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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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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...