A second criminal trial opens Monday in the little courtroom on the ground floor of the Vatican's tribunal building, located just behind the apse of St. Peter's Basilica.
The number of tourists who visit the Sistine Chapel every year could be limited in the future to help preserve the frescoes from human-born pollutants.
Pope Benedict XVI expressed his concern for everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy and encouraged all those working to rebuild from the disaster.
"Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding," he said Wednesday at the end of his weekly general audience.
The leadership of the SSPX has requested "additional time for reflection and study" before responding to Pope Benedict XVI's latest efforts to reintegrate them into the church.
Members of the Synod of Bishops recommended the Vatican establish a commission to monitor religious freedom, develop guidelines for training evangelizers and confession is always available.
The new evangelization will remain a stilted and cerebral exercise unless those most invested in its success are willing to take risks.
Despite the growth of secularism, hostility toward Christianity and sinful behavior by some ministers, members of the Synod of Bishops said they are optimistic about the future.
Paolo Gabriele will immediately begin serving his prison sentence because the Vatican's prosecutor decided not to file an appeal, a Vatican spokesman said.
Cardinal-designate James M. Harvey has spent 30 years working at the Vatican in positions requiring great discretion and bringing him into daily contact with the pope, the world's most powerful government leaders and millions of Catholic faithful.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Wednesday that he would induct Harvey, a native of Milwaukee, into the College of Cardinals Nov. 24 and that he would appoint him archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the major basilica built over the presumed tomb of St. Paul.
In naming Colombian Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez a cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI recognized the work of an outspoken advocate for a peaceful resolution to Colombia's civil war, one of the world's longest-running conflicts.
The pope announced Wednesday that on Nov. 24, he would create six new cardinals, including the 70-year-old archbishop of Bogota, currently president of the Colombian bishops' conference.