A Swiss Guard salutes as Pope Francis and cardinals leave a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican on Feb. 20, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Pope Francis asks forgiveness for clergy sex abuse scandal

(RNS) In his strongest personal remarks yet on the clergy sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis on Friday asked forgiveness “for the damage” that abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic Church will not “take one step backward” in addressing the crisis.

Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama’s faith

WASHINGTON (RNS) “I regret any comments I have ever made which may have cast any doubt on the personal faith of our president, Mr. Obama,” evangelist Franklin Graham said.  “I apologize to him and to any I have offended for not better articulating my reason for not supporting him in this election.”  By Adelle M. Banks.