Cardinal Raymond Burke took to the pages of L'Osservatore Romano on Friday to reassure conservatives that Francis strongly backs church teachings on controversial topics.
The Vatican announced an immediate end to new hires, wage increases and overtime in an effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.
Pope Francis, with input from the Vatican's central accounting office, also determined that volunteers could be used to help provide the labor needed to make up for the hiring freeze and eventual attrition.
Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent a letter dated Feb. 13 to the heads of all Vatican offices, institutions and agencies.
A day after at least 75 people were reported killed in clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine's capital, Pope Francis asked the College of Cardinals to send a message of support to the two Ukrainian cardinals who are suffering because their people are.
Members of the College of Cardinals say Pope Francis is looking for discussion in a process that has been "misunderstood."
Francis pushed the closed-door summit of about 150 cardinals to "deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires."
Faith and Justice: The temptation with popes is to see them as all bad or all good. Nothing is that simple, especially human beings.
Pope Francis began meeting this morning with cardinals from around the world, launching a series of discussions that could lead to changes in the church's pastoral practices on family life.
Pope Francis confirmed the top leadership of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and named among its new members Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Byzantine Archbishop William Skurla of Pittsburgh.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope confirmed Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect and Archbishop Cyril Vasil as secretary of the congregation, which assists the Eastern Catholic churches throughout the world and the Latin-rite Catholic dioceses of the Middle East.
The Council of Cardinals have made a set of recommendations to Pope Francis on restructuring the Vatican's financial operations and the bank.
No one knows exactly what the Council of Cardinals say to each other when they get together, but we know their talks involve financial reform, laity and family life.