Frontier: the pope at the Israel-West Bank wall. photograph: Mheisen Amareen/Reuters

When Ireland’s new Ambassador to the Holy See, Emma Madigan, was chatting to Pope Francis in the pontifical library the day she presented her diplomat(...)

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square at the Vatican, December 25, 2014. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pope Francis condemned the “brutal persecution” of minorities by Islamic State insurgents in his Christmas message on Thursday and urged people not to(...)

Pope Francis leads the midnight Christmas Mass. Earlier, Francis made a phone call to some Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants.  EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MEO

Pope Francis celebrated Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St Peter’s Basilica and a phone call to some Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes(...)

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 and other senior Christian and Muslim clerics have urged members of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East to stay on in the region despite conflict and discrimination. Photograph: Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Ahead of Christmas, senior Christian and Muslim clerics have urged members of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, the cradle of t(...)

Pope Francis talks during an audience for Christmas greetings to the Curia in the Clementina hall at the Vatican December 22nd, 2014. Photograph: Reuters/Andreas Solaro/Pool

Pope Francis has issued a blistering critique of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him, denouncing how some people lust for power at all costs, live(...)

This week’s agreement to start normalising relations between the United States and Cuba is a dramatic and welcome step towards ending more than five d(...)

Pope Francis has not yet visited Cuba but both of his two immediate predecessor made trips to the island. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

The Vatican leveraged its good relations with Cuba and the United States to help broker their historic resumption of ties and the deal was spurred by (...)

Tango dancers hold banners for Pope Francis who celebrated his 78th birthday on Wednesday. Tango dancers from around the world gathered in the Vatican to wish the Argentinian Pope a happy birthday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters 1:39

It’s not every day you see hundreds of couples dancing the evocative Tango in St. Peter’s Square. However, that was the scene at midday on Wednesday i(...)

A Vatican investigation of American nuns  has ended in Rome with the release of an appreciative report that acknowledged the achievements and the challenges the nuns face given their dwindling ranks. Photograph: Antonio Perez/Pool via The New York Times

The Vatican has finally released a much-anticipated report “on the life of religious women in the United States”. Those who thought that the US(...)