Causes for sainthood require thorough investigation, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- The saints are "the true light of the church," so before they are proposed to all Catholics for imitation and veneration, a scrupulous investigation is required, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis prays for 'Normandy Summit'

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis offered prayers for a summit in France that will seek to bring an end to the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.

Pope Francis 'scandalized' by anti-migrant rhetoric

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told Jesuits in Thailand he was "scandalized" by some of the anti-migrant rhetoric he hears in Europe, and he is convinced people are being manipulated into thinking the only way they can preserve their lifestyles is by building walls.

Vatican unveils Nativity scene, lights Christmas tree

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican unveiled the Nativity scene and lit the Christmas tree with energy-saving lights in St. Peter's Square during a late afternoon ceremony Dec. 5.

Pope Francis, council of cardinals discuss greater role for lay men and women

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals reviewed aspects of the draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, including a greater role for lay men and women.

Defend dignity of persons with disabilities, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- The dignity and rights of people with disabilities are increasingly threatened by a society that discriminates and views them as a burden, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass with Congolese at St. Peter's

VATICAN CITY -- The sounds of ululations and drums and a litany of saints filled St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 1 as Pope Francis celebrated Mass according to what is commonly called the Zairean Rite.

Pope Francis returns part of relic of Jesus' crib to Holy Land

VATICAN CITY -- As Advent approached, Pope Francis gave a small fragment of Jesus' crib back to Catholics in the Holy Land.

Pope Francis encourages faithful to set up Nativity scenes

VATICAN CITY -- A Nativity scene is a simple reminder of something astonishing: God became human to reveal the greatness of his love "by smiling and opening his arms to all," Pope Francis said in a letter on the meaning and importance of setting up Christmas cribs.

Dialogue continues on path of co-operation

Catholics and Anglicans in Canada have been working on their relationship ever since Gen. James Wolfe surprised Gen. Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham in the fall of 1759.

Pope Francis to theologians: 'Don't confuse the faithful'

VATICAN CITY -- Theologians must explore and debate disputed questions, at times even taking "risks" with what they propose, but those discussions should take place within the academy so as not to confuse the faithful, Pope Francis said.