Cardinals gather in Rome as debates on Church reform heat up

VATICAN CITY - High-level debates over Catholic teachings on marriage and divorce and other hot-button issues heated up today (Feb. 19) as a highly anticipated effort to overhaul the Vatican bureaucracy slogged through the devilish details of financial reform.

Living in remodeled convent, Pope Benedict is not cloistered, aides say

VATICAN CITY - In retirement, Pope Benedict XVI follows a daily schedule similar to that of any retired bishop or religious: He prays, reads, strolls, talks with people and offers them spiritual advice, the Vatican spokesman said.

Pope Francis urges Sri Lankans to reconcile, accepts invitation to visit

VATICAN CITY - When civil strife, conflict and bloodshed have pitted people of different ethnic groups against one another, reconciliation is particularly difficult, but it's still the only way to ensure a better future for all, Pope Francis told a large group of Sri Lankan pilgrims.

Did Pope Francis really say that? Probably not

Did you hear that Pope Francis plans to call a Third Vatican Council? Or that he uncovered previously unknown Bible verses? Or that he sees the story of Adam and Eve as just a fable?

Pope Francis: Sacrifice key to reaping wealth of God's love, fighting misery

VATICAN CITY - Courageously follow Jesus in seeking out the poor and sinners, and in making difficult sacrifices in order to help and heal others, Pope Francis said.

Canada likely to have new saints before year's end, Jesuit says

VATICAN CITY - Three key figures in the establishment of the Catholic Church in Canada and in Brazil are likely to be declared saints before the end of the year, said a Jesuit who is helping prepare the material needed for their canonizations.

Pope Francis' first Lenten message to focus on poverty, generosity

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has chosen the theme, "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich," for this year's Lenten message, said a Vatican statement Jan. 31.

If you can cheer for a sports team, you can praise God, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - Prayers of praise for God aren't just for charismatics, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Pope prays for peace, dialogue in Ukraine; bishops offer to mediate

VATICAN CITY - As protests against the Ukrainian president spread to cities across the country, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the nation's people, "particularly for those who lost their lives in the last few days and for their families."

Make more room for women without crowding out family, pope says

VATICAN CITY - Women should play a greater role in society and the church without sacrificing their essential attention and contribution to their families, Pope Francis said.

Under Pope Francis, Church entering a 'new era'

OXFORD, England - The cardinal who heads Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals said the Catholic Church is entering a "new era" and accused critics of the Pope's statements on economic injustice of failing to "understand reality."