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New Pope ‘Figure of Unity’ for Catholics
Catholic News Service (13 March 2013)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and chair of CNEWA’s board, congratulated the newly elected pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who took the name Francis.

Argentina’s Cardinal Bergoglio Elected Pope; Chooses ’Francis‘
Catholic News Service (13 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, the leader of a large urban archdiocese in Latin America, was elected the 266th pope and took the name Francis.

Text of Pope Francis’s Remarks from Balcony
Catholic News Service (13 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Here is the English translation of Pope Francis’s remarks delivered from the balcony after his election as pope.

Latin Patriarch Congratulates Pope Francis
Catholic News Service (14 March 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal commended Pope Francis on his election with the traditional Arabic greeting of “Alf mabrouk,” or “1,000 congratulations.”

World Offers Words of Hope, Joy to Pope Francis
Catholic News Service (14 March 2013)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic leaders worldwide expressed words of hope and joy in calling upon Catholics to come together as one body behind the papacy of Pope Francis.

Timeline of the life of Pope Francis
Catholic News Service (15 March 2013)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI on 13 March by the conclave of cardinals.

Jewish Leaders Praise Pope’s Election
Catholic News Service (18 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said he plans renewed cooperation to further Catholic-Jewish relations and hopes to contribute to a world where all people live in harmony with the “will of the creator.”

Muslim Leaders Hopeful for Better Relations with Catholics
Catholic News Service (18 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Muslims leaders expressed hopes the new pope would help improve relations between Muslims and Catholics.

Archbishop Lauds Mentor, Pope Francis
Catholic News Service (18 March 2013)
ROME (CNS) — For the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, “authenticity and simplicity” characterize the man who mentored him as a young bishop: the newly elected Pope Francis.

Catholics Urged to Emulate Pope as Witnesses for Justice
Catholic News Service (18 March 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Echoing Pope Francis’ vision for the church, Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land, encouraged Catholics to be witnesses for the poor and for justice in the world out of love for the crucified Christ.

Orthodox Leaders Predict Close Cooperation with New Pope
Catholic News Service (18 March 2013)
OXFORD, England (CNS) — Applauding the election of Pope Francis, Orthodox leaders are stressing their hope for continued cooperation with the Catholic Church during his pontificate.

Pope: Religions Must Cooperate to Remind Humanity God Exists
Catholic News Service (20 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For the good of all people, the care of the poor and the future of the Earth, religions must cooperate in reminding modern men and women that God exists and has a plan for their lives and their behavior, Pope Francis said.

Table Time: Pope and Orthodox Discuss, Pray, Dine
Catholic News Service (21 March 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pastors and theologians involved in ecumenical dialogue emphasize the importance of “table time” — sharing meals — along with serious theological discussions, shared prayer and joint action.

Pope, U.N. Head Discuss Crises in Syria, Korean Peninsula
Catholic News Service (10 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Each recognizing the important role the other plays on the global stage, Pope Francis and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met at the Vatican on 9 April, discussing common efforts to promote peace and protect human dignity.

Pope Extends U.S. Romanian Diocese to Canada
Catholic News Service (24 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Romanian Catholic bishop of St. George, based in Canton, Ohio, no longer ministers just to Romanian Catholics in the United States, he also has formal responsibility for all Romanian Catholics of the Byzantine rite across Canada.

Pope Prays for Orthodox Archbishops Kidnapped in Syria
Catholic News Service (24 April 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Acknowledging “conflicting reports” about two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria, Pope Francis prayed for them and for an end to the war in their country.

Israeli President Invites Pope to Visit Israel
Catholic News Service (1 May 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, telling the pope “the sooner you visit the better, as in these days a new opportunity is being created for peace, and your arrival could contribute significantly to increasing the trust and belief in peace.”

Update on Iraq
Catholic News Service (7 June 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must help the people of Syria because “where there is suffering, Christ is present,” Pope Francis told representatives of Catholic aid agencies working in Syria and with Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

Pope, JRS See Face of Christ in Faces of Refugees
Catholic News Service (20 June 2013)
ROME (CNS) — The photos of refugees projected on the facade of Rome’s Gesu Church are reminders of what Pope Francis would call the suffering body of Christ today, said the head of Jesuit Refugee Service.

Pope Francis: Ecumenical Dialogue Leads to Growth in Faith
Catholic News Service (28 June 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis, who recently spoke of a need to increase the common responsibility all bishops hold for the universal church, told a delegation of Orthodox leaders that the Catholic Church can learn from the synod structure of the Eastern Christian churches.

