Pope: Opposition to abortion isn't 'conservative,' it's result of faith

VATICAN CITY - Defending human dignity and protecting society's most vulnerable necessarily means protecting the unborn and defending their right to life, Pope Francis said in his apostolic exhortation.

Pope says only men can be priests, but women must have voice in church

VATICAN CITY - The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on the inadmissibility of women priests, Pope Francis said, but it does have to stop linking all decision making to ordination and allow women to have a voice in deliberations.

Pope frames vision for Church outreach at every level

VATICAN CITY - Here are a few of the main features of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), which was released Nov. 26 at the Vatican:

Pope venerates apostle's relics, urges people focus on Christ

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis closed the Year of Faith by calling on people to keep Christ at the center of their lives, especially in times of trouble.

With document on evangelization, Pope makes real authorial debut

VATICAN CITY - With his apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel), which the Vatican has scheduled for publication Nov. 26, Pope Francis finally makes his real debut as papal author.

Pope prays for peace, full religious freedom for all in Middle East

VATICAN CITY - After a two-hour private meeting with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches, Pope Francis prayed for peace and full religious freedom throughout the Middle East.

Year of Faith coming to an end

NAZARETH - Archbishop Fouad Tawl, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, urged “faith and only faith” during a Mass celebrated Nov. 17 in the city of Jesus’ childhood to mark the final week of the Year of Faith.

Pope's embrace was heavenly, says man with disfiguring disease

VATICAN CITY - For someone who has frequently been shunned and humiliated because of a disease that has severely disfigured his entire body, receiving the pope's loving embrace was like being in paradise.

Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation to be published Nov. 26

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican will publish Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation Nov. 26, two days after he formally delivers it to the church at a Mass concluding the 2012-13 Year of Faith.

Women religious ask pope for world day of prayer against trafficking

VATICAN CITY - After Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.

Getting to meet, understand the other: the path to peace

Interfaith dialogue doesn’t start with an exchange of creeds or comparison of theologies. It begins with friendship.