Chaldean Church in Sydney, Toronto, Baghdad
Pope Francis named new bishops for Chaldean Catholics in Sydney and Toronto and confirmed the election of a Chaldean priest, who is currently ministering in Detroit, Michigan, to be a new auxiliary bishop in Baghdad.

Jan. 15, 2015
Exuberant crowds greet pope in unofficial welcome to Philippines
Although it was not called a welcoming ceremony, Pope Francis was greeted by government and church officials and an exuberant crowd Jan. 15 at Manila's Villamor Air Base.

Jan. 15, 2015
Pope says respect for religion should limit freedom of expression
Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence.

Jan. 14, 2015
Waiting for the pope, Philippine family reflects on dreams, blessings
Domingueto and Olimpia Ranola are proud of their daughter, Maricel, the only one of their nine children to go to college and one of the few young people from San Isidoro Labrador Parish chosen to attend Pope Francis' Jan. 18 meeting with youths in Manila.

Jan. 14, 2015
In Madhu, pope tells Sri Lankans reconciliation requires repentance
Pope Francis told Sri Lankans seeking reconciliation after two-and-a-half decades of civil war that, before they can forgive each other, they must repent of their own sins.

Jan. 14, 2015
Pope proclaims Sri Lanka's first saint, right to religious freedom
Canonizing Sri Lanka's first saint, who ministered to Catholics under persecution three centuries earlier, Pope Francis proclaimed what he called the "fundamental human right" of religious freedom.

Jan. 13, 2015
Markets cannot be the answer to economic inequities, pope says in book
The world cannot wait for an economic system that will cause poverty to fix itself, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 13, 2015
Pope to Sri Lankans: Reconciliation means dialogue, 'pursuit of truth’
Arriving in Sri Lanka, a country recovering from two-and-a-half decades of ethnic and religious civil war, Pope Francis said reconciliation would require its people to explore their painful recent history and accept persistent differences within their multicultural society.

Jan. 12, 2015
Pope thanks Catholics for helping Haiti, says much more left to do
Marking the fifth anniversary of the magnitude 7 earthquake that destroyed large parts of Haiti Jan. 12, 2010, the pope met with international and church-based agencies, bishops and religious involved in offering assistance to those affected by the tragedy.

Jan. 12, 2015
Pope to diplomats: Rejecting God, people, nature leads to conflict
Highlighting some of the most urgent conflicts facing the world, Pope Francis in a wide-ranging speech to diplomats accredited to the Vatican said such strife and injustices were rooted in a culture of rejection that refuses to recognize God, to protect nature and to respect other human beings.

Jan. 9, 2015
Catechism, yoga, Zen cannot open people's hearts to God, pope says
Only the Holy Spirit can "move the heart" and make it "docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom of love," the pope said Jan. 9 at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Jan. 9, 2015
Panel advising Vatican unanimous that Archbishop Romero is a martyr
A panel of theologians advising the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes voted unanimously to recognize the late Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero as a martyr, according to the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference.

Jan. 8, 2015
Cardinal counts: Nominees nudge numbers toward greater representation
Voting in a conclave is the heaviest and most visible responsibility that comes with a red hat, but those under the age of 80 -- the cardinal's retirement age -- also influence the work of the offices of the Roman Curia and serve as special papal advisers.

Jan. 8, 2015
Pope offers Mass for victims of Paris attack
The morning after 12 people were shot to death and 11 others injured at the Paris office of a satirical weekly newspaper, Pope Francis dedicated his early morning Mass to the victims and their families.

Jan. 8, 2015
Only by loving, serving others can people come to know God, pope says
Only people who love, and love in concrete ways -- not just with words -- can know God because God is love, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Jan. 7, 2015
Pope issues 'firmest condemnation' of killings at French weekly
Pope Francis condemned the killings of at least 12 people at the Paris offices of a satirical weekly newspaper Jan. 7 and denounced all "physical and moral" obstacles to the peaceful coexistence of nations, religions and cultures.

Jan. 7, 2015
Vatican sending $3.5 million to help church response to Ebola
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace announced Jan. 7 that the Holy See would be making a financial contribution to support church-sponsored assistance to those affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Jan. 7, 2015
World without mothers would be inhumane, lacking tenderness, pope says
Mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Jan. 6, 2015
Cardinals dedicate new wing of U.S. seminary in Rome
Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who as secretary of state is considered the highest Vatican official under the pope, led the dedication ceremony of the building at the Pontifical North American College Jan. 6.

Jan. 6, 2015
Vatican secretary of state expects pope to visit New York, Washington
Asked if Pope Francis would visit the United Nations in New York in September, Cardinal Pietro Parolin replied: "I think so, I think so, but no official announcement has been done. But everybody is speaking of that." He spoke similarly when asked about Washington.

Jan. 6, 2015
God created all people, desires to save them, pope says on Epiphany
In every age and in every culture, people seek God just as the Three Kings did and, in every age, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they find him in the surprising humility of a baby born in a manger, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 5, 2015
Pray for peace, sow harmony, look to Mary as model disciple, pope says
"At the beginning of this new year, we are all called to reignite in our hearts a spark of hope, which must be translated into concrete works of peace: You don't get along with that person? Make peace. In your home? Make peace. In the community? Make peace. At work? Make peace," Pope Francis said.

Jan. 3, 2015
Pope names 15 new cardinal electors, most from global south
Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors "from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world."

Dec. 31, 2014
New Year's Eve is time for examination of conscience, pope says
The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how well people have used the time and gifts God has given them -- especially how well people have helped the poor, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 30, 2014
Vatican honors murdered missionaries, kidnapped priests, Ebola victims
In addition to its annual report on church workers murdered during the year, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples highlighted the sacrifice of pastoral workers who died of Ebola contracted while caring for others and reminded Catholics that the fates of five kidnapped priests remain unknown.

Dec. 30, 2014
Pope: True charity takes compassion that does not demand conversion
"Quality of life" proponents who think the gravely ill lead lives not worth living are peddling a great lie, Pope Francis said in a message for the 2015 World Day of the Sick.

Dec. 29, 2014
Vatican news highlights of 2014
Controversy over family issues and the ongoing search for peace in the Middle East dominated Vatican news in 2014. Here are the highlights at a glance.

Dec. 29, 2014
Embrace, be amazed by God's great gift of children, pope says
Becoming a mother or father is a gift from God, but women and men have a duty to embrace that gift and be astonished by its beauty, Pope Francis said Dec. 28, the feast of the Holy Family.

Dec. 29, 2014
Vatican says 5.9 million people joined pope for Vatican events in 2014
More than 5.9 million pilgrims and visitors joined Pope Francis for an audience, liturgy or prayer at the Vatican in 2014, the Vatican said.

Dec. 26, 2014
Pope: Prolong Christmas joy by serving others, witnessing to Christ
The day after Christmas, Pope Francis warned Catholics about two related temptations: giving Christmas a "false, sugary coating" and not putting the faith one professes into action.

Dec. 26, 2014
On Christmas, pope urges people to hear the cry of suffering children
The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 23, 2014
Pope says all religious leaders must condemn Islamic State
Pope Francis deplored the "abuses and inhuman acts" of Islamic State militants, and called on all religious leaders to condemn them "unanimously and unambiguously."

Dec. 22, 2014
Pope warns Vatican officials of 'spiritual Alzheimer's,' other ills
Pope Francis' Christmas greeting to the Vatican bureaucracy this year was an extended warning against a host of spiritual ills to which he said Vatican officials are prone, including "spiritual Alzheimer's," "existential schizophrenia," publicity-seeking, the "terrorism of gossip" and even a poor sense of humor.

Dec. 22, 2014
Pope: Christmas is reminder to heal wounds, fix defects, play with kids
It was the first time the pope invited everyone who works at the Vatican, along with their family members and loved ones, to receive the pope's pre-Christmas greetings.

Dec. 19, 2014
Pope: Tree, creche inspire everyone, even nonbelievers, to love, share
The Christmas tree and Nativity scene are reminders of this mystery of the Incarnation and they both carry "a message of light, hope and love," he said.

Dec. 19, 2014
'Questionable' financial activities leave Franciscans in serious debt
Ineffective budgetary oversight and "questionable" financial activities have plunged the Order of Friars Minor into significant debt and an extremely serious financial situation, its minister general said.

Dec. 19, 2014
Pope: May church be life-giving mother, not power-hungry 'business'
A church concerned with power and self-interest ends up looking like a business rather than what it is called to be: a generous mother open to the surprise and life-giving miracle of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis said.

Dec. 18, 2014
Christians can't ignore differences on life issues, pope says
Christianity has something to say about human dignity, and "it would be a shame" if differing positions on the sanctity of all human life or on marriage were to increase the divisions among Christian churches and communities, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 18, 2014
'Happy' about warming of U.S.-Cuba relations, pope praises diplomacy
Pope Francis expressed his joy over the historic turning point in U.S.-Cuba relations as the two countries agreed to restore diplomatic ties after half a century.

Dec. 17, 2014
Pope names second abuse survivor, global experts to protection panel
The Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Pope Francis established one year ago, adds four more women and four men from five continents to the now-17-member body.

Dec. 17, 2014
Opening series of talks on the family, pope extols Mary, St. Joseph
At his last weekly public audience of 2014, Pope Francis started a series of talks on the family with a reflection on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph as a model for all Christian families.

Dec. 16, 2014
New pope, new leadership changed tone of visitation of U.S. religious
The biggest change since the visitation began in 2009 was the election of Pope Francis.

Dec. 16, 2014
Pope: Self-righteous rebels are doomed, repentant sinners are saved
Only the repentant heart that is humble, open to correction and trusts completely in God will be saved, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Dec. 16, 2014
Vatican report calls U.S. women religious to continued dialogue
A massive, detailed Vatican-ordered investigation of U.S. communities of women religious ended with a call to the women themselves to continue discerning how best to live the Gospel in fidelity to their orders' founding ideals while facing steeply declining numbers and a rapidly aging membership.

Dec. 15, 2014
Kerry asks Vatican for help in relocating Guantanamo detainees
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Vatican counterpart Dec. 15, and asked him to support the Obama administration's efforts to close the U.S. detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Dec. 15, 2014
Count down to Christmas by counting your blessings, pope says
"Be joyful as you prepare for Christmas," the pope said Dec. 14, urging as a first step that people thank God each day for the blessings they have been given.

Dec. 12, 2014
Pope praises Our Lady of Guadalupe as great missionary of 'our America'
Preceded by a procession of flags from the nations of the Americas and the recitation of the rosary in Spanish, Pope Francis and thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Vatican.

Dec. 12, 2014
Pope concerned about Syriac Catholics fleeing 'inhumanity' in Mideast
Pope Francis held a special audience Dec. 12 with Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan and about 350 of his faithful from the Syriac Catholic Church.

Dec. 11, 2014
Time to tackle global warming is running out, pope tells climate summit
Tackling the problem of climate change is a serious ethical and moral responsibility, Pope Francis told negotiators from around the world meeting for a climate summit in Lima, Peru.

Dec. 11, 2014
Pope to create new cardinals in February
Pope Francis will create new cardinals Feb. 14, following a two-day meeting of the world's cardinals that will discuss reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, among other issues.

Dec. 10, 2014
As nuns face off against traffickers, priests asked to join the fight
Leaving their habits behind and disguised along with police in regular clothes, a small group of three or four nuns raid brothels in Kolkata, India, at night, snatching young women and girls as young as 12 from the clutches of their captors.

Dec. 10, 2014
Vatican releases pope's Christmas season schedule
Pope Francis' 2014-15 Christmas season celebrations will include exactly what he did a year earlier.

Dec. 10, 2014
Announcing new series of talks about family, pope reviews synod
The October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of "a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops," a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod "for the good of families, the church and society," Pope Francis said.

Dec. 10, 2014
Do not be complicit, indifferent to tragedy of exploitation, pope says
When shopping and when interacting with people on city streets, everyone can help fight the evil of modern-day slavery, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1.

Dec. 9, 2014
Cyberslums where online abusers prowl need pastoral care, say speakers
A new kind of ghetto needs the church's presence and people's solidarity: the "digital slum" where cyberbullying and online pornography and abuse run rampant, said speakers at a Vatican news conference.

Dec. 9, 2014
Vatican sends bishops preparatory questionnaire for 2015 family synod
To help set the agenda for the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican is sending the world's Catholic bishops' conferences a list of questions on a range of topics, including matters of marriage and sexuality that proved especially controversial at the 2014 family synod.

Dec. 9, 2014
Church is 'mother' when it offers mercy, tenderness, pope says
As his international Council of Cardinals began a three-day meeting to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said having a perfect organizational chart for the church won't guarantee that the church fulfills its mission of bringing people to Christ.

Dec. 8, 2014
Pope issues decrees in sainthood causes of eight women
Pope Francis recognized the miracles needed for the canonization of two Palestinian nuns and of a French woman who founded a religious order.

Dec. 8, 2014
Pope calls for more 'integration' of divorced Catholics, gays
Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must find new ways to integrate the divorced and civilly remarried in the life of the church and to make it easier for Catholic families to accept their homosexual members.

Dec. 8, 2014
Spend time in silence and service before Christmas, pope suggests
In the heart of Rome's high-end shopping district, sparkling with Christmas lights and shiny baubles in the windows of famous designers, Pope Francis prayed that people would spend time in silence and in service as they prepare to celebrate Jesus' birth.

Dec. 5, 2014
Christian, Muslim leaders vow to 'walk hand in hand' to promote peace
Catholic, Anglican, Sunni and Shiite leaders vowed to do all they can to combat "ugly and hideous" distortions of religion, and to involve more women -- often the first victims of violence -- in official interreligious dialogues.

Dec. 5, 2014
Lay, independent general auditor being added to Vatican's reform team
In ongoing efforts to strengthen the oversight of the Vatican's finances, an auditor general will be appointed who will have the power to audit any Vatican agency and be a lay expert who is answerable only to the pope, said Cardinal George Pell.

Dec. 5, 2014
Church needs more women theologians, their insights, pope says
Pope Francis said he was pleased that five of the 30 members of the International Theological Commission are women, but the body that advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the church in general, need more women theologians.

Dec. 4, 2014
Preparing for Christmas one papal homily at a time
As Advent got underway, Pope Francis included in his morning Mass homilies specific graces Catholics should pray for as they prepare for Christmas.

Dec. 4, 2014
Vatican conference to show Haiti 'not forgotten' after quake
Nearly five years after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the small Caribbean country and its people still are only limping along. In an effort to reactivate interest and commitment to reconstruction efforts there, the Vatican is organizing a one-day international conference in Rome Jan. 10.

Dec. 4, 2014
Vatican to release findings of investigation of U.S. women religious
The final report of a five-year, Vatican-ordered study of communities of women religious in the United States will be released by the Vatican Dec. 16.

Dec. 3, 2014
Truth must prevail in abuse case against former nuncio, pope says
Pope Francis expressed his hope that truth prevail and justice be served in the Vatican investigation and trial of Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop and papal nuncio, who has been accused of sexually abusing young boys.

Dec. 3, 2014
Ignoring God, not glorifying him, leads to violence, pope says
It is the complete disregard for God, not his glorification, that leads to violence in this world, which is why people of faith, particularly Christians and Muslims, must work together for peace, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Dec. 2, 2014
Pope, religious leaders pledge to work together to end slavery by 2020
As Pope Francis and leaders of other churches and religions signed a declaration pledging to work together to help end modern slavery in the world by 2020, he urged governments, businesses and all people of good will to join forces against this "crime against humanity."

Dec. 2, 2014
Dominican Republic, Vatican continue investigation of former nuncio
The attorney general of the Dominican Republic met Dec. 2 with Vatican City's promoter of justice to discuss the sex abuse case against Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop who had served as nuncio to the Caribbean nation.

Dec. 1, 2014
In Turkey, Pope Francis got a look at Christianity on the margins
During Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey, there were none of the enthusiastic crowds that usually greet him on his trips, no masses waving signs of welcome along his motorcade route or behind police barriers at the stops.

Dec. 1, 2014
Support Catholic religious in their mission, ministries, pope says
During the Year of Consecrated Life, which opened Nov. 30, all Catholics are called to thank God for the gifts members of religious orders have given the church and the world, to join them in prayer and find practical ways to support them and their ministries, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 30, 2014
Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn violence done in name of Islam
Pope Francis called on political and religious leaders across the Muslim world to condemn violence done in the name of Islam.

