John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis on Monday named new members of the Congregation for Bishops, and one American name was notably absent.
In a Dec. 14 interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis suggested that the common experience of anti-Christian persecution around the world could become the basis for efforts at Christian unity, calling it the "ecumenism of blood."
Here is the text of what Pope Francis said, in reply to a question from Italian writer Andrea Tornielli as to whether ecumenism is a priority for the pope, in NCR translation from the Italian.
"I don't know where any such an idea came from," the pope told the Italian daily La Stampa. "Women in the Church must be valued, not 'clericalised.' "
Europe's top financial transparency experts say "much work has been done in a short time" to promote reform, but the Vatican still risks being used for money laundering.
The Vatican recently called for a broad-based world-wide parish-level input in preparation for the bishops meeting next year on pastoral challenges to the family.
Pope Francis is adding his voice to the chorus of papal statements fostering social justice.
An official at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said despite widespread news reports, he does not expect Pope Francis to write an encyclical on poverty.
"The consultation must gather information from the grass roots and not limit itself to the level of the Curia or other institutions," said Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri.
All people must stand united against the scandal of hunger while avoiding food waste and irresponsible use of the world's resources, Pope Francis said Monday.
People should "stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger firsthand," the pope said, as he launched a global campaign of prayer and action against hunger.
We say: In Francis, we see a great deal of discontinuity with Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II. And it is about time.