‘The Joy of the Gospel’: Pope lays out his vision for an evangelical church

In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society's poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged and unborn.

Pope venerates apostle’s relics, urges people focus on Christ

Pope Francis closed the Year of Faith by calling on people to keep Christ at the center of their lives, especially in times of trouble.

Pope reiterates call for Catholics to adopt missionary mindset

Pope Francis once again called for Catholics to adopt a missionary mindset and make mission the priority of all pastoral activities.

Pope says purported visions of Mary can lead people away from God

Purported visions of Mary, if taken in the wrong spirit, can sow confusion and distance people from the Gospel, Pope Francis said. Curiosities distance people "from the Gospel, from the Holy Spirit, from peace and hope, from God's glory and God's beauty," the pope said Nov. 14 during a homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.

Confession renews grace of baptism, pope says at audience

With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.

Caritas Philippines leader calls typhoon devastation ‘unimaginable’

The devastation brought on by Super Typhoon Haiyan is on a scale so big it is "unimaginable," said Jesuit Father Edwin Gariguez, head of Caritas in the Philippines.

Desperate Filipinos add to challenging logistics of delivering aid

International and local groups were poised to get aid to the worst-hit areas of the typhoon-stricken central Philippines, but the challenges of getting help to communities growing desperate for food and water went beyond just making sure roads were clear.

Archbishop: DOMA ruling, ENDA passage put marriage at ‘critical point’

The Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country," said the archbishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Vatican envoy reminds U.S. bishops: No ruling on Medjugorje apparitions

The Vatican ambassador to the United States has reminded U.S. Catholics that the Vatican has not recognized alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, as authentic.

Panelists recall lessons from last effort to fix immigration problems

The last time Congress attempted a full-blown fix of immigration law in 1986, the major accomplishments were that a few million people won legal status and some employment verification systems were created, but the legislation proved inadequate to repair systemic problems, according to panelists at a migration law and policy conference.