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Confront indifference to God and neighbor, Pope says in 2015 Lenten message CWN - 21 hours ago

The Holy See Press Office has released the text of Pope Francis’s 2015 Lenten message. Entitled “Make Your Hearts Firm”-- a reference to a verse in the Letter of St. James-- the message, dated...

Bishops in Niger appeal to Muslims for solidarity after attacks on churches CWN - 10 hours ago

The Catholic bishops of Niger have reached out to Muslims to strengthen inter-religious bonds after a series of violent attacks on Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. "We want to...

Pope reportedly meets with Spanish transsexual CWN - 10 hours ago

Pope Francis met privately with a Spanish transsexual who had written to complain about having been banished from his parish church, according to the Spanish daily Hoy. Diego Neria Lejarraga, who...

Bishop: northeastern Nigeria could fall to Boko Haram CWN - 23 hours ago

The Islamist terrorist movement Boko Haram has captured Monguno, a city of 100,000 in northeastern Nigeria, and has launched attacks against Maiduguri, a city of 1.2 million. “We find ourselves...

Malaysian archbishop assures faithful: 'Allah' can still be used in worship CWN - 10 hours ago

Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur has written a pastoral letter to assure the Catholics of Malaysia that a legal ban on the use of the word “Allah” applies only to the Catholic newspaper, not...

Swiss court rules Vatican bank must turn over account information to Italian prosecutors CWN - 10 hours ago

A court in Switzerland has ruled that Italian prosecutors should have access to information about an account held by the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Swiss federal...

Increased religious repression reported in Cuba CWN - 22 hours ago

Violations of religious freedom in Cuba increased in 2014, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a UK-based organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians. “Week after...

Egypt: church attacked on 4th anniversary of ‘Arab Spring’ CWN - 23 hours ago

Four years after the Arab Spring uprising that led to the overthrow of longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets against the current...

Peruvian bishop: government must protect judges after death threats from drug gangs CWN - 10 hours ago

A Peruvian bishop has called upon the government to provide protection for judges, the Fides news service reports, after several jurists received death threats from drug-trafficking...

1st female bishop ordained for Church of England CWN - 22 hours ago

In a ceremony that took place on January 26, Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first female bishop. Referring to the Ugandan-born Anglican archbishop of York, Lane said that “Archbishop...

Senegal’s bishops denounce religious violence, caricatures of Muhammad CWN - 22 hours ago

The bishops of the West African nation of Senegal have issued a statement denouncing religious violence and caricatures of the founder of Islam. “We strongly condemn the murderous violence of...

Russian patriarch: revive positive aspects of Communist era CWN - 22 hours ago

In an address to Russia’s parliament, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church called for a revival of what he sees as the positive aspects of the nation’s Communist era, which lasted until...

Italian bishops' conference leader calls for quick election of new Italian president CWN - 10 hours ago

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has called for the prompt election of a new Italian president following the resignation of Giorgio Napolitano. In an...

February 8 designated day of prayer, awareness against human trafficking CWN - 21 hours ago

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General have designated February 8 as the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human...

Mexican, Central American bishops to discuss plight of migrants CWN - 22 hours ago

The bishops of Mexico and four Central American nations will begin a three-day meeting on January 28 to discuss the plight of those seeking to enter the United States. “We are saddened and...

Judge orders mediation in bankruptcy case of Minnesota archdiocese CWN - January 26

A judge in federal bankruptcy court has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis to go to mediation with creditors— led by sex-abuse victims—in hopes of avoiding a costlier legal...

Spokane diocese settles lawsuit against law firm that handled bankruptcy CWN - January 26

The Diocese of Spokane, Washington, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the law firm that represented the diocese in bankruptcy proceedings. The diocese had brought a malpractice suit...

New papal plea for peace in Ukraine CWN - January 26

Pope Francis renewed his plea for peace in Ukraine, at the conclusion of his Sunday public audience on January 25. The Pope said that he has been following “with deep concern the escalation of...

Death-penalty opponents excluded from jury in 'Marathon bombing' trial CWN - January 26

Jury selection for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the “Marathon Bombings” that shook Boston in 2013, has prompted a controversy over the exclusion of those who object to the death...

