"Francis wants to get things moving, to push processes forward. The real work is about to begin," Cardinal Reinhard Marx told a German newspaper.
Pope Francis on Monday waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it.
The pope was addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which gathered at the Vatican to discuss "Evolving Concepts of Nature."
"When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," Francis said.
A Roman Observer: Debate has begun in the Vatican. But there is a problem: A lot of bishops do not seem too pleased about this. Not one bit.
"During his 20 years as pastor in a town on the outskirts of Turin, many paintings, statues, furniture and other objects have been lost and then found in private homes."
Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures.
They say you can feast like a king, and now you can eat like a pope after a young chef from the Vatican's Swiss Guards published a cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of Pope Francis and his predecessors.
David Geisser, 24, who joined the elite Vatican security corps only a month ago, released his book, Buon Appetito, in Rome on Tuesday.
Analysis: The Vatican summit on the challenges of family life wrapped without reaching a consensus on hot-button topics. Where does that leave Francis' papacy and the church?
Francis will make the trip at the request of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the Turkish bishops.
The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions" in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said.
"It seems that the awareness of the value of human life has been lost; it seems that the person does not count and can be sacrificed to other interests. And all of this, unfortunately, with the indifference of many," he said during a special meeting at the Vatican on the Middle East.
Pope Francis praised Blessed Paul VI as a "humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church" at Paul's beatification Mass on Sunday.