NCR Today: After Pope Francis' election, the "Francis effect" swept the globe. Three Catholics, including an abuse survivor, explain how this pope has changed their lives.
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.
NCR Today: The Congregation for Divine Worship decided the kiss of peace should stay where it is in the Mass, but it should be performed with greater sobriety.
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.
We say: The bishops seem unaware of these threatening obstacles, many of them inherent in the very culture out of which the bishops work.
Essay: If the Synod of Bishops asked Melissa Musick Nussbaum about marriage, what would she say? Well, it starts with a little something known as Benedict's Rule.
Pope Francis sought forgiveness for decades of persecution of Italian Pentecostals when he met with around 300 evangelicals from the U.S., Argentina and Italy in the southern town of Caserta on Monday.
The pope made his second visit in as many days to the Mafia stronghold near Naples, this time to meet evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom he befriended while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.