catholic church

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.

Pope Francis has introduced a new pathway to Catholic sainthood, recognizing those who sacrifice their lives for others.

The new category, introduced in a official letter from the pope on Tuesday, is "one of the most significant changes in centuries to the Roman Catholic Church's saint-making procedures," Reuters reports.

Shealah Craighead / wikimedia commons

The head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville says he’s grateful for Pope Benedict’s spiritual leadership over the past eight years.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz was appointed to his post by Benedict nearly six years ago.

Kurtz says like most everyone, he was taken aback by the pope’s announcement that he will resign, effective at the end of month.