Fr Tony Flannery is one of 12 priests who could “no longer remain silent because to do so colludes with the systemic oppression of women within the Catholic Church”. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Twelve Catholic priests have issued a joint statement calling for open discussion on the need for equality for women in the church, including where pr(...)

 Pope Francis at the  Synod of Bishops on the Family in the Vatican City. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

It is “very possible” Pope Francis will come to Ireland for the 2018 World Meeting of Families, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi confirmed to Th(...)

Members of the media listen to the witnesses following the execution of Kelly Gissendaner at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, Georgia. Photograph: Tami Chappell/Reuters

Georgia executed the only woman on its death row on Wednesday, hours after the State Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected her final plea for clemency(...)

Pope Francis looks at the Statue of Liberty during his US trip. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

The likelihood of a papal visit to Ireland and the World Meeting of Families due to be held in Dublin in 2018 will be discussed at the Synod of Bishop(...)

 Pope Francis is greeted by Cuba’s president Raul Castro (back) as he arrives to lead a mass in the city of Holguín. Photograph: Tony Gentile/EPA

On a special anniversary for him, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in east Cuba on Monday on the last full day of a trip where he has been praised for aid(...)

British army soldier standing in front of republican mural depicting Margaret Thatcher’s stand against the hunger strikers in the Maze Prison in 1981. File photograph: Alain Le Garsmeur/Getty Images

A bundle of certificates signed off by the Taoiseach’s office and, in some cases, by Garda special branch, offers a tantalising glimpse of the kind of(...)

Pope Francis waves from the Popemobile after his arrival in Havana. Photograph: Adalberto Roque/EPA

Pope Francis hailed the restoration of relations between the US and Cuba as a victory for the culture of engagement and dialogue after he landed in Ha(...)

Cubans attend a Catholic service in Havana. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times

In four days, Pope Francis, the first pope from Latin America, will touch down in two of the least Catholic countries in the Americas: Cuba and the Un(...)

The certificate granting the ‘Freedom of the City of Dublin’ to the artist Sir John Lavery in 1935 has turned up after 80 years and is to be sold at auction later this month. Photograph: Fine Art & Collectibles Auctioneers & Valuers

The certificate granting the Freedom of the City of Dublin to the artist Sir John Lavery in 1935 has turned up after 80 years and is to be sold at auc(...)

Bono and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi at Expo 2015 in Milan last night. Renzi acknowledged that Italy could provide more food aid and distribution. Photograph: Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo

“These are big questions: can we face the problem of hunger in the world, can we fix the problem of poverty in the world, can we fix the problem of co(...)