VATICAN CITY (RNS) With hundreds of movies and novels devoted to their crimes and intrigues, the Borgias are probably the most controversial family in the history of the papacy. But a new book, drawing on documents from the Vatican Secret Archive, tries to cast the Renaissance dynasty in a new light and dispel the “black legend” surrounding it. By Alessandro Speciale
LONDON (RNS) In a surprise move that shocked both sides of a years-long debate, the Church of England on Tuesday (Nov. 20) rejected an expected move to allow women bishops, preserving the church's status as one of the last bastions of male privilege in the United Kingdom. By Trevor Grundy.
(RNS) A long-running struggle between church authorities and the Rev. Roy Bourgeois over the Catholic priest’s support for ordaining women has ended with Bourgeois’ dismissal from the priesthood and his religious order, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. By David Gibson.
(RNS) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said the Diocese of South Carolina can't unilaterally secede, as she urged conservatives to stay in the denomination despite sharp disagreements over theology and homosexuality. By Daniel Burke.
BALTIMORE (RNS) A divided Catholic hierarchy on Tuesday (Nov. 13) failed to agree on a statement about the economy after a debate that revealed sharp differences over the kind of social justice issues that were once a hallmark of the bishops’ public profile. By David Gibson.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Vatican computer expert was found guilty of helping the pope's former butler in leaking confidential papal documents to the press. Claudio Sciarpelletti won't be spending time in jail but he risks losing his Vatican job. By Alessandro Speciale.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Despite recent setbacks in the U.S. and Europe, the Catholic Church is not losing its fight against gay marriage. On the contrary, according to the Vatican newspaper, its resistance is alerting many to the dangers of threatening the “foundation” of human society. By Alessandro Speciale.
CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Bishop Justin Welby, a former oil executive who's emerged as a critic of corporate excess, was named Friday (Nov. 9) as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide 77 million-member Anglican Communion. By Trevor Grundy.
(RNS) As the nation’s Catholic bishops gather in Baltimore next week, they will be facing questions about how they will cope with the re-election of President Obama. But also looming is the question of how they will deal with Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri, who in September became the first bishop found guilty of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The U.S. ambassador to the Vatican paid his farewell visit to Pope Benedict XVI ahead of his return home, after a three-year in which he steered clear of controversies between the Obama administration and the Catholic hierarchy. By Alessandro Speciale
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (RNS) The Diocese of South Carolina has seceded from the national Episcopal Church, but little else is clear. Will all the congregations go along with the split? What about individual worshipers? And what do they call themselves now? By Amanda Greene
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Five centuries after its inauguration, the Sistine Chapel is visited by around 5 million visitors a year. Some worry this number is unsustainable without damaging Michelangelo's frescoes, but the Vatican wants to keep the iconic chapel open to all. By Alessandro Speciale
(RNS) In the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council, much has been accomplished in building a new relationship between Catholics and Jews. What Pope John XXIII began in 1962 represented the beginning of the end of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism within the Catholic Church. By A. James Rudin.