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."

Published in Vatican

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.

Published in International

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. 

Published in Holy Land Christians

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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VATICAN CITY - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople may join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres when they meet Pope Francis to pray for peace this weekend.

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BETHLEHEM - Pope Francis has offered his home, the Vatican, to Israeli President Shimon Perez and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to pray together for peace.

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are both on record accepting the invitation from Pope Francis to come and pray for peace at the Vatican.