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Pope John Paul II
-Special Section-
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.

Dec. 31, 2013
Pope: In new year, step outside your comfort zone, get involved
The new year will be brighter only if everyone steps outside their safe havens, gets involved and works together to solve local problems with generosity and love, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 30, 2013
Pope: Don't forget plight of exiles, elderly marginalized by own family
Pope Francis urged people to remember today's "hidden exiles" -- the elderly and other relatives who are abandoned or forgotten by their own families.

Dec. 27, 2013
Prospects for the new year in Vatican news
The biggest stories of 2014 are likely to be those that come by surprise, but in the meantime, here are developments bound to loom large in Vatican news over the coming year.

Dec. 27, 2013
Retired Pope Benedict visits Pope Francis for lunch
Three days after Pope Francis paid his predecessor a visit on Christmas Eve, retired Pope Benedict joined the pope for lunch at the Vatican guesthouse.

Dec. 26, 2013
Pope, on feast of first martyr, prays for persecuted Christians
Pope Francis prayed for Christians suffering persecution and discrimination around the world, even in countries that nominally honor religious liberty.

Dec. 25, 2013
Christmas is time to feel God's closeness, experience peace, pope says
Celebrating the first Christmas since his election, Pope Francis preached the goodness and tenderness of God, and prayed that men and women around the world would allow God's grace to transform them into peacemakers.

Dec. 23, 2013
Remember those like Holy Family who are homeless, pope says
Pope Francis urged individuals and government leaders to recognize the pain, struggles and rights of families -- like Jesus, Mary and Joseph -- who do not have a home.

Dec. 23, 2013
Pope pays pre-Christmas visit to Rome’s children’s hospital
With lots of kisses, but very few words, Pope Francis spent more than two-and-a-half hours visiting sick children.

Dec. 20, 2013
Papal preacher says concern for unborn should extend to poor
Christians cannot hope to abolish abortion and euthanasia unless they live out their faith, extending their concern for victims of such practices to those who suffer from poverty, illness and oppression, said the preacher of the papal household.

Dec. 19, 2013
Vatican hires firms to streamline communications, improve accounting
In an effort to streamline and modernize its communications structures and bring its accounting practices in line with international standards, the Vatican hired two international consulting agencies.

Dec. 19, 2013
Man seriously injured after setting self on fire in St. Peter's Square
The unidentified man doused himself with gasoline he had carried in a bottle and then lit himself aflame at the end of the colonnade near Piazza Pio XII at 8:30 in the morning Dec. 19.

Dec. 18, 2013
Another Swiss guard: Finance officer works to protect the Vatican
From his office near the Vatican gas station, a young Swiss lawyer is working to prevent the greedy or corrupt from misusing the Vatican's financial structures.

Dec. 18, 2013
Pope, at audience, says Christmas offers lesson in humility
Pope Francis said Christmas is an occasion of joy but also a lesson in humility, when the faithful are called to imitate the example of God-made-man.

Dec. 17, 2013
Pope celebrates birthday by having breakfast with homeless men
As part of a low-key celebration of his 77th birthday, Pope Francis had breakfast with three people who live on the streets near the Vatican. A small dog, belonging to one of the homeless men, was also on the guest list.

Dec. 17, 2013
Pope proclaims sainthood of Jesuit companion of St. Ignatius
Pope Francis issued a decree declaring one of his favorite Jesuits, Blessed Peter Faber, a saint. The decree is what the Vatican terms an "equivalent canonization."

Dec. 16, 2013
Pope talks about Marxism, women cardinals and the joy of Christmas
In another wide-ranging interview with an Italian journalist, Pope Francis denied he was a Marxist but said he took no offense at the label; dismissed the notion of women cardinals; and reflected on Christmas as an occasion of joy, tenderness and hope.

Dec. 16, 2013
Pope reconfirms Cardinal Ouellet to lead bishops' congregation
Nine months after his election, Pope Francis has reconfirmed Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, seen as one of the most powerful offices of the Roman Curia, and expanded the international membership of the congregation.

Dec. 16, 2013
Christians can't be gloomy because Jesus always brings joy, pope says
Sadness is a sign of being far from Christ because Jesus offers everyone the strength to persevere with hope and joy, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 13, 2013
'Jesus the Homeless' sculpture may find home in Rome
A sculpture of a weary Jesus wrapped in a blanket may have found a permanent home in Rome, very close to the Vatican.

Dec. 13, 2013
Christmas lights reflect truth that Christ is light of world, pope says
While he did not attend the Vatican's tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 13, the pope personally thanked the German donors and their Czech neighbors for the tree during an audience earlier in the day.

Dec. 13, 2013
Constant criticism of preachers is usually sign of fear, pope says
Christians who find something to criticize in every preacher they ever hear are not simply fussy, Pope Francis said, they usually are afraid.

Dec. 12, 2013
A Jesuit promotes human dignity, from Central America to the Holy See
Two years in El Salvador after the 1989 murders there of six Jesuit scholars was only one episode in Jesuit Father Michael Czerny's long career in the field of social justice, which he now pursues inside the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Dec. 12, 2013
Experts praise new Vatican laws, but ask for inspection of Vatican bank
European experts on preventing financial crimes praised a series of new Vatican laws and procedures but urged the Vatican to move immediately to conduct onsite inspections of the Vatican bank and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

Dec. 12, 2013
Pope says God speaks in whispers, so hush a bit before Christmas
If silence is not one of the sounds associated with Christmas preparations, chances are people will miss an experience of the love and tenderness that is at the heart of the holiday, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 12, 2013
Pope: Human trafficking is crime against humanity, must be stopped
Speaking to the group of 17 new ambassadors to the Vatican, the pope dedicated his entire talk to human trafficking because, he said, it is "an issue that worries me very much and today is threatening people's dignity."

Dec. 12, 2013
Pope says peace is impossible without fraternity based on Christ
In his first message for the annual World Day of Peace, Pope Francis writes that peace and social justice are impossible without a spirit of fraternity based on recognition that all men and women are children of God -- a relationship fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Dec. 11, 2013
Bishops lead protesters in prayer after night of police action in Kiev
In the deep of the freezing night, security forces moved into Ukraine's Independence Square intent on dislodging protesters who had spent weeks talking, singing and praying for their country.

Dec. 11, 2013
Vatican official says not to expect papal encyclical on poverty
An official at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that, despite widespread news reports and the statement of an Italian bishop, he does not expect Pope Francis to write an encyclical on the subject of poverty.

Dec. 11, 2013
Pope Francis is third pope to win Time's Person of the Year honor
Pope Francis is not seeking fame or accolades, but being named Time magazine's Person of the Year will make him happy if it helps attract people to the hope of the Gospel, said the Vatican spokesman.

Dec. 11, 2013
Pope at audience: Americas, open your arms to poor, immigrants, unborn
Anticipating the Dec. 12 feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, Pope Francis prayed that Catholics throughout the Americas would open their arms to the poor, to immigrants, to the unborn and to the aged just as Mary opens her arms to all.

Dec. 10, 2013
Ukraine protest is spiritual movement, bishop says
Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Borys Gudziak, who addressed Ukrainian demonstrators in Kiev's Independence Square Dec. 8, says protesters seeking reforms in the country are part of a spiritual movement, “a movement of hearts and values."

Dec. 10, 2013
European body accepts Vatican report on fighting financial crime
A European body that investigates government efforts to combat financial crimes has confirmed the Vatican has made significant progress in reducing the risk that its institutions could be used for money laundering and financing terrorism.

Dec. 9, 2013
Pope, with Egyptian Catholic leader, prays for Middle East Christians
Concelebrating Mass with the leader of Egypt's Coptic Catholics, Pope Francis prayed for the safety and religious liberty of Christians in the Middle East.

Dec. 9, 2013
Pope calls for action against scandal of hunger in a world of plenty
People must stand united against the scandal of hunger while avoiding food waste and irresponsible use of the world's resources, Pope Francis said, launching a global campaign of prayer and action against hunger.

Dec. 9, 2013
Pope asks that no one be indifferent to elderly, children, sick, poor
Pope Francis prayed on the feast of the Immaculate Conception that people would never be indifferent to the cries of the poor, the suffering of the sick, the loneliness of the elderly and the fragility of children.

Dec. 6, 2013
Pope tells theologians 'sense of the faithful' is not majority opinion
Pope Francis said the church must pay attention to the 'sense of the faithful' ('sensus fidelium') when exercising its teaching authority, but never confuse that sense with popular opinion on matters of faith.

Dec. 6, 2013
Vatican Tannenbaum: how 'branches green' show other shades of meaning
If Germans are known for being punctual, it turns out even their trees show up early. This year's Vatican Christmas tree from Bavaria's Bohemian Forest was scheduled to arrive on the feast of St. Nicholas, Dec. 6, but appeared instead on Dec. 5.

Dec. 5, 2013
A life built on Christ is guarantee against hypocrisy, pope says
People can say things that sound Christian and call themselves Christian as they tell others what to do, but if they don't pray often and live the Gospel, they harm others and the church, Pope Francis said.

Dec. 5, 2013
Pope to set up advisory commission on sexual abuse
Pope Francis accepted a proposal to set up a special commission on the sexual abuse of children, which will advise him on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families.

Dec. 5, 2013
Red February: Pope to hold meeting with cardinals, create new ones
In late February, Pope Francis will be seeing red and a lot of it as he meets with the College of Cardinals and creates new members.

Dec. 4, 2013
Cardinal: For pope, church reform is spiritual exercise, not a project
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga says the Jesuit pope's focus on mission, community and discipline are keys to understanding his reform of the church.

Dec. 4, 2013
Holy See developing child protection program for Vatican City
The Holy See has begun to draw up its own safe-environment program for children in Vatican City State, in an effort to better implement the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Dec. 3, 2013
Wall Street vs. Main Street: Pope's words on economy stir controversy
The international response to Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), published Nov. 26, has seemed to suggest the current pope wrote something shockingly new.

Dec. 3, 2013
Pope calls for prayers for kidnapped nuns, all people abducted in Syria 4.
"Let's keep praying and working together for peace," Pope Francis said in an appeal at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Dec. 4.

Dec. 3, 2013
Pope Francis will help launch worldwide 'wave of prayer' against hunger
Organized by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, the global "wave of prayer" will begin at noon Dec. 10 on the South Pacific island of Samoa and head west across the world's time zones.

Dec. 3, 2013
Pope, cardinal council begin work on reorganizing Roman Curia
Pope Francis and the eight members of his international Council of Cardinals have begun their discussions on specific ways to reorganize the Roman Curia, looking first at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, the Vatican spokesman said.

Dec. 3, 2013
Church must proclaim salvation with joy, pope says
Christians are used to imagining Jesus preaching, healing, walking the roads of the Holy Land or seated with his disciples at the Last Supper, Pope Francis said. "But we aren't so used to thinking of Jesus smiling, joyful."

Dec. 2, 2013
Best gift in life is encountering Christ, pope says at start of Advent
A Christian's whole life "is an encounter with Jesus: in prayer, when we go to Mass, when we do good works, when we visit the sick, when we help the poor, when we think of others, when we're not self-centered, when we are amiable," he said in a homily given at a Rome parish Dec. 1.

Dec. 2, 2013
In conversations with parishioners, pope reveals he once was a bouncer
In addition to having worked sweeping floors and running tests in a chemical laboratory as a teenager, Pope Francis revealed he also used to work as a bouncer.

Dec. 2, 2013
In clearest statement to date, pope prays for victims of sex abuse
In his clearest public reference as pope to the subject of clerical sex abuse, Pope Francis urged bishops to support abuse victims while also reaching out to priests who have "fallen short of their commitments."

Dec. 2, 2013
Meeting superiors, pope says 2015 will be dedicated to religious life
During a three-hour meeting with 120 superiors general of men's religious orders, Pope Francis said the church would make consecrated life its focus in 2015.

Dec. 2, 2013
Pope meet with Israel's Netanyahu, discusses Middle East peace
Pope Francis met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel Dec. 2, and discussed prospects for peace in the Middle East and the pope's still-unscheduled trip to the Holy Land.

Nov. 27, 2013
Schedule set for Pope Francis' first Vatican Christmas
At least liturgically, Pope Francis' first Advent and Christmas at the Vatican will follow the schedule set during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Nov. 27, 2013
To go forth in evangelization, Pope Francis confronts the enemy within
In contrast to earlier apostolic exhortations that focused on themes raised in a world Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis devotes much of his first exhortation to the shortcomings of the church itself.

Nov. 27, 2013
Pope expected to proclaim sainthood of Jesuit companion of St. Ignatius
A papal decree for Blessed Peter Faber is likely to take the form of what the Vatican terms an "equivalent canonization," in which the pope inserts the name of the new saint in the universal calendar of saints without verifying a miracle performed through his intercession and without holding a formal canonization ceremony.

Nov. 27, 2013
Pope: To face death with courage, peace, stay close to Jesus in life
The thought of death and losing a loved one is scary when there is no faith in Jesus guiding people to an everlasting life, Pope Francis said during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Nov. 26, 2013
Pope says only men can be priests, but women must have voice in church
The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on the inadmissibility of women priests, Pope Francis said in his new apostolic exhortation, but it does have to stop linking all decision making to ordination and allow women to have a voice in deliberations.

Nov. 26, 2013
Pope frames vision for church outreach at every level
Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), which was released Nov. 26 at the Vatican.

Nov. 26, 2013
Pope: Opposition to abortion isn't 'conservative,' it's result of faith
Defending human dignity and protecting society's most vulnerable necessarily means protecting the unborn and defending their right to life, Pope Francis said in his apostolic exhortation.

Nov. 26, 2013
In document, pope lays out his vision for an evangelical church
In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society's poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and the unborn.

Nov. 25, 2013
At Vatican meeting, pope discusses ongoing war in Syria with Putin
Peace in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing war in Syria, topped the agenda Nov. 25 as Pope Francis welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Vatican.

Nov. 25, 2013
Pope marks 80th anniversary of 'Terror-Famine of Ukraine'
At the end of his Angelus address Nov. 24, the pope greeted Ukrainian pilgrims remembering "the great famine provoked by the Soviet regime that caused millions of victims."

Nov. 25, 2013
Pope venerates apostle’s relics, urges people focus on Christ
Pope Francis closed the Year of Faith by calling on people to keep Christ at the center of their lives, especially in times of trouble.

Nov. 22, 2013
With document on evangelization, pope makes real authorial debut
Pope Francis has already published an encyclical. But in the opening paragraphs of "Lumen Fidei," released in July, he explained that the text was essentially the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to whose words Pope Francis had merely "added a few contributions" of his own.

Nov. 22, 2013
Churches must first be places where God is adored, pope say
Temples and churches are places people gather for many reasons, but if a place of worship is not primarily a place where God is adored, then it can't really be called a temple or a church, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 22, 2013
Asking God 'why' attracts his fatherly love, pope tells Filipinos
Referring to the death and destruction Super Typhoon Haiyan caused in the central Philippines in early November, Pope Francis said, "Why do these things happen? It can't be explained. There are many things that we cannot understand."

Nov. 21, 2013
Vatican, Google team up to bring ancient Christian catacombs to light
Early Christian burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican.

Nov. 21, 2013
Quality of life depends on loving care, not just medicine, speakers say
More people live longer, but their quality of life may actually worsen because too often the elderly are not respected and, when they get ill, they may be abandoned, said speakers at a Vatican conference.

Nov. 19, 2013
Pope prays for peace, full religious freedom for all in Middle East
Pope Francis said he “will not be at peace as long as there are men and women -- of any religion -- harmed in their dignity, deprived of what is necessary for their survival, robbed of their future or forced to become refugees."

Nov. 19, 2013
Pope, at audience, says he goes to confession every two weeks
Pope Francis said he goes to confession every two weeks, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who repent, but also knowing that having a priest say "I absolve you" reinforces belief in God's mercy.

Nov. 19, 2013
Pope's embrace was heavenly, says man with disfiguring disease
For someone who has frequently been shunned and humiliated because of a disease that has severely disfigured his entire body, receiving the pope's loving embrace was like being in paradise.

Nov. 19, 2013
Pope prays that people will care for and listen to grandparents
Just as fine wine grows stronger with age, grandparents and other elderly Catholics "have the strength to leave us a noble inheritance," Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass.

Nov. 18, 2013
Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation to be published Nov. 26
Apostolic exhortations, one of the most authoritative forms of papal writing, are often based on deliberations of synods of bishops. "Evangelii Gaudium" is expected to take into account the October 2012 synod on the new evangelization, held at the beginning of the Year of Faith.

Nov. 18, 2013
Vatican to display St. Peter's relics at final Mass of Year of Faith
For the first time, bones traditionally believed to be relics of St. Peter the Apostle will be displayed for public veneration in St. Peter's Square Nov. 24, at a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis to conclude the Year of Faith.

Nov. 18, 2013
Pope prescribes daily rosary for what ails you
Pope Francis admitted he wasn't a pharmacist, but he didn't hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together: the rosary.

Nov. 15, 2013
Cardinal Zen: Vatican must be clearer on religious freedom in China
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the retired bishop of Hong Kong and an outspoken advocate of religious freedom in China, called on the Vatican to speak more clearly in defense of Catholics there, especially the so-called "underground" or clandestine communities who refuse to register with the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association.

Nov. 15, 2013
Pope cancels morning meetings because of slight cold
Pope Francis had a cold Nov. 15, and since his only morning meetings were with Vatican officials, the pope took the morning off, said the Vatican spokesman.

Nov. 14, 2013
Year of two popes leaves indelible mark on Year of Faith
If the church’s soon-to-close Year of Faith has succeeded, as organizers say it has, the credit ultimately lies less with its special projects and events than with the historic papal transition that occurred in its course.

Nov. 14, 2013
Pope, on state visit to Italy, highlights social concerns
Pope Francis made the first state visit of his pontificate Nov. 14, traveling two miles from Vatican City to Italy's presidential palace, where he voiced the church's solidarity with the nation in facing social challenges that included immigration, unemployment and the well-being of families.

Nov. 14, 2013
Italian prosecutor says mafia would like to hurt the pope
Crime families in Italy are not happy with Pope Francis and would hurt him if they could, said an Italian prosecutor who has spent years investigating organized crime and has written a book about the apparent Catholic devotion of mafia bosses.

