Pope to Rome pastors: Do you cry for your people?

VATICAN CITY - Because his cassock doesn't have a breast pocket, Pope Francis said he wears a cloth pouch under his white robes to carry the crucifix he took from a deceased priest.

    Use Lent to shed apathy to sin, poverty, indifference to God, pope says

    VATICAN CITY - Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said.

      Pope Francis, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions

      VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with "much mercy."

        The opportunity presented by Lent

        Perhaps we haven’t considered Lent in terms of opportunity. Most of us picture opportunity knocking in the form of a new job, a surefire investment, a vacation, an adventure. Fasting, penance, charity, prayer are given to us as duties, obligations, tasks.

          Cardinal outlines possible paths to Communion for divorced, remarried

          VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church needs to find a way to offer healing, strength and salvation to Catholics whose marriages have failed, who are committed to making a new union work and who long to do so within the Church and with the grace of Communion, Cardinal Walter Kasper told the world's cardinals.

            Pope urges sympathy, outreach to couples whose marriages fail

            VATICAN CITY - Those who recognize marriage as a sacrament, a divine blessing and a reflection of God's love for humanity should have even greater sympathy for husbands and wives whose relationships have failed, Pope Francis said.

              Pope Francis says Church needs better bishops

              VATICAN CITY - In another strongly worded message to the Catholic hierarchy, Pope Francis told the Vatican body that vets nominees for bishops that they need to find him better candidates to send to dioceses around the world.

                Vatican theologians OK alleged miracle attributed to Pope Paul VI

                ROME - Vatican theologians have given their approval to a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI, moving him a step closer to sainthood.

                  Benedict rejects rumors on why he resigned as “simply absurd”

                  VATICAN CITY - As the anniversary of his surprising resignation approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he said he still wears the distinctive white papal cassock for “purely practical reasons.”

                    The surprising afterlife of Pope Benedict XVI

                    VATICAN CITY - When Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter a year ago this week (Feb. 28), becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, many in his conservative fan base were aghast, even angry.

                      Pope Francis blasts arms dealers, decries indifference to war

                      VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis lashed out at public indifference to the many wars raging around the globe, with especially harsh words for arms makers who he said profit from the violence and suffering.