Pope Francis gives his speech in the Synod hall on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the IV Scholas Occurrentes World Educational Congress, Thursday February 5th. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Pope Francis says it is OK to smack your children to discipline them — as long as their dignity is maintained.Francis made the remarks this week durin(...)

 Ian Paisley preaches to the 12,000 strong congregation at the King’s Hall in Belfast on the 40th anniversary of the free Presbyterian Church. Photograph: Pacemaker

A gifted preacher with a coruscating turn of phrase, Ian Paisley was a compelling religious leader, whose energy, deep faith and passionately-expresse(...)

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 (...)

Pope Francis attends a prayer calling for peace in Syria, in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican today. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

A sombre-looking Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal to avert a widening of Syria’s conflict today, urging world leaders to pull humanity out of a(...)

The Government has ruled out creating a redress scheme for former residents of the Bethany Mother and Child Home and stated that they will not be able(...)