Cardinal Peter Turkson said that Pope Francis was planning to publish a papal encyclical later this year on human ecology. The cardinal is currently visiting Ireland.  File photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pope Francis intends to publish an encyclical letter later this year on the theme of human ecology that will explore the relationship between care for(...)

Pope Francis wrote about the Mexicanisation” of Argentina’s growing drug trade in an email. Photograph: REUTERS/Max Rossi

Not for the first time, Pope Francis’s habit of forthright speaking, even in a private context, has caused a deal of difficulty for the Vatican’s dipl(...)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: Pope has “ability to see that truth and mercy are not mutually exclusive”.

Church leaders, or self-appointed church spokespeople, have been warned by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin against using insensitive(...)

Pope Francis (above) has dismissed convicted abuser James Donaghy, a priest of Down and Connor diocese in Northern Ireland, from the clerical state. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

Pope Francis has dismissed convicted abuser James Donaghy, a priest of Down and Connor diocese in Northern Ireland, from the clerical state “on his ow(...)

When it came to the ritual exchange, the German leader offered the Pope not only a collection Bach CDs but also a white envelope containing money, intended for child refugees from Syria and Iraq. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

It was another busy Saturday in the Vatican as Pope Francis received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a private audience. Earlier he had met with pi(...)

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(...)

‘While the dominant of image of Irish Catholicism is of a Church in crisis, contributors to The Catholic Church in Ireland Today have also been struck by signs of resilience and renewal within the faith.’

You wouldn’t think the first interdisciplinary examination of the contemporary Catholic Church in Ireland by American-based scholars would come out(...)

Venus Restored (1936) is the work of  artist, Man Ray (1890-1976). The website states, “While acknowledging the anger, Cardinal Ravasi has chosen not to remove the image as it speaks clearly for one of the central points of the document: many women, alas, are still struggling for freedom (bound with rope), their voices and intellect often unheard (headless), their actions unappreciated (limbless).”

How has a headless, truncated, nude, female bondage image recently acquired pride of place on the website of a Vatican all-male body?The pontifical co(...)

The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delivering a speech in Cairo after the killing of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. Photograph: EPA/Egyptian presidency handout

Egyptian jets bombed Islamic State targets in Libya on Monday, a day after the group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians,(...)

Italian citizens hug after arriving at Practica di Mare military base near Rome, Italy, 16th February 2015. A group of around 60 Italians returned from Libya overnight after being evacuated because of security concerns about the advance of ISIS extremist Islamic group in the North African nation. Photograph: EPA/Massimo Percossi

Italians woke up on Monday to the worrying reality of a threat from Islamic State “signed with blood against the nation of the cross”. Against the bac(...)