Pope Francis arrives to give a mass in Holguin, Cuba, a cradle of Catholic faith and home of Fidel and Raul Castro. Photograph: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images

During the visit of Pope Francis to the US, which starts on Tuesday, the pontiff will address a group of 200 poor and sick beneficiaries of Catholic c(...)

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(...)

Raised By Wolves: Caroline Moran, Alexa Davies as Aretha, Helen Monks as Germaine and Caitlin Moran

Working-class teenage girls get a bad rap on British TV. In reality shows and dramas they tend to be portrayed as thick and hard faced, with designer (...)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: Pope has “ability to see that truth and mercy are not mutually exclusive”.

Church leaders, or self-appointed church spokespeople, have been warned by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin against using insensitive(...)

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(...)

 Pope Francis welcoming Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on March 18th, 2013 at the Vatican. Photograph: Getty

When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis a year ago no one could have predicte(...)

 ‘Can Pope Francis  bring about the “collegiality” promised by the Second Vatican Council?’ Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

When Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium, which came out last November, talked about how “th(...)

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(...)

The Vatican Bank. From day one it was clear Pope Francis was no friend of deregulated capitalism, let alone murky financial speculation.  Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

As tourists walk past the Porta Sant’Anna in Rome, just off St Peter’s Square, few pay much attention to the strange-looking, rounded tower that sits (...)

Spring turns to winter
  • World
  • December 29, 2013, 12:32

If there are common threads running through the world turmoil of 2013, notably of its most unstable region, the Middle East, they are perhaps the indi(...)