Two weeks before the start of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, the Vatican announced the formation of a special commission to reform the process of granting marriage annulments.
The Vatican said the latest published interview with Pope Francis, in which he says fighting sex abuse and the mafia will be priorities of his pontificate, should not be considered a record of his exact words.
The Congregation for Catholic Education has named Angeline Franciscan Sister Mary Melone, 49, to a three-year term as rector of Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University, making her the first woman to head a pontifical university in Rome.
The Vatican’s final budget figures for 2013 showed a deficit on the part of the Roman Curia, but a strong performance by entities falling under the separate Vatican City State budget covered the deficit and helped the Vatican end the year 8.5 million euros ($11.6 million) in the black.
More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican.
Canonizing two recent popes in the presence of his immediate predecessor, Pope Francis praised the new Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II as men of courage and mercy, who responded to challenges of their time by modernizing the Catholic Church in fidelity to its ancient traditions.
Whatever is going on in one’s life, Pope Francis said from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Jesus’ victory over sin and death demonstrates that “love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.”
“From the cross we see the monstrosity of mankind when it lets itself be guided by evil,” Pope Francis said. “But we also see the immensity of the mercy of God, who doesn’t treat us according to our sins, but according to his mercy.”
During the evening Mass at a rehabilitation facility on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis washed the feet of four women and eight men who are living with disabilities.
He will preside over the Holy Thursday evening Mass and foot-washing ritual at the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation’s Our Lady of Providence Center on the outskirts of Rome, the Vatican announced April 8.
The pope’s annual Lenten meeting with Rome pastors focused on the priest’s call to be a minister of mercy.
Celebrating Mass with the newest members of the College of the Cardinals one day after their elevation, Pope Francis urged them to regard their new role not as one of worldly honor but of humble service and sacrifice.