The intensity of the opposition to Pope Francis' reform raises a basic question at the pope's two-year anniversary: Can his reform campaign outlast his papacy?
Hearing a Catholic's confession should be awe-inspiring for a priest, an experience that makes him look at his own life and willingness to convert, Pope Francis told a group of seminarians, new priests and priests who hear confessions in the major basilicas of Rome.
"Let yourselves be educated by the sacrament of reconciliation," he told them Thursday.
Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Rome prison and wash the feet of male and female inmates.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope will visit the Rebibbia detention facility on the outskirts of the capital April 2, then celebrate Mass in Our Father Church on the grounds of the complex. During the Mass, the pope will wash the feet of male inmates from Rebibbia and female inmates from a nearby women's prison.
Don't pack it in or shift into cruise control, Pope Francis told his fellow seniors.
Today's frenetic world, especially young people and families, needs the older generation's prayers, wisdom and gifts to give them the encouragement, hope and faith they often lack, he said at his weekly general audience Wednesday.
The Vatican on Monday said it has received a ransom demand to recover letters signed by Michelangelo, stolen from the Holy See nearly 20 years ago.
Two letters signed by Michelangelo, one written in its entirety by the Renaissance artist, were stolen from the Vatican's Fabbrica di San Pietro archive in 1997.
The thefts were kept secret until Sunday, when the Italian daily Il Messaggero revealed that the documents had been put up for ransom.
The Francis Chronicles: "To save us, God was made close to us, was made one of us: Jesus, and suffered like us! This is the way: closeness."
The discussion on women's participation in church structures may have been the first such public conversation to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.
Pope Francis has called on Catholic theologians to leave their desks and take their work to the frontiers to "pour oil and wine over the wounds of humankind."
The number of women working for Vatican City State has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of women in leadership positions in the Roman Curia remains low, with only two women serving as undersecretaries.
Gudrun Sailer, a journalist at Vatican Radio, conducted a study of the Vatican employment situation and published the results Thursday in preparation for the celebration March 8 of International Women's Day.
When people trust in the world more than in God, their heart becomes numb and their eyes blind to those in need, Pope Francis said.
"Worldliness transforms souls, it makes [people] lose touch with reality: They live in a fake world they have made," he said Thursday in his homily at a morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.