Nov. 14, 2013
Pope says purported visions of Mary can lead people away from God
Purported visions of Mary, if taken in the wrong spirit, can sow confusion and distance people from the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 13, 2013
Confession renews grace of baptism, pope says at audience
With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said during his weekly general audience.

Nov. 12, 2013
God may scold, but he never slaps, pope says
God's hands are never used for violence, Pope Francis said. "I can't imagine God slapping us."

Nov. 11, 2013
Cardinal Bartolucci, former Sistine Chapel Choir director, dies at 96
Italian Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, who had devoted most of his priestly life to music and served as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir for more than 40 years, died Nov. 11 at the age of 96.

Nov. 11, 2013
'Putrid' hypocrisy worse than mere sin, pope says
God loves and forgives sinners but abhors and condemns "putrid" hypocrites who lead others to sin, Pope Francis said Nov. 11 during a morning Mass he celebrated in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.

Nov. 11, 2013
Pope leads prayers, calls for aid for people hit by deadly typhoon
Pope Francis led prayers for people hit by a deadly typhoon in the Philippines and surrounding region, and asked that concrete aid be sent soon.

Nov. 8, 2013
Pope chooses beatitudes as themes for coming World Youth Days
Pope Francis has asked Catholic young people around the world to read, meditate and act on the beatitudes as they celebrate World Youth Day in their dioceses in 2014 and 2015 and as they prepare to join him in Poland in 2016.

Nov. 8, 2013
Vatican to put St. Peter's relics on display for first time
For the first time, the bones traditionally believed to be the relics of St. Peter the Apostle will be on public display for veneration.

Nov. 7, 2013
Bringing home 'dirty money' starves one's family of dignity, pope says
Despite the perks and high living they may bring, bribery, corruption and dishonest work are serious sins that rob people and their children of their dignity, Pope Francis said during his early morning Mass.

Nov. 7, 2013
Religious superior allegedly kidnapped confreres to ensure re-election
Italian police arrested the superior general of the Camillian Fathers and Brothers on suspicion of kidnapping after he allegedly tried to prevent two Camillian Fathers opposed to his election from attending the order's general chapter.

Nov. 7, 2013
From New Jersey to the Vatican, opening a dialogue with the Gospel
Mentoring inner-city youths is hardly the most obvious way to prepare for working at the Vatican, but Father Geno Sylva says the lessons he learned in a low-income New Jersey community have served him abundantly well in his current job as an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Nov. 7, 2013
God's weak spot is his love for those who are lost, pope says
God has a certain weak spot of love for those who are lost or have strayed furthest from him; they are the ones he goes out to find, Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass Nov. 7. for a seriously ill 18-month-old girl named Noemi.

Nov. 6, 2013
Share each other's burdens in prayer, acts of love, pope says
Saying, "don't worry, we aren't taking up a collection," Pope Francis asked people at his weekly general audience to perform an act of charity by praying for a seriously ill 18-month-old girl named Noemi.

Nov. 5, 2013
Officials say family synod to be based on doctrine, not public opinion
"It is not a question of public opinion," said Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, who will play a key role during the synod

Nov. 5, 2013
God expects a wholehearted RSVP to his invitations, pope says
Being on God's "guest list" is not enough for salvation; a person must respond to the offer of faith and actively participate in the life of the church, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 5, 2013
Vatican embassy in Syria hit, damaged by mortar strike
A mortar round hit the apostolic nunciature in the Syrian capital but cause no casualities because of the early hour of the strike.

Nov. 4, 2013
Women religious ask pope for world day of prayer against trafficking
Pope Francis also has asked two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking.

Nov. 4, 2013
Pope says God never tires of offering sinners eternal life
God even offers the disobedient the chance for eternal life, Pope Francis said.

Nov. 1, 2013
All Saints, All Souls feasts are time to renew hope, pope says
At the end of the feast of All Saints, just before the sun set, Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Mass at Rome's Verano cemetery and urged Christians to hang on to hope as they reflect on the promise that earthly life ends with eternal life in heaven.

Nov. 1, 2013
Saints aren't superheroes, they just never strayed from God, pope says
"Being a saint is not a privilege of the few, like someone getting a large inheritance. All of us have inherited through baptism the ability to become saints," Pope Francis said on All Saints' Day.

Nov. 1, 2013
Bishops asked to assess marriage, family life to prepare for synod
Bishops around the world are being asked to take a realistic look at the situation of families under their care and at how effective pastoral and educational programs have been at promoting church teaching on sexuality, marriage and family life.

Oct. 31, 2013
Keeping the habit: Franciscans look to counter culture's impact
Pope Francis frequently denounces two aspects of modern culture: the way it encourages people to throw away whatever or whoever they no longer find useful and the belief that nothing lasts forever, not even love.

Oct. 31, 2013
Pope Francis set to create first batch of cardinals in February
Pope Francis will create his first cardinals during a consistory Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

Oct. 31, 2013
At Mass near John Paul's tomb, pope focuses on experiencing God's love
Surprising pilgrims at Blessed John Paul II's tomb, Pope Francis made an early morning visit to St. Peter's Basilica and celebrated Mass with the mostly Polish pilgrims.

Oct. 30, 2013
Vatican not worried about possibility U.S. monitored its calls
The Vatican has no evidence its calls were monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency and, even if they were, "we have no concerns about it," the Vatican spokesman said.

Oct. 30, 2013
In times of trouble, pope says, call on the communion of saints
"Don't be frightened," but ask for help, Pope Francis said Oct. 30 at his weekly general audience, talking about the "communion of saints" as the church prepared to celebrate the Nov. 1-2 feasts of All Saints and All Souls.

Oct. 29, 2013
Pope says hope is not mere optimism but a link to eternal life
Taking as his text the day's reading from Paul's Letter to the Romans (8: 18-25), which deals with the theological virtue of hope, Pope Francis distinguished the virtue from an "ability to look at things in a good spirit and move ahead."

Oct. 28, 2013
Pope receives Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition leader
Pope Francis met Oct. 28 with Burmese opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, for what the Vatican called a "rather significant encounter" between two leaders "fundamentally on the same wavelength" regarding nonviolence, democracy and "peaceful coexistence in today's world."

Oct. 28, 2013
Young and old join pope to celebrate joy of family life
A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony; through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfill their mission in the world, Pope Francis said at a Year of Faith celebration of family life.

Oct. 25, 2013
Theory of one hominid species is compatible with faith, experts say
A new hypothesis that human beings emerged from one single evolving human species rather than branching from a tree of multiple, early ancestral species fits better with the church's position that humans came from one source in that they were freely created by God, said two experts in science and faith.

Oct. 25, 2013
Defense of family must not justify women's oppression, speakers say
The Catholic Church must defend the traditional family without perpetuating the subjugation of women or forcing them to bear the greatest burden for keeping the family going, said speakers at a Vatican conference.

Oct. 25, 2013
Marriage isn't easy, but it's beautiful, pope says
The Catholic Church must help young people understand that marriage isn't always easy, "but it is so beautiful," Pope Francis said

Oct. 24, 2013
New U.S. envoy to Vatican: Areas of agreement bigger than differences
Disagreements need not hinder the Vatican and the Obama administration from collaborating on a broad range of peace and justice issues, said the new U.S ambassador to the Holy See.

Oct. 24, 2013
Christians, Jews must fight discrimination together, pope says
"Where any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnicity, the good of the entire society is in danger," the pope said Oct. 24.

Oct. 24, 2013
Though weak, people must find strength in God to avoid sin, pope says
Even though human beings are weak and imperfect, Christians can't be lazy and wallow in sin, Pope Francis said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 24.

Oct. 23, 2013
Pope says he's drawn to prisoners because he's human like they are
Pope Francis said his care, concern and prayers for those in prison flow from a recognition that he is human like they are, and it's a mystery they fell so far and he did not.

Oct. 23, 2013
Mary is model of faith, charity, union with Christ, pope says
Seeing Mary as a model of faith teaches Christians that total dedication to Jesus does not take them away from real life, because faith is lived through the chores and cares of everyday existence, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Oct. 23, 2013
Pope authorizes leave of absence for German 'luxury bishop'
Pope Francis has authorized a leave of absence for a German bishop at the center of controversy over expenditures for his residence and diocesan center.

Oct. 22, 2013
Pope says Catholics, Lutherans must ask pardon for harming one another
Meeting with representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and members of the Catholic-Lutheran international theological dialogue, Pope Francis said commemorations in 2017 of the beginning of the Reformation must take place in a spirit of dialogue and humility.

Oct. 22, 2013
Vatican official reaffirms teaching on divorced, remarried Catholics
Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican's highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage.

Oct. 22, 2013
To understand God, get down on your knees, pope says
God's love and the salvation offered in Jesus cannot be understood using intelligence alone and, in fact, trying to make it all reasonable can make one crazy, Pope Francis said.

Oct. 22, 2013
Archbishop Ganswein talks about serving two popes
Pope Francis has said and done things that have surprised the world -- and surprised those who work closest to him -- but calling what he is doing a "revolution" is a "frivolous slogan," said Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Oct. 21, 2013
Greed destroys, money is God's gift to use to help others, pope says
Money by itself isn't a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said in a morning Mass homily.

Oct. 21, 2013
Pope meets German bishop at center of spending controversy
After giving a morning Mass homily on the virtue of poverty, Pope Francis held a private meeting Oct. 21 with a German bishop under fire for a massive building project that critics have denounced as extravagant.

Oct. 21, 2013
Pro, amateur athletes race with faith to St. Peter's Square
Seminarians, Vatican guards, Olympic champs, regular children and people with disabilities all took part in a morning "Race of Faith" to highlight how the church can help foster a world of sport that better respects human dignity.

Oct. 21, 2013
Pope Francis receives Hackett, new U.S. envoy to Vatican
Presenting his credentials to Pope Francis, Kenneth F. Hackett officially took over as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See Oct. 21, filling a role that had been vacant for nearly a year.

Oct. 21, 2013
Celluloid heaven: how popes took church, Gospel to the big screen
The Catholic Church has a history of taking on major technological innovations that promote mass communication, such as the printing press in the 15th century and radio and television in the 20th. In fact, one of the very first motion picture films ever made was an 1896 reel of Pope Leo XIII.

Oct. 18, 2013
Pope's chief of staff gives behind-the-scenes talk on media, reform
The Vatican's online access to official papal texts and speeches free people from relying on media coverage that may be manipulative or biased, said a top official in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Oct. 18, 2013
Catholic media bring church closer to people, pope says
Catholic media professionals must report news and share stories, "dialoguing with a world that has a need to be listened to and understood, but also needs to receive the message of true life," the pope said Oct. 18.

Oct. 18, 2013
Pope, at Mass, encourages people to visit retired priests, nuns
Calling homes for retired priests and nuns "sanctuaries of holiness," Pope Francis asked Catholics to visit those who spent their lives sharing the Gospel and caring for others.

Oct. 17, 2013
Pope decides to hold 2014 Lenten retreat away from Vatican
"As a good Jesuit," Pope Francis knows it is best not to try to make a retreat where one lives and works, so he has decided the annual papal Lenten retreat with Roman Curia officials will be held outside Rome, a Vatican spokesman said.

Oct. 17, 2013
Heartfelt prayer keeps faith from becoming ideology, pope says at Mass
When Christianity becomes an ideology rather than a faith based on a relationship with God, its followers become proud and rigid, Pope Francis said Oct. 17 in a homily at his early morning Mass.

Oct. 17, 2013
Palestinian president hopes to use pen from pope to sign peace treaty
Pope Francis gave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a fancy pen as a gift, and Abbas told the pope, "I hope to sign the peace agreement with Israel with this pen.

Oct. 16, 2013
Vatican investment office announces outside review of its activity
The office that handles the Vatican's investment portfolio and its real estate holdings, as well as serving as the Vatican employment office and procurement agency, has asked an international financial risk-management company to review its books and procedures.

Oct. 16, 2013
Pope denounces wasted food as fruit of 'throwaway culture'
The pope's words appeared in his annual message for World Food Day, Oct. 16, addressed to the director of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.

Oct. 16, 2013
Nazi war criminal's SSPX funeral stopped by protests
The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X offered to celebrate a funeral for convicted war criminal Erich Priebke after the Diocese of Rome said the service would be allowed only in a private home, but violent protests outside the chapel forced cancellation of the Mass.

Oct. 16, 2013
Church is 'apostolic' when it shares Gospel with the world, pope says
"A church closed in on itself and its past, a church concerned only with its little rules, customs and attitudes is a church that betrays its identity," the pope told more than 70,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square Oct. 16 for his weekly general audience.

Oct. 15, 2013
For Internet rulers, the Vatican is officially .catholic
As top-level Internet domain names are being rolled out and up for grabs, the Vatican has scored control of .catholic.

Oct. 15, 2013
Outgoing Vatican secretary of state stresses continuity between popes
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who as Vatican secretary of state drew rising criticism for failures of the Vatican bureaucracy he oversaw, stepped down Oct. 15 with a speech praising the pontificate of retired Pope Benedict XVI and stressing its continuity with that of Pope Francis.

Oct. 15, 2013
Vatican comes up to bat with own cricket team, may field female squad
"It may be that instead of watching players who go out to play with cricket caps on, we're going to have a series who play with veils on as they bat up," said John McCarthy, a former cricket player and Australia's ambassador to the Holy See.

Oct. 14, 2013
Live the faith, share it, teach it, pope tells evangelization council
The world needs "the oxygen of the Gospel, the breath of the spirit of the risen Christ," Pope Francis said.

Oct. 14, 2013
Venerating Fatima statue, pope entrusts world to Mary
The short ceremony in St. Peter’s Square was the culmination of a special Marian Day organized for the Year of Faith.

Oct. 11, 2013
How Catholic universities can be models of authentic higher education
The seven pontifical universities of Rome started their academic year Oct. 7, welcoming thousands of new and returning students from around the world.

Oct. 11, 2013
Pope meets Rome Jews, commemorates deportations to Auschwitz
At a meeting with members of Rome's Jewish community, Pope Francis denounced anti-Semitism and recalled the 1943 deportation of more than 1,000 of the city's Jews to the most notorious Nazi death camp -- an incident that has proven a major source of tension between the papacy and Jewish leaders.

Oct. 10, 2013
Pope thanks Knights of Columbus for prayers, solidarity
Pope Francis thanked the Knights of Columbus for being in solidarity with him, something he said is seen not only in the money they give for his charities, but also in their prayers, sacrifices and charitable activities.

Oct. 10, 2013
Archbishop says synod theme shows importance of family for pope
Vatican official says Pope Francis' decision to call an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in 2014 demonstrates the urgency he sees in responding to problems Christian families face.

Oct. 9, 2013
Cardinal Dolan, in Rome, lauds pope's 'new strategy' of evangelization
Pope Francis' recent warning against overemphasizing moral teachings against abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception means that U.S. bishops should emulate his positive approach to evangelization, not shift the priorities of their public policy agenda, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

Oct. 9, 2013
Vatican takes another step in promoting financial transparency
With the adoption of a detailed new law on financial transparency, vigilance and information, the Vatican has almost completely revamped its finance laws in less than three years, the Vatican spokesman said

Oct. 9, 2013
Faith, harmony, universality make church 'catholic,' pope says
Professing that the church is "catholic" means accepting its teachings, accepting the gifts it offers to help one grow in holiness and accepting the fact that it is composed of different people with different gifts and opinions, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

Oct. 8, 2013
Pope calls synod to discuss families, divorce and remarriage
The predicament of divorced and remarried Catholics will be a major topic of discussion when bishops from around the world meet at the Vatican in October 2014.

Oct. 8, 2013
Muslim leader says pope is model of what religious leader should be
Pope Francis, like Islam's Sufi mystic theologians and poets, "is trying to do good for the sake of the Good One, motivated by love and compassion," said the president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland.

Oct. 7, 2013
Legionaries of Christ renewal goes forward with January general chapter
Members of the Legionaries of Christ will begin their extraordinary general chapter Jan. 8 to elect new leaders and approve a new constitution, the key step in an effort to renew the order after revelations about the misconduct of their founder.

Oct. 7, 2013
Pope sends official to Lampedusa where migrants' boat sank
As efforts to recover the bodies of migrants who drowned off Italy's southern coast continued, Pope Francis again asked people to pray for the victims and he sent his almoner to Lampedusa to pray over the 194 corpses recovered as of Oct. 6 and to visit the survivors.

Oct. 4, 2013
Have the courage to marry, start a family, pope tells youths in Assisi
In societies that trumpet individual rights, see everything as fleeting and see no value in sticking to something that's difficult, deciding to get married today takes courage, Pope Francis told young people in Assisi.

Oct. 4, 2013
Pope, in Assisi, calls on church to renounce 'spirit of the world'
Making his first pilgrimage as pope to the birthplace of his papal namesake, Pope Francis called on the whole church to imitate St. Francis of Assisi, embracing poverty and stripping itself of the "spirit of world."

Oct. 3, 2013
In interviews, Pope Francis crafts a new genre of papal language
Pope Francis has given three wide-ranging interviews in two months, drawing headlines and heated discussion with frank statements on sexual and medical ethics, Christian dialogue with nonbelievers, and reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, among other topics.

Oct. 3, 2013
Pope, cardinal advisers looking at major overhaul of Roman Curia
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals are laying out plans to completely overhaul the Roman Curia, underlining its role of "service to the universal church and the local churches," the Vatican spokesman said

Oct. 3, 2013
Pope: Are 'justice' and 'solidarity' just words in a dictionary?
The Cold War has ended and the Berlin Wall has fallen, but war and the threat of war continue and migrants are still dying as they travel in search of safety and a better life, Pope Francis said.

Oct. 2, 2013
Holy, holy, holy: Pope talks about his favorite saints
Holy, holy, holy: Pope talks about his favorite saints Who are the holy men and women Pope Francis looks up to? He revealed many of them in two recently published interviews.

Oct. 2, 2013
Pope and advisory council discuss synod reform on first day
Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future.

Oct. 2, 2013
Church welcomes sinners, shows them path to holiness, pope says
If the church excluded sinners, it would pretty much be empty, Pope Francis told thousands of people gathered for his weekly general audience.

Oct. 1, 2013
Pope calls for less "Vatican-centric," more socially conscious church
In his latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said that he aimed to make the Catholic Church less "Vatican-centric" and closer to the "people of God," as well as more socially conscious and open to modern culture.

