Radical outlook: in the past month, among 20 couples married in St Peter’s were people who had had children out of wedlock, divorced or had previous marriages annulled. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty

So is the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which opens at the Vatican tomorrow, a final showdown between “conservatives” and “l(...)

The image of a punitive, judgemental God must be turned head over heels, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The image of a punitive, judgemental God must be turned head over heels, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.“Many of us grew u(...)

Swiss Guards at the Vatican. An Extraordinary Synod of Bishops begins in Rome on October 5th.

Traditionalists in Rome’s College of Cardinals have decided to get their revenge in first, so to speak, prior to the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops wh(...)

Pope Francis  with Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner during an   audience at the Vatican today. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

In what looks suspiciously like a pre-Synod manoeuvre, Pope Francis this weekend has twice indicated he wants the Catholic Church to seriously reasses(...)

Although Pope Francis has said that women could gain greater power in the church, other comments have been typically atavistic. Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

So much for all the cozy hugs and soothing cold calls and fun selfies and humble gestures and talk of mercy, love, inclusion, equality and justice. Po(...)

Who speaks for the Church? Pope Francis in Rome last week with a green parrot given to him by a pilgrim. Photograph:  EPA/Osservatore Romano

Is Pope Francis a liberal or a conservative? Traditionalists in the church, temporarily silenced by the whirlwind that is the new pontiff, are now ral(...)

Pope Francis baptises one of 32 babies during a mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican today. The pope today elevated to the rank of cardinal 19 prelates from 12 different nations including ten from outside Europe. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis continued with his non-European “imprint” on the Catholic Church when he named his first batch of cardinals today, with ten of the 16 (...)

Pope Francis pictured during the weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican last May. Photograph:  REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

An Australian Catholic priest Fr Greg Reynolds (60) has been excommunicated by Pope Francis because of his views on women priests. It is understood to(...)

Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives in St Peter's square for his weekly audience on Wednesday in Vatican City. Pope Francis delivered his catechism to a crowd of approximately 30,000 pilgrims packed into St Peter's Square. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to "act decisively" to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished(...)