Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation comes two years after he stepped down as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, having admitted inappropriate sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In an extremely rare move, the Vatican yesterday announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of the “rights and privileges” of a cardinal,(...)

Basic family survival skills Ghosts of Christmases past are lurking. People are walking on eggshells. If you don’t limit time with extended family, fa(...)

Pope Francis exchanges his skullcap with a member of the faithful during his weekly public audience in St Peter’s Square in Rome on Wednesday. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Could Pope Francis be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize? Eighteen months into what already looks like a momentous pontificate, there has been specula(...)

Pope Francis waves to thousands of pilgrims gathered below in St Peter’s Square as he delivers the Sunday Angelus from the window of his study in the Vatican City, on Sunday. Photograph: EPA/CLAUDIO PERI

Pope Francis this morning “humbly” asked six clerical sex abuse victims for forgiveness for the “grave crimes of clerical sex abuse” committed against(...)

The committee was concerned about the [Vatican] response to the continued refusal by the four religious orders that ran the Magdalene laundries to contribute to a redress fund. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

A group representing survivors of clerical sex abuse has welcomed a UN report criticising the four religious orders behind the Magdalene laundries fo(...)

Abuse survivor and activist Marie Collins, who is expected to make an expert contribution, she had no idea what shape and direction the commission would take. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

The newly instituted Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors meets for the first time this morning for a three-day meeting scheduled to (...)

Pilgrims gather in Rome this evening ahead of ceremonies tomorrow to mark the canonisation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Photograph: Patsy McGarry.

The mood was festive in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican today as thousands of people from around the world began to gather for tomorrow mornin(...)

Add a fresh look to soft furnishings and tabletops with some printed craft cotton from Castle Market’s finest fabric shop, Murphy Sheehy (01-677 0316 The 100 per cent cotton fabric, 115cm wide, which comes in cool Italian scooter and Paris’ Eiffel Tower motifs. Normally €8.50 per metre, Irish Times readers can buy it for €6.70, a reduction of 20 per cent, until April 30th.  On Saturday, May 10th Murphy Sheehy is running a one-day sewing and alterations course. Irish Times readers who would like to attend can avail of a 10 per cent discount off the €99 cost if you book before Saturday, April, 19th.
Bargian hunter

Alanna Gallagher’s interiors round-up

Italian businessman Marcello De Finizio stands on the dome of St Peter’s basilica to protest in Vatican City. He holds a banner with a request to Italian president Giorgio Napolitano and to Pope Francis in a protest against Europe. ‘Stop Europe, stop Fiscal Compact, Stop Mario Monti, Stop Enrico Letta and Stop Bolkestein’ are some of the sentences written on the banner. Photograph: EPA/Angelo Carconi

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, this weekend defe(...)

Pope Benedict XVI: laicisation figures appear to confirm the contention that he encouraged zero tolerance on clerical sex abuse. Photograph: Stefano Dal Pozzolo/Getty Images

The Holy See confirmed at the weekend that Pope Benedict XVI defrocked almost 400 priests for sex abuse related offences in 2011-2012. The figures, co(...)