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Fides said many of the killings were carried out with 'brutality and ferociousness' (AP)

Vatican Congregation hails 18 Catholics who died caring for Ebola patients

Pope Francis named 15 new cardinal-electors from 14 nations after Sunday's Angelus (AP)

Pontiff names 15 cardinal-electors and five cardinals over the age of 80

Cologne Cathedral will dim its floodlights on Monday night (AP/Martin Meissner)

Cathedral dean says he wants to make marchers ‘stop and think’

Pope Francis leaves St Peter's Basilica after celebrating Mass on New Year's Day (CNS)

Pontiff marks the World Day of Peace at a Mass in St Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis celebrates the traditional Vespers and Te Deum on the last day of the year (AP)

Remember that you will be judged, says the Pope, especially on how you used your freedom and cared for the poor

Cardinal Reinhard Marx (CNS)

Bishops appeal for change in report prepared for the first family synod

Children at Regina Mundi Catholic church in Soweto. The Church continues to grow in Africa (CNS)

Study reports that there were 1.23 billion faithful worldwide at the end of 2012

Pope Francis: 'True charity is a sharing which does not judge'  (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)

In message for World Day of the Sick, Francis says time spent with the ill ‘is holy time’

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal  (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal urges Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to intervene

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a general audience in June (AP)

More than a million people attended Francis’s 43 general audiences this year