Faith and Justice: Pope Francis is the first pope in history to have a scientific education. He has more scientific training than most of his critics.
Grace on the Margins: Those who say the Vatican is softening its stance on same-sex marriage may have been taken aback by Cardinal Pietro Parolin's recent comments.
When visiting a prison, Pope Francis said, "I think to myself, 'I, too, could be here.' That is, none of us can be sure that we would never commit a crime."
Christians must ask themselves whether they help people in need of salvation or whether they just keep Jesus for themselves and are deaf or indifferent to others, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
"It would be good for us to have an examination of conscience" and see if we are Christians who bring people to Christ or push them away, the pope said Thursday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The Vatican must stop running its media operation from silos, said the leader of papal commission set up to advise how the Vatican can better communicate with the church and the world.
The economy, on a local and global level, and financial policies are called to serve the human person and promote the common good, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.
"We live in a time in which, unfortunately, the prevalent economic model reveals numerous shortcomings, dysfunctions and deviations which weigh heavily on the state of the planet's health," he said Tuesday.
Couples who are seeking to marry, even those who have lived together, should value their engagement period as a time to grow in mature love and in profound knowledge of each other, said Pope Francis.
The pope urged couples not to rush into marriage. Maturation in love before marriage is a slow process, in which none of the steps should be skipped, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"The covenant of love between a man and a woman, a covenant for life, cannot be improvised; it cannot be done from one day to the next," he said.
We say: What's lacking is encounter with and a sense of caring for those outside our small socioeconomic universes.
A Roman Observer: Many Catholics who are eager to see Pope Francis reform the Roman Curia have grown noticeably impatient with how long the project is taking.
Francis wants to retool the hierarchy so it not only defines and enforces church teachings, but also listens and responds to how laypeople understand God's will, he said.