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English bishop issues warning on A Call to Action

(Monday, Mar. 30) Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster, England, has warned against a liberal group, A Call to Action, saying that “this particular pressure group has no approval or recognition from the Catholic

Bosnian cardinal: Europe fears Muslims, forgets its own Christian heritage

(Monday, Mar. 30) “Europe is afraid of Muslims,” Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo charged in an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale. Europe, Cardinal Puljic said, has been sensitive to the rights of

Scottish archbishop urges faithful to maintain hope despite dramatic parish closings

(Monday, Mar. 30) Archbishop Leo Cushley of Edinburgh has said that a radical downsizing of the Scottish archdiocese should “enable us to intensify our spiritual and evangelical activity.” The number of parishes

India: former nun settles claim against religious community

(Monday, Mar. 30) In India, a former nun, who claims that she was hounded out of her religious community after reporting sexual abuse, has won a financial settlement from the religious congregation. The Sisters of

Burundi: bishops argue against unconstitutional 3rd presidential term

(Monday, Mar. 30) Burundi’s Catholic bishops have stated their opposition to a plan by President Pierre Nukurunziza to run for a third 5-year term. The bishops said that the African nation could “fall back into

Nigerian presidential elections proceed despite Boko Haram attacks

(Monday, Mar. 30) Assaults by Boko Haram terrorists failed to stop voting in Nigeria’s March 28 presidential elections, the Fides news service reports. At least three polling stations were attacked, and 14 voters

Slovenia: parliament denies plea for referendum on same-sex unions

(Monday, Mar. 30) Lawmakers in Slovenia have rejected a citizens' petition for a nationwide referendum to test a new law granting legal recognition for same-sex unions. After the Slovenian parliament approved an

India: Protestant pastor arrested in Kashmir, charged with fueling sectarian hostility

(Monday, Mar. 30) Indian police have arrested a Christian leader in Kashmir, charging him with “fomenting sectarian clashes.” Rev. Paul Augustine, a representative of the Global Council of Indian Christians, was

Italian bishops' conference opposes civil-union bill

(Monday, Mar. 30) The Italian Catholic bishops’ conference has issued a statement opposing a measure that would provide legal recognition for civil unions. The legislation, which won approval from a Senate

St. Peter’s Basilica goes dark for ‘earth hour’

(Monday, Mar. 30) St. Peter’s Basilica went dark for one hour on March 28 in commemoration of “earth hour,” a World Wildlife Fund initiative intended to raise awareness about climate change. The Great Synagogue of

Bishops visit Texas detention center for migrant families

(Monday, Mar. 30) Three Catholic bishops, joined by two Lutheran counterparts, visited a new detention center in Dilley, Texas, designed to house migrant women and children who have entered the United States

Pope Francis: God’s way is the way of humility

(Monday, Mar. 30) Pope Francis emphasized humility during his homily at Palm Sunday Mass, celebrated in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. “This week, Holy Week, which leads us to Easter, we will take this path of Jesus’

Papal condolences for victims of flooding in Chile, Peru

(Monday, Mar. 30) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the Holy Father’s name following severe flooding in the Atacama Desert. “The Holy Father is

Pope pays tribute to late head of Assyrian Church of the East

(Monday, Mar. 30) Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Mar Aprem Mooken, the temporary head of the Assyrian Church of the East, following the death of Mar Dinkha IV, who had led the church since

Papal letter for 500th anniversary of St. Teresa of Ávila’s birth

(Monday, Mar. 30) Pope Francis has written a letter to Father Xavier Cannistrà, superior general of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, on the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Ávila. “St. Teresa is

Holy See diplomat laments plight of Syrian refugee children

(Monday, Mar. 30) Syrian refugee children risk becoming a “lost generation,” the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva said during a recent meeting of the UN Human Rights Council. Nearly half of the

Liturgical Calendar: Monday of Holy Week

(Monday, Mar. 30) "Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations. He does not cry out or shout aloud, or

New Document: Every Penitent Who Approaches the Confessional Is Sacred Ground To Be Cultivated with Care and Attention

(Monday, Mar. 30) “The Sacraments, as we know, are God's demonstration of closeness and tenderness towards humanity; they are the concrete way God created to move be closer to us, to embrace us, without shame for our

New Document: Fight for Dignity

(Monday, Mar. 30) On March 21, 2015, Pope Francis' helicopter landed in the sports field in the Scampia quarter, one of the most highly-populated in Naples, built between 1970 and 1990 largely in response to the

New Document: Gift to Humanity, Remind Us that We Need Help, Love, and Forgiveness

