2017: A year in pictures at the Vatican

2017: A year in pictures at the Vatican

2017: A year in pictures at the Vatican

Pope Francis is greeted by youths during an audience for middle schools belonging to the "Cavalieri" group, which promotes Christian life for youth, in the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, Friday, June 2, 2017. (Credit: L' Osservatore Romano via AP, Pool.)

As 2017 draws to a close, a look at the salient moments of the year at the Vatican.


A priest looks in the window of the newly opened McDonald’s near the Vatican in January 2017. The fast food giant opened a franchise despite the objections of nearby residents and high profile clergy. (Credit: Catholic News Service.)


On January 14, Pope Francis named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases. In the photo, O’Malley speaks at a Vatican press conference. (Credit: Catholic News Service.)


On the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, migrants gathered in St. Peter’s Square to attend the Angelus noon prayer delivered by Pope Francis at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017.  (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


On February 4 Rome woke up to anti-Pope Francis posters asking “Where is your mercy?” and criticizing his pontificate. Not long after, a spoof L’Osservatore Romano front page poking fun at Francis and his mercy-over-morals priorities was distributed. In the photo, people walk by some of the hundreds of anti-pope posters, Feb. 10, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)


For the first time in Church history, a pope issued a message specifically for America’s biggest annual sporting event: the Super Bowl. Pope Francis’s one-minute video aired February 5 before an estimated audience of 100 million people. (Credit: Screenshot from video.)


Nour Essa, one of the Syrian refugees whom Pope Francis brought back with him after visiting Lesbos, Greece, reacts as the pontiff delivered his speech during a visit at the Roma Tre University, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Since then, Essa has won a government scholarship at Roma Tre to finish her biology studies. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)


Women made a splash this year at the Vatican. In 2015 the Pontifical Council for Culture formed a group of 37 female consultants from around the world to advise it on matters ranging from neuroscience to sports. In March 2017 the group became a permanent fixture. In the photo, Consuelo Corradi, coordinator of a group of female consultants to the Pontifical Council for Culture and an official at Lumsa University in Rome, speaks during a media opportunity at the Vatican March 7. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring.)


Pope Francis received leaders of EU countries the day before a European Union summit in Rome to highlight the 60th anniversary of the bloc’s foundation on March 25, 2017. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second from left, and Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, third from left, wait for the start of an audience with the pope at the Vatican, Friday, March 24, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


Pope Francis visited a housing project on the outskirts of Milan, Italy’s fashion and finance capital, a stop that underlined the pope’s view that the peripheries offer a better view of reality than well-tended and prosperous city centers. In the photo the pope, standing at bottom, delivers his message in Milan’s Forlanini neighborhood known as Case Bianche (white houses), as part of his one-day pastoral visit to Monza and Milan, Italy’s second-largest city, Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Antonio Calanni.)


Pope Francis presided over the traditional Way of the Cross procession on Good Friday in front of Rome’s Colosseum, recalling the path of Christ to his crucifixion. The pope asked French theologian Anne-Marie Pelletier, winner of the 2014 Ratzinger Prize, to write the meditations for the event. Pictured is the view of the ancient Colosseum in Rome Friday, April 14, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


In late April, Pope Francis visited Egypt for a two-day trip aimed at presenting a united Christian-Muslim front that repudiates violence committed in God’s name. Here the pope hugs Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Al-Azhar’s grand imam, at Cairo’s Al Azhar university, Friday, April 28, 2017. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)


Knights of Malta garbed in black robes walk in procession before the election of the new Grand Master, at the order’s Villa Magistrale on Rome’s Aventine Hill ahead of the secret balloting on Saturday, April 29, 2017. The ancient Knights of Malta religious order voted for a new leader after the old one was effectively ousted by Pope Francis. Setting the stage for drama, the former grand master traveled to Rome for the election, in defiance of the pope. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)


In a highly anticipated event, Pope Francis met with President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The Holy See statement referred to the discussion between Trump and Francis as “cordial.” (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool.)


Some 30,000 people from 130 countries came to Rome to celebrate the Pentecost celebration this year. In the photo, a crowd of faithful gathers in Rome’s Circus Maximus to attend a Pentecost vigil prayer led by Pope Francis, Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


Pope Francis delivers his homily during a mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima Saturday, May 13, 2017, in Fatima, Portugal. The pontiff canonized two poor, illiterate shepherd children whose visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago marked one of the most important events of the 20th-century Catholic Church. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)


Meeting with an association of traveling circus and street performers, carnival workers, musicians and magicians, Pope Francis thanked the artists for their dedication in bringing joy to men, women and children. The pope caressed a tiger during his audience to the “World of Travelling Shows” at Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Thursday, June 16, 2016. (Credit: AP Photo/Fabio Frustaci.)


In the photo, Cardinal George Pell looks down when meeting the media at the Vatican, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Pell, Pope Francis’s chief financial adviser, was charged in his native Australia with multiple counts of “historical” sexual abuse, becoming the highest-ranking Vatican official ever charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal. While some celebrated the event, others voiced their support for the Australian cardinal. (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia.)


