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‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - 21 hours ago

Following an ultimatum from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to leave Mosul, convert to Islam, or be killed, the city’s remaining Christians left for other parts of Iraq. ISIL, the jihadist group that controls large sections of Syria and Iraq, confiscated the Christians’ possessions as they departed from Iraq’s 2nd-largest city. “The heinous crime of the Islamic State was...

Pope laments persecution of Iraq’s Christians, appeals for peace CWN - 22 hours ago

Following the conclusion of his July 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis lamented the persecution of Christians in Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city. “I have learned with concern the news which reaches...

Rochester diocese ends illicit practice of allowing lay people to preach homilies CWN - 11 hours ago

The Diocese of Rochester, New York, is bringing an end to the practice of allowing lay people to deliver homilies at Mass. Bishop Salvatore Matano, who become the leader of the Rochester diocese...

Pope reflects on the parable of the wheat and the tares CWN - 22 hours ago

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of wheat and the tares during his July 20 Sunday Angelus address. “The teaching of the parable is twofold,” he said. “First of all, [Jesus] says that the...

Italian bishop says critical remark about pro-lifers was taken out of context CWN - 11 hours ago

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, who earned the wrath of pro-lifers by saying that he could "identify with the expressionless person who stands outside the abortion clinic...

Israeli ambassador to Holy See says religious influence can help bring peace CWN - 11 hours ago

Israel's ambassador to the Holy See said that religious leaders can help to promote peace agreements, and acknowledged the power of the Vatican on world opinion, in an interview with the Vatican...

Islamist militias ‘manage everything’ in Benghazi, says prelate CWN - 20 hours ago

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, appealed for prayers for peace and for wisdom for political leaders as clashes between rival militias led to the closing of the Libyan...

Church leader urges international community: oppose aggression against Ukraine CWN - 22 hours ago

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed condolences following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine and called upon the international community to “do...

Sudan: no new churches allowed CWN - 9 hours ago

The government of Sudan will not permit the construction of new Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. Government minister Shalil Abdallah told el Jareeda daily that the number of...

Italian navy rescues 61 migrants; more than 20 dead in 3 days CWN - 9 hours ago

The Italian navy rescued 61 migrants from drowning as their boat sank off the coast of Sicily on July 21, Vatican Radio reports. But at 6 passengers died, and a dozen more are missing. Just two...

Vatican prelate, in Los Angeles, voices solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria CWN - 11 hours ago

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches voiced concern for the suffering of Christians in Iraq and Syria, as he celebrated Mass a the Maronite Catholic cathedral in Los...

Attacks on Belfast Catholic church, synagogue bring broad condemnation CWN - 11 hours ago

A fire set at a Catholic church in Belfast drew condemnations from religious and civic leaders in Northern Ireland. The door of St. Mary Star of the Sea church was scorched, but other damage was...

Woman in same-sex marriage sues Missouri diocese following dismissal from parish position CWN - 19 hours ago

A Missouri woman who is civilly married to a female Lutheran minister has sued Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph after she was dismissed from her position as her...

Egypt’s government, Christian leaders negotiate on church construction CWN - 21 hours ago

The government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed office in June, has entered into negotiations with Christian leaders to draft regulations to facilitate church construction,...

South Korean leader opens talk on reunification as papal visit nears CWN - 9 hours ago

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has formed a commission to study the prospects for reunification of Korea, announcing the move in advance of the visit by Pope Francis. The South Korean...

USCCB: reduce mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses CWN - 20 hours ago

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has backed the US Sentencing Commission’s efforts to reduce mandatory...

A nun’s veil is a ‘royal crown’: Vatican newspaper CWN - 20 hours ago

The latest English edition of L’Osservatore Romano includes an article on the importance of the veil in the life of nuns. Mother Anna Maria Canopi, the Benedictine foundress of Mater Ecclesiae...

Stratford Caldecott, English Catholic writer, succumbs to cancer at 60 CWN - July 18

Stratford Caldecott, a noted English Catholic writer and editor, died on July 17 at the age of 60, after a long struggle with cancer. For years Caldecott had edited Second Spring, a magazine that...

Pope's message: solve 1994 terror bombing at Buenos Aires Jewish center CWN - July 18

In an impromptu message, recorded on a visitor’s smartphone, Pope Francis has challenged his native Argentina to resolve questions about the terror bombing that killed 85 people in a Jewish...

