Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I embrace after signing a joint statement at the Church of St George, the principal Greek Orthodox cathedral, in Istanbul. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/Epa

Pope Francis condemned “Islamophobia” while at the same time calling on intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders to denounce all fundamentalis(...)

 Cardinals and bishops attend the Mass for the closing of Extraordinary Synod held by Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square  in the Vatican City. Photograph:  Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Those who feel they’ve been consigned to the margins once again by a Catholic Church statement should put the brakes on their despair for the moment. (...)

Pope Francis waves to the faithful at the end of a Mass for the beatification of Pope Paul VI in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Pope Francis has formally closed the Synod on the Family with a special Mass on the steps of St Peter’s during which he also beatified Pope Paul VI. P(...)

Pope Francis arrives to open Vatican Synod on the Family, Vatican City, earlier this month. Wrapping up the Synod today, the Pope praised the work of the assembly despite clear differences of opinion within it. Photograph: EPA

The Vatican Synod on the Family wrapped up with a final document which appears to backtrack on the mid-Synod Relatio concerning homosexuals issued (...)

Bishops and cardinals attend a synod of bishops lead by Pope Francis in Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican. Photograph: Max Rossi /Reuters

The first major address to the extraordinary synod of bishops in Rome today may very well have laid down practical ways for the Church in dealing real(...)

‘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(...)