VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis updated the laws that govern the Vatican judicial system in an effort to establish greater transparency and independence, particularly in financial and criminal matters.

Published in Vatican

ROME -- With Italy on lockdown and Rome streets almost deserted, Pope Francis left the Vatican March 15 in a mini-pilgrimage to an icon and to a crucifix associated with miraculous interventions to save the city and its people.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Standing in the window of the library of the Apostolic Palace overlooking an empty St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis blessed the city of Rome still under lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Amid a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, Pope Francis soldiered on with his weekly general audience and called on people to not forget those who suffer from war and violence.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY In co-operation with Italian emergency measures, the Vatican has closed St. Peter's Square and Basilica to tourists starting March 10 through April 3.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has instituted new measures and closures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY -- The fast-paced nature of the digital age can cause young men and women to focus more on capturing moments for their social media rather than experiencing them, Pope Francis told Catholic young people.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Saying he wanted to renew his "urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis," Pope Francis asked Catholics around the globe to participate in the international observance of "Laudato Si' Week" May 16-24.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Continuing his recovery from a mild cold, Pope Francis said that he would be unable to attend his annual Lenten retreat with Roman Curia officials.

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VATICAN CITY -- The use of artificial intelligence in science and medicine must be guided by ethical standards that place humanity and the pursuit of the common good first, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis did not attend a traditional penitential service with priests of the Diocese of Rome due to a mild cold, the Vatican said.

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ROME -- Ashes not only symbolize humanity's frail mortality but are also a reminder of God's infinite love of people, whom he created from dust, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time to remove all distractions and bitterness from one's life in order to better hear God and those who suffer silently and need help, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time for deeper dialogue with God through prayer, for renewed gratitude for God's mercy and for increased compassion for people whose lives are under attack, Pope Francis said.

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Reaction ranged from anger to relief after the Pope dodged a contentious debate about ordaining married men to the priesthood in his reflection on the recent Amazon synod.

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