Nov. 30, 2014
Pope tells Mideast, African refugees wars that caused flight must end
Pope Francis met with young refugees from civil wars in Syria and Iraq, a few hours after joining Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to denounce the plight of Christians there.

Nov. 29, 2014
Pope prays in Istanbul mosque, rallies local Christians
A day after hearing Turkish leaders demand the West show more respect for Islam, Pope Francis prayed alongside a Muslim cleric inside Istanbul's most famous mosque.

Nov. 28, 2014
Pope, Turkish leaders trade concerns about religious discrimination
Interreligious dialogue dominated Pope Francis' first day in Turkey, with the pope and Turkish leaders frankly stating their concerns, respectively, about discrimination against Christians in the Middle East and against Muslims in the West.

Nov. 28, 2014
Changing times may call for changes in religious orders, pope says
Religious orders and the Vatican congregation that assists them must be bold in assessing whether current structures and practices help or hinder the proclamation of the Gospel, the pursuit of holiness and the service of the poor, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 26, 2014
First world day against human trafficking set for February
The first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking has been announced for Feb. 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave who eventually was freed and became a Canossian nun.

Nov. 26, 2014
The world will end with peace, not annihilation, Pope Francis says
Catholics are convinced that the end of time will not bring the "annihilation of the cosmos and of everything around us," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Nov. 25, 2014
Pope says he would ‘never close the door’ on talks with Islamic State
Pope Francis said he would “never close the door” on dialogue with the Islamic State in an effort to bring peace to a region of the world suffering from violence and persecution.

Nov. 25, 2014
Pope urges Europe to nurture religious roots, sow peace in its borders
Visiting European institutions in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 25, the pope marked the 65th anniversary of the 47-member Council of Europe, which was formed to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law on the continent in the wake of the destruction and division sown by the World War II.

Nov. 25, 2014
Pope calls European Parliament to rejuvenate 'grandmother' Europe
The 77-year-old grandson of European immigrants to Argentina, Pope Francis urged the European Parliament to value the continent's faiths and recuperate a sense of responsibility for the common good to rejuvenate Europe's social, political and economic life.

Nov. 24, 2014
Pope, creating six new saints, uses newly abbreviated formula
Using a newly simplified rite, Pope Francis proclaimed six new saints and praised them for the love and self-giving with which they served God and built up his kingdom by serving the poor and needy.

Nov. 24, 2014
Break down isolation, stigma of autism, pope says
Pope Francis called for greater acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorders and their families to break down the "isolation" and "stigma" that burdens them.

Nov. 21, 2014
Pope adds African cardinal to leadership of next family synod
Pope Francis named the leaders of the October 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family, adding Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, to an otherwise unchanged roster.

Nov. 21, 2014
Help church in diaspora preserve traditions, says Cardinal Sandri
"Diversity at the center of the church is something that reflects a project of God," said the head of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches.

Nov. 21, 2014
Church is a mother without borders, welcoming migrants, pope says
In the Christian community, Pope Francis said, “no one is a stranger and, therefore, everyone is worthy of being welcomed and supported.”

Nov. 20, 2014
Islam, ecumenism and regional conflict on pope's agenda in Turkey
Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 visit to Turkey will be a complex mix of the religious and political.

Nov. 20, 2014
Feed the world, safeguard the planet, pope tells international leaders
Everyone has a right to food, Pope Francis told an international conference on nutrition.

Nov. 19, 2014
Little acts of love, kindness and faith add up to holiness, pope says
“To be saints, one does not necessarily have to be a bishop, priest or religious,” Pope Francis said.

Nov. 19, 2014
Pope condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue, urges end to violence
Pope Francis noted that violence in Holy Land does not even spare places of worship.

Nov. 18, 2014
Catholic defense of family means aiding migrant families, bishop says
A U.S. bishop told a Vatican conference that a church committed to defending strong families must be particularly engaged in assisting migrant couples and their children.

Nov. 17, 2014
Pope calls abortion, euthanasia, IVF sins 'against God the creator'
Pope Francis denounced a "false compassion" that would justify abortion, euthanasia, artificial reproduction technologies and medical research violating human dignity.

Nov. 17, 2014
Pope confirms he will visit U.S. in September 2015
Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America.

Nov. 14, 2014
Give your children the best: your faith, pope says
Faith always has been transmitted best through example, but with young people constantly bombarded by images of all kinds, living models of a commitment to truth and love are more important than ever, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 13, 2014
Catholic, Muslim leaders urge dialogue, condemn violence, persecution
Gathering at "a time of severe tension and conflict," particularly in the Middle East, 24 Catholic and Muslim leaders and scholars urged dialogue to promote greater respect and understanding and condemned all acts of violence committed in the name of religion.

Nov. 13, 2014
Vatican public restrooms to include showers for the homeless
The archbishop who distributes charity on behalf of Pope Francis has announced that the public restrooms in St. Peter's Square will include showers where the homeless can wash.

Nov. 12, 2014
Pope calls for global defense of Christians facing persecution
Pope Francis condemned the "absurd violence" being used against Christians in several countries and called on people of good will everywhere to take up the cause of religious freedom.

Nov. 11, 2014
Pope sets up new body to speed handling of sex abuse appeals
Pope Francis has established a special body within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to speed up the process of hearing and ruling on appeals filed by priests laicized or otherwise disciplined in sexual abuse or other serious cases.

Nov. 10, 2014
New Vatican financial rules increase transparency, centralization
The Vatican's new rules for budgeting and financial reporting, which will go into effect Jan. 1, call for heightened transparency and consistency in the church's central administration and underscore the oversight powers of two economic bodies Pope Francis established in February.

Nov. 10, 2014
Pope hails role of St. John Paul in Berlin Wall's fall
Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pope Francis said the sudden end to the division of Europe was prepared by the prayers and sacrifice of many people, including St. John Paul II.

Nov. 8, 2014
Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post
Pope Francis removed U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, 66, as head of the Vatican's highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post for a chivalric religious order.

Nov. 7, 2014
Pope urges religious to wage war on 'terrorism of gossip'
Meeting with Italy's superiors of men's orders, the pope said the way members of religious orders live should attract people to Christ and the church, and should be a model for other Catholics of creating harmony among a varied group of people thrown together by a common call.

Nov. 7, 2014
'Pagan Christians' go to church, but don't put God first, pope says
People who go to church on Sundays, but spend the rest of the week cultivating their attachment to money, power and pride are "pagan Christians," Pope Francis said.

Nov. 6, 2014
To heart of Europe: Pope expected to talk dignity, jobs, family life
Pope Francis, who has called the Catholic Church to go out to the peripheries and who described himself as coming from "the end of the earth," will visit the heart of European secular and economic power: the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.

Nov. 6, 2014
Pope: Don't be afraid of critics; seek out, share Gospel with sinners
God isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty, being inconvenienced or even scorned because he will do whatever it takes to save everyone from sin, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Nov. 5, 2014
Pope says annulment process should be cheaper and more efficient
Pope Francis said the church's marriage annulment process should be more efficient and perhaps even free of charge, and he decried any attempts to exploit it for profit

Nov. 5, 2014
Pope confirms retirement age of 75 for bishops, including in Curia
While all bishops offer to resign at age 75, those who are not cardinals and are working in the Roman Curia -- including as presidents of pontifical councils -- automatically end their service on their 75th birthdays, said a new document from Pope Francis.

Nov. 5, 2014
Pope will visit Shroud of Turin, commemorate birth of St. John Bosco
Pope Francis will visit the Shroud of Turin during its public display in Turin's cathedral next year as well as commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco.

Nov. 5, 2014
Pope: Bishops must be servants, not vain careerists after power, honor
The world's bishops are called to be servants and shepherds who use their position to care for people and the faith, not to seek power and boost their pride, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Nov. 4, 2014
Catholic charities -- and a U.S. physician -- respond to Ebola
In person or by Skype from West Africa, those involved in the Catholic response to the Ebola epidemic met at the Vatican to discuss ways to coordinate their efforts, share best practices, increase Catholic aid to the hardest hit countries and begin planning for the post-epidemic recovery, including the care of children orphaned by the virus.

Nov. 3, 2014
Praying for the dead, pope asks special prayers for victims of war
The early November feasts of All Saints and All Souls call Catholics to contemplate their ultimate destiny, hope in the eternal happiness of their beloved dead and remember the thousands of innocent people dying each day because of human evil and selfishness, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 3, 2014
Pope Francis to open Vatican conference on traditional marriage
The Vatican-sponsored gathering, on the "Complementarity of Man and Woman," will take place Nov. 17-19 and feature more than 30 speakers representing 23 countries and various Christian churches, as well as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and Sikhism.

Oct. 31, 2014
Did Pope Francis get what he wanted from the synod?
Since the end of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a "setback" or "loss" for Pope Francis -- even a "rebuke" to him.

Oct. 31, 2014
Praise God, proclaim salvation, pray for the persecuted, pope says
The pope met Oct. 31 with about 1,000 charismatic Catholics and their Protestant guests who were participating in a conference about the charismatic movement and new evangelization.

Oct. 30, 2014
Bright lights, cool air protect Sistine Chapel from visiting hordes
The Vatican is not promising visitors to the Sistine Chapel more elbow room, but it is guaranteeing a cooler experience.

Oct. 30, 2014
Be ready with God's weaponry; devil is real, pope says
Christian life is a constant battle against the devil, who is not the stuff of legend, but really exists, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Oct. 29, 2014
Don't be bad Christians, people may think atheism is better, pope says
The way Christians behave can either help and inspire others, or turn them away from ever following Jesus, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Oct. 29, 2014
Pope urges prayer, international action to fight Ebola virus
Pope Francis pleaded for the international community to take stronger, coordinated steps to "annihilate" the Ebola virus and help the millions of people impacted by the disease.

Oct. 28, 2014
Pope urges activists to struggle against 'structural causes' of poverty
The pope said solidarity entails struggling "against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, the lack of work, land and shelter, the denial of social and labor rights," and confronting what he called the "empire of money."

Oct. 28, 2014
Pope: Evolution, Big Bang do not push aside God, who set it in motion
The Big Bang theory and evolution do not eliminate the existence of God, who remains the one who set all of creation into motion, Pope Francis told his own science academy.

Oct. 27, 2014
Pope Francis says Pope Benedict was a 'great pope'
Retired Pope Benedict XVI is a perfect example of how intellectual knowledge and scientific curiosity do not lead a person further from God, but can strengthen their love for God and for his human creatures, Pope Francis said.

Oct. 27, 2014
'Bludgeoned' by all sides, family needs church for help, pope says
The family is under attack now more than ever because of today's culture of division that wants to break from and be free of all everlasting bonds and forms of solidarity, Pope Francis said.

Oct. 24, 2014
Amid insurgency, Iraqi priest is guardian angel of ancient manuscripts
Just as the so-called Monuments Men salvaged European masterpieces stolen by Nazi forces during World War II, a Dominican priest is protecting priceless manuscripts from falling into the hands of rampaging militants in northern Iraq.

Oct. 23, 2014
Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment
"It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor," the pope said in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.

Oct. 23, 2014
Iraqi priests sanctioned for seeking asylum without superiors' consent
Twelve Chaldean religious men and priests living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden have been suspended from exercising their priestly ministry for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq.

Oct. 22, 2014
As elections approach, Catholic leaders say they see a new Ukraine
The task of the Catholic Church is not only to teach people how to pray, but how to live authentically Christian lives, two leaders of the Ukrainian Catholic Church said.

Oct. 22, 2014
All wars begin in a jealous heart; let go of pride, envy, pope says
All wars begin in the human heart -- a heart that is jealous and bitter and tears apart communities through misunderstandings and marginalization, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Oct. 21, 2014
Cardinal Wuerl says family synod came to 'real consensus'
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family came to a "real consensus" after two weeks of animated debate, and that its final report will serve as a solid basis for the world synod on the family in 2015.

Oct. 21, 2014
Family synod’s dynamics recalled the Second Vatican Council
In both cases, an innovative and charismatic pope called an assembly in the first months of his pontificate, seeking to preach the Gospel in terms of contemporary culture and apply Catholic teaching with what St. John XXIII called the "medicine of mercy."

Oct. 21, 2014
In Turkey, pope will visit Blue Mosque, hold Mass in Istanbul cathedral
Although prayers and meetings with Orthodox leaders dominate the schedule of Pope Francis' Nov. 28-30 trip to Turkey, he also will meet government leaders and visit Istanbul's Blue Mosque.

Oct. 20, 2014
Terrorism in Mideast has reached 'unimaginable proportions,' pope says
The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis told cardinals gathered at the Vatican for a consistory.

Oct. 19, 2014
Pope beatifies Blessed Paul VI, the 'great helmsman' of Vatican II
Beatifying Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the "great helmsman" of the Second Vatican Council and founder of the synod, as well as a "humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church."

Oct. 19, 2014
Archbishop Kurtz urges more transparency at next family synod
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said the October 2015 world Synod of Bishops on the family should return to the practice of previous synods in publishing participants' interventions, for the benefit of their discussions and the information of the outside world.

Oct. 18, 2014
Synod ends by affirming tradition, leaving controversial questions open
After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. Yet the assembly failed to reach consensus on especially controversial questions of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the pastoral care of homosexuals.

Oct. 18, 2014
Synod of Bishops sends message of encouragement to traditional families
On its last day of business, the Synod of Bishops on the family approved and released a three-page message expressing solidarity with Christian families around the world.

Oct. 17, 2014
Paul VI was pope of firsts, a pope of dialogue, cardinal says
Retired Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who comes from the same diocese as Pope Paul VI did and worked for him in the Vatican Secretariat of State, described the late pope as a man rich in spirituality, a thinker and a pastor "very sensitive to the challenges of the modern world."

Oct. 16, 2014
Cardinal Pell: Synod says no to 'secular agenda'
Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly's views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report.

Oct. 16, 2014
Synod working groups emphasize beauty of marriage, church teaching
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family must put greater focus on the beauty of the Christian vision of marriage and not let an approach of "welcoming" and mercy override the church's duty to call people to turn away from sin, according to a number of reports from the synod's small groups.

Oct. 16, 2014
Anglican, Lutheran delegates say synod's concerns are theirs, too
Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, said the Anglican representative to the Synod of Bishops.

Oct. 15, 2014
Archbishop Kurtz hopes synod's final report will 'refine and clarify'
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said he hoped the final report of the Synod of Bishops on the family would improve on the assembly's midterm report in celebrating exemplary families, encouraging missionary outreach and emphasizing that the church's pastoral efforts must be grounded in Scripture and Catholic teaching.

Oct. 15, 2014
Be in a 'holy hurry' to share Gospel, love others, pope says
On the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, Pope Francis said he wished the whole church would follow her example and be in a "holy hurry" to bring the Gospel and God's love to the world.

Oct. 15, 2014
Church called to keep hope alive, live in joyful expectation, pope says
Focusing his general audience talk Oct. 15 on the ultimate destiny of the church and all its members, Pope Francis asked the estimated 30,000 people in St. Peter's Square to repeat with him three times: "We will be with God forever."

Oct. 14, 2014
Family synod midterm report stirs controversy among bishops
The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, which uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions, has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly's views.

Oct. 14, 2014
Faith leads to generous love, not fake facades, hypocrisy, pope says
God wants to see a faith that inspires action and is "working in charity," making sacrifices for others, the pope said Oct. 14 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

Oct. 13, 2014
Missionaries help keep people, church, healthy and holy, pope says
Missionaries do enormous good for the world and the church by bringing God's love to the far corners of the earth, Pope Francis said at a celebration of thanksgiving for the canonizations of two 17th-century French missionaries who were pioneers of the Catholic Church in Canada.

Oct. 13, 2014
If laws don't lead people to Jesus, they are obsolete, pope says
God's laws are meant to lead all people to Christ and his glory, and if they do not, then they are obsolete, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Oct. 13, 2014
Family synod midterm report: Welcome gays, nonmarital unions
In strikingly conciliatory language on situations contrary to Catholic teaching, an official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family emphasized calls for greater acceptance and appreciation of divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and homosexuals.

Oct. 10, 2014
Synod fathers ask: Does the church need to watch its language?
One bishop at this month’s synod on the family reportedly told fellow participants that "language such as 'living in sin,' 'intrinsically disordered' or 'contraceptive mentality' are not necessarily words that invite people to draw closer to Christ and the church."

