pope francis

POPE'S MESSAGE | We are ‘channels for broadcasting’ God’s gifts

Pope Francis knelt before a priest to confess at a Lenten prayer service March 17 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The pope invited all Catholics to “rediscover the sacrament of reconciliation” this Lent by taking part in the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative March 23-24 in many dioceses worldwide.

VATICAN CITY — Christian hope is built on patiently enduring everything life brings and knowing how to see God's presence and love everywhere, Pope Francis said.

God "never tires of loving us" as He "takes care of us, dressing our wounds with the caress of His goodness and His mercy, meaning, He consoles us and He never tires of consoling us," the pope said at his general audience in St. Peter's Square March 22.

Priests and marriage: Pope’s response not so new after all

Pope Francis greeted a new priest at an ordination Mass April 26, 2015, in St. Peter’s Basilica. In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit in early March, Pope Francis discussed the possibility of examining whether to allow married men to become priests.

VATICAN CITY — While Pope Francis' recent comments on the subject of married priests made headlines around the world, his response falls clearly in line with the thinking of his predecessors.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, published in early March, Pope Francis was asked if allowing candidates for the priesthood to fall in love and marry could be "an incentive" for combating the shortage of priestly vocations.

He also was asked about the possibility of allowing married "viri probati" — men of proven virtue — to become priests.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Shady business deals that threaten employment a ‘grave sin’

Pope Francis greeted people March 12 on a visit at the Rome parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

VATICAN CITY — Employers who make business deals that threaten people's livelihood commit a sin that robs men, women and their families of their dignity, according to Pope Francis.

"Whoever — because of economic maneuvering and business dealings that are not all clear — closes factories and businesses and takes work away from men and women commits a grave sin," the pope said March 15 before concluding his weekly general audience.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always

Pope Francis attended the first day of his Lenten retreat at the Pauline Fathers’ retreat center in Ariccia, 20 miles southeast of Rome, March 5. The pope and top members of the Roman Curia were on retreat from March 5-10.

VATICAN CITY — Christians should care about reading God's messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said.

As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they "read it often, meditate on it and assimilate it" into their lives, the pope said before praying the Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square March 5.

Promote life by protecting, sharing clean water, pope says

A man filled buckets with drinking water at a public filling area Feb. 3 in Aleppo, Syria. Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said Feb. 24 at a meeting with 90 international experts participating in a “Dialogue on Water” at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

VATICAN CITY — Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life, Pope Francis said.

"The right to water is essential for the survival of persons and decisive for the future of humanity," the pope said Feb. 24 during a meeting with 90 international experts participating in a "Dialogue on Water" at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Looking at all the conflicts around the globe, Pope Francis said, "I ask myself if we are not moving toward a great world war over water."

POPE"S MESSAGE | Lent is time to relive Christ’s exodus from slavery to freedom

VATICAN CITY — Like the people of Israel freed from the bondage of slavery, Christians are called to experience the path toward hope and new life in the Lenten season, Pope Francis said.

Through His passion, death and resurrection, Jesus "has opened up for us a way that leads to a full, eternal and blessed life," the pope said at his weekly general audience March 1, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent for Latin-rite Catholics.

"Lent lives within this dynamic: Christ precedes us with His exodus and we cross the desert, thanks to Him and behind Him," he said.

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