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Breastfeed babies if you want, pope tells mothers in Sistine Chapel

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis baptized 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and told their mothers, including one who was married in a civil service rather than in church, to have no qualms about breast-feeding them there. Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long and theology-laden homilies at the yearly baptism event, the pope offered a brief, improvised homily of some 300 words centered on the children.

Breastfeed babies if you want, pope tells mothers in Sistine Chapel

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis baptized 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and told their mothers, including one who was married in a civil service rather than in church, to have no qualms about breast-feeding them there. Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long and theology-laden homilies at the yearly baptism event, the pope offered a brief, improvised homily of some 300 words centered on the children.

Vatican marks anniversary of 1972 attack on Michelangelo's Pieta

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Forty-one years ago, a crazed Hungarian named Laszlo Toth jumped an altar railing in St. Peter's Basilica and dealt 12 hammer blows to Michelangelo's Pieta, severely damaging the Renaissance masterpiece. To mark the attack on May 21, 1972, the Vatican Museums held a day-long seminar on Tuesday on the statue, the incident, and what subsequently became one of the most delicate and controversial art restorations in history.

Pope Francis celebrates first mass since election

Pope Francis and the cardinals who made him the first Latin American leader of the Catholic Church returned to the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, this time to celebrate mass together. After a recitation of the Lord's Prayer, the famous chapel adorned with Michelangelo's frescoes began resounding with Latin song. The New Testament reading was from the Book of Matthew in which Christ says to Peter: "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church." All the cardinals, as well as the new pope, wore simple light yellow robes over their cassocks.

URGENT ¥¥¥ Sistine Chapel's doors swing shut: conclave begins

The great wooden doors of the Sistine Chapel swung shut Tuesday, indicating the start of a conclave to elect a successor to the retired Benedict XVI. The 115 "cardinal electors" made their solemn entrance into the famous Vatican chapel graced by Michelangelo's frescoes and swore an oath of secrecy for the duration of their deliberations. Moments earlier, all non-cardinals were ordered to leave the chapel with the time-honoured Latin phrase "Extra Omnes!" (Everyone Out!). jlv/gd/gj/mfp
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