Oct. 10, 2014
Married life is better with NFP, say couples at synod
Catholic couples who ignore church teaching on contraception "don't know what they are missing," said a U.S. couple invited to address the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.

Oct. 10, 2014
Avoiding temptation requires vigilance, pope says at morning Mass
Just as you protect your home from thieves, you need to protect your heart from the temptations of the devil, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Oct. 9, 2014
Speakers ask pope, synod to clear up 'confusion' on contraception
A married couple from Brazil told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops that the church should stop giving "contradictory advice" on birth control and help Catholics obey church teaching against contraception.

Oct. 9, 2014
Synod hears of positive, negative aspects of Catholic-Muslim marriages
When a Catholic and a Muslim marry, each brings a strong commitment to family life and their union can be a seedbed for teaching respect for other religions, but fundamentalist currents often create serious challenges for the Catholic spouse, said members of the Synod of Bishops.

Oct. 8, 2014
Real-life experience can strengthen church teaching, bishops tell synod
When Catholics see couples who are patient, kind, never jealous or rude, they "behold the beauty and simplicity and strength of married love," but the church also must learn to help and to heal those whose dreams for lifelong love have been shattered, said Scottish Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow.

Oct. 8, 2014
Pope recalls another key anniversary in his life: his first Communion
Unable to resist telling the world about a personal event that is dear to his heart, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience that 70 years ago to the day, he celebrated his first Communion.

Oct. 7, 2014
On sexual and medical ethics, synod fathers speak of 'graduality'
In their discussions of sexual and medical ethics, participants at the Synod of Bishops on the family are giving emphasis to the concept of "graduality," as a way of thinking about morality that allows for human imperfection without compromising ideals.

Oct. 7, 2014
U.S. couple at synod calls for 'robust, creative' family programs
Existing diocesan programs and Catholic organizations aimed at helping Catholic families fulfill their vocation clearly are not strong enough to meet modern needs, a Wisconsin couple told the Synod of Bishops.

Oct. 7, 2014
Vatican's abuse panel plans to include more experts, another survivor
The Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Pope Francis established last December, is now awaiting the pope's approval of members' latest efforts as they aim to lay out a pastoral approach to helping victims and prevent future abuse.

Oct. 7, 2014
Schedule of pope's Nov. 25 visit to European Parliament published
Before making a pastoral visit to any single European nation, Pope Francis Nov. 25 will address the regional European Parliament, which meets in Strasbourg, France.

Oct. 7, 2014
Give glory to God by being honest about sins he forgave, pope says
Giving glory to God for what he has done in one's life means being absolutely honest about one's sins and failures, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Oct. 6, 2014
Pope tells bishops at family synod to speak fearlessly, listen humbly
Pope Francis opened the first working session of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops Oct. 6, urging participants to speak fearlessly and listen humbly during two weeks of discussion of the "pastoral challenges of the family."

Oct. 6, 2014
Philippine cardinal hopes synod debate goes beyond Communion question
The separation of married couples is a huge issue in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, not because of divorce but because poverty pushes couples to separate in search of jobs abroad, said Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

Oct. 6, 2014
Vatican summit says extremists must be stopped with sanctioned force
Extremist groups in the Middle East, including the "Islamic State," must be stopped with sanctioned military force and through dialogue, said a Vatican statement.

Oct. 5, 2014
Opening family synod, pope warns bishops of hypocrisy, pride and greed
Opening a two-week Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis warned participants against the temptations of hypocrisy, pride and greed, urging them instead to serve the church with "freedom, creativity and hard work."

Oct. 4, 2014
On eve of family synod, pope prays for "open and fraternal" debate
Hours before opening a Synod of Bishops whose members have already started a public debate over Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality, Pope Francis prayed the bishops would express themselves and listen to each other openly, trusting in God to reconcile their differences.

Oct. 3, 2014
Church suffers from bishops choosing ill-suited priests, pope says
The vocations crisis and lack of priests have meant that "we bishops are tempted to take in, without discernment, the young men who present themselves. This is bad for the church," the pope said.

Oct. 3, 2014
Cardinal Kasper: Pope wants bishops to decide on Communion proposal
The author of a controversial proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion says he believes Pope Francis backs the measure but would not apply it without support from bishops at two upcoming synods on the family.

Oct. 3, 2014
Cardinal says synod will have open discussion, even on sensitive topics
The "freedom of expression" that characterized preparations for the Synod of Bishops on the family -- especially in responses to a Vatican questionnaire -- "will also characterize the synod assembly, which certainly will take place in a climate of respect for every position, mutual charity and an authentic sense of constructiveness," said the head of the synod.

Oct. 2, 2014
Pope: Tiny voice in your head? Don't ignore it; it's a guardian angel
Guardian angels are not the stuff of fantasy; they are really present as wise travel companions helping people navigate life's journey, Pope Francis said on the feast of the Guardian Angels.

Oct. 2, 2014
Cardinal Burke: Synod should take Communion proposal 'off the table'
The highest ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican says this month's Synod of Bishops on the family should mark the end of a high-level debate over whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Oct. 2, 2014
Pope: People must open hearts to migrants who face closed borders
People need to open their hearts to the many people who are forced to migrate as they face enormous difficulties and sometimes tragedy, Pope Francis said.

Oct. 1, 2014
Pope: Use gifts to benefit church, not create division, envy, annoyance
Everyone has a special gift to offer the whole church, just make sure it is used to serve everyone and not to puff up one's own pride or to create division, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 30, 2014
Pope: Drop the melodrama, pray for strength, for those truly in pain
Avoid the melodrama and self-pity over minor problems in life, Pope Francis said, and instead use life's inevitable difficulties to pray for strength and pray for those who are suffering real tragedy.

Sept. 30, 2014
Pope launches alarm, tells Vatican security force to be 'gossip police'
The biggest threat facing the Vatican isn't a bomb or bullet from the outside, but the insidious work of mischief-makers within, who plant discord and resentment, Pope Francis told the Vatican's security force.

Sept. 29, 2014
Pope chooses 'family' as theme for World Communications Day 2015
As the family gets special focus in two upcoming synods and an international gathering in Philadelphia next year, Pope Francis is highlighting the beauty and value of the family in his message for World Communications Day.

Sept. 29, 2014
Pope: Greed, throwaway culture fuel 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly
Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

Sept. 27, 2014
Vatican says bishop's dismissal not the result of sex abuse
The Vatican denied Pope Francis had dismissed a controversial Paraguayan bishop because of his mishandling of sex abuse accusations, attributing the decision instead to other failings of governance and friction with fellow bishops. The bishop, though, said it was a case of "ideological persecution" because of his opposition to liberation theology.

Sept. 26, 2014
Spiritual triage: Help wounded, drop theoretical baggage, pope says
With so much spiritual, social and moral suffering in the world, the church has "no right" to stay locked up in an ivory tower, engaging in "byzantine" philosophical reflection, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 26, 2014
For new Sydney archbishop, bioethical challenges call for dialogue
Archbishop Anthony Fisher, whom Pope Francis named to lead the Archdiocese of Sydney Sept. 18, has a highly varied resume, including degrees in civil law and philosophy and experience coordinating World Youth Day 2008. But if his ministry has been characterized by concern with a particular issue, it is the morality of modern medicine.

Sept. 26, 2014
Vatican warns against misinterpreting international law, human rights
The Vatican formally criticized a U.N. committee's "grave misunderstanding" of state sovereignty and reiterated its concerns over "controversial new expressions" that threaten the unborn and religious freedom.

Sept. 26, 2014
Vatican media need to 'up their game,' says adviser
A new papal commission is looking at how Vatican media outlets can better communicate the church's message "of healing, of love, of hope, and of generosity of spirit," said the panel's leader.

Sept. 25, 2014
Pope calls for unity among Paraguay's Catholics as he dismisses bishop
After a Vatican investigation, Pope Francis removed a Paraguayan bishop from his post as head of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este because of "serious pastoral reasons."

Sept. 25, 2014
In homily, pope compares vain Christians to soap bubbles, peacocks
As fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 24, 2014
Send prayers, needed aid for those hit by Ebola, pope says
"I hope the international community may provide much-needed help to alleviate the sufferings of our brothers and sisters," he said in an appeal at the end of his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 24.

Sept. 24, 2014
Pope: Albania proves to world that diverse religions can live in peace
During his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 24, Pope Francis reviewed his one-day trip to Albania Sept. 21.

Sept. 23, 2014
Vatican puts former nuncio accused of sex abuse under house arrest
The Vatican has placed a laicized papal ambassador under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys.

Sept. 23, 2014
Pope calls for 'globalization of charity' to protect migrants
The pope's words appeared in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which in 2015 will be observed Jan. 18.

Sept. 23, 2014
Pope names five women to International Theological Commission
Pope Francis, who has said the Catholic Church has "not yet come up with a profound theology of womanhood," named five women, a record number, to the International Theological Commission.

Sept. 22, 2014
Survivors of Albania's dictatorship give witness, move pope to tears
Two survivors of Albania's communist crackdown against the church brought Pope Francis to tears with their stories during a vespers service in Tirana's cathedral Sept. 21.

Sept. 22, 2014
Pope, in Albania, says killing in God's name is sacrilege
Killing in the name of God is sacrilege, and religious leaders must denounce the use of faith to justify violence and oppression, Pope Francis said during a one-day visit to Albania.

Sept. 22, 2014
Pope names panel to streamline marriage annulment process
Two weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican announced the formation of a special commission to reform the process of granting marriage annulments.

Sept. 21, 2014
Don't use God as 'armor' for waging violence, pope says in Albania
In a world "where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted and where religious differences are being distorted and exploited," Albania is an "aspiring example" to everyone that peaceful coexistence is possible, Pope Francis said during a one-day visit to the country Sept. 21.

Sept. 19, 2014
Pope: No 'magic wand'; evangelizing takes hard work, trust in God
Bring the Gospel to those who need it most: the poor, the frazzled and the lost, who wander the world without any guidance or protection, Pope Francis told pastoral workers.

Sept. 18, 2014
Pope to bishops: Guard the faith, build hope, love sinners as they are
Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 18, 2014
Doctrinal wars? Both sides fire over Communion for divorced, remarried
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Sept. 17, 2014
Pope's advisers start first draft toward document overhauling Vatican
Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals has begun creating the first draft of a new apostolic constitution that would implement a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

Sept. 17, 2014
Cardinal Pell rules out change on Communion for divorced, remarried
In a book coming out just before October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, Cardinal George Pell rules out proposed changes to church practice that would allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Sept. 17, 2014
Pope: Don't leave home without it; take Gospel on the go, to the world
Tuck the Gospel in your pocket and put on your walking shoes to share Christ's love, peace and joy with the world, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 16, 2014
Philadelphia meeting, synods will be part of global debate on families
The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 will serve as a forum for debating issues on the agenda for the world Synod of Bishops at the Vatican the following month, said the two archbishops responsible for planning the Philadelphia event.

Sept. 15, 2014
Pope: People have yet to learn that war is madness, indifference a sin
When will people ever learn that war is madness and conflicts are only resolved by forgiveness, Pope Francis asked.

Sept. 15, 2014
At wedding, pope says spouses make each other better men and women
Presiding over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated marriage as the union of a man and woman playing complementary roles during their common journey through life.

Sept. 12, 2014
Rome's Non-Catholic Cemetery is also a resting place for the living
Just a few steps away from Rome's traffic jams, blaring sirens and sticky heat, the city's Non-Catholic Cemetery is a garden of breezes and greenery, of crickets, birdsong, roses and pomegranate trees.

Sept. 12, 2014
Vatican says pope will visit Turkey in November
The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is planning to visit Turkey "in the last days of November," but said the length of his trip and his agenda in the country have yet to be determined.

Sept. 11, 2014
Feast days of Sts. John Paul II, John XXIII added to universal calendar
In light of "countless requests from every part of the world," Pope Francis has approved putting Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII on the church's universal calendar of feast days.

Sept. 11, 2014
Couples with kids, cohabitating are among those marrying at papal Mass
The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Sept. 14.

Sept. 11, 2014
Pope to address European Parliament Nov. 25
According to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, Pope Francis will travel to Strasbourg and back to Rome the same day, and his brief trip should not be considered a pastoral visit to France.

Sept. 10, 2014
Pope appoints two U.S. priests to help tackle sexual abuse of minors
The pope named U.S. Father Robert W. Oliver to be the new secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and appointed Jesuit Father Robert J. Geisinger to replace Father Oliver as the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the Vatican's chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes.

Sept. 10, 2014
Pope: Just as God freely offers salvation, don't give hoping to benefit
Christians are called to help those who have nothing to give and love those who don't love back, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Sept. 9, 2014
Pope appoints 14 couples to attend Synod of Bishops on family
More than 250 participants, including 14 married couples from around the world, were expected to attend October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.

Sept. 8, 2014
Pope mourns murder of three missionary sisters in Burundi
Pope Francis mourned the deaths of three Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary, who were murdered in two separate attacks in their residence in Burundi.

Sept. 8, 2014
Pope cites 3 lessons from Mary: Be joyful, help others, never give up
When a mother has a birthday, children send their greetings and love, so make sure to do the same thing on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 8, 2014
Pope says war is senseless slaughter, can always be avoided
War is just "senseless slaughter" and should never be seen as inevitable or a done deal, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 5, 2014
Sistine Chapel weathers fallout from 'Francis effect' on attendance
The "Francis effect" has spilled over into the Sistine Chapel, bringing a surge in visitors but also increasing risks to maintenance of what Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, calls "the world's chapel."

Sept. 5, 2014
In Google Hangout, pope helps launch worldwide social network
Pope Francis held his first Google Hangout -- a live video conversation -- across five continents with teenagers who belong to the international network of "Scholas occurentes," uniting students of all faiths and cultures.

Sept. 4, 2014
Pope: Christians' only bragging rights are being a sinner, being saved
Pope Francis said Christians should boast about only two things: that they are sinners and they have been saved by Jesus Christ.

Sept. 4, 2014
Peres: Pope Francis is only leader respected enough to end today's wars
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres asked Pope Francis to head a parallel United Nations called the "United Religions" to counter religious extremism in the world today.

Sept. 3, 2014
Pope Francis' one-day trip expected to give Albanians hope, healing
Pope Francis' choice of Albania as the destination of his first international trip in Europe reflects his trademark pastoral approach: Head to the peripheries, bring healing to the suffering.

Sept. 3, 2014
Mafia boss threatens anti-mob activist priest
The Italian bishops' conference has sent a message of solidarity to Father Luigi Ciotti, founder of Libera, a network of Italian anti-Mafia associations, following an apparent threat to his life from a Sicilian Mafia boss.

Sept. 3, 2014
Pope: Iraq's persecuted Christians are true, bold witnesses of Christ
"The church suffers with you and is proud of you, proud to have children like you," he said Sept. 3, in a greeting to Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Iraq.

Sept. 2, 2014
Pope blesses international, interfaith soccer match for peace
Taking up a suggestion from Pope Francis, Argentine Diego Maradona and other soccer stars past and present played an "Interreligious Match for Peace" and tolerance Sept. 1, drawing some 20,000 spectators to Rome's Olympic Stadium.

Aug. 29, 2014
Pope to Gaza's Catholics: Be Christ's witness in midst of conflict
The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory.

Aug. 29, 2014
Wartime pontiff started tradition of papal peacemaking
Elected 100 years ago, shortly after the outbreak of World War I, Pope Benedict XV left a legacy of lasting significance for the papacy and the church as a whole in the vital area of teaching and practice on war and peace.

Aug. 29, 2014
Pope Francis to preside over joint September wedding at Vatican
The papal Mass celebrating the couples' marriage will come just a few weeks before the start of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, Oct. 5-19.

Aug. 28, 2014
Pope names new archbishops of Madrid, Valencia
Pope Francis reassigned two prominent Spanish bishops, giving a new leader to the country's largest diocese and leaving a vacancy at the head of the Vatican's liturgical office.

Aug. 27, 2014
Pope: Being envious, mean-spirited may be human, but it's not Christian
The refusal to gossip is such an outstanding Christian virtue, it should make a person a saint overnight, the pope said.

Aug. 26, 2014
Retired Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass with former doctoral students
With "spiritual freshness and joy" despite his physical frailty, retired Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass and met briefly with his former doctoral students at the Vatican Aug. 24.

Aug. 25, 2014
Vatican says laicized nuncio could stand trial in Dominican Republic
The Vatican denied covering up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys and suggested he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic.

Aug. 25, 2014
Pope marks Ukrainian Independence Day, prays for peace
Pope Francis lamented "tension and conflict" in Ukraine and prayed for "peace and tranquility" there on the country's Independence Day.

Aug. 25, 2014
Force alone cannot stop 'religious cleansing' in Mideast, custos says
Although Christians, Muslims and Jews have struggled for hundreds of years to live peacefully alongside each other in the Middle East, "we have never seen the kind of 'religious cleansing' we are witnessing today," said the head of the region's Franciscans.

Aug. 22, 2014
U.S. missionary visits North Korea as silent 'apostle of peace'
One of the few outsiders to have penetrated the so-called hermit kingdom of North Korea is an 81-year-old Catholic priest from West Philadelphia.

Aug. 21, 2014
Pope phones family of slain U.S. journalist
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope phoned relatives of the late James Foley on Aug. 21 to console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers.

Aug. 21, 2014
Cardinal tells pope about the hopes and trials of the displaced in Iraq
Cardinal Fernando Filoni said Pope Francis "was really taken" by the cardinal's description of Christians and other minorities forced from their homes in northwestern Iraq by militias belonging to the Islamic State terrorist group.

Aug. 21, 2014
Pope's 2015 World Peace Day message will focus on human trafficking
Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.

Aug. 20, 2014
Pope thanks people for prayers for his family after deadly crash
Pope Francis, in mourning for the deaths of his nephew's wife and two small children, thanked people at his weekly general audience Aug. 20 for their prayers.

Aug. 19, 2014
Franciscans take their mission into heart of Rome's summer nightlife
As dusk falls over Rome, giving only the slightest relief from the summer heat and humidity, two Conventual Franciscan friars join thousands of Romans and tourists on the banks of the Tiber River.

Aug. 19, 2014
Pope asks prayers after great nephews, their mother die in car crash
Pope Francis asked people to join him in prayer Aug. 19 after he learned that two of his little great nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina and his nephew was in critical condition.

Aug. 18, 2014
Caritas Ukraine mobilizes to provide aid amid continued fighting
Caritas Ukraine and other humanitarian agencies in the country met in mid-August to face two big challenges: helping the thousands of displaced people find adequate shelter for the fall and winter; and, particularly, finding ways to deliver aid without getting shot at.

Aug. 18, 2014
Pope talks airstrikes in Iraq, his health, possible U.S. visit
Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

Aug. 18, 2014
Cardinal, patriarch call for international action to liberate Iraq
Pope Francis' personal envoy to the suffering people of Iraq joined the Chaldean Catholic patriarch in launching an appeal to the international community Aug. 18, pleading for help to liberate villages controlled by the Islamic State terrorists and to provide the displaced with international protection.

Aug. 17, 2014
Pope calls on Catholics to dialogue with China, other Asian societies
Speaking at the execution site of anonymous Korean martyrs, Pope Francis told Catholic bishops and young laypeople from across Asia to evangelize their continent through dialogue and openness, even with others suspicious or intolerant of the church.

Aug. 16, 2014
Pope meets and honors Korean laypeople, religious and disabled
Pope Francis visited a set of Korean Catholic institutions exemplifying some of his highest priorities for the church, including engagement of laypeople and dedication to the needy.

Aug. 15, 2014
Pope says forgiveness key to reconciling divided Korea
Addressing young people from Korea and other Asian countries on their concerns about the future, Pope Francis said the best hope for reunification of the divided Korean peninsula lay in brotherly love and a spirit of forgiveness.

Aug. 15, 2014
At stadium Mass, pope tells Koreans to resist materialism
Celebrating Mass before some 50,000 people, Pope Francis prayed that Christian values overcome demoralization in economically successful societies.

Aug. 14, 2014
Iraqi minorities need more than material aid, cardinal says
The one thing Iraqi church leaders and aid workers, foreign charities and governments cannot do for the displaced and terrorized people of northeastern Iraq is answer their question, "What will become of us?" said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the pope's envoy to the region.

Aug. 14, 2014
Pope tells Korean bishops to keep evangelization as primary mission
Pope Francis warned South Korea's Catholic bishops not to let their country's "prosperous, yet increasingly secularized and materialistic society" distract the church from its essential duty to evangelize.

Aug. 14, 2014
In South Korea, pope calls for peace, democracy and social justice
Starting his first visit to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace on their divided peninsula and strengthen their nation's commitment to democracy and social justice.

Aug. 13, 2014
Time to act: Church teaches duty to intervene to prevent genocide
How can Pope Francis appeal for peace while, at the same time, his representative in Baghdad welcomes President Obama's decision to begin using military force against Islamic State positions in Iraq?

Aug. 13, 2014
Pope mourns Italian journalist killed in Gaza Strip
Greeting reporters accompanying him to Korea Aug. 13, Pope Francis mourned an Italian video journalist killed earlier the same day in the Gaza Strip and urged journalists to serve as messengers of peace.

Aug. 13, 2014
Pope to U.N.: Act to end the tragedy in Iraq
Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.

Aug. 12, 2014
Vatican calls on Muslim leaders to condemn Islamic State
The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbarity" and "unspeakable criminal acts" of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardize the future of interreligious dialogue.

Aug. 11, 2014
Pope's appeal for peace in Iraq: 'Stop these crimes'
Pope Francis condemned the actions of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying that persecuting Christians and other minorities "seriously offends God and seriously offends humanity."

Aug. 8, 2014
Pope to send envoy to Christians forced from their homes in Iraq
Given the "grave situation in Iraq," Pope Francis has asked Cardinal Fernando Filoni to travel to the region.

Aug. 7, 2014
With no pope in residence, Vatican opens gardens of summer villa
Osvaldo Gianoli, who was named director of the papal villas at Castel Gandolfo in December, has the challenge of fulfilling Pope Francis' mandate to welcome the public while at the same time preserving the historic gardens and ensuring they can fulfill their main purpose: as a place of quiet relaxation for the pope and his top aides.

Aug. 7, 2014
Pope asks for international action to help Iraq's persecuted Christians
Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

Aug. 6, 2014
Pope's finance chief talks Vatican reform
Pope Francis wants a "poor church for the poor," but that "doesn't necessarily mean a church with empty coffers," said Cardinal George Pell, "and it certainly doesn't mean a church that is sloppy or inefficient or open to being robbed."

Aug. 6, 2014
Pope says memorize the beatitudes, assess your care for the needy
Christians should memorize not only the Ten Commandments but also the beatitudes, which Jesus taught as the path to true happiness, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Aug. 5, 2014
Pope urges young people to use their freedom to share love, faith
Meeting 50,000 altar servers, Pope Francis urged young Catholics to make careful use of their freedom, treasure their dignity as sons and daughters of God and make time to pray each day.

Aug. 5, 2014
To live in evangelical poverty, learn finance, Vatican tells religious
Taking a vow of poverty does not and should not mean living in ignorance of the economic realities connected to community life and a mission of serving the world in the name of the church, Vatican officials wrote in a letter to members of religious communities.

Aug. 4, 2014
Compassion, sharing, Eucharist: Steps on the path to heaven, pope says
"One who goes to the Eucharist without having compassion for the needy and without sharing is not right with Jesus," the pope said Aug. 3 before reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Aug. 4, 2014
Pope lifts suspension of Father D'Escoto, former Sandinista official
Pope Francis has lifted the suspension of Maryknoll Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, who was ordered 29 years ago to stop exercising his priestly ministry because he refused to give up his political position in Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

Aug. 1, 2014
Shakespeare in Italy: It's more than park productions, expert says
Shakespeare in the Park is a natural summer activity in many cities, but when the park is in Rome, questions about the playwright's faith and philosophy seem particularly pertinent.

Aug. 1, 2014
Sign of peace at Mass: Vatican says it stays put, but urges education
After nine years of study and consultation, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has told Latin-rite bishops around the world that the sign of peace will stay where it is in the Mass.

Aug. 1, 2014
Changing needs, changing focus: Councils advise, encourage church
The Roman Curia did not have any "pontifical councils" until 1967, but since then they have become a popular structure for focusing attention on practical areas of life in the church and the world.

Aug. 1, 2014
On St. Ignatius feast, pope meets family of Jesuit kidnapped in Syria
Pope Francis, a Jesuit, celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch.

Aug. 1, 2014
Desperation of people in Gaza spurs violence, say cardinal, patriarch
The president of Caritas Internationalis suggested Israeli and Hamas leaders pick up a pair of binoculars so they could see that "most of your victims are innocent people."

July 31, 2014
Changing needs, changing names: Reform of Curia is Vatican tradition
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation.

July 31, 2014
Pope, visiting Albania Sept. 21, will meet officials, children
After a quick flight over Italy and the Adriatic Sea, Pope Francis will make an 11-hour visit to Albania Sept. 21, making time to meet with the nation's leaders and bishops, but also spending time with disadvantaged children and other people assisted by Catholic charitable organizations.

July 30, 2014
Campaign against human trafficking must focus on victims, speakers say
The ambassador-at-large in the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons held a digital video conference July 29 with priests and religious, ambassadors accredited to the Holy See and journalists gathered at the office of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

July 29, 2014
Let me call you 'brother': Pope takes ecumenism one step at a time
Using the metaphor of setting out and walking with the Lord, a key image of Christian life for Pope Francis, the movement toward Christian unity is something that happens one step at a time.

July 29, 2014
In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness
Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis' secret recipe for happiness.

July 28, 2014
Like good shepherd, church must seek out, help abused, says survivor
Just as Jesus commanded pastors to leave their flock to find the lost sheep, the church must set out in search of all those who have been abused by clergy and offer them help, said one abuse survivor.

July 28, 2014
Meeting 200 Pentecostals, pope renews friendship, talks unity
Pope Francis said he knows some people were shocked that he would make a special trip outside of Rome to visit a group of Pentecostals, "but I went to visit my friends."

July 28, 2014
Gossip, anger, bitterness come when celibacy is sterility, pope says
One of the dangers of a "sterile" form of celibacy is bitterness and gossip, Pope Francis told a group of priests and bishops.

July 28, 2014
All is lost with war, especially children's lives, future, pope says
It's time to stop war, fighting and conflicts, which do nothing but kill and maim, leaving children unexploded ordnance for toys and lives without happiness, Pope Francis said.

July 25, 2014
Changes in synod process designed to increase discussion, cardinal says
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will be shorter than a usual synod and will include new rules aimed at helping the bishops really grapple with the issues together, said the general secretary of the synod.

July 25, 2014
Hold the sauce: Pope heads to Vatican cafeteria for Friday fish menu
Taking the chef completely by surprise, Pope Francis unexpectedly showed up to eat with the Vatican's blue collar workers at their cafeteria in the tiny city-state's "industrial park."

July 24, 2014
Catholic mask: Italian bishops try to reveal truth behind mafia's faith
In southern Italy, the 'Ndrangheta and other organized criminal gangs still cloak themselves in symbols of Catholicism, and the region's bishops have had enough.

July 24, 2014
Vatican revising canon law on abuse penalties, cardinal says
Church law has procedures and penalties for effectively dealing with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but the Vatican is working to revise a section of the Code of Canon Law to make those norms and procedures clearer and, therefore, more effective, said the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

July 24, 2014
Stop targeting civilians, archbishop tells Israelis, Gaza fighters
The Vatican representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council urged the Israeli military and fighters in the Gaza Strip to stop targeting civilian areas.

July 24, 2014
Free from ordeal in Sudan, woman condemned for apostasy meets pope
Meeting a Sudanese woman who risked execution for not renouncing her Catholic faith, Pope Francis thanked Meriam Ibrahim for her steadfast witness to Christ.

July 23, 2014
Expulsion of Christians a 'crime against humanity,' Mosul bishop says
Backed up by death threats and property seizures, the expulsion of the entire Christian community from Mosul is "a crime against humanity," said an archbishop from Mosul.

July 22, 2014
Papal puzzler: Leo XIII anonymously published riddles in Latin
The pope created lengthy riddles, known as "charades," in Latin in which readers had to guess a rebus-like answer from two or more words that together formed the syllables of a new word.

July 22, 2014
Pope names U.S. bishops' top ecumenical officer to advise Vatican council
Among the new members and consultants Pope Francis named to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is Father John W. Crossin, the executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

July 21, 2014
Bishop Palmer, pope's Pentecostal friend, dies in motorcycle accident
The Pentecostal bishop who used his iPhone to film a video of Pope Francis addressing other Pentecostals died July 20 after a motorcycle accident.

July 21, 2014
Pope calls for prayers as militants chase all Christians out of Mosul
As the last Iraqi Christians in Mosul fled the city, Pope Francis urgently called for prayers, dialogue and peace.

July 18, 2014
Papal visit to South Korea: Legacy of martyrs, lay leadership lives on
When Pope Francis visits South Korea Aug. 14-18, he will find a Catholic Church that exemplifies much of what he hopes for the church around the world, including a highly active laity, extensive efforts to help the needy and strong relations with non-Christian communities.

July 18, 2014
Pope prays for victims of downed plane, urges peace in Ukraine
Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine.

July 18, 2014
Pope urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to end Holy Land hostilities
Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace.

July 17, 2014
Cease-fire gives Gaza civilians chance to assess damage, seek aid
Civilians in Gaza used a brief cease-fire to spill onto the streets and replenish scarce supplies, some church representatives said.

July 17, 2014
Pope going to Caserta twice -- once for Mass, then to meet Pentecostals
Although Pope Francis planned to make a short, private visit to Caserta in southern Italy specifically to visit a Pentecostal pastor he knows from Argentina, the 130-mile trip has taken a new form -- two forms, to be exact.

July 16, 2014
Jesus would have been a great TV evangelist, papal preacher says
Jesus spoke in a very concrete way, using "parables, images, aphorisms and short stories," Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa said in an interview with an Italian Catholic magazine.

July 15, 2014
Papal astronomer wins recognition for excellence in communication
U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a planetary scientist and meteorite expert at the Vatican Observatory, was awarded the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal for "outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist," said the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences, which chooses the annual prize winner.

July 15, 2014
Vatican bank issues detailed report, including where it stores its gold
One week after publishing highlights of its 2013 financial statement, the Institute for the Works of Religion -- commonly called the Vatican bank -- released a 107-page, detailed financial report for the year.

July 14, 2014
Church of England votes for women bishops; move seen as ecumenical snag
The General Synod of the Church of England voted July 14 to authorize the ordination of women as bishops and approved motions pledging to respect and work with people who believe that, theologically, the vote was a mistake.

July 14, 2014
Vatican questions accuracy of latest papal interview
The Vatican said the latest published interview with Pope Francis, in which he says fighting sex abuse and the mafia will be priorities of his pontificate, should not be considered a record of his exact words.

July 14, 2014
Pope: Prayer is never in vain; work courageously, concretely for peace
Praying for peace is never a useless exercise -- it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said in response to recent Middle East violence.

July 10, 2014
Lead by example: Pope offers abuse victims open ear, open heart
More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican.

July 10, 2014
After pope's condemnation of mafia, bishop bans processions
A bishop in Calabria has ordered an end to all religious processions in his diocese after 30 men carrying a large statue of Mary and hundreds of people accompanying the statue paused and bowed in front of the house of a presumed mafia boss.

July 10, 2014
Vatican asks prayers, support for seafarers on Sea Sunday
Catholics around the world are asked to remember in their prayers this Sunday the 1.2 million seafarers around the world working in risky conditions far from their families to bring them goods they consume each day.

July 10, 2014
Pope planning visit to Pentecostal church in Italy, spokesman says
In late July, Pope Francis will pay a brief, "private visit" to the Italian church of a Pentecostal pastor he knows from Argentina, the Vatican spokesman said.

July 9, 2014
Vatican names new bank president, restructures financial offices
As the restructuring of Vatican financial institutions moves into high gear, "our ambition is to become something of a model of financial management rather than a cause for occasional scandal," said Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

July 9, 2014
Vatican names committee to help revamp communications, media outreach
Seven months after hiring a consulting firm to study the Vatican's communications structures, the Vatican has set up an 11-member committee to suggest ways to increase collaboration and cut costs.

