Pope Francis, council of cardinals discuss greater role for lay men and women

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals reviewed aspects of the draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, including a greater role for lay men and women.

Defend dignity of persons with disabilities, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- The dignity and rights of people with disabilities are increasingly threatened by a society that discriminates and views them as a burden, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass with Congolese at St. Peter's

VATICAN CITY -- The sounds of ululations and drums and a litany of saints filled St. Peter's Basilica Dec. 1 as Pope Francis celebrated Mass according to what is commonly called the Zairean Rite.

Pope Francis returns part of relic of Jesus' crib to Holy Land

VATICAN CITY -- As Advent approached, Pope Francis gave a small fragment of Jesus' crib back to Catholics in the Holy Land.

Pope Francis encourages faithful to set up Nativity scenes

VATICAN CITY -- A Nativity scene is a simple reminder of something astonishing: God became human to reveal the greatness of his love "by smiling and opening his arms to all," Pope Francis said in a letter on the meaning and importance of setting up Christmas cribs.

Dialogue continues on path of co-operation

Catholics and Anglicans in Canada have been working on their relationship ever since Gen. James Wolfe surprised Gen. Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham in the fall of 1759.

God's Word on Sunday: Advent should inspire greater efforts

Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 8 (Year A) Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12

The figure described in Isaiah seems too good to be true — in fact, impossible and non-existent. 

Pope Francis to theologians: 'Don't confuse the faithful'

VATICAN CITY -- Theologians must explore and debate disputed questions, at times even taking "risks" with what they propose, but those discussions should take place within the academy so as not to confuse the faithful, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis names new head of Vatican financial agency

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis appointed a seasoned Italian finance inspector to lead the Vatican's financial watchdog agency following the resignation of its president.

Pope Francis: Scandal shows financial reforms are working

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM JAPAN -- Questions about Vatican finances, especially those involving a real estate deal in London, are serious, but they also are a sign that reforms begun by Pope Benedict XVI are working, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis ends Japan trip with visit to Jesuit university

TOKYO -- Pope Francis spent his last morning in Japan at the Jesuit-run Sophia University, celebrating Mass with his Jesuit confreres, visiting aged members of the Jesuit community and addressing students and staff.