Vatican warns China bishops over illegal ordination

April 15, 2011
(Christmas Mass at a Catholic church in Beijing December 24, 2009/David Gray )

(Christmas Mass at a Catholic church in Beijing December 24, 2009/David Gray )

Bishops in China who are ordained without papal authorisation inflict a “grave wound” on the entire Catholic Church and should not let themselves be manipulated by the government, the Vatican has said. The Vatican issued the warning on Thursday after a meeting of a special commission that studies the situation of Catholics in China, who are not allowed to recognise the pope’s authority but forced to be members of a state-backed Church.

Belgium urges Vatican to impose harsh punishment on sex abuse bishop

April 15, 2011
(Belgium's Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck addresses the Justice Committee hearing on child sexual abuse in the Belgian Catholic Church, at the Belgian Parliament in Brussels September 17, 2010. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )

(Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck addresses the Justice Committee hearing on child sexual abuse in the Belgian Catholic Church, September 17, 2010/Francois Lenoir )

Disgraced Belgian Catholic bishop admits he abused second nephew

April 14, 2011
(Roger Vangheluwe, Bishop of Bruges, is seen in this November 7, 2006 photograph in Bruges. Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels and Primate of Belgium Andre-Joseph Leonard told reporters at a news conference in Brussels on April 23, 2010 that Vangheluwe has resigned after admitting sexual abuse of a young man. REUTERS/Edwin Fontaine )

(Roger Vangheluwe, former bishop of Bruges, in a November 7, 2006 photograph in Bruges/Edwin Fontaine )

Vatican says sex abuser bishop leaves Belgium for undisclosed destination

April 10, 2011
vangheluwe

(Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, November 7, 2006 photograph in Bruges/Edwin Fontaine)

A Belgian Roman Catholic bishop who resigned in disgrace after admitting to sexually abusing his nephew has left the country for “spiritual and psychological treatment” abroad, a Vatican ambassador has said. Former Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, 74, went into hiding after shocking the Belgian Church with his public confession in April 2010. He first stayed at a Belgian monastery but later left it, and his exact whereabouts were not made public.

Vatican invites all to John Paul beatification, cites “ethical” Rome hotel prices

April 6, 2011
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(Catholic pilgrims hold up photos of the late Pope John Paul in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican January 16, 2011/Giampiero Sposito)

Woody Allen jazzes it up for Rome Catholic hospital

March 29, 2011
allen

(Woody Allen plays the clarinet at a concert in Aviles, Spain, March 25, 2011/Eloy Alonso)

Lourdes calls a healing “remarkable,” avoiding the term “miracle”

March 29, 2011
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(Pilgrims pray at the Lourdes grotto, where the Roman Catholic tradition says St. Bernadette saw visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858, photographed on November 5, 2006/Regis Duvignau)

Catholic-atheist meetings end with Pope Benedict appeal to youth

March 26, 2011
(Catholic-atheist meeting in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne, Paris 25 March 2011/Tom Heneghan)

(Catholic-atheist meeting in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne, Paris 25 March 2011/Tom Heneghan)

Vatican launches public dialogue with atheists in Paris

March 25, 2011
(UNESCO headquarters in Paris)

(UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 7 Sept 2005/Matthias Ripp)

The Vatican has launched a series of public dialogues with non-believers, choosing leading intellectual institutions in Paris to present its belief that modern societies must speak more openly about God.

Pope’s Jesus book raps religious violence, explains exoneration of Jews

March 10, 2011
pope book 1

(A priest reads Pope Benedict XVI's book "Jesus of Nazareth" in a book shop in Rome March 10, 2011/Max Rossi )