Vatican

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Michael McDowell: ‘No church is entitled to say to the Irish State: ‘Our law is superior to your law.’’ Photograph: Collins Courts

The State “effectively signed a blank cheque” in agreeing the controversial 2002 indemnity deal with 18 religious congregations, the then attorney gen(...)

A woman reads a copy of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano as she waits for the canonisation ceremony in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican in April 2014.  Photograph: Reuters

The founder and the entire editorial board have quit a Vatican women’s magazine that has drawn international attention for exposing the abuse of nuns,(...)

Egypt’s  Sheikh al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb:  called for a revamp of Muslim attitudes towards women. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Sunni Muslims’ highest religious authority has precipitated a row in Egypt by ruling that polygamy is unlawful for Muslims. “In 90 per cent of cases (...)

Father Patrick Peyton with Bing Crosby. According to the Guns & Rosaries documentary, the Co Mayo-born priest received CIA funding to help fight communism in Latin America

The prominent Irish “Rosary priest”, Fr Patrick Peyton, accepted funding from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to help bring about a 1964 mili(...)

 Sr Véronique Margron: ‘Any criminal organization would not have done worse.’ Photograph: iStock

A leading French nun has accused the Vatican and Catholic bishops of having sanctioned the spiritual and sexual abuse (including rape, prostitution an(...)

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin with Pope Francis at the Vatican on  November 11th, 2016. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

A high-ranking French Catholic cleric, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, was convicted on Thursday of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse in his d(...)

Tony Walsh could only have got away with abusing children for so long because of a deferential attitude in society. File photograph: Collins Courts

Eighty years ago the psychologist Henry Murray included deference in his list of instinctive human needs. That drive to find someone to look up to see(...)

Pope Francis. “If the church is to have any credibility, it must be matched by radical, irreversible reform from the very top.” Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

In the wake of the synod on the protection of minors, it is clear that there is a massive task ahead for the Catholic Church worldwide even if progres(...)

 Cardinal George Pell makes his way on Wednesday to  Melbourne County Court, where he was remanded in custody pending sentencing for  sexually abusing two choir boys in Australia two decades ago. Photograph: Con Chronis/AFP/Getty Images

Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell is spending his first night behind bars on Wednesday after he was remanded into custody pending sentenci(...)

On Sunday, Pope Francis called for the eradication of child sex abuse “from the face of the earth”, saying “behind this there is Satan.” Yet concrete measures he called for to combat it have amounted to relatively little. Photograph:  Handout/AFP/Getty Images

It was that other Pope, 18th century English poet Alexander Pope, who said: “words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense be(...)

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