"Obedience and closed environments also seem to have had a role in the prevalence of abuse within some religious orders and dioceses."
God's grace isn't "merchandise" that people can hoard or exploit for themselves; it is a free and loving embrace from God, Pope Francis said.
"The Lord is not a merchant," giving his grace as an object in exchange for something, the pope said Thursday at his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.
God loves us freely like a mother loves her child -- the child "lets himself be loved," and this is the grace of God, he said, according to Vatican Radio.
The pope did not say which prelates would be named cardinals, but the names are expected to be made public in mid-January.
The October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of "a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops," a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod "for the good of families, the church and society," Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis urged people worldwide "not to turn away from the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, our fellow human beings, who are deprived of their freedom and dignity."
As his international Council of Cardinals began a three-day meeting to discuss the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said having a perfect organizational chart for the church won't guarantee that the church fulfills its mission of bringing people to Christ.
A new kind of ghetto needs the church's presence and people's solidarity: the "digital slum" where cyberbullying and online pornography and abuse run rampant.
The Vatican has asked national bishops' conferences to seek input from Catholics at "all levels" for the 2015 Synod of Bishops -- and asked them to avoid basing input solely on current doctrine.
As Advent got underway, Pope Francis included in his morning Mass homilies specific graces Catholics should pray for as they prepare for Christmas.
A new political and business mentality "that does not exclude but transcends profit" is both necessary and possible, a Vatican official told a United Nations meeting.