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.
Pope Francis "strongly desired that [the villas] be opened as a sign of sharing something unique, a common good."
Pope Francis is dispatching Cardinal Fernando Filoni as his personal envoy to northern Iraq, where Islamist militias have sent thousands of Christians and other religious minorities fleeing for their lives, the Vatican said Friday.
The Vatican announced the appointment of Filoni, a former papal nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, only a day after the pope launched a fresh appeal for the welfare of Christians affected by the violence there.
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The pope also made a "pressing appeal to the international community to take initiatives to put an end to the humanitarian drama underway."
The Vatican warned Wednesday that the alleged rejection of a baby born with Down syndrome to a surrogate mother in Thailand shows how babies have become consumer products for sale.
Surrogate mother Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old street vendor, made headlines around the world after claiming she is caring for 7-month-old Gammy, who also has a congenital heart defect, because his biological parents from Australia abandoned him in Thailand.
Taking a vow of poverty does not and should not mean living in ignorance of the economic realities connected to community life and a mission of serving the world in the name of the church, Vatican officials wrote in a letter to members of religious communities.
"Gratuity, fraternity and justice" are the basic principles essential to "an evangelical economy of sharing and communion," said the prefect and secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
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Pope Francis, a Jesuit, celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch.
Jesuit Fr. Giuseppe Bellucci said the pope had "communicated at the last minute" his desire to join the community at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch Thursday, the feast day of the founder of the Society of Jesus.
"It was a private and simple visit," Bellucci said.
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation.