Pope Francis to visit Turkey in November

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, eight years after his predecessor, Benedict XVI, made a landmark visit to the predominantly Muslim country.

Sistine Chapel feels fallout from 'Francis effect' on attendance

VATICAN CITY - The "Francis effect" has spilled over into the Sistine Chapel, bringing a surge in visitors but also increasing risks to maintenance of what Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, calls "the world's chapel."

Pope Francis' one-day trip expected to give Albanians hope, healing

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' choice of Albania as the destination of his first international trip in Europe reflects his trademark pastoral approach: Head to the peripheries, bring healing to the suffering.

Pope Francis to celebrate wedding Mass for 20 couples

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will officiate at the weddings of 20 couples who plan to tie the knot at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sept. 14.

Catholic Church must welcome ‘unconventional couples,’ says top Italian bishop

ROME - The Catholic Church should make “unconventional couples” feel at home instead of making them targets of “de facto discrimination,” the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.

Polish diplomat raises extradition for Vatican official accused of sex abuse

VATICAN CITY - Poland’s ambassador to the Holy See has forcefully condemned the alleged sexual abuse of children by a Polish-born former archbishop and Vatican diplomat, and said Warsaw is considering a fresh request to extradite Jozef Wesolowski to face trial in his homeland.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass with former doctoral students

VATICAN CITY - With "spiritual freshness and joy" despite his physical frailty, retired Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass and met briefly with his former doctoral students at the Vatican Aug. 24.

Vatican says laicized nuncio could stand trial in Dominican Republic

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican denied covering up for a former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing boys and suggested he might have to stand trial on the charges in the Dominican Republic.

Pope Francis marks Ukrainian Independence Day, prays for peace

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis lamented "tension and conflict" in Ukraine and prayed for "peace and tranquility" there on the country's Independence Day.

Pope Francis appeals to Iraqi president to end crisis

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis wrote to the president of Iraq, calling for an end to the “brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities” and urging political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message to focus on human trafficking

VATICAN CITY - Human trafficking destroys the lives of millions of children, women and men each year, making it a real threat to peace, the Vatican said as it announced Pope Francis' 2015 World Peace Day message would focus on the phenomenon.