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A Swiss Guard keeps watch as Pope Francis speaks during an audience with the Vatican diplomatic corps in 2015 (CNS)

The Pope spoke to members of the diplomatic corps in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace

Pope Francis (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Pope Francis discussed migration, terrorism and mercy during his annual address to diplomats

Pope Francis greets veteran Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli en route to Brazil in 2013 (CNS)

In The Name of God is Mercy, the Pontiff also addresses homosexuality, prisoners and Church corruption

'The Communion question carries an onerous and 
momentous responsibility' (Photo: AP)

The Pope’s agonising dilemma

This year Francis must make one of the hardest choices any pope has faced for decades. Whatever he decides, there is likely to be great upheaval in the Church

Pope Francis greets family members presenting the offertory gifts as he celebrates Mass marking the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Jan. 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis said that the thirst for God is present in everyone

Pope Francis prays in front of a Nativity scene during a visit to the  Franciscan shrine in Greccio, Italy (CNS)

Francis made a surprise visit to the place where St Francis of Assisi created the world’s first Nativity scene

'There is an urgent need for a full and confident articulation of the whole of the Church’s social teaching' (AP)

The willingness of US bishops to make themselves publicly unpopular is commendable and enviable

Pope Francis video speaking online to a Salvadoran student in 2014 (CNS)

The monthly messages will feature Francis asking for prayers on various challenges facing the world

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of the St Mary Major's Basilica in Rome (AP)

‘Let us pass through the Holy Door of Mercy knowing the Virgin Mary is at our side,’ the Pope said

Pope Francis (CNS)

Francis was speaking after reciting the Angelus on the first Sunday of the New Year