Prosecutors find no misconduct in case that caused removal of pastor, school principal CWN - January 26

In Revere, Massachusetts, police and prosecutors have said that they found no evidence of wrongdoing in a case that has led to the forced resignation of a Catholic pastor, the principal of the...

Catholic Relief Services charged with support for program that promotes contraception CWN - January 26

The Lepanto Institute has reported evidence that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas aid agency of the US bishops’ conference, provided support for a sex-education program that encouraged...

Impartial judgment is key for marriage tribunals, Pope tells canonists CWN - January 26

Pope Francis stressed the importance of impartial judgment by marriage tribunals, as he spoke on January 24 to participants in a canon-law seminar. The meeting, co-sponsored by the Pontifical...

Vatican tradition ended: balloons released in place of doves CWN - January 26

The Vatican has altered a traditional gesture—the release of doves in St. Peter’s Square—after complaints from animal-rights groups. For years, on the last Sunday of January, the Pope has been...

Catholic priests playing politics, Belarus government official charges CWN - January 26

The Commissioner for Religions and Nationalities in Belarus has charged that Polish-born Catholic priests are engaged in political activities, and therefore have been denied permission to remain in...

English doctor faces charges for sex-selection abortion CWN - January 26

A doctor in Birmingham, England, will face criminal charges for offering to perform a sex-selection abortion. On January 26 a Birmingham court ordered Dr. Palaniappan Rajmohan to answer the...

Russian Patriarch calls for abortion ban in first-ever address to Duma CWN - January 26

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill suggested a nationwide campaign against legal abortion, as he addressed Russia’s legislative body, the Duma. The Patriarch’s speech was the first ever delivered...

China planning illicit ordination of more bishops for 'official' Church? CWN - January 26

The Chinese government’s bureau of religious affairs plans to organize the ordination of more Catholic bishops without Vatican approval in 2015, the AsiaNews service reports. The move would...

Notre Dame’s Father McBrien dead at 78 CWN - January 26

Father Richard McBrien, who chaired the University of Notre Dame’s theology department for 11 years, died on January 25 at the age of 78. While his public influence was significant--not only...

Pope concludes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CWN - January 26

Pope Francis concluded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with the celebration of Vespers on January 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and reflected on the encounter of Jesus with...

Pope Francis: in Jesus, man’s thirst and God’s thirst meet CWN - January 26

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 1:14-20), Pope Francis said during his January 25 Angelus address that “Jesus' announcement is similar to that of John, with the major difference that...

Papal praise for 2005 document on nullity cases CWN - January 26

The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts’ 2005 document Dignitas Connubii remains a “modest but useful vademecum that really takes the ministers of the tribunals by the hand toward the...

Conversion, prayer, holiness necessary for Christian unity, says Pope CWN - January 26

Pope Francis met with participants in an ecumenical gathering of religious on January 24 and said that “religious life has a particular vocation” to promote Christian unity. The gather was...

Pope on Catholic-Muslim dialogue: listen and study, but avoid syncretism CWN - January 26

Listening and thorough study are important components of dialogue with Muslims, Pope Francis said to participants in a January 24 meeting organized by the Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic...

Republicans now outnumber Democrats among Catholics in US House of Representatives CWN - January 23

In the 114th Congress, Catholic Republicans outnumber Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives, 69 to 68, the Pew Research Center reports. Although the margin is minimal, the trend is...

Syrian priest raps Western silence after car-bomb kills 15 in Homs CWN - January 23

A Syrian Catholic priest has blasted the silence of the Western media after 15 people were killed, and 50 others wounded, by a car-bomb explosion in the center of the city of Homs. Father Hilal...

Beatification cause opened for Focolare founder Chiara Lubich CWN - January 23

Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, has formally opened a cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare movement. Born in 1920 in Trent, Sylvia Lubich (as...

Chinese bishop says Church should take initiative to end conflict with Beijing CWN - January 23

A Chinese bishop of the “underground” Church faithful to Rome has said that the Vatican should take the first step to resolve a long-running conflict with the Beijing regime. In an interview...

Red hat is not a 'prize,' Pope reminds new cardinals CWN - January 23

In a letter to each of the prelates who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals at the February consistory, Pope Francis has remembered them that a red hat should not be seen as “a prize, or...

