Eric J. Lyman| Religion News Service

Stories by Eric J. Lyman| Religion News Service

Italians question merits of Catholicism elective in public schools

ROME — For the first time in history, the entire class of one Italian high school opted out of an … Continued

Pope Francis ushers in a Latin American tourist boom

ROME — Italy’s capital is enjoying a boom in tourists from Latin America due at least in part to the … Continued

Record crowds expected for John Paul II, John XXIII canonizations

ROME — Vatican officials say they expect next year’s celebration for the canonizations of former popes John Paul II and … Continued

The Pope Francis effect: ‘Francesco’ now Italy’s most popular baby name

ROME — Moved by the election of Pope Francis seven months ago, the name “Francesco” has leapfrogged to No. 1 … Continued

Sistine Chapel pollution may lead to fewer visitors

ROME — The head of the Vatican Museums said Thursday (Oct. 17) that pollution levels inside the storied Sistine Chapel … Continued

Nazi funeral flap overshadows Jewish ceremony

ROME — The ongoing controversy over the funeral of an unrepentant Nazi captain overshadowed Wednesday’s ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary … Continued

Nazi SS captain denied church funeral in Rome

ROME — Catholic churches here have joined government officials in three countries to deny a public funeral for Erich Priebke, … Continued

Vatican urges a slowdown in the rush to reform

ROME — Pope Francis has earned headlines worldwide with his reform-minded comments on any number of topics, from the church … Continued

Pope Francis walks in the shadow of namesake saint in Assisi

ROME — Pope Francis on Friday (Oct. 4) traveled to Assisi, the central Italian hill town made famous by the … Continued

Pope Francis holds ‘encouraging’ reform talks with cardinals

VATICAN CITY — The special committee of eight cardinals created by Pope Francis with the goal of dramatically reforming the … Continued

ANALYSIS: Are the media giving Pope Francis a pass?

VATICAN CITY — Are the media pulling their punches when it comes to Pope Francis? Whether it’s because he carries … Continued

Pope to canonize John Paul II and John XXIII in April

ROME — Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be formally declared saints on April 27, 2014, the Vatican … Continued

Benedict XVI emerges to defend his record on sexual abuse

ROME — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, responding to a noted atheist mathematician and philosopher who had criticized his handling of … Continued

Pope Francis tells the poor: ‘Don’t let yourselves be robbed of hope’

ROME — Pope Francis criticized what he called the “idolatry of money” on Sunday (Sept. 22) in a trip to … Continued

Italy shocked by affair between young Gypsy and elderly priest

ROME — An illicit relationship that began in the confessional between an elderly Italian priest and a Gypsy woman from … Continued

Pope Francis: A ‘good Christian’ prays for bad politicians

ROME — Wading into ongoing debates over religion and politics, Pope Francis on Sunday (Sept. 15) gently chided Christians to … Continued

Pope Francis’ simple tastes extend to the menu

ROME — Baked skinless chicken, salad, fruit and a glass of simple wine hardly seems like food fit for a … Continued

Loss of papacy leaves some Italians grumbling

ROME — While the public has embraced Pope Francis, Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola’s failure to garner support has caused grumblings … Continued