pope francis

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Blessed Paul VI is pictured in this undated portrait. On Feb. 15, Pope Francis told pastors in Rome that Paul VI would be canonized this year.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told pastors in the Diocese of Rome that Blessed Paul VI will be canonized this year.

The pope's announcement came at the end of a question-and-answer session with the priests Feb. 15; the Vatican released the text of the exchange three days later.

Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, papal vicar for Rome, had told the priests that they will be receiving a book of "meditations" about priesthood drawn from speeches from each pope, from Blessed Paul VI to Pope Francis.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Fasting during Lent includes sharing, treating others kindly

Pope Francis heard confession at his annual Lenten meeting with the pastors of Rome parishes Feb. 15 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The meeting included prayer, confessions and a question-and-answer session with the pope.

VATICAN CITY — Loudly boasting or complaining about fasting during Lent and treating others unkindly isn't what God wants, Pope Francis said.

"Does my fasting end up helping others? If it doesn't, it's fake, it's contradictory and it leads to the path of a double life. I pretend to be Christian — righteous like the Pharisees, the Sadducees — but inside I am not," he said in the homily Feb. 16 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Lent is time to notice God’s work, receive God’s mercy

Pope Francis imposed ashes on the head of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, at Ash Wednesday Mass Feb. 14 at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome.

ROME — Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.

"Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: 'A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,'" the pope said Feb. 14, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent.

POPE’S MESSAGE | People have right to receive God’s word, so preach it well

Pope Francis greeted the crowd during his general audience Feb. 14 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Everyone who attends Mass has the right to hear the word of God in all its fullness, which means it must be read and explained with "fervor," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Feb. 14.

The pope continued his series of audience talks on the Mass, underlining the importance of receiving "abundantly from the treasury of God's word" present in the Mass readings and the homily.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Homilies must help people reflect, not nap

Pope Francis talked to the congregation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at a private meeting Feb. 5 at the Vatican. The talk included discussion on the status of Jerusalem and the need to achieve peace in the Middle East through dialogue and respect for human rights.

VATICAN CITY — Catholic priests must deliver good homilies so the "good news" of the Gospel can take root in people's hearts and help them live holier lives, Pope Francis said.

But the faithful in the pews need to do their part, too, the pope said at his weekly general audience Feb. 7.

Catholics need to read the Bible more regularly so they can better understand the Mass readings, and they need to be patient with the homilist, especially if the sermon is boring, meandering or hard to understand.

Pope revises norms for theology, philosophy studies

VATICAN CITY — Catholic university programs in philosophy, theology and canon law — especially those designed for future priests — must be marked by fidelity to Church tradition, academic rigor and an awareness of the challenges to belief in the modern world, Pope Francis said.

In the apostolic constitution "Veritatis Gaudium" ("The Joy of Truth"), the pope issued revised norms for "ecclesiastical universities and faculties" that grant Vatican-recognized degrees, which are necessary for teaching most philosophy, theology and canon law courses in seminaries and pontifical universities.

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