Oct. 1, 2013
Humility, service attract people to church, not power, pride, pope says
As a series of consultations aimed at the reform of the Vatican bureaucracy began, Pope Francis told his group of cardinal advisers that humility and service attract people to the church, not power and pride.

Oct. 1, 2013
Furthering transparency efforts, Vatican bank publishes annual report
As part of its continuing efforts to promote transparency and to demonstrate its stability and adherence to industry standards, the Vatican bank published its annual report for the first time in its history.

Sept. 30, 2013
Dialogue for peace is religious obligation, pope tells leaders
Peace is so difficult to find because men and women struggle to stop focusing on their own interests long enough to listen to and learn from others, Pope Francis said to religious, political and cultural leaders from around the world.

Sept. 30, 2013
Pope establishes advisory panel as permanent Council of Cardinals
Pope Francis made his international advisory panel on church governance -- informally dubbed the "Group of Eight" or "G-8" -- a permanent council of cardinals, thereby emphasizing the importance and open-endedness of its work among his pontificate's various efforts at reform.

Sept. 30, 2013
Pope chooses 'encounter' as theme for World Communications Day 2014
As Pope Francis continues to talk about the importance of authentic encounters, both with God and with other people, he has chosen the topic of bringing people together for his first message for World Communications Day.

Sept. 30, 2013
Pope to canonize Blessed John XXIII, John Paul II April 27
Recognizing that Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II have widespread reputations for holiness and that years of studying their lives and actions have proven their exceptional virtue, Pope Francis announced he would declare his two predecessors saints at a single ceremony April 27.

Sept. 27, 2013
Pope tells catechists to reach out to others in name of Christ
The church needs good catechists, who love Christ, live out the Gospel in their lives and courageously go to the margins of society to share the gift of faith with others, Pope Francis told catechists from around the world.

Sept. 27, 2013
For a 21st-century pope, some 12th-century management advice
As Pope Francis prepares to meet Oct. 1-3 with the eight cardinals he has chosen to advise him on reforming the Vatican bureaucracy and governing the universal church, he might do well to consider some medieval advice for facing his modern challenges.

Sept. 26, 2013
Pope: Get out in the real world to find Jesus
People will not find Jesus by hanging out in first-class lounges or in the library, but by being out and about in the real world and in prayer, Pope Francis said.

Sept. 25, 2013
Pope: Church must show what unity looks like, avoid divisions, gossip
The pope also asked people to pray for persecuted Christians in the world and to be genuinely concerned about their plight, just as one would be for a family member in distress.

Sept. 24, 2013
Pope Benedict challenges atheist, says he never hid abuse cases
In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician's total reliance on scientific facts for meaning.

Sept. 24, 2013
As migration rises worldwide, pope calls for international cooperation
Pope Francis called for greater international cooperation to improve conditions for the world's rising numbers of migrants and called on the media to combat prejudices that make immigrants unwelcome in their new countries.

Sept. 23, 2013
Pope, in Sardinia, denounces globalization and unemployment
Visiting an Italian region especially hard hit by the European economic crisis, Pope Francis blamed high unemployment on globalization driven by greed and said those who give charitable aid to the poor must treat their beneficiaries with dignity.

Sept. 23, 2013
Pope: Digital domain needs loving dialogue, not spiritual engineers
Helping the church get the Gospel message out to the digital world depends more on a loving passion for reaching out to others than being tech savvy or a verbal warrior, Pope Francis told Catholic communicators.

Sept. 20, 2013
Family law expert seeks more support for women to embrace work, kids
Many doors have opened the past several decades for women in education and employment, but very little has been done to support women as mothers and wives, said a U.S. expert in family law.

Sept. 20, 2013
Pope condemns abortion as product of 'throwaway culture'
In his strongest public words to date on the subject of abortion, Pope Francis affirmed the sacredness of unborn human life and linked its defense to the pursuit of social justice.

Sept. 20, 2013
Hidden away behind pope's summer residence is land of milk and honey
Vincenzo Scaccioni, the head of agricultural operations at the pontifical villa of Castel Gandolfo, oversees 26 employees who work on the villa's 74 acres of gardens and 62 acres of farmland.

Sept. 19, 2013
Pope says focus on morality can obscure Gospel message
In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with one of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Catholic teaching on sexual and medical ethics; the reasons for his deliberate and consultative governing style; and his highest priority for the church today.

Sept. 19, 2013
Pope: Bishops are pastors, not princes; be humble, loving, return calls
Don't be on the road all the time, aloof or deaf to people's needs; be simple, loving and always close by, just like a spouse would be for his wife, Pope Francis told new bishops.

Sept. 18, 2013
Pope says church should face wayward members like a merciful mother
Pope Francis said the church should approach its members with the face of a patient, merciful and understanding mother, who always forgives her erring children and never ceases to pray that they resume the path of Christian living.

Sept. 16, 2013
Pope assures Rome priests that 'sanctity is stronger than scandals'
Acting in his capacity as bishop of Rome, Pope Francis offered words of encouragement to his diocesan priests, assuring them that recent and current scandals cannot overcome the church's holiness and urging them to keep their vocations alive through love of God.

Sept. 16, 2013
Church shows mercy by upholding truth about marriage, speakers say
Recent remarks by Pope Francis about the need for a stronger pastoral approach to marriage and divorced couples do not signal the church is overturning its laws or practice of denying Communion to Catholics who divorce and remarry, said two canon law experts.

Sept. 13, 2013
Under Pope Francis, liberation theology comes of age
The news that Pope Francis had a meeting with 85-year old Father Gustavo Gutierrez, who is widely considered the father of liberation theology, has excited interest far beyond the Vatican's walls.

Sept. 13, 2013
Pope: Calling folks is no big deal; media reports just tip of iceberg
The director of the Vatican Television Center said the pope told him that the many calls the journalists have brought to light are just the tip of the iceberg: "Good thing they don't know about all the ones I have made!" the pope reportedly said.

Sept. 13, 2013
Pope: Judging others kills, reflects cowardice in facing own defects
Gossip, too, is "criminal" as it destroys, rather than exalts the image of God present in others, the pope said in his early morning homily Sept. 13 at his residence of Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Sept. 12, 2013
Pope: It's impossible to live out Gospel without help from Christ, Mary
People need to lose themselves in the contemplation of Mary's sweetness and Christ's suffering in order to receive the grace necessary to live out God's will, he said in his Sept. 12 morning homily.

Sept. 11, 2013
New book: Pope ran clandestine network to save suspected dissidents
While a military-backed dictatorship in Argentina was conducting a clandestine war on suspected dissidents, then-Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the future pope, masterminded a secret strategy to save those being targeted, according to a new book.

Sept. 11, 2013
Pope, writing in secular newspaper, urges dialogue with nonbelievers
Writing in one of Italy's major secular newspapers, Pope Francis called for a "sincere and rigorous dialogue" between the church and nonbelievers as an "intimate and indispensable expression" of Christian love.

Sept. 11, 2013
Pope Francis celebrates the church as loving 'mamma'
Pope Francis gave pilgrims attending his weekly public audience Sept. 11 what he called a "homework assignment" to find out the date they were baptized and celebrate it every year.

Sept. 10, 2013
Pope, greeting refugees, says solidarity is not a dirty word
"Charity that leaves a poor person just the way he is does not suffice," the pope said Sept. 10 at the Rome headquarters of Jesuit Refugee Service.

Sept. 10, 2013
Pope hears officials' input on reforming Vatican bureaucracy
Pope Francis met with Vatican officials Sept. 10 to hear their questions and suggestions about his ongoing reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

Sept. 9, 2013
Vatican's new top diplomat ready to ramp up network for peace
A veteran diplomat, the Vatican's new secretary of state, plans to put the church's vast global diplomatic network into high gear as champions for peace.

Sept. 9, 2013
Pope calls for 'war against evil,' including illegal arms trade
Repeating his recent calls for peace in the Middle East, Pope Francis urged Christians to wage a "deeper war" against evil, including the illegal arms trade that he said drives much of the world's military conflict.

Sept. 7, 2013
Praying for peace in Syria, pope calls selfishness the cause of war
Leading a crowd in prayer for peace in Syria, Pope Francis said that war is ultimately caused by selfishness, which can be overcome only though expressions of fraternity and never with violence.

Sept. 7, 2013
Thousands flock to Rome armed with power of prayer in fight for peace
For the thousands of people who turned out for a solemn vigil in St. Peter's Square, the power of prayer and hopes for peace are still mightier than the world's weapons and wars.

Sept. 6, 2013
For the pope, making peace is now part of the job
Pope Francis is leading the Catholic Church on an extraordinary campaign to prevent President Barack Obama's proposed military strike on Syria.

Sept. 6, 2013
Pope, Bolivian president discuss poverty, discrimination, Middle East
The problems of poverty, discrimination and conflict in the Middle East took center stage in private talks between Pope Francis and Bolivian President Evo Morales at the Vatican.

Sept. 5, 2013
Writing to Putin, pope leads diplomatic push against strikes on Syria
Pope Francis asked leaders of the world's 20 largest economies to "lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution" to the Syrian civil war and promote instead a "peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation."

Sept. 5, 2013
With future uncertain for Syria, U.S. cardinal says prayer is needed
As threats of military intervention against Syria escalate and the country's future remains uncertain, a U.S. cardinal said that, no matter what transpires, prayer is urgently needed.

Sept. 4, 2013
Pope recalls World Youth Day as a great party of faith
Pope Francis recalled his July 22-28 visit to Rio de Janeiro, thanking his Brazilian hosts for their warm welcome, and describing World Youth Day celebrations there as a great party of faith.

Sept. 3, 2013
Pope: To fight evil, Jesus uses humility and love, not armies
Christians should be known for bringing forth the light of Christ, not darkness, to fight the world's demons, Pope Francis said Sept. 3 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Sept. 3, 2013
Pope to lead Vatican prayer vigil for peace in Syria
On the evening of Sept. 7, days before U.S. lawmakers vote on President Barack Obama's proposal for a military attack on Syria, Pope Francis will lead thousands in St. Peter's Square in a prayer vigil for peace.

Sept. 3, 2013
Pope Benedict returns to public eye for Mass with former students
His homily in German was aired in part by Vatican Radio and published as partial excerpts by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, marking the first time the retired pope's remarks to a private gathering were made public.

Sept. 3, 2013
Pope tells Jesuits that Cardinal Martini was 'prophetic, man of peace'
On the eve of the first anniversary of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Pope Francis called the late-fellow Jesuit and biblical scholar, a "prophetic" figure and a "man of discernment and peace."

Sept. 3, 2013
Reverting to tradition, pope names veteran diplomat as Vatican's No. 2
Although Pope Francis has not hesitated to break with convention during his brief pontificate, in appointing a seasoned member of the diplomatic corps as the top Vatican official, he resumed a long-standing tradition.

Aug. 30, 2013
Pope names Legionary priest to No. 2 spot at Vatican governing office
A member of the Legionaries of Christ who led a major overhaul of the Vatican's telecommunications infrastructure and set up public email addresses for two popes has been named the new secretary-general of the office governing Vatican City.

Aug. 29, 2013
Lasting bonds: Vatican invites extended families to join pilgrimage
As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican wants to celebrate bonds that last a lifetime.

Aug. 29, 2013
Pope, Jordanian king say dialogue is only hope for peace in Syria
As Western leaders expressed strong convictions that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack against its own citizens, Pope Francis met at the Vatican Aug. 29 with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Aug. 27, 2013
Pope says Christians should have restless hearts like St. Augustine's
St. Augustine famously said that people's hearts are restless until they rest in God, but too many people, Pope Francis said, have allowed their hearts to be "anesthetized" and no longer search for God and for love.

Aug. 27, 2013
Pope to meet Jordan's king, discuss ongoing strife in Middle East
As international leaders increasingly discussed the possibility of some form of armed intervention in Syria, the Vatican announced Pope Francis would interrupt the last week of his summer break in order to meet Aug. 29 with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Aug. 26, 2013
Retire pope's secretary says 'mystical experience' story is untrue
"It was invented from alpha to omega," said Archbishop Georg Ganswein, retired Pope Benedict XVI's longtime personal secretary.

Aug. 26, 2013
Pope celebrates morning Mass using hosts made by Argentine prisoners
Women first started making hosts in a prison bathroom; pope sends personal thank-you.

Aug. 26, 2013
Recognizing sin, accepting mercy is key to salvation, pope says
Jesus is "the gateway to salvation," the pope said, adding that God “prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him."

Aug. 26, 2013
Pope denounces ‘multiplication of massacres,’ atrocities in Syria
Pope Francis said the “terrible images” of Syria’s dead, including children, “push me once again to raise a voice so that the roar of the weapons would stop.”

Aug. 23, 2013
Pope asks pontifical academies to help fight human trafficking
At the request of Pope Francis, scholars and researchers belonging to two pontifical academies and representatives of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations will begin focusing on the phenomenon of human trafficking and ways to fight it.

Aug. 22, 2013
Vatican's U.N. observer cautious on reports of chemical attack in Syria
Rushed judgments in times of war and conflict, especially by the media, do not always lead to the truth and will not bring peace, said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican observer at U.N. agencies in Geneva, including the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

Aug. 22, 2013
Vatican orders slight change in text for baptism
To emphasis that the sacrament of baptism formally brings a person into the church of God and not just into a local Christian community, the Vatican has ordered a slight change of wording in the baptismal rite.

Aug. 21, 2013
Beauty and beer: Monks' outreach is part of new evangelization
Even before Pope Benedict XVI set up an office for new evangelization and called a world Synod of Bishops, a new group of Benedictine monks was using Latin and liturgy to reach out to those whose faith was weak or nonexistent. Now they've added beer to the blend, and people are flocking to their monastery.

Aug. 21, 2013
Vatican ambassador: World must help end Syria's 'serious crisis'
Speaking to Vatican Radio Aug. 21 after reports of chemical attacks outside Damascus, Archbishop Mario Zenari described the images circulating on the Internet and television "truly shocking

Aug. 21, 2013
Officials dubious of retired pope's extraordinary 'mystical experience'
Vatican officials and Vatican watchers were surprised in late August when a report circulated that Pope Benedict had told an anonymous visitor that his decision to retire was the result of some form of extraordinary "mystical experience" rather than a decision made after long and careful thought and deep prayer.

Aug. 21, 2013
Pope holds mini-audience for Japanese students
The students from Seibu Gakuen Bunri Junior High School in Tokyo had planned their trip to Rome and the Vatican long before the Vatican announced that Pope Francis would not hold his weekly general audiences in August.


Vatican's Year of Faith celebrations to resume in September
Vatican activities for the Year of Faith begin again in late September with an international meeting of catechists, followed in October by a Marian pilgrimage in the presence of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima and a celebration of faith and family life.

Aug. 20, 2013
Canonization date for John Paul II, John XXIII to be known in September
Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals Sept. 30 to formally approve the canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII; the date for the canonization will be announced at that time, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

Aug. 16, 2013
Faith isn't ornamental, but means making tough choices, pope says
Faith isn't something decorative one adds to life, but is a commitment that involves making choices that may require sacrifice, Pope Francis said.

Aug. 15, 2013
Pope says Mary is always near, helping the church face its trials
Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the church, already is in glory in heaven, but she is always with the church and helps it face the trials of the devil, Pope Francis said.

Aug. 15, 2013
Castel Gandolfo: Town struggling to overcome total pope-dependency
While the shores of Lake Albano are speckled with swimmers and sunbathers, the historic center of Castel Gandolfo has been quiet this summer -- too quiet for many.

Aug. 15, 2013
Pope asks Mary, queen of peace, to bring calm to Egypt
Pope Francis asked Mary for help for peace in Egypt as reports of violence emerged.

Aug. 14, 2013
Soccer stars help launch Pontifical Academy of Sciences' school project
Immediately after meeting Pope Francis, Gianluigi Buffon, captain of the Italian national soccer team, and Lionel Messi, captain of Argentina's team, lent their hands -- actually just a finger -- to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Aug. 13, 2013
His Holiness, the soccer fan, asks players to be real role models
With admiration and big smiles all around, the lifelong soccer fan Pope Francis met the star players and coaches of the Argentine and Italian national soccer teams hoping to compete for the World Cup in 2014.

Aug. 12, 2013
Pope to parents: Teach your children to respect, defend human life
Respect for human life from conception until natural death is something children must be taught, not mainly with words, but by the example of their parents, Pope Francis said.

Aug. 12, 2013
Pope asks people to consider what they desire most
Yearning and loving give people the strength to move forward and overcome obstacles, but Christians must ask themselves what really is their hearts' desire, Pope Francis said.

Aug. 9, 2013
Pope Francis discovers charismatic movement a gift to the whole church
As the church continues to lose members in the region with the world's largest Catholic population, the charismatic movement stands out as a source of hope, not only for fending off the formidable competition of Pentecostal Protestantism but for raising morale among the faithful as a whole.

Aug. 9, 2013
Pope to Knights of Columbus: promote Catholic teaching on family, life
Pope Francis asked members of the Knights of Columbus to promote Catholic moral teaching on marriage, sexuality and the protection of human life for the good of society at large.

Aug. 8, 2013
Pope expands role, reach of Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority
As part of the Vatican's ongoing efforts to ensure that all its financial activity complies with international standards, particularly those aimed at preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Pope Francis has expanded the role and the reach of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority.

Aug. 8, 2013
Before electing Pope Francis, cardinals heard plea for unity, holiness
The last formal exhortation to the 115 cardinals who elected Pope Francis in March included reminders of the importance of presenting the Catholic faith in its entirety, the need to recognize the errors of church members and the need for unity within the Catholic community.

Aug. 7, 2013
Pope joins pilgrims, via video, at Shrine of St. Cajetan
For the first time in 15 years, Pope Francis was not able to walk along the line of people waiting to get into the Shrine of St. Cajetan to listen to them and bless them. But he sent a video message to the pilgrims lined up in Buenos Aires to celebrate the feast day of the patron of Argentina.

Aug. 7, 2013
At home and abroad, popemobile fills with gifts for pope
When he's riding in the popemobile -- at the Vatican or, for example, in Rio de Janeiro -- Pope Francis uses his hands not just to bless people and hold the babies he's kissing. He uses them to catch things.

