VATICAN CITY -- With a small procession down the vast and empty central nave of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis began the first of a series of Holy Week liturgies celebrated without the presence of the faithful from the general public.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Seeing and growing closer to God require purifying one's heart from the sins and prejudices that distort reality and blind people to God's active and real presence, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Saying conflicts can never be resolved with war, Pope Francis added his support to a U.N. appeal for a global cease-fire amid the worldwide threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is not God's judgment on humanity, but God's call on people to judge what is most important to them and resolve to act accordingly from now on, Pope Francis said.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Defending life is not an abstract concept but a duty for all Christians and it means protecting the unborn, the poor, the sick, the unemployed and migrants, Pope Francis said.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- Joined by Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant church leaders and faithful from around the world, Pope Francis led the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, imploring God's mercy on humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- With the number of priests and religious dying from coronavirus-related illnesses rising, Pope Francis offered his prayers for those who died after being infected helping COVID-19 patients and their communities.

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VATICAN CITY -- Citing the increasing loss of lives to COVID-19 and a lack of medical resources, an Iranian cleric has urged Pope Francis to do what he can to help get U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY -- As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said he will give an extraordinary blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis asked people to pray for all victims of COVID-19, including the health care workers who sacrificed their lives caring for others.

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VATICAN CITY -- Mercy, which is at the heart of the Christian life, is not a one-dimensional virtue but instead is the acceptance of God's love and the giving of that love to others, Pope Francis said.

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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