Pope Francis greets  Mahmoud Abbas during a canonisation ceremony in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, yesterday. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA

In a ceremony rich in both political and religious symbolism, Pope Francis yesterday canonised two 19th-century Palestinian nuns. The elevation to s(...)

St Mel’s Cathedral pictured in 1967. Photograph: Getty Images.

President Michael D Higgins, his wife, Sabina, the Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin, and retired Catholic primate, Cardinal Seán Brady, were(...)

Pope Francis had a busy week at the  Vatican, from meeting Cuban president Raúl Castro to grappling with the Israeli-Palestinian question. Photograph: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

As he came out of the Paul VIth hall and made his way back to his quarters in the Domus Santa Marta, Pope Francis appeared to be engaged in serious co(...)

Bishop Kevin Doran, bishop of Elphin, said: “Every citizen and long-term resident has a vested interest in how society defines and protects marriage and the family founded on marriage”. Photograph: Alan Betson

The opposition of Pope Francis to same-sex marriage in his native Argentina was referred to by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in a (...)

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/EPA

Pope Francis this morning called Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, an “angel of peace”. The Pope made his remarks at the end of a 20 minute long meet(...)

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(...)

 Fr Gustavo  Gutiérrez (86), a Dominican, was on the panel at a Vatican press conference held to announce details of the current general assembly of the worldwide Catholic charity Caritas. Photograph: AFP

History of a particular kind was made yesterday in the Holy See, where Peruvian theologian Fr Gustavo Gutiérrez, one of the founding fathers of “liber(...)

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(...)

Speaking at the Church of Ireland General Synod, Archbishop of Armagh Richard Clarke said he could not think of an occasion when the House of Bishops “ever said vote in such and such a way or not in such and such a way”. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

The Church of Ireland’s two Archbishops have agreed fellow bishops are divided on the same-sex marriage referendum. The Church has not taken a public (...)

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(...)