Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY - Reading the Bible and praying with it is "the best vaccine" against Catholic communities closing in on themselves or focusing only on self-preservation, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY - On Easter Monday, Pope Francis led thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in praying for the hundreds of people who died or were injured in bomb blasts the previous day in Sri Lanka.

VATICAN CITY - As individuals and as a church, it can be tempting to dwell on mistakes, failures and sins that block the fullness of life, but Easter is the proclamation that the Lord is victorious and his love will triumph, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY - After the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris April 15, Romans and tourists could not help looking at St. Peter's Basilica and wondering, "what if?"

ROME - The president of France and the archbishop of Paris have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, continuing what a professor of architecture described as the natural lifecycle of a historic building.

VATICAN CITY - Marking retired Pope Benedict XVI's 92nd birthday, the editorial director of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication insisted what the retired Pope wrote about facing the clerical sexual abuse crisis is essentially what Pope Francis has said, too.

VATICAN CITY - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has banned a Legionaries of Christ priest from publicly exercising his priestly ministry for 10 years after he was convicted in Chile of sexually abusing a young girl.

VATICAN CITY - At the end of a highly unusual spiritual retreat for the political leaders of warring factions, Pope Francis knelt at the feet of the leaders of South Sudan, begging them to give peace a chance and to be worthy "fathers of the nation."

VATICAN CITY - Human trafficking is a "crime against humanity," because it denies the human dignity of the victim, seeing him or her only as a piece of merchandise to be used to enrich or give pleasure to another, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY - God does not play favorites, but human beings do in little ways at school and in big ways with the global economy, Pope Francis told students from Milan's Istituto San Carlo, a school with students from prekindergarten through high school.