"Respect for the dignity of every human person and the common good are the two pillars on which the position of the Holy See has developed."
Over the centuries, the international community has developed criteria for determining whether a war is just and for regulating conduct in combat; now it needs clearer guidelines for "humanitarian intervention" and for post-conflict reconciliation, said the Vatican secretary of state.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis' top aide and chief coordinator of the Vatican diplomatic corps, also warned against indifference toward situations of conflict around the world.
Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Rome prison and wash the feet of male and female inmates.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope will visit the Rebibbia detention facility on the outskirts of the capital April 2, then celebrate Mass in Our Father Church on the grounds of the complex. During the Mass, the pope will wash the feet of male inmates from Rebibbia and female inmates from a nearby women's prison.
Don't pack it in or shift into cruise control, Pope Francis told his fellow seniors.
Today's frenetic world, especially young people and families, needs the older generation's prayers, wisdom and gifts to give them the encouragement, hope and faith they often lack, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday.
Shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980, Romero has long been considered a saint by many in Latin America, but the official Vatican process of sainthood lingered.
The Vatican on Monday said it has received a ransom demand to recover letters signed by Michelangelo, stolen from the Holy See nearly 20 years ago.
Two letters signed by Michelangelo, one written in its entirety by the Renaissance artist, were stolen from the Vatican's Fabbrica di San Pietro archive in 1997.
The thefts were kept secret until Sunday, when the Italian daily Il Messaggero revealed that the documents had been put up for ransom.
The Francis Chronicles: "To save us, God was made close to us, was made one of us: Jesus, and suffered like us! This is the way: closeness."
Allowing priests to celebrate Mass in the language of the local congregation rather than in Latin allowed the faithful to understand and be encouraged by the word of God, Pope Francis said.
"You cannot turn back. We have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake," he told parishioners after commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first time a pope celebrated Mass in the vernacular following the Second Vatican Council.
The discussion on women's participation in church structures may have been the first such public conversation to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.
The number of women working for Vatican City State has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of women in leadership positions in the Roman Curia remains low, with only two women serving as undersecretaries.
Gudrun Sailer, a journalist at Vatican Radio, conducted a study of the Vatican employment situation and published the results Thursday in preparation for the celebration March 8 of International Women's Day.