Aug. 7, 2013
Pope joins pilgrims -- via video -- at Shrine of St. Cajetan
For the first time in 15 years, Pope Francis was not able to walk along the line of people waiting to get into the Shrine of St. Cajetan to listen to them and bless them.

Aug. 6, 2013
Italian official says 'it seems' Italian Jesuit was kidnapped in Syria
After more than a week with no word from Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, an Italian priest who worked for decades in Syria, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, "it seems he has been kidnapped by an Islamist group" that is a "local version of al-Qaida," the terrorist group.

Aug. 6, 2013
Missionary activity is service to hurting world, pope says in message
In a world that often seems dark and full of suffering and violence, Christians can offer hope by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis wrote in his 2013 World Mission Sunday message.

Aug. 6, 2013
Pope restricts use of old Mass by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Pope Francis' order restricting the use of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass in communities of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate addresses problems within the religious order and does not contradict retired Pope Benedict XVI's permission for wider use of the old Mass throughout the church, a Vatican spokesman said.

Aug. 5, 2013
Speaking of divorce, pope refers to practice of Orthodox churches
When Pope Francis spoke to journalists about the need for a stronger Catholic pastoral approach to marriage and to divorced people, he made a parenthetical reference to how the Orthodox churches handle the breakup of marriages differently.

Aug. 5, 2013
Pope denounces 'poison' of consumerism in 'society based on profit'
Pope Francis denounced consumerism as a poison that threatens true happiness, which comes from membership in the church.

Aug. 2, 2013
Against the tide: the pope rallies a counterculture
Throughout Pope Benedict's eight-year pontificate, secular media outlets routinely portrayed him as backward or bigoted for his defense of traditional Catholic teaching, particularly on moral questions. By contrast, it is hard to imagine any pope today enjoying better press than Pope Francis.

Aug. 2, 2013
Motherly tenderness: Pope says church must embody, mirror God's mercy
Mercy is a word Pope Francis uses often, and an attitude he believes the Catholic Church must embody and all Catholics must mirror.

Aug. 2, 2013
Pope writes to world's Muslims at end of Ramadan, urges mutual respect
As a sign of his "esteem and friendship," Pope Francis said he personally wanted to write this year's Vatican message to Muslims about to celebrate the end of their monthlong Ramadan fast.

July 31, 2013
Pope, with fellow Jesuits, prays for 'grace of shame,' humility
Celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius with more than 200 of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis prayed that he and all of them would receive "the grace of shame" for their failures and the humility to recognize that whatever good they accomplish is really done by the Lord.

July 31, 2013
Vatican bank launches website to boost transparency, media relations
In an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute and improve its relationship with the media, the Vatican bank has launched its own website.

July 31, 2013
‘Who am I to judge?' Pope's remarks do not change church teaching
When Pope Francis told reporters July 28, "Who am I to judge" a homosexual person, he was emphasizing a part of Catholic teaching often overlooked by the media and misunderstood by many people.

July 31, 2013
Pope picks 'fraternity' as theme for his first World Peace Day message
An overemphasis on "personal well-being" and general indifference have eroded any sense of responsibility toward others, especially toward the poor, said a note from the Vatican announcing Pope Francis' choice of a theme for World Peace Day 2014.

July 30, 2013
Ships at Holy See: how popes once navigated more than spiritual waters
One could say it all started with St. Peter's fishing boat. One day, that humble vessel turned into a powerful pontifical fleet, particularly during the life of the Papal States.

July 30, 2013
Returning to Rome, pope discusses plans for future trips
At the end of his first foreign trip, Pope Francis told reporters that it's good for a pope to travel and there are plans in the works for visits in Italy, to Jerusalem, to Asia, but nothing planned soon for his Argentine homeland.

July 30, 2013
Vatican to cooperate with Italy in fight against financial crimes
The Vatican signed an agreement with Italy to share information regarding suspect financial transactions in an effort to strengthen its ability to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism

July 29, 2013
At least 38 pilgrims killed in crash after visiting Padre Pio shrine
At least 38 pilgrims were killed on their way home from the Padre Pio shrine in southern Italy when their bus plunged off an elevated highway.

July 29, 2013
In Brazil, pope's simple, artless actions resonate powerfully
If Blessed John Paul II had an actor's mastery of the dramatic gesture and Pope Benedict XVI engaged the faithful most effectively through his learned and lucid writing, Pope Francis showed the world on his first international trip that his forte as a communicator is the simple, seemingly artless action that resonates powerfully in context.

July 29, 2013
Pope urges Brazilian leaders to embrace dialogue, 'social humility'
Speaking to political, economic and cultural leaders in Brazil, a country recently shaken by anti-government protests, Pope Francis called for a "culture of encounter" and said dialogue is the only way to promote social peace.

July 29, 2013
Pope tells Latin American bishops to shun ideology, empower laity
Reducing the faith to a worldly ideology, prizing administrative efficiency over missionary zeal, and exalting the role of clergy to the detriment of the laity are some of the major "temptations" undermining evangelization in Latin America, Pope Francis told church leaders from the region.

July 29, 2013
Pope says he'd rather trust God than live in bullet-proof bubble
With a few Vatican police standing at attention in the very back of the Alitalia plane flying him back to Rome, Pope Francis told reporters about his security even before being asked.

July 29, 2013
Pope discusses women in the church, divorce, his own spirituality
From his personal prayer life and spirituality to the role of women in the church and the pastoral care of the divorced, Pope Francis responded to several questions about church teaching and ministry July 28 when he met reporters on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome.

July 29, 2013
Pope answers questions about Curia reforms, gay lobby
Pope Francis said he was responding to the clear wishes of the College of Cardinals when he set up commissions to study the Vatican bank, Vatican financial and administrative procedures and the reform of the Roman Curia.

July 28, 2013
Pope tells Brazilian protesters to be peaceful, bring values to society
The street protests involving hundreds of thousands of mostly young people in cities across Brazil, and in other countries, are a sign of the youths' desire for a more just world, but Christians must ensure the protests are peaceful and that efforts to improve society are guided by Christian values, Pope Francis said.

July 28, 2013
Krakow, Poland, to host World Youth 2016
Pope Francis made the announcement shortly after celebrating the final Mass of this year's World Youth Day before a crowd of more than 3 million people on Copacabana beach.

July 28, 2013
Pope commissions young people to be missionaries without borders
Pope Francis, celebrating the closing Mass for World Youth Day, commissioned some 3 million young people to join forces and form what could be called Missionaries Without Borders.

July 28, 2013
Pope tells youths to play on Christ's team, help build up the church
Pope Francis told young people God might have been trying to communicate something in forcing the World Youth Day vigil's change of venue from a huge field to a long narrow stretch of sand and sea.

July 26, 2013
Pope tells bishops, other ministers fidelity is key to evangelization
With the young pilgrims of World Youth Day, Pope Francis was encouraging and challenging; with the bishops, priests and religious who minister to them he was firm and blunt.

July 26, 2013
Pope honors grandparents, leads prayers for families
The 76-year-old Pope Francis went to World Youth Day with grandparents, or at least society's elders, on his mind, and he honored them in a special way July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne and Grandparents Day in many countries.

July 26, 2013
On stormy seashore, pope invites young people to follow Jesus
Even at its stormiest, the Sea of Galilee doesn't have waves like those pounding Copacabana beach, but Pope Francis asked young Catholics to imagine they were with Jesus on the seashore and he was asking them to follow him and share his love with others.

July 25, 2013
Pope prays for victims of train wreck in Spain; Virginia woman killed
Pope Francis sent condolences to the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, after a train crash left at least 80 dead and more than 100 injured.

July 25, 2013
Final WYD events relocated because of rain, mud
The culminating events of World Youth Day have been moved from their planned location in Guaratiba, 30 miles outside the city, which three days of heavy rain has reduced to a field of mud.

July 25, 2013
Pope is most influential, second most-followed world leader on Twitter
The rankings were released July 24 in a recent study titled "Twiplomacy," which refers to the use of Twitter by world leaders.

July 24, 2013
Denying worries over security, Vatican cancels popemobile ride
The cancellation of a scheduled popemobile ride through a working-class neighborhood suggests that, despite official assurances, Pope Francis' chaotic entrance into the city July 22 may have raised concerns among those responsible for his safety during his first international trip as pope.

July 24, 2013
Pope returns to Marian shrine, entrusts WYD to Mary's care
Visiting the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida July 24, the pope entrusted World Youth Day to Mary's maternal protection, but also challenged parents, priests and other adult Catholics to give the young people things that the world, with all its wealth, cannot: faith and values.

July 22, 2013
Pope says he returns to Latin America as witness of Christian love
Pope Francis said he had come to Brazil, the country with most Catholics in the world, to "give an account of the reasons for the hope" that comes from faith in Jesus and inspire them to "offer everyone the inexhaustible riches of his love."

July 22, 2013
Pope prays at Roman Marian icon for all world's youth
Pope Francis traveled to Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray that Mary protect and care for everyone attending World Youth Day in Brazil and for all young people around the world.

July 22, 2013
During flight, pope talks about importance of giving young people jobs
With economic hard times as an excuse not to hire young people, the world risks tossing them aside and endangers its own future, Pope Francis said aboard the papal flight to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

July 19, 2013
Pope Francis visits Pope Benedict, asks him to join WYD in prayer
Pope Francis paid a personal visit to retired Pope Benedict XVI, informing him about the final details for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and asking him to pray for Pope

July 19, 2013
Pope creates body to revamp Vatican's bookkeeping, fiscal responsibility
Pope Francis has named a new commission to investigate current accounting practices among all Vatican offices and bodies and to help devise new strategies for greater fiscal responsibility and transparency.

July 18, 2013
In Rio, Franciscan hospital awaits papal visit as 'confirmation'
The week before Pope Francis was due to visit, Franciscan friars and sisters were excitedly preparing the Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi, setting up a refurbished chapel where the pope will pray and rehearsing a hymn they will sing for him.

July 18, 2013
Pope sends condolences after French WYD pilgrim dies in crash
Pope Francis joined French World Youth Day pilgrims in mourning the death of 21-year-old Sophie Moriniere, a member of a Paris WYD group, who was killed July 17 in a road accident in French Guiana.

July 17, 2013
Pope on the road: Vatican does detailed planning but expects surprises
While Pope Francis' July 22-28 visit to Brazil has been planned almost down to the minute, the papal spokesman is certain it will be "a bit of an adventure."

July 17, 2013
Pope who can't be pigeonholed bound to disappoint some, says cardinal
Many Catholics who identify themselves as either conservatives or progressives will be disappointed in Pope Francis, whose program of spiritual renewal, doctrinal continuity and emphasis on the poor fits none of the traditional molds, a top German cardinal said.

July 17, 2013
Pope: Elderly, sick, unborn, poor are 'masterpieces of God's creation'
As Great Britain and Ireland debate right-to-life issues in current health care policies and legislation, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics there to uphold "the inestimable value of all human life."

July 16, 2013
Papal menu planners try to keep it simple yet sweet for World Youth Day
Sweet and simple: That's the menu plan for Pope Francis when he stays at a church-run residence during his visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

July 15, 2013
Be generous givers of mercy, not condemnation, disapproval, pope says
Spending a day visiting the people of Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican staff who work at the papal villa there, Pope Francis said God wants people to be generous and merciful, not full of condemnation toward others.

July 12, 2013
Pilgrim of the poor: Pope prepares to return to his home continent
As he brings his message of social justice to Latin America and beyond, Pope Francis manifestly does so in the belief that as the church draws closer to the poor, the poor draw it closer to God.

July 12, 2013
Vatican court freezes bank accounts of arrested monsignor
The Vatican's criminal court has frozen the Vatican bank accounts of a monsignor arrested in Italy and has opened its own criminal investigation into how he used the accounts.

July 12, 2013
Pope opens ordinariates for former Anglicans to baptized Catholics
Pope Francis has given the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans a wider opportunity for evangelizing by allowing "uncatechized," yet baptized, Catholics to join their communities.

July 11, 2013
Vatican updates laws; pope expands jurisdiction of Vatican court
Pope Francis has approved a major updating of the criminal laws of Vatican City State, including in areas dealing with child abuse and terrorism financing, and has ruled that any Vatican employee can be tried by the Vatican court for violating those laws.

July 11, 2013
United Nations asks Vatican to account for all sex abuse allegations
A United Nations' committee concerned with children's rights is requesting that the Vatican provide complete details about every accusation it has ever received of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

July 10, 2013
Popes put personal stamp on World Youth Day celebrations
In cities from South America to Europe, Asia to North America and back again, each World Youth Day with the pope has been different in size and in the culture the youths experienced and shared.

July 9, 2013
Vatican announces indulgences for World Youth Day
To help encourage prayers for a spiritually fruitful World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, the Vatican announced July 9 that Pope Francis authorized a special indulgence for those who attend the event's liturgies and prayer services or follow along online in the proper spirit of prayer and contrition.

July 8, 2013
Pope offers future priests, nuns a how-to guide to a happy vocation
Be joyous, authentic and loving while resisting fly-by-night commitments, catty gossip and sleek cars, Pope Francis told future priests, brothers and nuns.

July 8, 2013
Pope to set up 'study group' to look into Vatican audits, cardinal says
Pope Francis will be forming a new committee to investigate the findings and concerns expressed in an external audit of the internal budgets of Vatican offices.

July 8, 2013
Pope calls for repentance over treatment of migrants
Before saying a word publicly, Pope Francis made the sign of the cross and tossed a wreath of white and yellow flowers into the Mediterranean Sea in memory of the estimated 20,000 African immigrants who have died in the past 25 years trying to reach a new life in Europe.

July 5, 2013
Seven encyclicals that shook the church
Although many encyclicals are remembered only by scholars, the messages of others have continued to resonate within the church and beyond.

July 5, 2013
Encyclical illustrates continuity of two papacies, officials say
“This text was written, so to speak, by the hands of two popes," said a Vatican official. Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII

July 5, 2013
Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world's cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle.

July 5, 2013
'Lumen Fidei' at a glance
Here at a glance are the main points of Pope Francis' encyclical "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), released July 5.

July 5, 2013
In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life
The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three "theological virtues," following Pope Benedict XVI's encyclicals "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) on charity and "Spe Salvi" (2007) on hope.

July 3, 2013
Global network against finance crime accepts Vatican agency into fold
The Vatican's financial oversight agency has joined the Egmont Group, an international network of financial information authorities who cooperate to fight financial crime.

July 3, 2013
Chilean archbishop says pope will go to Africa, Asia next year
Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago told his people he hoped Pope Francis would visit Argentina on a South American tour in 2015, but he said the pope told

July 3, 2013
Pope: Meditation, penance, studies won't bring you to the living Christ
The only way to truly touch the living Christ is through the tender care of his wounds in the poor, sick and outcasts of today, Pope Francis said during his morning Mass July 3.

July 2, 2013
Saints' congregation reportedly acts on causes of JPII, John XXIII
The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes met July 2 and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the sainthood causes of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII.

July 2, 2013
Pope: Escape from sin, don't be afraid of where God will take you
Sometimes "the only answer is to flee and not be embarrassed about fleeing. Recognize that we are weak and we have to run away" from harmful sins, he said July 2 during his morning Mass.

July 1, 2013
Director, deputy director of Vatican bank resign
A statement from the Vatican press office said Director Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli, deputy director, offered their resignations "in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See." The bank has been working to revamp a marred image of secrecy and scandal with greater transparency.

July 1, 2013
Pope Francis will visit refugees, immigrants detained on Italian island
The announcement was part of an updated summer schedule for the pope. The Vatican said there will be no weekly general audience for all of July and August.

July 1, 2013
Pope Francis says Pope Benedict's conscience told him to resign
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was "a great example" of what it means to follow one's conscience through prayer, Pope Francis said during his Sunday Angelus address June 30 to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

July 1, 2013
Pope Francis' first encyclical to be published July 5
In June, Pope Francis told bishops meeting in Rome that his first encyclical would be largely the work of his predecessor.

July 1, 2013
Archbishops reflect on the meaning of the pallium
"To be quite honest, I was kind of hoping that maybe he would send the pallium by way of FedEx and say, 'Save the money and give it to the poor.'"

July 1, 2013
At pallium Mass, pope encourages archbishops to be ministers of unity
Every bishop is called to be "a servant of communion," working tirelessly to overcome divisions so that differences become a treasure and not a source of conflict, Pope Francis said.

June 27, 2013
Vatican to cooperate in investigation of monsignor arrested for fraud
An Italian monsignor, already suspended from his Vatican accounting job while under investigation for money laundering, was arrested June 28 on charges of fraud, corruption and slander in a separate case.

June 27, 2013
The superficial and the rigid 'masquerade' as Christians, pope says
Christianity isn't a school for teaching a superficial form of being nice to everyone, but it's also not a boot camp where everything is rigidity, rules and long faces, Pope Francis said.

June 27, 2013
Vatican acquires archive of pope's former archdiocesan TV station
The Vatican Television Center can distribute hundreds of hours of television images of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires from 2005 until his election as Pope Francis in March.

June 26, 2013
Pope creates commission to study activities, mission of Vatican bank
Pope Francis has created a commission to study the Vatican bank as part of his larger efforts to reform the central offices of the church.

June 24, 2013
Historian: Research could 'downsize' potential saint's wartime heroism
Italian Jewish historian defends Giovanni Palatucci, “Italy’s Oskar Schindler.”

June 21, 2013
Pope tells nuncios to help him find new bishops who are meek, merciful
Tracing the characteristics he wants to see in candidates to serve as bishops, Pope Francis said they must be "pastors who are close to their people, fathers and brothers, who are meek, patient and merciful."

June 21, 2013
Pope: Let your restless heart seek God, not worldly treasures
Pope Francis urged worshippers during his morning Mass not to be fooled by worldly treasures that seduce people but leave them tired, loveless and empty.

June 20, 2013
Calling Syria conflict 'great tribulation,' pope asks for prayers, aid
Calling the Syrian conflict "a great tribulation," Pope Francis said tensions throughout the Middle East must give way to dialogue and reconciliation.

June 20, 2013
Saying 'our Father' means seeing others as brothers, sisters, pope says
When Christians address God as "our Father" they acknowledge that God created and loves them, but they also recognize that all people are their brothers and sisters, Pope Francis said during his morning homily.

