Pope's decree opens Holy Thursday foot washings to women and girls

Vatican City -- Pope decrees that people chosen for the washing of the feet in the liturgy of Holy Thursday may be selected from all the People of God, and not only men and boys.

Vatican committed to universal health care coverage

Vatican City -- Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Holy See delegation to the 65th World Health Assembly, on Wednesday delivered an address before that gathering, which is being held in Geneva, Switzerland, until Saturday. Speaking English, the archbishop reaffirmed the Holy See's support for Resolution WHA64.9 on "sustainable health financing structures and universal coverage," which urges member States to aim for affordable universal coverage and access for all citizens on the basis of equity and solidarity.

Benedict proclaims John Paul II a blessed

VATICAN CITY, 1 MAY 2011 (VIS) - At 10:00am this morning, the Second Sunday of Easter of Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI presided over the Eucharistic celebration during which Servant of God John Paul II, Pope (1920-2005) was proclaimed a Blessed, and whose feastday will be celebrated 22 October every year from now on.

Eighty-seven delegations from various countries, among which were 5 royal houses, 16 heads of state - including the presidents of Poland and Italy - and 7 prime ministers, attended the ceremony.