Pope Francis appoints new cardinal Mozambican Bishop Julio Duarte Langa during the consistory at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on February 14th. Francis has now appointed 31 new elector (under 80) cardinals  since his election in March, 2013. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

On Monday of this week, the Holy See quietly initiated a project that in many senses embodies Pope Francis’s famous call for a “church of the poor and(...)

The Dalai Lama, flanked  by Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino, arrives at the opening of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Rome, Friday December 12th. The pope declined to meet the spiritual leader. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis has denied a private audience to the Dalai Lama because it could harm the Holy See’s already fraught relations with China, the Vatican sa(...)


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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(...)

From left: Bernardetta Boggian, Olga Raschietti and Lucia Pulici, three Italian nuns murdered while working as missionaries in Burundi. EPA/Sandro Capatti/Xaverian Missionaries of Parma

Three Italian nuns were found murdered over the weekend in the north of Burundi’s capital, officials and a priest in the African state said yesterday.(...)

Pope Francis baptises one of 32 babies during a mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican today. The pope today elevated to the rank of cardinal 19 prelates from 12 different nations including ten from outside Europe. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

Pope Francis continued with his non-European “imprint” on the Catholic Church when he named his first batch of cardinals today, with ten of the 16 (...)

Pope Francis has said he wants his priests to become “pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials”. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Two days after a groundbreaking interview which many believe represents a break with 35 years of doctrinal intransigence from his predecessors, John P(...)

Vatican secretary of state Msgr Pietro Parolin is credited with having skilfully handled complex issues such as nuclear disarmament as well as Holy See dialogue with China, North Korea and Iran. Photograph: Reuters/Kham

Pope Francis has given a strong indication of the direction of his pontificate when making arguably his most important appointment to date, naming ex(...)

Archbishop Pietro Parolin has been appointed as secretary of state, Vatican prime minister and chief aide - a role often called the ‘deputy pope’. Photograph: Reuters

Pope Francis today made arguably the most important appointment of his five month long pontificate so far when he named experienced Vatican diplomat, (...)