Pope Francis meets sex abuse victims, says clergy actions cloaked in complicity

VATICAN CITY - Asking for forgiveness, Pope Francis told abuse survivors that "despicable actions" caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been "camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained."

    Vatican formally recognizes international association of exorcists

    VATICAN CITY - The Vatican formally recognized an international association of exorcists founded by Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, an Italian priest renowned for his work in dispelling demons.

      Pope sends delegation to Paraguay to investigate Pa. priest accused of molesting boys

      VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis is sending a cardinal and a bishop to Paraguay to investigate the activities of a priest previously accused of sex abuse in Pennsylvania, the Vatican’s diplomatic envoy to the Latin American country said.

        Whither thou goest: Pope speaks openly of ways his pontificate may end

        VATICAN CITY - Sympathizing with all the unknowns facing young people today, Pope Francis -- half joking -- said it is easier for a pope because he knows where his earthly life will end.

          Pope urges complete ban on producing, using landmines

          VATICAN CITY - Landmines wound innocent civilians, "prolong war and nurture fear" long after conflicts have ended, Pope Francis told delegates working on the full implementation of an international treaty banning the production and use of anti-personnel mines.

            Vatican’s UN envoy says bishop’s defrocking shows church takes abuse seriously

            VATICAN CITY - The defrocking of a former Vatican ambassador is a “sign of the seriousness” with which Pope Francis and the Vatican are approaching the clergy sexual abuse scandal, according to the Holy See’s representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva.

              Pope phones rabbi, offers condolences over murder Israeli teens' murder

              VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis telephoned Rome's chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found June 30 in Hebron, West Bank.

                Vatican laicizes former nuncio in connection to abuse allegations

                VATICAN CITY - A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.

                  Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

                  VATICAN CITY - In the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, "Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!"

                    Say 'no' to drugs, 'yes' to life, love, job creation, Pope says

                    VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said legalizing marijuana and other so-called "recreational drugs" has never curbed drug addiction rates and has little impact on the criminal organizations trafficking drugs around the world.

                      Pope Francis to visit the heart of Italy’s mafia country

                      VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will travel to the heartland of the Italian mafia for the first time June 21, visiting the southern town where a three-year-old was murdered in a local drug war earlier this year.