Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- Two days after the Iraqi government announced stringent COVID-19 precautions, including the closure of mosques and churches “until further notice,” the prime minister met with the Vatican nuncio to discuss preparations for the scheduled visit of Pope Francis.

VATICAN CITY -- Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart will not be the first woman undersecretary of a major Vatican office, but she will be the first woman with a right to vote at a meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

VATICAN CITY -- Religious education must focus on leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and building a community of believers where the talents of each person are valued and where all go out to share the Gospel and serve the poor, Pope Francis said.

ROME — Abiding in God's love means nurturing one's relationship with him and with all those whom God loves, Pope Francis wrote in his homily for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

VATICAN CITY -- As the Vatican health service continued vaccinating Vatican residents and employees against COVID-19, it also began offering the vaccine to homeless people who live in Vatican-owned shelters.

VATICAN CITY -- When a person senses God's call, it can be intimidating or frightening, Pope Francis said, but Christians can be sure that the call flows from God's love and that responding to the call will be a means of sharing God's love.

VATICAN CITY -- Australia's financial crime watchdog agency said it over-estimated by the equivalent of more than US$1.5 billion the amount of money transferred from the Vatican to Australia between 2014 and 2020.

VATICAN CITY -- Recognizing "the gifts of each baptized person" -- women and men -- Pope Francis ordered a change to canon law and liturgical norms so that women could be formally installed as lectors and acolytes.

VATICAN CITY -- On a Christmas like no other, Pope Francis prayed for people who could not be with their families because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he urged everyone to recognize and help those who are suffering even more.

VATICAN CITY -- Two top Vatican officials -- Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello -- have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Italian media reported, and a Vatican source confirmed.