Pope Francis says a "globalization of indifference" has taken hold of too many of the world's people, numbing them to the horrifying reality faced by the people of Syria.
Pope Francis called on the world's Christians to pray with him for peace in the Middle East, help convince governments to come to the aid of refugees and pray for Christian unity.
While peace is a gift from God, it is also built out of the day-to-day handiwork of individuals: true "artisans of peace," who are capable of crafting fraternity and reconciliation with people of all cultures and religions, he said during his general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
Pope Francis has warned he has "zero tolerance" for child sex abuse in the Catholic church and revealed that the Vatican is currently investigating three bishops.
But the pope did not name names, and Vatican officials on Tuesday declined to comment.
So who are the three bishops under Vatican investigation? The speculation is that the pope likely was referring to three clerics:
The U.N. Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any church authority who fails to follow church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse.
World leaders and policymakers need to look beyond the scientific and economic consequences of climate change and direct their attention to the human beings who will be most affected by rising global temperatures, a Vatican official said.
"As with most natural disasters, climate-related emergencies cause more suffering and personal loss on those who live in poverty," Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, told members of the World Health Assembly on Wednesday in Geneva.
Three months after he gave 19 new cardinals their red hats, Pope Francis gave new responsibilities to the 16 who are under the age of 80.
It sounds a little far-fetched and for some purists perhaps unthinkable: A pope, a rabbi and a sheik decide to travel to the Holy Land and follow in the steps of Jesus.
But that is just one of the groundbreaking aspects of Pope Francis’ three-day visit to the Middle East that starts on Saturday (May 24), a visit in which he hopes to shore up interfaith dialogue, strengthen diplomatic relations and find new ways to build peace.
The Italian cardinal who served as the Vatican's No. 2 official under Pope Benedict XVI has rejected allegations that he mishandled 15 million euros ($20 million) from Vatican bank accounts.
Polluting or destroying the environment is like telling God one does not like what he created and proclaimed to be good, Pope Francis said.
The Bible says that after every stage of creation, God was pleased with what he had made, the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience. "To destroy creation is to say to God, 'I don't like it.' "
On the other hand, he said, safeguarding creation is safeguarding a gift of God. "This must be our attitude toward creation: safeguarding it. If not, if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us. Don't forget that!"
A senior Vatican official tried to defuse the damaging rift between the Vatican and U.S. nuns after a recent rebuke over obedience and doctrinal differences.