Pope Francis

Pope Francis denounces extremism on historic visit to Iraq

Hostility, extremism and violence are "betrayals of religion" he told an inter-faith prayer service.

Iraq has been wracked by religious and sectarian violence, both against minorities and between Shia and Sunni Muslims too.

Pope Francis also visited one of Shia Islam's most powerful figures.

Receiving the head of the Roman Catholic Church at his home in the holy city of Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said Christians should be able to live in peace and security like all other Iraqis.

Pope Francis names first African-American cardinal

The Pope announced the 13 cardinals from eight nations in a surprise address from his window overlooking St Peter's Square in Rome on Sunday.

Wilton Daniel Gregory, the progressive 72-year-old Archbishop of Washington DC, will be one of them.

The cardinals will be installed in a ceremony at the Vatican on 28 November.

Cardinals are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church below the pontiff.

Their role includes electing the pope - the head of the Church - who is chosen from among them at a secret gathering known as a conclave.

Pope Francis: God still loves us all, even the worst of us

He was speaking to thousands of people during Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.

"You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things... but the Lord continues to love you," the Argentine pontiff said.

This will be interpreted by some as a reference to Church scandals, including sex abuse, our correspondent says.

Pope Francis will return to St Peter's Basilica later on Christmas Day to deliver the traditional papal message to the world.

Reach out to the ‘cast offs’

Look out for people whose human rights and dignity are violated every day, those caught up in networks of slavery and the loss of their freedom. 

Papua New Guinea has several of these, says the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands. 

“The present situation of the ‘Manus refugees’ has been hidden from view for the past six years, leading to social and moral problems and a number of human rights abuses. 

“This complacency should not continue. Communicating the issue through different media should bring about an effective social change.”

Pope Francis sorry for upsetting abuse victims

He said he realised his words hurt many, but repeated his belief that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros was innocent.

The pontiff was speaking to journalists on board a plane flying back to Rome.

Last week, he had said that victims who had accused Bishop Barros were committing slander.

The Pope was openly criticised by Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who said he left victims of sexual abuse committed by priests feeling abandoned.

Pope-Trump meeting agenda: Climate change, terrorism

"Thank you. I won't forget what you said," Trump told Pope Francis, before leaving the Pope's private study after a half-hour private meeting.

Neither Trump nor the Pope revealed what their conversation entailed, but readouts from the White House and the Vatican highlighted terrorism, climate change and peace as agenda items covered.

Pope Francis angered by America's 'mother of all bombs' name

"I was ashamed when I heard the name," the pontiff told an audience of students at the Vatican.

"A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is going on?" he asked.

Last month the US dropped such a bomb, which weighs 21,600lb (9,800kg), on Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said it was dropped from a US aircraft in Nangarhar province, targeting tunnel complex used by IS.

Pope Francis preaches tolerance at Mass in Cairo

North Korea crisis: Pope urges international mediation

The pontiff suggested that Norway, for example, was "always ready to help".

He warned the crisis risked sparking a devastating war in which "a good part of humanity" would be destroyed.

His comments come hours after North Korea test-fired another ballistic missile, which the US and South Korea say exploded shortly after take-off.

The missile was fired from a site in South Pyeongan province, north of Pyongyang, South Korea said.

US President Donald Trump accused Pyongyang of showing "disrespect" towards China and its president.

Pope Francis is paying the rent on a private beach for the disabled

The group Work of Love has rented a portion of the Little Madonna beach since 2012 and outfitted it with boardwalks, ramps and water vehicles to provide access to people in wheelchairs and those with other issues that make a day at the beach difficult.

Monseigneur Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, told CNN that Francis gave the charity an undisclosed sum to "support the project that helps disabled youth and in particular to cover the cost of the annual rent for the beach known as the Little Madonna."