Sister Olga Raschietti, 82, pictured in an updated photo, is one of three Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary who were murdered in two separate attacks at their residence in Burundi. The three nuns had been working in Burundi, helping the poor and the si ck, the past seven years, Vatican Radio reported.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis mourned the deaths of three Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary, who were murdered in two separate attacks in their residence in Burundi. Monday, September 8, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is planning to visit Turkey "in the last days of November," but said the length of his trip and his agenda in the country have yet to be determined. Friday, September 12, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- In light of "countless requests from every part of the world," Pope Francis has approved putting Sts. John Paul and John XXIII on the church's universal calendar of feast days. Friday, September 12, 2014
ROME -- Just a few steps away from Rome's traffic jams, blaring sirens and sticky heat, the city's Non-Catholic Cemetery is a garden of breezes and greenery, of crickets, birdsong, roses and pomegranate trees.
DUBLIN — The 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis was "the highlight of my life," said Cardinal Sean Brady, the day the pope accepted his resignation as archbishop of Armagh, Northern Ireland. Monday, September 8, 2014
VATICAN CITY — When a mother has a birthday, children send their greetings and love, so make sure to do the same thing on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Pope Francis said. Monday, September 8, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Former Israeli President Shimon Peres asked Pope Francis to head a parallel United Nations called the "United Religions" to counter religious extremism in the world today. Thursday, September 4, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Hidden beneath Albania's long legacy of interreligious harmony and peace lie the turmoil and bloodshed of an ancient vigilante code that affects thousands of families, many of them Catholic. Thursday, September 4, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Walking to a cemetery on All Saints' Day, watching television past 10 p.m., even slaughtering a kid goat on Easter were once so highly suspect in Albania, they would trigger neighborhood spies to tip off communist authorities. Wednesday, September 3, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis' choice of Albania as the destination of his first international trip in Europe reflects his trademark pastoral approach: Head to the peripheries, bring healing to the suffering. Wednesday, September 3, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Taking up a suggestion from Pope Francis, Argentine Diego Maradona and other soccer stars past and present played an "Interreligious Match for Peace" and tolerance Sept. 1, drawing some 20,000 spectators to Rome's Olympic Stadium. Tuesday, September 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Among the various World War I-related anniversaries of this centennial year, the election of Pope Benedict XV, 100 years ago Sept. 3, is apt to be one of the less widely observed. Tuesday, September 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The priest leading the Gaza Strip's only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory. Tuesday, September 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Envy, jealousy and meanness are human instincts, but they are not Christian, since the division they cause among believers is the work of the devil, Pope Francis said. Wednesday, August 27, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican denies covering up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys, suggesting he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic. Tuesday, August 26, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.
Pope Francis asked people to join him in prayer Aug. 19 after he learned that two of his little great nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina and his nephew was in critical condition. Tuesday, August 19, 2014
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea — Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.
KKOTTONGNAE, South Korea — Pope Francis visited a set of Korean Catholic institutions exemplifying some of his highest priorities for the church, including engagement of laypeople and dedication to the needy
SEOUL, South Korea — Speaking at the execution site of anonymous Korean martyrs, Pope Francis told Catholic bishops and young laypeople from across Asia to evangelize their continent through dialogue and openness, even with others suspicious or intolerant of the church. But he also urged them to challenge aspects of their cultures incompatible with Christian values.
SEOUL, South Korea — Pope Francis told Korean Catholics that the reunification of their divided peninsula as well as the harmony of South Korean society depend on the practice of Gospel virtues, especially charity and forgiveness.
SEOUL, South Korea — Addressing young people from Korea and other Asian countries on their concerns about the future, Pope Francis said the best hope for reunification of the divided Korean peninsula lay in brotherly love and a spirit of forgiveness.
SEOUL, South Korea — Pope Francis warned South Korea's Catholic bishops not to let their country's "prosperous, yet increasingly secularized and materialistic society" distract the church from its essential duty to evangelize.
SEOUL, South Korea — Starting his first visit to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace on their divided peninsula and strengthen their nation's commitment to democracy and social justice.
