VATICAN CITY — Arms flailing, the exuberant and perhaps hyperactive Italian actor and comedian Roberto Benigni described Pope Francis as a masterful minister of God's mercy, which is always active and always on the move. Friday, February 5, 2016
VATICAN CITY — Cold indifference to migrants, the poor, the hungry and the persecuted must be overcome through the warmth of mercy, which can transform people into artisans of peace, Pope Francis said. Monday, January 11, 2016
VATICAN CITY — Christmas is a reminder that through the birth of Christ, hope and peace are possible and that only through his grace can humanity find peaceful solutions to the world's most difficult problems, Pope Francis said.
Upon Pope Francis' arrival to meet with the members of Catholic Action's children's section (parish-based groups of young people from 4 to 14 years of age, spent the year on various projects that aided migrants in the Italian diocese of Agrigento), the youth sang "Happy Birthday" and presented him with a cake for his 79th birthday Dec. 17 during his traditional pre-Christmas audience with them. Thursday, December 17, 2015
VATICAN CITY — On a cloudy, damp morning, Pope Francis' voice echoed in the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica: "Open the gates of justice." With five strong thrusts, the pope pushed open the Holy Door, a symbol of God's justice, which he said will always be exercised "in the light of his mercy."
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Heads of states at the U.N. climate change conference in Paris must do everything possible to mitigate the effects of both climate change and poverty "for the good of our common home," Pope Francis said. Monday, December 7, 2015
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The usual fanfare that comes with the world premiere of a movie is pretty standard: the lights and cameras, the celebrities walking down the red carpet and screaming fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite actors.
At the Vatican, however, a movie premiere is not your typical star-studded event.
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM AFRICA (CNS) -- Pope Francis told reporters he is well aware that God is a god of surprises, but he had not been prepared for what a surprise his first visit to Africa would be. Tuesday, December 1, 2015
NAIROBI, Kenya — With security concerns looming over his visit, Pope Francis arrived in Kenya Nov. 25 urging tolerance and respect among people of different religions and different ethnic groups. Wednesday, November 25, 2015
VATICAN CITY — After consultation with the governing council of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Pope Francis named Msgr. Steven Lopes to be the first bishop of the ordinariate, which serves former Anglicans living in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Tuesday, November 24, 2015
VATICAN CITY — Opening the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica and the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis also hopes to open a year of "fervent dialogue" among Christians, Muslims and Jews, so that all who profess faith in a merciful God may be stronger in showing mercy toward one another. Friday, November 20, 2015
NAIROBI, Kenya — A Kenyan bishop said the church is comfortable with the security preparations for the reception of Pope Francis, in the wake of the Paris attacks that appear to have targeted crowded areas. Thursday, November 19, 2015
VATICAN CITY — Leaked and published information about Vatican financial problems and irregularities were already known and are the reason "measures have already been taken that have begun to bear fruit," Pope Francis said.
VATICAN CITY — While they did not grab headlines, the elderly and people with disabilities, openness to life and the plight of migrants and refugees were also on the agenda of the Synod of Bishops on the family.
VATICAN CITY — Observers told the Synod of Bishops on the family to discourage Christian women from marrying Muslim men, urge priests not to tell women to return to abusive husbands, share the truth of church teaching about marriage, and embrace single mothers who are alienated from the church.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Marist Poll survey commissioned by the Knights of Columbus found Pope Francis' favorability made significant gains among Catholics and among Americans overall in the wake of his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States.
UNITED NATIONS — The information and services that space technology provides must be shared as much as possible by the countries of the world to reduce the risk that economic and social inequalities will widen, a Vatican official told the United Nations.
MEXICO CITY — The Mexican bishops’ conference and the Vatican have confirmed Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016, marking his first trip to this heavily Catholic country in throes of unrest over unresolved issues such as violence, crime and corruption. Wednesday, October 14, 2015
VATICAN CITY — As the discussion began at the world Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis urged members not to act as if the only question that mattered was the pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, his spokesman said.
VATICAN CITY — Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.
VATICAN CITY — The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to "God who always surprises us."
After six days, Pope Francis left inspiration in his wake, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands who saw him in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. From the Speaker of the House youngsters who got a papal blessing and smile, a lot of Americans will never be the same.
