Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Although they did not manage to convince all the Orthodox churches to send representatives to the Great and Holy Council in Crete, participating Orthodox leaders supported the idea that the council should become a regular institution and meet every seven to 10 years.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM ARMENIA – Catholics and other Christians not only must apologize to the gay community, they must ask forgiveness of God for ways they have discriminated against homosexual persons or fostered hostility toward them, Pope Francis said.

VAGHARSHAPAT, Armenia – Recognizing that the church of Christ is one and that Christian divisions are a "scandal" to the world, Pope Francis and Armenian Apostolic Catholicos Karekin II offered their faithful the example of praying and working together.
GYUMRI, Armenia – Acts of love and kindness must be a Christian's "calling card," the characteristic that identifies them more than anything, Pope Francis told Catholics in northern Armenia.
YEREVAN, Armenia – In silence and in prayer while a mournful hymn was sung, Pope Francis formally paid tribute to the estimated 1.5 million Armenians killed by Ottoman Turks in 1915-18.

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said it has had no direct contact with Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai, who apparently wrote a blog post in June that gave many people the impression he had recanted an earlier decision to abandon the Chinese government's Catholic Patriotic Association.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said he would travel to Armenia June 24-26 to promote closer bonds with the Armenian Orthodox church, honour the Armenian people's steadfast faith in the face of tragedy and support them in their efforts to build a peaceful future.

ROME – Marking the first anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace launched a new web site dedicated to the document and efforts around the world to put its teaching into practice.

VATICAN CITY – Using the word "genocide" to describe the persecution of Christians in the Middle East risks downplaying the courage and witness of those who boldly profess faith in Jesus Christ even in the face of death, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY – As the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church opened with only 10 of the 14 Orthodox churches represented, Pope Francis offered his prayers.