An Italian court has ordered a hospital to implant a 50-year-old woman with embryos frozen 19 years ago that were fertilised by her late husband. File photograph: Zephyr/SPL/Getty

In what is sure to prove a controversial ruling, a court in Bologna in Italy today ordered a local hospital to implant a 50-year-old woman with embryo(...)

Sex abuse survivor Marie Collins has admitted to feeling frustrated by the slow pace set by the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which she is a member. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters.

Sex abuse survivor Marie Collins has admitted to feeling frustrated by the slow pace set by the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of(...)

Daughter and mother, Ginnie and Liz Power from Maynooth, Co Kildare with Roman Gladiators. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As a typical February monsoon soaked the Eternal City, Irish rugby fans remained unfazed.Sitting in the otherwise deserted “al fresco” footpath sectio(...)

New Italian president Sergio Mattarella arrives at the Constitutional Court in Rome. Photograph:  Ettore Ferrari/EPA

For Sergio Matarella, the man elected today as Italy’s 12th president, all changed on the morning of January 6th, 1980. That was the day when a Cosa N(...)

Tango dancers hold banners for Pope Francis who celebrated his 78th birthday on Wednesday. Tango dancers from around the world gathered in the Vatican to wish the Argentinian Pope a happy birthday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters 1:39

It’s not every day you see hundreds of couples dancing the evocative Tango in St. Peter’s Square. However, that was the scene at midday on Wednesday i(...)

Silvio Berlusconi: analysts will be watching the country that, three years ago, nearly single-handedly sank the euro under the media tycoon’s stewardship. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

  The Italian government yesterday reacted calmly to the results of the European Central Bank’s stress tests, identifying Italy as the cou(...)

The Holy See today issued a “revised” English version of the synod’s controversial ‘relatio’ discussion document backtracking on the welcoming languag(...)

Pope Francis exchanges his skullcap with a member of the faithful during his weekly public audience in St Peter’s Square in Rome on Wednesday. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Could Pope Francis be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize? Eighteen months into what already looks like a momentous pontificate, there has been specula(...)

Anti-immigration: graffiti on a street in Catania. Photograph: Frank Miller

‘Caccia all’immigrato,” or hunt the migrant. For 10 days this month the working-class Rome suburb of Corcolle has been the theatre of familiar tension(...)

Photographs of Albanian priests killed during the former Communist regime hang in the main boulevard of Tirana, Albania, yesterday, ahead of a one-day visit to Albania by  Pope Francis tomorrow. Photograph: Armando Babani/EPA

Sitting at the fashionable Taiwan Bar in front of his three mobile phones and his iPod, 16-year-old Toni looks like a lot of his contemporaries in the(...)