The Vatican said it would continue to adhere to the Convention on the Rights of the Child despite what it views as unfair criticism and suggestions that would violate church teaching.
Pope Francis reconfirmed Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko as president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and German Bishop Josef Clemens as secretary.
Among the 14 new members named Thursday were Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia; Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, Philippines; Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna; and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany, who is also part of the pope's eight-member Council of Cardinals that advises the pope on reorganizing the Roman Curia.
Philomena Lee, the real-life woman whose life story is the center of "Philomena," met Pope Francis Wednesday.
On Feb. 22, Archbishop Loris Capovilla, 98, who has spent his life devoted to Blessed John XXIII, will become the oldest living cardinal.
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child continues to insist that the Vatican compile and publish detailed statistics on clerical sexual abuse.
Francis Chronicles: It's important to go to Mass every Sunday because that's where people receive Christ, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
Reports from bishops' conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a divergence between what the church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics personally believe.
Francis Chronicles: Pope Francis' first message for Lent focused on the theme of Christ's poverty: "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."
Thanking members of the Neocatechumenal Way for their generous missionary efforts, Pope Francis also encouraged them to build church unity, learn about local cultures and respect any member's decision to leave the movement.
"I thank the Lord for the joy of your faith and for the passion of your Christian witness," he said during a special audience in the Vatican's Paul VI audience hall Saturday with thousands of members of the parish-based faith formation program.
Three key figures in the establishment of the Catholic church in Canada and in Brazil are likely to be declared saints before the end of the year, said a Jesuit who is helping prepare the material needed for their canonizations.
The three speeding their way toward sainthood are: Blessed Jose Anchieta, known as the Apostle of Brazil; Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation, known as the Mother of the Canadian Church; and Blessed Francois de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec.