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Paraguay: diocese defends bishop, says Cardinal Ratzinger recommended accused priest CWN - 12 hours ago

The Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has published an aggressive defense of the leadership of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, claiming that a priest who had been accused of abuse in the US was placed in ministry on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger. Bishop Livieres incardinated Father Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, into his diocese in...

Vatican: avoid 'excesses' in Sign of Peace during Mass CWN - 4 hours ago

The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship has asked the world’s bishops to “moderate excesses” in the Sign of Peace exchanged during Mass. The Vatican said that some widespread practices—such...

Worldwide day of prayer for peace in Iraq slated for August 6 CWN - 5 hours ago

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Rafael Sako has joined Aid to the Church in Need in calling upon all Christians to united in prayer for peace in Iraq on August 6, the feast of the Transfiguration....

English archbishop foresees policy allowing Anglicans to receive Communion CWN - 3 hours ago

An English archbishop has suggested that the Catholic Church might allow Anglicans to receive the Eucharist. Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, the co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman...

Archbishop Nienstedt says predecessor assured him sex-abuse complaints were resolved CWN - 3 hours ago

Having rejected calls for his resignation, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis has said that he made a mistake in assuming that his predecessor had dealt properly with sex-abuse...

On feast day of St. Ignatius, Pope makes surprise visit to Jesuit headquarters CWN - 5 hours ago

Pope Francis made a surprise request to join some of his fellow Jesuits for dinner on July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. The Pope called Father Adolfo...

Islamic-Christian sectarian violence flares in Indonesia CWN - 3 hours ago

Religious violence flared in Ambon, the capital of the Mollucas region of Indonesia, leaving four people dead and rousing fears of a new round of sectarian fighting. Indonesian troops in riot...

UN finds serious violations of religious freedom in Vietnam CWN - 3 hours ago

"Serious violations of freedom of religion or belief are a reality in Vietnam," a UN report has announced. A special rapporteur for the UN, Heiner Bielefeldt, said that he had found a "generally...

Questions arise about stands taken by Obama nominee to religious-freedom post CWN - 3 hours ago

The man nominated by President Obama to be the US ambassador-at-large for religious freedom has taken public stands directly opposed to those of the US Catholic bishops on key religious-freedom...

California governor visits Mexico, meets with bishops on migration CWN - 15 hours ago

Governor Jerry Brown of California traveled to Mexico and met with a group of bishops to discuss the plight of unaccompanied migrant children. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles joined the...

Report: Christians flee Syrian city as Islamic State advances CWN - 15 hours ago

Christians have fled Al-Hasakah, a city of 190,000 in northeastern Syria, as forces from the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) advanced upon the area, the Assyrian International News...

Honduran cardinal calls for peace in Gaza CWN - 15 hours ago

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, who serves on Pope Francis’s Council of Cardinals, has called for a ceasefire in the Gaza-Israel conflict. The Honduran prelate, who also serves as president...

Freed Sudanese Christian woman arrives in US CWN - 16 hours ago

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who once faced a death sentence because she refused to renounce her Christian faith, has left Italy in order to reside in New Hampshire. During a July 24...

Leading Russian Orthodox official: world on brink of World War III CWN - 16 hours ago

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church has told a Russian newspaper that he believes the world is on the brink of a third world war. “The current situation is increasingly reminiscent...

Religious community that opposes HHS mandate among winners of pro-life award CWN - 16 hours ago

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious community that operates 30 nursing homes in the United States, joined two individuals in receiving the 2014 People of Life Award, an honor bestowed by the...

Pope's prayer intentions for August 2014 CWN - July 31

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for August 2014. The Pope's general intention is: "That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous...

Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy case sent to mediation CWN - July 31

A federal bankruptcy-court judge has sent the case of the Milwaukee archdiocese to mediation, in a fresh effort to avoid further prolonged litigation. "The point of this is to try to negotiate a...

Full schedule set for Pope's September visit to Albania CWN - July 31

The Vatican has released a full schedule for the visit to Albania in September by Pope Francis. The Pope will leave Rome early on Sunday morning, September 21, arriving at Tirana's airport (which...