July 8, 2014
Chapter on abuse is not closed while people still suffer, says prelate
The crisis of child abuse by clergy will linger until the church humbly and courageously reaches out to all people still suffering in silence, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

July 7, 2014
Text of pope's homily during Mass with survivors of clerical sex abuse
Here is the Vatican's English translation of the homily Pope Francis gave in Spanish July 7 during a Mass with victims of clerical sexual abuse.

July 7, 2014
Pope meets sex abuse victims, says clergy actions cloaked in complicity
The pope met with six victims from three countries and spent more than three hours in private meetings with them.

July 3, 2014
Whither thou goest: Pope speaks openly of ways his pontificate may end
Pope Francis has not been coy about the possibility of a pope resigning and has said that given how smoothly things have gone since Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by resigning in February 2013, the position of retired pope has become "an institution."

July 2, 2014
Pope phones rabbi, offers condolences over murder Israeli teens' murder
Rome’s chief rabbi said the pope phoned him at home late in the afternoon July 1.

June 30, 2014
Social ills are result of political, not just moral failures, pope says
Many of today's social ills are driven by a lack of adequate social policies and government support, not just selfishness and moral degradation, Pope Francis said in a new newspaper interview.

June 30, 2014
Pope, giving archbishops palliums, says stay focused on following Jesus
After placing woolen bands, called palliums, over the shoulders of 24 archbishops from around the world, Pope Francis urged them to trust in God and not seek refuge in power or prestige.

June 27, 2014
Vatican laicizes former nuncio in connection to abuse allegations
A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.

June 27, 2014
Ill again, pope cancels visit to Rome's Gemelli Hospital, university
At the exact moment Pope Francis was scheduled to leave the Vatican to travel to Rome's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and its Gemelli Hospital, patients and staff were told the pope had to postpone his visit because he was not feeling well.

June 27, 2014
Pope: Love's giving, not receiving; it's best through action, not words
Celebrating the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Francis focused his homily on the heart of Jesus and his immense love.

June 26, 2014
Fall synod to review state of family; 2015 synod to draw up proposals
Representatives of the world's Catholic bishops, meeting together in a synod, are not expected to make any formal proposals about the church's pastoral care of families until after a second, larger gathering in 2015.

June 26, 2014
Pope: People drawn to caring shepherd, not moralists, the power-hungry
People were drawn to Jesus because he was a good shepherd -- not a moralist, not power-hungry, not a revolutionary and not a hermit, Pope Francis said.

June 26, 2014
Synod document cites cultural and economic threats to family
The working document for the October 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops offers a picture of the Catholic Church today struggling to preach the Gospel and transmit moral teachings amid a "widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis" of the family.

June 25, 2014
Church is essential for faith; there are no 'free agents,' pope says
Christians are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the church, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

June 24, 2014
Legionaries of Christ to receive Vatican-appointed adviser
The Vatican will name a special "assistant" to advise the leadership of the troubled Legionaries of Christ, whose revised constitutions Pope Francis has still not approved four months after they were submitted to him.

June 24, 2014
Pope points to St. John the Baptist as model for evangelizing
In sharing the Gospel with others, Christians must be like St. John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Lord, pointing him out to others, then stepping aside, Pope Francis said.

June 23, 2014
Pope calls torture a 'very grave sin'
Pope Francis called for the abolition of torture, which he condemned as a "very grave sin."

June 23, 2014
Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated
In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"

June 20, 2014
Vatican publishes reflection on discerning essentials of faith
While the validity and importance of different church teachings cannot be the subject of a popular vote, the degree to which they are or are not accepted by most Catholics is important, wrote members of the International Theological Commission.

June 20, 2014
Religious liberty includes being able to live faith's values, pope says
"Religious freedom is not just a matter of thought or private devotion," Pope Francis said June 20.

June 19, 2014
Pope on Corpus Christi: Jesus in the Eucharist gives life, love
Pope Francis said the body and blood of Christ can give people eternal life because “the substance of this bread is love.”

June 19, 2014
Because of distance, pope will not walk in Corpus Christi procession
Assuring reporters that the pope was not ill, Vatican spokesman says Pope Francis has chosen not to walk the mile-long Corpus Christi procession in Rome.

June 19, 2014
None of your business? How church and finance may profit together
Top experts in finance, representatives from development agencies and religious charities looked at how government, business and the church could work together to alleviate poverty and serve the common good.

June 18, 2014
Pope lightens his summer schedule, as he did in 2013
Pope Francis' schedule for summer 2014 is almost an exact duplicate of the schedule he kept in 2013, except he will be making an August trip to South Korea for Asian Youth Day.

June 18, 2014
During South Korea trip, pope will beatify martyrs, meet Asian youths
The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ itinerary for his August trip to South Korea.

June 18, 2014
Pope asks prayers, dignified welcome for refugees
Anticipating World Refugee Day June 20, Pope Francis asks Catholics for prayers, assistance and a real welcome.

June 18, 2014
God's endless love, mercy help church be blessing for world, pope says
Pope Francis says God has patience and “continues to form and to educate his people just like a father does with his own sons and daughters."

June 17, 2014
Support missions, enter 'flood of joy' of sharing God's love, pope says
Supporting the church's missionary activity with one's prayers and with financial offerings, Pope Francis says, are a “sign of a self-offering, first to the Lord and then to others.”

June 17, 2014
Church rediscovers its role as mother by welcoming, loving, pope says
Pope Francis talked to Rome Catholics about the importance of keeping families active in parish life.

June 16, 2014
Pope, Anglican archbishop urge joint action to share God's love
Although they have not yet reached full unity, Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their dialogue, come together in prayer and work side by side, including on a new project to combat human trafficking around the world.

June 16, 2014
Pope: Corruption is easiest 'sin at fingertips' of anyone with power
For everyone who has any kind of authority over others, the one sin "at your fingertips" is the sin of corruption, Pope Francis said.

June 16, 2014
Focus on prayer, the poor, peace, pope says in visit to Sant'Egidio
In a historic square in the center of Rome, Pope Francis urged Catholics to gather strength in prayer and then set out for the margins of society, bringing the Gospel and material aid to the poor, the elderly, the young and the excluded.

June 16, 2014
Pope: It's 'intolerable' markets have the power to decide people's fate
Pope Francis said it was "increasingly intolerable" that the world's financial markets have the power to determine people's fate instead of being at the service of people's needs.

June 13, 2014
Could Pope Francis go to China?
To be sure, such a visit remains a long shot, either this summer or at any point in the foreseeable future. Yet Pope Francis' pontificate has already offered signs of hope for better relations with China.

June 13, 2014
Pope announces canonizations, advances sainthood causes
Pope Francis formally announced six men and women would be made saints Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King.

June 13, 2014
Pope Francis says world economic system inevitably leads to war
Pope Francis said the world economic system inevitably promotes military conflict as way to enrich the most powerful nations.

June 12, 2014
Words can kill: Murder and insults are both rooted in hatred, says pope
Overcoming conflict requires stopping insults, letting go of hatred and reaching out to enemies, Pope Francis said.

June 12, 2014
Let the World Cup be a celebration of solidarity and peace, pope says
As the World Cup was about to kick off, Pope Francis called on fans and competitors to celebrate the event as an opportunity to promote dialogue, respect and peace."

June 11, 2014
Pope to traffickers, arms manufacturers: God's judgment will come
Pope Francis said people producing weapons of war are "merchants of death."

June 10, 2014
Cardinal Bernard Agre, retired archbishop of Abidjan, dies at 88
Pope Francis praised the generous and faithful service of the retired archbishop of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Cardinal Bernard Agre, who died at age 88.

June 9, 2014
Christianity is hands-on action, not school of thought, pope says
The "how-to" manual is found in the beatitudes and the Last Judgment, which spells out the consequences awaiting those who fail to help others in need, the pope said.

June 8, 2014
Pope tells presidents only God can bring peace to Holy Land
Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil.

June 6, 2014
Pope encourages priests, bishops to keep their love for Jesus alive
Celebrating an early morning Mass with a congregation made up of priests and bishops, Pope Francis said they regularly need to ask themselves if they love Jesus as much as when they first encountered him, and whether ministry, not administration, is still their priority.

June 6, 2014
Vatican tempers expectations for Israeli-Palestinian peace prayer
Pope Francis' June 8 meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents will be a religious, not a political, occasion and should not raise hopes for immediate resumption of peace talks between the two nations, said the principal coordinator of the gathering.

June 6, 2014
Pope remembers 'heavy sacrifice' of Allied forces on D-Day
People must continue to recognize the sacrifice of the Allied soldiers who liberated Europe from "Nazi barbarism," but also should not forget the German soldiers "dragged into this drama," Pope Francis said.

June 5, 2014
Pope internationalizes Vatican financial watchdog agency
Pope Francis named a slate of new members to the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, replacing an all-Italian panel with members from Italy, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

June 5, 2014
Different faiths, same witness: How Vatican explains prayers for peace
Popes pray for peace; it is part of their ministry. And when war is raging or peace negotiations seem hopelessly bogged down, recent popes have invited leaders of other Christian traditions and other faiths to join them in prayer.

June 5, 2014
Pope: Half-hearted Catholics aren't really Catholics at all
Those who insist others pray and believe exactly like they do, those who have alternatives to every church teaching and benefactors who use the church as a cover for business connections may call themselves Catholics, but they have one foot out the door, Pope Francis said.

June 4, 2014
Pope: Piety is embracing God, others with real love, not fake devotion
Being pious is not squeezing one's eyes shut to the world and putting on a sweet little angel face, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

June 3, 2014
Kidnapped Canadian sister, Italian priests released in Cameroon
From Cameroon to northern Italy and from Montreal to the Vatican, statements expressing "great joy" accompanied the news that a Canadian sister of Notre-Dame and two Italian missionary priests were released unharmed almost two months after being kidnapped in northern Cameroon.

June 2, 2014
Pope, at charismatic rally in stadium, invites them to Vatican in 2017
Meeting more than 50,000 Catholic charismatics in Rome's Olympic Stadium, Pope Francis admitted he was not always comfortable with the way they prayed, but he knelt onstage as they prayed for him and over him by singing and speaking in tongues.

June 2, 2014
Closing Marian month, pope says Mary is always ready to help
Standing before a replica of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes from France, Pope Francis told Vatican employees and other guests that Mary is a mother who never makes her children wait for a response to their prayers.

June 2, 2014
Pope blames 'culture of comfort' for intentionally childless marriages
Pope Francis blamed a "culture of well-being" and comfort for convincing married couples that a carefree life of world travel and summer homes was better than having children.

May 30, 2014
Pope decries ‘globalization of indifference’ to war, suffering in Syria
A “globalization of indifference” has taken hold of too many of the world’s people, numbing them to the horrifying reality faced by the people of Syria and other innocent victims of war and violence around the world, Pope Francis said.

May 30, 2014
Pope: Christian life may be joyful, not always a party
While Jesus promises great joy, being a Christian doesn’t mean that life will become all sunshine and roses, Pope Francis said. There are “many problems, we have many. But Jesus tells us, ‘Do not be afraid!’“

May 28, 2014
Pope's Holy Land trip raises hopes, questions
Given the Holy Land's long and complex history of military, religious and cultural conflict, the run-up to Pope Francis' May 24-26 pilgrimage was inevitably marked by fears it would be marred by controversy -- or worse.

May 28, 2014
Peace isn't mass-produced but handcrafted by ordinary people, pope says
Pope Francis at his weekly general audience called on the world's Christians to pray with him for peace in the Middle East, help convince governments to come to the aid of refugees and pray for Christian unity.

May 27, 2014
Pope says his 'most authentic' gestures in Holy Land were spontaneous
During an inflight news conference May 26 on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, Pope Francis answered several questions about his just-ended three-day visit, giving reporters insights into his thinking and glimpses behind the scenes of the high-profile events.

May 26, 2014
Pope to meet with sex abuse victims for first time in June
During an inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated $20 million from the Vatican bank. And he announced he plans to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in January.

May 26, 2014
On last morning in Holy Land, pope reaches out to Muslims, Jews
Pope Francis spent the last morning of his three-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land meeting with Muslims and Jews and calling for closer relations among the three major monotheistic religions as the basis for peace in the region.

May 25, 2014
Fifty years later, pope and patriarch meet again in Jerusalem
Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ's death and resurrection.

May 25, 2014
In Bethlehem, near site of Christ's birth, pope speaks out for children
Celebrating Mass a few steps from the spot traditionally believed to the birthplace of Jesus, Pope Francis said that the way society treats its young reveals its moral character.

May 25, 2014
Pope invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Rome to pray for peace
Pope Francis invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray together at the Vatican for peace between their nations.

May 24, 2014
At Amman Mass, pope calls on Christians to promote peace
Celebrating Mass on his first day in the Holy Land, Pope Francis said hope for peace in a region torn by sectarian conflicts comes from faith in God.

May 24, 2014
Pope, arriving in Holy Land, calls for religious freedom in Middle East
Pope Francis began a densely packed visit to the Holy Land with a call for religious freedom in the Middle East, including respect for the right to change one's religion.

May 23, 2014
U.N. board urges Vatican to punish bishops who mishandle abuse claims
The U.N. Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any church authority who fails to follow church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police.

May 22, 2014
Vatican: More help needed for those bearing brunt of climate change
World leaders and policy makers need to look beyond the scientific and economic consequences of climate change and direct their attention to the human beings who will be most affected by rising global temperatures, a Vatican official said.

May 22, 2014
Vatican denies criminal investigation of former secretary of state
The Vatican spokesman denied a German newspaper report that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, retired Vatican secretary of state, was under criminal investigation for misappropriating funds from the so-called Vatican bank.

May 21, 2014
Destroying creation is destroying a gift of God, pope says at audience
Polluting or destroying the environment is like telling God one does not like what he created and proclaimed to be good, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

May 21, 2014
Pope says his Holy Land trip will be 'strictly religious'
Asking prayers for his May 24-26 trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis said his visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories would be "strictly religious."

May 20, 2014
Soldiers lay down weapons for rosaries as they pray, pay homage to Mary
It looked like any other military parade with bands playing, flags waving and thousands of men and women marching. But instead of impressive displays of tanks and trucks, troops from dozens of nations fell in line behind religious banners, a large wooden cross and a statue of Mary

May 20, 2014
Jesuit superior announces intention to resign after he turns 80
Father Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Jesuits, announced his intention to resign in late 2016 after he turns 80.

May 19, 2014
Carrying physical and emotional baggage, U.S. military visit Lourdes
About 60 retired or active duty U.S. military personnel packed their uniforms, flags, wheelchairs, canes and the inevitable emotional baggage of their daily struggles to take part in a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

May 19, 2014
Pope setting up board to hear appeals of clerical sex abuse offenders
The Vatican indicated Pope Francis was establishing a commission under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to examine the appeals of priests punished for sexual abuse of minors and other very serious crimes.

May 19, 2014
In dialogue, believers seek truth, challenge one another, Vatican says
When Catholics engage in interreligious dialogue, their aim is not to convert their dialogue partners, but they should not exclude that possibility, say new Vatican guidelines on interreligious dialogue.

May 16, 2014
In Holy Land, Pope Francis will focus on unity, not ignore conflict
On Pope Francis' first trip to the Holy Land, his agenda will focus on the search for Christian unity, particularly between Catholic and Orthodox. But in a region so rich in history and so fraught with conflict, he will address other urgent issues.

May 16, 2014
Pope cuts meetings because of cold, need to rest before Holy Land trip
Because he has a bit of a cold and wants to rest up for his May 24-26 trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis has postponed several scheduled appointments.

May 15, 2014
Being Christian means belonging to the church, pope says
Being a Christian means belonging to the church, remembering with others all God's saving actions and celebrating the covenant between God and his people by participating in Mass, Pope Francis said.

May 15, 2014
If you want peace, end arms trade and help immigrants, pope says
If individuals and nations are serious about protecting human rights and promoting peace, they must do much more to curb the global arms trade and assist immigrants, Pope Francis told seven new ambassadors to the Vatican.

May 14, 2014
Vatican investigating Indian Jesuit's work, but has not silenced him
A leading Indian Jesuit theologian specializing in mission, dialogue and enculturation, has been engaged in a dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but has not been censured or silenced by the Vatican.

May 14, 2014
Vatican official voices opposition to automated weapons systems
No matter how sophisticated and how many algorithms are programmed to help a drone or other machine make calculations before firing on a target, autonomous weapons systems could never comply with international human rights law, a Vatican official said.