(Monday, Mar. 30) On March 18, 2015, having examined the various members of family life–mothers, fathers, children, siblings, grandparents–Pope Francis concluded this first section of catechesis on the

New Document: God Humbles Himself for His People

(Monday, Mar. 30) At 9.30 a.m. on March 29, 2015, in St. Peter's Square Pope Francis presided at the solemn liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At the center of the square, near the

New Document: Gossip Is the Terrorism of Brothership

(Monday, Mar. 30) On March 22, 2015, Pope Francis went to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Naples to venerate the relics of St. Januarius, the patron of the city, and to meet with the clergy, men and women

New Document: Our God Is the God of Words and of Silence

(Monday, Mar. 30) The final stage of the Pope Francis' visit to Naples on March 22, 2015, took place on the Caracciolo seafront promenade, where he met with the people of the city. The Holy Father again answered

New Document: The Death Penalty Is Inadmissable

(Monday, Mar. 30) On March 20, 2015, Pope Francis received in audience a delegation from the International Commission against the Death

New Document: To Be Able to Confess Our Sins Is a Gift from God

(Monday, Mar. 30) “The Sacrament of Reconciliation enables us to draw near to the Father trustfully, to have the certainty of his forgiveness. He is truly 'rich in mercy' and he extends it abundantly to those who

Liturgical Calendar: Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

(Sunday, Mar. 29) So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon

Commentary: Catholic PSA for Palm Sunday: Treat Blessed Palms with Reverence

(Saturday, Mar. 28) Public Service Announcement: The palms we receive on Palm Sunday are blessed objects or sacramentals that need to be treated reverently, not as toys, mere craft material or trash. Every Palm

Liturgical Calendar: Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

(Saturday, Mar. 28) "There were many lepers in Israel at the time of Eliseus the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian." Naaman's cure, an anticipatory figure of baptism, also declares in advance

Commentary: Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis

(Friday, Mar. 27) Two years after his election, millions of Catholics are still trying to understand Pope Francis. Two recent essays have provided useful perspectives: Writing for Crisis, Msgr. Hans

Commentary: Praying in Rhythm with the Feasts and Seasons: The Rural Life Prayerbook

(Friday, Mar. 27) There were two Catholic publications printed in 1946 that were ahead of their time. The National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC) published a small booklet entitled With the Blessing of the

Commentary: Recognizing the Noonday Devil

(Friday, Mar. 27) If you had to guess the characteristic vice of our age, what would you pick? Some might say lust, and that’s certainly a big one, but it doesn’t seem to get to the root of the problem.

Commentary: Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is?

(Friday, Mar. 27) Anne Hendershott wrote a pretty good column on the Crisis website the other day (A Catholic School Removes Teacher for Defending Faith). She rightly identifies the excessive backlash (both popular

Iraqi prelate pleads for help at first-ever UN session on persecution of Christians

(Friday, Mar. 27) Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako called upon the UN to address the “catastrophic situation” facing Christians in Iraq, in a March 27 presentation to the Security Council. The

Pope sends messages of solidarity to suffering Christians in Iraq, Nigeria

(Friday, Mar. 27) Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, is traveling to Iraq to spend Holy Week and Easter with embattled Christians there, the Vatican has announced. The

India: police arrest one suspect in gang-rape of nun

(Friday, Mar. 27) Police in India have made an arrest in connection with the gang-rape of an elderly Catholic nun earlier this month. Police reported that a suspect had been detained in Mumbai, and was being

Papal preacher: Western Christians should learn from Eastern spirituality

(Friday, Mar. 27) In his 4th Lenten Sermon of the year, on Friday, March 27, Father Raniero Cantalamessa concluded a series of talks that compared Eastern and Western Christian approaches to

Vatican Secretary of State will take part in April's Summit of the Americas

(Friday, Mar. 27) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, will attend the Summit of the Americas in April. The meeting in Panama, the 7th in a series of summits, will be the first at which the

Cardinal Koch joins critics of German bishops' push for change in Church teaching

(Friday, Mar. 27) A third German-speaking cardinal has joined in questioning the notion that the Church must change its teaching on marriage, with Cardinal Kurt Koch saying that Church leaders should not be too quick

Over 500,000 sign petition to free Asia Bibi

(Friday, Mar. 27) More than 500,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the release of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to death on a questionable blasphemy charge.