June 20, 2013
Vatican calls for copyright changes to give better access to the blind
As church leaders repeatedly call for global aid for the poor and hungry, a Vatican official urged efforts to end another sort of hunger: the so-called "book famine."

June 20, 2013
Pope calls hunger, malnutrition 'truly scandalous'
While global food production Is enough to feed the entire planet, millions of people are malnourished and millions more “must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table," Pope Francis told the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

June 19, 2013
Italian media report step toward Blessed John Paul's canonization
Although the process is not complete and is supposed to be secret at this time, Italian media reported that the canonization of Blessed John Paul II is a step closer.

June 19, 2013
Conflicts among Christians harm the body of Christ, pope says
The church is the body of Christ, but when Catholics fight among themselves or Catholics and other Christians are in conflict with one another, they make Christ's body suffer, Pope Francis said.

June 18, 2013
Adding St. Joseph's name to Mass texts, popes share their devotion
Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI have a special devotion to St. Joseph and have assured that devotion regularly will be shared at Mass by Catholics around the world.

June 18, 2013
Drugs shouldn't be first response to children's problems, speakers say at Vatican conference
When children exhibit behavioral problems, doctors and families should consider social and psychological support and not immediately try to address the difficulty with prescription drugs, speakers at a Vatican conference said.

June 18, 2013
Pope calls for 'revolutionaries' to change hearts by sharing God's love
Christians are called to be revolutionaries, changing the world one heart at a time, Pope Francis said in opening the annual Rome diocesan convention, a three-day gathering of priests, religious and laypeople to set pastoral priorities.

June 17, 2013
Catholics, Lutherans look to commemoration of Reformation anniversary
Joint Catholic-Lutheran commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation must recognize the harm caused by the split in Western Christianity, the polemics that exacerbated differences and the progress made through 50 years of ecumenical dialogue, a new document said.

June 17, 2013
Pope: Politics, economics must serve all people, protect poor, unborn
The goal of politics and economics is to serve all of humanity, starting with the poorest, the most vulnerable and the unborn, Pope Francis told British Prime Minister David Cameron, president of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

June 17, 2013
Pope says false ideas of freedom spawn threats to human life
Ideologies and practices that destroy human life arise from false ideas of freedom without God, Pope Francis told a crowd in St. Peter's Square, including thousands of pro-life activists from around the world.

June 17, 2013
Vatican diplomat, hotel director named to body overseeing Vatican bank
Pope Francis has approved the appointment of the new interim prelate of the Vatican bank, Msgr. Battista Mario Ricca, a Vatican diplomat who has been director of the guesthouse where the pope is living.

June 14, 2013
Jesuit magazine can help heal rift between Gospel, culture, pope says
"This ministry is typical of the mission of the Society of Jesus," he said, urging the editors and staff of La Civilta Cattolica to continue offering the world "your reflections and your in-depth analyses" of cultural and social trends and transformations.

June 14, 2013
Pope: Don't pretend to be sinless; preaching Gospel demands humility
The sincere and humble admission of one's weaknesses, of having "a sliver of Satan in my flesh," shows that the power of salvation comes from God, not oneself, the pope said at Mass June 14 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

June 14, 2013
Pope, Anglican leader meet, pledge to continue search for unity
Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, pledged to support each other with their prayers and to continue the search for full unity between their communities.

June 13, 2013
What the pope's leaked comments really tells us about the church
A report that Pope Francis privately acknowledged the existence of a "gay lobby" inside the Vatican offers a sensational example of his unvarnished speaking style and a reminder of the challenge that style poses for the papacy in the age of digital communications and vanishing privacy.

June 13, 2013
Pope says structures for collaboration, collegiality need strengthening
A meeting with Pope Francis designed as reflection on the last Synod of Bishops turned into a group reflection on strengthening the synod itself and the way the world's bishops assist the pope.

June 13, 2013
Pope confirms he's finishing encyclical begun by Pope Benedict
Pope Francis told members of the ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops that he was preparing to publish an encyclical on faith written "with four hands" -- his own and those of Pope Benedict XVI.

June 12, 2013
Pope is a 'spiritual success' who will emphasize change, rabbi says
An Argentine rabbi who is a close friend of Pope Francis said he thinks the pope is "wonderful" as leader of the universal church and is also "a spiritual success."

June 12, 2013
Catholics must grow in love of God, neighbor, pope says at audience
With more than 50,000 people gathered for his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square on a hot spring day, the pope lamented that brotherly love does not reign in the world, and often not even in Catholics' communities, neighborhoods, workplaces or even their homes, "because of jealousy and envy."

June 12, 2013
Pope decries 'real slavery' of children forced to work
Marking the World Day Against Child Labor June 12, the pope told people at his weekly general audience that he hoped the international community could find more effective means to stop the exploitation of boys and girls in jobs that are often dangerous and in situations where they are subjected to all kinds of abuse.

June 11, 2013
Wealth obscures power of God's word, free gift of salvation, pope says
A church that is rich and lacking in praise for the Lord is an old, lifeless church that neglects the true treasure of God's free gift of grace and salvation, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

June 10, 2013
Lay members meet to contribute to Regnum Christi's transformation
Members of Regnum Christi, the lay movement associated with the Legionaries of Christ, said they don't feel they are on a salvage mission, but rather are part of a transformation.

June 10, 2013
Religious freedom gets more lip service than guarantees, pope says
Religious freedom is talked about more than it is protected, Pope Francis said. "The serious violations inflicted on this basic right are causes of serious concern."

June 7, 2013
Pope nixes 'boring' practice of reading text to students, uses Q&A
Pope Francis ditched a 1,250-word prepared speech to students saying it would be "a tad boring" to read out loud and opted instead to just quickly hit the high points and spend the rest of the time answering people's questions.

June 6, 2013
At the Vatican, a missionary serves the world's displaced
Father Frans Thoolen finally has the world's attention. Working with his colleagues behind the scenes, he has helped provide the foundation of the Holy See's response to the international refugee crisis.

June 6, 2013
Pope Francis calls careerism a 'leprosy' on the priesthood
Using especially strong language on one of his favorite themes, Pope Francis decried a plague of careerism among priests and urged them to renounce their personal ambitions for service to the church -- warning that failure to do so would make them look "ridiculous."

June 6, 2013
Vatican says Catholics have obligation to aid, defend refugees
Catholic laity have an obligation to root out traces of xenophobia in their hearts and recognize refugees as their brothers and sisters -- children of God whose dignity must be protected, said a new Vatican document.

June 6, 2013
Pope Francis decides not to spend summer at Castel Gandolfo
Unlike many of his predecessors since the early 1600s, Pope Francis has decided not to spend the summer months at the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome, although he will observe a reduced schedule in July and August.

June 6, 2013
Seduced by worldly things, people cheat on God, pope says
Getting caught up in worldly things is like being an adulterer, cheating on God and his love, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

June 5, 2013
Those suffering deserve our prayers, not our analysis, pope says
Those who suffer are brothers and sisters Catholics must pray for, not cases to be analyzed or examples to be used in debates, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

June 5, 2013
Meeting on sex abuse expands reach, promoting global approach
Once representing only English-speaking countries, the Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults is going global.

June 5, 2013
Pope says 'throwaway culture' harms environment and human life
On World Environment Day, Pope Francis blamed widespread degradation of the natural environment and disregard for human life on an increasingly common "throwaway culture" that places no value on the needs of others.

June 5, 2013
Help Syria, pope says; 'where there is suffering, Christ is present'
Christians must help the people of Syria because "where there is suffering, Christ is present," Pope Francis told representatives of Catholic aid agencies working in Syria and with Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

June 4, 2013
Pope Francis recognizes martyrdom of 95 victims of Spanish Civil War
The pope's approval of a series of martyrdom decrees June 3 opened the way for their beatification to be scheduled. A miracle is required before any blessed may be canonized.

June 4, 2013
Truth must be spoken with love, pope says
Christians need to "speak the truth with love," overcoming the temptations of wanting always to be liked or of always thinking their own status or desires are what counts, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

June 3, 2013
Pope John XXIII's life shows faith leads to interior peace, pope says
The life of Blessed John XXIII is a lesson in how obedience and trust in God lead to an interior peace that is naturally recognized by and shared with others, Pope Francis said on the 50th anniversary of his predecessor’s death.

June 3, 2013
Pope ends Marian month meeting children with cancer, praying rosary
"Children are the ones Jesus loves most," Pope Francis told a group of young cancer patients and their parents at the Vatican May 31.

June 3, 2013
Pope's Sunday focuses on need for peace, gift of Eucharist
The horror of war, the valor of peacemaking and the gift of the Eucharist were on Pope Francis' mind June 2, the day Italy celebrates its establishment as a republic and the day most dioceses around the world celebrated the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

May 31, 2013
Keeping up with Francis: The nuances of Vatican communications
Of the various innovations that Pope Francis has already introduced into the way a pontiff lives and works, one of the most significant is his celebration of weekday morning Masses with invited guests.

May 31, 2013
For Jesuit, Syrian war is professional challenge, personal heartache
Father Nawras Sammour is Jesuit Refugee Service's regional director for the Middle East and lives in Damascus, Syria. He was born in Aleppo, and his mother, brother and sister still live there, but his nieces and nephews "have all left."

May 31, 2013
Vatican bank head says reputation needs more work than operations do
In the popular imagination, the Vatican bank is so shady that even the German businessman appointed its president in February thought his task would be "cleaning out and dealing with improper deposits."

May 30, 2013
Eucharist nourishes, sustains and should transform people, pope says
In the Eucharist, Jesus makes himself the food that nourishes and sustains Catholics, even when the road gets rough, Pope Francis said before leading a Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Rome.

May 29, 2013
Legionaries, Regnum Christi members begin novena of atonement, healing
As the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi prepare for a new beginning after a Vatican-ordered reform, the groups are asking members to participate in a novena of atonement and healing in the aftermath of their founder's misconduct.

May 29, 2013
Pope Francis: What have you done to make the church holy, welcoming?
All Catholics must ask themselves what they personally have done lately to build up the holiness of the church and ensure people feel welcomed and loved in it, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

May 28, 2013
Vatican officials decry persecution of Christians around the world
More than 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith, and millions more face bigotry, intolerance and marginalization because of their beliefs, a Vatican official said.

May 28, 2013
At Roman parish, pope gives children first Communion, catechism lesson
Visiting an ordinary Rome parish for the first time as the city's bishop, Pope Francis gave a group of children their first Communion and a catechism lesson on the meaning of the Trinity

May 28, 2013
Vatican organizing worldwide, simultaneous eucharistic adoration this Sunday
Vatican officials are making strategic phone calls to some of the world's most far-flung dioceses, trying to verify that in each of the world's inhabited time zones there will be an organized hour of eucharistic adoration coinciding with 5-6 p.m. Rome time June 2.

May 28, 2013
Pope Francis plans to complete encyclical on faith, spokesman says
Continuing a papal tradition of finishing a predecessor's work in progress, Pope Francis intends to complete an encyclical -- on the virtue of faith -- begun during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.

May 24, 2013
Gauchos and God: Pope draws life lessons from Argentine cowboy culture
"The gaucho culture is an attitude toward life, and I believe Pope Francis is highlighting precisely this aspect in his current mission," said Roberto Vega Anderson, an Argentine gold- and silversmith who is the curator of a newly opened exhibit at the Vatican.

May 24, 2013
Pope prays for Chinese Catholics, talks about loving one's enemies
In the face of difficulty, it's natural to hope just to get by, but being Christian means patiently enduring trials and overcoming oppression with love, Pope Francis said at a Mass that included special prayers for China.

May 24, 2013
New leader of Friars Minor says pope has energized Franciscans
Pope Francis "has energized us, but he also has challenged us just by who he is," said U.S. Franciscan Father Michael Perry, who was elected May 22.

May 24, 2013
Pope calls human trafficking 'despicable, a disgrace'
Human trafficking is "a despicable activity, a disgrace for our societies, which describe themselves as civilized," Pope Francis said during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

May 23, 2013
Pope Francis to visit birthplace of his namesake on saint's feast day
Pope Francis will visit the birthplace of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, on the saint's feast day, Oct. 4. The Vatican confirmed the trip May 23.

May 23, 2013
El Salvador's leader gives pope bloodstained relic of Archbishop Romero
President Mauricio Funes Cartagena presented the pope with a large, gold-colored reliquary containing a faded white bloodstained piece of the vestment Archbishop Romero was wearing when he was gunned down March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel.

May 23, 2013
Be salt of the earth, not 'museum Christians,' pope says at Mass
Christians are called to be the salt of the earth, and if they don't share the flavor of their faith, hope and love with others, they are simply "museum Christians," Pope Francis said during his early morning Mass May 23.

May 22, 2013
Vatican financial investigator says laws, roles will be strengthened
The director of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority said the Vatican will further amend its finance-related laws in the coming months, increase screening of account holders at the Vatican bank and continue assessing the potential risk that accounts could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

May 22, 2013
Pope says Christians must recognize good others do, work with them
Christians are called to welcome and cooperate with the good accomplished by members of other religions or no religion at all, promoting a culture of dialogue and peace, Pope Francis said.

May 22, 2013
Selfishness is a downer; proclaiming Christ brings joy, pope says
Selfishness only brings sadness and bitterness, while stepping outside of oneself to evangelize is the ultimate "pick me up" and source of joy, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

May 21, 2013
Pope, visiting shelter, says Christian charity is witness of God's love
Marking the 25th anniversary of the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen and women's shelter at the Vatican, Pope Francis said that while unbridled capitalism has taught people that money is more important than anything else, works of Christian charity witness to God's love for each person.

May 21, 2013
Struggle for power in church is sin, pope says at Mass
Careerism and a drive to seek power in the church are sins as old as the church itself, Pope Francis told a group of employees from Vatican Radio and from the Vatican's office for pilgrims and tourists.

May 21, 2013
Pope prays for victims of Oklahoma tornado
As the death toll rose from the massive tornado that struck near Oklahoma City May 20, Pope Francis offered a special prayer for the victims during his early morning Mass May 21 and later offered his condolences through his Twitter account.

May 21, 2013
Vatican denies pope performed public exorcism
When Pope Francis solemnly laid both hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair and prayed intently over him for several minutes, he was not performing an exorcism, said the Vatican spokesman.

May 20, 2013
At Pentecost vigil, pope shares personal stories of his faith
With humor and passion, Pope Francis shared highlights of his personal faith journey and explained some key points of his teaching to an enthusiastic crowd of representatives from Catholic lay movements.

May 20, 2013
Diversity is a blessing when all are united in faith, pope says
Calling for unity -- not uniformity -- in the church, Pope Francis said during a Pentecost Mass at the Vatican that diversity is a blessing only when all Catholics recognize and follow church teaching.

May 17, 2013
Vatican Legal: Church teaching doesn't change, but church laws can
Like any society, the Catholic Church has laws, and while the tenets of its faith do not change, its laws do need to be adapted to the changing situations in which its members try to live out their faith.

May 17, 2013
Missio: Pope Francis unlocks app for Pontifical Mission Societies
With slightly more of a swipe than a tap, Pope Francis helped the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States broaden its reach around the world by unlocking a smartphone app.

May 17, 2013
Recognize your sin, ask forgiveness, pope says at Mass
The key problem in everyone's relationship with God is not that they sin, but that they are not ashamed of their sin and don't ask forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

May 16, 2013
When church is too serious, it loses its loving, tender side, pope says
The church has ended up with "deviations, sects and heresies when it got too serious, that is, when it took things here too seriously and it forgot about embracing and tenderness," Pope Francis told representatives of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organization of national Catholic charities around the world.

May 16, 2013
Church needs believers with zeal, not couch-potato Catholics, pope says
The church doesn't need couch-potato Catholics, it needs believers with "apostolic zeal," willing to preach the uncomfortable words of Christ, Pope Francis said.

May 16, 2013
Pope calls for global, ethical finance reform, end to cult of money
"Money has to serve, not to rule," he said in his strongest remarks yet as pope concerning the world's economic and financial crises.

May 15, 2013
Marian statue connects pope's native city of Buenos Aires with Sardinia
The name of the Argentine capital resulted from a compromise between the city's Spanish founder, Pedro de Mendoza, and the Sardinian sailors who sailed his ship and were devoted to their island's patroness, Our Lady of Bonaria, Pope Francis said.

May 15, 2013
Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope
The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization said he repeatedly has heard reports that "a lot of people have been going to confession and many have said that while they hadn't gone in a long time, they felt touched by the words of Pope Francis."

May 15, 2013
Pope asks prayers for pastors that they not become 'wolves'
Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray for their bishops and priests, asking God to help them be real shepherds who are poor, humble and meek.

May 15, 2013
Vatican tells cardinal to leave Scotland for period of prayer, penance
Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned as archbishop after admitting to sexual misconduct, will leave Scotland "for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance," the Vatican said.

May 15, 2013
Pope says there are no part-time Christians; faith is a full-time job
Catholics can't put their faith on a part-time schedule or rely on it just for the moments they choose; being Christian is a full-time occupation, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

May 14, 2013
Vatican commissions art for display at Venice international exhibition
After years of discussion and at least one failed attempt, the Vatican will open a pavilion at the 2013 Venice Bienniale, a major international contemporary art exhibition.

May 14, 2013
Pope: Satan tricks people into being selfish, leaving them loveless
Payback with Satan is rotten as he pushes people to be loveless and selfish, finally leaving them with nothing and alone, Pope Francis said.

May 13, 2013
Tens of thousands march for life in Rome
U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and U.S. pro-life leaders joined tens of thousands of demonstrators in Italy's third annual March for Life May 12, which ended with a personal greeting from Pope Francis.

May 13, 2013
Pope warns comfortable living causes 'gentrification of the heart'
The pope's words came in a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Square May 12, when he canonized the first Colombian saint, as well as a Mexican nun and some 800 Italians martyred by Ottoman Turks in the 15th century.

May 13, 2013
Pope: Holy Spirit reminds people they once were lost, now found by God
The Holy Spirit is more than a pretty dove; it is an integral part of the Trinity and deserves a prime place in people's lives, Pope Francis said.

