‘The Church’s teachings on many aspects of morality are being widely ignored. This does not mean that they are considered wrong but that they do not seem to make sense in the modern world.’ above, Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in St Peter’s square on Sunday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Two forthcoming events will be the first real tests of what Pope Francis proposes to do in order to renew and reform the Catholic Church. The first of(...)

‘The many Church reform associations around the world should be appreciated as resources. They are concerned critics, not enemies. Their members typically have experience of family life and have reflected on it, some prayerfully.’ Photograph: Getty Images

A synod on the family entirely composed of celibate bishops is not only “bonkers”, as former president Mary McAleese has commented, it is dangerous. I(...)

Former soccer star Diego Maradona (L) presents Pope Francis with an Argentina national soccer jersey during a special audience held in the Vatican before a special interreligious “Match for Peace” tonight. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters.

For the first time since he slipped out like a thief in the night back in April 1991, former Argentine superstar Diego Armando Maradona takes to the p(...)

Pope Francis visits Bethany beyond the Jordan river, the site of Christ’s baptism, west of Amman, Jordan yesterday. Photograph: EPA/OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Not surprisingly, Pope Francis shone the spotlight on the conflict in Syria yesterday afternoon on the opening day of his three-day pilgrimage to the (...)

 ‘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(...)

Pope John Paul II  blesses Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, during a special audience in2004. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Three popes, including two who will be canonised at the end of next month, were aware of abuse allegations against Legionaries of Christ founde(...)

“The church is facilitated in presenting itself today as a religious organisation, tomorrow as a state – a handy arrangement, given some of its more sordid entanglements.” Pope Francis attends his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, yesterday. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

It was the post office in the Vatican that earned the Holy See its first stamp of approval as a sovereign state. This explains why Vatican stamps are (...)

Pope Francis waves as he leads the Angelus prayer from the window of the Apostolic palace in Saint Peter’s Square today. Photograph: Reuters

Pope Francis this morning confirmed he will visit the Holy Land in May.Speaking at his Sunday Angelus in a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square, the Pope sa(...)

Pope Francis: while his  papacy as already brought with it a huge shift in style more than substance, its effect is and will be truly substantial. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

It was clear almost immediately that this pope was going to be different. He displayed his ease with himself as he was presented to the crowds in S(...)

Newly elected Pope Francis speaks as he holds his first audience with journalists and media inside the Paul VI hall today. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Pope told over 4,500 members of the media and their families this morning how he chose the name Francis on his election last Wednesday even(...)