ROME — Pope Francis on Saturday issued a new constitution, nearly a decade in the making, to govern the bureaucracy that runs the Roman Catholic Church. The constitution, running 54 pages, newly stipulates that baptized lay Catholics, including women, can lead departments traditionally headed by cardinals and increases institutional effortsContinue Reading

VATICAN CITY — The first cardinal to face a criminal trial in a Vatican courtroom, once one of the Roman Catholic Church’s most powerful officials, told the court in the papal city-state on Thursday that he was ready to clear his name against charges of embezzlement and abuse of office.Continue Reading

PARIS — The absolute secrecy of confession is central to the Roman Catholic faith. What is said in confession is between a penitent and God, the priest a mediator. Any priest who breaks that seal can face excommunication under church laws that the Vatican places above all others. But whatContinue Reading

But Francis has apparently grown frustrated in recent months with the hostile corners of the American church and their media megaphone. The American Catholic television network, EWTN, is arguably the world’s largest, and its biggest star, Raymond Arroyo, a favorite of Mr. Trump, has frequently hosted guests hostile to FrancisContinue Reading

PARIS — The Catholic Church in France was once so powerful that it was considered a state within a state. In Roman Catholicism’s global hierarchy, France cemented its position as far back as the fifth century, when it became known as the “eldest daughter of the church.” While Catholicism hasContinue Reading