Do not let legalism block access to salvation, Pope tells tribunal judges CWN - January 23

In a January 23 address to officials of the Roman Rota, Pope Francis reminded the judges and advocates that the highest priority of canon law is the salvation of souls. As is customary, the Pope addressed the officials of the Roman Rota as they opened their judicial term for 2015. The Roman Rota is the top appellate court in the Church’s system of tribunals. Most of its work involve marriage...

22 martyrs recognized; causes of US-born priest, others advance CWN - January 23

In an audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on January 22, Pope Francis approved a decree on a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Maria Teresa...

Pope Francis reflects on the family and communication CWN - January 23

In his message for the World Day of Social Communications, which will take place in May, Pope Francis reflected on the encounter between the Blessed Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in...

President Obama: abortion is a ‘core constitutional right’ CWN - January 23

In a January 22 statement, President Barack Obama described Roe v. Wade as “a decision that protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a...

Religious leaders call for renewed US effort for 2-state solution in Middle East CWN - January 23

A group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders has called upon President Barack Obama to “work with Israel and [the] Palestinian Authority to achieve a negotiated two-state peace agreement before...

Church in Niger suspends operation of schools, other apostolates CWN - January 23

Citing the widespread destruction of churches and other Catholic institutions and the general situation of insecurity, the bishops of Niger have indefinitely suspended the operation of all Catholic...

Vatican newspaper: time between the 2 synods is one of ‘reception, deepening’ CWN - January 23

The year between the extraordinary and ordinary synods of bishops on the family is a time of “reception” and “deepening,” according to a front-page article that appeared in the January 23 edition of...

1.6 million have abandoned homes because of Boko Haram CWN - January 23

An estimated 1.6 million Nigerians have fled their homes in the wake of the advance of the Islamist militant organization Boko Haram, according to the Associated Press. Most have fled to other...

Vatican Museums experts discover fake mummies in collection CWN - January 22

Researchers at the Vatican Museums have discovered that two mummies in the Vatican collection are fakes. Alessia Amenta, the curator of the museum’s collection of Egyptian antiquities, told the...

All Sri Lankans-- not just Catholics-- welcomed papal visit, bishop reports CWN - January 22

The visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis was welcomed not only by Catholics, but by the entire diverse population of the country, Bishop Valence Mendis of Chilaw told Aid to the Church in...

'Absurd' to see conflict between Benedict XVI, Francis, says Archbishop Gänswein CWN - January 22

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who has served as private secretary to both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, has said that it is “absurd” to believe that there are disagreements between the two...

Cardinal Marx speaks on Pope Francis' leadership, Synod debate on marriage CWN - January 22

“This whole pontificate has opened new paths,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich told an American Jesuit publication. Cardinal Marx, a member of the Council of Cardinals, spoke at length about...

Vatican cardinal meets with Vietnamese political leaders CWN - January 22

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, met with Vietnamese government officials as he continued a pastoral visit to the Asian...

French bishop resigns after furor in diocese CWN - January 22

Bishop Jean-Marie Le Vert of Quimper, France, has resigned, the Vatican has announced. A brief announcement on January 22 indicated that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the French...

Salvation, not healing or teaching, is Christ's greatest gift, Pope tells congregation CWN - January 22

In his homily at a daily Mass at the Vatican on January 22, Pope Francis reminded the congregation that although Jesus can bring relief to those who suffer, the most important reality is that Jesus...

Jordan's King Abdullah backs Pope's statement on respect for religion CWN - January 22

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has praised Pope Francis for his insistence that religious beliefs should be treated with respect, the Fides news service reports. King Abdullah endorsed the Pope’s...

Kenyan bishops remain leery of vaccination campaign CWN - January 22

The Catholic bishops of Kenya remain concerned about a vaccination campaign sponsored by the World Health Organization, despite preliminary tests that seemed to quell fears that the vaccine included...

Republicans drop plans to push pro-life bill in US House of Representatives CWN - January 22

Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives have pulled back from plans to pass legislation that would have banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. In a stunning political...

Finnish Lutheran delegation meets with Pontiff CWN - January 22

Welcoming a delegation of Finnish Lutherans to the Vatican on January 22, Pope Francis remarked: “A shared Christian witness is very much needed in the face of the mistrust, insecurity, persecution,...