At Pallium Mass, Archbishops Called to Be Ministers of Unity
Catholic News Service (2 July 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Every bishop is called to be “a servant of communion,” working tirelessly to overcome divisions so that differences become a treasure and not a source of conflict, Pope Francis said.

Discussing Divorce, Pope Refers to Orthodox Practice
Catholic News Service (6 August 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Francis spoke to journalists about the need for a stronger Catholic pastoral approach to marriage and to divorced people, he made a parenthetical reference to how the Orthodox churches handle the breakup of marriages differently.

Pope Asks Mary, Queen of Peace, to Bring Calm to Egypt
Catholic News Service (16 August 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the official death toll rose from clashes on 14 August in Egypt and as the damaged done to Christian churches was being assessed, Pope Francis invoked Mary, queen of peace, to bring calm to the country.

Archbishop: Synod Shows Importance of Family for Pope
Catholic News Service (10 October 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ decision to call an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in 2014 demonstrates how important he believes the family is and the urgency he sees in responding to problems Christian families face, said the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Pope to Evangelization Council: Live the Faith, Share It, Teach It
Catholic News Service (14 October 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Evangelization requires people who joyfully and lovingly live their faith, are not afraid to go out to share it and know how to transmit to others the essential teachings of the church, Pope Francis said.

Italian Prosecutor Says Pope May Be at Risk From Mafia
Catholic News Service (14 November 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Crime families in Italy are not happy with Pope Francis and would hurt him if they could, said an Italian prosecutor who has spent years investigating organized crime and has written a book about the apparent Catholic devotion of mafia bosses.

Jerusalem Church Leader Says Pope Will Visit in May
Catholic News Service (24 December 2013)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Latin-rite Patriarch Faoud Twal of Jerusalem told reporters he expected to host Pope Francis on a visit to the Holy Land in May.

Bethlehem Mayor: Pope’s May Trip ‘Represents Hope’
Catholic News Service (24 March 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Pope Francis’ “pilgrimage of prayer” is a revival of hope for the people of Bethlehem, said Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun.

Pope Francis, With Retired Pope, Canonizes Sts. John and John Paul
Catholic News Service (27 April 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Canonizing two recent popes in the presence of his immediate predecessor, Pope Francis praised the new Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II as men of courage and mercy, who responded to challenges of their time by modernizing the Catholic Church in fidelity to its ancient traditions.

Christian Unity Honors Common Witness of Martyrdom, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (9 May 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To honor the sacrifice of those killed for their faith in the 20th century, Christians today must renew their commitment to reconciliation and full Christian unity, Pope Francis said.

In Holy Land, Pope Francis to Focus on Unity Without Ignoring Conflict
Catholic News Service (16 May 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — On Pope Francis’ first trip to the Holy Land, May 24-26, his agenda will focus on the search for Christian unity, particularly between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. But inevitably, in a region so rich in history and so fraught with conflict, he will address other urgent issues, including dialogue with Jews and Muslims, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the plight of the Middle East’s shrinking Christian population.

Patriarch Will Discuss Middle East Christians With Pope
Catholic News Service (10 May 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople meets Pope Francis in Jerusalem on 25 May, one of their main discussion topics will be the “diminishing Christian minorities in the Middle East,” the patriarch told Catholic News Service.

Catholic, Greek Orthodox Leaders in U.S. Welcome Pope-Patriarch Meeting
Catholic News Service (20 May 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America welcomed the 25 May meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem.

Jordanian Prince Hopes Papal Visit Develops ‘Template of Hope’
Catholic News Service (21 May 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal expressed the desire to see “a template of hope” developed during Pope Francis’ 24-26 May visit to the Holy Land.

Pope Says His Holy Land Trip Will Be ‘Strictly Religious’
Catholic News Service (22 May 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Asking prayers for his 24-26 May trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis said his visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories would be “strictly religious.”

Video: Carl Hétu on the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land
web news (28 May 2014)
Salt and Light TV invited Carl Hétu, National Director of CNEWA Canada, to comment on the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land 24-26 May.

Bethlehem Residents Look Forward to Papal Visit, Despite Inconveniences
Catholic News Service (23 May 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — A long line of cars trailed down the road next to the Church of the Nativity as Franciscan Father Ibrahim Faltas helped coordinate the placement of the electricity generator for the 25 May papal Mass.

Pope, Arriving in Holy Land, Calls for Religious Freedom in Middle East
Catholic News Service (24 May 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Pope Francis began a densely packed visit to the Holy Land with a call for religious freedom in the Middle East, including respect for the right to change one’s religion.

