As Joseph protected Mary, so Pope Francis pledges to protect Church, human dignity

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis formally began his ministry as bishop of Rome and as Pope by pledging to protect the Catholic Church, the dignity of each person and the beauty of creation, just like St. Joseph protected Mary and Jesus.

At first Angelus, Pope Francis says God never tires of forgiving

VATICAN CITY - Citing a distinguished German theologian and an anonymous elderly penitent from Argentina, Pope Francis told an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square never to despair of God's mercy to sinners.

Pope's episcopal motto comes from homily by English doctor of church

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' episcopal motto is based on the Gospel account of "The Call of St. Matthew," the tax collector, in a homily given by St. Bede the Venerable.

Ouellet is third Canadian to merit papal consideration

Associate Editor Michael Swan is in Rome to report on the conclave. Selecting a pope is a world event, but that doesn’t mean it lacks a Canadian perspective. Here Swan looks at Canada and the conclave.

Church should always reform and improve

VATICAN CITY - If Jesus had wanted a Church free of scandal or problems, he would have put it in the hands of angels, not a humanity he loved, said Nigeria's newest cardinal elector.

Pope Benedict pledges obedience to next pope 

VATICAN CITY - The Clementine Hall is traditionally where cardinals gather to bid farewell to popes at the end of a pontificate, but usually it happens when the pope is lying in state before his funeral.

Pope Benedict changes rituals for new pope's inauguration

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has ordered several changes to the Masses and liturgies that will mark the inauguration of the next pope's pontificate.

Canonist explains 'rigid, highly formal' rules for electing pope

VATICAN CITY - The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, following a highly detailed procedure that underwent major revisions by Blessed John Paul II and a small, but very significant change, by Pope Benedict XVI.

Could a Canadian be the next pope?

Cardinal Ouellet high on many lists to succeed Benedict XVI

Tips to help Catholics return to sacrament of Confession

WASHINGTON - After “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned” there are millions of Catholics who don’t exactly know what to say next.

On Ash Wednesday, Pope preaches on humility, Christian unity 

VATICAN CITY - Celebrating what was expected to be the last public liturgy of his pontificate two weeks before his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI preached on the virtues of humility and Christian unity and heard his highest-ranking aide pay tribute to his service to the Church.