Pope Francis greets the crowd in St. Peter's Square after visiting the Nativity scene in the square on New Year's Eve at the Vatican Dec. 31. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
While retracing the events of 2015 may recall moments of both joy and sorrow, it also offers a moment to understand the presence of God who "renews and sustains with his help," Pope Francis said during an evening prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica on New Year's Eve.
Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 16. The pope won the German 2016 Charlemagne Prize for European unification. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
The announcement was made Dec. 23 in Aachen, Germany by the prize's executive committee. Citing his address to the European Parliament in 2014, the committee commended the pope's message of "peace and understanding" as well as "compassion, tolerance, solidarity and the integrity of creation throughout his pontificate."
Assyrian Christians, who had fled Syria and Iraq, carry placards and wave Assyrian flags during a gathering in late May in front of U.N. headquarters in Beirut. (CNS photo/Nabil Mounzer, EPA)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
The Islamic State and "fundamentalists don't accept anything that doesn't fit with their vision of Islam," he said. "This is a kind of purification and, of course, Christians and other minorities are a target."
Rodrigo de la Serna stars in a scene from the movie "Call Me Francesco," the first movie based on the life of Pope Francis, shown in the Vatican audience hall Dec. 1. (CNS photo/Angelo Di Pietro, TaodueFilm, distributed by Medusa)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
The world premiere of "Call Me Francesco," the first movie based on the life of Pope Francis, took place in the Vatican audience hall Dec. 1 and those considered celebrities in the eyes of the pope were in attendance.
A family that chooses to watch TV or play with their smartphones rather than talk at the dinner table is "hardly a family," Pope Francis said. (CNS photo/Lisa Johnston, St. Louis Review)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
"When children at the dinner table are glued to the computer, or the telephone and do not listen to one another, they are not a family, they are retired," the pope said Nov. 11 during his weekly general audience. The pope said that "to share a meal—and not just food, but also affection, stories, events—is a fundamental experience."
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, issued a statement on Nov. 4 about the investigations involving the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. The office, known by its Italian acronym APSA, handles the Vatican's investment portfolio and its real estate holdings.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, smiles as he attends a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's document, "Nostra Aetate." (CNS photo/M. Migliorato, Catholic Press Photo)
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Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
"Expressing everything in terms of balance of power—the struggles of groups and classes, friends and enemies—creates fertile ground for social barriers, contempt, even hatred and terrorism and their veiled or open justification," Cardinal Parolin told representatives of the world's religions Oct. 28 at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.
Synod on the Family
Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
The synod's final report addressed the pastoral needs of those who are often cast aside to the margins of society, those who are often neglected and abandoned in a world that places profit over value.
Synod on the Family
Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
The reforms to the annulment process introduced by Pope Francis serve only to avoid delays in cases where marriages are clearly not valid, two synod fathers said.Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain, and Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, told journalists at a Vatican
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia, arrives for a session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Synod on the Family
Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
While church doctrine must stay unchanged, an Australian archbishop expressed his hope that the Synod of Bishops will the lead the church to a genuine pastoral approach using a new language of mercy toward families, particularly those in difficult situations. Speaking at a Vatican news conferen