Armed resistance to Islamic rule arising in Mosul CWN - July 31

Pockets of armed resistance against Islamic rule have begun to form in Mosul, Iraq, the Fides news service reports. Young people have formed armed groups to oppose Islamic militants, and killed...

Syrian rebels' missile kills 3 at Armenian Catholic parish in Aleppo CWN - July 31

Three people died when a missile launched by Syrian rebels hit an Armenian Catholic parish in Aleppo, the Fides news service reports. The missile just outside the church, while Mass the faithful...

Forthcoming Scorsese film on Jesuit missionaries in Japan CWN - July 31

Director Martin Scorsese has begun filming a movie on 17th-century Jesuit missionaries in Japan. Several Jesuits will assist in its production, according to an AsiaNews report. The film,...

German bishops’ conference laments Catholic enthusiasm for war during World War I CWN - July 31

In a statement issued for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, a commission of the German bishops’ conference lamented the enthusiasm for war shown by large sectors of the German Catholic...

Russia should not follow US church-state model, says leading Orthodox official CWN - July 31

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church has told the Interfax news agency that the United States’ model of church-state relations is “not correct” and that Russia should make no apologies...

Myanmar prelate emphasizes importance of family CWN - July 31

The archbishop of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar (Burma), has called upon Catholics to recognize the importance of the family, even as “many of the rich countries have given up on having...

Spanish-language Bibles given to unaccompanied migrant children CWN - July 31

At the request of the Department of Communications of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Bible Society and the publisher Verbo Divino have donated over 1,200 Bibles to...

Mosul’s Christians plead for aid from Iraqi government CWN - July 31

Hundreds of Mosul’s Christians who have fled to the city of Dohuk held a protest to plead for humanitarian assistance from the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government, the ANSA news...

Middle East churches: ‘we are going back to the prehistory period’ CWN - July 31

The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC)-- a regional ecumenical body whose members include Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant churches-- has issued a statement calling...

Minnesota archbishop rejects calls for resignation CWN - July 30

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has rejected calls for his resignation, and insisted that he never knowingly concealed evidence of clerical abuse. "I am bound to...

Resolution honoring Pope Francis stalls in US Congress, with little Republican support CWN - July 30

A Congressional resolution honoring Pope Francis for his “inspirational statements and actions” has stalled on Capitol Hill, with Republican Party leaders reluctant to move it forward. The...

Melkite Patriarch urges Christians, Muslims to 'save Islam' from violence CWN - July 30

Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch, the leader of the world's Melkite Catholics, has issued an appeal to the Arab world to unite against Islamic extremism. The Melkite prelate called upon...

Vatican Secretariat of State issues alert to diplomatic corps on plight of Christians in Middle East CWN - July 30

The Vatican Secretariat of State has sent a formal note to all the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, calling their attention to the appeals by Pope Francis for Christians in Iraq and elsewhere...

Following Pope's example, Evangelical leader apologizes for hostility toward Catholics CWN - July 30

Reacting to the address delivered by Pope Francis to a congregation of Evangelical Christians in Caserta, Italy, the head of the World Evangelical Alliance has said that just as the Pope apologized...

Vatican confirms suspension of ordinations in troubled Paraguay diocese CWN - July 30

The Vatican has confirmed that all priestly ordinations have been suspended in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, after a Vatican investigation of the diocese. Father Federico Lombardi,...

Peru’s bishops call for ‘new battle’ against threats to life, family CWN - July 30

Recalling the example of national military heroes, Peru’s bishops called for “a new battle against selfishness, hedonism, and relativism” in a message for the nation’s independence day. These...

Dallas bishop asks lawyers to assist migrant children CWN - July 30

Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, joined by Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, appealed to lawyers to volunteer to assist unaccompanied migrant children. The children “are running from tremendous...

President Obama issues statement for end of Ramadan CWN - July 30

President Barack Obama has issued a statement commemorating Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. “This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and...

Seminary rector sees ‘Taliban mentality’ in Pakistan CWN - July 30

The rector of a seminary in Lahore, Pakistan’s 2nd-largest city, sees a troubling “Taliban mentality” in society despite strong national support for anti-terrorist efforts. “Many madrasas and...

