Christopher Lamb, Religion News Service

Christopher Lamb is a Rome-based correspondent for Religion News Service.

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Vatican Stalls German Bishops’ Plan to Give Protestants Communion

A boy is carried by his father as he receives HolyCommunion during a mass on Christmas Eve at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cairo, Egypt December 24, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

“Walking together” is one of the pope’s favorite mantras. When dealing with tense theological debates inside the church, he is putting equal weight on both words.

Pope Lays Down Challenge to U.S. Catholics on the Death Penalty

Image via RNS/Creative Commons/CA Corrections

With these words the pope is also reshaping what it means to be “pro-life.” He is moving it away from primarily opposing abortion and stressing that it means protecting life at every stage, from womb to natural death. 

Pope Francis Breaks with Predecessor in Building Bridges with the Muslim World

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

The global growth of Islam, and in particular the rise of Islamic extremism, have forced recent popes to set out, with increasing urgency, a strategy for engaging the religion.

Pope Francis' Search for Ecumenism in Sweden

Image via RNS/Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Even by this pope’s standards it was a bold move.

Francis, the spiritual leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics across the globe, this week traveled to Sweden, one of the most secularized countries in Europe, to take part in events marking 500 years since Martin Luther kickstarted the Protestant Reformation.

In Poland, Pope Francis Tries Countering Message of Religious Violence

Image via REUTERS / Stefano Rellandini / RNS

To outsiders, a massive rally of young Catholics waving flags and chanting “Francis” might seem like a strange spectacle far removed from today’s pressing concerns.

But in a world scarred by religiously-inspired violence and grappling with a global migrants crisis, the World Youth Day gathering in Poland that wrapped up on July 31 could be read as a powerful piece of counterprogramming.

Francis Writes an Appeal for Mercy in Silent Visit to Auschwitz

Image via REUTERS / Kacper Pempel / RNS

Pope Francis on July 29 paid a silent visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp where he spent intense moments in prayer, embraced Holocaust survivors, and met those who risked their lives to help Jews persecuted by the Nazis.

But while Francis made no speeches during his time at the notorious camp, where more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, died during World War II, he left a simple written plea in the guest book: “Lord, have mercy on your people! Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty!”

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