Pope Francis explains giving St. Peter's relics to Orthodox

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said giving fragments of St. Peter's bones to the head of the church founded by Peter's brother, St. Andrew, was meant to be a reminder and encouragement of the journey toward Christian unity.

Cardinal Etchegaray a key papal envoy

VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, a longtime Vatican official and papal envoy who was sent to some of the world’s most wounded and challenging places, died in France Sept. 4. He was 96.

Vatican: German synod plans must conform to church law

VATICAN CITY -- The German bishops' plans for a two-year process of consultation and deliberation on key issues facing the Catholic Church must conform to universal church law and must be approved by the pope, said the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Get ready to get dirty, Pope Francis tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY -- New bishops need to prepare for a life filled with God's surprises, with daily plans that change at the last minute and, especially, for a life dedicated to spending time with God and with the people, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis calls for global alliance for education

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said the challenges facing humanity and the Earth are so urgent and important that he has invited world leaders, educators and young people to come to the Vatican next spring to launch a global alliance for building a new, more humane future.

On 9/11, Pope Francis greets Vatican, Muslim leaders promoting world peace

VATICAN CITY -- On a day remembered for the terrorist attacks against the United States, Pope Francis met with members of a committee of Muslim leaders and Vatican officials promoting a new era of dialogue and world peace.

Pope Francis tells reporters to keep to 'the facts'

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MADAGASCAR -- No one really knows what the future of the news media will be, but it will have no future if reporters and the public cannot distinguish between facts and fiction, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis: Ideological 'fixation' feeds schisms

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MADAGASCAR -- Pope Francis told reporters he hoped and prayed the Catholic Church would not experience a new schism, but human freedom means people always have had and will have the "schism option."

Vatican representative calls for electoral reform in Nicaragua

GENEVA -- With increasing concerns worldwide about human rights violations in Nicaragua, a Vatican representative has called for an immediate return to negotiations and a rollout of reforms necessary to hold "free and transparent elections" there.

Pope Francis cautions Mauritius amid economic growth: care for poor

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius -- Statistical indicators show Mauritius' rapid economic growth has benefited all sectors of society, lifting thousands out of poverty over the past 30 years, but Pope Francis still urged the island's Catholics to be careful.

Pope Francis appoints three cardinals to lead Amazon synod

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis appointed three delegate presidents for the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon.