Pope Benedict surprised the world on Monday by announcing he will resign at the end of the month. The pontiff said he was too infirm to carry on.
Pope Francis welcomed and embraced the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque at the Vatican, signalizing solidarity between Catholics and Sunni Muslims. "Our meeting is the message," Francis told reporters.
Pope Francis opened the "Holy Door" in the walls of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, launching an extraordinary Catholic jubilee year. The theme of the Holy Year will be mercy.
The Vatican has categorically denied a report in an Italian newspaper that Pope Francis might have a small, yet curable brain tumor. But the newspaper insists that its account is true.
The simultaneous announcements in Rome and Moscow were a sensation: The meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch will go down in history, says Christoph Strack.
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