Pope leaves Brazil after giant beach mass

2013-07-29 08:57

Pope Francis has left Brazil after leading a giant beach mass for three million pilgrims, ending his historic trip to reignite Catholic passion with pleas for a humbler Church.

Vatican warned of sex abuse, records show

2013-07-02 09:04

The cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York, in his former job, warned the future Pope Benedict XVI that "the potential for true scandal is very real" over sex abuse claims.

John Paul II on the path to sainthood

2013-06-18 22:33

Vatican theologians have reportedly attributed a second miracle to pope John Paul II, putting him firmly on the path to sainthood.

Benedict comes home to new house, pope

2013-05-02 13:33

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is coming home to a new house and a new pope, as an unprecedented era begins of a retired pontiff living side-by-side with a reigning one.

Pope Francis to Benedict: 'We're brothers'

2013-03-23 17:01

Pope Francis has had lunch with his predecessor Benedict XVI, a historic and potentially problematic melding of the papacies that has never before confronted the Catholic Church.

Zuma congratulates Pope Francis

2013-03-19 14:28

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Pope Francis on his election as supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis a 'little devil' at school

2013-03-15 11:00

Decades before he became Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio was a "little devil" who jumped up and down the stairs of his century-old Buenos Aires school, says the mother superior.

New pope brushes off formality

2013-03-15 08:11

Barely 12 hours into his papacy Pope Francis has brushed off tradition and formality, sending a clear message rejecting many of the trappings enjoyed by the now-retired Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis hailed, urged to work for peace

2013-03-14 07:18

World leaders and Catholics have hailed the election of Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina as the first Latin American pope, urging him to work for religious reconciliation and peace.

Cardinals prepare for 2nd day of conclave

2013-03-13 08:05

Cardinals are preparing for a second day of conclave behind the Vatican's walls to elect a pope, with all eyes on a chimney that will signal when there is a new leader.

African pope would be 'great honour'

2013-03-12 12:33

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban says it would be a great honour for Africa if the next pope was from the continent, but has laughed off suggestion that he could be in the running.

Papal conclave: A painstaking voting process

2013-03-12 09:00

Cardinals entering the Sistine Chapel for a secret conclave to elect the successor to Benedict XVI will vote four times a day. Here is a breakdown of the process.

All eyes on Vatican chimney

2013-03-11 22:42

Forget all the artistic masterpieces. The most gazed-at item at the Vatican will be a humble, copper, 2m-high chimney that will pipe out puffs of smoke to tell the world if there's a new pope.

'Too easy to blame church for sex abuse'

2013-03-11 10:01

Putting the blame for paedophilia on the Roman Catholic Church is a way of avoiding the issue, says a top French cardinal.

Mole warns of more VatiLeaks revelations

2013-03-07 13:59

There are still scandals to be uncovered in the Vatican, an anonymous source who claims to have been part of a network of moles that prompted the VatiLeaks scandal says.

Ghana's Turkson faces criticism abroad

2013-03-07 12:49

Ghana's Peter Turson, one of Africa's two candidates considered eligible to become the next pope, has earned respect as a peacemaker at home, but faces criticism abroad over a controversial video.

Paparazzi's first pics of retired pope

2013-03-06 15:03

Italian gossip magazine 'Chi' has published paparazzi pictures of retired "pope emeritus" Benedict XVI as he strolls in the grounds of the papal summer palace of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

Cardinals meet to set date for conclave

2013-03-04 14:12

Roman Catholic cardinals are meeting to start the process of electing a new pope.

Obedience to new pope part of tradition

2013-03-02 18:11

In pledging his "unconditional reverence" to the next pope, Benedict XVI has taken a critical step toward ensuring that his decision to break with 600 years of tradition and retire as pope doesn't create a schism within the church.


Week in pictures

2013-03-01 14:45

See all the big news of this week in pictures.

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Pope faces division in China church

2013-03-01 08:33

The retirement of the Pope and anticipation over his successor have brought back into focus the conflict between an organisation claiming universal reach and China's Communist rulers.

Town prepares for pope's last goodbye

2013-02-28 19:31

The tiny hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo near Rome has been abuzz with preparations for the last goodbye of Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict sees out final hours of papacy

2013-02-28 18:29

Pope Benedict has arrived at the papal summer residence where he will become the first pontiff in six centuries to resign instead of ruling for life.

Pope pledges obedience to successor

2013-02-28 14:23

Pope Benedict, addressing cardinals on his final day in office, has called for the Roman Catholic Church to unite behind his successor and pledged his own "unconditional" obedience to the next pontiff.


See a timeline of the life of Pope Benedict XVI who on Thursday stepped down as head of the Catholic Church, the first pope to resign in 600 years.

