The pope also made a "pressing appeal to the international community to take initiatives to put an end to the humanitarian drama underway."
Reflection: One bomb did more damage in a matter of minutes to Japanese Christianity than had 400 years of intense persecution by the rulers of Japan.
A Salvadoran judge ruled that Spanish Passionist Fr. Antonio Rodriguez, known for his work in rehabilitating gang members, should remain in jail, accused of various crimes regarding gang activities.
A Catholic official in Libya said church leaders would remain in the country to support Muslims as well as Christians who remained.
"People are frightened -- there's no visible law and order, and absolutely no police or military protection for our churches," said Franciscan Fr. Allan Arcebuche, vicar general of Tripoli's Catholic apostolic vicariate, the church jurisdiction in the region.
Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano says Pope Benedict XVI vouched for a priest accused of sexual misconduct days before he became pope.
In Iraqi cities under the control of Islamic extremists, everyone walks in fear amid a new reign of terror.
After nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas, the expectation that things will get better has been consistently disappointed.
Maryknoll Fr. Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, 81, had written to the Vatican that he wanted to be able to celebrate Mass again "before dying."
A German cardinal warned that the number of Catholics leaving his country's church is "alarmingly high" and urged an end to "scandals and vexations" involving clergy.
"This trip is an opportunity to deeply understand the history of El Salvador, the history of the martyrs and what their legacy was."