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Liturgical Calendar: Fourth Sunday of Easter

(Sunday, Apr. 26) I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,

Commentary: Remembering the Sacraments: Our Family Life in Christ

(Saturday, Apr. 25) During the Easter season, particularly in the month of May which is also dedicated to Mary, many children receive for the first time the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We have a first communicant

Liturgical Calendar: Feast of St. Mark, evangelist

(Saturday, Apr. 25) St. Mark, the author of the second Gospel, was the son of Mary whose house at Jerusalem was the meeting place of Christians. He was baptized and instructed by St. Peter. In about the year 42 A.D. he

Commentary: A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines

(Friday, Apr. 24) In at least two American dioceses, the parents of children attending Catholic schools are being told that they must have their children vaccinated, regardless of their moral qualms about vaccines

Commentary: How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops

(Friday, Apr. 24) Twelve years ago, in an email exchange with an old friend, I predicted that the American hierarchy would finally take responsibility for the sex-abuse scandal when a bishop went to jail for

Commentary: Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot

(Friday, Apr. 24) Though I have little doubt that Phil Lawler is correct in the rationale he outlines in “With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice?”, I cannot help recalling

Vatican envoy speaks at UN about extremists' recruitment of young followers

(Friday, Apr. 24) Broken families, failed expectations, and alienation are factors in pushing young people into violent extremism, the Vatican’s delegate said in an address to the UN. “The family is the first

Belgian court finds archbishop culpable for failure to act on abuse complaint

(Friday, Apr. 24) Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has been ordered to pay €10,000 (about $11,000) to a victim of sexual abuse, after a Belgian court found that the archbishop failed to take action on an

Keep faith growing, Pope encourages bishops from Namibia, Lesotho

(Friday, Apr. 24) Pope Francis spoke of the “flourishing Christian faith” in Lesotho and Namibia, as he met on April 24 with bishops from those African countries. In his message to the bishops, who were concluding

Czech president visits Pontiff

(Friday, Apr. 24) Pope Francis met on April 24 with President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, on the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between that country and the Holy See. A brief Vatican

Italian prosecutor says his investigation stopped terror attack on Vatican in 2010

(Friday, Apr. 24) An Italian prosecutor has claimed that his investigation prevented a terrorist attack on the Vatican in 2010. “Our activity was indispensable to ensure that the irreparable did not happen,” Mauro

Nations may fear 'legal consequences' of recognizing Armenian genocide, says Lebanese prelate

(Friday, Apr. 24) Many nations are afraid to acknowledge the Armenian genocide because “they fear the legal consequences,” according to Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. In a statement released from

Soccer star Maradona meets Pope, calls himself 'number-one fan'

(Friday, Apr. 24) Argentina’s legendary soccer star, Diego Maradona, met with Pope Francis on April 22, and pronounced himself the Pontiff’s “number-one fan.” Maradona was in Rome with representatives of the South

Moroccan government minister's polygamous plan stirs public debate

(Friday, Apr. 24) The Moroccan government has been shaken by news that two cabinet ministers plan to be married, with the man involved taking his 2nd wife. Habib Choubani, the minister for civil-society relations,

Commentary: With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice?

(Friday, Apr. 24) My colleague Jeff Mirus is puzzled by the Vatican’s decision to end a doctrinal investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), since there is very little evidence that the

Report: Pope to criticize Argentine hierarchy’s actions during dictatorship

(Friday, Apr. 24) Pope Francis said recently that he has ordered the opening of the Vatican Archives to shed light on the Church’s actions during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-83), according to an

Vatican cardinal visits Cuba

(Friday, Apr. 24) Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, has begun a five-day visit to Cuba ahead, the Spanish news agency EFE reported. The Holy See Press Office recently

Italy: priest arrested for murder

(Friday, Apr. 24) Father Gratien Alabi, a Congolese priest who ministers in Arezzo, Italy, has been arrested on charges of murdering and concealing the corpse of Guerrina Piscaglia in May 2014. Piscaglia, 50, sent

Colombian bishops lament euthanasia protocol

(Friday, Apr. 24) In response to an order from the nation’s high court, the Colombian government has issued regulations permitting terminally ill adults to choose physician-assisted suicide. Stating that every

President Obama welcomes Pope’s ‘expression of views’ on Armenian genocide

(Friday, Apr. 24) A century after the beginning of the Armenian genocide, President Barack Obama issued a statement noting that “the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to

