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A firefighter salutes after placing a wreath on a statue of Mary overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis made his traditional visit to the statue of Mary by the Spanish Steps in the centre of Rome

Cardinals and bishops wait for the start of a consistory in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican last month (AP)

The 23 scholars include members of pontifical institutions and major universities

Pope Francis greets a new priest during an ordination Mass in St Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Updated Vatican guidelines say clergy must promote care for creation

Pope Francis holds his assistant Sandro Mariotti's arm at today's general audience (AP)

The Pope said that in a synodal Church there was ‘a movement from high to low’

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience (AP)

At his general audience, Pope Francis gave the first in a series of talks about hope

Pope Francis (CNS)

During a morning Mass homily, the Pope prayed for the grace ‘to await Christmas sincerely recognising our wounds and sins’

A screenshot of the home page

The site includes local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse

Pope Francis greets Nancy Gibbs, editorial director of Time Inc News Group, and Alan Murray, editor-in-chief of Fortune (CNS)

Richard Branson and other business leaders met in Rome for the Fortune-Time Global Forum

Pope Francis with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (CNS)

‘First and foremost the apostolic exhortation recalls the mercy and compassion of God,’ the patriarch wrote

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis also lamented ‘brain drain’ caused by bright students leaving poor countries