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 ...

U.S. nun credited with curing boy is beatified

Oct 5, 2014

U.S. nun credited with curing boy is beatified

An American nun credited with curing a boy’s eye disease moved a step closer to sainthood Saturday in what church officials said was the first beatification Mass held in the United States. A beatification Mass for Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, who died in 1927, ...

Pope Francis favored to win Nobel Peace Prize for poverty focus

Oct 3, 2014

Pope Francis favored to win Nobel Peace Prize for poverty focus

Pope Francis, who has made the fight against poverty a focus of his tenure, and Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege are among the top contenders for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Other favorites include Edward Snowden, the former American intelligence contractor who revealed secret surveillance ...

Sep 28, 2014

Spain celebrates beatification of Opus Dei leader

The second-most-important figure in the Opus Dei order, Alvaro del Portillo, was beatified Saturday at an open-air Mass that sent him on a key step toward sainthood and illustrated how the once secretive Catholic order has become more mainstream. Del Portillo succeeded Opus Dei’s ...

Sep 19, 2014

Cardinals debate marriage, divorce before crucial meeting

The battle lines are being drawn before a major church meeting on family issues that represents a key test for Pope Francis. Five high-ranking cardinals have taken one of Francis’ favorite theologians to task over an issue dear to the pope’s heart: Whether Catholics ...

Sep 17, 2014

Holy smoke: Vatican car seized with cocaine, cannabis

The Vatican was left red-faced Tuesday after it emerged that a car bearing its diplomatic plates had been stopped in France with 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) of cocaine on board. The car — which also contained 200 grams (7 ounces) of cannabis — belonged ...

Pope puts English on display for first time in South Korea

Aug 16, 2014

Pope puts English on display for first time in South Korea

Pope Francis usually refuses to speak anything other than Italian or his native Spanish in public, apparently uncomfortable with his abilities even when reading from a prepared text. But he has gamely ventured into uncharted linguistic territory during his South Korea visit, delivering a ...