Soccer stars help launch Pontifical Academy of Sciences' school project

VATICAN CITY - Immediately after meeting Pope Francis, Gianluigi Buffon, captain of the Italian national soccer team, and Lionel Messi, captain of Argentina's team, lent their hands -- actually just a finger -- to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

    His Holiness, the soccer fan, asks players to be real role models

    VATICAN CITY - With admiration and big smiles all around, the lifelong soccer fan Pope Francis met the star players and coaches of the Argentine and Italian national soccer teams hoping to compete for the World Cup in 2014.

      Pope asks people to consider what they desire most

      VATICAN CITY - Yearning and loving give people the strength to move forward and overcome obstacles, but Christians must ask themselves what really is their hearts' desire, Pope Francis said.

        Pope to parents: Teach your children to respect, defend human life

        VATICAN CITY - Respect for human life from conception until natural death is something children must be taught, not mainly with words, but by the example of their parents, Pope Francis said.

          Pope Francis discovers charismatic movement a gift to the whole church

          VATICAN CITY - During World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, July 23-28, many worshippers in the crowds could be seen swaying from side to side, arms raised in the air, wearing rapt or joyous expressions on their faces.

            Before electing Pope Francis, cardinals heard plea for unity, holiness

            VATICAN CITY - The last formal exhortation to the 115 cardinals who elected Pope Francis in March included reminders of the importance of presenting the Catholic faith in its entirety, the need to recognize the errors of Church members and the need for unity within the Catholic community.

              Like Jesus, we all have to do the heavy lifting

              20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 18 (Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53)

                Faith seen anew in the eyes of Jerusalem

                I’ve just returned home from Jerusalem, mind and heart overflowing. Of many illuminating experiences requiring reflection and expression, I begin with my visit to Calvary.

                  New Pope a man of style and substance

                  Less than six months into his papacy, Pope Francis still seems very new, very different to the world. In particular, his relationship to the media has caused a sensation.
                  Newspapers around the world have headlined the Pope's remarks on homosexuality with the "Who am I to judge?" soundbite.

                    Ships at Holy See: how popes once navigated more than spiritual waters

                    VATICAN CITY - One could say it all started with St. Peter's fishing boat. One day, that humble vessel turned into a powerful pontifical fleet, particularly during the life of the Papal States.

                      Francis' comments taken as surprise are no surprise at all

                      Pope Francis did not turn Catholic sexual ethics on its head while chatting with reporters on the plane trip back from Brazil.