Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Last year, more than 13 million people around the world watched Pope Francis explain one of his specific prayer intentions each month.

VATICAN CITY — Under certain circumstances and after long prayer and a profound examination of conscience, some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may return to the sacraments, said the bishops of Malta.

VATICAN CITY – The Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which the Pope is in need of "fraternal correction" because he has not put the faith and church teaching in danger, said Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to do everything possible to end the war in his country, to protect civilians and to ensure humanitarian agencies can deliver emergency aid to the people.

VATICAN CITY – Priests are called to be mediators between God and God's people, offering their time and their very lives in service; they are not God's "intermediaries" or functionaries, who go to work to get paid or, worse, enter the priesthood in search of status, Pope Francis said.

ROME – In two long interviews with Jesuit publications, director Martin Scorsese described his new film Silence as a major stage in his pilgrimage of faith, a pilgrimage that included flunking out of the minor seminary, investigating other religions and recognizing that the Catholic Church was his home.

VATICAN CITY – Everything in Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis' exhortation on the family, sprang from consultations with Catholics around the world and was thoroughly discussed by the bishops at the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY – At Christmas, God reveals his full power, which is the power of relentlessly seeking his lost sheep and, when he finds them, giving them a caress, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY – Knowing the debate surrounding Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on the family, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said the document "first and foremost recalls the mercy and compassion of God and not just moral norms and canonical rules."

ROME – Jesuit Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, whose service as superior general of the Society of Jesus marked a return to normal governance after a period of tension with the Vatican, died in Beirut Nov. 26, four days before his 88th birthday.