Kerry decries persecution of Christians by Boko Haram, Islamic State CWN - July 30

The US State Department issued its annual International Religious Freedom Report and named Turkmenistan its 9th “country of particular concern” because of egregious governmental repression of...

Nuncio: Syrian war becoming a ‘forgotten conflict’ CWN - July 30

The apostolic nuncio in Syria said that the three-year-old Syrian Civil War is becoming a “forgotten conflict,” according to a L’Osservatore Romano report. Rebel forces are battling with the...

Bombing damages Gaza’s Catholic parish school CWN - July 30

An Israeli army bombing has damaged the school of Gaza’s only Catholic parish, as well as the office of Gaza’s parish priest. The target of the bombing was a nearby home, the Fides news agency...

Patriarch, in Washington, denounces ‘mass cleansing’ of Mosul’s Christians CWN - July 30

Following the expulsion of Christians from Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city, the head of the Syrian Catholic Church traveled to Washington to seek support for Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. “It is...

Aid Iraq’s persecuted Christians, USCCB committee chair urges Obama administration CWN - July 30

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged the Obama administration to provide humanitarian assistance to...

Bishop says talk of 'priest shortage' is nonsense CWN - July 29

Priests in the Diocese of Rockville Center, New York, have taken issue with the claim by Bishop William Murphy that talk about a priest shortage is “nonsense.” Bishop Murphy, in a recent blog...

Filipino Christians working in Libya are at risk, pastor says CWN - July 29

A Filipino priest serving in a parish in Libya has warned that the lives of Christians are endangered in that country, the AsiaNews service reports. Father Amado Baranquel pointed to the case of...

Milwaukee archdiocese faces $14 million in legal bills for bankruptcy proceedings CWN - July 29

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee owes roughly $14 million in legal fees connected with its filing for bankruptcy protection, the National Catholic Reporter has found. The legal fees-- which the...

Destruction in Gaza nears WWII levels, says Catholic aid official CWN - July 29

An official of Caritas Jerusalem, the Catholic charitable agency, has compared destruction wrought by an Israeli offensive in Gaza to the devastation of World War II. Father Raed Abusahliah said...

France offers asylum to Christian refugees from Iraq CWN - July 29

The government of France has offered asylum to Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes by Islamic militants. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said that his government is...

Cardinal Müller, in new book, renews argument against change in Church teaching on marriage CWN - July 29

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, renews his argument against changes in Church teaching on marriage, in a new book-length...

Report: jihadists destroy St. George’s mausoleum in Mosul CWN - July 29

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the jihadist group that took over Mosul in June and subsequently expelled Christians from the city, has destroyed the mausoleum of St. George, the city’s...

Zhejiang: 360 crosses, Christian buildings destroyed CWN - July 29

Chinese Communist officials have continued their campaign against Christian institutions in the eastern province of Zhejiang. Since January, the government has demolished 360 crosses or...

Dates announced for Pope’s trip to Sri Lanka, Philippines CWN - July 29

The Holy See Press Office has officially announced the dates of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Pontiff will visit Sri Lanka from January 12-15 and the...

Ukraine: separatists release kidnapped priest CWN - July 29

A Roman-rite priest who was abducted by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on July 15 has been released, the Religious Information Service for Ukraine reported. Father Viktor Vonsovych...

In Caserta meeting, evangelical pastor greets Pope Francis as ‘my beloved brother’ CWN - July 29

The Holy See Press Office has released the remarks made by evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino during his July 28 meeting with Pope Francis in Caserta, Italy. As he introduced “my beloved...

Southern African bishops pledge to pray, advocate on behalf of Palestinians CWN - July 29

Citing “your pain, humiliation and increased oppression,” the head of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has expressed “our profound solidarity, our fervent prayers and our renewed...

Prelates rue recent court decisions on marriage CWN - July 29

Prelates around the country have criticized recent court rulings declaring that the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unconstitutional. “Recent court decisions on...

European court: no 'human right' to same-sex marriage CWN - July 28

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that member nations are not required to “grant access to marriage to same-sex couples,” in a complicated case involving a transgendered...

Vatican prelate voices fears for Iraqi Christians, during visit to California CWN - July 28

The prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches condemned religious violence, and offered prayers for the embattled Christians of Iraq, as he presided at the Divine Liturgy on July 27...

