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Commentary: On the failure of history—and historians—without Christ

(Thursday, Jan. 29) When I was a brash young graduate student in the very early 1970s, Professor Lawrence Stone tried to teach me that the English Revolution and civil war were essentially caused by social and

Egypt's new government allows Christians to build new churches, ending years of opposition

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Egyptian Christians have seen notable gains under the government of President Abd al-Sisi, the spokesman for the country’s bishops tells the AsiaNews service. Father Rafic Greiche pointed to

Archbishop Cordileone launches effort to promote Catholic identity in San Francisco archdiocesan high schools

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is undertaking a study to determine how well archdiocesan high schools promote the Catholic faith. “We hear stories of children going through 12

Myanmar: government orders removal of 'illegal' cross

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Christians in Myanmar are distressed by the prosecution of a man who erected a 50-foot cross on a hill in the city of Hakha, the Fides news service reports. Tial Cem could face two years in

Salvation is individual, but not a private affair, Pope says in homily

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Salvation is an individual matter, but anyone who is interested only in his personal salvation is “going along the wrong path,” Pope Francis said in a homily at daily Mass on June 29. Jesus does

3 more companies exempted from HHS mandate

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Citing the US Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, a federal court in Colorado has barred enforcement of the HHS mandate against three companies. The three are Continuum Health Partnerships,

Obama calls for religious tolerance, respect for religious freedom in India

(Thursday, Jan. 29) In a visit to India, now governed by a Hindu nationalist party, President Barack Obama issued a call for greater respect for religious freedom. “We remember the wisdom of Gandhiji, who said, ‘For

New film on Pius XII and the Jews

(Thursday, Jan. 29) A new film, Shades of Truth, highlights Venerable Pius XII’s efforts to assist Jews during the Holocaust. The film will be previewed at the Vatican on March 2, according to L’Osservatore Romano,

Appeal from Caritas for Malawi flood victims

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal on behalf of flood victims in the African nation of Malawi. 120,000 people have had to

Sri Lanka cardinal praises new government

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Sri Lanka’s leading prelate praised the nation’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, for his efforts to promote religious harmony. Sirisena has appointed a Buddhist, a Hindu, and a Catholic to

New cardinal profile: Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon

(Thursday, Jan. 29) Sixth on the list of new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on January 4 is Archbishop Pierre (Phero) Nguyen Van Nhon, 76, of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. Three of his four predecessors were

Liturgical Calendar: Thursday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

(Thursday, Jan. 29) According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales. In the Ordinary Rite his feast is celebrated on

Pope changes another tradition: each new archbishop will receive pallium in his own archdiocese

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Pope Francis has decided that each newly appointed metropolitan archbishop should be formally vested with the pallium at a ceremony in his own archdiocese, rather than the ceremony traditionally

Commentary: Salvation? No matter who we are, one price.

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) In reading through the Bible again I’ve ploughed far enough into Exodus to get to the ceremonial material—which is, let’s face it, pretty boring. That’s not to say its

Eastern Christian leaders plea: help for refugees, end support for terrorism

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Leaders of the Eastern Christian community met in Bkerke, Lebanon on January 27, and released a joint statement urging international support for the Christian refugees in the Middle East. The

Vatican offices adapting to new financial regulations

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) All Vatican offices are now obliged to follow new regulations governing financial transactions, the Vatican Insider notes. Implementing the new rules, which call for a full accounting for all

Pope laments absence of fathers from families

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Stating that the absence of fathers can produce “wounds which may be very serious,” Pope Francis devoted his January 28 general audience to fatherhood. The word “Father,” he said, is particularly

Bishop defends CCHD-funded group

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) A New Mexico bishop has come to the defense of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé), a faith-based organization that, at his recommendation, receives funding from the US bishops’ Catholic Campaign

California judges barred from work with Boy Scouts

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) The California Supreme Court has voted to bar state judges from joining nonprofit youth organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. “Although the court's unanimous

Ivory Coast’s bishops lament ritual sacrifice of children

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Declaring that their nation is “sick at a spiritual and moral level,” the bishops of Ivory Coast denounced the ritual sacrifice of children. A report from the Reuters news agency linked a recent

Cardinal welcomes House passage of pro-life legislation

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has welcomed the House of Representatives’ passage of the No

Church burned down in India

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) A Protestant church in the southern Indian state of Telangana was set on fire on January 16, according to multiple reports. “Activists have threatened me and warned me not to continue the church

Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) St. Thomas Aquinas is the Dominican order's greatest glory. He taught philosophy and theology with such genius that he is considered one of the leading Christian thinkers. His innocence, on a par

New Document: Make Your Hearts Firm

(Wednesday, Jan. 28) Pope Francis' message for Lent 2015 is entitled “Make your hearts firm”. The document was signed in the Vatican on October 4, 2014, the festivity of St. Francis of

Malaysian archbishop assures faithful: 'Allah' can still be used in worship

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur has written a pastoral letter to assure the Catholics of Malaysia that a legal ban on the use of the word “Allah” applies only to the Catholic newspaper, not

Bishops in Niger appeal to Muslims for solidarity after attacks on churches

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The Catholic bishops of Niger have reached out to Muslims to strengthen inter-religious bonds after a series of violent attacks on Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. "We want to

Italian bishops' conference leader calls for quick election of new Italian president

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has called for the prompt election of a new Italian president following the resignation of Giorgio Napolitano. In an

Swiss court rules Vatican bank must turn over account information to Italian prosecutors

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) A court in Switzerland has ruled that Italian prosecutors should have access to information about an account held by the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Swiss federal

Pope reportedly meets with Spanish transsexual

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Pope Francis met privately with a Spanish transsexual who had written to complain about having been banished from his parish church, according to the Spanish daily Hoy. Diego Neria Lejarraga, who

Peruvian bishop: government must protect judges after death threats from drug gangs

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) A Peruvian bishop has called upon the government to provide protection for judges, the Fides news service reports, after several jurists received death threats from drug-trafficking

Commentary: Snowbound thoughts on natural law

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Here in the northeastern US, the hysteria over the winter storm dubbed Juno began several days ago. It peaked on Monday, as the storm approached, with the Mayor of New York predicting a catastrophe

February 8 designated day of prayer, awareness against human trafficking

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General have designated February 8 as the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human

Confront indifference to God and neighbor, Pope says in 2015 Lenten message

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The Holy See Press Office has released the text of Pope Francis’s 2015 Lenten message. Entitled “Make Your Hearts Firm”-- a reference to a verse in the Letter of St. James-- the message, dated

1st female bishop ordained for Church of England

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) In a ceremony that took place on January 26, Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first female bishop. Referring to the Ugandan-born Anglican archbishop of York, Lane said that “Archbishop

Senegal’s bishops denounce religious violence, caricatures of Muhammad

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The bishops of the West African nation of Senegal have issued a statement denouncing religious violence and caricatures of the founder of Islam. “We strongly condemn the murderous violence of

Russian patriarch: revive positive aspects of Communist era

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) In an address to Russia’s parliament, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church called for a revival of what he sees as the positive aspects of the nation’s Communist era, which lasted until

Mexican, Central American bishops to discuss plight of migrants

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The bishops of Mexico and four Central American nations will begin a three-day meeting on January 28 to discuss the plight of those seeking to enter the United States. “We are saddened and

Increased religious repression reported in Cuba

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Violations of religious freedom in Cuba increased in 2014, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a UK-based organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians. “Week after

Bishop: northeastern Nigeria could fall to Boko Haram

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) The Islamist terrorist movement Boko Haram has captured Monguno, a city of 100,000 in northeastern Nigeria, and has launched attacks against Maiduguri, a city of 1.2 million. “We find ourselves

Egypt: church attacked on 4th anniversary of ‘Arab Spring’

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) Four years after the Arab Spring uprising that led to the overthrow of longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets against the current

Liturgical Calendar: Optional Memorial of St. Angela Merici, virgin

(Tuesday, Jan. 27) St. Angela was born in northern Italy. In 1516, she founded the Order of Ursulines, the first teaching order for women approved by the Church. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the

Commentary: The best argument against the 'celibate gay Catholics'

(Monday, Jan. 26) In the space of a generation, the connotation of the word “gay” has changed radically. To my father, “gay” meant carefree and happy. To my sons, “gay” means

Judge orders mediation in bankruptcy case of Minnesota archdiocese

(Monday, Jan. 26) A judge in federal bankruptcy court has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis to go to mediation with creditors— led by sex-abuse victims—in hopes of avoiding a costlier legal

Spokane diocese settles lawsuit against law firm that handled bankruptcy

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Diocese of Spokane, Washington, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the law firm that represented the diocese in bankruptcy proceedings. The diocese had brought a malpractice suit

New papal plea for peace in Ukraine

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis renewed his plea for peace in Ukraine, at the conclusion of his Sunday public audience on January 25. The Pope said that he has been following “with deep concern the escalation of

Death-penalty opponents excluded from jury in 'Marathon bombing' trial

(Monday, Jan. 26) Jury selection for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the “Marathon Bombings” that shook Boston in 2013, has prompted a controversy over the exclusion of those who object to the death

Prosecutors find no misconduct in case that caused removal of pastor, school principal

(Monday, Jan. 26) In Revere, Massachusetts, police and prosecutors have said that they found no evidence of wrongdoing in a case that has led to the forced resignation of a Catholic pastor, the principal of the

