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Pope Benedict to end retirement? CWN - 2 hours ago

Pope Benedict XVI has decided to emerge from retirement and resume his role as Sovereign Pontiff, Vatican insiders report. Pope Francis has tentatively agreed to a power-sharing arrangement, with details still being negotiated. A formal Vatican announcement of the unprecedented change is anticipated on Wednesday, April 1. That date coincides with... April Fool's...

At weekly audience, Pope previews Easter Triduum CWN - 0 hours ago

At his regular weekly public audience on April 1, Pope Francis spoke about the Easter Triduum, inviting the faithful to “enter into the mystery.” The Gospel for Holy Thursday, the Pope observed,...

Pope reflects on importance of Paschal Triduum CWN - 2 hours ago

Pope Francis reflected on the Paschal Triduum during his April 1 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. The washing of the feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday reminds...

Jubilee spending plans will be modest, controlled, Cardinal Pell assures CWN - 0 hours ago

Cardinal George Pell, who heads the Secretariat for the Economy, has said that spending plans for the coming Jubilee Year will be governed by the Vatican’s new regulations on financial accounting....

Vatican, Italy reach accord to share financial data, guard against tax evasion CWN - 0 hours ago

The Vatican has reached an agreement with Italy to share financial information that could be used detect tax evasion. The new accord will allow Italian authorities access to financial records of...

No justification for civil war in South Sudan, Christian leaders say; fighting must stop CWN - 0 hours ago

Christian leaders in South Sudan have joined in a public appeal for an end to the country’s civil war. "Stop immediately this senseless war that is bringing immense suffering to the South...

Nigerian bishops urge acceptance of election results, new battle against corruption CWN - 0 hours ago

Church leaders in Nigeria are encouraging the faithful to accept the results of a presidential election in which Muhammadu Buhari defeated the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan. The Nigerian bishops’...

Melbourne: arson attacks on 3 churches CWN - 2 hours ago

Since March 30, arsonists have attempted to burn down three parishes in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Two parishes suffered significant damage, and all three parishes were once entrusted to...

Pope notes 10th anniversary of death of John Paul II CWN - 0 hours ago

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on April 1, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the next day, April 2, would mark the 10th anniversary of the death of St. John Paul...

Pope's doctors advise long walks CWN - 0 hours ago

Pope Francis has been advised by his doctors to eat less pasta and exercise more often, to counter a weight gain that is aggravating chronic back problems, the ANSA news service reports. The...

Irish prelate urges those with information about ‘the disappeared’ to come forward CWN - 3 hours ago

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, celebrated Mass for the families of persons who disappeared during the era of the Troubles, which involved UK security forces and Irish...

Report: priest kidnapped after Syrian city falls to rebels CWN - 3 hours ago

The al-Nusra Front, a Syrian rebel group that is a branch of al-Qaeda, has seized control of Idlib, a city of 165,000 in northwestern Syria. The Fides news agency reported that Father Ibrahim...

Lebanese religious leaders warn nation is at risk of destabilization CWN - 4 hours ago

Lebanese Christian and Muslim leaders, including the Maronite Catholic patriarch, gathered for a summit on March 30 and warned that political wrangling that has delayed the election of the president...

Pope's prayer intentions for April 2015 CWN - 0 hours ago

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for April 2015. The Pope’s universal intention is: “That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of...

Prelate welcomes passage of anti-slavery bill CWN - 2 hours ago

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has issued statement welcoming the passage of the Modern Slavery Act, which strengthens legislation against human trafficking in England and Wales. “While...

Priests are called to be disciples and shepherds, says cardinal CWN - 3 hours ago

Reflecting on Pope Francis’s teaching on priestly spirituality, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy said at a conference in Florence that priests are first called to be disciples of the...

Vatican cardinal visits Iraqi refugees in Jordan CWN - 4 hours ago

Expressing Pope Francis’s closeness to persecuted Iraqi Christians, Cardinal Fernando Filoni visited two parishes in Amman, Jordan, which minister to refugees, as well as a school for 300 refugee...

Vatican defends appointment of Chilean bishop CWN - 16 hours ago

The Vatican has released a statement defending the appointment of Bishop Juan Barros in Osorno, Chile, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse. Father Ciro Benedettini, the deputy...

