Pope Francis

In January, Pope Francis traveled to South America to spread peace and hope. Many cheered him on, but he also wound up causing emotional pain when he dismissed accusations that Chilean clergy had covered up sexual abuse.

In the weeks that followed, the Vatican's leading sex crimes investigator looked into the allegations, and the pope did an about-face: He acknowledged making mistakes.

Now, Francis has been apologizing and listening to some of those he offended most.

Updated at 3:10 a.m. ET

Pope Francis has acknowledged "serious mistakes" in his handling of Chile's sex abuse scandal and summoned the country's bishops to an emergency meeting in Rome to discuss the matter.

Francis blamed a lack of "truthful and balanced information" for misjudging the situation concerning Bishop Juan Barros, who he appointed to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015 despite allegations that he had helped cover up abuse by his mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Every Sunday when he is at the Vatican, Francis ends his remarks to the crowd in St. Peter's Square with a typical Italian saying: "Have a good lunch and arrivederci."

It's that common touch that has so endeared the Argentine-born pope to millions of people across the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, since his election five years ago, on March 13, 2013. But in recent months, Francis has also become the target of criticism on various fronts, and the image of him as charismatic reformer has suffered some hits.

When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this month, he lashed out at victims of sexual abuse and accused them of "calumny" regarding a bishop who is suspected of covering up abuse they endured by a pedophile priest.

The pope said there was "not a shred of evidence" against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros," he said, "I'll speak."

Now the pope is sending a top envoy on a mission to Chile to look into survivors' claims.

Caught in a renewed firestorm of controversy, Pope Francis apologized for remarks he made last week defending a Chilean bishop accused of covering up decades of sexual abuse. But the pontiff held fast in his support of the bishop, maintaining his innocence.

Pope Francis has accused victims of sexual abuse in Chile of slander, saying their attacks on a bishop who's accused of covering up the abuse amount to "calumny." The remarks triggered anger and demonstrations in Chile, where several churches have been firebombed in the past week.

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

Pope Francis, arriving in Chile to begin a three-day visit, opened his trip by asking for forgiveness over a local priest-abuse scandal that has left the country reeling — and prompted a less-than-warm reception for the Argentine-born pontiff.

Pope Francis isn't pleased with the words to the Lord's Prayer — specifically, the part about temptation.

In an interview with an Italian TV network, the pontiff said that the current language of the Our Father prayer "is not a good translation."

Pope Francis has a request for his followers: Put away your phones during Mass.

At a certain point in every service, Francis noted, "the priest says, 'Lift up your hearts.' He doesn't tell us to lift up our cellphones to take pictures."

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP via Miami Herald

The official song commissioned for Pope Francis’ visit to Colombia this week is called “Let’s Take the First Step.” It concludes with a paso the 80-year-old pontiff probably isn’t too familiar with: the hip-hop beat called reggaeton.

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Tony Gentile/Reuters 

The differences between Donald Trump and Pope Francis are stark. And at times, those differences have erupted into a full public display.

But don’t expect fireworks when the two world leaders finally get together at the Vatican on Wednesday morning for their first one-on-one meeting.

“Pope Francis isn’t a confrontational or fireworks kind of guy,” says Meghan Clark, an assistant professor of moral theology at St. John’s University in New York.

“The disagreements are known,” Clark says.

Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt

Apr 29, 2017

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Cairo, Saturday, winding up a two-day visit to Egypt. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi saw the Roman Catholic leader off at Cairo Airport at the end of the visit.

The Mass was held in a stadium under heavy security as Sylvia Poggioli reported on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, while military helicopters flew overhead. According to The Associated Press, some 15,000 Catholic Egyptians attended the service.

Pope Francis gave the traditional Christmas Day blessing on Sunday, calling for peace in Syria and other countries "scarred by war."

An estimated 40,000 tourists and Romans gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear the message, which was delivered from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi": to the city and the world.

The pope offered his message of peace to the "war-torn land of Syria, where far too much blood has been spilled." He said it is time that weapons "be still forever," so that "civil coexistence" might be restored to the country.

Pope Francis is calling on those who use and control the media to avoid disinformation and "the sickness of coprophilia" — comparing a love of scandal to an abnormal interest in feces that can also include elements of sexual arousal.

An obsession with scandal can do great harm, Francis said Wednesday, in remarks that also cited people's tendency toward coprophagia (the eating of feces).

Pope Francis arrived in Sweden on Monday for services marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation that split Lutherans and Catholics.

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