Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – The Apostolic Penitentiary has nothing to do with a jail cell and everything to do with ensuring repentant sinners experience God's mercy.

VATICAN CITY – At a luncheon that was part reunion and part progress report, Pope Francis invited 21 Syrian refugees to join him at the Vatican Aug. 11.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis "snuck" out of the Vatican Aug. 9 for a drive, a walk in the woods and lunch with an Italian bishop at a small convent.

VATICAN CITY – In a personal message addressed to each of the 10 members of the new Refugee Olympic Team, Pope Francis wished them success in their events and thanked them for the witness they are giving the world.

VATICAN CITY – A more important prize than a gold medal is up for grabs at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: a chance to experience solidarity and contribute to the realization that all people are members of one human family, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has appointed six men and six women to a commission to study the issue of women deacons, particularly their ministry in the early church.

VATICAN CITY – As World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow wrapped up, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, the retired success to St. John Paul II as archbishop of the host city, died Aug. 2 at the age of 89.

VATICAN CITY – The murder of a priest in northern France, taken hostage with a handful of other faithful during a weekday morning Mass July 26, is another act of "absurd violence" added to too many stories of senseless violence and death, said the Vatican spokesman.

VATICAN CITY – Three months after the publication of Pope Francis' exhortation on marriage and family, bishops and bishops' conferences around the world are studying practical ways to apply it. Some still disagree on what exactly the Pope meant.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said he will continue pressing for a church that is open and understanding despite opposition from some clerics who "say no to everything."