Vatican near accord with Italy on sharing financial data to trace tax evaders? CWN - 16 hours ago

The Vatican is nearing an agreement with Italy on sharing financial information to cut down on money-laundering and tax evasion, Reuters reports. The Vatican has been negotiating an agreement...

Indonesian government shuts down jihadist web sites CWN - 16 hours ago

Indonesia’s government has shut down 22 radical Islamic web sites, explaining that the sites spread “false teachings.” The government’s anti-terrorism agency called for action against the web...

Bosnian Muslim craftsman delighted to carve chair for papal ceremony CWN - 16 hours ago

A small workshop run by a Bosnian Muslim craftsman and his son has won the task of carving a chair to be used by Pope Francis when he celebrates Mass in Sarajevo in June. Salem Hajdarovac is...

Security concerns cited for Pope's visit to Sarajevo CWN - 16 hours ago

The interior minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina has revealed that his country’s government is coping with security threats involving the visit to Sarajevo by Pope Francis in June. “I don’t want to...

Traditionalist bishops plan more illicit episcopal ordinations CWN - 17 hours ago

Bishop Jean-Michel Faure, the traditionalist prelate who was ordained earlier this month in defiance of the Vatican, has disclosed that more illicit episcopal ordinations are planned. Bishop...

Papal bull to be issued on eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, proclaiming Holy Year CWN - 17 hours ago

Pope Francis will issue a “Bull of Indiction” on April 11 as a formal proclamation of the Jubilee of Mercy, the Vatican has announced. During a penitential service in St. Peter’s basilica on...

Philippines: head of bishops' conference reacts to poll showing public support for legal divorce CWN - 17 hours ago

Responding to a poll that showed 60% of the people in the Philippines favoring legal divorce, the president of the country’s episcopal conference has restated the Church’s opposition. Archbishop...

Hundreds march against San Francisco archbishop’s policy on teachers CWN - March 31

Hundreds of protestors, led by a teacher at the cathedral school, marched against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s policy of requiring Catholic high school teachers not to publicly oppose Catholic...

Pontifical council issues message to Jains CWN - March 31

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued a message to Jains on the occasion of the birthday of Vardhamana Mahavira, an important figure in the history of the Indian...

Italian cardinal to lead Congregation for Catholic Education CWN - March 31

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi as the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, one of the Roman Curia’s nine congregations. Cardinal Versaldi, who has been serving...

Leading Ukrainian prelate encourages young soldiers CWN - March 31

In a pastoral letter to the youth of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk praised the generosity of young people and called upon them to turn to the Gospel, read...

Prelate: religious communities are not a ‘Church within the Church’ CWN - March 31

The vice president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) said in an address to the Union of the European Conferences of Major Superiors that “it is not permissible to think of...

Nigeria: laity exhorted to greater involvement in politics CWN - March 31

Lamenting “a certain spirit of blameworthy, culpable lethargy,” a Nigerian prelate called upon Catholic laity to take a greater role in the nation’s political life. “The Church sees politics as a...

Thousands to enter Church in US at Easter CWN - March 31

Nearly one-third of American dioceses have reported the numbers of catechumens and candidates who are expected to enter the Church at Easter. The highest figures were supplied by the Archdiocese...

English bishop issues warning on A Call to Action CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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’ CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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...

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

New allegation against former Cardinal O’Brien CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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...

Debate among German cardinals heats up; Cardinal Müller raps statement by Cardinal Marx CWN - March 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 should settle questions about the Church’s approach to Catholics who are divorced and remarried. In an interview with the French journal Famille Chretienne, Cardinal Müller—who is the prefect of the...

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

Pope approves synod participants from nearly 40 nations CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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 CWN - March 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...

Firebomb tossed at pro-lifers outside Texas abortion clinic: no injuries, no major-media coverage CWN - March 25

A Texas woman faces felony charges after she toss a crude Molotov cocktail at a group of pro-life activists holding a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic. Melanie Maria Toney was arrested...