In new interview, Pope speaks on leisure, family rest on Sunday CWN - July 28

Pope Francis reflected on his youth, spoke about the importance of leisure to family life, and the brutality of warfare in a newly published interview. Speaking to the Argentine weekly Viva about...

Colombian bishop welcomes rebel group's transformation into political party CWN - July 28

The move by former guerilla groups to form political parties is a step toward peace for Colombia, Bishop Julia Cesar Vidal Ortiz told the Fides news service. The bishop, who has served as a...

Family of Jesuit abducted in Syria issues appeal on anniversary of his disappearance CWN - July 28

The family of an Italian Jesuit priest who was kidnapped in Syria has issued an appeal, as the anniversary of his disappearance arrives. Father Paolo Dell'Oglio was apparently captured near...

5 killed in bombing of Catholic church in Nigeria CWN - July 28

At least five people were killed, and several others seriously injured, when a Catholic church was bombed in Kano, in northern Nigeria, on July 27. The explosion at St. Charles church came...

In talk to Evangelical congregation, Pope apologizes for Catholic hostility CWN - July 28

Pope Francis apologized for Catholic cooperation in campaigns against Pentecostalists and Evangelicals, during a visit to a Protestant congregation in Caserta on July 28. The Pope was traveling...

After investigation of diocese in Paraguay, Vatican suspends ordinations CWN - July 28

The Vatican has suspended priestly ordinations in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, according to multiple media reports. Following an investigation of the diocese led by Cardinal Santos...

Pontiff recalls World War I centenary: ‘no more war!’ CWN - July 28

At the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled that July 28 marks the centenary of the beginning of World War I. “As we remember this tragic event, I hope that the...

‘Read the Gospel and find Jesus,’ says Pope CWN - July 28

During his Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel from the Mass of the day (Mt. 13:44-52). “Whoever finds [the kingdom of God] has no doubts, he feels...

Cardinal Marchisano dead at 85 CWN - July 28

Cardinal Francesco Marchisano died on July 27 at the age of 85. In a telegram of condolence, Pope Francis described him as “generous in his vocation as a priest and bishop, solicitous of the...

Pope Francis: Jesus is the treasure, Jesus is the pearl CWN - July 28

Pope Francis concluded his brief apostolic journey to Caserta on July 26 by celebrating evening Mass in the piazza in front of the city’s royal palace. Preaching about the parables of the...

Pope says priests should be men of prayer who are close to the people CWN - July 28

On July 26, Pope Francis made an apostolic journey to the southern Italian region of Campania and arrived by helicopter in Caserta, a city of 80,000. The visit to Caserta was the Pope’s sixth...

‘No official confirmation’ of papal trip to Philadelphia CWN - July 28

A day after Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said that “Pope Francis has told me that he is coming” to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, the director of the...

Papal condolences following plane crash in Mali CWN - July 28

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent condolences on behalf of Pope Francis following an Air Algérie plane crash in Mali that left 118 dead. The Pope assured the...

Pope is surprise luncheon visitor at Vatican workers' cafeteria CWN - July 25

Pope Francis surprised Vatican workers on July 25 by dropping into the staff cafeteria for lunch. Arriving without warning just after noon, the Pope took a tray, chose a Friday lunch of fish and...

English primary school ordered to change admissions policy that favored Mass-going families CWN - July 25

A Catholic primary school in England has been ordered by government officials to alter its admissions policies, which had given preference to the children of families that attended Mass...

Christian aid workers slain in Afghanistan CWN - July 25

Two Finnish women who have worked for a Christian aid organization in Afghanistan since 1997 were gunned down in Herat, the nation’s 3rd-largest city. “These women have given their lives-- now...

‘China’s aging millions look forward to bleak future’ CWN - July 25

China’s population of elderly will rise to 350 million by 2030, and the nation’s one-child policy will “impose a huge burden on the country, shrink the labor force that has fueled its growth, and...

Bishop Pates: mining companies, CAFTA have had harmful effects on Central America CWN - July 25

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, returned from a visit to El Salvador, Guatemala,...

