At Easter the stones of sin, despair, are rolled away, pope says at vigil

VATICAN CITY - As individuals and as a church, it can be tempting to dwell on mistakes, failures and sins that block the fullness of life, but Easter is the proclamation that the Lord is victorious and his love will triumph, Pope Francis said.

On Good Friday, papal preacher says cross brings hope to the oppressed

VATICAN CITY - The cross serves as a warning to the powerful and a message of hope for the poor and oppressed, said the preacher of the papal household.

Be servants to one another, pope tells prisoners before washing feet

ROME - Jesus' gesture of washing his disciples' feet, an act once reserved to servants and slaves, is one that all Christians, especially bishops, must imitate, Pope Francis told hundreds of inmates and prison employees on Holy Thursday.

South Sudan's Christian leaders say papal kiss is message of Easter

NAIROBI, Kenya - Pope Francis' surprise kiss on the feet of South Sudanese political leaders is the message of Easter, the country's Christian leaders said in a joint Easter message.

Pope to priests: Best place to be is among the people

VATICAN CITY - Just as Jesus always sought to be with the people to serve, teach and heal them, so, too, must priests always be in the midst of God's people, "pouring ourselves out" for them, Pope Francis said.

Pope's Way of Cross will shine light on women 'crucified' by traffickers

VATICAN CITY - Countless women and girls are being "crucified" by human traffickers, who trick them into slave labor or prostitution, and by those who seek out their services and exploit them, said the missionary nun who wrote the meditations for Pope Francis' Way of the Cross service.

Vatican firefighter says St. Peter's at much less risk than Notre Dame

VATICAN CITY - After the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris April 15, Romans and tourists could not help looking at St. Peter's Basilica and wondering, "what if?"

China invites Vatican to have pavilion at Beijing garden expo

VATICAN CITY - Accepting an invitation from the Chinese government, the Holy See is one of a number of nations and organizations participating in an international garden expo in Beijing.

Official marks retired pope's birthday, commenting on his latest letter

VATICAN CITY - Marking retired Pope Benedict XVI's 92nd birthday, the editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication insisted what the retired Pope wrote about facing the clerical sexual abuse crisis is essentially what Pope Francis has said, too.

Pope makes surprise visit to community for people with Alzheimer's

ROME - Drawing attention to the special needs of people with Alzheimer's disease, Pope Francis made an afternoon visit to a community of group homes designed to keep residents active and living as normal a life as possible.

Pope urges students to fight their addiction to phones

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis told high school students to break their phone addiction and spend more time on real communication with others and in moments of quiet, personal reflection.