VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis officially has declared St. Irenaeus of Lyon a doctor of the church.

Marian novena an ‘Ice bridge’ moment

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Dennis Girard considers the Canada54 Novena from Jan. 6 to Feb. 28 an “ice bridge” moment for the Marian Devotional Movement.

Seeking God together will bring Christians closer to each other, Pope Francis says

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VATICAN CITY -- When the goal of Christian unity seems far off, "let us remind ourselves that we are making this journey not as those who already possess God but as those who continue to seek him," Pope Francis told members of an ecumenical pilgrimage from Finland.

Progress must never trump care, says Pope Francis

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Although scientists have made great strides in the field of medicine, genuine care and listening to those who suffer must always be at the forefront of any therapy, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis prays Christmas will bring yearning for peace, dialogue

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VATICAN CITY -- Before giving his Christmas blessing to the city of Rome and to the world, Pope Francis drew attention to the many places around the globe and within human hearts in need of Jesus, the prince of peace.

Pope Francis at Christmas: 'God comes into the world in littleness'

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The celebration of Christmas serves as a reminder that God did not reveal his greatness in a grand spectacle, but rather in the "littleness" of a poor, vulnerable child born in a stable in Bethlehem, Pope Francis said.

Pope’s World Day of Peace message stresses dialogue, education

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VATICAN CITY -- Governments must pour more money into education and drastically reduce military spending for there to be genuine progress and peace in the world, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1.

Vatican Nativity crèche inspired by Peru's Andean region

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VATICAN CITY -- The representation of Peru's diverse Indigenous communities in this year's Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square embodies the joy and hope of their faith, said Peruvian Bishop Carlos Alberto Salcedo Ojeda of Huancavelica, Peru.

In early morning darkness, Pope Francis pays tribute to Immaculate Conception

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ROME -- An hour before sunrise, Pope Francis set a basket of white roses at the base of a statue of the Immaculate Conception in the center of Rome, praying Mary would help all who suffer.

Pope Francis asks pardon for sins that drove Catholic, Orthodox apart

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ATHENS, Greece -- Like St. John Paul II before him, Pope Francis apologized to members of the Orthodox Church of Greece for the ways Catholics over the centuries had offended them, and he told Catholic leaders that they must embrace their minority status with humility.

Pope Francis sets up commission to monitor annulment reform in Italy

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VATICAN CITY -- Concerned at the slow pace of adopting his reforms of the marriage annulment process, Pope Francis has established a Vatican commission to encourage and verify progress in the dioceses of Italy.