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Islamic State fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (CNS)

Pope Francis says situation of Christians in Middle East is ‘very close to my heart’

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope says giving the Lord praise ‘brings us joy, to be happy before the Lord’

Pope Francis with Cardinal Oswald Gracias (CNS)

During morning homily Pope says Jesus ‘did things the scholars of the law did not like’

Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St Peter's Square today (CNS)

Pope Francis recalls his first Communion

Pope gives in to ‘temptation’ and tells personal story at general audience

Marie Collins, right, is a member of the papal commission (PA)

More experts also expected to be added to papal commission

Pope Francis appealed to the faithful to listen to their guardian angels (CNS)

Guardian angels are not the stuff of fantasy, the Pope said

People gather at the site of an October 2 car bomb attack that killed 11 people in Baghdad (CNS)

The Pope has convened a Vatican summit on the Middle East

Pope Francis (PA)

More than 360 people were killed after a boat capsized and sank near Lampedusa

Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano (PA)

The Vatican announced the removal of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano

The Pope is driven through Mother Teresa Square, Tirana (AP)

Pontiff says nation stands out in world ‘where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted’