• Pope Francis speaks to journalists aboard the airplane heading to Iraq on 5 March 2021. Pope Francis landed in war-battered Iraq on the first-ever papal visit, defying security fears and the pandemic to comfort one of the world's oldest and most persecuted Christian communities. Picture: Andrew Medichini/AFP

    Pope updates canon law to address paedophilia by priests

    Revision of the penal sanctions within the Code of Canon Law followed a lengthy process involving input from canonist and criminal law experts and came after repeated complaints by victims of sexual abuse and others that the code's previous wording was outdated and intransparent.

  • Pope Francis blesses blows his nose as he arrives on May 12, 2021 at San Damaso courtyard in The Vatican to resume his weekly outdoors general audience with the public after a six-month absence due to the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Tiziana Fabi / AFP

    Pope's joy as he resumes audience with public

    He greeted a baby, signed a book, donned a hat someone gave him and chatted with children who had painted him pictures as the faithful -- all in masks, unlike the vaccinated pontiff -- lined up to greet him.

  • FILE Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, celebrates an Easter Sunday mass in front of empty pews at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on April 12, 2020 as the Basilica remained closed to the public due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Picture: AFP

    Pope appoints first African American cardinal

    Under the soaring dome of St Peter's Basilica, the new "princes of the Church" knelt one by one at the feet of the 83-year-old pontiff, who placed the quadrangular scarlet cap, or biretta, on their heads.