Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – No matter what the motivation or how seriously threatened one may believe the Catholic Church in China is, the ordination of bishops without a mandate from the pope is a serious violation of church law, the Vatican said.

VATICAN CITY – Praying for cardinals and bishops who died in the past year, Pope Francis urged people to remember the priestly witness they gave.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SWEDEN – The Catholic Church insistence that it cannot ordain women to the priesthood and episcopacy is a teaching likely to last forever, Pope Francis said.

MALMO, Sweden – The Catholic Church continues to insist that sharing the sacrament of Communion will be a sign that Christian churches have reconciled fully with one another, although in some pastoral situations, guests may be invited to the Eucharist, said Cardinal Kurt Koch.

MALMO, Sweden – The saints are blessed because they were faithful and meek and cared for others, Pope Francis said.

MALMO, Sweden – The sheet of ice and the penalty boxes were gone from Malmo Arena Oct. 31 as Catholics and Lutherans filled the stands and promised to work together for peace – particularly in Syria – and for justice – especially for refugees.

LUND, Sweden – Urging Catholics and Lutherans to take decisive steps toward unity, Pope Francis nevertheless offered no new openings to the idea of sharing Communion before full unity is achieved.

MALMO, Sweden – Under a thick gray sky, Pope Francis was welcomed to Sweden with a small formal ceremony, which conveyed by its brevity that the trip was not a formal state visit, but had another purpose.

VATICAN CITY – In a newly independent nation where more than 70 percent of the population is Christian, leaders of the Christian churches are indignant about the violence raging around them.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis' recent insistence on "walking ecumenism," the notion that Christians will draw closer to each other as they work together to help the poor, should resonate well with Lutherans and Catholics in Sweden.