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Pope clears John Paul II for sainthood

2013-07-05 14:13

Pope Francis has cleared John Paul II for sainthood, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession.

Francis: Benedict courageous in retiring

2013-06-30 14:21

Pope Francis says his predecessor, Benedict XVI, was courageously following his conscience when he decided to retire.

Pope admits 'gay lobby' in Vatican

2013-06-11 21:43

Pope Francis has admitted the existence of a "gay lobby" inside the Vatican's secretive administration, the Roman Curia, allegedly exposed during a leaks scandal.

Pope Francis to wash young prisoners' feet

2013-03-28 09:03

Pope Francis will stamp his personal touch on Easter celebrations starting by washing the feet of young prisoners as he stresses the importance of reaching out to those in need.

Pope urges dialogue with Muslims, atheists

2013-03-22 14:41

Pope Francis has called for the Roman Catholic Church to "intensify" its dialogue with Islam and with non-believers, condemning the "spiritual poverty" of the developed world.

Humble pope shakes up Vatican fashion

2013-03-19 10:58

Solid gold rings, velvet capes and ermine furs are out, humility is in: Pope Francis has shunned Vatican tradition in favour of a simpler style - and perhaps committed a faux pas in the process.

New pope warns of dangers of inaction

2013-03-15 09:03

Pope Francis has warned that the troubled Catholic Church risks becoming little more than a charity with no spiritual foundations if it fails to undergo renewal.

Parties welcome new pope

2013-03-14 13:23

The appointment of Pope Francis of Argentina has been welcomed by political parties.

Vatican signals inconclusive pope vote

2013-03-13 13:04

Black smoke has risen from the Vatican's Sistine Chapel, signalling Roman Catholic cardinals have not agreed on a pope to succeed Benedict.

The election of a pope in a nutshell

2013-03-12 16:32

The election of a pope follows a series of choreographed rules and rituals that have been tweaked over the centuries.

Poles want continuity with a twist in pope

2013-03-12 09:30

As the Vatican prepares for the election of a new pontiff, Polish Catholics are hoping that Benedict XVI's successor will be a conservative, but a more reformist one.

Clergy abuse victims try to sway pope vote

2013-03-12 08:06

The victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergymen have tried to ensure that the papal vote doesn't go to anyone they accuse of helping cover up the scandal.

Benedict out of sight as conclave nears

2013-03-11 21:37

As cardinals move to elect a new pope, the Vatican has seemed intent on getting people to forget the last one.

Cardinals eye Vatican reform

2013-03-08 16:02

Catholic cardinals have seized the rare chance of being able to air their grievances against the Vatican, with no new pope to defer to and no old pope to mourn.

Rome leaderless: No pope, no government

2013-03-07 13:01

With no pope and no government, Rome residents could be forgiven for feeling a little apocalyptic after the first papal resignation in 700 years and an Italian election that could bring down the eurozone.

Suspense grows over conclave date

2013-03-06 16:26

Suspense over the date of the conclave has intensified as some cardinals called for more time for debate and seized the chance to speak out about the problems in the church.

Conclave: Modern twists to ancient rules

2013-03-05 21:21

The Vatican wants to make sure the Holy Spirit is the only influence on cardinals as they vote for the next pope. That means no TV, radio, newspapers or cellphones.

UK cardinal apologises for sex

2013-03-03 21:45

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned last week as Britain's most senior Roman Catholic cleric, has admitted that his sexual conduct had "fallen below the standards expected of me".

The cardinal who quotes Amy Winehouse

2013-03-01 16:31

He quotes Amy Winehouse and, unlike Benedict XVI, actually taps out his tweets himself. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi is an erudite scholar with a modern touch.

Catholic Church leaderless, for now

2013-03-01 13:36

The Catholic Church has awoken with no leader following Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, in which he pledged obedience to his successor as a "simple pilgrim".

Swiss Guards get a rest

2013-02-28 20:49

The pope's retirement means his famous Swiss Guards get a few days off before they have to protect the new guy.

Pope Benedict bids final public farewell

2013-02-28 19:04

Pope Benedict has said a final public farewell before his pontificate ends, telling a crowd in front of his temporary residence outside Rome that he is preparing to enter the last phase of his life.

Symbols of Benedict's final hours

2013-02-28 17:31

Pope Benedict XVI's final hours as pontiff will be filled with tradition and symbols that underline the historic - and novel - nature of his resignation as leader of the Catholic Church.

Pope makes emotional public farewell

2013-02-28 08:05

Pope Benedict XVI has spent his last night in his Vatican apartments after bidding an emotional farewell to 150 000 pilgrims in St Peter's Square on the eve of his historic resignation.


Pope's last audience

2013-02-27 12:55

See the best pictures from Pope Benedict XVI last weekly audience at the St Peter's square at the Vatican.

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