At Amman Mass, Pope Calls on Christians to Promote Peace
Catholic News Service (24 May 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Celebrating Mass on his first day in the Holy Land, Pope Francis said hope for peace in a region torn by sectarian conflicts comes from faith in God.

At River Jordan, Pope Meets Suffering, Speaks Against Arms Trade
Catholic News Service (24 May 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Jordan’s powerful and marginalized joined together at the banks of the River Jordan to welcome Pope Francis at the site believed to be where Jesus was baptized.

In Bethlehem, Near Site of Christ’s Birth, Pope Speaks Out for Children
Catholic News Service (25 May 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Celebrating Mass a few steps from the spot traditionally believed to the birthplace of Jesus, Pope Francis said that the way society treats its young reveals its moral character.

Families Tell Pope Their Concerns During Lunch in Bethlehem
Catholic News Service (25 May 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — When Elias Abu Mohor entered the Casa Nova convent for lunch with Pope Francis, he was surprised to realize he would be sitting at the same table with the pontiff.

Pope Urges Palestinian Refugees to Look to Future
Catholic News Service (25 May 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Pope Francis told young Palestinian refugees to look to the future and to always work and strive for the things they wanted.

Fifty Years Later, Pope and Patriarch Meet Again in Jerusalem
Catholic News Service (25 May 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ’s death and resurrection.

On Last Morning in Holy Land, Pope Reaches out to Muslims, Jews
Catholic News Service (26 May 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Pope Francis spent the last morning of his three-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land meeting with Muslims and Jews and calling for closer relations among the three major monotheistic religions as the basis for peace in the region.

Pope Invites Israeli, Palestinian Leaders to Rome to Pray for Peace
Catholic News Service (26 May 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Pope Francis invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray together at the Vatican for peace between their nations.

Francis Thanks Religious for Their Presence in Holy Land
Catholic News Service (27 May 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Pope Francis dedicated his final hours in Jerusalem to time with local Catholics, reminding them that despite difficulties, God is always by their side.

Pope Says His ‘Most Authentic’ Gestures in Holy Land Were Spontaneous
Catholic News Service (28 May 2014)
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM TEL AVIV (CNS) — During an inflight news conference May 26 on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, Pope Francis answered several questions about his just-ended three-day visit, giving reporters insights into his thinking and glimpses behind the scenes of the high-profile events.

Pope Decries ‘Globalization of Indifference’ to War, Suffering in Syria
Catholic News Service (2 June 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A “globalization of indifference” has taken hold of too many of the world’s people, numbing them to the horrifying reality faced by the people of Syria and other innocent victims of war and violence around the world, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis: Silence Weapons in Syria
web news (2 June 2014)
Vatican City, 31 May 2014 (VIS) — Yesterday afternoon the pope delivered a message to the participants in the meeting with Catholic charitable associations who work in the context of the crisis in Syria, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

All Christians Need Trust, Hope and Help, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (6 June 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — All Christians, not just those facing conflict and persecution, need to trust, hope and help each other be more like Christ, Pope Francis said.

Learning From Other Churches: Ecumenists Find Hope in Pope Francis
Catholic News Service (12 June 2014)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CNS) — Supporters of a new method for promoting Christian unity hailed the election of Pope Francis as presenting new opportunities for the Catholic Church to do what they believe all Christians must do: honestly face their internal problems, grow in fidelity to Christ and ask what their ecumenical partners can teach them.

Peace Can Always Prevail, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (27 June 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Despite “grievous attacks” around the world, peace can always flourish through God’s grace and people’s loving generosity, Pope Francis said.

Fall Synod to Review State of Family; 2015 Synod to Draw Up Proposals
Catholic News Service (27 June 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Representatives of the world’s Catholic bishops, meeting together in a synod, are not expected to make any formal proposals about the church’s pastoral care of families until after a second, larger gathering in 2015.

Pope Phones Rabbi, Offers Condolences Over Israeli Teens’ Murder
Catholic News Service (2 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis telephoned Rome’s chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found on 30 June in Hebron, West Bank.

Pope: Migrants’ Deaths Should Provoke Sadness, Action, Not Indifference
Catholic News Service (7 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The tragic deaths of thousands of men, women and children who die while searching for a better future should trigger compassion and action, not indifference, Pope Francis said.

Pope: Prayer Is Never in Vain; Work Courageously, Concretely for Peace
Catholic News Service (15 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying for peace is never a useless exercise — it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said.

