Pope Francis at the  Synod of Bishops on the Family in the Vatican City. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

It is “very possible” Pope Francis will come to Ireland for the 2018 World Meeting of Families, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi confirmed to Th(...)

Pope Francis leaves  the second morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the Family at the Vatican. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

The Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome has yet to decide whether Communion for divorced and remarried couples is a matter of doctrine or disciplin(...)

Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa smiles as he leaves at the end of his news conference in downtown Rome. Photograph: Reuters 1:42

The Vatican has fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees(...)

Pope Francis kisses and blesses Michael Keating (10), who has cerebral palsy, at Philadelphia airport. Photograph:Joseph Gidjunis/World Meeting of Families via AP

If the emphasis of the first half of Pope Francis’s US visit was about speaking hard truths to political and world leaders, the second half was about (...)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Mark Makela/Reuters

Pope Francis landed in Philadelphia on the final stop of his tour of the United States, calling for a more active role for women and the laity in t(...)

Pope Francis was greeted by about 80,000 people as he drove through sprawling Central Park on Friday. Photograph: Richard Drew/Reuters

Pope Francis, a day after addressing the United Nations in New York, travels on Saturday to Philadelphia, the birthplace of US independence, to promot(...)

A portraIt of Pope Francis marking his visit to Cuba is seen in a street of the capital Havana. The pope is visiting Cuba from September 19th-22nd, the first stop on a trip that also will take him to the United States.  Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

“A prophet is someone who comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. He speaks truth to power.” It was US Jesuit Tom Reese who used those hi(...)

Those familiar with the encyclical said it would note the impact of climate change on the poor and discuss inequalities of wealth - already a major theme for the first pope from Latin America, where poverty is widespread - and population issues. Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

An Italian magazine on Monday put a leaked draft of Pope Francis’ encyclical on its website but the Vatican said it was not the final version and aske(...)

Pope Francis exchanges his skull cap with a little girl during his weekly general audience at St Peter’s Square in Rome on Wednesday. The pope has received a report recommending that bishops be made accountable for failures to protect victims of clerical child sex abuse. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

A major step forward may have been taken by the Holy See this week in addressing clerical child abuse with its decision to set up an unprecedented tr(...)

Australian cardinal George Pell: told an inquiry  the church should be no more responsible for the abuse of children than a trucking company was responsible for a driver who picked up and molested a woman while on the road. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

The Holy See has been shaken in the last week by an unseemly public row between Australian cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’s closest advise(...)