Uncreation photo courtesy Pontifical Council for Culture (http://bit.ly/10lOLTr)

Vatican revives its ancient patronage of the arts

VATICAN CITY (RNS) For centuries, popes sponsored the work of artists such as Michelangelo, Raffaello or Bernini, but the marriage between art and faith became estranged in modern times. With a new exhibit at the prestigious Venice Biennial art festival, the Vatican hopes to revive church patronage of the arts.

st. peter's square

Vatican signs financial transparency accord with U.S. officials

VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a bid to improve its checkered record on financial transparency, the Vatican on Tuesday (May 7) signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. agency that fights against financial crimes. The Vatican Bank has a long history of secrecy and scandals, and it has reportedly been involved in several shady operations during the course of its history.