Pope Urges Israeli, Palestinian Leaders to End Holy Land Hostilities
Catholic News Service (21 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace.

Pope Prays for Victims of Downed Plane
Catholic News Service (21 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine.

Pope Calls for Prayers as Militants Chase All Christians out of Mosul
Catholic News Service (22 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the last Iraqi Christians in Mosul fled the city, Pope Francis urgently called for prayers, dialogue and peace.

Free From Ordeal in Sudan, Woman Condemned for Apostasy Meets Pope
Catholic News Service (24 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Meeting a Sudanese woman who risked execution for not renouncing her Catholic faith, Pope Francis thanked Meriam Ibrahim for her steadfast witness to Christ.

Pope Asks for International Action to Help Iraq’s Persecuted Christians
Catholic News Service (8 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.

Pope to Send Envoy to Displaced Christians in Iraq
Catholic News Service (11 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Given the “grave situation in Iraq,” Pope Francis has asked Cardinal Fernando Filoni to travel to the region to meet church and government officials, but especially to meet Christians chased from their homes by militants of the Islamic State.

Pope’s Appeal for Peace in Iraq: ‘Stop These Crimes’
Catholic News Service (12 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis condemned the actions of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying that persecuting Christians and other minorities “seriously offends God and seriously offends humanity.”

Pope to Gaza’s Catholics: Be Christ’s Witness in Midst of Conflict
Catholic News Service (29 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The priest leading the Gaza Strip’s only Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory.

In Their Homes, Hearts, Albania’s Faithful Defied Atheist Regime
Catholic News Service (2 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Walking to a cemetery on All Saints’ Day, watching television past 10 p.m., even slaughtering a kid goat on Easter were once so highly suspect in Albania, they would trigger neighborhood spies to tip off communist authorities.

Pope: Iraq’s Persecuted Christians Are True, Bold Witnesses of Christ
Catholic News Service (3 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Iraqi Christians are true and courageous witnesses of Christ’s message of hope, forgiveness and love, Pope Francis said.

Pope: War Is Madness, Indifference a Sin
Catholic News Service (15 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When will people ever learn that war is madness and conflicts are only resolved by forgiveness, Pope Francis asked.

Pope, in Albania, Says Killing in God’s Name Is Sacrilege
Catholic News Service (22 September 2014)
TIRANA, Albania (CNS) — Killing in the name of God is sacrilege, and religious leaders must denounce the use of faith to justify violence and oppression, Pope Francis said during a one-day visit to Albania.

Survivors of Albania’s Dictatorship Give Witness, Move Pope to Tears
Catholic News Service (22 September 2014)
TIRANA, Albania (CNS) — Two survivors of Albania’s communist crackdown against the church brought Pope Francis to tears with their stories during a vespers service in Tirana’s cathedral on 21 September.

Pope Calls For ‘Globalization of Charity’ to Protect Migrants
Catholic News Service (23 September 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called for the “globalization of charity” through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees.

Pope Prays in Istanbul Mosque, Rallies Local Christians
Catholic News Service (29 November 2014)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — A day after hearing Turkish leaders demand the West show more respect for Islam, Pope Francis prayed alongside a Muslim cleric inside Istanbul’s most famous mosque.

Pope Tells Mideast, African Refugees Wars That Caused Flight Must End
Catholic News Service (30 November 2014)
ISTANBUL (CNS) — Pope Francis met with young refugees from civil wars in Syria and Iraq, a few hours after joining Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to denounce the plight of Christians there.

In Turkey, Pope Francis Got a Look at Christianity on the Margins
Catholic News Service (1 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Ankara and Istanbul were gray and cold, at least compared to Rome, during Pope Francis’ 28-30 November visit to Turkey. And the general reception, outside of the pope’s official meetings, was hardly warmer. There were none of the enthusiastic crowds that usually greet him on his trips, no masses waving signs of welcome along his motorcade route or behind police barriers at the stops.

Pope, Religious Leaders Pledge to Work Together to End Slavery by 2020
Catholic News Service (2 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As Pope Francis and leaders of other churches and religions signed a declaration pledging to work together to help end modern slavery in the world by 2020, he urged governments, businesses and all people of good will to join forces against this “crime against humanity.”

Some See Unity Vision Reignited by Pope, Patriarch’s Gestures in Turkey
Catholic News Service (2 December 2014)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CNS) — After watching firsthand as Pope Francis bowed his head for a blessing from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the pope’s 28-30 November trip to Turkey, an American-born Orthodox priest felt a joyful disbelief.

