Controversy over family issues and the ongoing serach for peace in the Middle East were just some highlights of Vatican news in 2014.
The man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II was expelled from Italy after paying a visit to the pope's tomb.
Two protesters were arrested and housed in the Vatican jail during Christmas. One man climbed the facade of St. Peter's Basilica to protest European economic policies.
On Christmas, Pope Francis called for an end to global conflicts, mentioning Middle Eastern Christians suffering a "brutal persecution" and many children who have been "massacred under bombing."
Two important events took place this past week which are significant for the future of our church.
Pope Francis said while the Curia is called to "always improve and grow in communion," it is also prone to "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" like every human institution.
Commentary: I want to delve below the surface to engage what I think are some of the deeper issues and concerns and hopes that challenge us for the future.
Faith and Justice: The Vatican's report on the sisters and its role in repairing relations between the U.S. and Cuba overshadowed a third diplomatic milestone.
Pope Francis marked his 78th birthday by giving hundreds of sleeping bags to the homeless in Rome, Vatican officials said Thursday.
Just one month after announcing plans to build showers for the homeless in St. Peter's Square, the pope called for 400 sleeping bags with the papal ensign to be distributed to people living on the streets.
Major sporting events could be held at the Vatican if Rome wins its bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024.
Pope Francis, a keen soccer fan, is reported to be enthusiastic about the idea. He is expected to meet the head of Italy's National Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malago, and other officials at the Vatican on Friday after a Mass to commemorate the committee's 100th anniversary.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, former head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said he believed Francis would back plans to hold events such as archery in the Vatican gardens.