The Francis Chronicles: Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty and life imprisonment, saying they punish crime instead of pursuing social justice.
Simply Spirit: While the outcomes of part one of the synod on the family are disappointing, the synod itself modeled a healthy new process of wide-ranging discussion.
All wars begin in the human heart -- a heart that is jealous and bitter and tears apart communities through misunderstandings and marginalization, Pope Francis said.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
"I was very disturbed by what happened," Chaput said. "I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion."
Analysis: The Vatican summit on the challenges of family life wrapped without reaching a consensus on hot-button topics. Where does that leave Francis' papacy and the church?
The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said.
"It seems that the awareness of the value of human life has been lost; it seems that the person does not count and can be sacrificed to other interests. And all of this, unfortunately, with the indifference of many," he said during a special meeting at the Vatican on the Middle East.
With Francis, the "somewhat pessimistic basic mood" of the church has given way to a new joy, a spirit of optimism, and a new start, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.