Pope Concerned About Syriac Catholics Fleeing ‘Inhumanity’
Catholic News Service (12 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his concern for members of the Syriac Catholic Church who have had to flee from the “inhumanity” unfolding in the Middle East.

On Christmas, Pope Urges People to Remember Those Suffering
Catholic News Service (26 December 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.

Pope Meets Leaders of Yazidi Community Facing Persecution
Catholic News Service (8 January 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In his appeals for an end to the persecution of minorities in Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis often has mentioned both the Christians and the Yazidis attacked by Islamic State fighters.

Pope: Ecumenism Means Theological Dialogue, Joint Work for Peace
Catholic News Service (30 January 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Even as their theological dialogues continue in the search for full agreement on doctrinal issues, divided Christians are called to work together for justice and peace, especially in the Middle East, Pope Francis said.

Pope: War Between Christians Is a Scandal
Catholic News Service (4 February 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The only word worthy of being heard in the throes of war is “peace,” and there is nothing more scandalous than a nation made up of Christians engaged in conflict, Pope Francis said.

Pope Seeks Prayers for Egyptians Beheaded by Islamic State
Catholic News Service (18 February 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis called for prayers for the Egyptian Christians beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya and asked that God recognize these men killed for their faith.

Pope to Ukraine’s Bishops: Unite Against Unfolding Tragedies
Catholic News Service (20 February 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis urged Ukraine’s Catholic bishops to focus on the social and human tragedies unfolding in their country and avoid politicizing their role as church leaders.

Ukrainian Catholic Leader Invites Pope
Catholic News Service (23 February 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church invited Pope Francis to visit the war-torn nation, saying it would help bring peace.

Brother of Slain Aid Worker Talks With Pope About Dialogue, Respect
Catholic News Service (27 March 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After Pope Francis encouraged him and pledged his prayers, Michael Haines was able to tell the pope about his work to promote interreligious dialogue and mutual respect, particularly between Christians and Muslims.

With Armenian Catholics, Pope Will Declare New ‘Doctor of Church’
Catholic News Service (1 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis formally will proclaim a 10th-century Armenian monk as a doctor of the church when he celebrates a liturgy April 12 with leaders and faithful of the Armenian Catholic Church.

Pope Calls for Hope, Reconciliation as Armenia Commemorates Massacres
Catholic News Service (9 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis decried humanity’s ability to systematically exterminate its own brothers and sisters.

Term ‘Genocide’ Angers Turkey, While Pope Says Memory Leads to Healing
Catholic News Service (13 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis said atrocities from the past have to be recognized — not hidden or denied — for true reconciliation and healing to come to the world.

Armenian Catholics and Orthodox Seek Unity Their Martyrs Enjoy
Catholic News Service (14 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While Catholic and Armenian Orthodox theologians continue discussions aimed at full unity, Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, commemorated the already-achieved unity of Armenian Catholic and Orthodox martyrs in heaven.

Pope Urges Prayers, Action on Behalf of Migrants, Unemployed, Poor
Catholic News Service (20 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The poor, migrants in search of a better life and the unemployed want what all human beings want: life, dignity and a chance to earn a decent living, Pope Francis said in several speeches urging compassion and assistance by both governments and individuals.

Pope Calls for Catholic-Jewish Witness of Faith, Defense of Believers
Catholic News Service (20 April 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — European Christians and Jews must stand together in witnessing to faith in God and in defending one another from discrimination and persecution around the world, Pope Francis said.

Pope, Orthodox Patriarch Express Commitment for Unity
Catholic News Service (19 June 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis and the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch expressed their desire to work toward full communion of the two churches.

Pope Begs Governments to Act to Stop Anti-Christian Persecution
Catholic News Service (31 August 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — ”Do something to put a stop to the violence and oppression,” Pope Francis asked the international community after calling attention once again to the fate of persecuted Christians, especially in the Middle East.

Pope Asks Prayers for Refugees After 71 Found Dead in Truck
Catholic News Service (31 August 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis joined Austrian church leaders in praying for the 71 refugees found dead in an abandoned truck near Vienna and he condemned the smuggling of migrants as an offense “against the whole human family.”

Pope Meets Israeli President, Expresses Hopes for Peace
Catholic News Service (3 September 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As Catholics joined others in protesting Israel’s extension of its security wall, further dividing Palestinians and Israelis, Pope Francis gave Israeli President Reuven Rivlin a tangible sign of his hopes for peace.

