This handout picture released by the Vatican press office (Osservatore Romano) shows Pope Francis celebrating mass in Santa Marta at the Vatican on Tuesday. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis this morning said that, as part of the celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy, he will permit priests to absolve women of the sin of abort(...)

In his last ever book, published in Germany at the end of last week, Nobel prize-winning novelist and poet Günter Grass issues a beyond-the-grave warning about rising vitriol towards refugees. Photograph: Susana Vera/Reuters

For much of his lifetime, he was the personification of Germany’s moral conscience, with literary interventions on anything from postwar guilt to the (...)

 Archbishop Josef Wesolowski was  charged with child abuse and possession of child pornography. In June 2014, he was found guilty by a church disciplinary panel and deemed no longer fit to serve as a priest. Photograph: Danny Polanco/EPA

The Holy See has announced that the controversial former papal nuncio, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski (67), on trial in the Vatican on charges of paedo(...)

At a time when the shortage of Catholic priests in the western world, not least in Ireland, has become acute it is hardly critical to wonder at a mode(...)

Archbishop Charles Brown: ‘We need to avoid the caricature that the only thing the Catholic Church has to speak about is abortion, gay marriage and contraception.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

The shortage of priests in Ireland is a huge problem and the “crisis in numbers . . . will, in the short term, not get better”, papal nuncio to Irela(...)

 Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown believes relations between Ireland and the Vatican are now “quite good and immensely improved from four years ago”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times 4:21

Ireland’s Catholic bishops have been praised by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, for the compassion with which they dealt with marriage-equ(...)

A talk to be given at a community centre in Cloyne diocese   by Fr Tony Flannery (above), who holds liberal views on women priests, homosexuality and contraception,  has been cancelled. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A talk to be given by Fr Tony Flannery at a community centre in Cloyne diocese has been cancelled by order of Bishop William Crean. It’s understood t(...)

 Pope Francis holds a placard reading: ‘It’s time for dialogue between Argentina and the United Kingdom for Falklands.’ A spokesman said:  ‘The Holy Father did not even realise he had this object in his hands.’ Photograph: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP

Pope Francis was sucked into Argentina’s dispute with the UK over the Falkland Islands after an activist thrust a sign in his hands calling for dialog(...)

Fr Tony Flannery, who in 2012 was suspended from public ministry by the Vatican, celebrated Mass in a Co Galway family home last week. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Actor Martin Sheen and leading American Benedictine nun Sr Joan Chittister have endorsed the third international Women’s Ordination Worldwide confer(...)

Peter Sutherland: There was no room for ambiguity, or indifference among Christians to the phenomenon of migration. Photograph: The Irish Times

The overall response in Europe to the present migrant crisis has been “less than satisfactory”, UN special envoy on migration Peter Sutherland has sai(...)