John Allen in Rome: Although the NFL playoffs may have dominated weekend conversation in the States, it was another busy period on the pope-watch beat.
Pope Francis, who already profiles as the “immigrant pope” both due to his arriving in Rome from “the ends of the earth,” as he said on the night of his election, and because of his strong advocacy on behalf of migrants and refugees, made another clear statement of solidarity Jan. 19 by visiting a Roman parish known for outreach to immigrants and the poor.
John Allen in Rome: The Vatican released a statement saying The Associated Press did not correctly read the data it was given.
John Allen in Rome: Ahead of the Jan. 22 summit on Syria, the Vatican is continuing its full-court press for peace with gestures intended to reach policy-makers and ordinary people.
Violence is the "greatest corruption of religion" while belief in a single God is the "principle and source of love between human beings," says a new study by Vatican theologians.
John Allen in Rome: A senior Vatican official today asserted that the Catholic church wants to be "an example of best practice" in the prevention of abuse.
Pope Francis replaced four cardinals serving on a five-person commission overseeing the Vatican bank.
On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.
On Monday, the pope told the Vatican diplomatic corps that he found it "horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Vatican counterpart for more than 90 minutes Tuesday, discussing the Syrian civil war and the negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, and hinted that President Barack Obama hopes to meet with Pope Francis in the coming months.
Kerry did not meet with the pope, but rather with Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's secretary of state. Kerry called the meeting "as comprehensive a conversation as I've had with any secretary of state or foreign minister in the course of my tenure."
Priests, brothers and sisters in Catholic religious orders around the globe should "wake up the world" by being "real witnesses" to a countercultural way of life that relies on generosity and self-forgetfulness, Pope Francis told a meeting of superiors general of religious orders in November.
Those religious, the pope added, should also not be afraid of making mistakes or even committing sins.