May 14, 2014
God makes no one struggle with life's challenges alone, pope says
God is always by our side, never giving us more than we can handle, Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience.

May 13, 2014
Be meek, open to joy, newness offered by the Holy Spirit, pope says
Christians who are too serious and gloomy have the Holy Spirit missing from their lives, Pope Francis said May 13 during his early morning Mass.

May 13, 2014
Cardinal Marco Ce, retired patriarch of Venice, dies at 88
Pope Francis praised the generosity and tireless dedication of the retired patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Marco Ce, who died at age 88 May 12 in a hospital in Venice.

May 12, 2014
Priesthood is not a business, monarchy, orphanage, pope tells seminarians
Pope Francis told seminarians not to become "orphan priests," who are motherless without Mary; "businessman priests," who are after money; or "prince priests," who are aloof from the people.

May 12, 2014
Pope says schools must show connection of truth, goodness, beauty
Pope Francis told about 300,000 Italian students that he loved school as a boy, as a teacher and as a bishop because it was a place where he met different people and where he was challenged to try to understand reality.

May 12, 2014
Pope to beatify Pope Paul VI at end of synod on the family
Pope Francis signed a decree May 9 recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI, who led the church from 1963 to 1978. The miracle involved the birth of a baby in California in the 1990s.

May 12, 2014
Allow Holy Spirit to lead, pope says, even when Spirit is unpredictable
"If, for example, an expedition of Martians arrived tomorrow," and one said he wanted to be baptized, "What would happen?" the pope asked May 12 during his early morning Mass.

May 9, 2014
Patriarch says he will discuss Middle East Christians with pope
When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meets Pope Francis in Jerusalem May 25, one of their main discussion topics will be the "diminishing Christian minorities in the Middle East," the patriarch told Catholic News Service.

May 9, 2014
LCWR leaders, U.S. archbishop respond to Vatican official's remarks
The recent rebuke of the officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious by the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office should be viewed as one part of his entire remarks and one aspect of the group's visits and ongoing dialogue with Vatican officials, according to a statement by LCWR officers.

May 9, 2014
Pope tells U.N. respect for life, solidarity essential for development
Meeting top officials of the United Nations, Pope Francis called for a "worldwide ethical mobilization" that would push technical programs for justice, peace and development further by promoting respect for human life, "fraternity and solidarity."

May 8, 2014
Hope and hard work: U.S. priest trusts Christian unity is possible
The issues dividing Christian communities have changed over the past 50 years, but a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest working in ecumenical dialogue at the Vatican is confident that Christian unity is possible.

May 8, 2014
Don't let bureaucracy block evangelization, pope says
Too often Catholics turn the church into "a company that manufactures impediments" to faith, rather than a community that patiently helps people come to believe in Jesus, Pope Francis said in a homily at his early morning Mass.

May 7, 2014
Pope: Never forget to pray! Speak from the heart, ask God for help
Include heartfelt requests and pleas for help, advice and guidance when you pray, Pope Francis said.

May 6, 2014
Vatican official says church making progress in stopping sexual abuse
Archbishop tells U.N. committee that, for past 10 years, Catholic Church has worked systematically to prevent clerical sexual abuse of minors and assist victims.

May 5, 2014
Vatican official rebukes U.S. nuns' group for 'fundamental errors'
Using what he acknowledged was unusually "blunt" language, the head of the Vatican's doctrinal office rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for honoring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged "seriously inadequate."

May 5, 2014
Cardinal O'Malley: Sex abuse panel to stress accountability, education
The new papal commission for protecting minors from clerical sex abuse will recommend stricter standards for accountability of abusers and those who fail to protect children, and will fight widespread denial of the problem within the church, U.S. cardinal says.

May 2, 2014
Hopes rise that pope, patriarch meeting renews Christian unity effort
The Orthodox bishop coordinating the upcoming pilgrimage to Jerusalem by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said he hopes the patriarch’s May 25 meeting with Pope Francis will give new impetus to efforts for Christian unity.

May 2, 2014
Pope: New attitude of 'evangelical service' must take hold at Vatican
Pope Francis told his new economic oversight council that it must be "courageous and determined" in its critical role of helping the church not waver from its real mission of bringing the Gospel to the world and helping those most in need.

May 1, 2014
Pope to greet new commission on abuse prevention as it meets first time
The new papal commission for protecting minors from sexual abuse was "expected to reflect on the nature and aims of the commission" and discuss ways to include additional representatives and input from other parts of the world.

April 29, 2014
Pope says jealousy is devil's work; Holy Spirit brings unity
A community of peace, forgiveness and harmony means "there's no place for gossip, jealousy, back-stabbing and slander," Pope Francis said.

April 28, 2014
Canonization opens way for universal celebration of popes' feast days
From the moment Pope Francis said, "We declare and define Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II be saints" and "they are to be venerated as such by the whole church," their October feast days automatically could be celebrated at Masses around the world.

April 27, 2014
Don't forget to pack patience, determination on pilgrimage to Rome
Groups from the United States and other countries dealt with the fatigue of time zone changes and crowds. But many came to the April 27 canonizations of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II not for comfort, but to give thanks for the spiritual inspiration and intercession of the two popes.

April 27, 2014
Roughing it for the saints: Thousands sleep outdoors to get to Mass
An estimated 800,000 people were on the streets of Rome April 27 to see two popes, Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI, concelebrate the Mass honoring the canonization of two of their predecessors, Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII.

April 27, 2014
Pope Francis, with retired pope, canonizes Sts. John and John Paul
Canonizing two recent popes in the presence of his immediate predecessor, Pope Francis praised the new Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II as men of courage and mercy.

April 26, 2014
Top 10 most interesting popes who have been declared saints
From St. Peter to Pope Francis, there have been 266 popes; 78 of them are recognized as saints, and that number will jump to 80 after the April 27 canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II.

April 25, 2014
Living, working with holy popes, secretaries struck by their faith
Two cardinals who not only worked with the future Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II but lived with them said they knew their bosses were saints because of their simple faith and goodness.

April 25, 2014
Spokesman, biographer talk about how John Paul handled abuse crisis
The man who served as Blessed John Paul II's spokesman and media adviser told reporters that the late pope did not initially understand the gravity of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but once he did he immediately took strong steps to deal with it.

April 25, 2014
Pope says he hopes new saints will inspire church to fulfill mission
Just days before Pope Francis was set to canonize two of his predecessors, he expressed his hopes the two soon-to-be saints would continue to inspire the whole church in its mission.

April 24, 2014
Women recount the stories of healing through intercession of popes
People said Floribeth Mora Diaz was crazy to think Blessed John Paul II interceded with God to heal her brain aneurysm, but if so, "then it is a blessed craziness, because I'm healthy."

April 24, 2014
Vatican: Pope didn't change church teaching in call to Argentine woman
Reports that Pope Francis told an Argentine woman civilly married to a divorced man that she can receive Communion "cannot be confirmed as reliable," said the Vatican spokesman.

April 24, 2014
Benedict says predecessor's faith, courage were signs of holiness
Blessed John Paul II's deep spirituality and his courage to uphold the truth were clear signs of his sainthood, said his successor, retired Pope Benedict XVI.

April 24, 2014
Pope: Don't dwell like bats in darkness; live gladly in Christ's light
Don't live the faith as if it were a "nonstop funeral," Pope Francis said. Because Jesus isn't "up there," faraway, but is close by, don't be afraid of reaching out to him and experiencing his joy, he said.

April 23, 2014
Truly 'top chef': Gospel shows Jesus knew how to cook, theologian says
When Christians pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," it is a genuine plea reflecting their needs -- needs that Jesus took seriously, even to the point of cooking for his disciples, says an Italian theologian.

April 23, 2014
Rome official: Retired pope to attend canonizations; spokesman cautious
Retired Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II April 27, said the head of the Vatican-related pilgrim agency. But Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, continued to caution journalists.

April 23, 2014
The risen Jesus, not money or power, is the source of life, pope says
Too often people are fixated on material things, money, power or status -- none of which can give life and joy, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

April 22, 2014
Many of today's papal 'traditions' were Blessed John Paul's innovations
Maybe people have forgotten how much of what passes today for papal "tradition" was actually an innovation of Pope John Paul II.

April 22, 2014
Pope's homilies help Catholics fight the good fight, Jesuit says
Pope Francis' morning homilies represent a rallying cry and "road map" for today's Christians in their daily journey to grow closer to God, said the Jesuit editor of a new collection of the homilies from the pope's early morning Masses.

April 22, 2014
Holy Fathers: Is being pope a shortcut to sainthood?
Most Catholics would agree the church needs holy and saintly popes, but as the April 27 Mass for the canonization of Blesseds John and John Paul approached, some questioned the need to canonize them all.

April 22, 2014
Jokes, quips, wisecracks: John XXIII lived with keen sense of humor
Blessed John XXIII, who will be made a saint April 27, is remembered by many for his warmth, simplicity, social conscience and sense of humor.

April 21, 2014
Easter should last all week, including in your Bible reading, pope says
Trusting that people took his Lenten advice and either downloaded a Bible app or bought a pocket-sized edition of the Gospels, Pope Francis encouraged Christians to re-read the accounts of the Resurrection during Easter week.

April 20, 2014
Easter proclaims that love gives life, pope says; share it with others
Pope Francis on Easter urged Christians to remember how they first encountered Christ and to share his love and mercy with others, especially through acts of caring and sharing.

April 18, 2014
'Evil will not have the last word,' pope says during Way of Cross
Standing in the midst of a giant cross outlined with small torches, Pope Francis said the cross is a reminder of how much evil people are capable of and how much love Jesus had for a sinful humanity.

April 18, 2014
In Rome's Colosseum, pope, thousands reflect on world's injustices
The solemn torch-lit service on Good Friday gave powerful voice to the many social and spiritual problems facing the world and to the redeeming power of Christ's sacrifice for humanity.

April 18, 2014
Papal preacher: Betraying Jesus is bad, doubting his mercy is worse
Everyone is capable of betraying Jesus as Judas did, but no one should make the mistake of doubting God's mercy and willingness to forgive, the papal preacher said on Good Friday in St. Peter's Basilica.

April 18, 2014
Rome prepares for influx ahead of canonizations
Just over a week before Pope Francis canonizes two of his predecessors in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Romans are bracing for the arrival of as many as 3 million outsiders.

April 17, 2014
Jesus wants everyone to serve others with love, pope says
In the humble act of washing his disciples' feet, Jesus is showing all Christians how he wants them to serve others with love, Pope Francis said at an evening Mass where he washed the feet of four women and eight men living with disabilities.

April 17, 2014
Vatican rehabilitates writings of controversial Italian priest
After nearly half a century, the Vatican has dropped its veto on the writings of a popular Italian priest, and his role in the church is being re-evaluated, said the archbishop of Florence.

April 17, 2014
Pope to priests: Look for the exit, go out into world, serve with love
A priest is called to be in the midst of his flock, protecting his people, searching for those who are lost and always serving those in need, Pope Francis told the world's priests.

April 16, 2014
Imitate Jesus' humility, thank him for it during Holy Week, pope says
Jesus' resurrection "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the happy ending of a film," but is the result of the loving intervention of God, who wanted to give humanity hope and salvation, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

April 15, 2014
Priests on front line in Italy's battle against Mafia
Pope Francis' dramatic appearance at a March prayer vigil with the families of Mafia victims, where he said he would plead on bended knee with Mafia bosses to "stop doing evil," has highlighted the Catholic Church's role in combatting Italian organized crime.

April 15, 2014
Vatican was not ordered to appear before U.N. committee, spokesman says
The Vatican's scheduled May appearance before a United Nations committee monitoring adherence to an anti-torture treaty is being done willingly and not because church officials were ordered to appear for questioning, the Vatican spokesman said.

April 15, 2014
Pope's Via Crucis meditations: God is on side of abused, violated
The often silent plight of sexually abused children, victims of domestic violence, prisoners, the abandoned elderly, the unemployed and immigrants facing hostility will be given a powerful voice during the Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum this Good Friday.

April 14, 2014
Seminary study requires commitment to constant conversion, pope says
Meeting a group of seminarians who had walked more than 40 miles to see him at the Vatican, Pope Francis told them to give their all to prayer, study and pastoral preparation, or else have the "courage to seek another path."

April 14, 2014
Pope: During Holy Week, ask which Gospel character you resemble
Preceded by young people and clergy waving tall palm branches, Pope Francis began his Holy Week liturgies by encouraging people to ask themselves which personality in the Gospel accounts of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection they resemble most.

April 11, 2014
From Buenos Aires to world stage: Pope shines spotlight on trafficking
As leader of the universal church, Pope Francis is dragging the blight of human trafficking onto the global stage, calling it "a crime against humanity" and decrying the world's indifference.

April 11, 2014
Pope to pro-life activists: Defend the unborn, support pregnant women
Pope Francis said Christians must defend life at all stages, especially before birth, and he praised efforts to assist pregnant women in difficulty and prevent the destruction of human embryos.

April 11, 2014
Pope apologizes for clerical sex abuse, promises tough sanctions
The remarks appeared to be the pope's first apology for the sex abuse scandal, following earlier statements affirming the Vatican's work investigating and punishing perpetrators, and encouraging bishops to support abuse victims.

April 11, 2014
'The devil exists' and doesn't want you to follow Jesus, pope warns
A lot of people, even Catholics, think that talking about the devil is completely old-fashioned, but anyone who wants to follow Jesus needs to know that Satan exists and will keep putting up obstacles to faith, Pope Francis said.

April 10, 2014
Pope praises police-church network to stop trafficking, meets victims
Meeting four victims of human trafficking, dozens of religious sisters and senior police chiefs from 20 countries, Pope Francis praised their coordinated efforts to fight against a "crime against humanity."

April 9, 2014
Pope: Take up God's offer to face life's problems with his love, wisdom
During his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square April 9, the pope began a new series of audience talks on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

April 9, 2014
Pope honors Jesuit killed in Syria, pleads for end to violence
Pope Francis said the assassination of "my confrere," a 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit in Syria, "filled me with deep sadness and made me think again of all the people who suffer and are dying in that martyred country."

April 8, 2014
International treasures: Italian police work to stem church art theft
A gold cross ripped from the altar of a mountain church. Two 18th-century carved and gilded wooden cherubs. An entire tabernacle hacked from a wall. These are just a few of the objects stolen from Italian churches in the first three months of 2014.

April 8, 2014
Pope: Cross isn't an ornament, Christianity isn't a do-gooder's guide
Christianity isn't a philosophy or guide to survival, good behavior and peace, it's a relationship with a real person who died on the cross for our sins, Pope Francis said in his homily April 8 during an early morning Mass.

April 8, 2014
Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at center for elderly, disabled
Pope Francis will preside over the Holy Thursday evening Mass and foot-washing ritual at the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation's Our Lady of Providence Center on the outskirts of Rome, the Vatican announced April 8.

April 7, 2014
Jesus can raise everyone from the tomb of a dead, tired soul, pope says
The pope's remarks came during a late afternoon visit to the Church of St. Gregory the Great on the outskirts of Rome April 6.

April 7, 2014
Pope Francis confirms continuing existence of Vatican bank
Pope Francis, accepting the recommendations of his international Council of Cardinals and other advisory groups, has decided the Vatican bank will continue to exist and has approved a plan to increase its transparency and accountability.

April 7, 2014
Jesuit, who used YouTube to appeal for help for Homs, reportedly killed
A 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit who refused to leave war-torn Syria, instead staying in Homs to help the poor and homeless, was beaten by armed men and killed with two bullets to the head, according to an email sent by the Jesuits' Middle East province to the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

April 4, 2014
No mandatory reporting in Italian norms for handling abuse allegations
The Italian bishops' conference encouraged its members to cooperate with civil authorities in cases of clerical sexual abuse, but said the bishops have no legal obligation to report abuse allegations to the police or other civil authorities.

April 3, 2014
Pope: OK to fight with God, hold him to his promise, remember his love
Don't hold back when praying to God -- tell him exactly what's wrong and insist on holding him to his promises, Pope Francis said during his early morning Mass April 3.

April 3, 2014
Pope, Britain's Queen Elizabeth have informal meeting at Vatican
The 30-minute visit of the 87-year-old queen and her 92-year-old husband demonstrates "the importance that she places on this relationship with the Holy See and on getting to know Pope Francis," said Nigel Baker, the British ambassador to the Holy See.

April 3, 2014
Pope declares by decree three new saints for the Americas
Pope Francis signed decrees April 3 recognizing: St. Jose de Anchieta, a Spanish-born Jesuit who traveled to Brazil in 1553 and became known as the Apostle of Brazil; St. Marie de l'Incarnation, a French Ursuline who traveled to Quebec in 1639 and is known as the Mother of the Canadian Church; and St. Francois de Laval, who arrived in Quebec 20 years after St. Marie de l'Incarnation and became the first bishop of Quebec.

April 3, 2014
On 20th anniversary of Rwandan genocide, pope urges reconciliation
Just days before Rwanda was to begin a weeklong period of official mourning to mark the 20th anniversary of its genocide, Pope Francis urged the country's bishops to be resolute in continuing the work of healing and reconciliation.

April 2, 2014
Video screens, chemical toilets: Rome prepares for canonizations
Rome city officials expect approximately 3 million people to gather April 27 for the canonization of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II; that's way too many people to watch the event near the Vatican, so they suggest the alternative of watching by the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

April 2, 2014
Vatican official urges greater efforts to help those with autism
While it may be a huge challenge, the Catholic Church must find ways to offer support to families with a child who has autism, include people with autism in church activities and fight the prejudice surrounding the learning disability, a Vatican official said.

April 2, 2014
Pope says married couples called to be icons of God's love
Through the sacrament of matrimony, married couples are called to be living icons of God's love in the world, Pope Francis said; and when they fight -- and all couples do -- they don't have "to call the United Nations," but find simple words and gestures to say they are sorry.

April 2, 2014
Family business owners opposing U.S. contraception mandate meet pope
The Christian family behind a lawsuit seeking an exemption to a U.S. government health care coverage mandate met with Pope Francis and thanked him for underlining the importance of religious freedom.

April 1, 2014
Pope asks Curia to find ways to implement 'Joy of Gospel' in its work
Pope Francis called together the heads of all Vatican offices to discuss how they could integrate into their work the teaching of his apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel").

March 31, 2014
Recognize your limits, open yourself to light of Christ, pope says
Only those who recognize their own limits can accept the great gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, which is why Catholics with disabilities are such important and powerful witnesses of faith, Pope Francis said.

March 28, 2014
Only way to know how much God loves you is to give him a try, pope says
God is not stingy with his love and mercy; he is generous and forgiving, patiently waiting for his children who have sinned to come home, Pope Francis said in his morning Mass homily.

March 27, 2014
Pope and Obama discuss religious freedom, life issues, immigration
In their first encounter, Pope Francis received U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican March 27 for a discussion that touched on several areas of tension between the Catholic Church and the White House, including religious freedom and medical ethics.

March 27, 2014
Pope to politicians: Follow God's love, reject self-serving corruption
Pope Francis warned government officials against abandoning the path of God's love and liberating salvation for the dead-end road of self-righteous corruption.

March 26, 2014
Archbishop Chaput discusses HHS mandate, divorced Catholics
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia underscored the urgency of removing the contraception mandate from the U.S. health care law, said he looked forward to more debate about church practice on marriage, and credited Pope Francis with teaching Catholics that they must preach the Gospel before attempting to transmit the church's moral teachings.

March 26, 2014
Pope says bishops, priests need prayers, grace to be holy, loving
The world's bishops, priests and deacons need people's prayers and encouragement to continually deepen their relationship with Jesus and serve their community with love, Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

March 26, 2014
Vatican accepts resignation of Germany's 'Bishop Bling'
The Vatican has accepted the resignation of a German bishop who was at the center of controversy over expenditures for his residence and a diocesan center.

March 25, 2014
World meeting will engage all of society to help strengthen families
The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year will be open to families and people of different faiths, including no faith at all, to engage the wider society in dialogue and to serve and strengthen all families, organizers said.

March 24, 2014
Beauty, sacredness of human life are seen in its fragility, pope says
The fragility of human life is part of its beauty and is something people only really learn by being close to, sharing with and caring for those who are suffering, Pope Francis told members of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.

March 24, 2014
Boston cardinal, abuse survivor among members of Vatican commission
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, four women -- including a survivor of clerical sex abuse -- two Jesuit priests and an Italian lawyer are the first eight members of the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

March 21, 2014
Pope to Mafiosi: Turn away now from the road to hell
Surrounded by survivors of innocent people killed by the Mafia, Pope Francis made an emotional appeal to Italian gangsters to give up their lives of crime and avoid eternal damnation.

March 21, 2014
Before meeting pope, Vanier talks about joy, tenderness, acceptance
Jean Vanier met Pope Francis at the Vatican March 21 during a trip to Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of L'Arche, the international federation of communities he founded where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together.

March 20, 2014
Thousands of rare Vatican manuscripts to go online
Thousands of rare manuscripts until now accessible only to scholars at the Vatican will go online over the next four years, thanks to help from a Japanese information technology company.

March 20, 2014
Job creation is essential for promoting human dignity, pope says
In making economic policies and decisions, solidarity is too often treated as "a dirty word," yet the only way out of the global financial crisis is to put people -- with their dignity and creativity -- first, Pope Francis said.

March 19, 2014
Vatican, Rome gear up for canonizations of John XXIII, John Paul II
Just over five weeks before the canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II, Rome hotels are reporting they are almost fully booked and the Vatican has confirmed the Mass will take place in St. Peter's Square, despite knowing that hundreds of thousands of people will have to watch the ceremony on large video screens.

March 19, 2014
Pope to proclaim Brazilian, Canadian church pioneers saints in April
Without a canonization ceremony, Pope Francis will declare three pioneers of the Catholic Church in the Americas saints April 2, according to a Jesuit working on the causes.

March 19, 2014
Pope to fathers: Teach your children well, always be by their side
On the feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of the universal church and Jesus' earthly father, Pope Francis urged all dads in the world to stick by their children's side, teaching them, guiding them and loving them.

March 18, 2014
Late-night confessions to follow papal penance service during Lent
Priests in the Diocese of Rome, led by Pope Francis and organized by a Vatican office, will mark "24 hours for the Lord," offering eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of penance in St. Peter's Basilica and three historic churches in the center of Rome March 28-29.

March 17, 2014
Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims sign accord against human trafficking
The Vatican, the Anglican Communion and a leading Muslim institution signed a historic agreement to work together to end human trafficking worldwide by 2020.

March 17, 2014
Get a pocket Bible, read it during your commute, pope recommends
If you get a seat on a crowded bus, you should use your travel time to read a few lines from the Bible, Pope Francis told members of a suburban parish filled with people who commute to Rome for work.

March 13, 2014
Top 10 things most people don't know about Pope Francis
When Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran walked onto the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, telling the crowds in Latin: "I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope!" not many people recognized the name of then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

March 13, 2014
Pope Francis' top 10 most quotable quotes of the year
In his formal documents, many speeches and unscripted morning homilies the past year, Pope Francis has given the church a bounty of memorable sound bites.

March 12, 2014
For Pope Francis, a year of reform and evangelization
With his affable, informal manner and simple language, Pope Francis has focused on a message of mercy, forgiveness and concern for the poor.

March 12, 2014
Former student recalls life lessons from literature teacher, the pope
A 28-year-old Pope Francis survived and succeeded when he taught literature at the Jesuit-run School of the Immaculate Conception in Santa Fe, Argentina, according to a former student.

March 11, 2014
Lessons in style: Pope's gestures, choices are teaching moments
From the moment Pope Francis, dressed simply in a white cassock, stepped out on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time and bowed, he signaled his pontificate would bring some style differences to the papacy.

March 11, 2014
Cardinal calls to maintain, yet reinterpret, doctrine to help families
In its approach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the Catholic Church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine, but offers a "renewed" interpretation of church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.

March 11, 2014
Pope Francis' constant refrain: 'Go forth,' evangelize, help the poor
Pope Francis' most frequent advice and exhortation to Catholics -- from laypeople in parishes to bishops and cardinals -- is "Go forth." In Italian, the phrase is even snappier: "Avanti."

March 10, 2014
Pope names cardinals, lay experts to new Council for the Economy
Pope Francis appointed an international group of eight cardinals -- including U.S. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo -- and seven lay experts to be the first members of the Vatican's new Council for the Economy.

March 7, 2014
On first Friday of Lent, pope speaks on nature of true fasting
Pope Francis criticized those who practice fasting as a mere ritual, rather than as a sacrifice representative of a religion of love.

March 6, 2014
Pope shares anecdotes, talks to priests about mercy, hearing confession
The pope's annual Lenten meeting with Rome pastors focused on the priest's call to be a minister of mercy. While he followed a prepared text, he added comments and anecdotes from his own life and ministry.

March 6, 2014
Archdiocese announces dates for 2015 public display of Shroud of Turin
The Archdiocese of Turin, custodian of the Shroud of Turin, has announced that the shroud, venerated by many as the burial cloth of Christ, will be on public display April 19-June 24, 2015.

March 5, 2014
Lent comes 'to reawaken us,' pope says at Ash Wednesday Mass
Before receiving and distributing ashes at an evening Mass March 5, Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis gave a homily focused on a line from the prophet Joel: "Rend your hearts, not your garments."

March 5, 2014
Use Lent to shed apathy to sin, poverty, indifference to God, pope says
Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience on Ash Wednesday.

March 5, 2014
Pope, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions
Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care.

March 3, 2014
Before beginning Lenten retreat, pope cites need for silence, prayer
Pope Francis said retreats should renew the faith of participants, transforming their ministry and their relationships with others.

March 3, 2014
Pope asks prayers for Ukraine; archbishop says country in danger
As uncertainty reigned in Ukraine and Russian troops appeared to have control of the Crimean peninsula, Pope Francis again asked the world's Christians to pray for Ukraine.

Feb. 28, 2014
New head of Legionaries of Christ weighs burden of founder's sins
When accusations of sexual abuse against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and then-general director of the Legionaries of Christ, were first published in 1997, Father Eduardo Robles Gil was running one of the congregation's schools in Mexico City.

Feb. 28, 2014
Pope urges sympathy, outreach to couples whose marriages fail
Those who recognize marriage as a sacrament, a divine blessing and a reflection of God's love for humanity should have even greater sympathy for husbands and wives whose relationships have failed, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 28, 2014
Cardinal outlines possible paths to Communion for divorced, remarried
The Catholic Church needs to find a way to offer healing, strength and salvation to Catholics whose marriages have failed, who are committed to making a new union work and who long to do so within the church and with the grace of Communion, Cardinal Walter Kasper told the world's cardinals.

Feb. 27, 2014
Pope says bishops should be evangelists and men of prayer, not CEOs
Pope Francis said bishops should act not like ambitious corporate executives, but humble evangelists and men of prayer, willing to sacrifice everything for their flocks.

Feb. 27, 2014
Vatican releases pope's Lenten schedule, including penitential service
Pope Francis' calendar of liturgical services for March and April -- including Holy Week and Easter -- includes the addition of a Lenten "penitential service," but does not say where he will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Feb. 26, 2014
Pope Benedict says it's absurd to question validity of his resignation
In a letter to an Italian journalist, retired Pope Benedict XVI said questions about the validity of his resignation are "absurd."

Feb. 26, 2014
Pope: Anointing the sick doesn't bring bad luck, it brings Jesus
Some people worry receiving the sacrament of the anointing of the sick "brings bad luck" and "the hearse will come next," the pope said at his weekly general audience. "This is not true!"

Feb. 25, 2014
Ukrainian archbishop sees lingering threat of war, but signs of hope
The three months of protests in Ukraine that ended with government snipers killing dozens of people strengthened the commitment to democracy of many Ukrainians, but also left the country vulnerable to further violence and division, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Feb. 25, 2014
Pope asks families to pray for October synod
Pope Francis asked families to pray for the success of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the "pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization," which will take place at the Vatican in October.

Feb. 25, 2014
Victims of war, conflict deserve mourning, not indifference, pope says
Pope Francis also condemned those who profit from the manufacturing of weapons and "live large," lounging in their "parlors" while children in refugee camps starve.

Feb. 24, 2014
Pope establishes panel, with lay members, to oversee Vatican finances
In a move reflecting both his drive to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and his oft-stated desire to include laypeople in the leadership of the church, Pope Francis established a new panel, to include almost as many lay members as clerics, to oversee the finances of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

Feb. 23, 2014
Pope tells cardinals they are servants, not courtiers
Celebrating Mass with the newest members of the College of the Cardinals one day after their elevation, Pope Francis urged them to regard their new role not as one of worldly honor but of humble service and sacrifice.

Feb. 22, 2014
Pope Francis, with retired Pope Benedict present, creates new cardinals
On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave to St. Peter and his successors -- the popes -- Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Feb. 21, 2014
Cardinals' agenda shows pope's priority: removing obstacles to faith
The most important function of the College of Cardinals is to elect a pope, but the college is also an advisory body, traditionally known as the "pope's senate." So Pope Francis took the opportunity of the cardinals' presence in Rome to summon them to working meetings on some of his most urgent priorities.

Feb. 21, 2014
Vatican starts hiring freeze, forbids overtime in effort to cut costs
The Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires, wage-increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.

Feb. 21, 2014
Cardinals outline broad approaches to family ministry, spokesman says
As some 150 cardinals from around the world gathered with Pope Francis to talk about the family, their two days of discussion focused particularly on three points: the Christian vision of people and family life; essential pastoral programs to support families; and ministry to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Feb. 21, 2014
Pope: Professing the faith without good works is just spouting hot air
Understanding God's commandments and church doctrine is useless if those truths aren't put into practice, Pope Francis said.

Feb. 21, 2014
Pope asks cardinals to send message of support to suffering Ukrainians
A day after at least 75 people were reported killed in clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine's capital, Pope Francis asked the College of Cardinals to send a message of support to the two Ukrainian cardinals who are suffering because their people are.

Feb. 20, 2014
Pope: By taking care of elders, families show world all life has value
Pope Francis said the worst thing about growing old is not becoming weaker or infirm, but the "abandonment, the exclusion, the deprivation of love" in today's "throwaway culture."

Feb. 20, 2014
Pope calls for 'intelligent, courageous, loving' approach to families
Opening a two-day meeting of the world's cardinals, Pope Francis said the church's pastoral approach to helping couples must be "intelligent, courageous and full of love" because the family today is "looked down upon and mistreated."

Feb. 20, 2014
In unusual video, pope speaks of his longing for Christian unity
In an unusual video message, recorded on an iPhone by a Pentecostal pastor Pope Francis knew in Argentina, the pope says all Christians share blame for their divisions, speaks of his "longing" for their unity and insists that God will bring the miracle of Christian unity to completion.

Feb. 19, 2014
Pope, Ukrainian church leaders call for end to violence in Ukraine
After a night of violent confrontations between protesters and police and the deaths of more than two dozen people, Pope Francis and Ukrainian church leaders called Feb. 19 for an end to all violence and a serious commitment to dialogue for the good of Ukraine.

Feb. 19, 2014
Go directly to confession, don't wait, pope says at audience
If you haven't been to confession recently, don't wait, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience. One may walk into the confessional with a heavy heart, but forgiveness brings freedom and lightness.

Feb. 18, 2014
Pope renews Argentine passport, identity card
Pope Francis is the sovereign of Vatican City and has a Holy See passport. But even dressed in papal white, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an Argentine citizen with a brand new passport and national identity card.

Feb. 18, 2014
German cardinal, author of book on mercy, to address world's cardinals
Retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a theologian who has been searching for a new pastoral approach to divorced and remarried Catholics for more than 20 years, was scheduled to address the Feb. 20-21 meeting of the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family.

Feb. 18, 2014
Pope, cardinal advisers study Vatican financial, administrative offices
Pope Francis met for the third time in late February with his international Council of Cardinals, an eight-member group advising him on the reform of the Vatican bureaucracy and other issues.

Feb. 14, 2014
Pope to engaged couples: After 'I do,' comes 'may I, thank you, sorry'
Greeting thousands of engaged couples on the feast of St. Valentine, Pope Francis told them not to be afraid of building a permanent and loving relationship in a culture where everything is disposable and fleeting.

Feb. 13, 2014
Meeting Jewish group, pope asks prayers for his Holy Land trip
Pope Francis asked leaders of the American Jewish Committee to pray for his May trip to Jerusalem, "so that this pilgrimage may bring forth the fruits of communion, hope and peace."

