VATICAN CITY (RNS) For centuries, popes sponsored the work of artists such as Michelangelo, Raffaello or Bernini, but the marriage between art and faith became estranged in modern times. With a new exhibit at the prestigious Venice Biennial art festival, the Vatican hopes to revive church patronage of the arts.
Author Archives: Alessandro Speciale
About Alessandro Speciale
Alessandro Speciale has been covering the Vatican since 2007 and started writing for Religion News Service in 2011. Born in Rome, he studied literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and journalism at City University, London. He has appeared as an expert on Vatican affairs on CNN, BBC World and Al Jazeera English.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) While the number of Catholic priests in the Americas and in Europe is declining compared to the overall Catholic population, those losses were offset by increasing ranks of permanent deacons.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Friday (May 10) met with Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, an encounter that brought the number of popes residing within the Vatican walls to three this week. It also put a spotlight on the suffering of Christians in Egypt.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) With one of the more colorful unscripted expressions that have become a hallmark of his young pontificate, Pope Francis reminded nuns that they should be “fertile” spiritual mothers, not “‘spinsters.”
VATICAN CITY (RNS) American anti-abortion leaders will be in Rome on Sunday (May 12) to participate in Italy’s third March for Life and lend their expertise to the nation’s small anti-abortion movement as it tries to learn from its American counterpart.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a bid to improve its checkered record on financial transparency, the Vatican on Tuesday (May 7) signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. agency that fights against financial crimes. The Vatican Bank has a long history of secrecy and scandals, and it has reportedly been involved in several shady operations during the course of its history.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) When the Vatican’s doctrinal office informed the office that oversees religious orders about a probe of American nuns, the cardinal who heads the office was told the investigation was already completed.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) While some church observers worry that Benedict XVI could overshadow Pope Francis and his course of reforms, one veteran commentator said the side-by-side popes shouldn’t cause a “crisis in the church.”
VATICAN CITY (RNS) A recently discovered 1494 depiction of Native Americans is consistent with Christopher Columbus’ account of being greeted by naked men who painted themselves black or red and danced for the European explorers.