Activists, congressmen prod Obama on religion envoy

(Friday, Apr. 24) Following a vote of 402-22 in the House of Representatives and a voice vote in the Senate, President Barack Obama signed the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act in August

Religious leaders issue open letter on marriage and religious liberty

(Friday, Apr. 24) Over 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and other religious leaders have issued a joint open letter affirming their “commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one

Liturgical Calendar: Optional Memorial of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr

(Friday, Apr. 24) St. Fidelis was born at Sigmaringen in Swabia in 1577. He practiced at first as a lawyer and so took to heart the cause of the needy that he was known as the poor man's lawyer. Then he joined the

Pope's visit causes twist in pro football schedule

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The National Football League (NFL) revised its schedule for the 2015 season to accommodate a visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote to NFL

Vatican has not decided on proposed French ambassador, agency reports

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The Vatican has not yet made a decision regarding the appointment of a new ambassador from France to the Holy See, the respected Roman news agency I Media reports. Contrary to rumors that have

German bishops' report: laity want change in Church teaching; many priests do not pray regularly

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The German Catholic bishops’ conference has made public a report on a survey of the faithful in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, finding a “gap between the lived reality

Vatican celebrates Pope's 'name day'

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The Vatican celebrated April 23 as a holiday, marking the feast of St. George, the patron saint of Pope Francis, who was born Jorge Bergoglio. Msgr. Guillermo Karcher, an Argentinian priest and

Bishop intervenes to block lecture by Sister Jeannine Gramick in North Carolina

(Thursday, Apr. 23) A Catholic parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, has cancelled a scheduled talk by a nun whose advocacy for homosexuals has drawn cautions from the Vatican and the US bishops’ conference. Bishop

Nuns walk out of San Francisco Catholic high school to protest pro-homosexual program

(Thursday, Apr. 23) Five women religious teaching at a Catholic high school outside San Francisco boycotted their own classes last week to protest a program that they regarded as sympathetic toward a gay-rights

ACLU suit challenges federal funding for Catholic programs aiding immigrants, citing lack of access to abortion

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has formally filed a lawsuit challenging federal funding from programs run by Catholic agencies to support immigrants. “We have heard reports that

Pastor halts firearms training, on bishop' orders

(Thursday, Apr. 23) A Michigan priest has rescinded his decisions to sponsor firearms-safety classes at his parish, on orders from his bishop. Father Edward Fride had encouraged his congregation to purchase firearms

Cardinal Danneels reportedly urged Belgian King Badouin to sign liberal abortion law

(Thursday, Apr. 23) Two prominent Belgian political leaders have confirmed reports that Cardinal Godfried Danneels tried to persuade King Baudouin to sign a liberal abortion law in 1990. Despite the advice of the

No simple solution to immigrant crisis: Italian bishops' spokesman

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference has said that "all routes must be taken, all solutions must be adopted," to prevent a recurrence of the disaster in which an estimated 800

Italy's quick-divorce law takes effect

(Thursday, Apr. 23) A new Italian law allowing quick divorces took effect on April 22. The new law, which allows for a divorce to become final in six months if both parties consent, had passed with the support of

Refugees from Mediterranean tragedy buried in Malta at inter-religious ceremony

(Thursday, Apr. 23) Catholics and Muslims in Malta joined in a memorial service for the 800 immigrants who died in a tragedy on the Mediterranean Sea. The bodies of 24 people, from among the hundreds lost at sea,

Estonian Orthodox gravitating toward Ukrainian Catholic Church?

(Thursday, Apr. 23) In Estonia, parishioners are leaving Orthodox churches affiliated with the Patriarchate of Mosow to join the Ukrainian Catholic Church, according to a representative of the World Congress of

Commentary: What happened to the Vatican reform of the LCWR?

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The recent positive conclusion to the Vatican’s investigation into the Leadership Conference of Women Religious raises more questions than it answers. The kind words that

Belgian primate plans to live with new religious community upon retirement

(Thursday, Apr. 23) Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Mechelen-Brussels, the primate of Belgium since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, has announced that upon his retirement, if his successor permits, he

Armenian Apostolic Church: canonization of 1.5 million genocide victims

(Thursday, Apr. 23) On April 23, the Armenian Apostolic Church is canonizing all of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, a century after it began. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian and Francois Hollande of

French prime minister: 178 Catholic churches under police protection

(Thursday, Apr. 23) After a planned terrorist attack on two French churches was averted, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that “specific protection” is being provided to 178 Catholic places of worship. CNN

