The singer’s 1989 music video for the song “Like a Prayer” – featuring burning crosses and a sacrilegious depiction of Jesus – was banned by the Vatican.
Sewing machines whir in a Bangkok convent as workers feverishly finish silk robes in brilliant golds and reds, made especially for Pope Francis and his entourage visiting Thailand this month.
A man dressed in a full, skin-tight, red, black and blue costume of the comic book character - including head cover - was sitting in a VIP section of the audience in Vatican's San Damaso Courtyard.
The visit on Tuesday night was to have remained secret but Javier Martinez-Brocal of the Rome Reports television news agency was in the area in central Rome by chance. He filmed it with his smart phone, posted it on Twitter, and it went viral.
Pope Francis, who has made defending the environment a cornerstone of his pontificate, recounted how Italian fishermen came to him one year and told him they had found many tonnes of plastic in the Adriatic Sea.
Asked by a reporter on the plane taking him from Rome to Malta if he was considering an invitation made by Ukrainian political and religious authorities, Francis answered: "Yes, it is on the table". He gave no further details.
Lebanon, home to one of the largest Christian communities in the Middle East, has been gripped by an unprecedented economic downturn since 2019, with more than 80 percent of the population now living in poverty.
An Ethiopian priest recalls that his first surprising experience after joining a Dubai church, a decade ago, was receiving phone calls from Muslim families employing Ethiopian female domestic workers.
In the book, a conversation with one of his biographers, Briton Austen Ivereigh, Francis talks in some of the most personal terms to date about the time he was hovering between life and death.