VATICAN CITY -- The dignity and rights of people with disabilities are increasingly threatened by a society that discriminates and views them as a burden, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass with Congolese at St. Peter's

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VATICAN CITY -- The sounds of ululations and drums and a litany of saints filled St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 1 as Pope Francis celebrated Mass according to what is commonly called the Zairean Rite.

Pope Francis returns part of relic of Jesus' crib to Holy Land

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VATICAN CITY -- As Advent approached, Pope Francis gave a small fragment of Jesus' crib back to Catholics in the Holy Land.

Pope Francis encourages faithful to set up Nativity scenes

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VATICAN CITY -- A Nativity scene is a simple reminder of something astonishing: God became human to reveal the greatness of his love "by smiling and opening his arms to all," Pope Francis said in a letter on the meaning and importance of setting up Christmas cribs.

Dialogue continues on path of co-operation

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Catholics and Anglicans in Canada have been working on their relationship ever since Gen. James Wolfe surprised Gen. Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham in the fall of 1759.

Pope Francis to theologians: 'Don't confuse the faithful'

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VATICAN CITY -- Theologians must explore and debate disputed questions, at times even taking "risks" with what they propose, but those discussions should take place within the academy so as not to confuse the faithful, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis: Scandal shows financial reforms are working

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM JAPAN -- Questions about Vatican finances, especially those involving a real estate deal in London, are serious, but they also are a sign that reforms begun by Pope Benedict XVI are working, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis ends Japan trip with visit to Jesuit university

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TOKYO -- Pope Francis spent his last morning in Japan at the Jesuit-run Sophia University, celebrating Mass with his Jesuit confreres, visiting aged members of the Jesuit community and addressing students and staff.

Reverence for life must determine use of nuclear power, Pope Francis says

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TOKYO -- While not adopting the Japanese bishops' opposition to nuclear power plants as his own, Pope Francis insisted the 2011 meltdown at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Fukushima raises serious questions.

Pope Francis: A world without nuclear weapons is possible

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HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Saying it is "perverse" to think the threat of nuclear weapons makes the world safer, Pope Francis urged a renewed commitment to disarmament and to the international treaties designed to limit or eliminate nuclear weapons.

Pope Francis arrives in Japan

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TOKYO -- Describing himself as a "missionary pilgrim," Pope Francis finally fulfilled a more than five-decade-old desire to share the Gospel in Japan.