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Pope will set up study of deaconesses
Pope Francis embraces Sister Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa and president of the International Union of Superiors General, during an audience with the heads of women's religious orders in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 12. During a question-and-answer session with members of the IUSG, the pope said he was willing to establish a commission to study whether women could serve as deacons.
Pope Francis embraces Sister Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa and president of the International Union of Superiors General, during an audience with the heads of women's religious orders in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 12. During a question-and-answer session with members of the IUSG, the pope said he was willing to establish a commission to study whether women could serve as deacons.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told the heads of women's religious orders from around the world that he would set up a commission to study the New Testament deaconesses and he also insisted more can and should be done to involve lay and consecrated women in church decision-making at every level.
Friday, May 13, 2016

Pope: Straying from Jesus turns Christians into 'spiritual mummies'
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians distracted from the path set out by Jesus can turn into decrepit "spiritual mummies," Pope Francis said at a morning Mass yesterday.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Pope promises wine, not beer, to fulfill military challenge
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis receives countless gifts, but most do not require anything in return. However, at his audience with members of the military April 30, the pope received a small gift with a tradition — and obligation — attached.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Pope to celebrate Mass, welcome homeless on pilgrimage to Rome
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will welcome several thousand homeless and vulnerable people from all over Europe when they make a pilgrimage to Rome in November.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Syrian refugees thank pope for safety
ROME (CNS) — After less than 48 hours in Rome, "dream" is the word used most often by the six Syrian adults Pope Francis brought back to Italy with him from a refugee camp in Greece.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Comments on the "Joy of Love"
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Following is a series of quotes from Catholic leaders and observers reacting April 8 to the issuance of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "'Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love"), on Love in the Family":
Monday, April 11, 2016
Capitalism needs infusion of virtue for the common good, cardinal says
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By using the tools of capitalism and the market effectively and ethically, the world can reach "full human flourishing and sustainable development," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Preacher to Curia: Christians wounded by clerical greed, pedophilia
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The sexual abuse of minors and greed by members of the clergy have left Christians wounded, a Servite priest told the pope and Vatican officials during their Lenten retreat.
Friday, March 11, 2016
Open hearts

VATICAN CITY — We must always forgive others who have wronged us because that is how our hearts are opened to receive God's grace, pardon and healing, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
'No more exploitation'
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Speaking from the symbolic platform of the U.S.-Mexico border, Pope Francis pleaded for the plight of immigrants while warning those refusing to offer safe shelter and passage that their actions and inhospitable attitudes were bringing about dishonor and self-destruction as their hearts hardened and they "lost their sensitivity to pain."
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Pope tells prisoners society needs system of 'social health'

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Pope Francis urged society to rethink its ideas of locking up inmates and throwing away the key, calling such an approach another symptom of the "throwaway culture" he often decries and "a symptom of a culture that has stopped supporting life, of a society that has abandoned its children."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
'Put love into play'
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS — Pope Francis warned against moves to diminish the importance of the family, peppering his talk with anecdotes and off-the-cuff remarks that kept a packed soccer stadium cheering, laughing and applauding.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
In crime-plagued periphery, pope preaches conversion
ECATEPEC, Mexico — Pope Francis began his travels to Mexico's "peripheries" by visiting an overcrowded, sprawling settlement known internationally as a hunting ground for girls to force into prostitution and for boys to enlist in the drug trade.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Mother Teresa miracle approved: canonization nearer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, thus paving the way for her canonization.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!
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
Mercy before judgment

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."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Pope: Stopping climate change equals stopping poverty
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
Homeless, poor welcomed at Vatican movie premiere

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.

Monday, December 7, 2015
Pope loved the crowds, the joy
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
At Bangui mosque and Mass, pope prays for 'salam,' peace

BANGUI, Central African Republic (CNS) -- Pope Francis ended his visit to the violence-torn Central African Republic with cries for peace and pleas for a mercy that seeks and grants forgiveness.

Monday, November 30, 2015
Leaked documents won't stop financial reforms, pope says

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.

Monday, November 9, 2015
WATCH: Synod report highlights pastoral care of society's marginalized

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.

