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Three arrested as part of Vatican bank investigation

A Vatican cleric, a member of Italy's secret services and a financial broker have been arrested as part of an Italian investigation into the Vatican bank, a police source and a lawyer told Reuters.

St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.

The cleric, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, worked as an accountant in the Vatican's financial administration. He was arrested in a parish in Rome's outskirts, his lawyer Silverio Sica said.

Scarano was suspended from his duties several weeks ago when he was placed under investigation by magistrates in the southern city of Salerno, his home town.

In that investigation, Scarano was accused of taking 600,000 Euros in cash out of an account in the Vatican bank a little at a time, usually 10,000 Euros, and giving it to friends who gave him checks. It is alleged he then deposited the checks into an Italian bank account to pay off a mortgage.

Archbishop to meet the Pope

The Vatican's announced that Pope Francis is to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury for the first time later this week.

The Most Rev Justin Welby will be in Rome to visit the head of the worldwide Catholic Church on Friday.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is to meet Pope Francis. Credit: Jack Hill/The Times/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Vatican said the two clerics have shared interests in global justice, ethical regulation of financial markets and conflict resolution.

Earlier in the day, the Most Rev Welby will visit the excavations beneath St Peter's Basilica to pray at the tomb of St Peter, as his predecessor Dr Rowan Williams did on his first visit to Rome.

Good Friday celebrated around the world

Statue bearers strain as they prepare to lift the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the start of a Good Friday procession in Valletta, Malta
Statue bearers strain as they prepare to lift the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the start of a Good Friday procession in Valletta, Malta Credit: Reuters
Penitents take part in a Good Friday procession in Civitavecchia, north of Rome
Penitents take part in a Good Friday procession in Civitavecchia, north of Rome Credit: Reuters
An actor portraying Jesus Christ takes part in a "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross) at Plateau Dokui, an area of Abidjan
An actor portraying Jesus Christ takes part in a "Via Crucis" (Way of the Cross) at Plateau Dokui, an area of Abidjan Credit: Reuters
Pope Francis leads the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in front of huge crowds at the Colosseum in Rome
Pope Francis leads the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in front of huge crowds at the Colosseum in Rome Credit: Reuters

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Pope Francis makes decisive break with Vatican Easter tradition

Pope Francis has given yet another sign of how different his papacy is going to be. Not for him the tradition and splendour of St Peter's for the Washing of The Feet ceremony.

Instead he went to a Detention Centre in Rome and washed the feet of twelve young inmates, as Juliet Bremner reports they included two women, one of whom was a Muslim:

More: Pope breaks with tradition as he washes feet of young inmates

Pope breaks with tradition as he washes feet of young inmates

Pope Francis has broken with tradition in an Easter ritual as he washed and kissed the feet of a dozen inmates at a juvenile detention centre on Holy Thursday. Previous Pope's have maintained the traditional foot washing within the Vatican with priests.

Two of the 12 were young women, an even more remarkable choice given that the rite re-enacts Jesus' washing of the feet of his male disciples, the inclusion of women has been banned by some dioceses.

Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome
Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome Credit: Reuters

Orthodox and Muslim detainees were also included in the twelve according to news reports.

"This is a symbol, it is a sign - washing your feet means I am at your service," Francis told the youngsters.

"Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service."

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