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Robed in white and waving at an unknown subject, he is accompanied  by a 7,700-word cover story aptly titled The Times they are A-Changing

Pope Francis caresses a sick person in Saint Peter's Square at the end of his General Audience in Vatican City

‘I felt only love’: Disfigured man embraced by Pope Francis speaks out about the experience

53-year-old Vinicio Riva, who suffers from rare genetic disorder, says moment was like 'being in Paradise'

St Peter's bones are believed to have been found in the fourth century

Vatican to display relics that it believes are the bones of St Peter

Relics believed to be the bones of St Peter are to be put on public display for the first time.

Sarah Palin, pictured here in 2011

Sarah Palin fears 'liberal' Pope Francis being influenced by the 'sneering media'

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said Pope Francis has “taken her aback” with his liberal interpretation of Christianity and has expressed fears he may be being influenced by the mainstream media.

Moving photographs show Pope Francis embracing man disfigured by disease

Following his general audience in St Peter's Square Pope Francis kissed and blessed the man, whose face was covered in tumours

The refurbished residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany

The 'Luxury Bishop', the bath, and the €31m palace: Free-spending German cleric summoned to Vatican

As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome, is looking like too little, too late.

Pope Francis wants to tackle endemic corruption at the Vatican

Pope signals start of new war on Vatican corruption

Special audience with whistleblower seen as signalling bold crackdown on cronyism and graft in the Holy See

Pope Francis, at the head of the table, and the eight cardinals, on the first of three days of talks at which he wants to modernise the Catholic Church

What to do about financial corruption, the role of women and views on homosexuality? Meet the men charged with ending the ‘narcissism’ of the Catholic Church

Pope Francis has made his strongest call yet for the Roman Catholic Church to enter the modern world as he met senior cardinals charged with giving the 2,000-year-old institution a radical overhaul.

A photo of the late Pope John Paul II hanging from a stage set up near St Peter's Square

John Paul II to be made a saint alongside John XXVI next year, announces Pope Francis

The third longest-serving pope in history, John Paul II created more saints than all the previous popes put together

Vatican: Jesus Christ sent 'the world's first tweets'

Cardinal Ravasi described Christ as composing messages that were 'full of meaning' in 'fewer than 45 characters'

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict breaks seven-month silence to deny covering up abuse by paedophile priests, and to denounce Richard Dawkins' work as 'science fiction'

The emeritus pope made the comments in a letter to prominent mathematician and atheist Piergiorgio Odifreddi

Pope Francis gestures upon his arrival in St Peter's square

Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

'Christopher? It's Pope Francis': Did the Pope make a reassuring phone call to a gay Catholic?

Vatican denies claims that Pope Francis reached out to a gay French man struggling with his faith

Pope Francis has taken to making personal calls to individuals

Francis’s calls to the masses (was it on the Pope mobile?)

You’d be forgiven for hanging up if someone called your landline and announced, “It’s the Pope”.

Pope Francis with his predecessor Pope Emeritus

'God told me to do it': Is this a clue to why Pope Benedict XVI resigned?

Comments contrast with the explanation he gave to cardinals when he announced his resignation

Book review: Pope Francis: Untying the Knots, By Paul Vallely

A sophisticated biography of the pontiff which captures his many complexities

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

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Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

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After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

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He's behind you, dude!

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From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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