Pope Francis gives seafarer chaplains special powers

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis gave priests who minister to seafarers special permission to grant absolution for sins that usually would require the intervention of a bishop or the Vatican itself.

Pope Francis: Must overcome indifference, apathy to fight hunger

VATICAN CITY -- If the world is to succeed in eradicating the scourge of hunger, it must first fight against the indifference, apathy and broken promises that allow the crisis to continue, Pope Francis said.

Doctors are called to be ‘servants’ of life

VATICAN CITY -- Catholic doctors have a mission to show God’s compassionate love to those who are suffering and to defend life at all stages, Pope Francis said.

U.S. bishops join Pope Francis reacting to photos of drowned migrant father, child

WASHINGTON -- U.S. bishops joined Pope Francis in expressing sadness after seeing photos of the lifeless bodies of a migrant father and his daughter who drowned near the U.S. border with Mexico.

Abuse battle expands to lay movements

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has expanded its fight against sex abuse in the Church by giving all lay movements and associations a December deadline to submit formal guidelines and protocols for reporting and preventing cases of abuse.

Administrator named for Lyon as cardinal appeals conviction

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has named a retired bishop to serve as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Lyon, France, three months after refusing to accept the resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.

Pope Francis announces themes for upcoming WYD celebrations

VATICAN CITY -- Announcing the themes for the next three World Youth Day celebrations, Pope Francis called on young men and women to meditate on the path of Christian life that God has called them to walk.

Australians bishops begin 'ad limina' visits acknowledging impact of crisis

VATICAN CITY -- The president of the Australian bishops' conference told his fellow bishops that it is "a time of humiliation" for Catholic Church leaders, but he is convinced that God is still at work.

Was there a little help from a friend?

ST. LOUIS -- Before the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins in Game 7 on June 12 to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the team’s 52-year history, Twitter was alive with hopes for a little divine intervention for such a victory — maybe even from St. John Paul II.

Patriarch criticizes European governments on immigration

NAPLES, Italy -- The Mediterranean Sea, which has been and again could be a route for a meeting of peoples and cultures, instead is a "border not to be crossed" between the poor South and the wealthy North, said Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Vatican official praises Catholic media for coverage of sex abuse crisis

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In a remarkably frank and detailed speech, the Vatican official heading the department charged with reviewing clergy sexual abuse allegations told an assembly of Catholic journalists that his investigators and the press "share the same goal, which is the protection of minors, and we have the same wish to leave the world a little better than how we found it."