New Legionary leader explains plans for renewal, recovery of morale CWN - July 18

Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legion of Christ, spoke of his plans to restore morale within the troubled order, in a lengthy interview published in the National Catholic...

Novice raped by intruders in Indian convent CWN - July 18

Church leaders in India have expressed outrage at the gang-rape of a 17-year-old novice in a convent in Bangalore, the AsiaNews service reports. Archbishop Bernard Moras condemned the assault as...

Pope sends prayers to people of Gaza CWN - July 18

Pope Francis has promised his prayer to the people living in the Gaza Strip, as fears mount amid reports of an Israeli military offensive into the region. "I am close to you, to the nuns and the...

Archbishop of Canterbury hopes approval of female bishops will not block ecumenical progress CWN - July 18

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the other Christian leaders, saying that he hopes ecumenical progress can continue after the decision of the Church of England ordain women as...

Bishops of Calabria join Pope in condemnation of organized crime CWN - July 18

Following up on the message of Pope Francis, the bishops of Italy's Calabria region have denounced organized crime as a "shameful scourge of society" and a "denial of the Gospel." The Calabrian...

Papal prayers for airline crash victims in Ukraine CWN - July 18

Pope Francis is offering his prayers for the passengers of the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down over Ukraine, and for their families, the Vatican has announced. Without commenting on...

Christians in Mosul told: leave, convert, or die CWN - July 18

Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been told that they must leave, convert to Islam or accept dhimmitude, or die. A communique from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gave Christians a deadline of July 19, saying that if they do not leave or accept Islamic rule, "their destiny is the sword." The Aleteia web site, citing local sources, said that this message was being broadcast on...

Pope calls Peres, Abbas, to plead for peace CWN - July 18

Pope Francis has placed personal phone calls to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to stem the renewed conflict in the Holy Land. The Pope called "to...

Catholic university may open in Vietnam CWN - July 18

Communist authorities in Vietnam may soon permit the opening of a Catholic university. “The dialogic approach adopted with the government is producing results,” Archbishop Paul Bùi Van Doc of Ho...

Swiss bishops call for greater generosity to Syrian refugees CWN - July 18

The Swiss bishops’ conference is urging the nation’s government to be more generous to refugees from the Syrian Civil War. Bishop Markus Büchel of Sankt Gallen, the conference’s president, called...

Vatican message to Muslims calls for ‘genuine fraternity’ CWN - July 18

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its annual message to Muslims for the end of Ramadan, which will take place on July 28. The statement, dated June 24, was released...

Cardinal Nichols, other religious leaders speak out against assisted-suicide bill CWN - July 18

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury have joined other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in urging the House of Lords not to pass an assisted-suicide...

Leading Russian Orthodox official weighs in on Ukrainian conflict CWN - July 18

One of the leading officials of the Russian Orthodox Church has told the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation that while each side has legitimate grounds to take up weapons in the unrest in...

Vatican official: UN trade agency is ‘inspiration’ for Holy See’s positions CWN - July 18

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has paid tribute to UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, at a meeting in Geneva marking the body’s 50th...

President Obama: remarks at dinner during Ramadan CWN - July 18

The White House hosted an Iftar dinner on July 14 to mark the end of fasting on one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan began this year on June 28; it concludes on July 28. “Tonight,...

Lawsuit after Kenyan bishops’ conference cancels lease for Muslim-run restaurant CWN - July 18

A Somali Muslim who operates a restaurant has filed suit against the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops after it canceled its lease agreement with him. The bishops’ conference had signed a...

Santa Rosa diocese settles abuse suit for $3.5 million CWN - July 17

The Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, has paid $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a sex-abuse victim. The settlement—one of the largest paid to a single victim—leaves the Santa Rosa...

Argentine soccer team presents Pope with signed jersey CWN - July 17

The Argentine national soccer team, which finished 2nd in the World Cup, has sent Pope Francis a jersey signed by all of the team's members. During their stay in Brazil for the World Cup...

Korean Church eager for papal visit CWN - July 17

The faithful of South Korean "can't wait" for an August visit by Pope Francis, a spokesman for the Seoul archdiocese reports. Father Hur Young-yup told a radio audience that the papal visit will...

