Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has informed Italy that a draft law to fight homophobia and discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity could violate the freedom of Catholics to teach and practice their faith.

VATICAN CITY -- Reaffirming the principles that led the Vatican to severely limit private celebrations of Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the early morning, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, the new archpriest of the basilica, said exceptions would be made for "groups with particular and legitimate needs."

VATICAN CITY -- While acknowledging Vatican-mandated reforms in the handling of clerical sexual abuse, four U.N. special rapporteurs urged the Vatican to make it mandatory that church officials everywhere report abuse allegations to civil authorities.

VATICAN CITY -- As the remains of a rickety boat, pulled from the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, were enshrined as a memorial to the hundreds of migrants who died when it sank, Pope Francis prayed that such tragedies would “challenge everyone’s conscience and foster the growth of a more supportive humanity that tears down the wall of indifference.”

VATICAN CITY -- After issuing revised guidelines for preparing for the next world Synod of Bishops, leaders of the synod's general secretariat held online meetings with the presidents and general secretaries of national and regional bishops' conferences.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led hundreds of pilgrims and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in a moment of silent prayer for the Indigenous children who died in Canadian residential schools and for their grieving families.

VATICAN CITY -- A series of laws and procedures promulgated by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and, especially, by Pope Francis to protect children, promote the investigation of allegations of clerical sexual abuse and punish offenders are included in a heavily revised section of the Code of Canon Law.

VATICAN CITY - An elderly man stood alone in St. Peter's Square May 13, using his wooden rosary beads to pray by a simple plaque marking the place where St. John Paul II was shot exactly 40 years earlier.

VATICAN CITY - Four former students at the minor seminary located in the Vatican testified May 12 at the ongoing trial of Father Gabriele Martinelli, who is accused of sexually abusing a younger student at the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for a global fight against the virus of "closed nationalism" and lack of concern for the poor by supporting "the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights" that prevent the widespread manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.