News reports on Wednesday suggest that President Barack Obama is readying to take U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State -- the Sunni militant group rampaging through northern Iraq in an effort to establish an Islamic caliphate -- into Syria, where the group is headquartered.
Fr. Robert Oliver will be the secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which is tasked with laying out a pastoral approach to preventing abuse.
Christians are called to help those who have nothing to give and love those who don't love back, Pope Francis said.
Salvation and changing the world for the better require "doing good to those who aren't able to repay us, just like the Father did with us, giving us Jesus," the pope said at his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
NCR Today: The appointment of 25 curial officials to the synod is a sign that Pope Francis still doesn't understand what real reform of the Curia requires.
Michael Sean Winters last week wrote in-depth and scholarly pieces on the October Synod of Bishops on the family. Anybody interested in learning everything that can be known in preparation for the synod needs to read these blog posts.
Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, eight years after his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, made a landmark visit to the predominantly Muslim country.
Turkey's newly elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, extended a formal invitation to Francis, and the Turkish Embassy to the Holy See confirmed Tuesday that the pope has accepted.
"The pope has been invited by both the Orthodox Church and the government and he is expected to meet the president during his visit," an embassy representative said.
Editor's note: Michael Sean Winters is on vacation this week. Filling in for him are various writers from Millennial, a journal featuring the writing of millennial Catholics. Winters will be back next week.
NCR Today: "Slow-motion genocide" in Middle East; Nuns on the Bus launches next week; Catholic school teachers fired for getting pregnant; World Meeting of Families logo revealed
When a mother has a birthday, children send their greetings and love, so make sure to do the same thing on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Pope Francis said.
The liturgical feast day Monday "would be her birthday. And what do you do when your mom has a birthday? You send her greetings and best wishes," the pope said, after praying the Angelus with people gathered Sunday in St. Peter's Square.
The pope asked people to say "a Hail Mary from the heart" and to not forget to tell her "Happy Birthday!"