Pope John Paul II won’t officially become a saint until next month at the Vatican. But Benedict XVI says he has seen him in that light for years.
Pope Francis criticized those who practice fasting as a mere ritual, rather than as a sacrifice representative of a religion of love.
The pope made his remarks March 7, the first Friday of Lent, in his homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.
"These hypocritical people are good persons," he said, referring to the Pharisees who criticized Jesus and his followers for not fasting as required by Jewish law. "They do all they should do. They seem good. But they are ethicists without goodness because they have lost the sense of belonging to a people."
The Vatican is trying to reassure Catholics and the public that Pope Francis takes the clerical sex abuse crisis seriously.
Rev. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., the English language assistant to Holy See Press Office, sent out an email clarifying what the pope said about "civil unions" in his interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Pope Francis, 77, seems to be doing quite well, despite maintaining a nonstop pace of liturgies, meetings, public appearances and hours of prayer.
A seven-member team of medical experts convoked by the Vatican reported there is no natural explanation for the survival of a child delivered stillborn and whose heart did not start beating until 61 minutes after his birth.
Pope Francis' comments about clerical sex abuse make it clear that he is using the same tired and irrelevant playbook bishops have worn out over the past few years.
A handful of U.S. bishops have released some results of public responses to a survey for the Vatican.
In just one year, Pope Francis has made a powerful impact on the Catholic Church worldwide, a number of cardinals have said.
Members of the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome for a series of meetings in late February, and several spoke to Catholic News Service about the Argentine pope's budding legacy.
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington: "It's been an extraordinary year. He's been able to help people see the face of Christ visible in his church."
"It's been an extraordinary gift and a challenge for the rest of us."
"What you see is what you get. And what you hear is what comes to his heart," retired Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick said of Pope Francis.