Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- Opening the Vatican tombs of a princess and a duchess July 11 in a search for the remains of a young Italian woman missing for more than 30 years, the Vatican found no human remains at all.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis named six superiors of women's religious orders, a consecrated laywoman and the superior of the De La Salle Christian Brothers to be full members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

VATICAN CITY -- Being a pastor in a country at war means being with people, leading them closer to Jesus and celebrating the liturgy in a way them helps them experience a bit of heaven on earth, Pope Francis told bishops from Ukraine.

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican City State tribunal has ordered the opening of two tombs in a small Vatican cemetery at the request of the family of Emanuela Orlandi, a young woman who disappeared in 1983.

VATICAN CITY -- In what Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople described as a "brave and bold" gesture, Pope Francis gave the patriarch a famous reliquary containing bone fragments believed to belong to St. Peter.

VATICAN CITY -- In the light of "a worrying negative prejudice" against the Catholic Church, Pope Francis ordered the publication of a document affirming the absolute secrecy of everything said in confession and calling on priests to defend it at all costs, even at the cost of their lives.

VATICAN CITY -- At the end of Mass on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis and Orthodox Archbishop Job of Telmessos walked down the stairs under the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica and prayed together at the apostle's tomb.

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has told bishops and priests in China that they must follow their own consciences in deciding whether to register with the government, and it urged Catholics in the country not to judge them for the choices they make.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis gave priests who minister to seafarers special permission to grant absolution for sins that usually would require the intervention of a bishop or the Vatican itself.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has named a retired bishop to serve as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Lyon, France, three months after refusing to accept the resignation of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.