Young Voices: As transgender individuals remain underserved by our Catholic community, an increased commitment to developing adequate pastoral resources is desperately needed.
The Francis Chronicles: The celebrant "must pray before God, with the community," in a genuine and natural way that avoids all forms of "artificiality," Pope Francis said.
Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully back to the loving arms of the merciful Father, Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass that began with a procession on Rome's Aventine Hill.
After walking from the Benedictine monastery of St. Anselm to the Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina on Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass. He received ashes on the top of his head from Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and distributed ashes to the Benedictines, the Dominicans, his closest aides and a family of five.
Liberty and equality are not enough for the well-being of a nation; there must also be a strong sense of brotherhood that is first developed and nurtured in the family, Pope Francis said.
Without seeing each other as brothers and sisters, a nation's citizens may distort these values, letting freedom and equality "be filled with individualism and conformity," he said at his general audience Wednesday.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
Ash Wednesday: Lent is an invitation to take this prayer to heart, to sit with it in all its comprehensiveness and depth and endurance.
Every human heart has the capacity to do good or evil and to build or to destroy, but the strength to make the right choice comes from Christ, Pope Francis said.
"But why are we like this? Because we have this possibility for destruction, this is the problem," he said Tuesday during his homily in a morning Mass offered for the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya.
The clash seems to be a standoff between those who embrace Catholic teaching as settled and unchanging and those who insist it is evolving and must do so.
Christianity is not a set of prohibitions, but a "project for life" that can lead to true happiness in building better relationships and a better world, Pope Francis told Catholic young people.
"Do you realize how much you are worth in the eyes of God?" the pope asked youths in his annual message for local celebrations of World Youth Day. "Do you know that you are loved and welcomed by him unconditionally?"
Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October's global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity -- but they better hurry.