Italian tourism official says Rome 'totally capable' of handling pilgrim traffic during Jubilee Year CWN - March 25

A leading Italian tourism official has scoffed at suggestions that the Jubilee Year declared by Pope Francis will strain the resources of Rome. Rome is “totally capable” of absorbing an increase...

Cardinal Nichols instructs priests to avoid public debate on Synod issues CWN - March 25

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has advised English priests not to engage in a public debate on controversial issues that will be discussed at the October meeting of the Synod of...

Shots fired at police guarding church in Lahore, Pakistan CWN - March 25

Masked gunmen opened fire on police officers outside the church of St. Peter on Lahore, Pakistan, on March 24, fueling fears about further attacks on Christian churches. The unidentified gunmen,...

Plans unveiled for April-June exhibition of Shroud of Turin CWN - March 25

At a March 25 press conference in Rome, Church officials outlined plans for the exhibition of the Shroud of Turin, which will be held from April 19 to June 24. The public exhibition, marking the...

Pope pleads for prayers for success of Synod CWN - March 25

At his weekly public audience on March 25, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in October to renew a discussion of marriage and the family. Noting...

Papal telegram of condolence following plane crash CWN - March 25

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the name of the Pope following a plane crash in the French Alps that left 150 dead. “His Holiness...

Homeless to tour Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums CWN - March 25

The Office of Papal Charities has arranged a visit of 150 homeless persons to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums, according to a Vatican Radio report. Following the March 26 tour and a time...

Synod leader: the Pope’s ‘great revolution’ is one of ‘language and attitudes’ CWN - March 25

In an address to the bishops of Slovakia, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops said that “the great revolution” of Pope Francis is “the revolution of language and attitudes, in integral...

Prelate: Christians are not the only group targeted in Pakistan CWN - March 25

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan said in an interview that Christians are not the sole victims of persecution in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation. “The...

Over 1,000 missionaries killed since 1980 CWN - March 25

Since 1980, at least 1,062 Catholic missionaries have been killed, according to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. 115 were killed in the 1980s and 604...

Partial legal victory for student rejected by college, in part because of comment on faith CWN - March 25

A federal district court has permitted a lawsuit against officials of the Community College of Baltimore County to proceed. During an interview for entrance into a radiation therapy program,...

Controversy over priestly blessings at public schools in Bologna CWN - March 25

A group of parents and teachers from three public schools in Bologna, Italy, have filed suit against pre-Easter priestly blessings that take place on school grounds. Attendance at the blessings...

Christian doctors file legal challenge to new Ontario policy requiring abortion referrals CWN - March 24

The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada has filed a legal challenge against a new policy in Ontario that requires doctors to provide referrals for abortion, contraception, and...

Japanese archbishop says decline in Catholic population reflects crisis for faith CWN - March 24

Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki has reported that the faithful recognize a “deep sense of crisis” in Japanese Catholicism. Following an archdiocesan synod in 2014, the archbishop...

Vatican plans 2nd raffle of gifts donated to Pontiff CWN - March 24

For the 2nd time this year, the Vatican will raffle off items that were presented as gifts to Pope Francis. In January, a raffle of various items—ranging from wristwatches to a Fiat...

Vatican vigil marks 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae CWN - March 24

The Pontifical Council for the Family has organized an international vigil, hosted by the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, to mark the 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae, the landmark encyclical...

Benedict XVI no longer writing on theology, Archbishop Gänswein reports CWN - March 24

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI no longer has the physical strength to tackle new writing projects, his longtime personal secretary has disclosed. Archbishop Georg Gänswein told the Italian magazine...

Cardinal Nichols presides at Requiem Mass before re-interment of England's King Richard III CWN - March 24

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster presided at a Requiem Mass for England’s King Richard III on March 23, as Anglican authorities prepared to re-inter the king’s remains. King Richard III...

New Jersey law will end cemetery-headstone sales by Newark archdiocese CWN - March 24

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that will prevent the Newark archdiocese from selling headstones for the archdiocesan cemeteries. In 2013, when the Newark...

461 priests in England and Wales sign statement urge clear Synod support for traditional teaching CWN - March 24

More than 450 Catholic priests in England and Wales have signed a statement proclaiming their “unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human...

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