Pope Benedict XVI has altered the rules of a conclave that will choose his successor to allow the cardinals to begin convening earlier. The conclave would normally begin no sooner than 15 days after the pope leaves his post, expected on Thursday.
The Vatican on Saturday criticised Italian media of 'misinformation' concerning reports of blackmail and corruption within the upper echelons of the Vatican, just days before Pope Benoit XVI gets ready to step down.
China's new leader Xi Jinping marks his first 100 days in power - but is he delivering on what Communist party media are calling his "New Deal"? Next, two teenagers set themselves alight to denounce the increasing takeover of Tibetan areas by China's majority ethnic group. And could the next pope hail from Manila? We introduce you to the Filipino cardinal who has a good shot at becoming the first Asian pontiff.
The disturbing contents of a secret dossier could be the real reason the pope has stepped down, according to one Italian daily, as the country prepares to go to the polls this weekend. In the US, a man on death row has had his execution stayed due to concerns about his mental capacities. Finally, in Quebec the language police are enforcing their bilingual law.
If Rio de Janeiro is famous for one thing, it is the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue towering over the city. It could be said that for a long time, the monument was a symbol of the place of Catholicism in Brazilian society - ever present and dominating the cultural landscape. That, however, is starting to change. Although the country still has the world's largest number of Catholics, the 2010 census showed their numbers are down by almost 30 percent from 1970.
In the second part of Europe Now, former Italian Education Minister and current MEP Luigi Berlinguer tells Christophe Robeet how Italy’s students are weathering the crisis. Next, we travel to Milan for a look at how Italian craftsmanship is faring, and where MEP Mario Mauro shows us around the country’s financial centre. We also look at new anti-mafia initiatives and why the Vatican finally has to pay taxes after centuries of avoiding them.
A European guerrilla fighter is causing a stir during peace talks between FARC rebels and the Colombian government - we find out more. Next, we bring you a rare insight into Scientology, the secretive church with movie star members such as Tom Cruise. Finally, we meet Banana Joe, a pup now who is now top dog after winning a prestigious show in New York.
Could the next Pope be from Africa? We look at some of the cardinals on the continent who just might be up for the Catholic Church’s top job. Next, history was made in Kenya this week as TV viewers watched their first ever live presidential debate. And there's shock in South Africa as national hero Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee 'Blade Runner', is charged with murder.
FRENCH PAPERS, Weds. 13/02/13: Libération has a provocative headline today, calling for God to follow in the Pope’s footsteps and step down. It says religion is increasingly weighing in on political debates. Meanwhile, other papers explore what’s next for the Vatican and France’s debt.