The Francis Chronicles: "I ask you to be shepherds with God's tenderness, to leave the 'whip' hanging in the sacristy and be shepherds with tenderness."
Pope Francis on Sunday stressed the importance of children having heterosexual parents, just a day after Rome's gay pride march demonstrated the changing attitudes about same-sex couples outside the Vatican walls.
Addressing around 25,000 followers from the diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and "an integral part of being human."
The pope likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.
The former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic will stand trial next month at the Vatican with possible "international legal cooperation."
Updated: U.S. Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis resigned this morning, along with his auxiliary, Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché.
God offers his mercy to everyone, showing his deep desire that everyone be saved, Pope Francis said.
Divine mercy is a safe and certain "shelter for whoever is weak and does not presume to save himself on his own," the pope said Friday, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Addressing the World Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplaincies at the Vatican, the pope said airports are like "cities within cities" where chaplains meet people from many nations, cultures and religions.
Vague concerns and long-winded reports about hunger must be turned into action with policies that guarantee access to food, and lifestyles that stop wasting and start sharing, Pope Francis said.
When marriage is considered mainly as a way to satisfy one's need for affection, people feel free to define marriage however they want, Pope Francis said.
"Unfortunately, such a reductionist idea influences the mentality of Christians as well," leading some to see separation or divorce as a simple solution when problems arise, the pope told the bishops of Latvia and Estonia.
Pope Francis will open a homeless shelter on the edge of Vatican City, the latest move by the pontiff to help poor people in Rome.
The shelter is under construction on Via Penitenzieri, just a few steps away from the Vatican walls, a Holy See spokeswoman said.
Once completed, the center will be run by volunteers, who will host 30 people at a time.
Setting up a shelter is just one of a few initiatives by Pope Francis to highlight the suffering of homeless people in the Italian capital.
Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Vatican said.
The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings, released June 2, of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic church.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday, in a visit being scrutinized for meaning and significance as Russia continues taking unilateral military action in Ukraine.
The Vatican press office released an unusually lengthy description of the encounter, saying the discussions between the two leaders were “dedicated principally to the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.”