Feb. 13, 2014
Pope: Catholic educators must share Gospel with multicultural society
Pope Francis said Catholic educators should engage in dialogue with increasingly multicultural societies in order to share the Gospel more widely.

Feb. 12, 2014
Going to Mass should be a life-changing event, pope says at audience
Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.

Feb. 11, 2014
A turbulent year that strengthened the papacy
When Pope Benedict XVI announced, on Feb. 11, 2013, that he would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign, speculation was as varied as it was excited about the long-term consequences of his historic act.

Feb. 11, 2014
Living in remodeled convent, Pope Benedict is not cloistered, aides say
In retirement, Pope Benedict XVI follows a daily schedule similar to that of any retired bishop or religious: He prays, reads, strolls, talks with people and offers them spiritual advice, the Vatican spokesman said.

Feb. 10, 2014
Pope urges Sri Lankans to reconcile, accepts invitation to visit
When civil strife, conflict and bloodshed have pitted people of different ethnic groups against one another, reconciliation is particularly difficult, but it's still the only way to ensure a better future for all, Pope Francis told a large group of Sri Lankan pilgrims.

Feb. 10, 2014
Mass, even with the pope, isn't a tourist activity; it's God's time
An invitation to attend Pope Francis' early morning Mass is a hot ticket in Rome, but the pope said the Mass -- in his residence or anywhere else -- isn't an event, but a time for entering into the mystery of God.

Feb. 7, 2014
People power: Popular devotion is key factor in sainthood process
The sainthood process is long and technically complicated, and ultimately requires the approval of the pope, but the whole procedure is driven by Catholics in the pews and, especially, those on their knees.

Feb. 7, 2014
Pope says relativistic ideas of marriage lead to divorce
Pope Francis said contemporary ideas of marriage as an arrangement defined by personal needs promote a mentality of divorce, and he called for better preparation of engaged couples as well as ministry to Catholics whose marriages have failed.

Feb. 7, 2014
'Unjust' criticism won't force Vatican to drop treaty, spokesman says
The Vatican said it would continue to adhere to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and give an attentive response to the U.N. committee monitoring adherence to the treaty, despite what it views as unfair criticism and suggestions from the committee that would violate church teaching.

Feb. 6, 2014
Best legacy to leave behind is personal witness to Christ, pope says
"The church is so motherly that she wants us even as we are, dirty much of the time, but the church cleans us up, she's a mother!" he said Feb. 6 during his early morning Mass.

Feb. 6, 2014
Blessed are the losers, at least by worldly standards, pope says
The "poor in spirit," the pure and the merciful, whom Jesus described as "blessed," are the same people the world considers to be "losers," Pope Francis told Catholic young people.

Feb. 5, 2014
Pope: Don't skip Sunday Mass; people need communion with God, church
It's so important to go to Mass every Sunday because that's where people receive Christ who saves, forgives and unites everyone to his father, church and each other, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Feb. 5, 2014
U.N. committee presses Vatican on child abuse, some church teaching
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child continued to insist that the Vatican compile and publish detailed statistics on clerical sexual abuse of minors and that the pope, as head of the church, can and should order Catholic dioceses and religious orders around the world to implement all the policies of the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Feb. 4, 2014
At 98, Blessed John XXIII's secretary to be oldest living cardinal
When the freshly named patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, chose 37-year-old Father Loris Capovilla as his private secretary in 1953, a skeptical adviser told the cardinal that the priest looked too sickly to bear the strain of his new job.

Feb. 4, 2014
Surveys: German, Swiss Catholics reject many church teachings on family
Reports from bishops' conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a clear divergence between what the church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics -- even those active in parish life -- personally believe.

Feb. 4, 2014
Pope: Sacrifice key to reaping wealth of God's love, fighting misery
Courageously follow Jesus in seeking out the poor and sinners, and in making difficult sacrifices in order to help and heal others, Pope Francis said in his first message for Lent.

Feb. 3, 2014
Pope to Neocatechumenal Way: Work for unity, respect local cultures
Thanking members of the Neocatechumenal Way for their generous missionary efforts, Pope Francis also encouraged them to build church unity, learn about local cultures and respect any member's decision to leave the movement.

Feb. 3, 2014
A church without religious sisters is 'unthinkable,' pope says
"Think what would happen if there weren't any sisters, if there weren't any sisters in the hospitals, no sisters in the missions, no sisters in the schools," Pope Francis said.

Feb. 3, 2014
Pope calls for the promotion of life at every stage
The pope's remarks came after reciting the Sunday Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter's Square Feb. 2, which was designated in Italy as the Day for Life.

Jan. 31, 2014
The Salesian and the Shogun: Documents discovered in Vatican Library
Just a few days before the feast of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, the Vatican Library announced a major project to inventory, digitalize, catalogue and study unique historical documents collected by a Salesian missionary to Japan.

Jan. 31, 2014
Pope Francis' first Lenten message to focus on poverty, generosity
Pope Francis has chosen the theme, "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich," for this year's Lenten message, said a Vatican statement.

Jan. 31, 2014
Church must always protect, support children against abuse, pope says
Children and young people must always be protected against sexual abuse and always find adequate support in the church community, Pope Francis told the Vatican doctrinal office dealing with suspected cases of sexual abuse by clergy.

Jan. 31, 2014
Officials say final report on visitation of U.S. nuns expected soon
Before the year dedicated to consecrated life begins in November, the Vatican congregation for religious hopes to release its final report on the 2009-2010 visitation of U.S. women's communities.

Jan. 30, 2014
Catholic identity must be clear, uncompromising, pope tells university
Catholic universities must give "uncompromising" and "unambiguous" witness to church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity, Pope Francis said in an audience with members of the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame and other officials.

Jan. 30, 2014
Thieves confess, but relic of Blessed John Paul II still missing
Less than a week after a relic of Blessed John Paul II disappeared from a country chapel east of Rome, Italian police arrested two men for the theft, but the venerated piece of fabric stained with the late pope's blood was still missing.

Jan. 30, 2014
Pope names interim president of Vatican financial watchdog agency
Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, a canon lawyer and head of the Vatican human resources office, interim president of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Attilio Nicora.

Jan. 29, 2014
Pope at audience: Make sure your children are confirmed
Many Catholic parents go to great lengths to ensure their children are baptized, and they must make similar efforts to see that their children are confirmed, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 28, 2014
If you can cheer for a sports team, you can praise God, pope says
Knowing some people would say they can’t raise an enthusiastic prayer to God, Pope Francis said he would counter, "You're able to shout when your team makes a goal, but you cannot sing the Lord's praises?"

Jan. 27, 2014
Pope prays for peace, dialogue in Ukraine; bishops offer to mediate
As protests against the Ukrainian president spread to cities across the country, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the nation's people, "particularly for those who lost their lives in the last few days and for their families."

Jan. 27, 2014
Make more room for women without crowding out family, pope says
Women should play a greater role in society and the church without sacrificing their essential attention and contribution to their families, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 27, 2014
Unity will come as divided Christians pray, work together, pope says
While Christian unity will be a gift from God, it won't drop miraculously from the sky but will be given to the followers of Christ step by step as they walk together and work together, Pope Francis said during an ecumenical prayer service marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Jan. 24, 2014
An eventful Vatican year raises the profile of the Catholic press
The last year has witnessed developments within the church that offer Catholic journalism major opportunities for greater influence, among the faithful and the public at large.

Jan. 24, 2014
Pope: Better to eat humble pie than let anger harden the heart
A heart hardened by anger and resentment is worse than eating humble pie and reaching out to enemies to seek peace, Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass.

Jan. 24, 2014
Pope, French president discuss controversial laws on family, bioethics
When Pope Francis met French President Francois Hollande at the Vatican Jan. 24, their discussions about human dignity touched on several topics of tension between the French church and government, including the family and bioethics, the Vatican said.

Jan. 23, 2014
Pope revives question of balancing dialogue, duty to proclaim Christ
A line in Pope Francis' first World Day of Communications' message revived the question of how Christians are called to both search for truth in others and proclaim the truth in Jesus Christ.

Jan. 23, 2014
Pope says Internet a 'gift from God,' should be used for solidarity
Like the good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travelers along today's communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 22, 2014
At start of peace talks, pope calls for urgent end to violence in Syria
As world leaders gathered in the hopes of finding a peaceful solution to Syria's three-year-long brutal conflict, Pope Francis asked that they spare no effort in bringing an end to the violence.

Jan. 22, 2014
Divisions among Christians are 'a scandal,' pope says at audience
The divisions that exist among Christians are a source of pain and scandal, and damage the credibility and work of spreading the Gospel, Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience.

Jan. 22, 2014
Vatican is studying possible papal trips to Korea, other Asian nations
A possible papal trip to South Korea for an Asian youth gathering in August is under consideration as are invitations to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the Vatican spokesman said.

Jan. 21, 2014
At Rome parish, pope meets with migrants, homeless, youths
Meeting 80 immigrants assisted by members of a Rome parish, Pope Francis said leaving one's homeland is always painful, but faith can give one the strength to keep going.

Jan. 21, 2014
Vatican confirms Obama will visit pope in March
Pope Francis will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Vatican March 27, the White House announced and the Vatican confirmed.

Jan. 17, 2014
Livestock, pets flock to St. Peter's Square for feast day blessing
Hundreds of local residents and tourists gathered for the Jan. 17 blessing to mark the feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, patron saint of animals and farmers.

Jan. 17, 2014
Pope encourages ecumenism in response to secularism
Pope Francis said the evangelization of secular society requires focusing on the essentials of Christianity in collaboration with other Christian churches.

Jan. 17, 2014
Rabbi says his friend, the pope, will face challenges in Holy Land
A rabbi who has known Pope Francis for almost 20 years and counts him as a close personal friend said the pope's May trip to the Holy Land will be a challenging balancing act because of the high expectations of Israelis and Palestinians and of Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Jan. 16, 2014
Vatican panel says violence is 'greatest corruption of religion'
Violence is the "greatest corruption of religion," while belief in a single God is the "principle and source of love between human beings," says a new study by a Vatican advisory panel of theologians.

Jan. 16, 2014
Vocations are calls to build up God's kingdom, pope says in message
A vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life or marriage is a call to center one's life on Christ and build up his kingdom, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 16, 2014
Vatican representatives testify before U.N. committee looking at abuse
Testifying before the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, a Vatican representative acknowledged the horror of clerical sexual abuse and insisted the Vatican was serious about protecting children.

Jan. 16, 2014
Scandal, defeat come when clergy, lay refuse to let God transform them
Priests, bishops and lay Catholics who cause scandal are living lives cut off from God, and their corruption ends up poisoning others, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 15, 2014
The cost of sainthood: Cardinal announces plan to contain fees
Having a holy son or daughter formally recognized as a saint by the universal church could easily cost a quarter of a million dollars. But experts say the church isn't selling halos; it's compensating professionals doing serious research, so that a pope can solemnly declare his certainty a person is in heaven.

Jan. 15, 2014
Pope replaces cardinals serving on Vatican bank oversight commission
The new members are Canadian Cardinal Thomas C. Collins of Toronto; Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna; and Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril Castello, the archpriest of Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Jan. 15, 2014
Pope: Persecuted Christians must hunker down, hold tight to God, hope
Christians facing difficulties and discrimination, especially in the Middle East, can learn a valuable lesson from Japanese Christians who survived by clandestinely baptizing, praying and hiding during 250 years of harsh persecution, Pope Francis said in his general audience talk in St. Peter's Square Jan. 15.

Jan. 14, 2014
On abortion and contraception, Vatican puts words in context
On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.

Jan. 14, 2014
Experts at Vatican workshop call for end of weapons flow to Syria
A Vatican study group is urging world leaders to stop the flow of arms into Syria and to press for an immediate and complete cease-fire there with no political preconditions.

Jan. 14, 2014
Kerry, Vatican counterpart meet on Syria, Mideast, U.S. health mandate
Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, hosted a lengthy meeting with his U.S. counterpart, John Kerry, to discuss ongoing tensions in the Middle East, as well as the U.S. bishops' concerns about the Obama administration's health care mandate.

Jan. 14, 2014
Authority in preaching comes from loving like Jesus did, pope says
The authority of Jesus' teaching seemed "new" to the people of his day, not because of its content, but because of the love and respect with which Jesus spoke, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 13, 2014
Pope says abortion, hunger, environmental damage threaten peace
The pope made his remarks Jan. 13 in his first annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by "envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money."

Jan. 13, 2014
Pope supports efforts to help parents of disabled, remove barriers
Meeting a leading Italian campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities, Pope Francis promised to encourage greater support for the parents of young people with disabilities and to support efforts to make churches and church buildings accessible.

Jan. 13, 2014
Pope to moms: It's OK to breast-feed in public, even in Sistine Chapel
No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12.

Jan. 12, 2014
Pope names 19 new cardinals, including six from Latin America
Pope Francis named 19 new cardinals, including the archbishops of Westminster and Quebec and six men from his home region of Latin America, and announced a consistory for their formal induction into the College of Cardinals Feb. 22.

Jan. 10, 2014
With few words on abortion, Pope Francis shows a new way to be pro-life
Pope Francis' decision to talk less than his predecessors about abortion has puzzled and distressed some supporters of the pro-life movement. Yet his pontificate could prove a boon to the pro-life cause in enormous and unprecedented ways.

Jan. 10, 2014
Pope: Too many Christians have watered-down hope, lukewarm faith in God
There are too many "defeated Christians" in the church who do not fully believe in the faith handed down to them by way of tradition and who do not completely trust in God, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 9, 2014
Cardinal reports progress in reform as Legionaries start chapter
As the Legionaries of Christ started their extraordinary general chapter, the cardinal overseeing the troubled congregation said scandal had taken a toll on its finances, but that members had made progress in overcoming the moral and administrative legacy of their disgraced founder.

Jan. 9, 2014
Priest says hitching ride on popemobile was invite to hit road for God
The priest from Buenos Aires who was spotted by Pope Francis at the Jan. 8 general audience in Rome says he has known the current pope for 20 years and describes what happened when Francis gave him a ride.

Jan. 9, 2014
Pope: Christian love isn't soap-opera swoon, it's generous, concrete
Christians must love through concrete actions, not words, which are just whisked away in the wind, Pope Francis said in his homily Jan. 9 during his morning Mass

Jan. 8, 2014
Baptism gives strength to forgive enemies, love poor, pope says
Baptism isn't just some formal ritual, it profoundly changes people, giving them unwavering hope and the strength to forgive and love others, Pope Francis said during his first general audience of 2014.

Jan. 7, 2014
Pope: Jesus helps people make right choice in 'flea market' of desires
The human heart is like a flea market of desires, and people need to know how to pick out the good from the bad, Pope Francis said.

Jan. 7, 2014
Pope meets baby Jesus, carries lamb during visit to live Nativity scene
Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers and bleating, baying animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem.

Jan. 6, 2014
Pope limits 'monsignor' honor for diocesan priests
Pope Francis has decided to limit the honor of "monsignor" among diocesan priests and grant it from now on only to those at least 65 years of age.

Jan. 6, 2014
Guard faith with 'spiritual cunning,' says pope
Christians should go out into the world to follow God but use "holy cunning" to guard against the snares of temptation, Pope Francis said on the feast of the Epiphany.

Jan. 3, 2014
Pope orders new rules on relations between bishops, religious orders
Pope Francis said he has ordered a revision of what he called outdated Vatican norms on the relations between religious orders and local bishops, in order to promote greater appreciation of the orders' distinctive missions.

Jan. 3, 2014
True faith is driven by zeal to change world with God's love, pope says
True faith is marked by the daring desire to change the world with the loving heart of Jesus, Pope Francis told more than 300 of his fellow Jesuits Jan. 3.

Jan. 2, 2014
Pope: Time to stop violence, discord, and begin making peace at home
People must not remain "indifferent and immobile" in the face of violence and injustice, but commit themselves to "build a truly more just and caring society," Pope Francis said on the day which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.

Jan. 2, 2014
More than 6.6 million attended Vatican events with Pope Francis in 2013
In the first nine and a half months of Pope Francis' pontificate, more than 6.6 million people participated in papal events at the Vatican, including weekly general audiences, group audiences, liturgies and recitations of the Angelus and “Regina Coeli” on Sundays and holy days.

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