Vatican revising canon law on abuse penalties

VATICAN CITY - Church law has procedures and penalties for effectively dealing with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but the Vatican is working to revise a section of the Code of Canon Law to make those norms and procedures clearer and, therefore, more effective, said the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

Papal puzzler: Leo XIII anonymously published riddles in Latin

VATICAN CITY - Going by the pseudonym "X," Pope Leo XIII anonymously crafted poetic puzzles in Latin for a Roman periodical at the turn of the 19th century.

Why is Pope Francis spending so much time going after the Mafia?

VATICAN CITY - It began with the murder of an innocent three-year-old boy who burned to death in his grandfather’s car in a Mafia ambush in January. Pope Francis was so shaken by the death of Nicola “Coco” Campolongo that he spoke out against the ferocity of the crime and those behind it.

Pope prays for victims of downed plane, urges peace in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY - Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine.

Pope calls for prayers as militants chase all Christians out of Mosul

Updated 07/22/14

VATICAN CITY - As the last Iraqi Christians in Mosul fled the city, Pope Francis urgently called for prayers, dialogue and peace.

Pope going to Caserta twice — for Mass, then to meet Pentecostals

VATICAN CITY - Although Pope Francis planned to make a short, private visit to Caserta in southern Italy specifically to visit a Pentecostal pastor he knows from Argentina, the 200-km trip has taken a new form — two forms, to be exact.

Vatican bank issues detailed report, including where it stores its gold

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.

Vatican to support help for 'humanitarian emergency' of child migrants

MEXICO CITY - The Vatican's secretary of state pledged full support for addressing the issue of child migrants streaming out of Central America in search of safety and family reunification in the United States.

Pope Francis raises eyebrows by saying pedophile priests include ‘bishops and cardinals’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has provoked a debate within the Catholic Church after being quoted as saying that one in 50 Catholic clerics is a pedophile.

Prayer for peace is never in vain, says Pope

VATICAN CITY - Praying for peace is never a useless exercise — it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said.

Vatican questions accuracy of latest papal interview

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.