Catholic Relief Services charged with support for program that promotes contraception

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Lepanto Institute has reported evidence that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas aid agency of the US bishops’ conference, provided support for a sex-education program that encouraged

Impartial judgment is key for marriage tribunals, Pope tells canonists

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis stressed the importance of impartial judgment by marriage tribunals, as he spoke on January 24 to participants in a canon-law seminar. The meeting, co-sponsored by the Pontifical

Vatican tradition ended: balloons released in place of doves

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Vatican has altered a traditional gesture—the release of doves in St. Peter’s Square—after complaints from animal-rights groups. For years, on the last Sunday of January, the Pope has been

Catholic priests playing politics, Belarus government official charges

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Commissioner for Religions and Nationalities in Belarus has charged that Polish-born Catholic priests are engaged in political activities, and therefore have been denied permission to remain in

English doctor faces charges for sex-selection abortion

(Monday, Jan. 26) A doctor in Birmingham, England, will face criminal charges for offering to perform a sex-selection abortion. On January 26 a Birmingham court ordered Dr. Palaniappan Rajmohan to answer the

Russian Patriarch calls for abortion ban in first-ever address to Duma

(Monday, Jan. 26) Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill suggested a nationwide campaign against legal abortion, as he addressed Russia’s legislative body, the Duma. The Patriarch’s speech was the first ever delivered

China planning illicit ordination of more bishops for 'official' Church?

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Chinese government’s bureau of religious affairs plans to organize the ordination of more Catholic bishops without Vatican approval in 2015, the AsiaNews service reports. The move would

Notre Dame’s Father McBrien dead at 78

(Monday, Jan. 26) Father Richard McBrien, who chaired the University of Notre Dame’s theology department for 11 years, died on January 25 at the age of 78. While his public influence was significant--not only

Pope concludes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis concluded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with the celebration of Vespers on January 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and reflected on the encounter of Jesus with

Pope Francis: in Jesus, man’s thirst and God’s thirst meet

(Monday, Jan. 26) Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 1:14-20), Pope Francis said during his January 25 Angelus address that “Jesus' announcement is similar to that of John, with the major difference that

Papal praise for 2005 document on nullity cases

(Monday, Jan. 26) The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts’ 2005 document Dignitas Connubii remains a “modest but useful vademecum that really takes the ministers of the tribunals by the hand toward the

Conversion, prayer, holiness necessary for Christian unity, says Pope

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis met with participants in an ecumenical gathering of religious on January 24 and said that “religious life has a particular vocation” to promote Christian unity. The gather was

Pope on Catholic-Muslim dialogue: listen and study, but avoid syncretism

(Monday, Jan. 26) Listening and thorough study are important components of dialogue with Muslims, Pope Francis said to participants in a January 24 meeting organized by the Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic

Liturgical Calendar: Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops

(Monday, Jan. 26) St. Timothy, born in Galatia in Asia Minor, was baptized and later ordained to the priesthood by St. Paul. The young Galatian became Paul's missionary companion and his most beloved spiritual son.

New Document: Natural Law and Conscience: Key to Freedom and to the Integrity of Marriage and the Family

(Monday, Jan. 26) This article is the text of a talk that was to be delivered by Cardinal Burke at the opening of the World Congress of Families in Melbourne during his visit in September 2014. Unfortunately the talk

New Document: Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis' message for the 49th annual World Communications Day was published on January 23, 2015, the vigil of the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists. The Day will be

New Document: Equipping Saints

(Monday, Jan. 26) The goal of Catholic education is “to equip saints for life in this world and the next,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia stated in this pastoral letter released by the Archdiocese of

New Document: Law and Morality in Public Discourse: How Christians Can Rebuild Our Culture

(Monday, Jan. 26) It’s in seeking Jesus Christ with all our hearts that culture is built and society is renewed. It’s in prayer, the sacraments, changing diapers, balancing budgets, preaching homilies, loving a

New Document: Pope Francis Recounts His Pastoral Trip in Asia

(Monday, Jan. 26) Pope Francis gave an account of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in his general audience address of January 21, 2015. “I will always keep in my heart the recollection of the

New Document: The Great Charter at 800: Why It Still Matters

(Monday, Jan. 26) These remarks, by Archbishop Charles Chaput, were delivered at Brigham Young University, January 23, 2015, as part of BYU’s on-going “Faith, Family and Society” lecture

New Document: We Are All at the Service of the One Gospel

(Monday, Jan. 26) On January 24, 2015, Pope Francis presided at the second Vespers on the solemnity of the conversion of St. Paul, bringing to a close the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the theme of which this

Liturgical Calendar: Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

(Sunday, Jan. 25) As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of

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