With Armenian Catholics, Pope Remembers Persecuted Christians
Catholic News Service (8 September 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Governments who not only take no action to stop anti-Christian persecution, but remain silent, are accomplices in their deaths, Pope Francis said during an early morning Mass with leaders of the Armenian Catholic Church.

No One Can Pretend Not to Know Syrians, Iraqis Are Suffering, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (17 September 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighboring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.

Pope Sends Greetings, Prayers to Newly Elected Assyrian Patriarch
Catholic News Service (21 September 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his joy and ”prayerful solidarity” to the new head of the Church of the East, 73-year-old Catholicos Gewargis III.

Pope: Silence and Indifference to Migrant Crisis Lead to Complicity
Catholic News Service (1 October 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Indifference to the crises and tragedies today’s migrants and refugees are facing lead to complicity when people remain silent or refuse to act, Pope Francis said.

Pope, Synod Join in Prayers for Peace in Middle East
Catholic News Service (9 October 2015)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Gathered with a worldwide representation of bishops, including patriarchs and other bishops from the Middle East, Pope Francis dedicated the morning prayer of the Synod of Bishops on the family to pleas for peace in the Middle East.

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople walks with Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, after attending Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Page One: Headlines for 3/20/13
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Picture of the Day: A Holy Focus
Pope Francis blesses the camera of Argentine presidential photographer Victor Bugge before his meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner at the Vatican on 18 March.(photo: CNS/Argentine presidency handout via Reuters)

Pope Francis and Patriarch May Travel to Holy Land Together
"The ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople has invited Pope Francis to travel with him to the Holy Land next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the embrace between Patriarch Athenagoras and Paul VI, the pioneers of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue."

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Picture of the Day: That All May Be One
Pope Francis leads a meeting with religious leaders at the Vatican on 20 March. (photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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"Not an Enemy, But a Brother or Sister to Be Embraced!"
Pope Francis this morning met with nearly 200 members of the diplomatic corps, and spoke powerfully and poignantly about the church's mission in the world.

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Picture of the Day: Passover
Matzo and drops of wine are seen on a plate at a Seder table. The Jewish ritual feast is celebrated during Passover, the commemoration of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. (photo: CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

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Picture of the Day: Pope Francis Makes History Underground
Pope Francis visits the excavated necropolis below St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on 1 April. (photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Prayers for Boston
People comfort each other after explosions went off at the Boston Marathon on 15 April. (photo: CNS/Jessica Rinaldi, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: St. George
At the Vatican today, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Feast of St. George, for whom he was named.

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Picture of the Day: Benedict Returns
The helicopter carrying Pope Benedict XVI passes the dome of St. Peter's Basilica as the retired pope returns to the Vatican on 2 May. The pope will live in a monastery in the Vatican Gardens. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: Try This On for Size
After receiving a new zucchetto from a young girl, Pope Francis offers her his old one in exchange after arriving for his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 8 May. (photo: CNS/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

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Picture of the Day: “Blessed Pope John, Pray for Us”
A pilgrim holds a banner bearing the words “Blessed Pope John XXIII pray for us” in preparation for a Mass at the tomb of the pope. (photo: CNS)

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Picture of the Day: “We See Jesus Suffering in Beloved Syria”
A boy displaced by fighting in Syria attends a class in the governorate of Idlib, Syria, on 27 May. (photo: CNS/Muzaffar Salman, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Harleys for His Holiness
Pope Francis is presented with a leather Harley Davidson jacket during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 12 June. (photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: “To Grow Toward Unity”
Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, England, and Pope Francis attend a prayer service during a private audience at the Vatican on 14 June. (photo: CNS/Stefano Spaziani, pool)

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Picture of the Day: “Servant of Communion”
Pope Francis greets Orthodox Metropolitan John of Pergamon after praying with him at the tomb of St. Peter at the conclusion of Mass marking the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Picture of the Day: “We Find Jesus’ Wounds in Works of Mercy”
Sister Lovely Kattumattam enjoys a laugh with a resident at Ashraya Old Age Home outside Mumbai, India — the land first evangelized by the apostle St. Thomas. (photo: Peter Lemieux)

Picture of the Day: Carrying the Cross of Lampedusa
Pope Francis carries a pastoral staff carved from the wood of a shipwrecked boat as he celebrates Mass in Lampedusa, Italy on 8 July. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: See You in Rio
Pope Francis carries a bag as he boards a plane at Fiumicino airport in Rome on 22 July. He is making his first trip abroad as bishop of Rome to join more than 300,000 young people in Brazil for World Youth Day. (photo: CNS/Giampiero Sposito, Reuters

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Picture of the Day: Young Brazil
A girl attends the liturgy at the Melkite Greek Catholic Cathedral in São Paulo, Brazil. (photo: Izan Petterle)

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Picture of the Day: “Respect the Religion of the Other”
Muslims take part in prayers during the I'tikaf, a spiritual retreat in a mosque that is usually held during the last 10 days of Ramadan. (photo: CNS/Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters)

Ramadan Draws to a Close
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close today.

