Pope's Message

Section tag for Pope Francis' weekly audience

POPE'S MESSAGE | Pope talks airstrikes in Iraq, his health, possible U.S. visit

Pope Francis, still wearing a yellow pin commemorating the victims of last April’s ferry disaster, walked down the aisle to answer questions from journalists aboard the papal flight from Seoul, South Korea, to Rome Aug. 18.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea -- 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 against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

The pope also said he was willing to travel to the war zone if necessary to stop the violence.

Pope Francis made his remarks Aug. 18 during an hourlong inflight news conference on his way back from South Korea.

In South Korea, pope calls for peace, democracy and social justice

Pope Francis greeted people as he arrives in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 14. The pope will beatify Korean martyrs and participate in the sixth Asian Youth Day during his five-day visit to South Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea -- Starting his first visit to Asia, Pope Francis urged South Korean political and civic leaders to seek peace on their divided peninsula and strengthen their nation's commitment to democracy and social justice.

"Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice," the pope said Aug. 14 in a speech at Seoul's Blue House, the official residence of President Park Geun-hye.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Memorize the beatitudes, assess your care for the needy

VATICAN CITY -- Christians should memorize not only the Ten Commandments but also the beatitudes, which Jesus taught as the path to true happiness, Pope Francis said.

At his weekly general audience Aug. 6, the pope said he was so serious about the need for Christians to know the text of the beatitudes from Matthew 5:3-12 -- "Blessed are the poor in spirit ..." -- that he would read each one out loud and have the crowd repeat it.

More than 6,000 people filled the Vatican audience hall and its atrium for the pope's first general audience after a month-long break.

Pope prays for victims of downed plane, urges peace in Ukraine

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus July 20 from the window of the Apostolic Palace in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis called for prayers, dialogue, and peace, as the last Iraqi Christians flee Mosul.

VATICAN CITY -- 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.

According to Australian news reports, as many as 108 of those who died July 17 were on their way to Melbourne for the International AIDS Conference. Also killed was Sacred Heart Sister Philomene Tiernan, a member of the staff at Kincoppal-Rose Bay School, a Catholic girls' school in Sydney.

POPE'S MESSAGE | Stop throwaway culture now before another generation is lost

Pope Francis waved as he led his July 13 Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope called for an end to the flare-up of hostility between Palestinians and Israelis, urging leaders to listen to the call of the people who want peace.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis urged a group of economists and financiers to help reverse the current "throwaway" culture and put people at the center -- not the fringes -- of monetary strategies and policies.

Children, the elderly and young adults are all being rejected "because they're not useful," he said. "Who's going to be disposed of next? Let's stop ourselves in time, please," he said July 12.

High youth unemployment rates are 'defeat' for society, pope says

Pope Francis spoke to people during a luncheon at the Caritas soup kitchen in Campobasso, Italy, July 5. The pope was visiting the Italian region of Molis

VATICAN CITY -- Job creation, respect for the environment and the second chances God grants to every sinner were recurring themes as Pope Francis visited the southern Italian region of Molise July 5.

"We cannot resign ourselves to losing a whole generation of young people who don't have the strong dignity of work," Pope Francis said during a meeting with the region's young people in the town of Castelpetroso. "Work gives dignity."

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