Pope names veteran diplomat as Vatican's No. 2

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has stuck with a long-standing tradition by appointing a seasoned member of the diplomatic corps to replace Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as the top Vatican official.

    Romanian priest who died in communist prison to be beatified

    WARSAW, Poland - A priest who died of cold and hunger in a communist prison will be beatified as a martyr in Romania.

      Retired Pope's secretary says 'mystical experience' story is untrue

      VATICAN CITY - Archbishop Georg Ganswein, retired Pope Benedict XVI's longtime personal secretary, said a story about the pope resigning after a "mystical experience" was completely invented.

        Vatican orders slight change in text for baptism

        VATICAN CITY - To emphasis that the sacrament of baptism formally brings a person into the church of God and not just into a local Christian community, the Vatican has ordered a slight change of wording in the baptismal rite.

          Vatican's Year of Faith celebrations to resume in September

          VATICAN CITY - Vatican activities for the Year of Faith begin again in late September with an international meeting of catechists, followed in October by a Marian pilgrimage in the presence of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima and a celebration of faith and family life.

            Canonization date for John Paul II, John XXIII to be known in September

            VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals Sept. 30 to formally approve the canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII; the date for the canonization will be announced at that time, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

              The reformers

              The eight cardinals Pope Francis chose to advise him on Vatican reform in general have reputations as strong leaders of the Church in their own countries and on their own continents.

                Soccer stars help launch Pontifical Academy of Sciences' school project

                VATICAN CITY - Immediately after meeting Pope Francis, Gianluigi Buffon, captain of the Italian national soccer team, and Lionel Messi, captain of Argentina's team, lent their hands -- actually just a finger -- to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

                  His Holiness, the soccer fan, asks players to be real role models

                  VATICAN CITY - With admiration and big smiles all around, the lifelong soccer fan Pope Francis met the star players and coaches of the Argentine and Italian national soccer teams hoping to compete for the World Cup in 2014.

                    Pope asks people to consider what they desire most

                    VATICAN CITY - Yearning and loving give people the strength to move forward and overcome obstacles, but Christians must ask themselves what really is their hearts' desire, Pope Francis said.

                      Pope to parents: Teach your children to respect, defend human life

                      VATICAN CITY - Respect for human life from conception until natural death is something children must be taught, not mainly with words, but by the example of their parents, Pope Francis said.