May 13, 2013
Focusing on self rather than Jesus makes prayer boring, pope says
If a person's prayer life is boring, that generally means that he or she is focused too much on the self and not enough on Jesus and the needs of others, Pope Francis said during a morning Mass homily.

May 10, 2013
Under soot: Spring cleaning means sometimes finding forgotten gems
A little bit of spring cleaning or a much needed renovation can turn up the most unexpected things -- especially if you're sprucing up or digging through the Vatican.

May 10, 2013
Pope says Catholics, Coptic Orthodox united by 'ecumenism of suffering'
"Just as the blood of the martyrs was a seed of strength and fertility for the church, so too the sharing of daily sufferings can become an effective instrument of unity," Pope Francis told the leader of 10 million Coptic Orthodox Christians.

May 10, 2013
Sourpusses hurt the church's witness, mission, pope says at Mass
Using a phrase that translates literally as "the face of a pickled pepper," Pope Francis said that when Christians have more of a sourpuss than a face that communicates the joy of being loved by God, they harm the witness of the church.

May 8, 2013
Pope says evangelists build bridges, not walls
Like Jesus, who dined with Pharisees and sinners, and St. Paul, who preached to idol worshippers, true evangelizers build bridges that lead unbelievers into the church, not walls to protect it, Pope Francis said.

May 8, 2013
Cardinal says both sides in LCWR case must be open to dialogue
A day after the Vatican issued a statement saying the congregations for doctrine and for religious were united in wanting a reform of the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the head of the congregation for religious repeated his call for more dialogue with the sisters.

May 8, 2013
Pope tells sisters the church needs them, they need the church
Pope Francis told 800 superiors of women's orders from around the world that the Catholic Church needs religious women and that religious women need to be in harmony with the faith and teachings of the church.

May 8, 2013
Only Holy Spirit can fill hearts thirsting for love, peace, pope says
Listen to the Holy Spirit because he is giving people the good news that God loves them and can renew, purify and transform their lives, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

May 7, 2013
How a postage stamp delivered one boy a dream of being a Swiss Guard
One young man's dream of becoming a Swiss Guard began with a postage stamp. Michael Odermatt said that when he was a small child, his godfather gave him a stamp depicting the ornately dressed papal soldier "and I was fascinated by that image and wanted to know everything about the Swiss Guard."

May 7, 2013
In Brazil, pope to meet slum-dwellers, politicians, world's youth
Pope Francis will meet slum-dwellers and powerful politicians, pay homage at a Marian shrine and celebrate with participants at World Youth Day when he visits Brazil in late July (includes full schedule).

May 7, 2013
Vatican says its congregations collaborate, including on LCWR decision
Two days after the head of the Vatican office overseeing religious life said he had not been consulted by the Vatican's doctrinal office about a controversial investigation of American nuns, the two bodies affirmed their "common commitment" to reform of the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

May 7, 2013
Pope says Christians must learn to patiently endure trials, each other
Patience in the midst of trials and patiently putting up with other people are marks of Christian maturity, Pope Francis told ushers and other staff members of the office that cleans and repairs St. Peter's Basilica and watches over the millions of people who visit it each year.

May 6, 2013
Elderly face danger of 'covert euthanasia,' pope says in book
While the fight to preserve life is often centered on abortion and capital punishment, the future Pope Francis also warned against a more subtle form of disregard for human dignity: what he called "covert euthanasia."

May 6, 2013
Pope celebrates diversity of popular piety, unity of church
Pope Francis celebrated popular piety as a means of transmitting the faith and cultivating it in ordinary Catholics but said such piety must be practiced in communion with the hierarchy in order to maintain the church's unity.

May 6, 2013
Only defense against devil, hatred is word of God, humility, pope says
The devil hates Christians, Pope Francis said, because "we have been saved and the prince of the world doesn't want us to be saved, he hates us and gave rise to the persecutions from the time of Jesus to today."

May 6, 2013
Cardinal says dialogue was missing from Vatican's look at LCWR
The Vatican-ordered revision of the statutes of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will continue, but it must be accompanied with a real dialogue, which has been missing from the process, said the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

May 6, 2013
Mary is a mother who helps Christians grow, pope says at rosary
Marking Catholics' traditional celebration of May as the month of Mary, Pope Francis led the recitation of the rosary May 4 at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

May 3, 2013
St. Mary Major: monument to Mary as protector of the church
The first of Rome's four major basilicas to receive a visit from Pope Francis after his election was not St. Peter's but the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the oldest church in the West dedicated to the mother of Jesus.

May 3, 2013
Pope, Lebanese president appeal for aid for Syrian refugees
Meeting at the Vatican May 3, Pope Francis and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called on the international community to offer concrete aid to Lebanon and other countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria.

May 3, 2013
Pope: People have guts to be ambitious; instead, be courageous for God
People are courageous in pursuing their careers, personal ambitions and jealousies, but they really should be using that courage to believe in the resurrected Christ, pray to him and spread the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

May 1, 2013
Saying 'yes' to God's love makes saying 'no' to sin easier, pope says
The Christian faith is about saying "yes" to God's love and forgiveness in a way that saying "no" to sin will come naturally, Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass.

May 1, 2013
Pope: Unemployment, slave labor go against God's plan, human dignity
The problem of unemployment is "very often caused by a purely economic view of society, which seeks self-centered profit, outside the bounds of social justice," he said, marking the May 1 feast of St. Joseph the Worker during his weekly general audience.

May 1, 2013
Strong faith is key to church unity, says doctrinal congregation head
The unity of the Catholic Church rises or falls to the degree that its members uncompromisingly hold firm to the faith transmitted by the apostles, said Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

April 30, 2013
Retired Pope Benedict set to return to Vatican May 2
Retired Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to move into a remodeled convent at the Vatican May 2, the Vatican spokesman said.

April 30, 2013
Vatican official says curia reform needs time, dismisses bank rumors
Amid widespread speculation about a complete and quick reorganization of Vatican departments and rumors in the Italian media that Pope Francis was going to close the Vatican bank, a top Vatican official told everyone to calm down.

April 30, 2013
Becoming worldly, weak is church's biggest threat, pope says
A worldly church becomes weak, and while people of faith can look after the church, only God "can look evil in the eye and overpower it," he said April 30.

April 30, 2013
Israeli president invites pope to visit Jerusalem
Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel and left their meeting at the Vatican telling the pope, "I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel."

April 29, 2013
Last step to confirmation by pope was nerve-wracking, U.S. teens say
Both Brigid Miniter and Anthony Merejo said the last step -- literally the last step -- they took to their confirmation was the one that made them nervous.

April 29, 2013
Pope: Confession is not like dry cleaners, but is encounter with Jesus
Pope: Confession is not like dry cleaners, but is encounter with Jesus Going to confession isn't like heading off to be tortured or punished, nor is it like going to the dry cleaners to get out a stain, Pope Francis said in a morning Mass homily.

April 29, 2013
Pope tells young to 'swim against the tide; it's good for the heart’
Administering the sacrament of confirmation to 44 people, including two teenagers from the United States and two from Ireland, Pope Francis encouraged them to "swim against the tide; it's good for the heart."

April 26, 2013
Original research team member says science still can't explain Shroud of Turin
Raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, "it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I'm a Jew and involved with probably the most important relic of Christianity," says Barrie Schwortz.

April 26, 2013
Corruption is worse than sin because heart hardens to God, pope says
People who are corrupt have become blind to the transcendent, replacing God with their own powers and abilities, said the pope when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

April 26, 2013
Christian life is a time to prepare to enjoy heaven, pope says
The Christian life is about allowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit to prepare each person to truly see and enjoy the beauty of eternal life, Pope Francis said in a morning Mass homily.

April 25, 2013
Human evolution: Science, faith explore the mysterious emergence of man
In its continuing dialogue with world-renowned scientific experts, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences brought together evolutionary biologists, paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, neuroscientists, theologians and philosophers to discuss the major physical and cultural changes that occurred during mankind's evolution.

April 25, 2013
Preach the Gospel with courage, humility, pope says at Mass
Christians should pray for great courage and great humility as they respond to the call of Jesus to share his Gospel with the world, Pope Francis said.

April 25, 2013
Pope Francis' first encyclical might be out this year, says spokesman
It is not unusual for a pope to pick up work begun by his predecessor, make changes and publish it in his own name.

April 25, 2013
Vatican official says July trip to Brazil being tailored to new pope
Visiting Rio de Janeiro, the chief organizer of papal trips confirmed Pope Francis will participate in the key events of World Youth Day July 23-28 and he said other parts of the papal trip are being tailor-made for the new pope.

April 24, 2013
Church is driven by Holy Spirit, not officials or militants, pope says
Pope Francis also warned against letting the church's mission get lost in a tangle of bureaucracy, saying the church administration is necessary only so long as it supports the wider mission of love.

April 24, 2013
Prepare for Last Judgment by serving the poor, pope says at audience
Christians believe they are saved by God's grace, but they also know they will be judged at the end of time on how they used the talents God gave them and how they served others, especially the poor, Pope Francis said.

April 23, 2013
Italian media report progress in Blessed John Paul's sainthood cause
A Vatican-convoked commission of doctors concluded a healing attributed to Blessed John Paul II had no natural explanation, according to Italian news reports.

April 23, 2013
One cannot follow Jesus, love Jesus without the church, pope says
Following Jesus means belonging to the church, the community that gives Christians their identity, Pope Francis said.

April 23, 2013
Pope offers prayers for Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria
Pope Francis is offering "intense prayers" for the safety and liberation of two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria, for effective responses to the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting there and for peace in the nation, the Vatican spokesman said.

April 22, 2013
Vatican official says Archbishop Romero's sainthood cause 'unblocked'
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the official promoter of the sainthood cause of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, said the process to beatify and eventually canonize the slain Salvadoran archbishop has been unblocked.

April 22, 2013
Pope speaks on dangers of being 'climbers' and 'good-sense Christians'
Following Jesus isn't complicated, but it may take courage and it always requires recognizing that human beings aren't God, Pope Francis said in two of his morning Mass homilies.

April 22, 2013
Pope ordains new priests, talks about learning to hear Jesus' voice
Before ordaining 10 men to the priesthood, Pope Francis prayed privately with them in the sacristy and entrusted them to Mary's care.

April 19, 2013
Papal stargazer, graffiti artist, rabbi hit stage for religious rights
A Kuwaiti princess, a Jesuit astronomer, a British-born rabbi, a former NBA star, a Muslim graffiti artist and the Cuban-American singing sensation Gloria Estefan all took the stage at a Rome concert hall not far from St. Peter's Square for a conference dedicated to religious freedom in the world today.

April 19, 2013
Vatican office works to create community of 'one heart'
Traveling deep into the Amazon basin in a canoe filled with medicine, food and young missionaries to visit remote villages sounds like an extraordinary adventure, but for Father Peter Bui, it was part of a journey to share the love of Christ with the poor.

April 19, 2013
Pope says ideological interpretations 'falsify the Gospel'
All ideological interpretations of Christianity falsify the Gospel by looking at it purely through the intellect, without regard to love or beauty, Pope Francis said April 19.

April 19, 2013
Citing financial problems, Vatican withholds election-year staff bonus
In an austerity move like those being taken by governments around the world, the Vatican will not pay its employees a bonus marking the March 13 election of Pope Francis but will instead make a donation to charity.

April 18, 2013
Battle with the devil: Pope Francis frames the fight in Jesuit terms
In the teaching of Pope Francis, the devil has a more dastardly agenda than just convincing people to break one of the Ten Commandments; "the enemy" wants them to feel weak, worthless and always ready to complain or gossip.

April 18, 2013
Pope: God is real, concrete person, not mysterious, intangible mist
God is a real person -- a father -- and faith springs forth from a tangible experience of an encounter with him, the pope told his listeners at early morning Mass April 18.

April 18, 2013
Pope calls for prayers for victims of Texas factory explosion
In a short message sent from his @Pontifex Twitter account, the pope told the more than 2.3 million followers on his English account to "Please join me in praying for the victims of the explosion in Texas and their families."

April 17, 2013
Failure to evangelize makes 'mother church' a 'baby sitter,' pope says
All of the baptized and not just the clergy are called to spread the Gospel, even in times of persecution, Pope Francis said in his morning homily April 17.

April 17, 2013
Best defense against sin, temptation is Jesus, pope says at audience
Surrounded by the devil's temptations and being susceptible to sin, people can always find help, support and forgiveness in Jesus Christ, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

April 16, 2013
Pope Francis wishes Pope Benedict happy birthday
Pope Francis offered his early morning Mass as a prayer for Pope Benedict XVI on the retired pontiff's birthday, then phoned his predecessor later to personally convey his best wishes for his 86th birthday.

April 16, 2013
Pope Francis says Catholics still need to enact teachings of Vatican II
While some Catholics would like to undo the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, others basically are trying to build a monument to it rather than fully live its teachings, Pope Francis said.

April 16, 2013
Pope's G-8: Troubleshooters, outspoken leaders will help reform curia
The eight cardinals named by Pope Francis to begin work on ways to reorganize the Roman Curia are predominantly active archbishops of very large archdioceses, but they also have a wide range of pastoral and organizational experiences and skills.

April 16, 2013
Pope offers prayers for victims, first responders in Boston
In a message sent to Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said Pope Francis was "deeply grieved by the loss of life and grave injuries caused by the act of violence perpetrated" near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

April 15, 2013
Pope Francis reaffirms Vatican's call for reform of U.S. nuns' group
Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the U.S.-based nuns' group that he had "recently discussed the doctrinal assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the assessment and the program of reform for this conference of major superiors."

April 15, 2013
Christian credibility undermined by hypocrisy, pope says
The credibility of Christianity is undermined by pastors and faithful who preach one thing and do another, Pope Francis said.

April 15, 2013
Pope names international panel of cardinals to advise on Vatican reform
Amid rising concerns about corruption and mismanagement in the central administration of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis named an international panel of cardinals to advise him on the latest reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

April 12, 2013
North American College breaks ground for $7 million expansion
The U.S. seminary in Rome embarked April 12 on a $7 million project to build a 10-story, 36,000-square-foot tower to house high-tech classrooms, practice chapels.

April 12, 2013
St. Paul Outside the Walls: monument to a church of evangelization
The Apostle Paul, whose tomb lies under the basilica's main altar, brought the Gospel to peoples across the central and eastern Mediterranean.

April 12, 2013
To understand Bible, one must understand its nature, pope says
The Catholic faith is not centered simply on a book -- the Bible -- but on Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh, Pope Francis said.

April 12, 2013
Growing presence demands increased responsibilities, say Latino leaders
The Catholic Church is reaching out and assigning greater responsibility to the growing Latino Catholic population, said a group of U.S. Catholic Latino leaders.

April 11, 2013
Pope thanks U.S. foundation for fight against poverty, work for peace
Pope Francis met privately with members of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation and their families.

April 11, 2013
Vatican office looks at challenges facing couples from different faiths
Catholics need to know that marrying someone from a different religion will create extra challenges in their marriage, but church leaders also must learn how to help people in mixed marriages meet those challenges, a Vatican official said.

April 10, 2013
Being Christian means acting, loving like Christ, pope says at audience
A Christian isn't a person who simply follows some commandments, but is a person who tries to think like Christ, "act like him, love like him," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

April 10, 2013
God's love is source of salvation, dignity, hope, pope says at Mass
Pope Francis spoke about the beauty of love during his morning Mass at the Vatican guesthouse where he has been living.

April 9, 2013
Pope, U.N. head meet, discuss crises in Syria, Korean peninsula
Recognizing the important role each other plays on the global stage, Pope Francis and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met at the Vatican April 9, discussing common efforts to promote peace and protect human dignity.

April 9, 2013
Meekness sows harmony in church; gossip sows division, pope says
Christians need to recover the value of meekness, particularly when they are tempted to speak ill of one another or gossip about each other, Pope Francis said April 9 during his early morning Mass.

April 8, 2013
Pope names head of Franciscans to Vatican office overseeing religious
In his first appointment to the curia, Pope Francis named the superior of the Franciscans as secretary of the Vatican office that oversees the world's religious orders.

April 8, 2013
At Rome's cathedral, Pope Francis celebrates God's patience
The Mass was the occasion for Pope Francis to take formal possession of the "cathedra" (chair) of the bishop of Rome. Shortly after the start of the liturgy, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome, read a profession of obedience to the pope on behalf of the diocese.

April 5, 2013
St. John Lateran: Symbol of church's coexistence with secular power
Since his first public remarks on the night of his election March 13, Pope Francis has impressed many observers with a marked preference for describing himself not as the pope but as the bishop of Rome -- a role he was scheduled to assume in a special way April 7 by celebrating his first Mass in the city's cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

April 5, 2013
Master of metaphor: Pope Francis can weave a vivid tale
Metaphors are used extensively in the Bible and they pop up just as often in Pope Francis' talks and teachings.

April 5, 2013
Pope urges doctrinal office to act 'decisively' against sex abuse
Pope Francis reaffirmed the importance of responding decisively to the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and called on the Vatican office dealing with suspected cases to continue carrying out its mandate.

April 4, 2013
Safeguarding creation expected to be major theme at WYD in Rio
When hundreds of thousands of young Catholics gather with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in the summer, reflections on safeguarding the environment will be part of the program.

April 4, 2013
Pope expresses his closeness to victims of flooding in Buenos Aires
Affirming his closeness to his "beloved Argentine people," Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims of recent flooding in Buenos Aires and surrounding areas, and he urged government offices and private citizens to help those most in need.

April 3, 2013
Pope's spring calendar filled with liturgies, Year of Faith events
Releasing the calendar of Pope Francis' liturgical celebrations for April and May, the Vatican confirmed he would keep the Year of Faith appointments set by his predecessor, retired Pope Benedict XVI.

April 3, 2013
Constant complaining keeps one from noticing Jesus' presence, pope says
Complaining frequently and stewing over disappointments can easily become an obsession that blocks one's view of Jesus' presence in difficult situations, Pope Francis said.

April 3, 2013
Homebody, soccer fan, tango-lover -- some papal pastimes revealed
Here are a few of Pope Francis' favorite things, which he revealed in a series of interviews granted while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

April 3, 2013
Pope says women's love makes them privileged witnesses of Christ
Women have a privileged role in the church because of their ability to pass on the faith through love, Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.

