Vatican hits out at 'dirty war' claims

The Vatican has lashed out at what it called a “defamatory” and “anti-clerical left-wing” campaign to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military junta.

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The Pope's childhood sweetheart

The Pope's childhood sweetheart

An Argentine woman who grew up as the neighbour of the future Pope Francis says she was very briefly the object of his affections when they were both 12.

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Francis pays heartfelt tribute to Benedict

Francis pays heartfelt tribute to Benedict

Pope Francis has paid a heartfelt tribute to his predecessor Benedict XVI, saying his faith and teaching had “enriched and invigorated” the Catholic Church.

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Pope Francis shows humble side on first day

Pope Francis shows humble side on first day

Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff today, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself.

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Pope Francis visits Basilica in Rome

Pope Francis visits Basilica in Rome

Pope Francis has opened his pontificate this morning with a visit to Rome’s main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

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President and Taoiseach offer best wishes to new pope

President and Taoiseach offer best wishes to new pope

President Michael D Higgins has conveyed his sincere best wishes to the new head of the Catholic Church.

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PROFILE: Francis is first-ever pope from the Americas

PROFILE: Francis is first-ever pope from the Americas

Pope Francis is the first ever from the Americas, an austere Jesuit intellectual who modernised Argentina’s conservative Catholic church.

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New pope prepares for first Mass

New pope prepares for first Mass

The Catholic Church’s surprising new leader from “the end of the earth” will celebrate his first Mass as pope today.

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World leaders welcome new pope

World leaders welcome new pope

World and religious leaders have welcomed the election of Argentine cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to the papacy.

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Pope won't know who voted for him

Pope won't know who voted for him

One thing is sure – the new pope will never truly know who voted for him.

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Crowds await identity of new pope

Crowds await identity of new pope

Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics tonight, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pope in a remarkably fast conclave.

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Cardinals elect new pope

Cardinals elect new pope

The Catholic church has chosen a new pope.

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Seagull keeps Vatican watchers briefly amused

Seagull keeps Vatican watchers briefly amused

In the absence of a pope, a seagull stole the show at the papal conclave.

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Cardinals meet for fifth time to select new pope

Cardinals meet for fifth time to select new pope

Suspense is growing in the Vatican this evening where a large crowd has turned out to await news from the Cardinals who will select the next Pope.

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IN PICTURES: Day two of the Papal Conclave

IN PICTURES: Day two of the Papal Conclave

Black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel earlier today, meaning Roman Catholic cardinals did not elect a pope in their second or third rounds of balloting.

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Black smoke as cardinals head to lunch

Black smoke as cardinals head to lunch

Black smoke has billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning cardinals have not elected a Pope in their second or third rounds of balloting.

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Support for Bishop Brennan grows in the Vatican

Support for Bishop Brennan grows in the Vatican

The Father Ted references have made it as far as St Peter's Square…

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