Universal and local: Church law responds to local law, culture

VATICAN CITY -- The Catholic Church has universal laws valid around the globe, but many of those laws -- including on handling allegations of abuse -- must be further refined on a local level to respond to national laws and cultures.

Ahead of visit, Pope Francis calls on Romania to remember legacy of martyrs

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said he hopes his visit to Romania will strengthen the bonds of faith that unite Orthodox and Catholics in the country.

‘Urgent’ action needed on climate change, says pontiff

VATICAN CITY -- If the world is to win the fight against climate change, its leaders must stop profiting from fossil fuels that threaten the survival and well-being of the planet and its inhabitants, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis appoints new head of Vatican’s interreligious dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNA) -- Pope Francis appointed Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot Saturday as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Pope Francis laments exclusion of migrants as a red flag of society in moral decline

VATICAN CITY -- Being indifferent to or excluding migrants is a sign of a deteriorating morality that will soon spread and risk marginalizing everyone who fails to fit in, Pope Francis said.

Prenatal diagnosis of illness is no excuse for abortion, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- "Abortion is never the answer" to couples seeking a way to deal with a prenatal diagnosis of serious illness or disability, Pope Francis said.

God's Word on Sunday: Spiritual insight exposes a deeper reality

Ascension of the Lord, June 2 (Year C) Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Luke 24:44-53

Human expectations and God’s plans are seldom identical. The followers of Jesus had an agenda — Jesus was to expel the Romans and re-establish the kingdom of Israel. After the Resurrection, they were constantly tugging at His sleeve and asking if this was the moment. 

Pope Francis releases new universal law on abuse reporting

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis' latest effort to help the Catholic Church safeguard its members from abuse and hold its leaders accountable came in the form of a new universal law, "Vos estis lux mundi" ("You are the light of the world"), which takes effect June 1.

Cardinal Farrell: Church must promote pastoral approach to human life

VATICAN CITY -- To fight a throwaway culture that pressures women to view abortion as the only alternative to a difficult pregnancy, the Catholic Church must be ready to assist, accompany and care for expectant mothers and their families, said U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell.

Pope Francis tells new ambassadors to foster brotherhood, solidarity

VATICAN CITY -- Nations, like individuals, have a "solemn duty" to care for the poor and to work together to promote development, Pope Francis told a group of ambassadors beginning their service at the Vatican.

Pope Francis prays for Spanish missionary murdered in Central African Republic

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims in prayer for a Spanish missionary sister killed in Central African Republic.