Faith

VATICAN CITY -- For believers, the ability to practice their faith and receive spiritual guidance are "the highest of essential services," and pandemic practices over the past year have shown they are not automatically super-spreader events, the Vatican foreign minister said.

Cardinals Sarah, Comastri retire from Vatican posts

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of 75-year-old Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and 77-year-old Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica and vicar for Vatican City State.

Vatican mandates COVID vaccine for employees

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VATICAN CITY -- As a last resort, the Vatican may sanction employees who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine for non-medical reasons, according to a new Vatican decree.

In Iraq, Pope Francis hopes to encourage Christians, build bridges to Muslims

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AMMAN, Jordan -- On his historic visit to Iraq in March, Pope Francis hopes to encourage his Christian flock, badly bruised by sectarian conflict and brutal Islamic State attacks, while building further bridges to Muslims by extending fraternal peace.

Vatican Museums reopen to the public

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VATICAN CITY -- As coronavirus restrictions eased slightly in most parts of Italy Feb. 1, the Vatican Museums reopened to the public after a three-month closure.

Love is clearest sign of faith, Pope says in homily for Christian unity

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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.

Former Vatican bank president sentenced for embezzlement

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VATICAN CITY -- A former president of the Vatican bank and his lawyer were found guilty of money laundering and embezzling millions of euros from property sales.

Vatican begins vaccinating residents of its homeless shelters

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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 revokes arrest warrant against woman linked to finance scandal

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican announced that it withdrew an arrest and extradition request for an Italian political analyst, who allegedly was hired as a consultant by Cardinal Angelo Becciu and is now accused of embezzlement.

Cardinal Pell: Vatican financial reform making progress

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ROME -- While questions remain about dubious financial dealings in the past and about future uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican's steady move toward financial transparency is on the right track, said Cardinal George Pell, former prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

Papal trip to Argentina, Uruguay still on the table, Pope Francis tells ambassador

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told Uruguay's new ambassador to the Holy See that a future visit to the country as well as to his native Argentina is still very much on the table.