In interview, pope says criticism is annoying, but can be helpful

Public criticism by cardinals and bishops is annoying -- "like a rash that bothers you a bit," Pope Francis said -- but differences need to be aired and criticism can be helpful, he told the Associated Press.

Pope tells Knights of Malta to strengthen unity, reject lust for power

Conflict and division hurt the mission of the Knights of Malta, and craving for power creates distance from Christ, Pope Francis told members of the religious, charitable and chivalric order.

Mission begins by meeting Jesus in the Scriptures and Eucharist, pope says

Having come to know Jesus through the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, Catholics are called to share with others the hope and joy that come from faith and that endure even when life gets difficult, Pope Francis said.

Christians must not be oppressed by guilt, but filled with joy, pope says

Christians must not "put pressure on others" to convert or induce in them "feelings of guilt," but take a weight off their shoulders through joyfully sharing the Gospel, Pope Francis said.

Vatican rejects proposed governing council of bishops and laity in Germany

Germany's bishops do not have the authority to establish a permanent decision-making body of bishops and laypeople that top Vatican officials said would supersede the authority of the country's bishops' conference, according to a letter from the officials published Jan. 23.

Mass media needs more kindness, truth spoken with charity, pope says

The media and the field of communications need to exercise more kindness and share the truth with charity, Pope Francis said.

Church tensions are not new or all bad, says Cardinal Hollerich

Pope Francis did not need to launch listening sessions for the Synod of Bishops for people to discover there are tensions in the Catholic Church, said the cardinal serving as the synod's relator general.

Learn to understand fear, not be enslaved by it, pope says

The best way to fight a sense of fear about the future is to do good today, Pope Francis said.

God’s word, mercy must be shared with everyone, pope says

The Word of God, which heals and raises people up, is meant for everyone, Pope Francis said.

Missionaries are credible because they are not perfect, pope says

To be credible messengers of the Gospel, Catholic missionaries must be authentic, open to others and to dialogue, Pope Francis said.