Commentary: Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women

(Friday, Mar. 27) Elle (“The Body”) Macpherson is expecting a baby, the tabloids tell us. The supermodel, who is

New allegation against former Cardinal O’Brien

(Friday, Mar. 27) An anonymous priest who alleged that former Cardinal Keith O’Brien made a sexual advance toward him told The Tablet that he believed that “at least 40 cases” of sexual misconduct took place during

Pope Francis to meet with President Obama in White House

(Friday, Mar. 27) Pope Francis will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House on September 23, according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office. “The President and the First Lady will welcome His

Holy See diplomat reflects on religion and free expression

(Friday, Mar. 27) Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva, deplored the actions of the Islamic State and spoke about the relation between religious freedom and freedom of

Head of Assyrian Church of the East dies

(Friday, Mar. 27) Mar Dinkha IV, who became head of the Assyrian Church of the East in 1976, died in the United States on March 26 at the age of 79, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. The church

Ukrainian bishops speak of ministry amid suffering

(Friday, Mar. 27) Two Ukrainian bishops spoke with Aid to the Church in Need about the suffering they have encountered in their ministry in the past year. “Wounded soldiers from the east are being cared for at a

Indiana governor signs religious-freedom legislation

(Friday, Mar. 27) Despite threats of loss of convention business, Gov. Mike Pence signed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. “Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I

American prelates criticize death penalty

(Friday, Mar. 27) Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City criticized Utah’s reinstatement of death penalty by the firing squad. “No human law can trump God's law,” he said. “Taking a human life is wrong, a slap in

Liturgical Calendar: Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

(Friday, Mar. 27) But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that

Debate among German cardinals heats up; Cardinal Müller raps statement by Cardinal Marx

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Taking aim at public statements by the president of the German bishops’ conference, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said that it is an “anti-Catholic idea” to suggest that local bishops’ conferences

Exploitation of child-soldiers peaked in 2014, Vatican envoy tells UN

(Thursday, Mar. 26) “The year 2014 marked the worst year in the modern era of children being used as soldiers in armed conflicts,” a Vatican representative pointed out in a March 25 address to the UN Security

Survey shows US Catholics feeling stronger ties to faith

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Catholic Americans have became more likely to report a “strong” relationship with the faith, and less likely to report a “not very strong” tie, in the past few years, according to one

As 150 homeless people tour Sistine Chapel, Pope greets each individual

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Pope Francis made a surprise appearance to greet the 150 homeless people who were given a special tour of the Sistine Chapel on March 26. The Pope greeted each of the guests individually, and

Despite devastation of war and threats of Islamic State, Syrian Christians returning to city of Homs

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Christians are gradually returning to the Syrian city of Homs, after a mass exodus that followed the outbreak of civil war in 2011, Aid to the Church in Need reports. But as Christians rebuild their

Carmelites observe worldwide day of prayer for peace

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Pope Francis joined members of the Carmelite order who were observing a worldwide day of prayer for peace on March 26, concelebrating Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae with Father Saverio Cannestra,

Pro-life march draws half-million participants in Peru

(Thursday, Mar. 26) An estimated 500,000 people took part in a pro-life march in Lima, Peru, on March 21. The demonstration was held in advance of the annual Day of the Unborn, which is celebrated on March 25. The

Members of papal abuse commission worried by Chilean bishop's appointment

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Members of a papal commission on sexual abuse have expressed serious misgivings about the appointment of a Chilean bishop who has been accused of failing to report an abusive priest, the Associated

Commentary: Scientific Evidence for the Creator

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Back in 2012 I wrote an extensive review of Fr. Robert J. Spitzer’s impressive book, New Proofs for the Existence of God (see Proving God). Spitzer examined both scientific and

Pope approves synod participants from nearly 40 nations

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Pope Francis has ratified the names of participants chosen by nearly 40 episcopal conferences to take part in the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. Among the more prominent members of the

French prelate reflects on January shooting, warns against isolationism

(Thursday, Mar. 26) Addressing the Bishops’ Conference of France, Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, the conference’s president, reflected on the Charlie Hebdo shooting. It is important, said the prelate, for

Interreligious dialogue at European Parliament

(Thursday, Mar. 26) An annual session of interreligious dialogue took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 24. The chief representative of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European

The future Pope Francis on fervor and evangelization

(Thursday, Mar. 26) L’Osservatore Romano has published a brief 2006 text by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on contemplation and action. The text, a foreword to a book by Father Víctor Manuel Fernández, now an

Prelate: Nigeria needs a president who seeks the common good

(Thursday, Mar. 26) As Nigeria’s March 28 presidential election approaches, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria said that Africa’s largest nation needs “a dynamic, dependable, reliable leader

Controversy follows passage of Indiana religious-freedom bill

(Thursday, Mar. 26) By large majorities of 63-31 in the House and 40-10 in the Senate, the Indiana General Assembly has passed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The measure “prohibits a governmental

Liturgical Calendar: Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

(Thursday, Mar. 26) "If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20)." The need to make reparation is a vital, inescapable urge of a free

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