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Alessandro Speciale

Alessandro Speciale has been covering the Vatican since 2007 and wrote for Religion News Service from 2011-2013. Born in Rome, he studied literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and journalism at City University, London. He has appeared as an expert on Vatican affairs on CNN, BBC World and Al Jazeera English.

All Stories by Alessandro Speciale

Vatican’s new legal guide adds offenses for abuse, leaking documents

By Alessandro Speciale — July 11, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) An overhaul of the Vatican's legal system has been long awaited -- the Vatican still uses an 1889 Italian criminal code that was adopted after the creation of the Vatican State in 1929.

UN panel questions Vatican record on child sex abuse

By Alessandro Speciale — July 10, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) According to the “List of Issues” submitted by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican will have to explain the measures it has put in place to “ensure that no member of the clergy currently accused of sexual abuse be allowed to remain in contact with children.”

Pope Francis decries ‘globalization of indifference’

By Alessandro Speciale — July 8, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) “We have become used to other people's suffering, it doesn't concern us, it doesn't interest us, it's none of our business," Pope Francis said in a visit to a Mediterranean island teeming with migrants from Africa.

Pope Francis proclaims John Paul II, John XXIII as new saints

By Alessandro Speciale — July 5, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis waived the requirement for a second miracle credited to Pope John XXIII's intercession, with the Vatican's spokesman saying that "no one doubts his virtues."

Highlights from Pope Francis’ first encyclical

By Alessandro Speciale — July 5, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI had almost finished "Lumen Fidei" when he resigned on Feb. 28. Pope Francis took up the unfinished work, adding a “few contributions” and published it under his own name.

Former aide confirms John Paul II on verge of sainthood

By Alessandro Speciale — July 3, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) If Pope John Paul II is declared a saint later this year, as expected, he would become a saint only eight years after his death, easily beating the record of 27 years set by Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva, who was declared a saint in 2002.

Pope Francis cleans house at the Vatican Bank

By Alessandro Speciale — July 1, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Two top managers of the Vatican Bank resigned on Monday, just five days after Pope Francis appointed an independent commission to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the scandal-plagued bank.

ANALYSIS: Pope Francis confronts his first scandal in Vatican Bank mess

By Alessandro Speciale — June 28, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis moved to act even before the new crisis at the Vatican Bank erupted -- signaling his resolve to tackle a persistent source of scandal that his predecessors were unwilling or unable to put down.

Pope creates commission to review scandal-plagued Vatican Bank

By Alessandro Speciale — June 26, 2013
(RNS) A new commission created by Pope Francis will have the power to access the bank's data and documents, trumping the secrecy that historically shrouded its operations.

Pope Francis: Christianity is incompatible with anti-Semitism

By Alessandro Speciale — June 24, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) After years of simmering tensions with Pope Benedict XVI, Jewish groups say they have a partner in Pope Francis following their first official meeting on Monday.

Sicily bishop forbids church funerals for mobsters

By Alessandro Speciale — June 24, 2013
ROME (RNS) “Being a Christian is incompatible with having links to Mafia organizations,” said a Sicilian bishop who won't allow church funerals for convicted mobsters.

Benedict and Francis: How much difference is there?

By Alessandro Speciale — June 19, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Both Pope Francis and Benedict XVI want the same thing – to lead people to “understand and accept” the church's teachings. But they go about it in very different ways.

Lutherans and Catholics bury the hatchet for Reformation’s 500th

By Alessandro Speciale — June 18, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholics and Lutherans are re-examining the Protestant Reformation, saying Martin Luther “had no intention of establishing a new church, but was part of a broad and many-faceted desire for reform” within the church.

International Criminal Court dismisses abuse claims against the Vatican

By Alessandro Speciale — June 14, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Advocates for survivors of clergy sex abuse vow to continue their fight after the International Criminal Court dismissed their case against retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis’ first 100 days: What we’ve learned so far

By Alessandro Speciale — June 13, 2013
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A week before Pope Francis reaches the critical 100-day mark, Alessandro Speciale takes stock of his young papacy and what Francis’ early days say about this most unconventional of popes.
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