Pope Francis, already hailed for progressive views about homosexuality and the origins of the universe, has contradicted his predecessor and conservative Catholic teaching by suggesting that animals may go to heaven when they die.
Pope Francis urged governments and legislatures on Wednesday to do more to end modern-day slavery, calling for better laws and policies to prevent human trafficking, protect its victims and prosecute those responsible.
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.
Pope Francis stood Saturday for two minutes of silent prayer facing east in one of Turkey's most important mosques, a powerful vision of Christian-Muslim understanding at a time when neighbouring countries are experiencing violent Islamic assault on Christians and religious minorities.
Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighbouring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties.
Pope Francis sought Thursday to inspire an old and "haggard" Europe to find its vigour and greatness once again, urging European governments to welcome migrants, care for the elderly and create jobs for the unemployed.