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(...)

Pope Francis has created a new Vatican tribunal within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to deal with bishops who fail to protect c(...)

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin called the result of the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage a “disaster for humanity”. Photograph: Getty

On the morning after Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called the result of last weekend’s referendum a “disaster for humanity”, th(...)

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(...)