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UN defeats bid to list abortion, gay rights among Sustainable Development Goals

(Monday, Aug. 3) After three years of negotiations, the UN approved a set of Sustainable Development Goals that do not include support for legal abortion or homosexual marriage. The goals were approved on August

English bishops' commission issues report on abuse allegations

(Monday, Aug. 3) The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, established in 2008 by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Conference of Religious of England and Wales, has released its annual

Come to the Holy Land, Custos urges

(Monday, Aug. 3) Reacting to a significant decline in the number of pilgrims, the Custos of the Holy Land has called upon Christians of other lands to visit the Holy Land's sacred sites. "For some time now,

Go to confession, Pope urges faithful

(Monday, Aug. 3) On August 2-- the day on which the faithful have the opportunity each year to gain the Portiuncula indulgence-- Pope Francis encouraged those attending his Sunday Angelus address to go to

Pope Francis: 'go beyond the gift and discover the Giver'

(Monday, Aug. 3) Reflecting on the day's Gospel reading at Mass (John 6:24-35), Pope Francis spoke in his Sunday Angelus address of the need to seek God. "After the multiplication of the loaves, the people had

New Vatican health director named

(Monday, Aug. 3) Pope Francis has named Alfredo Pontecorvi, an endocrinologist and university professor, as the new director of the Department of Health and Hygiene for the Vatican City State. According to the

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to classicist Martin West

(Monday, Aug. 3) The English edition of L'Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to Martin Litchfield West, a classicist who taught at Oxford and the University of London and who died on July 13 at the age of

Cardinal Baum remembered for 'ministry of engagement and not of confrontation'

(Monday, Aug. 3) At the funeral Mass of Cardinal William Baum, the United States' longest-serving cardinal, Cardinal Donald Wuerl paid tribute to the late prelate's commitment of ecumenical and interreligious

Liturgical Calendar: Monday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

(Monday, Aug. 3) Historically today is the feast of the Finding of the Body of St. Stephen, the first martyr. His body was discovered in 415 just outside Jerusalem. It was translated to Constantinople in 439 by the

Liturgical Calendar: Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

(Sunday, Aug. 2) The Father is the one who provides man with the food he needs for his life. But like pagans, we live with empty minds and are so taken up with filling our stomachs and the needs of this life that

Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, bishop & doctor

(Saturday, Aug. 1) St. Alphonsus de Liguori was a great preacher of the Gospel to the poor. His charity and apostolic spirit led him to found the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer to carry on this work. He sent

English bishop encourages faithful to oppose assisted-suicide bill

(Friday, Jul. 31) An English bishop has urged the faithful to take an active role in opposing a bill that would allow for assisted suicide. Speaking to pilgrims who had traveled to France to pray at the shrine of

Rome's mayor, Italian intelligence chiefs differ on terror threat level for Jubilee Year

(Friday, Jul. 31) Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino has said that Islamic groups have made specific threats against the city, but Italian intelligence agencies dispute that claim. Mayor Marino told the daily Corriere

Pope's prayer intentions for August 2015

(Friday, Jul. 31) The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for August 2015. The Pope's general intention is: “That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the

Planned Parenthood videotapes may show evidence of tissue-harvesting from babies born alive

(Friday, Jul. 31) The head of the investigative team whose videotapes have exposed the sale of fetal tissues now says that Planned Parenthood may have been involved in harvesting organs from babies who were born

Commentary: Toasting through the Liturgical Year

(Friday, Jul. 31) When Jesus gave us the gift of the Eucharist, He used the universal basics of life, bread and wine, to be transformed into His Body and Blood. The Mass, repeated daily all over the world, transforms

Plenary indulgence for pilgrims on the Ignatian Way

(Friday, Jul. 31) Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to pilgrims who travel on the Camino Ignaciano, or Ignatian Way, between July 31, 2015, and July 31, 2016. July 31 is the feast of St. Ignatius of

German Protestants deplore destruction of images

(Friday, Jul. 31) In a recent dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, representatives of the Evangelical Church in Germany-- a federation of Lutheran and other Protestant communities-- deplored

Caritas: 100 million Christians face discrimination, persecution

(Friday, Jul. 31) Caritas Italiana, the Italian bishops' relief and development agency, has published a report on the persecution of Christians. The report, released July 30, estimates that there are "100 million

Patriarch, Putin recall 1000th anniversary of St. Vladimir's death

(Friday, Jul. 31) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, joined by representatives of other Orthodox churches, recalled the 1000th anniversary of the death of St. Vladimir, prince of Kievan Rus' and a key figure in the

Kerala court: Christians who reconvert to Hinduism may benefit from affirmative action

(Friday, Jul. 31) The high court of the southwest Indian state of Kerala has ruled that Christian dalits who reconvert to Hinduism may benefit from affirmative action programs. Dalits were formerly referred to as

Spanish, French bishops issue letter on pilgrimage to Compostela

(Friday, Jul. 31) French and Spanish bishops whose dioceses are part of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) have issued a pastoral letter on the famed pilgrimage route, which leads to the cathedral in

Cardinal decries Trump's comments on immigration

(Friday, Jul. 31) Writing in the New York Daily News, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments on Mexicans entering the United States recalled 19th-century anti-Catholic

Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, priest

(Friday, Jul. 31) In the year 1521 a cannon ball fractured the left leg of Captain Ignatius Loyola, the future founder of the Jesuits. While he was convalescing, Ignatius read about Christ and His saints and thus

Commentary: Links to the past

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The New York Times Magazine has given some much-needed attention to ISIS's genocide of Christians with a long essay by Eliza Griswold:

Two Jewish extremists indicted for vandalizing ancient church on Sea of Galilee

(Thursday, Jul. 30) An Israeli court has indicted two Jewish extremists for the arson attack on an ancient Christian church, the AsiaNews service reports. The Church of the Multiplication of Church of the Loaves and

Vatican official cuts ties with anti-trafficking organization

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The Vatican has broken off ties with the Global Freedom Network, an organization whose founder has drawn criticism from union leaders in Australia. “The Holy See actually withdrew some time ago,”

Congress votes to limit access House chamber during to Pope's speech

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The US House of Representatives has voted to restrict public access to the legislative chamber when Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress on September 24. The office of Speaker John

Cincinnati's Archbishp Schnurr urges citizen action to defund Planned Parenthood

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, Ohio, has encouraged his people to press for an end to government funding of Planned Parenthood. “They display a callous disrespect for human life,” the

Commentary: Fetal tissues and vaccinations; are you part of the problem?

(Thursday, Jul. 30) If you’re appalled by the revelations about the sale of fetal tissues-- and how could you not be—pause for a moment and think on this

Kenyan bishops support vaccination boycott, citing risks

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The Catholic bishops of Kenya have encouraged the public to boycott a vaccination campaign, citing indications that the vaccine is unsafe, the Fides news service reports. The Kenyan bishops spoke

Commentary: The mystery of conversion, always deeply rooted in Divine mercy

(Thursday, Jul. 30) There is a three-year-old in the house these days, as my oldest son and his family are visiting. Today young Jeffrey got to play on the red caboose which is displayed on the pavilion grounds in our

Ukraine: Orthodox priest, nun are murder victims

(Thursday, Jul. 30) A Ukrainian Orthodox nun was murdered on July 29, and a priest who had been shot earlier in the week succumbed to his wounds. Sister Alevtina was found dead in her room at a convent in Kiev on

Term-limit proposal for officials of Roman Curia?

(Thursday, Jul. 30) A proposal for “term limits” for officials of the Roman Curia will be among the proposals discussed at a September meeting of the Council of Cardinals, according to a report from the Catholic News

Lesbian principal will retain post at German Catholic elementary school

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The head of a German elementary school run by the Catholic Church will retain her position, despite having registered a civil union with her lesbian partner. The Bavarian school, administered by

Damaging new video exposes Planned Parenthood trade in fetal organs; California court restricts further releases

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Another damaging video exposing Planned Parenthood’s involved in the sale of fetal tissues was released on July 30, just hours after a judge in California issued a restraining order barring the

Commentary: Vatican delegations ought to avoid the rhetoric of the world.

(Thursday, Jul. 30) One does wonder occasionally about Vatican diplomacy. For example, in recent remarks at the UN, the Vatican delegation urged that controversial issues be left out of the UN’s sustainable

Vatican newspaper recalls 1964 novel that featured Argentine pope

(Thursday, Jul. 30) L'Osservatore Romano has published a lengthy article by Juan Manuel de Prada, a Spanish writer and literary critic, on Juan XXIII (XXIV), a 1964 novel by the late Argentine Jesuit Father Leonardo

29 dead in attacks on Christian villages in Nigeria

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Members of the jihadist group Boko Haram attacked two Christian villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 29. The attacks on Dille and Mwuthamam took place on July 28, the Press Trust of

Italy: number of consecrated widows on the rise

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The number of consecrated widows in Italy has risen to 200, and an additional 100 are in formation, according to a report in Avvenire, the newspaper owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference. In

Thailand cracks down on surrogacy

(Thursday, Jul. 30) A new Thai law banning commercial surrogacy and the sale of human sperm cells and eggs goes into effect on July 30. The law follows a number of controversial surrogacy cases involving foreigners,

Protests over detention of Iraqi Christian refugees in San Diego

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Members of the Chaldean Catholic community in San Diego have been protesting the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention of 27 Iraqi Christians at a privately-run detention facility since

Patriarch: pray for Iraq's Christians on August 7

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has asked "all Christians all over the world to join us in praying for peace and stability in Iraq in the first anniversary of the conquest by ISIS of the Christian

Avoid controversial issues in drafting development goals, Holy See tells UN

(Thursday, Jul. 30) As representatives of different governments negotiate the final draft of the United Nations' post-2015 development agenda, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See issued a statement

USCCB committee, Catholic Charities call for just minimum wage to promote family life

(Thursday, Jul. 30) The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the president of Catholic Charities USA, called upon members of

Cardinal responds to Planned Parenthood videos

(Thursday, Jul. 30) Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, the chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that recently released videos of Planned Parenthood

Liturgical Calendar: Optional Memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, bishop and doctor

(Thursday, Jul. 30) St. Peter Chrysologus ("the man of golden speech") earned the title of Doctor of the Church for his eloquent sermons, of which some two hundred remain. Made Archbishop of Ravenna by miraculous

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