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO SEOUL, South Korea — Greeting reporters accompanying him to Korea Aug. 13, Pope Francis mourned an Italian video journalist killed earlier the same day in the Gaza Strip and urged journalists to serve as messengers of peace.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis condemned the actions of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying that persecuting Christians and other minorities "seriously offends God and seriously offends humanity." Tuesday, August 12, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has echoed a century of papal pleas: "No more war!" But, referring to the outrageous violations of human rights taking place in northeastern Iraq, he also begged, "Stop these crimes!" Tuesday, August 12, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbarity" and "unspeakable criminal acts" of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardize the future of interreligious dialogue. Tuesday, August 12, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Philippine cardinal now serving on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue says Pope Francis' visit to the island nation in January will be of interest to regional Muslims associated with an Islamic-affiliated separatist movement. Monday, August 11, 2014
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — The aisle is paved with stone from an ancient Roman road; the apse is made of carefully trimmed evergreen bushes; the columns are tall, thin cypress trees; and the nave is a lily pond, complete with gold fish. Thursday, August 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants. Thursday, August 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — A healthy society relies on citizens who learn love, responsibility, loyalty, acceptance of others and solidarity from their family relationships, Pope Francis says. Thursday, August 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis wants a "poor church for the poor," but that "doesn't necessarily mean a church with empty coffers," said Cardinal George Pell, "and it certainly doesn't mean a church that is sloppy or inefficient or open to being robbed." Thursday, August 7, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A cardinal from the Philippines visiting the U.S. thanked the Knights of Columbus for the organization's financial support following last year's devastating Typhoon Haiyan and noted the upcoming visit of Pope Francis next January. Thursday, August 7, 2014
As Chinese authorities raised the official death toll from an Aug. 3 earthquake in the southern Yunnan province, Pope Francis offered public prayers for the victims and their families. Wednesday, August 6, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Meeting 50,000 altar servers, Pope Francis urged young Catholics to make careful use of their freedom, treasure their dignity as sons and daughters of God and make time to pray each day. Wednesday, August 6, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Taking a vow of poverty does not and should not mean living in ignorance of the economic realities connected to community life and a mission of serving the world in the name of the church, Vatican officials wrote in a letter to members of Religious communities. Tuesday, August 5, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has lifted the suspension of Maryknoll Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, who was ordered 29 years ago to stop exercising his priestly ministry because he refused to give up his political position in Nicaragua's Sandinista government. Monday, August 4, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis offered his condolences to the people of the Archdiocese of Sydney after Australian Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy, the former archbishop, died Aug. 3 at the age of 90. Monday, August 4, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Going forward for Communion at Mass, Catholics must do so with a desire to imitate Jesus' compassion for others and with a commitment to sharing what they have, Pope Francis said. Monday, August 4, 2014
ROME — Pope Francis, a Jesuit, celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch. Friday, August 1, 2014
ROME — Shakespeare in the Park is a natural summer activity in many cities, but when the park is in Rome, questions about the playwright's faith and philosophy seem particularly pertinent. Friday, August 1, 2014
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Vatican has told the bishop in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, to stop ordaining priests amid ongoing allegations of sexual abuse committed by a high-ranking diocesan official. Friday, August 1, 2014
VATICAN CITY — After a quick flight over Italy and the Adriatic Sea, Pope Francis will make an 11-hour visit to Albania Sept. 21, making time to meet with the nation's leaders and bishops, but also spending time with disadvantaged children and other people assisted by Catholic charitable organizations. Thursday, July 31, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Roman Curia did not have any "pontifical councils" until 1967, but since then they have become a popular structure for focusing attention on practical areas of life in the church and the world. Thursday, July 31, 2014
Not many Irish teenagers can claim to have received a personal letter from Pope Francis. But Co Carlow’s Nicole Kane, 14, can. The letter is short and to the point. Dated July 15th, with the papal coat of arms at the top and the “Vatican” as address, it begins : “Dear Nicole . . .” Wednesday, July 30, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Just as Jesus commanded pastors to leave their flock to find the lost sheep, the church must set out in search of all those who have been abused by clergy and offer them help, says one abuse survivor. Tuesday, July 29, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Once the "guardian" of the early Christian catacombs of Rome and the Vatican's priceless artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael and other masters, Italian Cardinal Francesco Marchisano died July 27 at the age of 85. Monday, July 28, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Being Christian is putting God first in one's life, which means having "the courage to say no to evil, violence and exploitation," Pope Francis said, visiting another southern Italian town scarred by mafia crime. Monday, July 28, 2014
VATICAN CITY — It's time to stop war, fighting and conflicts, which do nothing but kill and maim, leaving children unexploded ordnance for toys and lives without happiness, Pope Francis said. Monday, July 28, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Monday, July 28, 2014
NEW YORK — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be an "extraordinary moment for our city and an extraordinary honor" if Pope Francis visited the Big Apple in September 2015, when the World Meeting of Families takes place in Philadelphia. Friday, July 25, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- 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.
