Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said Francis' 10th foreign trip, with stops in Cuba, three U.S. cities and the United Nations, will be a "very complex."
Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the way the church vets, identifies and appoints bishops around the world.
Pope Francis has appointed Springfield- Cape Girardeau, Mo., Bishop James Johnston as the new bishop for the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Pope Francis has personally added four extra U.S. bishops as voting participants in October's hotly anticipated synod.
While there is not unanimous agreement about the causes of climate change, global warming and extreme weather, Pope Francis repeated his conviction that "a widespread consensus is emerging" that places much of the blame on irresponsible human action.
Addressing participants at a meeting sponsored by the Foundation for Sustainable Development, Francis said the issue is a matter of justice, particularly because destruction of the environment hits the poorest communities first and hardest.
The Vatican's doctrinal congregation upheld a Spanish bishop's refusal to allow a transsexual person to be a godparent.
NCR Today: Pope Francis said bluntly during his daily homily Thursday that “if you do not know how to forgive, you are not Christian.”
NCR Today: The Vatican on Thursday officially announced Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the African continent, confirming the pontiff will travel to three countries Nov. 25-30.
Francis has substantially altered the process for annulments in the Catholic church, eliminating redundant procedures and empowering local bishops to make judgments on their own in some cases.
Pope Francis will be decreeing new reformed procedures for those seeking annulments of marriages in the Catholic church, in his latest emphasis on God's mercy.