Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, has just made a four-day trip to Russia. It was the first time in 19 years that a holder of that powerful office, sometimes described as “prime minister” of the Holy See, had visited Moscow.

Pope Francis with Enrique Peña Nieto

An exploration of the Catholic Church's faith diplomacy and its impact on international relations.

Francis’ visit comes amid strong challenges to the church in the southern state, including huge inroads by evangelical Protestants and grinding poverty in a region rich with coffee, Mayan ruins, pine-covered hills and jungles. [...] The challenges have always included the church’s relations with indigenous communities who have struggled for centuries to maintain their traditions and independence, sometimes embracing and sometimes clashing with the hierarchy.

Nairobi — Pope Francis Thursday morning held an inter-faith dialogue with religious leaders where he advocated for peaceful co-existence among Kenyans and good governance to reduce radicalization among the youth.

Pope merch in DC

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History's first Latin American pope returned to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time on Sunday, bringing a message of solidarity with the region's poor, who are expected to turn out in droves to welcome their native son home.

Pope Francis said Sunday he is ready to go anywhere, anytime to meet with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church — even while acknowledging that he doubts the day will ever come that Catholic and Orthodox theologians will agree to end the 1,000-year schism.

Sunday’s gathering of the pope, Peres and Abbas saw delegations of Rabbis (mostly Israeli) and Muslim Imams (mostly Palestinian) sitting in one section of the spacious Vatican garden while high ranking Catholic clergy sat in one long line in another side of the garden.  Facing them, at some distance, to the left and right of the pope, were Abbas and Peres – all three in stately chairs spaced almost embarrassingly well apart.