Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Pope Francis offered his condolences and his prayers to the people of Sierra Leone after flooding and a major mudslide Aug. 14 led to the deaths of hundreds of people and displaced thousands.

VATICAN CITY – Human trafficking is "brutal, savage and criminal," Pope Francis said, but often it seems like people see it as a sad, but normal fact of life.

VATICAN CITY – Four theologians specializing in marriage and family life are studying Vatican archival material with a view of telling the whole story of how and why Blessed Paul VI wrote his encyclical Humanae Vitae on married love.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land to "moderation and dialogue" as tensions continued around a key site in Jerusalem that is sacred to members of both faiths.

VATICAN CITY – Promoting the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the office of prefect, Pope Francis chose not to ask German Cardinal Gerhard Muller to serve a second five-year term in the post.

VATICAN CITY Proclaiming his innocence after being charged with sexual abuse, Australian Cardinal George Pell said, "I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court."

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican expressed "grave concern" over the situation of a bishop in mainland China who has been in government custody for almost 10 months and moved repeatedly in an apparent attempt to prevent him from assuming leadership of his diocese.

QUEBEC CITY – Faith and films have been lifelong obsessions for director Martin Scorsese, obsessions that he said have given him moments of peace amid turmoil, but also challenges and frustrations that, in hindsight, he will accept as lessons in humility.

VATICAN CITY – The Pontifical Academy for Life is and always will be against abortion and is committed to involving increasing numbers of people in the defence of human life, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, academy president.

ROME – The Eucharist is a tangible reminder of God's love, and receiving Communion is a call to work to build the body of Christ by loving others and shunning all that sows division within a community, Pope Francis said.