Pope Francis has appointed the first members of the Vatican's new Council for the Economy, including seven lay experts in the fields of business, management and finance.
In its approach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the Catholic church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine, but offers a "renewed" interpretation of church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.
"I propose a path that goes beyond strictness and leniency," the German cardinal and theologian told Vatican Radio on Monday.
Voices of Faith invited women from around the globe to share their touching stories of struggles women face in various parts of the world.
As Pope Francis approaches the one-year mark of his papacy, his global flock and a fascinated public are starting to measure the changes he is making.
Pope Francis criticized those who practice fasting as a mere ritual, rather than as a sacrifice representative of a religion of love.
The pope made his remarks March 7, the first Friday of Lent, in his homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.
"These hypocritical people are good persons," he said, referring to the Pharisees who criticized Jesus and his followers for not fasting as required by Jewish law. "They do all they should do. They seem good. But they are ethicists without goodness because they have lost the sense of belonging to a people."
Because his cassock doesn't have a breast pocket, Pope Francis said he wears a cloth pouch under his white robes to carry the crucifix he took from a deceased priest.
Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives.
In just one year, Pope Francis has made a powerful impact on the Catholic Church worldwide, a number of cardinals have said.
Members of the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome for a series of meetings in late February, and several spoke to Catholic News Service about the Argentine pope's budding legacy.
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington: "It's been an extraordinary year. He's been able to help people see the face of Christ visible in his church."
"It's been an extraordinary gift and a challenge for the rest of us."
Pope Francis has named the Maltese monsignor who initially served as his personal secretary to be the general secretary of the new Secretariat for the Economy.
Before a weeklong Lenten retreat, Pope Francis said retreats should renew the faith of participants, transforming their ministry and their relationships with others.