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Pope Francis begins 9-day journey to South America CWN - 2 hours ago

Pope Francis has begun a nine-day apostolic journey to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay, his ninth such journey outside Italy. Arriving in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, on July 5, the Pontiff said, “I...

Pope Emeritus Benedict speaks on sacred music CWN - 3 hours ago

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI received an honorary doctorate on July 4 from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music. The Pope Emeritus received the honor at...

Pope urges charismatic Catholics to work for Christian unity, warns against authoritarianism CWN - 4 hours ago

Pope Francis warned members of the Catholic charismatic renewal movement not to succumb to temptations to authoritarianism and called upon them to work for Christian unity and to introduce the poor...

Oregon official confirms: bakery owners must pay $135K over same-sex wedding cake CWN - 1 hours ago

Upholding an earlier decision, Oregon’s state labor commissioner has ruled that the owners of an Oregon bakery violated a non-discrimination law when one of its owners declined to bake a wedding...

Court rules in favor of USCCB, against ACLU in medical case CWN - 2 hours ago

A federal district court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Tamesha...

New prelate of Order of Malta CWN - 3 hours ago

Pope Francis has named Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family since 2009, as the prelate of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Bishop Laffitte, 63, succeeds...

Anti-government protests in Ecuador in advance of papal visit CWN - July 3

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa faced protesters demanding his removal from office on July 1, just days before a scheduled visit by Pope Francis. Thousands of demonstrators marched in the major...

Norway lodges $5 million fraud claim against Oslo diocese for inflating membership figures CWN - July 3

The government of Norway is demanding $5.1 million from the Oslo diocese, in compensation for what the government sees as fraud in the inflated reporting of Church membership figures. The...

Archbishop of Canterbury expresses 'deep concern' over Episcopal approval for same-sex weddings CWN - July 3

The Archbishop of Canterbury has voiced his misgivings about the decision by the Episcopal Church in the US to solemnize same-sex marriages. Dr. Justin Welby, the worldwide leader of the Anglican...

Philadelphia, New York rush preparations for papal visit CWN - July 3

City workers in Philadelphia are building an 8-foot security fence that will temporarily circle the Center City area during the visit by Pope Francis in September. The fence will reportedly be...

Vietnam, Vatican continue talks toward resumption of diplomatic relations CWN - July 3

A top Vietnamese official reported progress toward the establishment of diplomatic ties with the Vatican, after a visit to Rome this week. Nguyen Thien Nhan, the chairman of the central committee...

Ontario high court upholds decision denying accreditation to Christian law school CWN - July 3

Ontario’s Supreme Court has upheld a decision to deny accreditation to a Christian law school that requires students to abstain from sexual activity outside traditional marriage. The court ruled...

Australian prime minister will resist bid to legalize same-sex marriage CWN - July 3

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced his intent to uphold the stand of his Liberal Party that “marriage is between a man and a woman,” and indicated that he will not support a move...

Irish bishops reject plan to ask 'conservative' students to leave national seminary CWN - July 3

Under pressure from bishops, the Irish national seminary at Maynooth will welcome back several seminarians who had been asked to leave because they were viewed “too conservative,” the Irish Catholic...

Cardinal Pell's critics want a 'show trial,' his successor says CWN - July 2

The critics of Cardinal George Pell are aiming at the “humiliation” of the Australian prelate, according to his successor as Archbishop of Sydney. Archbishop Anthony Fisher told the Crux news...

Irish archbishop settles defamation lawsuit against TV network; no financial damages paid CWN - July 2

An Irish archbishop has settled his defamation lawsuit against the RTE television network, which had aired a statement reporting that he had sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl. Archbishop...

Episcopal Church in US approves same-sex weddings CWN - July 2

The Episcopal Church in the US has given its approval to same-sex marriages. The Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Salt Lake City, voted overwhelmingly to allow Episcopal priests to...

Vatican document: Rise in tourism creates opportunities for evangelization, conservation CWN - July 2

With 1 billion people now engaged in tourism, there are a billion opportunities for the Church's evangelizing mission, writes the Pontifical Council for Migrants in a message for World Tourism...

Papal encyclical did not settle scientific questions, says former Vatican official CWN - July 2

Pope Francis did not intend to settle any scientific questions in Laudato Si’, according to an Italian bishop who helped draft the encyclical. Bishop Mario Toso of Faenza-Modigliana said that the...

Rome readies emergency-response plans for Jubilee Year CWN - July 2

The City of Rome has designed emergency plans to respond to a terrorist attack, with the Vatican and the Roman Coliseum as two focal points that could be terror targets. The contingency plans...

Egypt's Christians back government, military, in battle with Islamic militants CWN - July 2

The Coptic Orthodox Church has issued a strong statement of support for the Egyptian military, following a series of attacks by Islamic extremists on military bases in north Sinai. The Coptic...

Mexican homosexual activists say cardinal's statement incites violence, file criminal complaint CWN - July 2

Homosexual activists in Mexico have filed criminal complaints against the retired Archbishop of Guadalajara, after he denounced the country’s Supreme Court decision requiring state recognition of...

Pope voices concerns about Greek debt crisis CWN - July 1

Pope Francis has expressed concern about the Greek debt crisis, his spokesman told reporters. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the Pontiff wanted to...

Missouri priest, cleared of abuse charge, files defamation suit against accusers CWN - July 1

A Missouri priest who was cleared of sex-abuse charges in June has filed a defamation lawsuit against his accusers. Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, of the St. Louis archdiocese, charges that he...

Vatican statements salutes merchant sailors who help endangered migrants CWN - July 1

In a message for “Sea Sunday,” which will be observed on July 12, the Pontifical Council for Migrants pays special tribute to “the great humanitarian effort made by the crews of merchant vessels...

Papal tribute to deceased Armenian Patriarch CWN - July 1

Pope Francis paid tribute to the late Armenian Cathoilc Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, in a message that was read at the prelate’s funeral on July 1. Cardinal Leonard Sandri, the prefect...

Idaho 'wedding chapel' files suit to block enforcement of ordinance requiring same-sex ceremonies CWN - July 1

The city attorney of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has told the proprietors of a “wedding chapel” that they could face prosecution if they refuse their services to same-sex couples. Donald and Evelyn...

Boko Haram not the only Islamic threat to Nigerian Christians CWN - July 1

Boko Haram is not the only threat to Christians in Nigeria, a priest in the Kaduna archdiocese told Aid to the Church in Need. Other radical Islamic groups have also threatened attacks on...

Rhode Island bishop supports conscientious objection to same-sex marriage CWN - July 1

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, has offered his support for conscientious objection in response to the Supreme Court ruling that requires legal recognition of same-sex...

Episcopal Church to vote on same-sex marriage CWN - July 1

The Episcopal Church is poised to hold a final vote on whether to permit same-sex marriages in its dioceses. The House of Bishops-- one of the two houses of the church’s bicameral legislature at...

3 missionary sisters to be expelled from Pakistan CWN - July 1

The Pakistani government has decided not to renew the visas of three Filipino missionary sisters who help administer schools in Islamabad, the nation’s capital. A legal appeal filed by the local...

Vatican diplomat calls for concerted effort to combat terrorism CWN - July 1

Addressing the UN Human Rights Council, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva called for coordinated international action to combat terrorism and its effects. Archbishop Silvano...

Vatican hosts conference on 'the imperative to change course' on the environment CWN - July 1

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Alliance of Catholic Development Organizations (CIDSE) are sponsoring a two-day conference entitled “People and Planet First: the...

Vatican releases English translation of Synod’s working document CWN - July 1

The Vatican has released an English translation of the instrumentum laboris, or working document, of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October and...

USCCB awards $1.2M to Church in Africa CWN - July 1

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded $1,205,236 in grants to 47 projects. The grants are funded by a special collection that is taken...

US Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma prisoners' appeal against execution by lethal injection CWN - June 30

The US Supreme Court has declined an appeal from death-row inmates in Oklahoma, who argued that the state’s use of a controversial drug in executions was a form of “cruel and unusual punishment”...

Full schedule set for Pope's visit to US, Cuba CWN - June 30

The Vatican has released the full schedule for the September visit by Pope Francis to Cuba and the US. The highlights of the papal trip will be an address to the UN on September 25 and a visit to...

Supreme Court blocks enforcement on Texas law setting safety standards for abortion clinics CWN - June 30

The US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked enforcement of a new state law in Texas that would have required abortion clinics to adhere to standards similar to those in place for other medical...

Pope's prayer intentions for July 2015 CWN - June 30

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for July 2015. The Pope’s universal intention is: “That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of...

Report: Pope to visit Kenya in November CWN - June 30

A spokesman for Kenya’s president said that Pope Francis will visit the African nation in November. “The Vatican has formally contacted the government about a visit to Kenya in November,” said...

Peruvian cardinal rips US Supreme Court decision CWN - June 30

Following the recent US Supreme Court decision, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima offered strong criticism of same-sex marriage, calling it “imperialism, colonialism,” according to a...

Pope Francis: ‘yes’ to Jewish roots of Christianity, ‘no’ to anti-Semitism CWN - June 30

Pope Francis received a delegation of the International Council of Christians and Jews in audience on June 30 and said that the Second Vatican Council’s document Nostra Aetate “represents a...

Leading Russian Orthodox figure meets with 3 Vatican officials CWN - June 30

Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, met on June 26 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. The...

Pope’s activities curtailed during summer CWN - June 30

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will not hold his Wednesday general audiences during the month of July. The audiences will be resumed in August in the Paul VI Audience...

Pope Francis visits Pope Emeritus Benedict CWN - June 30

Pope Francis visited with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the latter’s residence for a half hour on June 30, according to the Holy See Press Office. Pope Francis, according to the press office,...

Papal condemnation of terrorist attacks CWN - June 30

Stating that “the Holy Father once again condemns the violence which generates so much suffering,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent out telegrams of condolence in Pope...

Speaking at UN, Cardinal Turkson stresses link between climate change, world poverty CWN - June 29

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace underlined the link between environmental degradation and world poverty, as expressed in the papal encyclical Laudato Si’, in a June 29...

Al Azhar condemns ISIS, urges defeat by 'every possible means' CWN - June 29

Al Azhar University, the Egyptian institution that is regarded as the leading intellectual authority of Sunni Islam, has condemned the “heinous” violence of the Islamic State, the AsiaNews service...

Questions raised about financial dealings in Paraguay diocese whose bishop was removed CWN - June 29

An Associated Press report has uncovered financial irregularities in a diocese in Paraguay whose bishop was ousted by the Vatican last year. Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano was removed from his...

Syrian Orthodox prelate begs West: stop arming Islamic militants CWN - June 29

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ephrem II pleaded for Western nations to stop providing weapons for Syrian militant groups, in an interview with Vatican Insider. “We are not asking the west for...

US bishops' statements on Supreme Court ruling CWN - June 29

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided a useful collection of links to statements by dozens of American bishops responding to the Obergefell...

Pope links apostles, Marian devotion CWN - June 29

In his Angelus address delivered in St. Peter’s Square on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis recalled that the two saints came from distant lands to proclaim the Gospel in...

Be men of prayer, faith, and witness, Pope tells metropolitan archbishops CWN - June 29

Pope Francis entrusted the pallium to 46 metropolitan archbishops appointed during the past year and exhorted them to be follow the example of the apostles and be men of prayer, faith, and...

Pope asks: ‘Do we believe that Jesus can heal?’ CWN - June 29

In his June 28 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of the day (Mark 5:21-43), which recounted the raising of a synagogue official’s child and the healing of a woman with a...

Vatican communications efforts merged, new office will supervise work CWN - June 29

Pope Francis has established a new Vatican office, the Secretariat for Communications, to supervise all of the communications and public-relations efforts of the Holy See. The new office, formally created in an apostolic letter that was released on June 27, was created at the suggestion of a papal commission, chaired by Lord Patten, that examined all the media operations of the Vatican and...

Encyclical on environment ‘filled us with immense satisfaction,’ says Ecumenical Patriarch CWN - June 29

In a message to Pope Francis issued in commemoration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople welcomed Pope Francis’s encyclical on the...

Catholic-Orthodox unity ‘one of my main concerns,’ says Pope CWN - June 29

Pope Francis told a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that the restoration of “full, visible communion” between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches “represents...

Pope appoints envoy for commemoration of death of Jan Hus CWN - June 29

In a Latin-language letter dated April 9 and released on June 27, Pope Francis formally appointed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the retired archbishop of Prague, as his special envoy for the commemoration...

4 blesseds, including St. Thérèse’s parents, to be canonized on October 18 CWN - June 29

During an ordinary consistory of the College of Cardinals, as Pope Francis and the cardinals celebrated Terce (Midmorning Prayer) in the Apostolic Palace, the Pontiff formally approved a decree on...

Papal video message to peoples of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay CWN - June 29

As Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay draws near, the Pontiff has spoken to the peoples of those nations in a video message. “My wish is to be with you, to share...

46 new archbishops to receive pallium CWN - June 26

Forty-six newly appointed archbishops will receive the pallium this year, with Pope Francis blessing the vestments during Mass on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29. The pallium is a white...

Education-- especially of young women-- is vital work, Pope tells leaders of scouting movement CWN - June 26

“Education is the indispensable means for enabling girls to grow into active and responsible women,” Pope Francis said in a June 26 address to delegates of the International Catholic Conference of...

400-year-old Jesuit college in London will close CWN - June 26

Heythorp College, a 400-year-old Jesuit institution in London, will close in 2018, administrators have announced. Heythorp College specialized in philosophy and theology, and provided advanced...

US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26

In a sweeping historic decision released on June 26, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution requires all states to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court justices settled the case of Obergefell v. Hodges by issuing a new legal definition of marriage, and overturning the laws of all the states that currently...

No Vatican decision yet on Medjugorje, leading journalist reports CWN - June 26

Directly contradicting a report that circulated widely in the Italian media yesterday, a leading Vatican journalist has reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has not...

Archbishop Forte lists 5 key synod issues CWN - June 26

In remarks published in Famiglia Cristiana, Archbishop Bruno Forte discussed what he sees as the five most important issues of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. Archbishop Forte, the...

Paulists leaving Canada CWN - June 26

Amid declining priestly vocations, the Paulist Fathers are leaving Canada, where they have ministered for over a century. “This is a decision no religious community wants to make," said Father...

Melkite bishops lament secularization, add Latin-rite saints to liturgical calendar CWN - June 26

The bishops of the Melkite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, held their annual meeting in Lebanon from June 15 to 20. In his opening address,...

Holy See, Palestine sign comprehensive agreement CWN - June 26

The Holy See and Palestine have signed a comprehensive agreement on the life and activities of the Church in Palestine. The agreement, signed at the Apostolic Palace on June 26, takes the place of the “basic agreement” that the two parties had reached in 2000. “In contrast with the earlier agreement, the present one is being signed by the Holy See and the State of Palestine; this is...

European bishops’ conferences to discuss pastoral care of migrants CWN - June 26

Bishops and other representatives from Europe’s episcopal conferences will begin a four-day meeting on June 29 to discuss the pastoral care of migrants. “We cannot pretend that nothing is...

Pope recalls collaboration with Armenian Catholic patriarch CWN - June 26

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence following the death of Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, the patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church. Recalling his “close collaboration” with the...

Don’t hinder development of pollution standard, USCCB committee chair tells Congress CWN - June 26

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged Congress to “oppose legislation and appropriations riders...

$25M given to retired religious from national collection CWN - June 26

The National Religious Retirement Office has granted $25 million to 394 religious communities to help pay for medication, nursing care, and other expenses associated with the care of retired...

Chaldean Patriarch suggests single unified patriarchate for Iraqi Christians CWN - June 25

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako has made a dramatic appeal for unity among the embattled Christians of Iraq, suggesting that three ancient churches should combine in a single...

Criminal charges against Minnesota archdiocese imperil payments to abuse victims CWN - June 25

The criminal charges filed by local prosecutors against the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis could endanger insurance payments to victims of sexual abuse. A settlement with abuse victims...

Coptic Pope denounces 'Gospel of Barnabas' CWN - June 25

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has denounced the “Gospel of Barnabas,” a document discovered in 2012, as a fraud, the Fides news service reports. The Egyptian prelate said that the “Gospel of...

Pope receives B'nai B'rith delegation, speaks of Catholic-Jewish friendship CWN - June 25

Pope Francis met on June 25 with a delegation from B’nai B’rith International, and expressed his gratitude to predecessors who had advanced friendly ties between Catholics and Jews. The Pope...

UN committee demands Ireland allow referendum votes on legal abortion, women's position in home CWN - June 25

Two referendums must be held to vindicate the economic, social and cultural rights of women in Ireland, according to the United Nations. A referendum on abortion and another on the position of...

Irish archbishop files defamation case against TV network for portraying him as a pedophile CWN - June 25

An Irish-born archbishop who resigned in 2010 from his post in Nigeria has filed a defamation lawsuit against the television network that identified him as a pedophile. Archbishop Richard Burke,...

Holy See 'presides in charity,' Pope reminds future nuncios CWN - June 25

Speaking on June 25 to future Vatican diplomats, Pope Francis said: “The true authority of the Church of Rome is the charity of Christ.” The Pope reminded students at the Pontifical...

CDF reaches negative judgment on Medjugorje, Italian journalists report CWN - June 25

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has reached a negative conclusion regarding the authenticity of the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, according to Italian media...

Prelate: the Church in Pakistan refuses to be silenced CWN - June 25

As 15,000 people gathered at the Portuguese shrine of Ronda da Lapinha to pray for persecuted Christians, the president of Pakistan’s episcopal conference said that the Church there refuses to be...

Philippine cardinal welcomes overture by Islamist rebels CWN - June 25

In a move hailed by a Philippine cardinal, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has begun to surrender its weapons following a peace agreement. Beginning in 1978, the MILF used violence in...

Indonesian court upholds ban on interfaith marriages CWN - June 25

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia has upheld the nation’s 1974 ban on interfaith marriages. The nation’s bishops, according to AsiaNews, supported a change in the law. In the world’s most...

Individualism is greatest wound to families, says Italian cardinal CWN - June 25

In an article that appeared on the Vatican newspaper’s front page, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia said that an “individualistic mentality” is the wound that most damages family life...

Registration for World Meeting of Families nears 12,000 CWN - June 25

The number of paid registrants for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia was 11,821 as of June 15, according to a statement released at a Vatican press conference on June 25. Besides the...

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