The Bishops of England and Wales have launched an urgent appeal to Catholics to pressurise the government to keep its pledge to lift the 50 per cent cap on faith admissions to new free schools, amid growing concerns that the Conservatives may renege on the pledge.

The Holy See and China will jointly host two art exhibitions next year in the latest attempt to repair their diplomatic ties.  

Jubilant Zimbabweans took to the streets in celebration this evening as President Robert Mugabe offered his resignation just one week after the army detained him under house arrest. 

Pope Francis has established a special department inside the Vatican’s Secretariat of State devoted to overseeing the work of papal diplomats including their selection, titled the “Section for the Diplomatic Staff of the Holy See”

Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is to have a final public sitting in Sydney next month, on the eve of delivering its final report to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on 15 December, to thank the community for its support.

One week after Zimbabwe’s army moved to detain President Robert Mugabe under house arrest, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice-president and the man widely expected to succeed Mugabe as head of a transitional government, made his first public statement.

After Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempts to form a governing coalition collapsed this week, German Church representatives expressed their disappointment at the breakdown of the three-party coalition negotiations.

A £15,000 statue of Jesus Christ, purchased by a parish in the Birmingham Archdiocese, is to be installed at a Catholic church in Walmley.

Cecilia Bartoli, the Italian mezzo-soprano opera singer, has become the first woman to perform with the choir of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. She joined the men and boys to sing Beata Viscera, by the medieval monk Pérotin, based in Nôtre Dame Cathedral in the 12th century.

Scotland’s bishops have condemned a decision by the Holyrood parliament on abortion as 'immoral' and 'in conflict with public opinion'. Their statement follows an announcement by the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for Health, Shona Robison, that Scottish women will be allowed to take the abortion pill Misoprostol at home, making the country the only part of the UK where it is legally permitted outside a clinical setting.


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