Pope au Chocolat: Life-Sized Chocolate Statue Greets Pope Francis

(Source: NBCNews.com)

U.N. Report: Vatican Policies Allowed Priests To Rape Children

(Photo: Alessandra Tarantino / AP)

The United Nations heavily criticized the Vatican on Wednesday for what it said was a systematic adoption of policies allowing priests to rape and sexually abuse tens of thousands of children.

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Meet Father Dad: How married priests would change the Catholic Church

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More students in seminaries, more people in the pews, and the pitter-patter of little feet padding through the rectory.

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Tens of thousands attend pope’s vigil for Syria

(Photo: Tony Gentile / Reuters)

A somber-looking Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal before 100,000 people on Saturday to avert a widening of Syria’s conflict, urging world leaders to pull humanity out of a “spiral of sorrow and death.” 

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(Source: NBCNews.com)

Pope Francis honeymoon continues: Draws big crowds and new fans

(Photo: Franco Origlia / Getty Images Contributor)

ROME – More than one month since his election, Pope Francis is winning new fans and drawing big crowds to the Vatican.   

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Pope washes feet of young detainees in Holy Thursday ritual

(Photo: Osservatore Romano via AFP - Getty Images)

ROME – Since he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has proved many times over that he wants to break away from clerical privilege, come down from St. Peter’s throne and act as a humble servant of the faithful.

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Pope Francis I: Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is new Catholic leader

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VATICAN CITY - Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was named leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday after being elected pope. He will be known as Pope Francis I.

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No pope yet: Second puff of smoke is black

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On second day of deliberations, cardinals begin another session of talking and voting as they try to decide who will be the next Bishop of Rome.

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Black smoke rises from Sistine Chapel; no decision on pope

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VATICAN CITY — Black smoke rose above the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, signaling that 115 Roman Catholic cardinals failed to agree on a new pope during the first day of the papal conclave.

The “princes of the church” began deliberating inside the Vatican after swearing an oath of secrecy and entering the papal conclave at about 5 p.m. local time (12 p.m. ET).

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From Rome to Africa: Meet the 20 men who could be pope

(Photo: Michael Kappeler / EPA)

As the papal conclave begins in Rome, wrapped in mystery and secrecy, there is no indication that the 115 cardinals will be deciding between just a couple of front-runners in choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

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What Catholics want: Five keys to electing the perfect pope

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Cardinals must now identify the key characteristics they want to see in the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

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Exposing Vatican secrets a ‘dangerous’ mission, says Vatileaks journalist

(Photo: Ettore Ferrari / EPA)

As the Vatican waits for a new pope under a cloud of scandal, the journalist at the center of the Vatileaks case is revealing the high-stakes, cloak-and-dagger operation he undertook to protect the butler who went public with the secrets.

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