Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a lightning visit to Rome on Thursday, including talks with the pope, hailing efforts by Italy's populist government to ease sanctions despite Moscow's ongoing crisis with the West. Rome's historic centre was on security lockdown for the visit, with 50 streets blocked to traffic.
The Vatican has released a new document challenging modern conceptions of gender identity. The 31-page teaching guidance, released on Monday, is titled Male and Female He Created Them. It speaks of an educational crisis and says the current debate can annihilate the concept of nature and destabilize the family institution.
Despite stating at the outset that he didn’t like travel and didn’t plan to do much of it, during the first six years of his pontificate Pope Francis made close to 30 international trips, including visiting virtually every country of Latin America. Yet there’s one glaring exception: his home country, Argentina and neighbouring Uruguay.
Pope Francis listened as a preacher denounced the widespread inequality in the world at a Good Friday service on the day Christians recall Jesus' death by crucifixion. During the Passion of the Lord service in St Peter's Basilica, songs in Latin recounted the last hours in Jesus' life, from his arrest to his burial.
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the “all-out sexual freedom” of the 1960s. He said that cultural and historical change had led to a “dissolution” of morality in Catholicism.
Pope Francis has addressed the mystery of why he withdrew his hand from worshippers' kisses, explaining it was a simple question of hygiene. Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the Pope was worried about germs when meeting Catholics last Wednesday.
To kiss the ring on the pope’s hand or not to - that is the question. On Monday, when Pope Francis visited a Catholic shrine in Loreto, he repeatedly withdrew his right hand as a long line of people bowed and tried to kiss the ring on it.
The Mexican president has sent a letter to Spain's King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologize for human rights abuses committed during the conquest of the region. Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the indigenous peoples of Mexico had been the victims of massacres.
Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to 6 years in jail on Wednesday by an Australian court for sexually abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s. Pell, a former top adviser to Pope Francis, is the most senior Catholic worldwide to be convicted for child sex offences.
Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church will open up its archives on Pius XII, who was Pope during World War Two. Pius, who was Pope from 1939 to 1958, has been accused of tolerating the rise of Nazi Germany and of not doing enough to protect Jews during the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to try to protect Jews.