Pope Pius

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Margaret Haughery: “No woman has been borne to the tomb within the limits of New Orleans who was more generally respected and loved.”

It is sometimes said that the only difference between the truth and fiction is that fiction needs to be plausible. Margaret Gaffney Haughery is a case(...)

Msgr Fernando Ocáriz Braña (72) succeeds Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez (84), who died in Rome last month

Pope Francis has named Msgr Fernando Ocáriz Braña (72) as the new leader or prelate of Opus Dei. He succeeds Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez (84) w(...)

The papal palace at 17th-century Castel Gandolfo near Lazio in Italy: seems certain to prove a major tourist attraction. Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

The curtain may well have come down on 400 years of papal history with the opening to the public of the Apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo, the pope’(...)

Some 300,000 people are expected to attend four Redemptorist novenas; at Mount St Alphonsus church in Limerick, at Esker monastery in Athenry, Co Galway, at St Michael’s church in Ballinasloe, and at the Clonard monastery in Belfast. Stock photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

A remarkable feature of religious practice in Catholic Ireland today is that, while weekly Mass attendance is dropping, pilgrimages to Knock, Lough De(...)

Anthony Kearns: ‘I suppose music is the crowd-calmer before the pope. We are the peace-making force. Music tames the savage beast.’ Photograph: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capitol Concerts

At a ceremony in Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon, Irish tenor Anthony Kearns will be the opening act for one of the biggest events of his career. The (...)

Dubliner Ray O’Donnell, organist at Galway Cathedral. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Few directors of music at European cathedrals can say they have held the post for almost half the lifetime of the august building in which they work. (...)

Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation comes two years after he stepped down as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, having admitted inappropriate sexual behaviour towards priests in the 1980s. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In an extremely rare move, the Vatican yesterday announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of the “rights and privileges” of a cardinal,(...)

A self-portrait by the Irish-born painter Francis Bacon has sold at a Sotheby’s art auction in London for almost €20 million.Two Studies for Self-Port(...)

Today, December 8th, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Know why? Nine out of 10 people get it wrong. They think it refers to the conception o(...)

Pope Pius II (1405-1464): His book, On Europe (1458), influenced by Strabo’s Geography,  has (just) this to say about Ireland: “We ought now to acquit ourselves of Ireland, which is separated from Britain by a short stretch of sea, […]but since nothing worth remembering has taken place there, we understand, during the period we write about, we hurry on to matters Spanish.” Photograph:  APIC/Getty Images

In 1513, shortly after completing The Prince, Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote a letter to a friend describing his life on the farm to which he had be(...)

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