Pope plans two quick trips to Caserta, Italy CWN - July 17

Pope Francis will make two quick trips to Caserta, Italy, on July 26 and 28, the Vatican has announced. On Saturday, July 26, the Pope will travel to Caserta at the invitation of Bishop Giocanni...

Russian Orthodox spokesman: female bishops in Church of England will harm ecumenical dialogue CWN - July 17

The chief ecumenical spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement lamenting the decision by the Church of England to allow for female bishops. "The Orthodox Church takes a...

Americans view Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals warmly; cool toward Muslims and atheists CWN - July 17

Americans are favorably disposed toward Jews, Catholics, and Evangelical Christians, according to a new survey by the Pew Forum. Jews, Catholics, and Evangelicals are tightly bunched at the top...

Vancouver Catholic schools adopt policy to accommodate transgender students CWN - July 17

The Catholic school system of Vancouver has agreed that a 11-year-old transgendered student at a Catholic school, who was born as a boy but now prefers to live as a girl, will not be required to use...

Italian prosecutor asks Church to 'isolate' crime bosses CWN - July 17

An Italian prosecutor has said that Catholic priests can play a key role in defeating the power of organized crime, by encouraging the faithful to “isolate” the crime bosses. Federico Cafiero De...

Catholic charity aids suffering civilians in Gaza CWN - July 17

Caritas Jerusalem, the Catholic relief agency, is working to provide aid to civilians in Gaza who have suffered from Israeli air strikes in retaliation after Hamas rocket attacks. Caritas...

Senate bill curtailing religious freedom fails in procedural vote CWN - July 17

In a procedural vote, the United States Senate decided not to consider the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014,” a bill that would curtail religious freedom in response...

Vatican prelate: family life threatened in Africa CWN - July 17

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has traveled to the Congo Republic, where he addressed the members of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa and lamented...

New Burundi law would restrict small denominations CWN - July 17

The lower house of Burundi’s parliament has unanimously passed a bill that would deny legal recognition to churches that have fewer than 500 members or do not worship in a building. The measure...

Chaldean patriarch urges Iraq’s parliament to elect new national leaders CWN - July 17

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has urged the members of the Iraqi parliament to set aside their differences and quickly...

Nigerian prelate prods government on kidnapped schoolgirls CWN - July 17

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has called upon the nation’s government to make the release of 200 kidnapped schoolgirls an urgent priority, according to the Catholic...

Priests kidnapped in Ukraine CWN - July 17

Two Catholic priests have been kidnapped by separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Religious Information Service for Ukraine (RISU) has reported. Father Tikhon Kulbaka, a priest of the Ukrainian...

Vatican official calls for greater commitment to sustainable energy CWN - July 17

The Holy See supports the goal of sustainable energy for all, and achieving this goal requires a “radical paradigm shift,” the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said at a...

ISIL removes cross from Mosul cathedral CWN - July 17

The jihadist militant group that controls approximately 40% of Iraq and 30% of Syria has removed the cross from the dome of the Syriac Orthodox cathedral in Mosul, according to a report from the...

‘No longer a holy land,’ says Jerusalem patriarch CWN - July 17

The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem has again lamented the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, describing the region as “no longer a holy land” and the situation as “no longer a normal...

Coptic Church will not endorse Egyptian political candidates, patriarch stresses CWN - July 16

Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II has warned clerics to avoid partisan political involvements as Egypt faces new elections later this year, the Fides news service reports. The Egyptian...

Croatian parliament gives same-sex unions same benefits as marriage CWN - July 16

Croatia’s parliament has approved legislation that would extend to same-sex unions the same legal rights as those of marriage, except the right to adopt children. The new law, which passed easily...

CCHD cuts support for Oregon group over stand on same-sex marriage CWN - July 16

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has cut off funding for an Oregon group working with immigrants, because of the group’s public support for same-sex marriage. The CCHD announced...

UN committee demands change in Irish abortion law CWN - July 16

The UN’s Committee on Human Rights has condemned Ireland’s ban on abortion as “unacceptable cruelty,” and demanded liberalization of the law. Following testimony by several pro-abortion...

Russian Patriarch will not attend annual celebration in Ukraine CWN - July 16

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will not travel to Ukraine for the annual celebration of the anniversary of the Baptism of the Rus, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow patriarchate has...