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Picture of the Day: ‘Let Us Become Men and Women of Peace’
Lebanese and Syrian Christian Maronites pray for peace in Syria at the Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa on 7 September. (photo: CNS/Hasan Shaaban, Reuters)

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Tweet, Tweet from the Vatican
Carol Glatz at Catholic News Service has put together what she calls the "Vatican Tweet Book," with twitter handles for "Vatican VIPs" — and she's included us!

Picture of the Day:
“The Church Needs the Ability to Heal Wounds”

In this image from July, Pope Francis embraces a patient at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro. (photo:CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

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Picture of the Day: ‘The Family Is Suffering’
In this image from last month, people walk around a destroyed Protestant church in Mallawi, Egypt. (photo: CNS/Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Getting Down to Business
Pope Francis prays during a meeting with cardinals at the Vatican on 1 October. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: You Sit Here
A little boy shows Pope Francis where to sit during a lunch break in Assisi on 4 October. (photo: Catholic TV/Vatican)

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Picture of the Day: “We Are Not All the Same”
Clowns cheer as Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 9 October. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: Firefighter Francis
Pope Francis wears a firefighter’s helmet as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 16 October. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: “Soon, Soon” for Peace Agreement?
Pope Francis shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience in the pontiff's library at the Vatican, on 17 October. (photo: CNS/Maurizio Brambatti, pool via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Rome and Russia
Pope Francis meets with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of ecumenical relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, during a private meeting at the Vatican on 12 November. (photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: “Unceasing in Our Prayer for Peace”
Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, at the Vatican in late March. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: The Face of Hunger
Children in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, such as 13-year-old Tiblets Gebray, suffer from chronic malnurishment and depend on outside support during lean years. (photo: Petterik Wiggers)

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Picture of the Day: Person of the Year
The cover of Time magazine's Person of the Year issue, featuring Pope Francis. (photo: CNS/Time Inc., handout via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: How the Pope Celebrated His Birthday
Pope Francis talks with three men on 17 December who live on the streets near the Vatican. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: What Child Is This?
A girl in St. Peter’s Square holds baby Jesus figurines for Pope Francis to bless during his Angelus at the Vatican on 15 December. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Picture of the Day: Christmas Greetings
The Christmas tree is seen as Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 22 December. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: Good Shepherd
A woman dressed as a character from a Nativity scene puts a lamb around the neck of Pope Francis as he arrives to visit the Church of St. Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in Rome on 6 January.

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Picture of the Day: Collaborators
Pope Francis greets members of the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration during the 50th anniversary of the committee at the Vatican on 11 January. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: Walking Together
In this image from last March, Pope Francis walks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the Vatican. (photo: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Catholic Press Photo)

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Picture of the Day: The Pope’s Plea for Peace in Syria
A Syrian refugee boy carries wood in the Al Yamdiyeh refugee camp near the Syrian-Turkish border in Latakia province on 10 January. (photo: CNS/Khattab Abdulaa, Reuters)

Breaking Down “The Walls that Divide Us”
Greg shares CNS’s coverage of the pope’s message for World Communications Day.

Picture of the Day: Gathered Together
In this photo from 11 January, Pope Francis greets participants in the annual meeting of the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration. (photo: The Holy See)

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Picture of the Day: Pulp Pope
A large drawing of Pope Francis depicting him as a superhero is seen on a wall near the Vatican on 29 January. The Argentine pope is shown taking off into the air with his right fist clenched in classic Superman style. (photo: CNS/Robert Duncan)

Picture of the Day:
“Confronting the Poverty of Our Brothers and Sisters”

In this image from 2010, Sister Shubba Poovattil visits with an elderly resident in Malayatoor, India, at a home devoted to caring for the “poorest of the poor.”

Picture of the Day: Dessert Father
Pope Francis looks at a life-sized replica of himself made out of chocolate in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on 5 February (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: One Year Later
It was one year ago today, 11 February 2013, that Pope Benedict made history by announcing his resignation. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

Picture of the Day: One Year Ago
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the election of Pope Francis.

