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(...)

Pope Francis attends the synod on the family at St Peter’s basilica in the Vatican yesterday. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

The climate was one of no change on yesterday’s opening day of the Vatican’s Synod on the Family. Lest anyone be under the illusion that this s(...)

Papal nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles J Brown said letting each person define their own concepts of existence and meaning represents “an enormous abdication of our responsibility to seek some meaningful communality among human beings, based on our shared human nature”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Having “absolute respect for life in all its stages and dimensions” is among the norms limiting the individual’s freedom to act as they might wish, th(...)

Gerry Adams in Havana, Cuba: he said that while change in Cuba would present “many challenges, such challenges are part of revolutionary struggle,”  Photograph: Desmond Boylan/AP.

The people of Cuba have been vindicated by the recent change in US policy towards the island, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said on a visit to (...)

US house speaker John Boehner: When asked whether he would advance a debt limit Bill before resigning from Congress on October 30th, he said: “We’ll have to see. There are a number of issues that we’re going to try to deal with over the coming month.” Photograph: Jonathan Ernst

John Boehner stands smiling in front of the mirror in the bathroom of his English basement apartment on G Street on Capitol Hill. He breaks into song (...)

A car is stuck under a bridge during floods in Nice in the southeast of  France on October 3rd. Along the French Riviera, at least 17 have drowned. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

  At least 17 people drowned and four more were missing when torrential rains flooded the Côte d’Azur between Cannes and Nice overnight fr(...)

 Prelates during the opening Mass of the XVI Ordinary Meeting of the Synod of Bishops. Photograph: EPA 1:42

Pope Francis has once again warned the Church against judgment of other people, urging it to “seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of a(...)

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton: Like the four he chose to highlight, Francis defies easy categorisation.

There are clues to Pope Francis and what he values in the choices he made when he highlighted four Americans in his address to Congress: Abraham Linco(...)

Looking forward: Pope Francis has made it clear on at least two occasions this year that he wants results from the Synod on the Family, which begins in Rome tomorrow. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images.

Will the second Synod on the Family, which opens in Rome on Sunday, live up to its billing as a potentially key moment in the ongoing reform of the Ca(...)