New charges of lax handling of abuse complaints in Minnesota archdiocese CWN - July 16

In a lengthy and detailed affidavit, a former official of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese has testified that Church leaders took a “cavalier attitude” toward sex-abuse policies. Jennifer...

Sri Lankan Catholics foresee organized Buddhist opposition to papal visit CWN - July 16

A Catholic organization in Sri Lanka has charged that Buddhist leaders are planning to rally public opposition to the visit by Pope Francis to that country next January. The lay group called...

Disgraced Scottish cardinal found living in English village near Scottish border CWN - July 16

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned in disgrace in 2012 after admitting to sexual misconduct, is now living in a home purchased by the Edinburgh archdiocese in Northumberland, England, the...

Quebec: abuse victims win class-action suit against Redemptorist order CWN - July 16

The Quebec Superior Court has ruled that the Redemptorist order must pay between $75,000 and $150,000 to each seminarian who was a victim of clerical sexual abuse at St.-Alphonse Seminary in...

Report: ISIL orders no food aid for Christians in Mosul CWN - July 16

The Sunni jihadist group that controls much of Iraq and Syria has ordered that no food aid be distributed to Christians in Mosul, according to a Fides news agency report. The ban also extends to...

Prelate invites Anglicans to learn more about ordinariate CWN - July 16

Following the Church of England’s decision to allow women bishops, the head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has invited those who are “considering their future” to learn more...

USCCB awards $5M to Church in Ukraine, other Eastern European nations CWN - July 16

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has awarded nearly $5 million to fund 211 pastoral, construction, and...

Vatican official calls for renewed efforts against tuberculosis CWN - July 16

Speaking at a recent conference on tuberculosis sponsored by the World Health Organization and the European Respiratory Society, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers...

Venezuela’s bishops offer ‘full support’ for teachers in dispute with government CWN - July 16

The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference has issued a statement offering its “full support” to 2,300 teachers and school staff whose wages have been slashed. The teachers, who offer vocational...

Colombia’s bishops willing to mediate between government, rebel group CWN - July 16

The new president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia has said that the nation’s bishops are willing to mediate in the dispute between the nation’s government and the National Liberation Army, a...

Abuse victim describes papal meeting as ‘life-changing experience’ CWN - July 16

One of the victims of clerical sexual abuse who met recently with Pope Francis has told the Boston Globe that the encounter was a “life-changing experience.” “He’s granted me something that the...

Massachusetts politicians unveil legislation to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' at abortion clinics CWN - July 15

Working quickly in response to a Supreme Court decision that overturned the law that established a “buffer zone” outside abortion clinics, Massachusetts political leaders have introduced new...

Salvadoran prelate: everyone should work together against exploitation of young migrants CWN - July 15

Mexico and the US should work with the nations of Central America to stop the flood of children entering the US illegally, said Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador. “We all have...

Archbishop Gänswein reports papal reactions to World Cup final CWN - July 15

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI was pleased with Germany’s win in the World Cup soccer final, although he did not watch the contest, according to his private secretary. Archbishop Georg Gänswein told...

Christian college granted exemption on transgendered housing CWN - July 15

The United States Department of Education has granted George Fox University an exemption from federal Title IX anti-discrimination legislation in a case involving the housing of a transgendered...

Irish prelate: Church must become a place where abuse victims can find healing CWN - July 15

In an article published in the most recent English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin warned against complacency in addressing the clerical sexual abuse crisis. “The...

Pope Francis issues message on plight of child migrants in Mexico CWN - July 15

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to Mexico City for conversations with Mexican government officials on international migration and development, and Pope Francis...

Ukraine’s military has helped save nation from slavery, says prelate CWN - July 15

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic archbishop of Lviv has offered strong praise for the nation’s military. “I’m watching enthusiastically how you, the younger generation of Ukrainians, have become a...

Holy Land bishops’ assembly calls Israeli, Palestinian leaders to ‘courageous change’ CWN - July 15

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has called upon Israeli and Palestinian leaders to undertake “courageous change” and promote peace. “We...

Kidnapped nuns released in Iraq CWN - July 15

Seventeen days after they were kidnapped by Islamic militants in Mosul, two nuns and three orphans have been released. “I am overjoyed at the release of the two sisters and three orphans,”...

