Pope Francis has formalized the structure of the group of cardinals advising him on church reform, organizing them as a council asked to give advice but not make decisions.
Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints together on April 27, the Vatican announced this morning.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis is putting together his own team.
Pope Francis gave pilgrims attending his weekly public audience Wednesday what he called a "homework assignment" to find out the date they were baptized and celebrate it every year.
"How many of you remember the date of your baptism?" the pope asked the crowd in St. Peter's Square, then acknowledged a relatively small show of hands.
"Our baptismal date is the date of our birth in the church," he said. "When you go home today, look hard for the date of your baptism, so you can celebrate it and thank the Lord for this gift."
Pope Francis met with Vatican officials Tuesday to hear their questions and suggestions about his ongoing reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.
A progressive theological current that emphasizes the Catholic church's closeness to the poor but was subject to decades of hostility is now finding increasing favor under Pope Francis.
Pope Francis' recent actions regarding war in Syria have followed in close continuity with the spirit and record of his predecessors.
The Catholic church closely safeguards the sanctity of marriage because it is a reflection of Christ's union with his bride, the church, Pope Francis said.
Jesus often uses the imagery of a bridegroom to help people see the nature of his relationship with the church, the pope said Friday during his morning Mass in his residence of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
"I think this is exactly the most profound reason why the church safeguards the sacrament of Marriage so much and calls it the great sacrament, because it is precisely the image of the union of Christ with the church."
On the eve of the first anniversary of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Pope Francis called the late-fellow Jesuit and biblical scholar, a "prophetic" figure and a "man of discernment and peace."
The late cardinal, who died Aug. 31, 2012, at the age of 85, was "a father for the whole church," and remembering one's fathers "is an act of justice," the pope said during a meeting with a group of Italian Jesuits.
Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah II reaffirmed that dialogue is the "only option" to end the conflict in Syria, just as the United States and its European allies consider launching a military strike against the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The two leaders met for the first time Thursday at the Vatican. The pontiff and the king, accompanied by his wife, Queen Rania, talked in private for 20 minutes.
According to an official Vatican statement, during the meeting "special attention" was given to Syria's "tragic situation."