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.
Pope Benedict XVI has named a Wisconsin-born missionary, Fr. Robert H. Flock, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Flock, who will celebrate his 56th birthday Nov. 4, has served at Santa Cruz Parish in the Archdiocese of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, since 1988. The parish was founded by priests from the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., in the 1950s.
The Vatican announced the new assignment for Flock, a La Crosse priest and native of Sparta, Wis., on Wednesday.
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.
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.
Abandonment of internal church discipline over the past half century has undermined the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, said one American cardinal at the synod.
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.