During Pope Francis’s 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official programme referred to Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine”. Photograph:  Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

The Vatican has officially recognised the state of Palestine in a new treaty.The treaty, which is still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy Se(...)

Pope Francis with Cuban president Raul Castro during a private audience at the Vatican. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/EPA/Pool

Pope Francis held a cordial hour-long meeting in the Vatican on Sunday with Cuban President Raul Castro, signalling the two men were in accord on issu(...)

Pope Francis and Cuban President Raul Castro will meet  in the Vatican next Sunday. Photograph: iampiero Sposito/Reuters

In an not entirely surprising move, the Holy See has announced the Cuban President Raul Castro will meet with Pope Francis for a private audience in t(...)

Pope Francis’s September visit to Cuba will precede his journey to Washington, New York and Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families. Photograph: Getty Images

Cuba’s foreign minister has welcomed the Vatican announcement that Pope Francis is to visit the country en route to the US in September. Vatican spoke(...)

Report in  “L’Espresso” was critical of Australian cardinal George Pell’s spending. Photograph: Don Arnold/Getty Images

The ghost of “Vatileaks” hung in the Vatican air yesterday following the publication by Italian news weekly, L’Espresso, of a report critical of Austr(...)

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(...)

Pope Francis: had been speaking at a general audience when he said it was okay to smack children to discipline them. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

In his comments last week Pope Francis was not encouraging parents to hit their children, a Vatican spokesman has said. In a statement, Fr Federico(...)

Pope Francis arrives to attend a canonisation Mass for Joseph Vaz at Galle Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photograph: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to a Buddhist temple yesterday, capping a trip to Sri Lanka where he told huge crowds that religions must unite to (...)

Pope Francis greets the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith Mohammed Moussaoui at the end of the weekly general audience at the Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican January 7th. Photograph: Reuters

For the second time in the past two days, Pope Francis issued another strong condemnation of Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the French satirical maga(...)

Pope Francis: has said one of his mandates is to clean up the Vatican’s finances. Photograph: AP

The Vatican’s controversial bank, IOR (Institute for Works of Religion), finds itself in the eye of yet another storm following Saturday’s revelati(...)