Pope Francis defrocks Argentine founder of religious institute

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis expelled from the priesthood the founder of Miles Christi, a religious institute based in Argentina, after he was found guilty of sexual and physical abuse.

Vatican donates masks to China to combat coronavirus outbreak

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican donated thousands of protective masks to several Chinese provinces affected by the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Pope Francis meets with president of Argentina; no news of papal home visit

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met Argentina's new president, Alberto Fernandez, amid widespread speculation that they would talk about the pope finally returning to his homeland for a visit.

Parties working to get U.S., Russia to discuss nuclear arms reduction

WASHINGTON -- An effort is underway through nongovernmental channels to bring U.S. and Russian negotiators together to discuss new reductions in the countries' nuclear weapons arsenals, an official with the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said during a visit to The Catholic University of America.

Renewal of doctrine rooted in magisterium, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY -- Christian doctrine is not modified to keep up with passing times nor is it rigidly closed in on itself, Pope Francis told members and advisers of the doctrinal congregation.

Cardinals Re, Sandri elected to top posts in College of Cardinals

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has approved the election of Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as dean of the College of Cardinals and of Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as the subdean.

Pope Francis meets with Iraqi president

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met with Iraq's president for private talks underlining the need for promoting stability, reconstruction, national sovereignty and dialogue in the country as well as guaranteeing security for Christians.

A long, sad farewell to a monastery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As Christmas approached and the year came to a close, the Monastery of St. Clare, home to the Poor Clare contemplative nuns for 87 years in Tennessee, quietly closed.

Abuse happens within women's orders, too, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY -- Sexual abuse and the abuse of authority have occurred and are occurring within religious orders of women and must be addressed with transparency and boldness, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Pope Francis meets with Mike Pence at Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- After Pope Francis and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met privately for nearly an hour at the Vatican, Pence told the pope that his Roman Catholic mother will be pleased with the visit.

Czerny takes over Rome parish

Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, son of migrants to Canada and head of the Vatican department that works on behalf of migrants and refugees, took possession of his parish in a heavily immigrant neighbourhood of Rome Jan. 19.