Live updates

Archbishop Vincent Nichols to be made a Cardinal today

Archbishop Vincent Nichols will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis on today.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols will be made a Cardinal by Pope Francis on Saturday. Credit: PA

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales will join 18 others being elevated to the rank of cardinal in a consistory ceremony at the Vatican.

Sixteen of them are under 80 - meaning they will have the right to vote for the pope's eventual successor.

Advertisement

Vatican to give 'thorough study' to scathing UN report

The Vatican, led by Pope Francis, has said it remains committed to defending and protecting the rights of children. Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

The Vatican has said it will give "thorough study and examination" to a UN report that has accused the Catholic Church of failing to act on, and even covering up, child sex abuse.

The Holy See made no comment on its suggested culpability but said the Church remained committed to protecting children from abuse.

However, it accused the UN committee responsible for the report of interfering with its teachings on abortion and contraception after the report recommended a change in the approach to sexual education in Catholic schools.

UN seeks compensation for Magdalene scandal victims

The UN committee on the Rights of the Child has said the Catholic Church has not yet taken measures to prevent a repeat of cases of forced labour such as Ireland's Magdalene laundries scandal.

A man walks past a memorial at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin to those who worked in the Magdalene Laundries. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

A separate official report, published in February last year, found the Irish state was responsible for sending many women and girls to the now-notorious laundries, where they were subjected to a harsh regime of intimidation, prayer and unpaid work.

Today's UN report has called for the Vatican to begin an internal investigation of the laundries and similar institutions to lead to appropriate prosecutions. It has demanded that "full compensation be paid to the victims and their families" upon its completion.

The Vatican is expected to issue a statement on the damning UN report later today.

UN accuses Vatican of child sex abuse cover-up

A scathing United Nations report has demanded the Vatican "immediatedly remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and hand them to the authorities.

A commission recently created by Pope Francis should probe Vatican conduct in dealing with child sex abuse cases. Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

In its most far-reaching criticism of the Church hierarchy to date, the UN watchdog for children's rights said it is "gravely concerned" the Holy See "has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed".

It accused the Vatican of adopting "policies and practices" which led to abuse continuing and ensured "the impunity of the perpetrators".

The UN body said the Church must hand over its archives on sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children so that culprits, as well as "those who concealed their crimes", can be held accountable.

Advertisement

Vatican doves attacked during Pope's prayers

A seagull attacked a dove released by Pope Francis during prayers in Saint Peter's Square Credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A crow and a seagull attacked doves released by the Pope in front of tens of thousands of onlookers in St Peter's Square.

Two doves were released by the Pope and two children Credit: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

The two doves, released as a gesture of peace, were descended upon during an Angelus prayer conducted by Pope Francis.

Pope Benedict 'defrocked nearly 400 priests for abuse'

Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children according to a document obtained by the Associated Press.

Pope Benedict XVI Credit: REUTERS/Max Rossi/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files

The statistic, which relates to 2011 and 2012, emerged in the testimony of the Vatican's UN ambassador in Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, before a UN committee.

The Holy See has had to defend itself before the UN human rights committee this week following reports of widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Previously, the Vatican has only revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received.

Vatican tweets 'Perfect Day' tribute to Lou Reed

The Vatican's culture representative, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, has tweeted a verse from Lou Reed's song 'Perfect Day' in tribute to the US singer who died on Sunday.

The song has been interpreted as a reference to drug-taking, but the 71-year-old minister, who is the same age as Mr Reed was when he died, later clarified that he was not condoning any references to drugs.

Load more updates