One month after saying that couples who choose not to have children are making a "selfish choice," Pope Francis said societies with low birthrates are "sad and gray."
"Who are you who shuts the door of your heart to a man, a woman who wants to improve ... because the Holy Spirit has stirred his or her heart?"
Teaching is about giving young people, especially troublemakers, values and hope, and it is "an injustice" that today's educators are paid so poorly, Pope Francis said.
In a world where it is already difficult for kids to find a decent point of reference, they must find positive guidance from teachers, who "are able to give meaning to school, studying and culture, without reducing it all just to passing on practical knowledge," he said Saturday.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been unable to confirm the number of its members abducted in Syria, as well as where they are being held.
"We're waiting for news," Helene Afriat, communications officer for the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, told Catholic News Service on Friday. She added that communication with people in the Mideast was "very difficult."
Bishops of dioceses around the world have an obligation to work to prevent clerical sexual abuse and to ensure that priests in their dioceses do not commit acts of abuse, said Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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.