April 2, 2013
Can't chant, can't speak English? Pope says it's because he's tone-deaf
After a musically proficient and polyglot Pope Benedict XVI, it came as a surprise to many that Pope Francis doesn't sing or chant at Mass or speak foreign languages in public.

April 2, 2013
Archbishop: Love is important part of therapy for those with autism
While the medical world makes technological advancements, it must not forget the power of love and affection in helping those with autism and their families, a Vatican official said in a message marking World Autism Awareness Day April 2.

April 2, 2013
Pope: Confession is place to experience mercy, grace
In his first seven homilies, Pope Francis repeatedly talked about mercy and grace, recounting anecdotes about asking God for forgiveness and ensuring people that God always is ready to welcome them back.

April 1, 2013
Pope urges Catholics to let grace transform, work through them
On Easter Monday, a public holiday in Italy, tens of thousands of people gathered to see the pope in St. Peter's Square, still decorated with daffodils, tulips and other spring plants. Popes recite the "Regina Coeli" (Queen of Heaven) prayer instead of the Angelus from Easter until Pentecost.

April 1, 2013
At Rome's Colosseum, pope says cross is God's response to evil
Gazing from a hillside overlooking Rome's Colosseum, where thousands of people gathered to pray the Way of the Cross, Pope Francis said Christ's cross is God's response to evil in the world.

April 1, 2013
Image on Turin shroud is reminder of God's love, pope says in message
Gazing upon the image of a crucified man on the Shroud of Turin, Catholics contemplate Jesus and are called on to remember his great love for them and for all who suffer, Pope Francis said.

March 31, 2013
At Easter, pope calls Christians to be channels of mercy, justice, peace
Pope Francis said he would like to bring the good news of Christ's resurrection to each person on earth.

March 29, 2013
Pope leads Good Friday liturgy, begins rite in silent prayer, adoration
Lying prostrate on the floor before the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion.

March 29, 2013
Looking out for No. 2: Who will be Vatican secretary of state?
Of the several widely acknowledged priorities in the run-up to the conclave that chose Pope Francis, none was more prominent than a need to reform the Roman Curia.

March 28, 2013
Pope washes feet of 12 young detainees to serve them 'from the heart'
Pope Francis told young inmates that, just as Jesus came to help and serve others, he, too, was at their service as a priest and bishop.

March 28, 2013
Pope recognizes martyrs from communist, fascist regimes
An Italian priest who died in a Nazi concentration camp and two victims of Soviet-bloc regimes during the Cold War were among those recognized as martyrs by Pope Francis March 27.

March 28, 2013
Pope Francis says good priests bring joy, comfort to those in need
Pope Francis called on the world's priests to bring the healing power of God's grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be "shepherds living with the smell of the sheep."

March 27, 2013
Same symbols, different details: Papal coat of arms undergoes changes
The papal coat of arms has undergone a few major adjustments to more clearly reflect the symbolism of Mary and St. Joseph.

March 27, 2013
Self-absorption is root of evils within church, future pope said
GEvils within the church are caused by a self-centeredness and "theological narcissism" that forget to share Christ with people outside of the church, Pope Francis said in the days before his election.

March 27, 2013
Christians must resist 'dark joy' of gossiping, pope says
Gossiping about someone is a "dark joy" that Christians must resist because it is a betrayal like Judas' betrayal of Jesus, Pope Francis said.

March 27, 2013
Holy Week is time to follow Jesus in search of lost sheep, pope says
The pope began his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square March 27 very simply, saying in Italian: "Good morning. I'm happy to welcome you to my first general audience."

March 26, 2013
Pope Francis to live in Vatican guesthouse, not papal apartments
Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him.

March 25, 2013
Cardinal Levada travels to Assisi to pray for new pope
"When I was in the Sistine Chapel and the Holy Father announced that he had chosen the name Francis, I thought, 'Now I must go to Assisi as soon as I can ... so I can ask the intercession of his patron saint -- Italy's patron saint -- for his new Petrine ministry,'" Cardinal Levada said.

March 25, 2013
Pope Francis wishes Jewish community happy Passover, asks for prayers
A few hours before Rome's Jewish community was to begin its Passover observances, Pope Francis sent a brief note praying that God would bless them and asking community members for their prayers.

March 25, 2013
Lebanese youths lament violence, emigration in Way of Cross reflections
Meditating on Christ's passion and the ways people contribute to his suffering, Lebanese youths lamented the ongoing emigration from and violence in the Middle East, divisions among Christians, the abuse of women and children, and the promotion of abortion.

March 25, 2013
Vatican confirms pope to lead full slate of Holy Week, Easter liturgies
The Vatican confirmed Pope Francis will lead a full slate of Holy Week and Easter liturgies in Rome and at the Vatican, keeping pace with a usually busy papal schedule.

March 25, 2013
Pope on Palm Sunday: Christ's passion leads to joy
Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass as pope March 24, telling an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square that Christ's death on the cross is a source of eternal consolation and joy.

March 25, 2013
Pope Francis meets retired Pope Benedict, says 'we're brothers'
With a warm embrace, a helping hand, shared prayer, a long discussion and lunch together, Pope Francis spent several hours with retired Pope Benedict XVI March 23 at the papal summer villa.

March 22, 2013
Vatican workers join pope for early morning Masses
Dressed in orange safety vests, green jumpsuits or other workers' attire, Vatican gardeners, garbage collectors and cleaning crews joined Pope Francis for a 7 a.m. Mass March 22.

March 22, 2013
Syrian bishop says war saddens him, but he does not despair
Ministering in a time of war in his hometown, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria, said: "Deep down, I'm not frightened, I'm not scared. I'm sad."

March 22, 2013
Pope Francis to diplomats: Moral relativism endangers peace
Addressing the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, Pope Francis lamented both material poverty and the "spiritual poverty of our time.”

March 21, 2013
Table time: Pope discusses, prays, dines with Orthodox representatives
Pastors and theologians involved in ecumenical dialogue emphasize the importance of "table time" -- sharing meals -- along with serious theological discussions, shared prayer and joint action.

March 21, 2013
Vatican security scrambling, yet prepared for pope's love of the scrum
Pope Francis' style of breaking away from his security detail and diving toward the crowds means his protectors have had to do a quick rewrite of strategy, sometimes on the spot.

March 21, 2013
Nobel laureate: Pope preferred silent diplomacy during 'dirty war'
Pope Francis preferred carrying out "a silent diplomacy" in helping victims versus leading a more public outcry during Argentina's "dirty war," said an Argentine Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

March 21, 2013
Pope Francis changes Holy Thursday plans to celebrate Mass in prison
Pope Francis has decided to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper in a Rome juvenile detention facility and wash the feet of some of the young detainees.

March 20, 2013
Vendors offer increasing numbers of items with papal image
Vendors lining the street in front of St. Peter's Square offer items ranging from pencils to candles with the pope's image on them, and customers could find magnets of "Papa Francesco" nestled between pictures of retired Pope Benedict XVI and "I love Roma" bracelets.

March 20, 2013
Pope says religions must cooperate to remind humanity God exists
For the good of all people, the care of the poor and the future of the Earth, religions must cooperate in reminding modern men and women that God exists and has a plan for their lives and their behavior, Pope Francis said.

March 20, 2013
Pope Francis calls his predecessor, wishing him happy name day
Pope Francis telephoned retired Pope Benedict XVI, the former Joseph Ratzinger, to wish him a happy "name day" on the feast of St. Joseph.

March 19, 2013
Pilgrims rise early to get spot to welcome Pope Francis
Michael Vazquez of Windermere, Fla., woke up at 4:30 a.m. just to be sure he and his friends got to St. Peter's Square on time for the inauguration of Pope Francis.

March 19, 2013
Pope chooses silver ring, pallium style in keeping with predecessor
With his fisherman's ring and the pallium -- the main symbols of the Petrine office -- Pope Francis chose styles in continuity with two of his predecessors.

March 19, 2013
Changes in style send clear message from Pope Francis
Pope Francis had been pope for less than six days when he was formally installed March 19, but he had already made a distinctive and overwhelmingly favorable impression on the world.

March 19, 2013
Pope begins ministry with biblical symbols, signs of universal ministry
Although attempts were made to simplify the ceremony, Pope Francis officially inaugurated his ministry as pope and bishop of Rome in a liturgy filled with biblical symbolism and signs of the universality of his mission.

March 19, 2013
Pope Francis begins papacy pledging to protect church, human dignity
Pope Francis formally began his ministry as bishop of Rome and as pope by pledging to protect the Catholic Church, the dignity of each person and the beauty of creation, just like St. Joseph protected Mary and Jesus.

March 18, 2013
Vatican releases papal coat of arms, motto by English doctor of church
The pope decided to keep his episcopal motto and coat of arms for his pontificate with just a few minor adjustments in line with a papal emblem. For example, the blazon adds the bishop's miter and the keys of St. Peter.

March 18, 2013
Archbishop says authenticity, simplicity mark his mentor, Pope Francis
For the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, "authenticity and simplicity" characterize the man who mentored him as a young bishop and who has just been elected Pope Francis.

March 18, 2013
Muslim leaders express hopes for improved relations with Catholics
Muslim leaders expressed hopes the new pope would help improve relations between Muslims and Catholics.

March 18, 2013
Pope meets with Argentine president, superior general of Jesuits
Pope Francis held an informal, private meeting and lunch with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner March 18.

March 18, 2013
Pope pledges renewed cooperation, Jewish leaders praise election
Pope Francis said he plans renewed cooperation to further Catholic-Jewish relations and hopes to contribute to a world where all people live in harmony with the "will of the creator."

March 17, 2013
Pope Francis greets cheering, flag-waving crowd at first Angelus
Four days after Pope Francis was elected, the crowd in St. Peter’s Square was ready to welcome him and hear what he had to say.

March 17, 2013
At first Angelus, Pope Francis says God never tires of forgiving
Citing a distinguished German theologian and an anonymous elderly penitent from Argentina, Pope Francis told an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square never to despair of God's mercy to sinners.

March 15, 2013
Sts. Ignatius and Francis of Assisi, a bond highlighted by Pope Francis
Pope Francis is "a Jesuit's Jesuit" who understands the importance of St. Francis of Assisi in the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, said the Jesuits' secretary for the promotion of the faith.

March 15, 2013
Vatican dismisses claims against Pope Francis during dictatorship
The Vatican dismissed claims that Pope Francis played a direct role in the kidnappings of two Jesuit priests during Argentina's murderous military dictatorship and described them as part of a campaign by "left-wing anti-clerical elements to attack the church."

March 15, 2013
Pope's episcopal motto comes from homily by English doctor of church
The pope may completely change, slightly alter or keep his episcopal coat of arms and motto for his papal coat of arms. But the choice he made as a bishop still sheds some light on the person and ministry of the man who became pope March 13.

March 14, 2013
Pope Francis: Don't give in to pessimism, courageously share Gospel
Never give in to the devil's pessimism, discouragement and bitterness, Pope Francis told the College of Cardinals March 15.

March 14, 2013
Pope Francis: Without faith in Christ, church is just 'pitiful NGO'
The pope spoke at Mass March 14 in the Sistine Chapel, site of the conclave that had elected him the previous day. Pope Francis concelebrated the Mass with the 114 other cardinal electors who had taken part in the conclave.

March 14, 2013
Pope Francis: Choosing a Jesuit as a reformer -- on many levels
The church has turned to religious orders for popes at various times over the centuries, often when in need of a reformer, and such may have been the cardinals' thinking again when they elected Pope Francis.

March 14, 2013
Sequestered by conclave, cardinals missed births, rain, cellphones
While the cardinal electors were intensely praying and choosing the next pope, they were utterly unaware of the huge crowds waiting outside braving the rain and whether the smoke really worked, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

March 14, 2013
Pope Francis starts first day with Marian prayer, bill paying
Pope Francis began his first full day as pope with an early morning act of Marian devotion -- and by paying the bill at the clergy hotel where he had stayed before entering the conclave that elected him.

March 13, 2013
U.S. cardinals describe Pope Francis as ideal choice for modern times
"He is the perfect choice for this moment in the church," said Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl.

March 13, 2013
Vatican spokesman releases pope's initial schedule, speaks of election
Speaking to reporters about an hour after Pope Francis had come out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and given his blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world), the spokesman said the new pope had already spoken by telephone with retired Pope Benedict XVI and planned to visit him "in the coming days."

March 13, 2013
Crowd in St. Peter's Square joyously welcomes Pope Francis I
Cheers of "Francesco! Francesco! Francesco!" resounded throughout the square as the new pope greeted the exuberant crowd in Italian and blessed them from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

March 13, 2013
Text of Pope Francis' remarks from balcony after his election
Here is the English translation of Pope Francis I's remarks delivered from the balcony after his election as pope.

March 13, 2013
Argentina's Cardinal Bergoglio elected pope, chooses Francis
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the leader of a large urban archdiocese in Latin America, was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis. He is the first pope in history to come from the Western Hemisphere and the first non-European to be elected in almost 1,300 years.

March 13, 2013
New pope likely to celebrate installation Mass March 19, spokesman says
The Mass for the installation of a new pope could be celebrated March 19, the solemnity of St. Joseph, patron of the universal church. The new pope also would likely recite the Angelus March 17 with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.

March 12, 2013
Cardinals 80 and older watch, pray -- and give interviews
While the 115 cardinal electors have been locked in the Sistine Chapel voting for a new pope, the elder members of the College of Cardinals have been sitting out the election.

March 12, 2013
Speculation, suspense: Italian media rife with papal predictions
Online betting and trending sites were not the only outlets posting their papal predictions. Italian newspapers are historically the boldest and most confident in their daily speculations and conclave scenarios.

March 12, 2013
Dark of night, chill of rain could not keep curious, faithful away
It was a cold and rainy night, but that cliche didn't stop tens of thousands of people from pouring in to St. Peter's Square to keep their eyes on a tiny chimney high atop a tiled roof.

March 12, 2013
Vatican's English briefer, Father Rosica, sees catechesis in his work
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica is a busy man these days. The Rochester, N.Y., native, founder and CEO of Salt and Light Television based in Toronto, has been assisting the English-speaking media at the Vatican Press office during the papal transition.

March 12, 2013
What happens when cardinals elect a pope
The 115 cardinals participating in the conclave will know the identity of the new pope before the rest of the world, but their advance knowledge is likely to last for well over an hour, and even more in the unlikely event that the candidate they choose is not in the Sistine Chapel with them.

March 12, 2013
In pre-conclave sermon, Cardinal Sodano calls for unity
Hours before the start of the conclave that will choose the next pope, the dean of the College of Cardinals celebrated the papacy as a source of unity among Catholics and of evangelization and charitable service to the world.

March 11, 2013
Cardinals end pre-conclave meetings, hear report on Vatican bank
During their last meeting before entering the conclave to elect a new pope, the world's cardinals heard a report on the Vatican bank and continuing efforts to comply with international standards to prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorism.

March 11, 2013
In digital age, Vatican sticks with smoke, bells to announce results
Though the Vatican has become increasingly savvy with more modern forms of communication, it's still sticking with more primitive methods -- swirling smoke and tolling bells -- to announce whether a new pope has been elected.

March 8, 2013
Universal priest, prophet and king: Next pope faces global challenges
In practically everything he does, the pope has special responsibility for preserving and building unity among members of the largest, most widespread and ethnically diverse organization on earth.

March 8, 2013
African, Asian pope would attract people to Gospel, says mission leader
"It would be great to see a black face again smiling from the Chair of St. Peter. It would be great to see a Chinese face," said the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.

March 8, 2013
Voting for new pope to begin March 12
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, announced the date for the start of the election, known as a conclave, in a message to reporters March 8.

March 8, 2013
Confessors called to help Catholics recognize truth of God's love
The head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican court that deals with the sacrament of penance and matters of conscience, said the sacrament is an integral part of evangelization because it is a proclamation of the good news of God's love.

March 7, 2013
Jesus put church in hands of erring humans, not angels, says cardinal
If Jesus had wanted a church free of scandal or problems, he would have put it in the hands of angels, not a humanity he loved, said Nigeria's newest cardinal elector.

March 7, 2013
Cardinals need time to talk before conclave, spokesman says
The conclave schedule leaves little time for discussing the needs of the church the new pope will have to face, which is why the entire College of Cardinals met March 4-7 without even discussing a possible date to begin the conclave, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

March 7, 2013
Ring of retired Pope Benedict no longer can be used as seal
When Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down from office Feb. 28, his wardrobe changed -- right down to the ring on his finger.

March 6, 2013
Sistine Chapel goes from tourist magnet to polling place for pope
The Sistine Chapel's transformation from a world-famous tourist site to the prayer-filled space where cardinal electors will choose the next pope is under way.

March 6, 2013
Amid pre-conclave meetings, cardinals gather for prayer
Seated under Gian Lorenzo Bernini's statue "Chair of St. Peter," which celebrates the teaching authority of the pope, more than 100 cardinals gathered March 6 to pray as they prepared to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

March 6, 2013
Conclave is more a time of discernment than election, prelate says
The process of selecting a new pope is "ultimately not an election, ultimately it is a discernment," said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington.

March 6, 2013
No conclave date, but cardinals develop 'profile' of new pope
Although by March 6 the world's cardinals had not set a date to begin the conclave to elect a new pope, they had begun discussing "the profile" required of the next pope to meet the needs of the church, the Vatican spokesman said.

March 6, 2013
Cardinals agree to media blackout of pre-conclave meetings
Citing unauthorized press reports on their preparatory meetings for the upcoming papal election, the College of Cardinals agreed to a media blackout similar to one observed before the previous conclave in 2005.

March 6, 2013
Every cardinal in his place: Internal ranking determines seating chart
Cardinals are divided into a three-tier internal hierarchy: cardinal bishops, cardinal priests and cardinal deacons. It's the seating order for the general congregations in the Vatican synod hall. It will be the order they line up in for the procession at the Mass for the election of a new pope.

March 5, 2013
Cardinals receive book of rites, prayers, hymns to guide their work
On the first day of their pre-conclave meetings, all of the cardinals were given a gold-embossed, green book of rites and prayers to accompany them as they enter the conclave, vote, elect a new pope and introduce him to the world.

March 5, 2013
Cardinals O'Malley, DiNardo: No rush to set date for conclave
"This is the most important decision that some of us will ever make, and we need to give it the time that's necessary," Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston told journalists March 5, after the second day of the pre-conclave meeting known as the general congregation.

