In 12 short but concise chapters, Kasper analyzes the Argentine and European roots of the pope's theology and not surprisingly devotes a whole chapter to mercy.
The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy "the nation signed with the blood of the cross."
Italy is one of a handful of major Western counties that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.
Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic targets in Rome and monitor the streets of the capital for suspicious activity.
Voices of Faith will feature storytelling presentations from 10 women from various parts of the world who have overcome adversity or have reached the highest places available for women.
"In these circumstances, what is important is listening attentively to the voices that come from your territory, where the people entrusted to your pastoral care live."
Faith and Justice: At the pace the Vatican is moving, Pope Francis will be dead before real reform hits the Curia.
The Francis Chronicles: The celebrant "must pray before God, with the community," in a genuine and natural way that avoids all forms of "artificiality," Pope Francis said.
Lent is a journey of purification and penance, a movement that should bring one tearfully back to the loving arms of the merciful Father, Pope Francis said at an Ash Wednesday Mass that began with a procession on Rome's Aventine Hill.
After walking from the Benedictine monastery of St. Anselm to the Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina on Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass. He received ashes on the top of his head from Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and distributed ashes to the Benedictines, the Dominicans, his closest aides and a family of five.
Liberty and equality are not enough for the well-being of a nation; there must also be a strong sense of brotherhood that is first developed and nurtured in the family, Pope Francis said.
Without seeing each other as brothers and sisters, a nation's citizens may distort these values, letting freedom and equality "be filled with individualism and conformity," he said at his general audience Wednesday.
Every human heart has the capacity to do good or evil and to build or to destroy, but the strength to make the right choice comes from Christ, Pope Francis said.
"But why are we like this? Because we have this possibility for destruction, this is the problem," he said Tuesday during his homily in a morning Mass offered for the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants in Libya.
The academic institute moved operations from Germany to Rome in an effort to influence the church's work on the sex abuse globally.