Pope Benedict has bid farewell to worshippers at his final general audience. Tens of thousands gathered at the Vatican. The Pope told them he'd resigned for the good of the church.
Pope Francis has received German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a private audience at the Vatican. The talks focused on the fight against poverty and international crises, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Pope Francis has appointed 20 new cardinals, 15 of whom will be eligible to elect the next pope. Once again his choices lent greater geographic representation to the Europe-centric College of Cardinals.
Pope Francis has ordered Roman Catholic bishops worldwide to cooperate with a commission he set up to tackle sexual abuse of children by priests. The pope said the desire to avoid scandal should not lead to cover-ups.
The head of the Catholic Church has issued very strong words against the Vatican's bureaucracy. At a Christmas meeting, he said members of the clergy were "amassing material goods, not out of need, but to feel safe."
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