Pope Francis calls clerical careerism a 'leprocy'

VATICAN CITY - Using especially strong language on one of his favorite themes, Pope Francis decried a plague of careerism among priests and urged them to renounce their personal ambitions for service to the church -- warning that failure to do so would make them look "ridiculous."

Vatican organizing worldwide, simultaneous eucharistic adoration June 2

VATICAN CITY - Vatican officials are making strategic phone calls to some of the world's most far-flung dioceses, trying to verify that in each of the world's inhabited time zones there will be an organized hour of eucharistic adoration coinciding with 5-6 p.m. Rome time June 2.

At Pentecost vigil, Pope shares personal stories of his faith

VATICAN CITY - With humor and passion, Pope Francis shared highlights of his personal faith journey and explained some key points of his teaching to an enthusiastic crowd of representatives from Catholic lay movements.

Rethinking the parish concept

The ideals of parish life aren’t hard to identify. Priests everywhere remind people in front of them on Sunday they are the Church — a community bound together by sacrament and the word of God. It isn’t just the building that is named after a saint but every family and each individual whenever they come together to worship and reach out for the kingdom of God.

Church should be less serious, more loving, says Pope

VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church needs to revive its loving and tender side, which gets lost when the Church becomes too serious, Pope Francis said.

Archbishop says people returning to confession because of Pope

VATICAN CITY - The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said that while he does not like the terms "Francis effect" or "Francis bump," it is true that "Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people."

Pope tells sisters the Church needs them, they need the Church

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis told 800 superiors of women's orders from around the world that the Catholic Church needs religious women and that religious women need to be in harmony with the faith and teachings of the Church.

Pope celebrates diversity of popular piety, unity of church

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis celebrated popular piety as a means of transmitting the faith and cultivating it in ordinary Catholics but said such piety must be practiced in communion with the hierarchy in order to maintain the church's unity.

Mary is a mother who helps Christians grow, Pope says at rosary

ROME - Mary is a mother who helps Christians grow, face the difficulties of life and use their freedom to make lasting commitments, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis welcomes Benedict back to Vatican

VATICAN CITY - For the first time in history, the Vatican is home to a pope and a retired pope.

Mexico's soon-to-be-saint recalled for her ministry to poor, sick

GUADALARJARA, Mexico - A shy woman stopped to pray in front of statue of Blessed Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala while visiting the Santa Margarita Hospital. She knew little about the founder of the facility, who will be canonized May 12, but, like many, she had heard stories from hospital patients who say the soon-to-be-saint still walks the halls providing care, attention and miracles to those in need.