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Picture of the Day: Easter Light
Pope Francis carries a candle as he arrives to celebrate the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 19 April. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: Francis and Benedict, Together Again
Retired Pope Benedict XVI embraces Pope Francis before the canonization Mass for Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 27 April.

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Prayers for Peace
On the feast of Pentecost, Sunday, 8 June, the president of Israel, Shimon Peres, and the president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will gather in the Vatican with Pope Francis to pray for peace in the Holy Land.

Ecumenical Patriarch to Join the Pope in the
“Invocation for Peace” at the Vatican

The Holy See announced this morning the structure for this weekend’s prayer with the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, and confirmed the participation of the ecumenical patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople.

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Picture of the Day: Invoking Peace
Pope Francis looks on as Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embrace.

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Picture of the Day: Jesus Saves, Scores!
The World Cup begins today and the church's most famous fan, Pope Francis.

How Can We Help to Grow Peace?
This past Pentecost Sunday, I was profoundly moved by the historic prayer summit our Holy Father hosted in the Vatican.

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Picture of the Day: Prayer and the Holy Land
A pilgrim prays in the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. (photo: Paul Souders)

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Picture of the Day: A Blessing for Meriam Ibrahim
Pope Francis blesses Meriam Ibrahim of Sudan during a private meeting at the Vatican on 24 July. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Picture of the Day: Cafeteria Catholic
Pope Francis eats with Vatican workers during a surprise visit to the Vatican cafeteria on 25 July. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Family of Kidnapped Jesuit Visits Pope
On Friday, Pope Francis met the four sisters and three brothers of Jesuit Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, missing since last year and presumed kidnapped in northern Syria. (photo courtesy Infosj)

Footsteps of Francis in Pictures
Melodie Gabriel shares a story from CNEWA Canada’s recent visit to the Holy Land with members of the Catholic Women’s League.

Picture of the Day: A Mission to Iraq
In this image from 2009, Italian Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, walks with a Swiss Guard at the Vatican. (photo: CNS/Danilo Schiavella)

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Pope Francis on Iraq: “It is Licit to Stop the Unjust Aggressor”
Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes.

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Picture of the Day: Francis Among the Hindus
Pope Francis shakes hands with Hindu Kurukkal SivaSri T. Mahadeva during a meeting with religious leaders at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 13 January. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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A New Church Is Born in Eritrea
On Sunday, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis, bishop of Rome, had created a new Eastern Catholic metropolitan church in the northeast African nation of Eritrea.

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Picture of the Day: A Visitor From Kurdistan
Pope Francis meets Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, third from left, during a private audience at the Vatican on 2 March. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: Prayers and Memories
A parishioner lights votive candles at a Sunday morning liturgy at St. James Monastery in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. (photo: Ilene Perlman)

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Picture of the Day: The Armenian Church
Altar servers spread incense as Pope Francis celebrates a 12 April liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. (photo: CNS/Cristian Gennari)

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Picture of the Day: Armenian Remembrance
People lay flowers at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, commemorating 100 years since the massacre took the lives of 1.5 million Armenians. (photo: Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images)

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Picture of the Day: A Venerable Spirit
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who led the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the tumultuous period of both world wars and the early Soviet era, has been declared “venerable” by Pope Francis. (photo: CNS)

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Picture of the Day: Happy Birthday, Pope Francis
Today marks the pope’s 79th birthday.

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A Visitor From Ethiopia
Abune Mathias I, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, visited Pope Francis today.

Picture of the Day: A Face in the Crowd
Pope Francis listens as an Italian theologian delivers his meditation during a weeklong Lenten retreat in Ariccia, Italy, on 7 March. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

Picture of the Day: Reopening Lines
Pope Francis talks with Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar mosque and university, during a private meeting at the Vatican on 23 May. (photo: CNS/Max Rossi, Reuters)

Picture of the Day: Happy Anniversary
Pope Francis greets retired Pope Benedict XVI during a 28 June ceremony at the Vatican marking the 65th anniversary of the retired pope’s priestly ordination.

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Picture of the Day:
‘Let Us Allow the Lord to Look Upon Us Anew’

Pope Francis meets with Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. (photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Picture of the Day: ‘In a Spirit of Genuine Fraternity’
In this picture from September, Pope Francis is greeted by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during an interfaith peace gathering at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. (photo: CNS/L’Osservatore Romano handout via Reuters)

Vatican Releases Video for
Pope's Prayer Intention for January: Christian Unity

The Apostleship of Prayer has released an inspiring new video to accompany Pope Francis's prayer intention.

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