'Being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise,' pope says.
The move will be a gesture of goodwill to a controversial figure, according to a Duterte aide.
In his year-end message, the pontiff says 'we have condemned our young people to have no place in society.'
Roman Catholic leader warns against a world in which "the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows; when we are concerned for gifts, but cold toward those who are marginalized."
At least 34 people in Congo have been killed in protests since Monday, a human-rights researcher has claimed.
Pope reaffirms Church's stance on abortion but says, 'There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart.'
Pope notes 'how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant or a refugee become a threat, take on the status of an enemy.'
Francis urges respect for gays and transsexuals but says normalizing gender theory with young people is 'ideological colonization.'
Scores of anti-Kabila protesters were killed in recent clashes with security forces.
The pontiff urged journalists not to stoke fear.
'Mercy was the salt which gave flavor to her work, it was the light which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering,' pope says.
Death toll stands at 290 people with 10 still missing in Amatrice five days after an earthquake struck central Italy.
“Looking upon that cruelty, in that concentration camp, I thought immediately of the cruelties of today,” he said after last week’s visit.
“If I speak of Islamic violence, I also have to speak of Catholic violence,” said Francis.
The pontiff did not name any countries.
Religious leaders are now rejecting bad acts by Catholic bishops, criticizing believers for their homophobia and condemning extremist Islamic jihadists.