Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

Dec 26, 2014

Topless Femen activist grabs Baby Jesus in St. Peter's Square

An activist from the feminist group Femen bared her breasts in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day and rushed the Nativity scene, grabbing the Baby Jesus figurine. A Vatican police officer wearing a black cape was quick to arrest the blonde activist and wrest ...

'So many tears this Christmas,' says Pope Francis

Dec 26, 2014

'So many tears this Christmas,' says Pope Francis

AFP-JIJI Pope Francis called for an end to “brutal” religious persecution, killings and hostage-taking in the Middle East and Nigeria as well as violence against children in his annual Christmas “urbi et orbi” message. Denouncing conflicts in Ukraine, Libya and elsewhere, and noting last ...

Pope celebrates Christmas Eve Mass and calls Iraqi refugees

Dec 25, 2014

Pope celebrates Christmas Eve Mass and calls Iraqi refugees

Pope Francis is celebrating Christmas Eve with a late-night Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and a phone call to some Iraqi refugees forced to flee their homes by Muslim militants. Francis told refugees at the tent camp in Ankawa, a suburb of Irbil in ...

Pope issues blistering critique of 'hypocritical' Vatican bureaucrats

Dec 23, 2014

Pope issues blistering critique of 'hypocritical' Vatican bureaucrats

To the Catholic Church’s “seven deadly sins,” Pope Francis has added the “15 ailments of the Curia.” Francis issued a blistering indictment of the Vatican bureaucracy Monday, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who serve him of using their Vatican careers to grab power ...

Pope gets cake, tango and chicken for 78th birthday

Dec 18, 2014

Pope gets cake, tango and chicken for 78th birthday

Pope Francis got a cake, cards and a tango demonstration for his 78th birthday Wednesday — and 800 kg (1,760 pounds) of chicken meat for the poor. The Vatican said Wednesday the meat, provided by a Spanish producer, would be distributed to soup kitchens. ...

Dec 12, 2014

Catholic Church in Australia links celibacy to abuse

The Catholic Church in Australia on Friday conceded that obligatory celibacy may have contributed to priests abusing children and said clergy should be given “psychosexual” training. In a landmark report, an Australian Catholic Church body dealing with the legacy of child sex abuse added ...

Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes 'whitened'

Oct 31, 2014

Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes 'whitened'

The Vatican revealed a closely kept secret Thursday: The Sistine Chapel’s precious frescoes were starting to turn white from the air pollution caused by so many visitors passing through each day to marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Officials first noticed the whitening patina in 2010 ...

Vatican unveils new air, light systems to protect Sistine Chapel frescoes

Oct 30, 2014

Vatican unveils new air, light systems to protect Sistine Chapel frescoes

The Vatican on Wednesday unveiled new high-tech, energy-saving lighting and air purification systems to protect Michelangelo’s delicate Sistine Chapel frescoes from damage caused by ever-growing crowds of tourists. Dust brought in from outside, body sweat and carbon dioxide pose a major risk to the ...