In this photo taken on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, a sign on the door of Pope Francis’s private room in the Santa Marta residence reads “Complaining not allowed.” The sign appeared mid July and in small print a red warning defines this as the first law in the protection of one’s health and well-being. (Credit: Vatican Insider.)


Pope Francis reads his message from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, background top right, during the Angelus noon prayer at the Vatican, Sunday, July 30, 2017. All fountains in St. Peter’s Square and the entire Vatican were turned off in July as Italy suffered through a severe drought. (Credit: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia.)


Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, met with President Vladimir Putin in late August, who said his country values “the trusting and constructive dialogue” that has developed with the Vatican. Putin, left, shakes hands with Parolin prior to their talks at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Credit: Kremlin.ru.)


“Shalom alechem!” Speaking to rabbis from the United States, Europe, and Israel, Pope Francis praised the fruitful dialogue in recent years between the Catholic Church and Jewish communities and wished them a happy Jewish New Year. Here the pope shakes hands with Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome, during an audience with the representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America and the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel at the Vatican, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Via AP.)


In this photo taken on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2017, Dario Ramirez bends down and proposes to his girlfriend Maryangel Espinal in front of Pope Francis, during an audience at the Vatican. The 32 year old Venezuelan politician-in-exile and activist, Dario Ramirez, asked his girlfriend Maryangel to marry him. Both devout Catholics, Ramirez proposed at the Vatican during a brief audience with Francis to talk about the crisis in Venezuela. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)


After knocking his head on the popemobile, a bruised Pope Francis is shown a baby to bless during his arrival in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. The pope wrapped up his Colombia trip with a deeply personal final day honoring St. Peter Claver, a fellow Jesuit who ministered to hundreds of thousands of African slaves who arrived in the port of Cartagena to be sold during Spanish colonial times. (Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/Pool via AP.)


Father Tom Uzhunnalil wipes tears from his eyes after a moment of commotion during a press conference on his recent rescue from Yemeni militants, in Rome, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Uzhunnalil had worked for more than four years as a chaplain at the home in Aden in southern Yemen established by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and was abducted by militants in March 2016 when they attacked the home, killing 16 people, including four nuns. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


Pope Francis embraces a migrant, during his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Francis launched a two-year activism and awareness-raising campaign called “Share the Journey” about the plight of migrants to counteract mounting anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S., Europe and beyond. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


In this photo provided by NASA, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, center, and his fellow crew members speak with the Pope while aboard the International Space Station, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Pope Francis’s call from the Vatican marked the second papal phone call to space. Pope Benedict XVI rang the space station in 2011, and peppered its residents with questions about the future of the planet and the environmental risks it faced. (Credit: NASA via AP.)


Defendants Giuseppe Profiti, left and Massimo Spina in a Vatican courtroom. Profiti was found guilty Oct. 14 of illictly spending $500,000 belonging to a papal pediatric hospital on remodeling the private apartment of Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, in what was the first-ever trial for financial crimes. (Credit: AP.)


A young girl sitting next to Pope Francis smiles during an audience with Special Olympic athletes participating in the Unified Football tournament, at the Vatican Oct. 13. Francis emphasized how sport has the power to dissipate differences and foster inclusion. (Credit: CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano.)


On November 19, 2017, Pope Francis offered several hundred poor people, homeless, migrants and unemployed a lunch of gnocchi, veal and tiramisu as he celebrated his first World Day of the Poor with a concrete gesture of charity in the spirit of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


During a late November papal trip, Pope Francis meets Rohingya Muslims refugees from Myanmar during an interfaith and ecumenical meeting for peace in the garden of the archbishop’s residence, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pope Francis ordained 16 priests during a Mass in Bangladesh on Friday, the start of a busy day that brought him face-to-face with Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar at an interreligious prayer for peace. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)


Pope Francis meets participants in the International symposium on a nuclear-weapons-free world, at the Vatican, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The Vatican hosted Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials and a handful of representatives from nuclear powers at a conference aimed at galvanizing support for a global shift from the Cold War era policy of nuclear deterrence to one of total nuclear disarmament. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)


Pope Francis meets with a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The pope called for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected and for “wisdom and prudence” to prevail to avoid further conflict, hours before the expected announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Francis made the appeal during his weekly Wednesday audience, after speaking with the Palestinian leader and soon after meeting with a delegation of Palestinian religious and intellectual representatives in a previously scheduled audience. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)


Newly-appointed American Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich, presented her letters of credential to Pope Francis in a meeting December 22, officially marking the beginning of her duties. Here Gingrich walks with papal gentlemen and Vatican Swiss guards at the end of a private audience with the pope at the Vatican. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Via AP.)


Pope Francis stands with his crosier as prelates pass the casket of Cardinal Bernard F. Law at the end of his funeral Mass Dec. 21 at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Cardinal Law, who resigned as archbishop of Boston in 2002 following scandals that he had knowingly transferred priests accused of sexually abusing children, died Dec. 20 in Rome at age 86. (Credit: CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters.)

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