Roman archaeologists find oldest images of Apostles in a catacomb

June 22, 2010

apostles 4 (Photo: Professor Fabrizio Bisconti shows the image of an unidentified person on the ceiling of the catacomb chamber, with the four portraits of Apostles in circles in the corners of the ceiling, 22 June 2010/Tony Gentile)

Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ’s Apostles.  The images in a branch of the catacombs of St Tecla near St Paul’s Basilica, just outside the walls of ancient Rome, were painted at the end of the 4th century or the start of the 5th century.

Vatican official’s Cuba visit spurs new hopes for political prisoners

By Reuters Staff
June 22, 2010

mambertiA five-day visit to Cuba by Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Dominque Mamberti, which ended on Sunday, has raised hopes that more political prisoners will be released and the Catholic Church’s recent prominence will continue, dissident and church leaders say.

Vatican beatifies the Blues Brothers … well almost …

June 18, 2010

blues brothersJake and Elwood, the loveable if hapless characters played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in the classic 1980 film The Blues Brothers, have finally gotten Vatican recognition for their “Mission from God.”

Disgraced German bishop stirs messy row with Catholic hierarchy

June 17, 2010

mixaA messy dispute has broken out in Germany’s Catholic Church after a bishop accused of abusing minors said his superiors had tricked Pope Benedict into retiring him and he might ask the Vatican to be reinstated.

Vatican official visits Cuba amid local Catholic Church calls for change

By Reuters Staff
June 15, 2010

cuban prisonerVatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Dominque Mamberti visits Cuba this week at a time when the Catholic Church is flexing its political muscle and calling for change on the communist-led island.  His five-day visit, starting on Tuesday, follows the release of one of Cuba’s estimated 190 political prisoners and the transfer of 12 others to jails closer to their homes in moves requested by church leaders.

“Sin within the Church” is greatest threat to Catholicism: pope

May 11, 2010
pope portugal plane

Pope Benedict on the plane to Portugal, with spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi at right, 11 May 2010/Stefano Rellandini

With new Catholic leader in Hanoi, a breakthrough in sight?

May 11, 2010

Protesters wave banners in support of Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Hanoi outside the city's cathedral, 7 May 2010/Nguyen Huy Kham

Vatican talks with SSPX splinter group proving difficult – cardinal

May 6, 2010
kasper

Cardinal Walter Kasper on April 12, 2005/Max Rossi

Vatican talks with a controversial splinter group have been difficult and the ultra-traditionalist Catholics will have to make concessions if an accord is to be reached, a senior Vatican cardinal has said.

Papal envoy to run scandal-plagued Legion of Christ Catholic order

May 2, 2010
maciel

Pope John Paul II blesses Father Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ, during a special audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican November 30, 2004/Tony Gentile

Catholic sex abuse scandal fallout spreads in Europe

April 22, 2010
vatican st peter's

Fallout from the Catholic child sex abuse scandal spread across Europe on Thursday as the Vatican retired an Irish bishop, a German offered to step down and prelates in England and Wales apologised for the “terrible crimes” of priests.