SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba - A week before Pope Francis arrived here, the communist government agreed to pardon 3,522 prisoners, including elderly people and people under 20 with no prior offenses.

Published in Vatican

HAVANA - Pope Francis, celebrating his first Mass in Cuba, was flanked by three cardinals who, with him, have been credited with helping seal the deal between the United States and Cuba to move toward normalizing relations.

Published in Vatican

WASHINGTON - When Pope Francis visits the U.S. in September, he’ll make stops at prominent churches that have drawn the faithful and the curious for decades.

Published in International

HAVANA - As Cubans finally face the prospects of calmer relationships and greater ease of communication and commerce with the United States, Pope Francis told the Cuban people that love and service, not anyone's ideology, are the keys to their happiness.

Published in Vatican

HOLGUIN, Cuba - A pope's visit is always a blessing, but there is something special about this one, say some residents in the city of Holguin, Cuba's fourth largest city, as they prepare not just for Pope Francis' arrival to the island but also to their city.

Published in Vatican

HAVANA - Pope Francis began his visit to Cuba praying for greater freedom for the island's people and calling on U.S. and Cuban politicians to continue moving toward fully normal and neighborly relations.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' desire for a Church whose doors are wide open isn't just a metaphor for encouraging a greater spirit of welcoming.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN - Pope Francis’ diplomatic style and strategy is about to be put to the test — the pontiff is set for a highly anticipated appearance at the UN as part of his U.S. tour.

Published in Vatican

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and the United States comes as people and politicians in both countries increasingly support ending an economic embargo that has been in place for more than five decades.

Published in International

Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighbouring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Calling himself "a bit feminist," Pope Francis praised women religious for always heading to the "front lines" to bring the church's tenderness and motherly love to those most in need.

Published in Faith

Pope Francis’ trip to the United States next week, including speeches to Congress and the United Nations General Assembly, will almost certainly put a spotlight on how the leader of the Catholic Church proposes to solve the global problems challenging human security in the world today.

Published in Guest Columns
September 17, 2015

Stamp of mercy

In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV was concerned that some bishops were dissolving marriages too freely so he established stringent protocols to govern annulments. Those canon laws remained virtually unchanged through 18 papacies until now, 274 years later, when they are being rewritten by a Pope who is affixing his stamp of mercy on a process that is often long, expensive and painful.

Published in Editorial

WASHINGTON - Less than a week before Pope Francis begins his highly anticipated trip to the United States, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said Sept. 16 there are no credible threats against the pontiff.

Published in International

One nation under God will have five days this month to consider its unity and its divisions, its aspirations and its relationship with God as Pope Francis comes to challenge, console, cajole and confound 325 million Americans.

Published in International