Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- A commitment to defending and protecting human life requires a commitment to ending wars and to promoting nuclear disarmament, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- The poor are the church's treasure because they give every Christian a chance to "speak the same language as Jesus, that of love," Pope Francis said, celebrating Mass for the World Day of the Poor.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis' translator in Thailand will be someone familiar with the nuances and colloquialisms of his Argentine Spanish because she grew up speaking it with him.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, said they would travel together to South Sudan if the country's leaders fulfill their promise to form a transitional government by late February.

ROME -- No one is so far from God that Christ cannot bring them back, Pope Francis told members of the Diocese of Rome's new pastoral teams responsible for outreach.

VATICAN CITY -- Giving the Ratzinger prize to a philosopher from Canada and a Scripture scholar from Burkina Faso, Pope Francis said they demonstrate that "in the variety of cultures, diverse across time and space, one can and should always seek the way to God and the encounter with Christ."

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis' top aide made no secret of what will be on the pope's mind when he visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Nov. 24: "the total elimination of nuclear weapons."

ROME -- In what he said was his first visit to the catacombs, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the feast of All Souls with special words of remembrance for Catholics who still today must worship in secret.

VATICAN CITY -- The early November feasts of All Saints and All Souls are reminders that God's church exists both on earth and in heaven and that all the faithful, living and dead, can and should pray for each other, a top Vatican official wrote.

VATICAN CITY -- The saints were flesh-and-blood people whose lives included real struggles and joys, and whose holiness reminds all the baptized that they, too, are called to be saints, Pope Francis said.