The Council of Cardinals have made a set of recommendations to Pope Francis on restructuring the Vatican's financial operations and the bank.
NCR Today: Japan's bishops say the Vatican's Europe-centric view hampers efforts at evangelization in places where Catholics are a small minority.
Pope Francis is the sovereign of Vatican City and has a Holy See passport. But even dressed in papal white, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an Argentine citizen with a brand new passport and national identity card.
"The pope wanted to continue having normal Argentine documents," said Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. "This doesn't mean that he isn't also the head of state of Vatican City and the pontiff."
No one knows exactly what the Council of Cardinals say to each other when they get together, but we know their talks involve financial reform, laity and family life.
Retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a theologian who has been searching for a new pastoral approach to divorced and remarried Catholics for more than 20 years, was scheduled to address the Feb. 20-21 meeting of the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family.
Pope Francis has said that the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics will be one of the key topics of discussion at the extraordinary synod he has scheduled for Oct. 5-19.
Pope Francis began meeting Monday for the third time with the Council of Cardinals, but it remains unclear just what reforms are in the offing.
Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.
"If we don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we are sinners, it's better not to go to Mass," Pope Francis said Wednesday at his weekly general audience. The Eucharist is a celebration of Christ's gift of himself for the salvation of sinners, which is why the Mass begins with people confessing they are sinners and begging for the Lord's mercy.
Analysis: The prospect of a weakened papacy seemed plausible in the wake of Pope Benedict's announcement, but the world has watched his successor make the office stronger.
In retirement, Pope Benedict XVI follows a schedule similar to that of any retired bishop or religious: He prays, reads, strolls, talks with people and offers them spiritual advice.
Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of 124 Catholics who were killed during widespread persecution in Korea in the 18th through 19th centuries.
He also approved a decree recognizing the martyrdom of Conventual Franciscan Fr. Francesco Zirano, an Italian priest killed in Algeria in 1603.
The pope's approval of the martyrdom decrees Friday opened the way for the martyrs' beatifications on a date yet to be announced. A miracle is required before any blessed may be canonized.