National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Vatican revives its ancient patronage of the arts

For centuries, popes sponsored the work of artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael or Bernini, who went on to create some of their masterpieces within the very walls of the Vatican.

Yet over time, the marriage between art and faith grew stale -- the Vatican's culture minister even called it a "divorce" -- with the Roman Catholic church finding itself estranged from the art world it did so much to create.

Pope Francis to unlock app for Pontifical Mission Societies

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Pope Francis was scheduled to help the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States broaden its reach around the world by unlocking a smartphone app.

During an audience with national directors of pontifical mission societies from around the world, the pope was set to launch the organization's new Missio app from the Vatican on Friday, sending news and content in eight languages.

Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope

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The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said while he does not like the terms "Francis effect" or "Francis bump," it is true that "Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people."

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said he does not care for the term "Francis effect," since Pope Francis has not changed church teaching.

Vatican signs financial transparency accord with U.S. officials

In a bid to improve its checkered record on financial transparency, the Vatican on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement with the U.S. agency that fights against financial crimes.

The Vatican's Institute for the Works of Religion, known as the Vatican bank, has a long history of secrecy and scandals, and it has reportedly been involved in several shady operations during the course of its history. In recent years, top bank officials have been put under investigation by Italian magistrates for alleged money laundering.

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April 11-24, 2014

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