As Pope Francis approaches the one-year mark of his papacy, his global flock and a fascinated public are starting to measure the changes he is making.
Analysis: In his first year as pope, Francis has energized and inspired Catholics worldwide, and touched the hearts of many outside the church.
A team of religious, civic and business leaders will travel to Rome to plan for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year.
Pope John Paul II won’t officially become a saint until next month at the Vatican. But Benedict XVI says he has seen him in that light for years.
Pope Francis criticized those who practice fasting as a mere ritual, rather than as a sacrifice representative of a religion of love.
The pope made his remarks March 7, the first Friday of Lent, in his homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.
"These hypocritical people are good persons," he said, referring to the Pharisees who criticized Jesus and his followers for not fasting as required by Jewish law. "They do all they should do. They seem good. But they are ethicists without goodness because they have lost the sense of belonging to a people."
The Vatican is trying to reassure Catholics and the public that Pope Francis takes the clerical sex abuse crisis seriously.
Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., the English language assistant to Holy See Press Office, sent out an email clarifying what the pope said about "civil unions" in his interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Pope Francis, 77, seems to be doing quite well, despite maintaining a nonstop pace of liturgies, meetings, public appearances and hours of prayer.
A seven-member team of medical experts convoked by the Vatican reported there is no natural explanation for the survival of a child delivered stillborn and whose heart did not start beating until 61 minutes after his birth.
Pope Francis' comments about clerical sex abuse make it clear that he is using the same tired and irrelevant playbook bishops have worn out over the past few years.