Brazilian Archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara was a Latin American bishop known for radically calling on the church to stand with the poor.
A Roman Observer: Pay attention later this week when Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa gives his annual Good Friday homily at the papal liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Japanese bishops asked that even if Francis did not outright condemn nuclear power, he say it has "very serious problems that threaten life."
While enjoying a private visit to the Sistine Chapel, a group of VIP guests -- homeless people who live around the Vatican -- were surprised by a visit from Pope Francis.
The 150 visitors had just reached the Sistine Chapel at about 5 p.m. Thursday when Pope Francis walked through the door.
"Welcome," the pope said. "This is everyone's house, this is your home. The doors are always open for all."
God's law is about love for God and for others, not cold, abstract doctrine, Pope Francis said at a morning Mass.
"It's sad to be a believer without joy and there is no joy when there is no faith, when there is no hope, when there is no law, but only rules and cold doctrine," he said at the Mass Thursday in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
"The joy of faith, the joy of the Gospel is the touchstone of a person's faith. Without joy, that person is not a true believer," he said, according to Vatican Radio.
Two members of the new Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on clergy sexual abuse have said they are both concerned and surprised at the pontiff's decision to appoint a bishop in Chile who is accused of covering up abuse, and even witnessing it, while he was a priest.
The president and the pope "will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President's visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments."
Pope Francis appears more popular than ever among U.S. Catholics. One researcher may have found some signs, albeit tentative, of an incipient "Francis effect."
Pope Francis will spend two days in Turin to venerate the Shroud of Turin; meet young people, workers, juvenile detainees, immigrants and the sick; and visit with his Italian relatives from northern Italy.
The papal visit June 21-22 also will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco, a 19th-century priest from the Turin region who was a pioneer in vocational education, worked with poor and abandoned children and founded the Salesians, a religious order specializing in youth work.
Francis' latest moves could signal a further development in Catholic teaching against capital punishment -- and in his relationship with some U.S. Catholics.