Pope Francis will help launch worldwide 'wave of prayer' against hunger

VATICAN CITYBy Carol GlatzPope Francis will help launch a global campaign of prayer and action against world hunger. Organized by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based federation of Catholic charities, the global "wave of prayer" will begin at noon Dec. 10 on the South Pacific island of Samoa and head west across…

Confession renews grace of baptism

VATICAN CITYBy Cindy Wooden With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis: Back to the crosier with crucifix

Editor’s Note: Pope Francis has been using a familiar-looking crosier since becoming pope last spring. Here is a reminder on the cross’ significance from an April 8, 2013, post to Catholic News Service’s blog.ROMEBy Cindy Wooden At last evening's Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis carried…

'Spiritual Marines' to bless bodies after typhoon

MANILA, PhilippinesBy N.J. Viehland After days of watching televised scenes of dead bodies scattered around Tacloban, Order of Augustinian Recollect members organized a group of priests and a brother to bless bodies of people who died while fleeing the flood brought on by Typhoon Haiyan.

Celluloid heaven: how popes took church, Gospel to the big screen

VATICAN CITY By Carol Glatz When Pope Benedict XVI joined Twitter in 2012 and Pope Francis appeared on Instagram the following year, media watchers may have thought they were witnessing a Vatican revolution. In both cases, however, the pontiffs were merely following in a long tradition.