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed the rector of the Syro-Malabar cathedral in Bellwood, Illinois, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Chicago-based Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of St. Thomas. Thursday, July 24, 2014
HONOLULU — Father Jong Ki Kim is excited that Pope Francis's first major trip to Asia will be to his home diocese, Daejeon, South Korea, and that he and 23 others from Hawaii's Korean Catholic Community will be there. Thursday, July 24, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Wednesday, July 23, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Among the new members and consultants Pope Francis named to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is Father John Crossin, the executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Tuesday, July 22, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. So says a retired American missionary who spent nearly half a century building up Catholicism in the country.
VATICAN CITY — Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 remains unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine. Friday, July 18, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Catholics in mafia areas of southern Italy have to stop simply talking about Christ and become "credible witnesses" by purifying popular local celebrations of anything that hints of a mix of Christianity and tolerance for organized crime, the bishops of Calabria say. Friday, July 18, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Christians and Muslims should work together to bring peace and reconciliation, especially where the two communities face "the horror of war," said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Friday, July 18, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Friday, July 18, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Thursday, July 17, 2014
KILLUCAN, Ireland — The head of the Vatican's congregation that deals with the world's Religious paid tribute to the Camillian Fathers' commitment to caring for the sick and the elderly over the past 400 years. Wednesday, July 16, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Tuesday, July 15, 2014
MEXICO CITY — The Vatican's secretary of state pledged full support for addressing the issue of child migrants streaming out Central America in search of safety and family reunification in the United States. Tuesday, July 15, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says 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. Tuesday, July 15, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged a group of economists and financiers to help reverse the current "throwaway" culture and put people at the center -- not the fringes -- of monetary strategies and policies. Monday, July 14, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Apologizing for missing his late June visit to the patients and staff at Rome's Gemelli Hospital, Pope Francis explained that a headache he'd had since morning suddenly worsened and he became nauseated, forcing him to cancel the visit at the last minute. Monday, July 14, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has named three auxiliary bishops for the Diocese of Hong Kong. They are the diocesan vicar general, the head of Opus Dei for East Asia and the former regional superior of the Franciscan friars. Friday, July 11, 2014
VATICAN CITY — A bishop in Calabria, Italy, 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 mafia boss. Friday, July 11, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Catholics around the world are asked to remember in their prayers the 1.2 million seafarers around the world working in risky conditions far from their families to bring them goods they consume each day. Thursday, July 10, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Seven months after hiring a consulting firm to study the Vatican's communications structures, the Vatican has set up an 11-member committee -- which includes Our Sunday Visitor's Greg Erlandson -- to suggest ways to increase collaboration and cut costs. Wednesday, July 9, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican's final budget figures for 2013 shows a deficit on the part of the Roman Curia, but a strong performance by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget covered the deficit and helped the Vatican end the year 8.5 million euros ($11.6 million) in the black. Tuesday, July 8, 2014
VATICAN CITY — When the 30 men carrying a large statue of Mary and the hundreds of people accompanying the statue in southern Italy paused and bowed in front of the house of a presumed mafia boss, the local bishop denounced them as blasphemous. Tuesday, July 8, 2014
ROME — The crisis of child abuse by clergy is not a thing of the past — it will linger until the church humbly and courageously reaches out to all people still suffering in silence, says Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. Tuesday, July 8, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — The head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines reiterated a call to be more like Pope Francis as the Asian country prepares for the pontiff's upcoming visit. Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Consultations and assessments concerning the overhaul of the Vatican bureaucracy and its finances continued as Pope Francis met for a fifth series of meetings with his international Council of Cardinals. Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY -- Although the Legionaries of Christ have returned to a normal form of self-governance, the Vatican named a top canon lawyer as a special adviser to the Religious community. Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The tragic deaths of thousands of men, women and children who die while searching for a better future should trigger compassion and action, not indifference, Pope Francis said. Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Asking for forgiveness, Pope Francis told abuse survivors that "despicable actions" caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been "camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained." Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican formally recognized an international association of exorcists founded by Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, an Italian priest renowned for his work in dispelling demons. Monday, July 7, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Sympathizing with all the unknowns facing young people today, Pope Francis — half joking — said it is easier for a pope because he knows where his earthly life will end. Thursday, July 3, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The official logo and prayer for World Youth Day 2016 were unveiled in the event's host city — Krakow, Poland — by the city's archbishop, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. Thursday, July 3, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Landmines wound innocent civilians, "prolong war and nurture fear" long after conflicts have ended, Pope Francis told delegates working on the full implementation of an international treaty banning the production and use of anti-personnel mines. Thursday, July 3, 2014
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop George W. Coleman of Fall River, Massachusetts, and appointed Auxiliary Bishop Edgar da Cunha of Newark, New Jersey, as his successor. Thursday, July 3, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Consultations and assessments concerning the overhaul of the Vatican bureaucracy and its finances continued as Pope Francis met for a fifth series of meetings with his international Council of Cardinals. Wednesday, July 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis telephoned Rome's chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found June 30 in Hebron, West Bank. Wednesday, July 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named a Filipino archbishop, who helped lead and rebuild the church in Haiti after its devastating earthquake, as the Vatican representative at the United Nations in New York. Wednesday, July 2, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Monday, June 30, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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. Friday, June 27, 2014
VATICAN CITY — 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.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met privately in early June with seminarians belonging to the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception, a religious order placed under the direction of an apostolic commissioner a year earlier.
WASHINGTON — Parishioners who have occupied a closed Massachusetts Catholic church for nearly a decade said they plan one final petition to Pope Francis to prevent the building from being sold by the Boston Archdiocese.
VATICAN CITY — 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!"
VATICAN CITY -- 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!"
SANTIAGO, Chile — After almost a year of investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith concluded that Bishop Cristian Contreras Molina of San Felipe was innocent of the child abuse accusations made against him.
VATICAN CITY — When a significant portion of the Catholic faithful ignore or reject a church teaching, it is often — but not always — a sign that social and cultural pressures are weakening their faith or that church leaders simply have not found a way to explain the teaching, said members of the International Theological Commission.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pope Francis' dream for the Catholic Church is to not only be a teacher but also a mother "caressing her children with compassion," the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told members of the Catholic media.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis says legalizing marijuana and other so-called "recreational drugs" has never curbed drug addiction rates and has little impact on the criminal organizations trafficking drugs around the world.
ROME — Saying they wanted to "look forward with renewed commitment," the Camillian Fathers and Brothers elected a 59-year-old Brazilian as superior general seven months after the previous superior was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping.
VATICAN CITY — Because he is experiencing some trouble walking long distances, Pope Francis decided not to join the Corpus Christi procession after the Mass he celebrate the evening of June 19, the Vatican spokesman said.
VATICAN CITY — 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. Last year, he traveled to Brazil in July for World Youth Day.
VATICAN CITY — The Korean martyrs who gave their lives for the faith, the young people who will be the leaders of the church across Asia and people with disabilities are the key features of the schedule prepared for Pope Francis when he visits South Korea in mid-August.
VATICAN CITY — Addressing Mary as "mother of refugees," Pope Francis offered prayers for the millions of people in the world forced to flee their homelands, and he asked Catholics to reach out to them with assistance and a real welcome.
VATICAN CITY — Beginning a series of audience talks about the church, its identity and mission, Pope Francis said it would be "a bit like a son talking about his mother, his own family," because the church is the mother of Christ's disciples and is called to be united as a family.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis formally announced six men and women would be made saints Nov. 23, the feast of Christ the King. He made the announcement during a morning "ordinary public consistory," a meeting of cardinals and promoters of the sainthood causes that formally ends the sainthood process.
VATICAN CITY -- On rickety boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea or on trains through Mexico or desert paths crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, a huge increase in the number of children traveling alone to flee war or violence calls for urgent action by the international community, a Vatican official says.