FAITH/STORIES

MANCHESTER, England -- The Catholic Church has failed to defend Christians effectively, partly because it historically accepted persecution as part of its "community story," a Vatican official said.

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican distanced itself again from any involvement in the Spanish government's decision to exhume the remains of the country's late dictator, Gen. Francisco Franco.

VALLA BEACH, Australia -- China has announced that Bishop Paul Ma Cunguo of Shuozhou, a Vatican-recognized bishop, has joined the official state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

Pope Francis makes surprise visit to summer camp

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VATICAN CITY -- When Zoe, 10, showed up late for summer camp at the Vatican, she did not expect to see Pope Francis there.

July 20, 2020

Pope Francis concerned by increased tensions between Armenia, Azerbaijan

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis expressed his concern over escalating hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan, prompting renewed fears of war in the Caucasus region.

Vatican: Laity have role, but most parishes must be led by priests

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's Congregation for Clergy issued a new instruction on pastoral care that specifies the role of lay men and women in the church's mission of evangelization and offers guidance in parish reforms and restructuring.

Vatican releases guide on how leaders must handle abuse allegations

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a 17-page document offering a step-by-step guide for how bishops, religious superiors and canon lawyers are supposed to handle accusations of alleged abuse by clerics against minors.

July 13, 2020

Pope Francis 'saddened' by Turkish court ruling to turn Hagia Sophia into mosque

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said he was saddened after a Turkish court ruled to revert the iconic Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque.

Vatican task force calls for an end to arms production

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VATICAN CITY -- Human health, peace, security and progress would be better served with a complete end to the production of weapons worldwide, said members of a Vatican task force.

Financial watchdog sees increased cooperation with Vatican agencies

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's financial watchdog agency has expanded its reach of cooperation, and it plans on continuing to increase its staff to better fulfill its mandate.

July 6, 2020

Pope Francis backs U.N. resolution calling for global cease-fire

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis praised the United Nations' adoption of a global cease-fire resolution amid the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world.

Vatican's top diplomat meets about Mideast with U.S., Israeli ambassadors

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VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, met with the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to the Vatican to express concern that "possible unilateral actions" on their part would further jeopardize peace in the region.

After raid, pope names commissioner for oversight of St. Peter's Basilica

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis appointed a commissioner charged with overseeing and reorganizing the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the office responsible for the physical care and maintenance of St. Peter's Basilica.