NEW YORK (CNS) -- Honoring both the pain and the strength of the families of those who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and drawing on the pools of water that are part of the site's memorial, Pope Francis spoke about tears and quenching the world's longing for peace. "The water we see flowing toward that empty pit remind us of all those lives" lost in 2001, he said. "The flowing water is also a symbol of our tears. Tears at so much devastation and ruin, past and present." Friday, September 25, 2015
UNITED NATIONS — Dealing with war, development, the economy or environmental concerns, bureaucrats and diplomats always must remember that the lives of real children, women and men are at stake, Pope Francis told the United Nations. Friday, September 25, 2015
The pope's visit lasted about 15 minutes and he was unable to sit down for lunch in the makeshift dining center set up under a tent in front of Catholic Charities headquarters in downtown Washington. Thursday, September 24, 2015
WASHINGTON — The past, the promise and the potential of the United States must not be smothered by bickering and even hatred at a time when the U.S. people and indeed the world need a helping hand, Pope Francis told the U.S. Congress.
HAVANA — In a hot and steamy cathedral after listening to a Daughter of Charity talk about her work with people with severe disabilities, Pope Francis set aside his prepared homily and spoke about serving those the world considers "useless."
VATICAN CITY — Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighboring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Pope Francis' visit to Cuba is a sign of his closeness to the nation's people at a time they "breathe the air of hope" that relations with the U.S. will improve, said Bishop Wilfredo Pino Estevez of Guantanamo-Baracoa.
VATICAN CITY — As Catholics joined others in protesting Israel's extension of its security wall, further dividing Palestinians and Israelis, Pope Francis gave Israeli President Reuven Rivlin a tangible sign of his hopes for peace.
VATICAN CITY — Selfishness and fear keep too many people ignorant of the suffering of others and prevent them from finding creative ways to express solidarity and to promote peace, said a statement from the Vatican's justice and peace office.
VATICAN CITY — Catholics who have divorced and are civilly remarried "are not, in fact, excommunicated — they are not excommunicated — and they absolutely must not be treated as if they were," Pope Francis said.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A broad digital media project to coincide with Pope Francis' visit this fall to the United States aims to recruit and interact with young people, particularly those who do not think of themselves as religious.
ASUNCION, Paraguay — Christians cannot force anyone to believe, but at the same time, no one can force Christians to stop being welcoming, loving and living in solidarity with others, Pope Francis said.
ASUNCION, Paraguay — Arriving in Paraguay July 10, Pope Francis paid tribute to the historic visit to the country made in 1988 by St. John Paul II, a visit many people saw as contributing to the end of one of the world's longest military dictatorships.
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Praising Bolivia's efforts to include all its citizens in the country's economic, political and social life, Pope Francis also defended the record and the right of the Catholic Church to be an active member of society and the right of the bishops to comment on public issues.
QUITO, Ecuador — Clergy and religious must remember that all they have is freely given by God and they must never forget where they came from, Pope Francis told sisters, priests, seminarians and bishops gathered July 8 at the El Quinche Marian shrine near here.
QUITO, Ecuador — Pope Francis' visit to a home for the destitute elderly in Quito was that of a pastor, but it was also a reminder of the lack of care and services for senior citizens in countries like this one, where the population is still mainly young.
QUITO, Ecuador — Catholics will never be effective evangelizers if they are squabbling among themselves, and they cannot show the world how faith in Christ responds to the human yearning for freedom and peace if they are divided, Pope Francis said. Tuesday, July 7, 2015
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — Even if a pastoral proposal for helping a Catholic family with problems seems scandalous at first, it is possible God could use that proposal to bring healing and holiness, Pope Francis said.
PHILADELPHIA — The first stop for Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia the morning of Sept. 26 will be the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul to celebrate a special Mass for the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
QUITO, Ecuador — Although still thousands of miles from his birthplace in Argentina, Pope Francis made a homecoming of sorts July 5 when he landed in Ecuador, greeted by cheering crowds and the sights and sounds of South America. Sunday, July 5, 2015
VATICAN CITY — Harsh criticisms meted out by Pope Francis on free-market capitalism have sparked backlash from some fiscal conservatives and have led some people to call him "anti-capitalist" or even Marxist.
VATICAN CITY — In word and deed, Pope Francis will take his vision of a Catholic's approach to family life, parish life, charity, economics, immigration and good governance to Cuba and the United States during a Sept. 19-27 visit.
VATICAN CITY — The Holy See and Palestine have signed a historic agreement that supports a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict in the Holy Land, based on the 1967 borders between Israel and Palestine.
VATICAN CITY — It took place in silence and lasted only a few minutes, but Pope Francis' time of prayer and contemplation before the Shroud of Turin was marked with gestures of reverence and tenderness.