Church of England approves women bishops CWN - July 15

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to permit the ordination of women bishops. “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years ago with the ordination of women as...

Senate may soon vote on bill that would curtail religious freedom in response to Hobby Lobby decision CWN - July 15

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, the chairman of the conference’s Ad Hoc...

Report: Pope says he will preach, offer apology at Roman Pentecostal church CWN - July 14

Pope Francis said he will preach in a Pentecostal church in Rome this month and offer an apology, the global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance stated on his blog. Brian Stiller, who...

Vatican message for ‘Sea Sunday’ CWN - July 14

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has issued a message for “Sea Sunday,” which took place on July 13. “During this Sea Sunday, we are invited to become...

Vatican questions accuracy of new newspaper interview with Pope Francis CWN - July 14

The director of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement questioning the accuracy of statements attributed to Pope Francis in the July 13 edition of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. On July 10, Pope Francis spoke with 90-year-old journalist Eugenio Scalfari for an hour, and the conversation reportedly touched on pedophilia, the Mafia, and priestly celibacy. In October, the...

Pope Francis emphasizes: man must be at center of economy CWN - July 14

Warning against “anthropological reductionism,” Pope Francis told participants at a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace that man must be at the center of the...

Vatican official: Pope not calling for abandonment of market economy CWN - July 14

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has told Vatican Radio that Pope Francis is not calling for the abandonment of the market economy. Bishop Mario Toso made his remarks...

Headache, nausea led Pope to miss hospital visit CWN - July 14

In a video message to patients at the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital in Rome, Pope Francis revealed that a headache and nausea led him to miss his scheduled visit on June 27. At the time, the...

Papal appeal for peace in Holy Land CWN - July 14

Following his July 13 Angelus address, Pope Francis invited the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join him in silent prayer for peace. After recalling his June 8 meeting with the Israeli...

Pope asks: what kind of soil is our heart? CWN - July 14

Pope Francis devoted his July 13 Angelus address to the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:1-23), the Gospel reading at Mass that day. Calling the seed “the true protagonist of this parable,” the Pope...

Christians in Sudan are 'de facto illegals,' bishop reports CWN - July 11

Christians living in Sudan are “de facto illegals,” who cannot hold passports and , according to Bishop Eduard Hiiboro Kussala of Tambura-Yambio, a diocese in the newly independent country of South...

Italian poverty rate has doubled since economic downturn: Catholic charity CWN - July 11

The number of people living in poverty in Italy has doubled since 2007, according to Caritas, the Catholic charitable agency. Caritas recorded about 2.4 million people living below the poverty...

Priest named in multiple abuse complaints was appointed to Minneapolis marriage tribunal in 1990s CWN - July 11

A priest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese who had been accused multiple times of sexual misconduct was placed on the archdiocesan marriage tribunal in the 1990s, newly released documents...

Young German cardinal named to head historic Cologne archdiocese CWN - July 11

In an unusual transfer of a ranking prelate from one major metropolitan archdiocese to another, Pope Francis has named the current Archbishop of Berlin to become Archbishop of Cologne,...

Ohio abortion clinic, specializing in late-term procedures, closed per by health regulations CWN - July 11

A doctor specializing in late-term abortions has been ordered to shut down his clinic in Ohio because he does not meet state health regulations. Dr. Martin Haskell had sought an exemption from...

Church child-protection policies are advancing on target, reports Vatican expert CWN - July 11

The Catholic Church is moving ahead on schedule with plans to protection children from sexual abuse, and could now share its knowledge with other institutions, according to the head of the Center...

Bishops in Philippines encourage conscientious objection to new reproductive-health law CWN - July 11

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are encouraging the faithful to engage in conscientious objection to oppose implementation of the country’s new reproductive-health law. The bishops have...

China, Russia lead governments guilty of destroying church properties CWN - July 11

In a survey of government seizures and destruction of properties owned by religious groups, the Pew Forum has found that such incidents have occurred most frequently in Russia, China, and...

Convent attacked in Bangladesh: first such violence in country CWN - July 11

Armed men attacked a Catholic convent in Bangladesh on July 7, Aid to the Church in Need reports. The attack, by 50 to 60 men, was the first such instance of violence against a Catholic...

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