Faith and Justice: Defenders of church governance say the church can learn nothing from civil governments. But the church has borrowed government structures since the beginning.
The Catholic church should make "unconventional couples" feel at home instead of making them targets of "de facto discrimination," the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.
"Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice," said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.
Jozef Wesolowski, the ex-Vatican envoy stripped of diplomatic immunity after claims he sexually abused young boys in the Dominican Republic, may face a criminal trial in the Caribbean country.
Because Jozef Wesolowski is no longer an archbishop nor is he a Vatican diplomat, when his appeals are exhausted, he "might also be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts."
Pope Francis phoned relatives of the late James Foley on Aug. 21 to console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers.
Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.
"Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters" will be the theme for the Jan. 1, 2015, commemoration and for the message Pope Francis will write for the occasion, according to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Pope Francis asked people to join him in prayer Tuesday after he learned that two of his great-nephews and their mother had died in a car crash in Argentina. His nephew is in critical condition.
The dead were identified as the wife and two young sons of Pope Francis' nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio: Valeria Carmona, 39, Joseph Bergoglio, 2, and Antonio Bergoglio, 8 months.
According to Argentine news reports, the 35-year-old son of the pope's late brother Alberto Bergoglio underwent emergency surgery and was on a respirator.
Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. airstrikes.
Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.
In a letter signed Aug. 9 but released by the Vatican after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed "to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities."
Even as Francis called for peace in the Middle East, the Vatican tried to come to terms with the idea that U.S. military strikes were necessary and working.