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.
"Everyday saints" are those for whom faith is not just about appearances, who do not go around strutting like peacocks, but who live God's love even in the midst of struggle, Pope Francis said.
Those who are only "apparent Christians," who put on the faith as if it were makeup, will see that with the first rain the facade will be washed away, the pope said Thursday at his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.
People of faith, particularly Christians and Muslims, must work together for peace, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience.
Update: Pope Francis met with the attorney general of the Dominican Republic to discuss the sexual abuse case of the former papal nuncio.
Tens of millions of people are "in chains" because of human trafficking and forced labor, and it leading to their "dehumanization and humiliation," the pope said.