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Belgian court finds archbishop culpable for failure to act on abuse complaint CWN - April 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...

Italian prosecutor says his investigation stopped terror attack on Vatican in 2010 CWN - April 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...

Keep faith growing, Pope encourages bishops from Namibia, Lesotho CWN - April 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...

Vatican envoy speaks at UN about extremists' recruitment of young followers CWN - April 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...

Nations may fear 'legal consequences' of recognizing Armenian genocide, says Lebanese prelate CWN - April 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...

Colombian bishops lament euthanasia protocol CWN - April 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...

Activists, congressmen prod Obama on religion envoy CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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...

Czech president visits Pontiff CWN - April 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...

Report: Pope to criticize Argentine hierarchy’s actions during dictatorship CWN - April 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...

President Obama welcomes Pope’s ‘expression of views’ on Armenian genocide CWN - April 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...

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

Vatican cardinal visits Cuba CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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...

Pope's visit causes twist in pro football schedule CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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' CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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? CWN - April 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...

Belgian primate plans to live with new religious community upon retirement CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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’ CWN - April 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,...

Boko Haram violence spreads into Cameroon, bishop reports CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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' CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 CWN - April 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 “before his arrival in the United States.” The announcement confirms reports that had circulated in Rome for the past week. No date was given for the Pope’s stop in Cuba. However, the Pontiff is...

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

Vatican, UNICEF launch worldwide peace-through-education program CWN - April 21

The Vatican has joined with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in a new initiative to promote peace through education. The collaborative...

European Union must take 'drastic' action to save immigrants after tragedies at sea: Cardinal Marx CWN - April 21

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, speaking in his capacity as president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), has called for action by the European Union in the face of...

Al Azhar University denounces 'heinous' killing of 28 Ethiopians CWN - April 21

Al Azhar University, the Egyptian institution that is regarded as the leading intellectual center of Sunni Islam, has issued a statement condemning the murder of Ethiopian Christians by the Islamic...

Austrian missionary nun murdered in South Africa CWN - April 21

An Austrian missionary nun was killed in her home on KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa, on April 19, the Fides news agency reports. The body of Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher was discovered early on...

Pope sends message of solidarity to Ethiopian Orthodox leader after killing of 28 by Islamic State CWN - April 21

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence and solidarity to the leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, reacting to the massacre of 28 Ethiopian Christians by Islamic zealots in Libya. ...

Nigerian bishop: Rosary will overcome Boko Haram threat CWN - April 21

A Nigerian bishop has said that Jesus appeared to him and told him that the Boko Haram terrorist group can be defeated by the Rosary. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri told the Catholic...

Today's Church is a Church of martyrs, Pope says CWN - April 21

“The Church today is a Church of martyrs,” Pope Francis told his congregation at daily Mass on April 21. Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which recounted the...

Vatican letter rues high youth unemployment CWN - April 21

The Holy See Press Office has released a letter by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on the occasion of the annual national day for the Catholic University of the Sacred...

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, Missouri, nearly three years after the bishop was found guilty on criminal charges for failing to report sexual abuse. Bishop Finn was the first American prelate ever convicted on criminal charges in connection with the sex-abuse scandal. His resignation could mark a turning point in the Vatican’s...

Vatican foreign minister: international community must do more to counter Islamic State CWN - April 21

The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States said in an interview that the international community should do more to counter the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians. “How can you be...

Report: administration of Pontifical Oriental Institute dismissed CWN - April 21

The superior general of the Society of Jesus has dismissed the rector, vice-rector, and two deans of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, according to a report by Italian journalist Sandro...

LCWR leaders praise Pope, curial officials CWN - April 21

The president-elect and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) praised curial officials following recent annual meetings in Rome. The meetings are distinct from the...

USCCB president pays tribute to Cardinal George CWN - April 21

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops paid tribute to the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago as he requested prayers for the repose of his soul. “As archbishop of...

Abuse scandal’s total cost: $2.9 billion since 2004 CWN - April 21

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses and religious orders $119,079,647 between mid-2013 and mid-2014, according to a report released on April 17 by the United States Conference of...

Jihadists hope to stir Muslim-Christian divisions in Kenya, Islamic leader warns CWN - April 20

The jihadist warriors of Al Shabaab are hoping “to spark a religious conflict in Kenya between Christians and Muslims,” a Kenyan Muslim leader told an audience in Nairobi. Al Shabaab, a terrorist...

Meeting European rabbis, Pope pays homage to deceased leader of Rome's Jewish community CWN - April 20

Pope Francis met on April 20 with representatives of the Conference of Euroepan Rabbis, and used the occasion to pay tribute to the former chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, who had died last week at...

In annual message to world's Buddhists, Vatican suggests joint effort against slavery CWN - April 20

Buddhists and Christians should work together to combat slavery and human trafficking, the Vatican said in an annual message to the world’s Buddhists. The message, issued by the Pontifical...

Solid faith will resist tribalism, ideology, lure of wealth, Pope tells bishops of Gabon CWN - April 20

Meeting on April 18 with visiting bishops from Gabon, Pope Francis encouraged them to draw inspiration from the missionaries who brought the faith to the African nation “in heroic conditions” 170...

Scottish priest sentenced by Church tribunal for book charging 'gay Mafia' influence CWN - April 20

A Catholic Church tribunal in Scotland has sentenced a priest to three months of penance, after finding him guilty of damaging the reputations of others with a book in which he complained of a...

Vice-president of US bishops' overseas charity is partner in same-sex marriage, group reports CWN - April 20

A senior executive of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas charity of the US bishops, is involved in a same-sex marriage, the Lepanto Institute has discovered. Rick Estridge, the...

September 23 canonization set for Blessed Junipero Serra; Vatican rejects complaints of racism CWN - April 20

Pope Francis will preside at the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra on September 23 in Washington, DC, the Vatican has announced. The Pope had disclosed in January that he hoped to canonize...

Syrian Christians hold out hope for kidnapped bishops, priest CWN - April 20

The apostolic nuncio in Syria has reporting mounting fears about the fate of two Orthodox bishops and a Catholic priests who remaining missing two years after being abducted. Archbishop Mario...

28 Ethiopians reportedly killed in new Islamic State massacre CWN - April 20

Islamic State terrorists in Libya apparently killed 28 Ethiopian Christians, describing them as representatives of the “enemy Ethiopian Church,” in a new massacre. A video that showed the...

Pope appeals to international community as African immigrants flood Italy, perish at sea CWN - April 20

Following his April 19 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis lamented the deaths of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea and appealed to the international community to offer assistance. The Pope...

Pope calls upon faithful to proclaim Christ as ‘the living and only Savior’ CWN - April 20

Reflecting on the readings from the Mass of the day, Pope Francis devoted his April 19 Regina Caeli address to the duty of each Christian to witness to Christ. At the heart of witness, said the...

Be committed to a ‘revolution of tenderness,’ says Pope CWN - April 20

Pope Francis received members of the International Catholic Society for Girls on April 18 and urged them to commit themselves to a “revolution of tenderness,” to which “Jesus opened the way through...

Pope to address charismatic Catholics in St. Peter’s Square CWN - April 20

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will address Catholics involved in the charismatic renewal in an outdoor audience. The gathering will take place on July 3, the feast of...

Papal telegram following death of Cardinal George CWN - April 20

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago upon the death of Cardinal Francis George. “I offer heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious...

Combat human trafficking, Pope urges CWN - April 20

Citing the example of St. Peter Claver and St. John of Matha, who ministered to slaves, Pope Francis called upon Christians to combat human trafficking. The Pontiff made his remarks during an...

Christianity should not be restricted to private sphere, Pope tells Italy’s president CWN - April 20

Pope Francis received Italy’s new president in an April 18 state visit and said that while Church and state are distinct entities with distinct roles, religion in a pluralistic society has a public...

Immigrants clash on refugee ship; Muslims throw Christians overboard CWN - April 17

Italian police arrested 15 Muslim immigrants on April 16 after a brutal incident in which at least a dozen Christians were thrown overboard from a boat leaving carrying refugees from Libya to...

Pope will join US seminarians to honor Bl. Junipero Serra CWN - April 17

Pope Francis will visit the North American College in Rome on May 2, to participate in a day devoted to Blessed Junipero Serra. The Holy Father will celebrate Mass at the North American College:...

Vatican envoy demands UN keep 'eyes wide open' to persecution of Christians CWN - April 17

Speaking on April 17 to a UN session on the persecution of Christians, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that world leaders should approach the question “with both of our eyes wide open.” “And as...

Cardinal Francis George dies after long battle with cancer CWN - April 17

Cardinal Francis George, the retired Archbishop of Chicago, died on April 17 at the age of 78, after a long battle with cancer. Cardinal George, who for years had been a leader in the American...

South African bishops denounce attacks on immigrants CWN - April 17

Thousands of foreign nationals in South Africa have fled their homes for shelters after mob attacks in Durban left five dead. “We understand the anger that the people may be feeling towards the...

12th-century French church partially destroyed CWN - April 17

The church in the French village of Saint-Martin-le-Beau sustained significant fire damage on April 17. Twenty cars near the church, whose bell tower dates to the twelfth century, were also...

Pope thanks Papal Foundation for support CWN - April 17

Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in audience at the Apostolic Palace on April 17 and encouraged them to transmit “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith that comes...

Victory for Pennsylvania dioceses against HHS mandate CWN - April 17

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has issued a temporary order halting enforcement of the HHS mandate against Catholic charities and schools associated with the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and...

Vatican spokesman: papal trip to Cuba is a possibility CWN - April 17

The director of the Holy See Press Office said that there is a possibility that Pope Francis may visit Cuba in September. “The Holy Father has taken into consideration the idea of making a stop...

Vatican envoy regrets UN emphasis on abortion, efforts to curb population growth CWN - April 16

The Vatican’s representative at the UN decried campaigns to promote abortion and contraception, in two separate addresses this week. Speaking at an April 15 session on sexual violence in armed...

Another surprise call from the Pope: journalist in Argentina stunned CWN - April 16

Pope Francis has once again made headlines with an unexpected phone call, this time to a journalist in his native Argentina. Alfredo Leuco, who writes for Clarin in Buenos Aires, penned an open...

Armenian genocide memorials muted in Turkey CWN - April 16

Armenian Apostolic Patriarch Aram Ateshian of Constantinople will celebrate the Divine Liturgy to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, risking the wrath of the Turkish government,...

Syrian archbishop urges clergy to stay in Aleppo despite risk of slaughter CWN - April 16

The Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, is urging the clergy not to abandon the city, despite the danger that it could fall to the Islamic State. “I am asking my priests to stay,”...

San Francisco: critics call for removal of Archbishop Cordileone; archdiocese fires back CWN - April 16

More than 100 prominent Catholics signed a full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle urging Pope Francis to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The paid advertisement charged...

Pope-emeritus Benedict marks his 88th birthday CWN - April 16

Pope Francis offered his daily Mass for the intentions of his predecessor Benedict XVI on April 16, as the retired Pontiff celebrated his 88th birthday. "I would like to remind that today is Pope...

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