Former Vatican chief prosecutor of clerical sexual abuse Charles Scicluna is to visit Scotlant next week to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

Bishop Charles Scicluna is being sent by Pope Francis to Scotland’s archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh next week to investigate allegations of(...)

Pope Francis blesses the altar during Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Max Rossi

Pope Francis was yesterday bitterly criticised by abuse victims’ lobbies, following his forth(...)

There is much that is very familiar in Wednesday’s report by the UN panel on the Vatican’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (...)

The Vatican’s UN Ambassador Monsignor Silvano Tomasi and former Vatican chief prosecutor of clerical sexual abuse Charles Scicluna,  in Geneva last month.  Photograph: Martial Trezzini/EPA

There is little doubt but that the “negative” tone of yesterday’s UN report took the Holy See by surprise. Three weeks ago, when the Vatican made its (...)

Pope Benedict XVI: laicisation figures appear to confirm the contention that he encouraged zero tolerance on clerical sex abuse. Photograph: Stefano Dal Pozzolo/Getty Images

The Holy See confirmed at the weekend that Pope Benedict XVI defrocked almost 400 priests for sex abuse related offences in 2011-2012. The figures, co(...)

Vatican’s UN Ambassador Monsignor Silvano Tomasi (L), speaks with Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna (R), prior to the start of a questioning over clerical sexual abuse of children at the headquarters of the UN’s office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Vatican’s UN Ambassador Monsignor Silvano Tomasi (L), speaks with Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Charles Scicluna.

The Holy See appeared to emerge with a clean bill of health from a hearing of the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child in Geneva yesterday. The 5½(...)

A Vatican flag in Rome. Today’s session in Geneva may produce some awkward moments for the Vatican delegation, which could be called on to answer specific questions about infamous sex abuse cases, including Irish ones. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

A delegation from the Holy See is scheduled to appear before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva today. The meeting of the co(...)

Vatican insiders said  the move  indicates the level of commitment that Pope Francis wants to bring to the sex abuse issue. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

In a surprise move, the Holy See yesterday announced that Pope Francis is to assemble a panel of experts to advise him on the problem of clerical s(...)