Analysis: The cardinals didn't just elect the man but a program, one that found expression in the document produced by the Latin American bishops in Aparecida, Brazil, in May 2007.
Bishops of dioceses around the world have an obligation to work to prevent clerical sexual abuse and to ensure that priests in their dioceses do not commit acts of abuse, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The intensity of the opposition to Pope Francis' reform raises a basic question at the pope's two-year anniversary: Can his reform campaign outlast his papacy?
Hearing a Catholic's confession should be awe-inspiring for a priest, an experience that makes him look at his own life and willingness to convert, Pope Francis told a group of seminarians, new priests and priests who hear confessions in the major basilicas of Rome.
"Let yourselves be educated by the sacrament of reconciliation," he told them Thursday.
Simply Spirit: I spent four hours watching women share stories "for a creative exchange of ideas from a female perspective." There were some amazing narratives.
"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.