25-year high for women’s religious vocations in England, Wales

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The number of women entering religious life in England and Wales rose from seven in 2004 to 45 in 2014, the highest number in 25 years. Eighteen of the 45 entered cloistered communities,

Southeastern Europe’s bishops discuss pastoral care of families

(Thursday, Apr. 23) In preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of southeastern Europe met in Bucharest from April 17 to 21 to discuss challenges in the

Irish court: 30-year delay in bringing abuse suit is ‘inexcusable’

(Thursday, Apr. 23) The second-highest court in Ireland has unanimously dismissed an abuse suit against the Religious Sisters of Charity. The woman who filed suit alleged that beginning in 1977, at the age of 12,

Liturgical Calendar: Optional Memorial of St. George, martyr and St. Adalbert, bishop and martyr

(Thursday, Apr. 23) Veneration of St. George comes to us from the east, probably from Palestine where he was held in high honor as a martyr. Regarded as the patron of Christian armies he is venerated under this title

Boko Haram violence spreads into Cameroon, bishop reports

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Boko Haram, the Islamic movement that has conducted a campaign of terror through Nigeria, is also wreaking havoc in Cameroon, a bishop has told Aid to the Church in Need. Bishop Bruno Ateba of

Eight US Catholic colleges plan commencement honors for anti-Catholic figures

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has found eight cases in which American Catholic colleges and universities plan commencement honors for public speakers who have taken clear public stands against

Italian court: sex-change operation does not annul marriage

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) An Italian court has ruled that a sex-change operation does not make a marriage invalid, but noted that the ruling does not suggest legal approval of same-sex marriage. The odd ruling, from a

Most Muslims reject religious violence, Pontifical Council says, advocating more dialogue

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) The need for dialogue with Islam is greater today than ever before, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue proclaimed in a statement released on April 22. The Pontifical Council

Vatican worried by impasse in Israel-Palestine talks, envoy tells UN

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) “The Holy See is deeply concerned at the total lack of progress of the negotiations between Palestine and Israel,” the Vatican’s representative told a meeting of the UN Security Council on April

On Earth Day, Pope says 'see the world through the eyes of God the Creator'

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Recognizing the worldwide celebration of Earth Day on April 22 at the close of his regular weekly public audience, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to “see the world through the eyes of God the

Turkey will commemorate Armenian deaths-- but not genocide

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that his government will commemorate the mass deaths of Armenians at a 100th-anniversary observance on April 24. But he has refused to use the term

Turkey must acknowledge Armenian genocide, says Maronite Patriarch

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Maronite Catholic Patriarch Beshara Rai has called upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the reality of the Armenian genocide. The Lebanese prelate stop to reporters as he left for

Would-be French ambassador to Holy See meets with Pope; nomination remains stalled

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Pope Francis has met privately with the French government’s nominee to become ambassador to the Holy See, but the nomination remains unconfirmed. A French government spokesman announced on April

Confirmed: Pope will visit Cuba in September

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Pope Francis will travel to Cuba in September, the Vatican has confirmed. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, announced on April 22 that the Pope would visit Cuba

Pontifical academy calls for world anti-trafficking agency, campaign against prostitution

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) At the conclusion of a plenary assembly devoted to human trafficking, members of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences said at a press conference that there is an urgent need for an

Pope laments devaluation of ‘stable and generative covenant’ of marriage

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Pope Francis spoke about the complementarity of the sexes and the covenant of marriage in his April 22 weekly general audience. “Man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary,” he

Church attack foiled in France, says interior minister

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) France’s minister of the interior announced that police have prevent a church attack planned by a 24-year-old Algerian student. Documents found during the suspect’s arrest “established beyond

Cardinal Baldisseri speaks about the Magisterium and the search for new languages

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Speaking in Warsaw on April 18, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, told Catholic journalists that “your main task, in the words of Pope Francis, is not to

Rabbi: Pope Francis concerned about Western sanctions against Russia

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) The president of the Conference of European Rabbis said that Pope Francis told him that he is concerned about the effects of Western economic sanctions on the Russian people. Rabbi Pinchas

Chile: priest to offer ‘Mass of hope’ in opposition to new bishop

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) Father Pedro Kliegel, a parish priest in Osorno, Chile, is offering a “Mass of hope” on April 22 to express opposition to the recent appointment of Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused of

Liturgical Calendar: Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

(Wednesday, Apr. 22) According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Soter and Caius. Soter succeeded Anicetus as Pope in 166, and died a martyr in

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