Fr Tony Flannery said on his website: “We are told that Jesus had four brothers, and an indefinite number of sisters. This does not fit with the church’s need to present Jesus as the Son of God, conceived in a way that is different from other humans, and Mary as the perpetual virgin. So the scholars turned the brothers and sisters into cousins!”

Fr Tony Flannery, founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), has challenged the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a life-long (...)

Pope Francis covers his face due winds upon his arrival to Quito, Ecuador. Photograph: Jose Jacome/EPA

Laughing as his hat flew off in the Andean highland wind, Pope Francis flew into Ecuador on Sunday to start a “homecoming” tour of South America, wher(...)

Pope Francis –   insists on the importance of recognising difference: “Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.”  Photograph: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Last week the Green Party hosted an event discussing socially responsible and community-based business models but also emphasised that there would be (...)

A fan with a flag in the Argentine colours. The pope is not travelling  to his native Argentina during this trip. Photograph: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

Pope Francis sets out tomorrow on a week-long trip to three of Latin America’s poorest countries, namely Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Although the(...)

Canadian social activist Naomi Klein gestures during a press conference at the Vatican on Wednesday. Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images.

Pope Francis would appear to have won himself a new and not entirely expected admirer in the person of Canadian writer and social activist Naomi Klein(...)

Peter Sutherland: said the migration crisis was a problem “which can only be dealt with collectively, not in isolation to one another”.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

EU leaders defended their decision not to back mandatory quotas for migrants at a summit of EU leaders, pledging to agree a plan to redistribute 40(...)

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin gave the only formal comment on the result of Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum calling it a “defeat for humanity”. File photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The “Yes” result of Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum does not cut a lot of ice in the Holy See. That much was clear at a news conference on Tue(...)

Sir, – I found the piece by Donal Dorr (“Pope’s message on climate change a radical departure”, Opinion & Analysis, June 19th) fascinating in that(...)

Pope Francis has  warned that failure to act over climate change would have “grave consequences for all of us”. Photograph: Getty

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the(...)

The Association of Catholics in Ireland said full membership of the church should be extended to those in second relationships. Photograph: Getty Images

A group of lay Catholics has called for the Church to revise its teaching on contraception and access to the sacraments for those in second relationsh(...)