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.

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It seemed fitting that Pope Francis began the new year by pointing a spotlight at women, given that integrating women into the everyday running of the Church will be a major theme of the new decade.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis began the New Year with an apology for losing his patience the night before with a woman who grabbed his hand and yanked him closer to her while he was greeting people in St. Peter's Square.

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VATICAN CITY -- The world will not know peace unless there is an end to violence against women, the exploitation of their bodies and the denial of their dignity, Pope Francis said on the feast of Mary, Mother of God.

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VATICAN CITY -- God sent his only begotten son into the world, where he continues to dwell in the hearts of men and women, "urging them to believe, to hope despite everything, and to love by working for the good of all," Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis prayed that people all over the world would end 2019 "in peace, peace in their hearts," and that families would mark New Year's by "communicating with one another."

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VATICAN CITY -- The light of peace, hope and salvation brought into the world with the birth of Jesus is stronger than the darkness of war and despair, but spreading that light requires the cooperation of every person of good will, Pope Francis said in his Christmas address.

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VATICAN CITY -- Christmas night tells each person, no matter how poor or sinful, that they are utterly and totally loved by God, Pope Francis said as he celebrated Jesus' birth.

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VATICAN CITY -- The ongoing reform of the Roman Curia is a necessary part of the Catholic Church's fidelity to its mission to proclaim the Gospel, recognizing that very few countries today can be described as "Christian" and that new ways of evangelizing are necessary, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- After accepting the resignation of 92-year-old Cardinal Angelo Sodano as dean of the College of Cardinals, Pope Francis changed the norms of the office so that the dean would be elected to a five-year term renewable only once.

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