Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

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."

VATICAN CITY – Tears and not words. Prayers and not greetings. During his trip to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He said he wants to go alone and say nothing.

VATICAN CITY – The superior general of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said Pope Francis, rather than denouncing errors in Catholic doctrine, has "encouraged" them.

VATICAN CITY – Professing the same faith in the mercy of God, Catholics and Orthodox must do more to ensure mercy marks the way they treat each other, Pope Francis told a delegation from the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

YEREVAN, Armenia – Applying the common faith they professed publicly earlier in the day, Pope Francis and Armenian Apostolic Catholicos Karekin II urged common action on behalf of persecuted Christians, welcome for refugees and defense of the family.

VATICAN CITY – Although they did not manage to convince all the Orthodox churches to send representatives to the Great and Holy Council in Crete, participating Orthodox leaders supported the idea that the council should become a regular institution and meet every seven to 10 years.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM ARMENIA – Catholics and other Christians not only must apologize to the gay community, they must ask forgiveness of God for ways they have discriminated against homosexual persons or fostered hostility toward them, Pope Francis said.

VAGHARSHAPAT, Armenia – Recognizing that the church of Christ is one and that Christian divisions are a "scandal" to the world, Pope Francis and Armenian Apostolic Catholicos Karekin II offered their faithful the example of praying and working together.