Monday, October 26, 2015
Promises must be made in freedom, honored with sacrifice, says pope

VATICAN CITY — Bring honor back to keeping one's promises, which must be made in full freedom and kept by making sacrifices, Pope Francis said.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Vatican says claims pope has tumor 'entirely unfounded'

VATICAN CITY — Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said an Italian newspaper's claims about the pope's health were "entirely unfounded."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Discourage mixed marriages, women accepting abuse, some say at synod

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Papal favorability numbers rise following September U.S. visit

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Vatican urges U.N. to seek equitable sharing of space technology

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Shorter annulment process isn't about shortcuts, cardinals say

VATICAN CITY — The reforms to the annulment process introduced by Pope Francis serve only to avoid delays in cases where marriages are clearly not valid, two synod fathers said.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Pope Francis to visit Mexico in 2016
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
WATCH: Church and society must learn from families

VATICAN CITY — Society and the church have much to learn from the family and, in fact, the bond between the church and the family is "indissoluble," Pope Francis said.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Pope says ministry to divorced, remarried is not only topic for synod

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Synod should reflect on possibly allowing female deacons, says archbishop

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
'Listen to Holy Spirit'

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."

Monday, October 5, 2015
Vatican astronomer: Discoveries on Mars may reveal God's personality
VATICAN CITY — A Vatican astronomer said the latest discovery of flowing liquid water on the surface of Mars was exciting.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
He changed 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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Pope Francis visits 9/11 Memorial
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
People come first, human life is sacred, pope insists at U.N.
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
Hope for the poor
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
Pope to Congress: Stop bickering, world needs your help
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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Pope arrives in U.S.
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — Pope Francis arrived in the United States the late afternoon of Sept. 22 to begin his first apostolic journey as pontiff.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
WATCH: Pope in Cuba

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."

Monday, September 21, 2015
Pope says he is 'a bit feminist,' thanks women religious for hard work

VATICAN CITY — Calling himself "a bit feminist," Pope Francis praised women religious for always heading to the "front lines" to bring the church's tenderness and motherly love to those most in need.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Syria: 'No one can pretend not to know'

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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Pope: Priests lacking mercy shouldn't hear confession; get desk job

VATICAN CITY — To be a true Christian means being forgiving, kind, humble, gentle, generous, merciful and very patient with one another, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Thursday, September 10, 2015
WATCH: Parishes must be like a welcoming family, not private club, pope says

VATICAN CITY — A church that lives according to the Gospel must always have its doors open and be a welcoming community, not "an exclusive, closed sect," Pope Francis said.

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Cuban bishop: Pope's visit comes at time of hope for people

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Pope meets Israeli president, expresses hopes for peace

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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
Pope Francis to speak from lectern Lincoln used for Gettysburg Address

PHILADELPHIA — As lecterns go, it is strictly utilitarian, a simple walnut stand with none of the ornamentation commonly found in mid-19th-century furnishings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Papal message for World Peace Day to focus on overcoming indifference

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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Divorced and remarried are not excommunicated, pope says at audience

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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
'Good Is Winning'

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.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Church is called to persevere in mission of welcoming all, pope says

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.

Sunday, July 12, 2015
Pope honors St. John Paul's historic visit to Paraguay

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.

Friday, July 10, 2015
At Bolivian prison, pope calls himself man 'saved from his many sins'

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Pope Francis visited one of Latin America's most notorious prisons, calling himself "a man who was and is saved from his many sins."

Friday, July 10, 2015
Morales draws pope into Bolivian-Chilean coastline controversy

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Pope Francis had barely touched Bolivian soil when President Evo Morales brought up the touchiest topic in the landlocked country's foreign policy: access to the sea.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
WATCH: In Bolivia, pope insists on church's role in public life

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.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Bolivian families, church workers hope pope's prison visit spurs change

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Fernando Fernande brought toilet paper, soap and food to the Palmasola prison, where his son has been locked up for the past two years.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
Remember your roots

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Papal visit to home spotlights plight of seniors in many countries

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Building unity in church
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
Families need prayers, mercy, courage, including from synod, pope says

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.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Mass for archdiocese, visit to prison top pope's Philadelphia itinerary

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.

Monday, July 6, 2015
From Argentina, an exodus to see Pope Francis in Paraguay, Bolivia

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Residents of Villa 21-24, a slum on the south side of the Argentine capital, hold fond memories of Pope Francis.

Monday, July 6, 2015
WATCH: Return to South America
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
Catholic economist: Pope has 'measured' critique of U.S. economy

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Pope's visits to Cuba, U.S. to highlight families, charity, tolerance

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Papal summer: Benedict heads for hilltop villa, Francis trims schedule

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis visited retired Pope Benedict XVI at his Vatican residence June 30 to wish him a happy summer.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Vatican signs agreement with Palestine, calls for two-state solution

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.

Friday, June 26, 2015
Pope Francis contemplates Shroud of Turin, calls it 'icon of love'

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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

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