March 5, 2013
Conclave 'opens up a new future,' Canada's Cardinal Ouellet says
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet said the conclave "opens up a new future" for the church and is a responsibility the cardinals see as "their main task."

March 5, 2013
Cardinals discuss needs of church but don't set conclave date
After completing their third pre-conclave meeting, the College of Cardinals still had not announced a date for the conclave. Instead, they used the March 4 and 5 meetings to discuss needs of the church.

March 5, 2013
L.A. cardinal says he hopes to offer lessons learned from abuse crisis
As the world's cardinals meet before the conclave to discuss some of the challenges facing the church, U.S. Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said he hoped to offer them some of the lessons learned from the sex abuse crisis.

March 5, 2013
Cardinals send retired pope note of thanks, call for prayers
The College of Cardinals thanked retired Pope Benedict XVI for his "tireless work" and example of "generous pastoral concern."

March 5, 2013
Papal tailors ready no matter what size the new pope is
Even though a conclave to elect a new pope has not yet started, the papal tailors have the white cassock ready for the new pontiff when he appears less than an hour after his election on the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square.

March 4, 2013
Prayer and trembling: Cardinals recount experience of conclave
Less than half of the 117 cardinals eligible to vote for a successor to Pope Benedict XVI this year were participants in the 2005 conclave that elected him.

March 4, 2013
Famous last tweets before cardinals enter media blackout of conclave
While @Pontifex has fallen silent during the interregnum, a handful of social media-savvy cardinals are still tweeting while they can before a different kind of "ex-communication" sets in.

March 4, 2013
Cardinal George: Next pope must embrace zero tolerance for sex abuse
The next pope must be "very aware" of the need for vigilance in preventing clergy sex abuse and accept a policy of "zero tolerance" as the universal law of the church, said Chicago's Cardinal Francis E. George.

March 4, 2013
'Sede vacante' triggers changes in Mass texts, especially in Rome
The resignation of the pope, the bishop of Rome, triggered changes in the Mass texts -- particularly in the eucharistic prayers -- used by priests all over the world.

March 4, 2013
Cardinals begin pre-conclave meetings at Vatican
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said the cardinals did not set a date for the conclave to begin and were unlikely to set a date until the 115 cardinal-electors expected were all present and until the cardinals felt confident they knew how much time they wanted for discussions beforehand.

March 4, 2013
Cardinal Mahony says Vatican told him to attend conclave
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony expressed "amazement" at calls that he withdraw from the upcoming papal conclave because of his record on clergy sex abuse and said the Vatican, acting through its ambassador to the United States, had instructed him to take part in the election of the next pope.

March 1, 2013
Cardinals' meetings begin with business, then look toward choosing pope
The world's cardinals were to begin meetings at the Vatican March 4, and while onlookers are focused on who may be the next pope, the cardinals have business to deal with.

March 1, 2013
Between popes, a time of speculation and suspense
The period immediately following a pontificate is one of excited speculation, more or less loose, about the identity of the next pope.

March 1, 2013
Cardinals' Catch-22: eager for conclave, but need time to choose well
"There might be a need for a long delay" as the cardinals try to gauge how much they do or don't know enough about each other, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier told Catholic News Service March 1, the first day of the "sede vacante."

March 1, 2013
Pope Benedict begins emeritus life; cardinals begin 'sede vacante' jobs
After Pope Benedict XVI officially became pope emeritus, he ate dinner, watched the television news and strolled through rooms of the papal villa. Back at the Vatican, a series of tasks was performed at the beginning of "sede vacante," the period when there is no pope.

Feb. 28, 2013
Three US cardinals discuss papal candidates, process of choosing pope
After Pope Benedict XVI left the Vatican and began the last hours of his papacy, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago told reporters he already was considering the qualities of certain cardinals and what kinds of pope they would make.

Feb. 28, 2013
Pope says he's going from humble servant to simple pilgrim
Pope Benedict XVI, who began his papacy describing himself as a "humble servant in the Lord's vineyard," described his retirement as a time of being a "simple pilgrim, who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth."

Feb. 28, 2013
In farewell to cardinals, Pope Benedict pledges obedience to next pope
Pope Benedict XVI briefly addressed the College of Cardinals on his last day as pontiff, calling for unity and harmony among the men who will choose his successor and pledging his "unconditional reverence and obedience" to the next pope.


Pope Benedict's last trip is 15-minute helicopter ride
Pope Benedict XVI's final trip as pope was a 15-minute helicopter ride from the Vatican to the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo.

Feb. 28, 2013
Shoes, signs, stamps, serenades, field art: creative tributes to pope
Catholics in Rome and all over the world found myriad ways to pay homage to Pope Benedict XVI before his resignation Feb. 28.

Feb. 27, 2013
Today's cardinal-electors slightly older than group in 2005 conclave
The group of cardinals preparing to enter a conclave to elect a new pope is slightly older -- by four months -- than the group that elected 78-year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005.

Feb. 27, 2013
Australian cardinal says age, nationality will count in conclave
Sydney Cardinal George Pell, 71, said age, nationality and pastoral experience will be among the factors the cardinals consider when voting for a new pope.

Feb. 27, 2013
Pope delivers personal, emotional farewell address at audience
On his last full day as pope, Pope Benedict XVI delivered an unusually personal and emotional farewell address, thanking the faithful around the world for their support and assuring them that he would remain in their service even in retirement.

Feb. 27, 2013
Faithful throw big farewell at pope's last general audience
The last general audience in St. Peter's Square turned into a farewell party with balloons, flowers, flags, posters, cheers, standing ovations and a touching thank-you speech from Pope Benedict XVI.

Feb. 27, 2013
Flurry of personnel appointments mark last days of pontificate
In the 18 days between announcing his resignation and leaving office, Pope Benedict XVI named 19 new bishops and accepted the resignations of seven others.

Feb. 26, 2013
New York's Cardinal Dolan: Happy warrior of the new evangelization
Popes are elected by members of the College of Cardinals, not by the general Catholic population and certainly not by the media. Yet Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan's presence on practically every journalist's list of potential next popes bespeaks a real and important influence among his peers.

Feb. 26, 2013
Conclave start date might not be known until after March 4
It is possible the world's cardinals will not begin meeting at the Vatican until March 4, and they cannot set a start date for the conclave until they have met, the Vatican spokesman said.

Feb. 26, 2013
Vatican will soon issue special stamps, coins marking 'sede vacante'
The Vatican will be issuing special-edition stamps and minting special coins marking the upcoming "sede vacante," the period when the see of Rome is vacant before the election of a new pope.

Feb. 26, 2013
While @Pontifex hibernates during interregnum, @TerzaLoggia set to fly
The pope's @Pontifex Twitter fans will get two more tweets before the account goes into "hibernation" during the "sede vacante" period starting when Pope Benedict XVI steps down.

Feb. 26, 2013
Pope Benedict to be 'pope emeritus' or 'Roman pontiff emeritus'
Pope Benedict XVI will continue to be known as Pope Benedict and addressed as "His Holiness," but after his resignation, he will add the title "emeritus" in one of two acceptable forms, either "pope emeritus" or "Roman pontiff emeritus.”

Feb. 25, 2013
Cardinal Wuerl: Confronting secularism a priority for next pope
The man cardinals choose as the next pope must be someone with the requisite energy and mastery of modern communications media to promote a revival of the faith in increasingly secular societies around the world, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Feb. 25, 2013
Young, new Philippine cardinal has extensive international ties
At 55, Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, Philippines, is one of the youngest and newest members of the College of Cardinals, but he is also one of the cardinals most frequently mentioned as a possible pope.

Feb. 25, 2013
Timeline of recent papal transitions
The last few popes have been elected and installed within a fairly short period of time after the deaths of their predecessors.

Feb. 25, 2013
Vatican denounces press reports on papal transition
A communique from the Secretariat of State called "deplorable" the "widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories" intended to exert "pressures on the election of the pope."

Feb. 25, 2013
Changing rules, pope allows cardinals to move up conclave date
In his last week as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules for conclaves, including a clause that allows the College of Cardinals to move up the date for the beginning of the conclave to elect his successor.

Feb. 25, 2013
Pope accepts cardinal's resignation; Scot to stay away from conclave
Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, 74, announced he would not participate in the conclave to elect Pope Benedict XVI's successor because he did not want media attention focused on him instead of the election of a new pope.

Feb. 22, 2013
Vatican official: German bishops' rule on 'Plan B' for rape acceptable
The Catholic Church has long accepted the possibility of preventing ovulation in a woman who has been raped, but withdraws that option if there is a possibility that ovulation may have already occurred, said the president of Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life.

Feb. 22, 2013
Papal biographer: Fixing Vatican bureaucracy is a top job for next pope
Threats to religious freedom around the world, the human costs of globalization, media transformed by the revolution in information technology are some of the challenges for the next pope. But he might also have an urgent task at home: reforming the Roman Curia.

Feb. 22, 2013
Pope Benedict changes rituals for new pope's inauguration
Pope Benedict XVI has ordered several changes to the Masses and liturgies that will mark the inauguration of the next pope's pontificate.

Feb. 21, 2013
Canonist explains 'rigid, highly formal' rules for electing pope
The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, following a highly detailed procedure that underwent major revisions by Blessed John Paul II and a small, but very significant change, by Pope Benedict XVI.

Feb. 21, 2013
Indonesian cardinal says poor eyesight will keep him from conclave
At least one of the 117 cardinals eligible to elect a new pope will not come to Rome because of illness.

Feb. 21, 2013
Age matters: Popes elected as young as 24, as old as 81
Of the 102 popes whose exact age at election is known, Pope Benedict was one of 17 churchmen elected bishop of Rome while between the ages of 71 and 80.

Feb. 21, 2013
As pope, Benedict worked to promote understanding of Vatican II
On Feb. 14, in one of the last public appearances of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the clergy of Rome about his experiences at the Second Vatican Council, which he had attended as an expert consultant half a century before.

Feb. 20, 2013
What the church needs now: Synod gives clues to cardinals' priorities
Before the cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel to begin voting for a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, they will hold meetings in the Vatican synod hall to discuss the current needs of the church. Many of them sat in the same room for three weeks in October discussing the same thing, so they won't be starting from scratch.

Feb. 20, 2013
Pope considering last-minute changes to conclave rules, Vatican says
Pope Benedict XVI is considering making some changes to the conclave rules and rituals before he leaves office Feb. 28, the Vatican spokesman confirmed.

Feb. 20, 2013
Conclaves: Vatican Library official shares interesting, strange facts
For instance: During World War II, Pope Pius XII, like several of his predecessors who were popes in times of war, left a document informing the College of Cardinals that if he were taken prisoner, he was no longer to be considered the pope, so the cardinals were to hold a conclave and elect a new pontiff.

Feb. 20, 2013
Between popes: Vatican business continues as usual – almost
When Pope Benedict XVI officially leaves office at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, most of the top-level Vatican officials lose their jobs, but that does not mean the majority of Vatican employees get a vacation.

Feb. 19, 2013
Vatican guesthouse offers cardinals privacy, relaxed comfort
When they are not in the Sistine Chapel, seated under Michelangelo's frescoes to vote for the next pope, the cardinal-electors will stay in a modern guesthouse that offers them both privacy and space to gather for relaxed conversation.

Feb. 19, 2013
Pope Benedict saw Jews, Muslims as allies in defending belief in God
Though Pope Benedict XVI saw Jews and Muslims as natural allies, in the almost eight years of his pontificate his relations with the Jewish and Muslim communities were marked by alternating tensions and new initiatives.

Feb. 19, 2013
History may hold clues in divining impact of resignation, expert says
The halls of history might hold some clues as to what kind of impact Pope Benedict XVI's resignation will have on the church and how to navigate a smooth transition, said a U.S. scholar.

Feb. 18, 2013
Italian cardinal holds center stage by leading Lenten retreat for pope
The Italian cardinal leading Pope Benedict XVI's Lenten retreat was tweeting and podcasting his reflections, signaling that detachment from the outside world doesn't have to mean a total media blackout.

Feb. 18, 2013
Pope asks cardinal to lead financially troubled religious order
Pope Benedict XVI has entrusted the leadership of the financially troubled Sons of the Immaculate Conception to Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

Feb. 18, 2013
Twelve to watch as cardinals gather in Rome
Because of their experience and the esteem they enjoy among their peers, certain cardinals are likely to serve as trusted advisers to the rest of their brother cardinals before and during the conclave.

Feb. 17, 2013
Pope asks continued prayers in these 'unusual' days for church
Calling this an unusual time for him and for the church -- but not specifically mentioning his resignation -- Pope Benedict XVI thanked people for their affection and asked them to continue their prayers.

Feb. 15, 2013
Pope Benedict's resignation and the mystery of the missing encyclical
Pope Benedict XVI's historic decision to resign at the end of February has astonished and perplexed the world in many ways, not least because of what might be called the mystery of the missing encyclical.

Feb. 15, 2013
Conclave to silence at least nine tweeting cardinals
Parrots may squawk in the Vatican Gardens during a conclave, but the cardinals are not allowed to tweet.

Feb. 15, 2013
Pope's talk inspires renewed enthusiasm for Vatican II, evangelization
Pope Benedict XVI's walk down memory lane, recalling his participation in the Second Vatican Council, was an inspiration, reviving renewed zeal for evangelization in this Year of Faith, a number of priests said.

Feb. 15, 2013
Shipyard chairman, financial consultant appointed head of Vatican bank
In one of his last efforts to clean up the image of the Vatican bank, Pope Benedict XVI approved the hiring of the chairman of a German shipyard as the bank's new president.

Feb. 14, 2013
Precedent and sacrifice: Papal decision offers options for future
For a Catholic so aware of the importance of tradition, even traditions with a small "t," Pope Benedict XVI had to know he was setting a precedent by resigning.

Feb. 14, 2013
In talk to priests, pope recalls experiences as Vatican II consultant
Pope Benedict XVI, who has dedicated much of his pontificate to shaping the church's understanding of the Second Vatican Council, devoted one of his last public addresses to the subject, recalling his experiences as an expert consultant at Vatican II, praising some of its major documents and lamenting widespread distortions of its teachings.

Feb. 14, 2013
Don't leave home without them: Credit cards welcome again at Vatican
After more than six weeks of not being able to accept credit- and debit-card payments in the Vatican Museums and shops, the Vatican announced Feb. 13 that it had begun accepting plastic again.

Feb. 14, 2013
Papal secretary moving with pope, other announcements from Vatican
By being the first pope to resign in almost 600 years, Pope Benedict opened a whole box of questions that could not be answered immediately and kept the papal spokesman busy responding to media inquiries and making his own.

Feb. 13, 2013
On Ash Wednesday, pope preaches on humility, Christian unity
Celebrating what was expected to be the last public liturgy of his pontificate two weeks before his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI preached on the virtues of humility and Christian unity and heard his highest-ranking aide pay tribute to his service to the church.

Feb. 13, 2013
Pope Benedict adds few farewells to his original February schedule
With the exception of a special farewell meeting with members of the College of Cardinals Feb. 28 and separate meetings with the prime minister and president of Italy, the Vatican confirmed Pope Benedict XVI's original schedule for late February.

Feb. 13, 2013
Sadness, celebration mark pope's first public event since announcement
Compared to his other public events, this time the chants and cheers had more punch; loud, long supportive applause erupted more often, and the singing had the air of adieu.

Feb. 13, 2013
Pope Benedict thanks faithful, asks them to pray for next pope
At his first public appearance since he announced that he would resign at the end of February, Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their love and prayers and asked them to pray for his successor.

Feb. 12, 2013
Cardinal Arinze: Pope's resignation was a 'surprise, like thunder'
Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign the papacy was a "surprise, like thunder that gives no notice that it's coming," said one of the cardinals who was in the room when the pope announced his decision.

Feb. 12, 2013
Benedict will be prayerful presence in next papacy, spokesman says
Even though Pope Benedict XVI will spend his retirement near Rome and then inside Vatican City, he will not play any role in the upcoming election for a new pope, and he will not interfere with the responsibilities and decision-making activities of the new pontiff, the Vatican spokesman said.

Feb. 12, 2013
Pope to live in Vatican monastery established by Blessed John Paul
The Vatican monastery where Pope Benedict XVI intends to live began its life as the Vatican gardener's house, but was established as a cloistered convent by Blessed John Paul II in 1994.

Feb. 11, 2013
In hindsight, Pope Benedict's resignation seems almost predictable
As much as he astonished the world when he announced his resignation Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI's decision seems almost predictable in hindsight. Given his previous statements on the subject and his recent signs of aging, one might say that people should have seen it coming.

Feb. 11, 2013
List of potential cardinal-electors for a papal conclave
Here is a list of cardinal-electors, from oldest to youngest, eligible to vote for a pope in a conclave. Cardinal Walter Kasper turns 80 March 5; depending on the date of the conclave, he might be over 80, and thus too old to vote.

Feb. 11, 2013
List of potential cardinal-electors for a papal conclave
Here is a list of cardinal-electors, from oldest to youngest, eligible to vote for a pope in a conclave. Cardinal Walter Kasper turns 80 March 5; depending on the date of the conclave, he might be over 80, and thus too old to vote.

Feb. 11, 2013
Pope Benedict's resignation will set in motion period of transition
While the surprise resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is a first for the church in centuries, it also leads to a complicated period of transition that ends in the election of a new pope.

Feb. 11, 2013
Don't worry about being imperfect when called to vocation, pope says
Men and women called to a religious vocation should not worry about being imperfect but should trust in God to transform their lives, said Pope Benedict XVI.

Feb. 11, 2013
Pope Benedict shows signs of aging, but Vatican reports no illness
From the moment he was elected pope at the age of 78 in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI has kept a schedule that appeared light compared to that of Blessed John Paul II, but busy for a man who had wanted to retire to study, write and pray when he turned 75.

Feb. 11, 2013
14 cardinals from Canada, US eligible to vote in conclave
Here is a list of the 14 cardinals from Canada and the United States who are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

Feb. 11, 2013
Citing health reasons, Pope Benedict announces he will resign
Saying he no longer has the strength to exercise ministry over the universal church, Pope Benedict XVI announced Feb. 11 that he would be resigning at the end of the month.

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