Francis

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis receives an autographed ball from Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, left, as coach Cesare Prandelli, center, and president of the Italian soccer federation Giancarlo Abete smile, during a private audience at the Vatican, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Soccer-loving pope cheers Messi, other players

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis cheered fellow Argentine Lionel Messi and other soccer stars Tuesday as he led a morality-focused pep rally of sorts at the Vatican for Argentina and Italy’s national teams ahead […]

08/13/2013

Pope Francis leaves the Church of Jesus after celebrating a mass, in Rome, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Analysis: Pope’s revolution; not all are pleased

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased. Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up […]

07/31/2013

Pilgrims and residents gather on Copacabana beach before the arrival of Pope Francis for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Clergy, faithful digest Francis’ Brazil message

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In word and deed during his trip to Brazil, Pope Francis put clergy and faithful alike on notice: Get energized, go out and spread the Gospel, give the Roman Catholic […]

07/30/2013

Pope Francis listens to questions during a news conference aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil, Monday, July 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope Francis says he won’t judge gay priests

ABOARD THE PAPAL AIRCRAFT (AP) — Pope Francis reached out to gays, saying he won’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference Monday as he returned from his […]

07/29/2013

Pope Francis speaks to the youth at the World Youth Day Welcome Feast on the Copacabana beachfront in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope to youth: Treasure the elderly

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis praised the elderly during the Catholic Church’s festival of youth Friday, saying grandparents are critical for passing on wisdom and religious heritage and are a “treasure to be […]

07/26/2013

Pope Francis holds up an Argentine flag outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013. Francis added a last-minute tweak to his busy schedule, meeting with pilgrims from his native Argentina at Rio's cathedral Thursday afternoon. He told the youngsters to get out into the streets and spread their faith, saying that a church that doesn't go out and preach becomes a simple NGO, or nongovernmental organization. "And the church cannot be an NGO!" he said to applause.  (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Rebel pope urges Catholics to shake up dioceses

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis showed his rebel side Thursday, urging young Catholics to shake up the church and make a “mess” in their dioceses by going out into the streets to spread […]

07/25/2013

People greet Pope Francis, center, as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, July 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

‘Slum pope’ tells slum residents not to lose hope

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The “slum pope” returned to the slum on Thursday as Pope Francis visited one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, telling its residents that the wealthy must do more to end […]

07/25/2013

Pope Francis visits with journalists during the papal flight direct to Rio de Janeiro, Monday, July 22, 2013.  Francis, the 76-year-old Argentine who became the church's first pontiff from the Americas in March, returns to the embrace of Latin America to preside over the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day festival.  During his flight from Rome, Francis warned about youth unemployment in some countries in the double digits, telling about 70 journalists aboard the papal plane that there is a "risk of having a generation that hasn't worked." He said, "Young people at this moment are in crisis." (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

PHOTOS: Francis begins first trip home as pope

Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro to begin a weeklong visit to participate in the World Youth Day festival. After making a no-frills flight on a charter jet from Italy on Monday, the pontiff […]

07/23/2013

In this image from video, a crowd mobs the silver Fiat carrying Pope Francis through Rio de Janeiro on Monday, July 22, 2013. Ecstatic believers forced the closed Fiat to stop several times as they swarmed around during the drive from the airport to an official opening ceremony in the center of the city. (AP Photo)

Wrong turn in pope’s car leads to Brazil mob scene

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The mob scene witnessed as Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday took place because his driver made a wrong turn, church and Brazilian authorities said. Rio Transportation […]

07/22/2013

Faithful cheer in front of Rio de Janeiro's cathedral, background, as they wait for the arrival of Pope Francis, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Pope Francis arrives to Brazil’s warm embrace

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis returned Monday to the warm embrace of Latin America, landing in Brazil to begin his first international trip as pontiff. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff waited on the tarmac […]

07/22/2013

In this Tuesday, March 19, 2013 photo, Pope Francis is driven through the crowd in his open-top popemobile in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi, File)

Pope nixes bulletproof popemobile for Rio trip

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is forgoing the bulletproof popemobile for his upcoming trip to Brazil for the Catholic Church’s youth festival, further evidence that he has no qualms about tweaking the Vatican’s security […]

07/17/2013

Pope Francis kisses a baby during his general audience, St. Peter's Square, Vatican. (AP Photo)

Pope spends day in hill town, jokes with residents

  CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — Abandoning the traditional Sunday greeting to crowds in St. Peter’s Square for a day, Pope Francis opted for an informal front-door encounter with residents in a hill town outside […]

07/14/2013

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