Seven young people from six countries shared their stories with the pope and asked him questions during a Google Hangout, a live video conversation online.
Officials dealing with law and order must firmly uphold the law while at the same time respecting human rights and dignity, Pope Francis said.
Public officials are called to exercise "professionalism and your humanity, your knowledge and your prudence without discouragement or pessimism, knowing, however, that you are not faced with abstract matters but with concrete lives of men and women with their problems and hopes," he said.
Homeless people in Rome will now have access to three new showers and a small barber shop in a space near St. Peter's Square, after construction of new facilities undertaken on the pope's behalf.
Completion of the work, which has captivated attention for its focus on the needs of Rome's poorest, was announced in a brief press statement Friday.
Salvation has nothing to do with the "theology of prosperity" some people claim to see in the Gospel, thinking material well-being comes with faith.
A two-day meeting in Rome next week of the world's Catholic cardinals will focus mainly on discussing reform of the church's central bureaucracy, the Vatican spokesman said Thursday.
Speaking to reporters briefly on a number of topics, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi also said there was no other theme for the meeting, called by Pope Francis for Feb. 12-13.
A letter to the leaders of the world's bishops' conferences and the various Catholic religious orders asks them to cooperate fully with all initiatives to prevent sexual abuse of minors.
Every family needs a father -- a father who shares in his family's joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children and offers them firm guidance and love, Pope Francis said.
Being a father is not easy since it takes lots of patience and grace, he said.
"But what consolation, what a reward one receives when the children honor this legacy. It is a joy that more than makes up for the hard work, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound," the pope said at his general audience Feb. 4.
The Vatican has made a shift toward acceptance of more progressive views of the changes of Vatican II and its emphasis on a church for the poor.
The Vatican has not been untouched by the growing phenomenon of identity theft, drug trafficking, child pornography and people crossing international borders to launder money, said the Vatican's chief prosecutor.
Opening the new judicial year Jan. 30, Gian Piero Milano, the Vatican's chief prosecutor, presented a report on criminal activity and the court's work in 2014.
With the new International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, Catholic leaders hope to draw attention to what many have called the modern slave trade.