Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

BAGHDAD -- Visiting a Baghdad cathedral "hallowed by the blood of our brothers and sisters" murdered in a terrorist attack that shook the world, Pope Francis said their sacrifice must motivate faith and a commitment to working for the common good.

BAGHDAD -- To consolidate peace and ensure progress, the government and people of Iraq must never treat anyone as a second-class citizen and must work each day to promote harmony, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- Although it took obvious effort to pronounce each word and sometimes his secretary repeated what he said to make it clear, retired Pope Benedict XVI spoke to an Italian newspaper about his retirement and about Pope Francis' planned trip to Iraq.

VATICAN CITY -- Two days after the Iraqi government announced stringent COVID-19 precautions, including the closure of mosques and churches “until further notice,” the prime minister met with the Vatican nuncio to discuss preparations for the scheduled visit of Pope Francis.

VATICAN CITY -- Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart will not be the first woman undersecretary of a major Vatican office, but she will be the first woman with a right to vote at a meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

VATICAN CITY -- Religious education must focus on leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and building a community of believers where the talents of each person are valued and where all go out to share the Gospel and serve the poor, Pope Francis said.

ROME — Abiding in God's love means nurturing one's relationship with him and with all those whom God loves, Pope Francis wrote in his homily for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

VATICAN CITY -- As the Vatican health service continued vaccinating Vatican residents and employees against COVID-19, it also began offering the vaccine to homeless people who live in Vatican-owned shelters.

VATICAN CITY -- When a person senses God's call, it can be intimidating or frightening, Pope Francis said, but Christians can be sure that the call flows from God's love and that responding to the call will be a means of sharing God's love.

VATICAN CITY -- Australia's financial crime watchdog agency said it over-estimated by the equivalent of more than US$1.5 billion the amount of money transferred from the Vatican to Australia between 2014 and 2020.