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Blasphemy is a massively inflammatory issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unproven allegations of insulting Islam and Prophet Mohammed can lead to lynchings and murders.
In a message to a water management conference Thursday, Francis lamented that war, corruption and financial interests often get in the way of providing universal access to clean water for all.
Saturday's attack comes at a time of heightened tensions -- a day after a supporter of Trump was arrested for mailing explosive devices to Democrats and liberals, setting the country on edge.
The suggestion of easing the rules on celibacy was raised by the Auxiliary Bishop of Brussels, Jean Kockerols, during a month-long meeting of the world's bishops.
Some youth delegates at the meeting have insisted the final document express an inclusive message to make LGBT Catholics feel welcome in a church that has often shunned them.
Defrocking is considered the harshest penalty for priests within the Church and means the offender is forbidden from exercising any clerical duties at all, even in private.
A Vatican statement Friday said Francis had accepted Wuerl's resignation as Washington archbishop, but named no replacement.
Pope Francis was accused of lifting sanctions against McCarrick that his predecessor Benedict XVI had imposed charges refuted Sunday by the Vatican's prefect for the Congregation for Bishops.
Following Vigano's letter, US groups representing survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests urged the Vatican to publish a list of clerics accused of sexual assault.
Pope Francis called Wednesday for all Chinese Catholics to reconcile, while admitting that a historic deal with Beijing on nominating bishops may have caused "confusion".
"Pope Francis is the 37,647th e-resident," the Estonian presidency said in a statement after the pontiff received his own digital ID.
Francis told a gathering of young people in Estonia that he knew many young people felt the church had nothing to offer them and simply doesn't understand their problems today.
The pontiff will also visit mainly Protestant Latvia on Monday and secular Estonia on Tuesday as all three Baltic states mark 100 years of independence this year.
Kerala nun rape case: Bishop Franco Mulakkal seeks Pope Francis' permission to step down temporarily
Franco Mullakal has written to the Pope expressing his desire to step down temporarily from the responsibilities of the diocese and has sought permission for the same, Jalandhar diocese said.
The Argentine pontiff has repeatedly voiced a desire to visit Japan, home to some 450,000 Roman Catholics.