Articles on Vatican

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Pope Francis with a group of nuns in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City, in 2018. History and the Bible provide good reasons why women should be in positions of authority in the Catholic Church. Ettore Ferrari/EPA/AAP

Women priests could help the Catholic Church restore its integrity. It’s time to embrace them

A recent Vatican commission report on women's ordination as deacons was inconclusive. But allowing women priests would help the Catholic Church achieve much-needed reform.
George Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter, said he will appeal the guilty verdict. DAVID CROSLING/AAP Image

How an appeal could uphold or overturn George Pell’s conviction

George Pell's conviction has opened a rift in Australian society, with many people questioning the guilty verdict. Pell's lawyer has said he will appeal. On what grounds could he do that?
Sculpture of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, on the campus of Boston College. Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.com

What a 16th-century mystic can teach us about making good decisions

At times we just don't know what's the right thing to do. St. Ignatius, who founded the Society of Jesus, developed a method of discernment that can be useful even to those who are not religious.
Clergy sex abuse was among the biggest religion stories of 2018. In this photo, a demonstrator holds up a protest sign at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma

Researching clergy sex abuse can take a heavy emotional toll: 3 essential reads

For scholars, researching the Catholic Church can mean a laborious process involving several years. And talking to survivors of clergy sex abuse can carry its own pain and personal toll.
Members of Chile’s bishops conference, in May 2018, who say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Why the Catholic Church is so slow to act in sex abuse cases: 4 essential reads

Pope Francis has been accused of a cover-up in the sex abuse scandal involving Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop. Experts explain why it's hard for the Catholic Church to hold clergy accountable.
In 2014, in, a small town in northern Israel, Christian worshippers gathered next to a statue of the Virgin Mary, that they said ‘weeps’ oil. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

What is behind belief in weeping Virgin Mary statues

Throughout Catholic history, miracles have been attributed to Virgin Mary's power. She is understood to cry not only over the sins of the world, but over the pain she experienced in her earthly life.
The abyss of hell. Sandro Botticelli.

What is hell?

The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith.
Immaculate Heart College Art Department c. 1955. Photograph by Fred Swartz. Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

How a group of California nuns challenged the Catholic Church

In the '60s, a Roman Catholic religious order, the Immaculate Heart Sisters, created a new vision of a religious community. Meghan Markle, engaged to Prince Harry, attended the high school founded by the nuns.

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