Lack of prospects, financial lure pushing youth to Islamic State jihadists: Vatican

Vatican City: Young Syrians are gravitating towards the radical Islamic State due to a lack of prospects and the lure of financial support more than "ideological conviction", the pope`s Syria envoy said on Saturday.

Pope wraps up Asia trip with call for Korean peace

Pope Francis is wrapping up his first visit to Asia with a Mass for peace and reconciliation in Seoul`s cathedral attended by the South Korean president and a handful of North Korean defectors.

Pope to visit Sri Lanka, Philippines in January: Official

Pope Francis will travel to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January for his second trip to a continent where evangelisation is a big priority for the Catholic Church, the Vatican said today.

Australia priest abuse rate double pope`s estimate: Church group

An Australian Catholic Church body dealing with the legacy of child sex abuse by clergy said Tuesday it believed the number of paedophile priests was historically twice the pope`s reported estimate.

Pope stays above the fray for World Cup final

Football fan Pope Francis stayed neutral ahead of the World Cup final between his native Argentina and Germany, saying the tournament in Brazil had shown the importance of dialogue between different cultures.

Pope to hold first meeting with sexual abuse victims

Pope Francis holds his first meeting with victims of sexual abuse by priests on Monday, an encounter that some say should have happened long ago, and victims from his native Argentina say they are pained over their exclusion.

Six victims, two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany, will attend the pope`s private morning Mass in his Vatican residence and then meet with him afterwards, according to people who organised the meeting.

Pope to legalising recreational drugs: Just say no

Pope Francis condemned the legalisation of recreational drugs as a flawed and failed experiment today, lending his voice to a debate which is raging from the US to Uruguay and beyond.

Pope, Anglican leader join forces against human trafficking

Pope Francis and Britain`s Archbishop of Canterbury committed their Churches on Monday to work more closely together to fight "the grave evil" of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Israeli and Palestinian presidents to meet at Vatican on June 8

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet at the Vatican and pray for peace together at an unprecedented gathering on June 8, the Vatican said on Thursday.

Israel-Palestinian stalemate `unacceptable`: Pope

Pope Francis landed on Sunday in the cradle of Christianity in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state, calling the stalemate in peace talks "unacceptable" and stopping briefly to pray at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding this biblical West Bank town.

Pope lands in Bethlehem, nod to Palestinian state

Pope Francis landed today in the West Bank town of Bethlehem in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state as he began a busy second day of his Mideast pilgrimage.

Pope to start delicate Middle East trip in Jordan

Pope Francis arrives in Jordan on Saturday to start an intense three-day trip to the Middle East, bringing hope to the dwindling Christian population and an appeal to members of all religions to work together for peace.

Lisa Ray to meet the pope

Canada-born Indian actress Lisa Ray is visiting Vatican City to meet the pope.

Under pressure, Israel`s Arab Christians reach out to pope

On a lonely hill in northern Israel, a stone`s throw from the Lebanese border, stands Iqrit church, one of the last vestiges of a village razed by Israeli troops in 1951.

Israel sees 10% boost to Christian tourism from pope

Israel`s tourism ministry said Sunday it expects the papal visit later this month to give a sharp boost to tourism by Christians, who already account for most of the market.

Pope heads to Middle East with hope for Christian unity

Pope Francis will take part in an unprecedented joint prayer in Jerusalem next weekend with representatives of all the main branches of Christianity in a bid to put aside old rivalries.

Pope speaks out against arms trade, refugee crises

Pope Francis spoke on Thursday of the "absurd contradiction" between the international community`s calls for peace, the proliferation of the global arms trade and the lack of attention to the suffering of refugees.

UN anti-torture watchdog grills Vatican over child sex abuse

The UN`s anti-torture watchdog grilled the Vatican on Monday over efforts to stamp out child sex abuse by priests, as the Church defended an approach which victims said had "failed terribly".

Pope condemns Catholic Church `profiteers`

Pope Francis on Monday condemned "profiteers" and "climbers" who used the Catholic Church to make money as he embarks on Vatican reforms aimed at promoting greater transparency and doing more to help the needy.

Pope Francis calls for reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Pope Francis has encouraged the visiting Sri Lankan Bishops in their efforts of reconciliation and healing of the nation, local Catholic Church announced.