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Pope Francis leads Easter Mass at the Vatican

Pope Francis arrives to lead the Easter mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. Credit: Reuters
Members of the Italian army march in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. Credit: Reuters
Swiss guards stand to attention before the arrival of Pope Francis to lead the Easter mass in Saint Peter's Square. Credit: Reuters

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Cocaine-filled condoms addressed to Vatican found

Authorities handed a package filled with narcotics to Vatican police with the aim of laying a trap for a culprit. Credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

German customs officials intercepted a package addressed to the Vatican containing 14 cocaine-filled condoms, passing it onto Vatican police with the hope a culprit may claim it.

A finance ministry spokesman confirmed the incident as reported in German Bild am Sonntag (£) was seized in January at Leipzig international airport.

The package was posted from an unnamed South American country and addressed to the main postal centre at the Vatican. It had remained unclaimed since January, with investigators believing the intended recipient was likely tipped off to the package's interception.

Pope Francis puts emphasis on 'church for the poor'

Archbishop Vincent Nichols is the only cardinal chosen from a European church, Father Christopher Jamison told ITV News.

Mr Jamison, who is a friend of the newly appointed cardinal, said that Pope Francis was putting a stronger emphasis on being "a poor church for the poor".

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols created a cardinal by Pope

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has been created a cardinal by Pope Francis.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, received the symbolic red hat at a consistory ceremony in Rome.

Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster created a cardinal by Pope Francis Credit: RTV

The Archbishop was one of 19 cardinals created during the ceremony this morning at St Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis bestows symbolic red hat in Rome. Credit: RTV

Former-Pope Benedict makes rare appearance

Pope Benedict sat in the front row at the ceremony in the Vatican.

Former Pope Benedict made a surprise entrance into St. Peter's Basilica to attend a ceremony at which his successor, Pope Francis, was elevating 19 prelates to the high rank of cardinal.

Benedict, who resigned a year ago, sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row along with other cardinals.

It was the first time he has attended a papal ceremony since his resignation, although he and Francis have met several times.

Pope appoints new cardinals from 'places of poverty'

The Archbishop of Westminster The Most Rev Vincent Nichols has said the Pope was appointing cardinals from a wide range of countries, including members of the clergy from cities with experience of "abject poverty".

Delivering the Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said:

Some are drawn from places of real poverty: Burkina Faso, Haiti and the Philippines. The voice of those who live among and care for the poor is a voice Pope Francis wants to hear in his counsels.

He also wants around him those whose role is to lead communities of Catholic faith in the mega-cities of our world: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Seoul and, in my case, London.

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