FAITH/STORIES

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis condemned the "barbaric resurgence" of anti-Semitism and criticized the selfish indifference that is creating the conditions for division, populism and hatred.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said he hoped that an international summit in Berlin would be the first step toward peace in war-torn Libya.

VATICAN CITY -- Protecting human life is the "preeminent" social and political issue, Pope Francis said, and he asked the head of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities to convey his support to the pro-life community.

Will 2020 be turning point for women at the Vatican?

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis opened 2020 with a strong call to acknowledge the dignity of women, end violence against them and stop the exploitation of women’s bodies.

January 13, 2020

Baptism is first step to humility, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- In asking to be baptized, Jesus exemplifies the Christian calling to follow along the path of humility and meekness rather than strutting about and being a showoff, Pope Francis said.

Addressing pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Jan. 12, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the pope said that Christ's humble act shows "the attitude of simplicity, respect, moderation and concealment required of the Lord's disciples today."

"How many -- it's sad to say -- of the Lord's disciples show off about being disciples of the Lord. A person who shows off isn't a good disciple. A good disciple is humble, meek, one who does good without letting himself or herself be seen," Pope Francis said during his midday Angelus address.

The pope began the day celebrating Mass and baptizing 32 babies --17 boys and 15 girls -- in the Sistine Chapel. In his brief homily before baptizing the infants, the pope told parents that the sacrament is a treasure that gives children "the strength of the Spirit."

"That is why it's so important to baptize children, so that they grow with the strength of the Holy Spirit," he said.

"This is the message that I would like to give you today. You have brought your children here today so that they may have the Holy Spirit within them. Take care that they grow with the light, with the strength of the Holy Spirit, through catechesis, through helping them, through teaching them, through the examples that you will give them at home," he said.

As the sounds of fussy children filled the frescoed chapel, the pope repeated his usual advice to mothers of infants, encouraging them to make their children comfortable, and to not worry if they start to cry in the chapel.

"Don’t get upset; let the children cry and scream. But, if your child cries and complains, perhaps it's because they feel too hot," he said. "Take something off them, or if they are hungry, breastfeed them; here, yes, always in peace."

Later, before praying the Angelus with pilgrims, Pope Francis said that the feast of the Lord's baptism "reminds us of our own baptism," and he asked the pilgrims to find out the date they were baptized.

"Celebrate the date of your baptism every year in your heart. Do it. It is also a duty of justice to the Lord who has been so good to us," the pope said.

Publisher won’t remove Benedict XVI as co-author of book on priestly celibacy

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VATICAN CITY -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI wants his name removed as co-author of a book defending priestly celibacy but the publisher insists Benedict wrote the book with Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Pope Francis establishes date dedicated to Bible focus

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VATICAN CITY -- The newly established "Sunday of the Word of God" is an invitation to Catholics across the world to deepen their appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his word, Pope Francis said.

Malta’s Christians set welcoming tone

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An island nation that is more than 90 per cent Catholic is using the story of a shipwreck to remind Christians what ecumenism is really about — kindness, welcome and the bonds of our common humanity.

Amid threats of war, world must stay hopeful, Pope Francis tells diplomats

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VATICAN CITY -- Hope is the virtue needed to approach the coming year, especially when the looming threat of war surrounds a humanity scarred by violence, Pope Francis said.

January 8, 2020

Life's trials are training ground for Christian compassion, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- Christians survive trials and tribulations with the help of their faith in Christ and pay it forward by being compassionate toward others who suffer, Pope Francis said.

January 6, 2020

Faith is the worship of God, not oneself, Pope Francis says on Epiphany

VATICAN CITY -- Worshipping the Lord as the Three Kings did involves making a journey "from the greatest form of bondage: slavery to oneself," Pope Francis said on the feast of the Epiphany.

Pope Francis prays for dialogue as tensions mount between U.S., Iran

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led pilgrims in prayers for peace as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated following the assassination of a top Iranian general.

Pope Francis tells health workers to 'uphold truest human right, the right to life'

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VATICAN CITY -- Health care professionals always must "promote the dignity and life of each person and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness," Pope Francis said.