People stand in front of the coffin of Kluiver Roa during his funeral. The 14-year-old was fatally shot at an anti-government protest in the western city of San Cristobal in Venezuela on Tuesday. Photograph: Carlos Eduardo Ramirez/Reuters

Sporadic protests flared in different parts of Venezuela on Wednesday, a day after a policeman shot dead a teenager during a demonstration against pre(...)

Minister for Tourism for Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan (right) and Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe unveiling plans for global St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has paid tribute to Ireland’s diplomatic corps “who have played a huge role in the restoration of our in(...)

When it came to the ritual exchange, the German leader offered the Pope not only a collection Bach CDs but also a white envelope containing money, intended for child refugees from Syria and Iraq. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

It was another busy Saturday in the Vatican as Pope Francis received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a private audience. Earlier he had met with pi(...)

Pope Francis appoints new cardinal Mozambican Bishop Julio Duarte Langa during the consistory at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on February 14th. Francis has now appointed 31 new elector (under 80) cardinals  since his election in March, 2013. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

On Monday of this week, the Holy See quietly initiated a project that in many senses embodies Pope Francis’s famous call for a “church of the poor and(...)

Archbishop Charles Brown runs into the prayer vigil  against the “display on the website of the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for Culture

Oh dear. On Valentine’s Day too. And as the film Fifty Shades of Grey, with its themes of domination, humiliation and bondage, took over the media. Wi(...)

Venus Restored (1936) is the work of  artist, Man Ray (1890-1976). The website states, “While acknowledging the anger, Cardinal Ravasi has chosen not to remove the image as it speaks clearly for one of the central points of the document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless).”

How has a headless, truncated, nude, female bondage image recently acquired pride of place on the website of a Vatican all-male body?The pontifical co(...)

Pope Francis during a visit to a refugee camp this week in Rome. Photograph:  Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

The Holy See’s Commission for the Protection of Minors officially acknowledged yesterday that one of the first issues it intends to address is “bish(...)

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst: the bishop made world headlines two years ago when details of a €30 million renovation project for the bishop’s palace were revealed. Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the so-called “Bishop of Bling” who was removed from the diocese of Limburg in Germany because of his lavish spending on(...)

Pope Francis: had been speaking at a general audience when he said it was okay to smack children to discipline them. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

In his comments last week Pope Francis was not encouraging parents to hit their children, a Vatican spokesman has said. In a statement, Fr Federico(...)

Pope Francis in the Vatican yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AFP/Getty Images

On the eve of the first plenary session of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis yesterday sought to boost it(...)