A Roman Observer: Most reasonable Catholics disagree with the need for the props and gimmicks that the Vatican's jubilee committee is using to promote the Holy Year of Mercy.
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, said it is no longer "exceptional" to have priests turn down an appointment as bishop, for various reasons including health.
NCR Today: During his weekly Angelus address, Pope Francis said Christians face the "temptation of considering religion like a human investment."
Pope Francis spoke Jan. 29 to members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying, "On all levels of church life, a correct synodality must be promoted."
Speaking Italian, Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio kissed the pontiff's hand on Jan. 28, and offered a "grazie" (thank you) "for granting me this private audience with you."
Pope Francis responded to children's questions in a book "Dear Pope Francis." They are illustrated with the drawings of the children aged 6-13 and will be published March 1.
The Francis Chronicles: In his Lenten exhortation, the pope wrote, "The greater their power and wealth, the more this blindness and deception can grow."
The pope will seek to bring hope to a country suffering from crime, corruption and inequality when he visits Feb. 12-17.
Italian bishops are united in reaffirming the rights of children to be raised by both a mother and a father, according to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa.