VATICAN CITY - The Vatican's interreligious council invited the head of a leading Muslim institution to meet with Pope Francis as part of an effort to restart dialogue.

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VATICAN CITY - A talk given to new bishops during a Vatican-sponsored course does not represent new guidelines on the church's response to abuse against minors by religious, a Vatican spokesman said.

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VATICAN CITY - The body of one of Italy’s favourite saints, Padre Pio, has left the Vatican, carried out in a distinctive crystal coffin after nearly a week on display inside St. Peter’s Basilica as part of the Jubilee of Mercy.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican commission on clerical sexual abuse has wrapped up a turbulent week-long meeting during which one of two victims on the panel was effectively ousted and Chilean Catholics upset that Pope Francis has not sacked a controversial bishop delivered protest letters.

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January 28, 2016

Step back for peace

A historic treaty between the Vatican and Palestine came into effect on Jan. 2 with little fanfare. But it warrants discussion now on the heels of an Israeli land grab that underlines how far removed the Holy Land remains from peace.

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VATICAN CITY - Meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Vatican, Pope Francis told him he had high hopes for peace.

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VATICAN CITY - Following a request by Pope Francis, the Vatican issued a decree specifying that the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual can include "all members of the people of God," including women -- a practice already observed by the Pope and many priests around the world.

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VATICAN CITY - A homeless woman was offered a place to stay at a Vatican women's shelter after she gave birth to a baby girl near the colonnade surrounding St. Peter's Square, the Vatican spokesman said.

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VATICAN CITY - Religious leaders must identify and publicly distance themselves from extremists preaching animosity toward others, a Vatican official told religious and government leaders from across the Arab world.

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ROME - A Rome court dropped charges of corruption against an Italian monsignor, yet found him guilty of slander and gave him a two-year suspended sentence.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is not "a den of thieves," and such insinuations are an injustice to employees who are proud to serve the pope and the church, said Archbishop Angelo Becciu, a top official in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

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The legendary musician and showman David Bowie was as mutable and enigmatic about his religious views as he was about his music, art and gender-bending fashion choices.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican’s newspaper has criticized French weekly Charlie Hebdo for manipulating faith in the magazine’s latest front page, which depicts a blood-soaked God armed with a Kalashnikov.

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VATICAN CITY - A historic agreement signed between the Holy See and Palestine that supports a two-state solution in the Holy Land has gone into effect, the Vatican announced.

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VATICAN CITY - More than 3.2 million pilgrims visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services at the Vatican in 2015, the Vatican said.

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