VATICAN CITY – The Vatican's financial watchdog agency reported a huge jump in the number of financial transactions flagged as "suspicious" and in the value of assets it has blocked or frozen.
During 2015, the Financial Intelligence Authority "received 544 reports of suspicious activities — almost three times as many as 2014," it said in its annual report, released April 28.

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VATICAN CITY – Four months after announcing it had hired the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an external audit of its finances, the Vatican has suspended the work underway.

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VATICAN CITY – U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said attending a Vatican conference on Catholic social teaching did not represent a political endorsement of his run for higher office.

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VATICAN CITY – Meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Bolivian President Evo Morales discussed social policy and the economic situation facing his country.

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VATICAN CITY – In a "humanitarian and ecumenical gesture," not a political one, Pope Francis is to join Orthodox leaders in personally meeting with hundreds of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece, the Vatican spokesman said.

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An Italian journalist said he was given private documents by a Vatican official detailing problems with financial reforms and that he had a duty to publish them.

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VATICAN CITY – The man who served as executive secretary of a commission Pope Francis established to study Vatican finances said he never gave documents of any kind to Italian journalists and, in fact, met the two reporters only when he and they entered a Vatican courtroom to face charges connected to the leaking of the documents.

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Around the globe, a worldwide addiction to illicit drugs is fueling violence, human trafficking, a proliferation of guns, organized crime and terrorism, the Vatican has said.

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VATICAN CITY - As discussions continue between Vatican officials and leaders of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis met at the Vatican with Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the society.

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VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Georges Cottier, former theologian of the papal household, died March 31 at the age of 93.

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VATICAN CITY - Five years after the war in Syria began, there is a "feeling of helplessness in front of an endless human tragedy," a Vatican official told the UN Human Rights Council.

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VATICAN CITY - The number of baptized Catholics worldwide has grown at a faster rate than that of the world's population, according to Vatican statistics.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will preside over a consistory to approve the canonization of five men and women, including Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the Vatican announced.

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SYDNEY - The Vatican's Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, told a special hearing of Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was not trying "to defend the indefensible."

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VATICAN CITY - In the presence of family, bishops and priests from Ireland and colleagues from the Vatican, Irish Msgr. Paul Tighe was ordained a bishop Feb. 27 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.

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