Apostolic Palace

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis receives an autographed ball from Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, left, as coach Cesare Prandelli, center, and president of the Italian soccer federation Giancarlo Abete smile, during a private audience at the Vatican, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Soccer-loving pope cheers Messi, other players

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis cheered fellow Argentine Lionel Messi and other soccer stars Tuesday as he led a morality-focused pep rally of sorts at the Vatican for Argentina and Italy’s national teams ahead […]

08/13/2013

Three urns designed by artist Cecco Bonanotte to be used to collect ballots during the Vatican conclave. (AP Photo)

Black smoke from chapel chimney: No pope yet

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Black smoke has poured from the Sistine Chapel chimney, signaling that cardinals have failed to elect a pope on their first try. See a video clip here.

03/12/2013

Pope Benedict XVI greets crowd from window at Castel Gandolfo after leaving the Vatican, Castelgandolfo, Italy. (AP Photo)

Benedict becomes 1st pope in 600 years to resign

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI left the Catholic Church in unprecedented limbo Thursday as he became the first pope in 600 years to resign, capping a tearful day of farewells that included an extraordinary pledge of obedience to his successor.

02/28/2013