Pope recalls helping other priests hear confessions at shrine CWN - July 25

In a message commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Shrine to St. Pantaleon in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis said he wished to be “close to you to be able to relive in some way the...

Pope will visit Philadelphia in 2015 for World Meeting of Families CWN - July 25

Archbishop Charles Chaput has disclosed the Pope Francis plans to attend the World Meeting of Families, to be held September 2015 in Philadelphia. Although the Vatican has not made an official...

As Boko Haram expands, Cameroon’s Catholics pray for peace CWN - July 25

As the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram expands its operations from Nigeria to neighboring Cameroon, the nation’s Catholics gathered in churches on July 19 to pray for peace. “As...

Syrian Orthodox leader laments silence of Muslim leaders in wake of Mosul CWN - July 25

Speaking at his residence in Lebanon, the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church decried recent events in Mosul following its takeover by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), also known as...

Holy See calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza-Israel conflict CWN - July 25

The United Nations Human Rights Council met on July 23 to discuss the human rights situation in Gaza. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative to UN offices based in...

Kansas City diocese asks court to void new $1.1 million payment to abuse victims CWN - July 24

The Diocese of Kansas City has asked a Missouri court to set aside a $1.1 million payment to abuse victims that was awarded by an independent arbitrator. Hollis Hanover, a court-appointed...

Vatican plans to clarify language of canon law regarding abuse penalties CWN - July 24

The president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has revealed that the Vatican plans to revise the Code of Canon Law, to make sections involving the treatment of clerical abuse “more...

52 priests laicized in England and Wales because of abuse, watchdog group reports CWN - July 24

Since 2001, 52 priests in England and Wales have been laicized because of sexual abuse, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) has disclosed. The NCSC reported that 81 abuse charges...

Catholics reportedly upset by Pope's plans to visit Protestant congregation in Caserta CWN - July 24

Bishop Giovanni D'Alise of Caserta, Italy, was not informed about plans for a papal trip to the city until the news became public, according to veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister of...

UN 'cannot stand by' during 'crime against humanity' in Mosul, says Chaldean Patriarch CWN - July 24

In an urgent message to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has said that the UN “cannot stand by and be a witness to the ongoing atrocities committed against...

Freed, Meriam Ibrahim flies from Sudan to Italy, meets with Pope Francis CWN - July 24

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who once faced a death sentence because she refused to renounce Christianity, has left Sudan, flying to Rome, where she met with Pope Francis on July 24. During...

Papal condolences following Taiwan plane crash CWN - July 24

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent condolences on behalf of Pope Francis following a plane crash in Taiwan that left 47 dead. “The Holy Father learned with...

Bishops: learn from Aboriginal Australians’ love for the land CWN - July 24

In a recent message for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, Australia’s bishops called upon Catholics to learn from indigenous peoples to love the land. “Many Aboriginal and Torres...

USCCB president calls for prayers for peace CWN - July 24

Citing conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon his brother bishops to encourage prayers for...

Japan’s bishops oppose constitutional interpretation that allows for military action CWN - July 24

In a shift from longstanding national policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government stated that the nation’s constitution permits Japan to come to the military defense of allies--...

Sunday Mass attendance falls below 40% in Poland CWN - July 24

Sunday Mass attendance has fallen below 40% in Poland, according to statistics published in L’Osservatore Romano. Nonetheless, some statistics are positive: the nation, for example, has more...

Czech Republic to hold 1st Eucharistic congress CWN - July 24

The Czech Republic, which was formed in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, will hold its first national Eucharistic congress in 2015, the Italian news agency SIR has...

Vatican newspaper decries ‘caliphate of brutality’; Mosul cathedral becomes mosque CWN - July 24

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has removed the crosses from all 30 churches and monasteries in Mosul and converted the Syriac Orthodox cathedral into a mosque, according to the...

Candidate favored by Christians wins Indonesia’s presidential election CWN - July 24

Joko Widodo, the candidate favored by Indonesia’s Christian population, has won the nation’s presidential election. The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s 4th-most populous at 252 million, has...

Caritas appeal for Gaza CWN - July 24

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued a $1.5-million appeal for aid to hospitals and families in Gaza. “Most of the victims are children, women and...

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