Gathering at "a time of severe tension and conflict," particularly in the Middle East, 24 Catholic and Muslim leaders and scholars urged dialogue to promote greater respect and understanding and condemned all acts of violence committed in the name of religion.
The service will require volunteers and donations of soap, towels and clean underwear. "We have to be evangelical, but intelligent, too."
Pope Francis' penchant for austerity and humility will face a diplomatic challenge when he visits Turkey's new ostentatious presidential palace on his first visit to the country later this month.
Francis will be the first foreign dignitary to be welcomed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the new 1,000-room palace when he visits Ankara on Nov. 28.
Turkish architects have written to the pope urging him not to go to the palace built by Erdogan and known locally as the "White Palace."
As world leaders prepared to meet in Australia to continue looking at ways to improve the global economy, Pope Francis asked them "not to forget that many lives are at stake" behind their discussions and decisions.
The measure of success of the Group of 20 heavily industrialized and emerging-market countries will not be found in statistics, but in "real improvements in the living conditions of poorer families and the reduction of all forms of unacceptable inequality," the pope said in a message.
Taking little for granted, the 45-page document defines basic terms of international accounting standards and generally accepted governance and reporting practices, beginning with "budget."
Pope Francis removed U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican's highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post.
Pope Francis will visit the Shroud of Turin during its public display in Turin's cathedral April 19-June 24, 2015, as well as commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco.
The world's bishops are called to be servants and shepherds who use their position to care for people and the faith, not to seek power and boost their pride, Pope Francis said.
The church has no place for men with a "worldly mentality" who are seeking a career, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
"It's sad when you see a man who seeks this office and who does so much to get there and when he makes it, he doesn't serve, but struts like a peacock, living only for his own vanity," the pope said.
Pope Francis said the church's marriage annulment process should be more efficient and perhaps even free of charge, and he decried any attempts to exploit it for profit.
"Some procedures are so long and so burdensome, they don't favor [justice], and people give up," the pope said. "Mother church should do justice and say: 'Yes, it's true, your marriage is null. No, your marriage is valid.' But justice means saying so. That way, they can move on without this doubt, this darkness in their soul."
"Assisted suicide is an absurdity. Dignity is something different than putting an end to your own life."