Pope Francis had a busy week at the  Vatican, from meeting Cuban president Raúl Castro to grappling with the Israeli-Palestinian question. Photograph: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

As he came out of the Paul VIth hall and made his way back to his quarters in the Domus Santa Marta, Pope Francis appeared to be engaged in serious co(...)

Pope Francis’s September visit to Cuba will precede his journey to Washington, New York and Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. Photograph: Getty Images

Cuba’s foreign minister has welcomed the Vatican announcement that Pope Francis is to visit the country en route to the US in September. Vatican spoke(...)

Rose on a tomb

Our first baby was born on July 21st, 1970 in Dublin and died three days later. I had asked for baby Antonia to be baptised. The hospital performed th(...)

Pope Francis during a visit to a refugee camp this week in Rome. Photograph:  Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

The Holy See’s Commission for the Protection of Minors officially acknowledged yesterday that one of the first issues it intends to address is “bish(...)

Residents in Beirut’s southern suburbs yesterday carry banners protesting against   Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad as the cover of its first edition since the attack by Islamist gunmen. The text on the banner reads in Arabic: “ Insulting Prophet Mohammed, is an insult to all prophets, and to other religions”. Photograph: Reuters/ Khalil Hassan

You’ve got to feel sorry for the Berliner Zeitung, the German newspaper that last week decided to express its solidarity with the murdered journalists(...)

Numbers taking part in papal events at the Vatican have almost trebled since the election of Pope Francis in March 2013. Photograph: EPA

Numbers taking part in papal events at the Vatican have almost trebled since the election of Pope Francis in March 2013. Figures for 2014, the first f(...)

Soldiers of the 5th London Rifle Brigade with German Saxon regimental troops at Ploegsteert Wood during the Christmas Truce in 1914. Photograph:  Popperfoto/Getty Images

On the Western Front on December 24th 1914, thousands of soldiers from the British Expeditionary Forces, which included men from all parts of the i(...)

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas address to the Roman curia in the Vatican’s Clementina hall. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/Reuters

It is clear that Pope Francis’s pre-Christmas address to the Roman curia this week did not sit well with many of its members. It was a coruscating (...)

Pope Francis saluting prelates at the end of the audience of the Curia  at the Vatican in Rome today. In October 2009 the Vatican announced new ecclesiastical structures to absorb Anglicans disaffected by liberalising moves in their Communion. Photograph: EPA/L’Osservatore Romano

A Catholic parish priest who has left the ministry to marry will this week be replaced in his English parish by a married priest with three children. (...)

Pope Francis listens to Rahmi Yaran, Mufti of Istanbul during a visit to the Sultan Ahmet mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

On the second day of his highly symbolic trip to Turkey, Pope Francis this morning joined the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, in a moment of pra(...)