Pope to moms: It's OK to breast-feed in public, even in Sistine Chapel

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis assured mothers that breast-feeding their babies in public, even during a papal Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is OK.

Vatican to host world leaders in push to end Syrian conflict

VATICAN CITY - With more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced in a brutal civil war, Pope Francis has made repeated pleas for peace in Syria. But more than just call for peace he has taken steps to bring an end to the violence.

Priest says hitching ride on popemobile was invite to hit road for God

VATICAN CITY - When Father Fabian Baez booked his trip to Rome, he didn't have an appointment to meet with the pope, so he gave himself ample time in the Eternal City to be able to arrange some way to see him.

Baptism gives strength to forgive enemies, love poor, Pope says

VATICAN CITY - Baptism isn't just some formal ritual, it profoundly changes people, giving them unwavering hope and the strength to forgive and love others, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis pledges almost $5 million to help pay World Youth Day debt

RIO DE JANEIRO - Pope Francis has pledged a donation of almost $5 million to help pay part of the debt incurred by the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, said the Local Organizing Committee.

Pope limits 'monsignor' honor for diocesan priests

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has decided to limit the honor of "monsignor" among diocesan priests and grant it from now on only to those at least 65 years of age.

Pope orders new rules on relations between bishops, religious orders

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis said he has ordered a revision of what he called outdated Vatican norms on the relations between religious orders and local bishops, in order to promote greater appreciation of the orders' distinctive missions.

True faith is driven by zeal to change world with God's love, pope says

VATICAN CITY - True faith is marked by the daring desire to change the world with the loving heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.

Pope: Time to stop violence, discord, and begin making peace at home

VATICAN CITY - Welcoming in a new year, Pope Francis said it was time to stop provoking and ignoring violence, tragedy and conflict in the world, and begin building peace at home.

More than 6.6 million attended Vatican events with Pope Francis in 2013

VATICAN CITY - In the first nine and a half months of Pope Francis' pontificate, more than 6.6 million people participated in papal events at the Vatican, including weekly general audiences, group audiences, liturgies and recitations of the Angelus and “Regina Coeli” on Sundays and holy days.

Pope: In new year, step outside your comfort zone, get involved

VATICAN CITY - The new year will be brighter only if everyone steps outside their safe havens, gets involved and works together to solve local problems with generosity and love, Pope Francis said.