Faith

VATICAN CITY -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI "is well," although the coronavirus pandemic restrictions mean he will receive no visitors April 16, his 93rd birthday.

Pope Francis sets up coronavirus commission

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis created a new commission that will confront the challenges the world is facing in battling the coronavirus pandemic and what it will inevitably face in its aftermath, the Vatican announced.

Vatican names new director of its financial watchdog agency

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VATICAN CITY -- More than four months after Pope Francis named a new president for the Vatican's financial watchdog agency, the leadership roster of the agency was completed with the naming of a new director and vice director.

Pope Francis sets up commission to study women deacons

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has established a new "Study Commission on the Female Diaconate" as a follow-up to a previous group that studied the history of women deacons in the New Testament and the early Christian communities.

Vatican approves special 'Mass in the Time of Pandemic'

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VATICAN CITY -- The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has approved a special "Mass in the Time of Pandemic" to plead for God's mercy and gift of strength in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vatican publishes document on right to water access

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VATICAN CITY -- Access to clean water is an essential human right that must be defended and protected, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said in a new document.

Cardinal vicar of Rome hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19

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ROME -- Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the papal vicar for Rome, was hospitalized after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Diocese of Rome announced.

Vatican confirms Pope Francis does not have COVID-19

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VATICAN CITY -- Neither Pope Francis nor any of his closest collaborators have the COVID-19 virus, said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office.

Vatican says Holy Week liturgies must proceed even if pews are empty

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VATICAN CITY -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that is causing public Mass cancellations worldwide, the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter can not be postponed or suspended, said the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Vatican says general absolution may be permissible during pandemic

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VATICAN CITY -- In places particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and with severe limits on people leaving their homes, conditions may exist to grant general absolution without people personally confessing their sins first, the Vatican said.

Pope Francis updates Vatican City State judicial system

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis updated the laws that govern the Vatican judicial system in an effort to establish greater transparency and independence, particularly in financial and criminal matters.