Two years after his election to the papacy, Pope Francis was asked about how long his pontificate might last. “I have the feeling that my pontificate will be short,” he said. “Four or five years. I don’t know, or two, three.”

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VATICAN CITY -- People should fast from gossiping and spreading hearsay as part of their Lenten journey, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

While pundits in the West wonder whether Pope Francis really will brave out-of-control COVID-19 infections, shootings and bombings to visit Iraq, there’s not much doubt among Iraqis and others who know the Pope’s commitment to Christianity in the Middle East.

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VATICAN CITY -- Christians must never engage in dialogue with the devil, but instead must fight against temptations with the same spiritual weapons Jesus used in the desert, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

It has been 15 months since Pope Francis made a pastoral trip outside Italy and that by itself makes his March 5-8 mission to Iraq newsworthy. But there’s much more at stake here than dipping his toe into foreign waters for apostolic purposes.

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AMMAN, Jordan -- Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns, Pope Francis hopes to visit Iraq, an opportunity that eluded his predecessors.

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AMMAN, Jordan -- On his historic visit to Iraq in March, Pope Francis hopes to encourage his Christian flock, badly bruised by sectarian conflict and brutal Islamic State attacks, while building further bridges to Muslims by extending fraternal peace.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart will not be the first woman undersecretary of a major Vatican office, but she will be the first woman with a right to vote at a meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said that unless there is a serious new wave of COVID-19 infections in Iraq, he has every intention of visiting the country in early March.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- The liturgy is not a spectacle to be observed but a prayerful event where Christians encounter Christ's presence in their lives, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Religious education must focus on leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and building a community of believers where the talents of each person are valued and where all go out to share the Gospel and serve the poor, Pope Francis said.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- In the midst of three days of prayer and fasting for peace and an end to the coronavirus pandemic, Iraqi Cardinal Louis Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, said Iraqis still are counting on Pope Francis to visit in March.

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ROME — Abiding in God's love means nurturing one's relationship with him and with all those whom God loves, Pope Francis wrote in his homily for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

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VATICAN CITY -- When a person senses God's call, it can be intimidating or frightening, Pope Francis said, but Christians can be sure that the call flows from God's love and that responding to the call will be a means of sharing God's love.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told Uruguay's new ambassador to the Holy See that a future visit to the country as well as to his native Argentina is still very much on the table.

Published in Vatican