Francis Chronicles: A priest is called to be in the midst of his flock, searching for those who are lost and always serving those in need, Pope Francis said.
After a controversial vote in parliament Monday, Malta became the latest country to recognize same-sex unions as the legal equivalent of marriage, and to permit adoption by same-sex couples.
Shortly before the 37-0 vote, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the former sex abuse investigator for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told The Malta Independent newspaper that the civil unions bill had some good points but was not in the best interests of children.
Some 5.5 million visitors toured the Vatican Museums last year, and the numbers continue to grow. "The popularity of Pope Francis has reverberated onto the museums," Antonio Paolucci, the museums' director, told journalists.
Now, for the first time, digital technology is taking visitors not only through the museums, but also further inside the Vatican than has ever before been possible.
The Vatican's scheduled May appearance before a United Nations committee monitoring adherence to an anti-torture treaty is being done willingly, the Vatican said.
Pope Francis' dramatic appearance at a March prayer vigil with the families of Mafia victims, where he said he would plead on bended knee with Mafia bosses to "stop doing evil," has highlighted the Catholic church's role in combatting Italian organized crime.
"Pope Francis awakens consciences. Many who were a long way from the church are now asking to be baptized," said Fr. Luigi Ciotti, founder of the Italian anti-Mafia association Libera, which organized the March 21 vigil in Rome. "The pope brings a moral renewal that touches everyone. Every day I see the results."
Francis Chronicles: Pope Francis began his Holy Week liturgies by encouraging people to ask themselves who they would have been in Jesus' time.
Pope Francis has named British sociologist and professor Margaret Archer as the new president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
She is the second female president of the papal academy and succeeds U.S. law professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon, who served two five-year terms as head of the academy from 2004 to 2014.
The Vatican made the announcement Saturday.
Archer, who was born in 1943, has been a member of the pontifical academy since its establishment in 1994.
A lot of people, even Catholics, think that talking about the devil is completely old-fashioned, but anyone who wants to follow Jesus needs to know that Satan exists and will keep putting up obstacles to faith, Pope Francis said.
"The prince of this world -- the devil -- doesn't want our holiness, he doesn't want us to follow Christ," the pope said Friday during his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
Four women who were forced into sex slavery and later freed met Thursday with Pope Francis at an international conference on human trafficking held at the Vatican to combat what the pontiff called a "crime against humanity."
After a private meeting with the victims, the pope joined church officials and police chiefs from 20 countries, including the U.S., England, Thailand and Nigeria, in an effort to build global cooperation to fight the problem.
Pope Francis praised the dedication of the retired patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly, 86, who died Tuesday in a hospital in San Diego, according to the California-based Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle.
In a telegram of condolence to Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Pope Francis recalled "with deep gratitude the late patriarch's dedication to his people and to the promotion of respectful, just and peaceful relations with followers of other religious traditions."