Pope Francis canceled a second day of private audiences and his morning Mass on Tuesday because of a minor illness, but Vatican officials downplayed speculation about ill health.
Making a Difference: Palestinians face many discriminatory challenges in Israel. To help correct these, an American priest has created the Holy Land Principles.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople may join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres when they meet Pope Francis to pray for peace this weekend.
The Vatican's chief spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Tuesday that the pope had invited the head of the Orthodox faith to join the Middle East leaders at a Vatican prayer summit to be held this Sunday.
“It's true that the pope invited him and wants him to come,'' Lombardi said. “I think he will come but so far we do not have an official confirmation.''
Some reports said the leaders would meet as early as June 6, but the Vatican spokesman said "this great initiative" needs time to come together.
Pope Francis renewed his call for an end to war and terror as he finished his three-day journey to the Middle East with a marathon of meetings.
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.
Pope Francis will be accompanied on his first visit to the Middle East by Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud -- two friends from Buenos Aires.
It is the first time a pope has made an official visit accompanied by members of other faiths, and it underscores the interfaith focus of Francis' trip to the Holy Land, the Vatican said Thursday.
Despite fevered speculation, the Vatican says Pope Francis has not advanced slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero toward sainthood -- at least, not yet.
A U.N. committee on torture repeatedly asked Vatican officials about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sex abuse, to punish offenders and to cooperate with civil authorities.
As Vatican representatives prepare to testify before a United Nations inquiry into torture next week, a senior official warned investigators that it would be "deceptive" to link torture with the pedophilia scandals that have swept the Catholic church.
The Vatican's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Friday that the Convention Against Torture, endorsed by the Vatican in 2002, was one of the most important in the U.N.'s ambit.