pope francis

The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will meet with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to pray for peace on June 8.  The pontiff extended the invitation to President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he was on his official visit to the Holy Land earlier this week.

Pope Francis waded into the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process upon arriving here on Sunday, issuing an extraordinary invitation to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and President Shimon Peres of Israel to join him in his home in the Vatican for “a heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.”

Israel's police chief has vowed that Jewish extremists will not be allowed to spoil the upcoming visit of Pope Francis by vandalising Christian holy places. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said a group of "extreme elements" were attempting "to create pressure and the impression of pressure" ahead of the pontiff's visit, which begins on May 25. Although police have made scores of arrests, there have been no successful prosecutions, prompting widespread expressions of concern from Christian leaders."We will do everything to ensure they won't ha

Since the new pope was elected in the spring of 2013, commentators have been eagerly speculating about the "Francis effect," or the possibility that the popular pontiff might attract more people to the flock. But Hispanics make up the biggest population of Catholics in America, and if they continue leaving the Church at this rate, it could be particularly problematic. 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition coalition representatives agreed Tuesday to hold talks on ending two months of anti-government protests that have left 39 people dead in their oil-rich nation.

Does being around the most popular person on the planet make you popular, too? Apparently that’s the hope. Judging by the way the world’s elite are flocking to Vatican City, you might think Pope Francis is sprinkling magic pixie dust, not holy water.

Israeli foreign ministry employees have intensified a long-running dispute over pay and conditions by declaring a full-scale strike at home and at diplomatic missions around the world. "The ministry in Jerusalem will remain closed and Israel's missions abroad will not open as of Monday morning, March 24," the ministry's website said.

One year into the era of Pope Francis, a new poll has found that a broad majority of American Catholics say he represents a major change in direction for the church, and a change for the better. But his popularity has not inspired more Americans to attend Mass, go to confession or identify as Catholic — a finding that suggests that so far, the much-vaunted “Francis effect” is influencing attitudes, but not behavior.