Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led hundreds of pilgrims and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in a moment of silent prayer for the Indigenous children who died in Canadian residential schools and for their grieving families.

VATICAN CITY -- A series of laws and procedures promulgated by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and, especially, by Pope Francis to protect children, promote the investigation of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and punish offenders are included in a heavily revised section of the Code of Canon Law.

VATICAN CITY - An elderly man stood alone in St. Peter's Square May 13, using his wooden rosary beads to pray by a simple plaque marking the place where St. John Paul II was shot exactly 40 years earlier.

VATICAN CITY - Four former students at the minor seminary located in the Vatican testified May 12 at the ongoing trial of Father Gabriele Martinelli, who is accused of sexually abusing a younger student at the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for a global fight against the virus of "closed nationalism" and lack of concern for the poor by supporting "the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights" that prevent the widespread manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.

VATICAN CITY -- While millions of laypeople around the world are recognized as catechists in their parish or diocese, Pope Francis is preparing to formally institute the "ministry of catechist."

VATICAN CITY -- The religious persecution exercised by China and North Korea, restrictions on religious freedom in dozens of countries and the continuing threat of violence at the hands of religious fundamentalists belonging to a variety of faiths all have worsened since 2018, said Aid to the Church in Need, a papal foundation and Catholic charity.

VATICAN CITY -- Increasing vocations to the priesthood, improving the way laypeople and priests work together and ensuring that service, not power, motivates the request for ordination are all possible outcomes of a major symposium being planned by the Vatican in February 2022.

VATICAN CITY -- Three days after the preacher of the papal household called on Catholics to repent for the ways they are dividing the church, the Vatican secretary of state said the divisions are real and they are harmful.

VATICAN CITY -- As Pope Francis presided over the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion, the preacher of the papal household called on bishops and all Catholics to examine their consciences for ways they may be harming the unity of the Catholic Church.