vatican

Veneranda fabbrica del Duomo courtesy of Daniele Mascolo/Expo 2015.

Nicholas J. Cull on the role of religion at the 2015 Milan Expo.

Milan Expo 2015

Paul Rockower surveys and samples the pavilions in Milan.

2014 was replete with conflicts, crises and contingencies that forced the United Nations to face some of its most difficult challenges in recent history.

Ulrike al-Khamis has outdone herself. In a project that began six years ago, the art historian from Germany was tasked with bringing the extensive collections of the Emir of Sharjah into shape when the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was renovated and re-opened. The exhibition she is now presenting in a sparkling domed building almost the size of a soccer field has exceeded expectations."It is the first collaboration of the Vatican with an Arab country," said al-Khamis.

Pope Francis waded into the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process upon arriving here on Sunday, issuing an extraordinary invitation to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and President Shimon Peres of Israel to join him in his home in the Vatican for “a heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.”

A trip to South Korea this summer by Pope Francis appeared much more likely after the Vatican said Saturday that he has approved honoring as martyrs 124 Koreans who were among thousands who perished for their faith in Korea in the 18th and 19th centuries.

A trip to South Korea this summer by Pope Francis appeared much more likely after the Vatican said Saturday that he has approved honoring as martyrs 124 Koreans who were among thousands who perished for their faith in Korea in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Catholics worldwide held a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria joined by Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians, with Pope Francis set to host a mass vigil on Saturday. Francis has called for a "cry for peace" to rise up around the globe and has said he will attend the four-hour prayer session in St Peter's Square. Earlier in the week he wrote to leaders of the G20 leading world economies urging them to "lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution".

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