"They are martyrs of today and they are many," Pope Francis said Monday. "We can say that they might be more numerous than the first centuries."
"From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace."
Thomas Reese, senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter, discusses Pope Francis' work to date and his agenda for 2015 as part of Council on Foreign Relation's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Reese makes a 10-minute presentation then answers questions from the people on the conference call. The conference call took place March 31.
"Jesus loved us, Jesus loves us, but without any limits, always, all the way to the end," Pope Francis said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper.
Pope Francis has outlined a deeply human model of the priesthood, telling priests they should exhaust themselves at the service of their people.
In a key move toward greater financial transparency, the Holy See signed an agreement with Italy that includes the full exchange of financial information about Vatican employees, pensioners, foundations and religious institutes that are subject to Italian taxes.
People and entities that reside in Italy were expected to be liable for Italian taxes on any interest or earnings coming from bonds, investments and savings in Vatican institutions, according to a general outline of the agreement.
Brazilian Archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara was a Latin American bishop known for radically calling on the church to stand with the poor.
The bishop of a southern Italian diocese has issued new directives aimed at keeping the mafia out of this year's Easter processions.
Commonly called "L'Affruntata" (the encounter), the popular and traditional Easter Sunday procession involves bringing together three statues -- one of Jesus, the apostle John and Mary, who is caped in a black robe. The Marian statue's black robe is removed at the end of the procession to symbolize her joy over Jesus' resurrection.
The Vatican said the bishop's candidature was "carefully examined" prior to his appointment but no "objective reasons" were found to preclude it.
Some 1,200 formation directors for Catholic religious orders from "every part of the world" will come to Rome next week to take part in a Vatican-hosted conference sharing ideas on how men and women considering religious life should be guided in their discernment.
The conference includes participation of three Vatican congregations and is the latest in a series of events to mark the Year of Consecrated Life, called by Pope Francis and being held through the beginning of 2016.