VATICAN CITY – A few hours after urging priests to be generously available for the sacrament of penance, Pope Francis went to confession, then offered the sacrament to seven Catholics.

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VATICAN CITY – When a child-protection advocate resigned from a papal advisory board in early March, she did so because of growing frustration with persistent resistance and a "toxic" sense of superiority from some in the Roman Curia.

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Vilma Cortellucci-Fiuza was battling nerves as she stepped up to speak in front of the Holy Father.

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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis will make a six-day trip to Colombia in September with four cities on his itinerary, almost a year after the government and FARC rebels signed a major peace agreement.

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VATICAN CITY – Catholic activist Sister Simone Campbell has suggested that senior clergy at the Vatican are more preoccupied with power than confronting issues that affect the faithful, like clerical sexual abuse.

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VATICAN CITY – Although the Holy See reported a deficit of 12.4 million euros ($17.6 million) in 2015, significant progress has been made in the budgeting process and carrying out economic reform, the Vatican said.

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ROME – Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins has accused the Vatican bureaucracy of “shameful” resistance to fighting clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church as she quit a key panel set up by Pope Francis.

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VATICAN CITY – In an effort to help support the economy of the central Italian region devastated by several earthquakes in 2016, the Vatican has purchased food from local farmers and producers to feed the homeless.

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VATICAN CITY – On Wednesday the Vatican announced plans to monitor with a more careful eye those who print official images of the Pope or the Holy See and sell them for profit, intervening with “appropriate action” when necessary.

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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican and one of Islam’s most renowned schools of Sunni thought are joining forces to discuss how they can work together in combating religious extremism that uses God’s name to justify violence.

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VATICAN CITY – When updating the Catholic Church's medical and bioethical charter, experts decided it wasn't enough to aim the guidelines at health care professionals.

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VATICAN CITY – In a talk with representatives of Catholic men's religious orders, Pope Francis admitted there’s “corruption” in the Vatican but said he is not troubled by it and is working to reform the church administration.

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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has defended its decision to invite China to an organ trafficking summit after an outcry from medical experts and ethicists about the country’s record of using executed prisoners as organ donors.

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UNITED NATIONS – Saying poverty is the greatest challenge facing humanity, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations called on nations to seek solutions to poverty not only based on economics but to also address personal, social and environmental factors that contribute to it.

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VATICAN CITY – To offer clearly and accurately the Catholic Church's positions on abortion, contraception, genetic engineering, fertility treatments, vaccines, frozen embryos and other life issues, the Vatican released an expanded and updated guide of the church's bioethical teachings.

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