Some victims' advocates dismissed the upcoming meeting as "meaningless" while others endorsed it as a positive step, though long overdue.
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' support for breastfeeding encouraged moms and advocates worldwide while also highlighting the reality that churches are not always welcoming and accepting of the practice.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis
NCR Today: Pope Francis may be world's best politician; bishop meets teachers over controversial contracts; Nigerian army knows location of kidnapped girls
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:
NCR Today: Pope Francis confirmed that he wants to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka for two days in January, although neither bishops' conference has heard from him yet.
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.
NCR Today: Pope Francis' trip to the Holy Land was a smashing success as he showed the world that religion can be a force for peace and reconciliation.
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.