A touch of Canada, a touch of Scotland and a feminine touch has been added to the assembly of 30 theologians who advise the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — all in one appointment. Canadian Moira McQueen, a Scottish-born, University of Glasgow-trained lawyer turned moral theologian, is among a record five women appointed to the International Theological Commission.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals has begun creating the first draft of a new apostolic constitution that would implement a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

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VATICAN CITY - Presiding over the wedding of 20 couples in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated marriage as the union of a man and woman playing complementary roles during their common journey through life.

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VATICAN CITY - The "Francis effect" has spilled over into the Sistine Chapel, bringing a surge in visitors but also increasing risks to maintenance of what Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, calls "the world's chapel."

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbarity" and "unspeakable criminal acts" of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardize the future of interreligious dialogue.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis wants a "poor Church for the poor," but that "doesn't necessarily mean a Church with empty coffers," said Cardinal George Pell, "and it certainly doesn't mean a Church that is sloppy or inefficient or open to being robbed."

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VATICAN CITY - One week after publishing highlights of its 2013 financial statement, the Institute for the Works of Religion -- commonly called the Vatican bank -- released a 107-page, detailed financial report for the year.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican said the latest published interview with Pope Francis, in which he says fighting sex abuse and the mafia will be priorities of his pontificate, should not be considered a record of his exact words.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican formally recognized an international association of exorcists founded by Pauline Father Gabriele Amorth, an Italian priest renowned for his work in dispelling demons.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis named a Filipino archbishop, who helped lead and rebuild the church in Haiti after its devastating earthquake, as the Vatican representative at the United Nations in New York.

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VATICAN CITY - When Pope Francis condemns a "cult of money" and the "dictatorship" of a faceless economy, he isn't trying to damper entrepreneurial spirit or shutter business.

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BETHLEHEM - The Vatican has been increasingly concerned about the possibility the Middle East will become a kind of Disneyland for Christians, full of interesting Christian history, architecture and archeology that will attract tourists, but virtually empty of Christians. 

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis canceled a second day of private audiences and his morning Mass on Tuesday (June 10) because of a minor illness, but Vatican officials downplayed speculation about ill health.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis' June 8 meeting with the Israeli and Palestinian presidents will be a religious, not a political, occasion and should not raise hopes for immediate resumption of peace talks between the two nations, said the principal co-ordinator of the gathering.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis named a slate of new members to the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, replacing an all-Italian panel with members from Italy, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

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