September 11, 2013 In an interview, Archbishop Pietro Parolin said priest celibacy is not an untouchable church dogma. What his declaration signals, however, is still up in the air.
July 29, 2013 In an unusually candid news conference, the pope said gay people should be integrated into society instead of being ostracized. His view of gays is being seen as diverging from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. He also divulged what he keeps in his black bag.
July 1, 2013 The resignations came just days after a senior cleric with ties to the institution was arrested after being caught with about $26 million in cash he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland. Pope Francis recently set up a special commission of inquiry to resolve the bank's problems.
June 28, 2013 Authorities said Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was plotting to help friends smuggle the money by jet from Switzerland to Italy. Scarano is already under investigation for money laundering.
June 12, 2013 His comments are an apparent confirmation of reports in Italian media that the Vatican denied in February.
May 5, 2013 A newly cleaned painting in the Vatican, which dates to 1494, may be the first European depiction of Native Americans. The painting had been largely ignored for more than 500 years.
March 12, 2013 In the Sistine Chapel, cardinals have begun voting. It takes the votes of two-thirds (77 cardinals) to become pope. In between the votes, the cardinals will be "busy murmuring in each others' ears over coffee and pasta" as they form alliances, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says.
March 11, 2013 On Tuesday, 115 "cardinal electors" will be locked inside the Vatican to begin the secretive process of selecting the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. It's one of the more spectacular and intriguing theatrical dramas on the planet.
March 6, 2013 Alleging that the cardinals either ignored or covered up cases of sexual abuse involving priests, the groups are pushing to keep those cardinals from being part of the deliberations. The cardinals have either not commented or denied wrongdoing.
March 5, 2013 Roman Catholic cardinals are in Rome and are discussing when to begin their formal deliberations on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. On Monday, a German man pretending to be a bishop tried to get into one of their meetings. The Swiss Guards led him away.
March 4, 2013 The College of Cardinals must first decide on a date for the start of the conclave at which the new pope will be elected. It's likely they'll decide to start sometime next week. Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down last Thursday.
February 24, 2013 Some 100,000 people packed St. Peter's Square to hear the pope's last blessing. They interrupted him several times with applause and cheers. Benedict has one more scheduled public event: a general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday.
February 11, 2013 Citing his age (85) and diminished strength, the pontiff plans to step down effective Feb. 28. It's likely that a conclave to elect a new pope will be held by mid-March. A pope hasn't stepped down this way since 1415.
February 9, 2013 Pilgrims and tourists who visit the Vatican Saturday will have a special treat, as the Knights of Malta march in procession to the tomb of St. Peter. The last of the great chivalrous orders is celebrating the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.