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Gays cannot enter Catholic priesthood, insists Vatican

Vatican City - A decree on training for Roman Catholic priests published on Wednesday stresses the obligation of sexual abstinence, as well as barring gays and those who support "gay culture" from holy orders.

Pope likens scandal-seeking media to excrement lovers

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Wednesday compared scandal-obsessed media outlets who smear politicians and spread gossip to people sexually excited by excrement -- and described their readers as faeces eaters.

Pope Francis urges 'responsible behaviour' to stop AIDS spread

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Wednesday issued a call for "responsible behaviour" to prevent the spread of AIDS without specifying whether that included wearing condoms.

Pope to visit Ireland in 2018 says PM Kenny

Vatican City - Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August 2018 for the World Meeting of Families, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Monday after meeting the pontiff in Rome.

Reform hopes as Vatican panel studies female deacons

Vatican City - A papal commission on the role of female deacons met for the first time Friday in a move reformers hope could open the door to women eventually entering the Catholic clergy.As things stand only men can serve as priests or as deacons.

Pope and Vietnam president meet in bid to warm ties

Vatican City - Pope Francis hosted Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang at the Vatican as the two work towards warming long-strained ties, a press release from the Holy See said.

Pope gives priests permanent right to pardon abortion

Vatican City - Pope Francis declared Monday that all priests would have the right to forgive abortion, making permanent a temporary measure put in place for the Vatican's jubilee year.

Pope shuts Holy Door after jubilee of hope for sinners

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Sunday brought to a close the Catholic Church's "Year of Mercy," shutting the Holy Door at Saint Peter's after a year in which he raised Mother Teresa to sainthood and took in Syrian Muslim refugees.

Pope's panel on female deacons to meet: report

Vatican City - A commission set up by Pope Francis to study the issue of female Church deacons will meet in Rome for the first time as a full group next week, the National Catholic Reporter said Saturday.

Pope creates 17 cardinals, 'Princes of the Church'

Vatican City - Pope Francis created 17 new cardinals from across the globe on Saturday, elevating them in a time-honoured ceremony to an elite body that advises and elects popes.

Pope Francis 'not losing sleep' over conservative challengers

Vatican City - Pope Francis has said he is not losing any sleep over a challenge from a group of conservative cardinals who have accused the Argentine of contradicting Church teaching.

Homeless get VIP treatment from Pope Francis

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Friday asked an audience of homeless people to forgive those Christians who "look the other way.

Vatican rejects Chinese priest's self-ordination as bishop

Vatican City - The Vatican on Monday denounced the self-ordination of a bishop from China's underground church without papal approval, in a sign some view as an attempt to improve ties with Beijing.

Pope holds special Vatican Mass for 1,000 prisoners

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated Mass before a thousand prisoners specially invited to the Vatican, giving them a message of hope while denouncing the "hypocrisy" of society.

Vatican to open its doors to 1,000 prisoners

Vatican City - One thousand prisoners -- including some lifers -- will take part in a special event at the Vatican this weekend, along with 3,000 family members, prison staff and volunteers.

Pope understands Europe's caution over migrants

Vatican City - Pope Francis, who has repeatedly called on Europe to open its doors to more migrants, stated Tuesday that governments have the right to carefully assess their capacity to effectively integrate those arriving from abroad.

Vatican tells Catholics not to scatter ashes of the dead

Vatican City - The Vatican on Tuesday urged Catholics not to scatter the ashes of the dead after cremation and instead to store them in places approved by the Church.

Pope grants Venezuela president private audience

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Monday granted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a surprise private audience at the Vatican in the midst of a deep political crisis in the South American country.

Pope raises 'gaucho priest' and six others to sainthood

Vatican City - Pope Francis proclaimed seven new saints on Sunday, including the Argentine "gaucho priest" who served as an inspiration for the pontiff, and two people who were slain for their Catholic faith.

Pope opens private summer apartments to tourists

Vatican City - Who needs a summer palace? Not Pope Francis, who has renounced the delights of Castel Gandolfo outside Rome and opened his private apartments to tourists, the Vatican said Friday.
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