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Pope Francis leads opening prayer during a meeting of cardinals in the synod hall at the Vatican Below: Cardinals-designate Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Leopoldo Brenes Solorzano of Managua, Nicaragua (CNS)

Francis opens two-day meeting of the world’s cardinals at the Vatican

A pro-European Union protester throws an object during clashes with Ukrainian riot police in Kiev, Ukraine 
(CNS) : Photo below (CNS) Riot police stand near a crucifix as smoke rises above Independence Square: (CNS) A woman cries as she and others appeal to Ukrainian police troops at the site of clashes with protesters in Kiev

Church leaders have called for an end to violence in Ukraine

The Institute for the Works of Religion, popularly known as the Vatican bank (CNS)

Council of Cardinals advise Francis on reform of Vatican bureaucracy

Pope Francis (CNS)

Standing up for Catholic beliefs in the public arena is a tough but vital task

Bishop Mark Davies with Luke Coppen, editor of The Catholic Herald (Photo: Simon Caldwell)

Bishop says agreements would invite couples to prepare for divorce

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope renews Argentine passport

Argentine Embassy officials visit Francis at the Vatican

Pope Francis with his Council of Cardinals (CNS)

Council and Pontiff thought to be working on plans to reorganise Curia

Cardinal Walter Kasper (CNS)

Meeting will focus on preparation for October’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops

Couples hold ballons as they wait for Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican today (PA)

Pope Francis addressed 20,000 engaged couples today

Pope Francis greets Stanley Bergman, president of the American Jewish Committee (Photo: CNS)

Francis says Catholics and Jews must work together to create a ‘more just and fraternal world’