Papal thanks for Vatican security officials CWN - January 22

Pope Francis met on January 22 with members of the Vatican’s General Inspectorate for Public Security, thanking them for conducting their daily work “with professionalism and dedication.” The...

Top Malaysian prelate shaken by court ruling against Christian use of 'Allah' CWN - January 22

Archbishop Julian Leow Kim of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has expressed keen disappointment at a court ruling that prohibits Christians from using the word “Allah” to identify God, saying that the...

India's bishops appeal to prime minister: save secular society CWN - January 22

India’s Catholic bishops have made an urgent plea to Prime Minister Narendara Modi to uphold the secular character of the country. The bishops, led by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos,...

Catholic parishes in Crimea re-register with Russian authorities CWN - January 22

Heeding Russian law, the Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol, whose territory includes Crimea, has reregistered its parishes with the Russian government. “Today we sent the documents to Moscow and are...

Cardinal calls for passage of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act CWN - January 22

Citing the Kermit Gosnell case, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called upon Congress to pass the...

USCCB: Supreme Court decision on Muslim prisoner is ‘great victory for religious freedom’ CWN - January 22

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty has welcomed Holt v. Hobb, the unanimous Supreme Court decision in favor of a Muslim inmate...

New cardinal profile: Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli CWN - January 22

Fifth on the list of new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on January 4 is Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli, 75, of Ancona-Osimo, Italy. Ancona is small city of 100,000 and the capital of the eastern...

Burundi radio host arrested after airing confession of man who said he killed Italian missionary nun CWN - January 21

Police in Burundi have arrested the host of a popular radio show, after he aired the confession of a man who said he had been involved in the murder of three Italian missionary nuns last...

Vatican officials meet with counterparts from World Council of Churches CWN - January 21

Vatican officials met with representatives of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on January 20, for an exchange of information on plans for the coming year. The Pontifical Council for...

Hindu group proposes bar on religious conversions in India CWN - January 21

A Hindu nationalist party has called for the adoption of a law restricting religious conversions in India. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) proposal was brought forward by leaders of the group as...

1st-century Gospel text found in mummy's mask? CWN - January 21

Archeologists are expecting the publication of what could be the oldest known copy of one of the Gospels. The fragmentary text, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark, was reportedly discovered on a...

Wine experts gather for papal audience CWN - January 21

Italian vintners and wine experts met with Pope Francis after his regular weekly public audience on January 21, and presented the Pontiff with a tastevin, the silver cup used by professional...

Pope blesses lambs, following tradition for feast of St. Agnes CWN - January 21

Before his regular weekly general audience on Wednesday, January 21, Pope Francis blessed two lambs, following an annual tradition for the feast of St. Agnes. The wool shorn from these lambs will...

Large families are a blessing, Pope tells Wednesday audience CWN - January 21

Pope Francis told his public audience on January 21 that he found it refreshing to meet parents in the Philippines who “know that every child is a blessing.” Commenting on his trip to the...

Nigerian bishop seeks international military action against Boko Haram CWN - January 21

A Catholic bishop in northeastern Nigeria has called for international military action to stop the terrorist offensive of Boko Haram. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, whose Maiduguri diocese has felt...

Indiana diocese asks court to dismiss verdict in teacher's IVF case CWN - January 21

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, has asked a court to dismiss a jury’s decision granting a large financial settlement to a Catholic-school teacher who said she was wrongfully dismissed...

Pope will visit Iraq, nuncio predicts CWN - January 21

Pope Francis is likely to visit Iraq, according to the apostolic nuncio there, although no plans for a papal visit have been made to date. “The Holy Father is expected in Iraq, both by the Church...

Irish bishop pleads with IRA to disclose site of slain boy's grave CWN - January 21

Bishop Liam MacDaid of Clogher, Ireland has issued an appeal to leaders of the Irish Republic Army (IRA) to reveal where a teenage boy was buried after his death in 1975. Columba McVeigh, a...

Pope names members of new body that will judge abuse cases CWN - January 21

Pope Francis has named the members of a new body of cardinals and bishops who, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), will judge cases involving the sexual abuse...

New director of Vatican’s Financial Information Authority CWN - January 21

Pope Francis has named Tommaso Di Ruzza as the new director of the Financial Information Authority, a Vatican body created in 2010 to combat illegal financial activities. Until his appointment, Di...

Pope laments attacks on Christians in Niger CWN - January 21

Decrying attacks on Christians in Niger, Pope Francis said at his January 21 general audience that “war must not be waged in the name of God.” Catholic parishes, houses of religious orders, and...

Leading Ukrainian prelate speaks of ‘continuous’ prayer for nation’s troops CWN - January 21

Blessing army uniforms, boots, and other supplies outside his cathedral, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that the Church is offering continuous prayer for the nation’s troops,...

Final court loss for Malaysian Catholics in Allah dispute CWN - January 21

Malaysia’s weekly Catholic newspaper has lost its last legal challenge to a ban on the publication’s use of the word “Allah” to refer to God. The Malaysian Insider reported that the ruling...

Bishop laments indifference to fate of Syrian, Iraqi Christians CWN - January 21

The Eastern-rite bishop responsible for ministering to Syriac Catholics in the United States and Canada lamented Western political indifference to the fate of Syrian and Iraqi Christians. “You...

Russian Orthodox support for Muslim protest against Muhammad caricatures CWN - January 21

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims took to the streets in Grozny, the capital city of the Chechen Republic in Russia, to protest the publication of caricatures of Muhammad by the French magazine...

New cardinal profile: Archbishop John Dew CWN - January 21

Fourth on the list of new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on January 4 is Archbishop John Dew, 66, of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. The prelate’s three predecessors were also...

Crimea: Catholic convent closed; nuns denied residency permits CWN - January 20

A Catholic convent in the Crimean capital city of Simferopol has been closed, after the three sister who lived there were denied extensions of their residence permits, the Forum 18 news service...

US Supreme Court declines to hear appeal of Louisiana case challenging confessional seal CWN - January 20

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a Louisiana ruling that would force a Catholic priest to disclose what he heard in a sacramental confession or face imprisonment. Last May,...

On return from Philippines, Pope prays at St. Mary Major CWN - January 20

Following what has become his regular practice, Pope Francis visited the basilica of St. Mary Major on Monday afternoon, January 19, to pray before the image of the Virgin Mary Salus populi Romani...

British PM comments on Pope’s remarks on blasphemy CWN - January 20

British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared on the CBS political interview show “Face the Nation” and addressed a question on Pope Francis’s recent remarks on blasphemy. Cameron was asked, “The...

At least 45 churches attacked in Niger CWN - January 20

On the weekend of January 16-18, Catholic parishes, houses of religious orders, and Protestant churches were attacked in different parts of the West African nation of Niger in response to European...

Orthodox officials warn against caricatures of Muhammad CWN - January 20

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the Georgian Orthodox Church has condemned “caricatures insulting the Muslims’ religious feelings,” and a leading Russian Orthodox official warned against...

Europe: some politicians opposed amendment on protecting Christians in Libya CWN - January 20

A coalition of Green and Socialist party politicians attempted to block a European Parliament resolution calling for the protection of Christians and other religious minorities in Libya, according...

New report highlights rising economic inequality CWN - January 20

If current trends continue, the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population will have more combined wealth than the other 99% in 2016, according to a report highlighted by the Vatican newspaper in its...

Chaldean Patriarch reported to dispute Vatican ruling overturning his order CWN - January 19

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has challenged a Vatican decision overruling his order for Chaldean priests to return to Iraq, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The...

Missouri bishop objects to Catholic hospitals' choice to extend employee benefits to same-sex partners CWN - January 19

A Missouri bishop has said that he is “deeply concerned” about the announcement that a Catholic health-care system has decided to extend employee benefits to same-sex couples. Bishop James...

Birth control, 'ideological colonization' are topics as Pope speaks with reporters CWN - January 19

Pope Francis spoke about birth control, responsible parenthood, and “ideological colonization” during an exchange with reporters as he flew from the Philippines to Rome on January 19. The Pope...

Hindus claim 'reconversion' of 100 Christians in Indian villages CWN - January 19

Hindu nationalists in India’s state of Kerela have reported that more than 100 people renounced Christianity and returned to their Hindu roots, in two separate ceremonies on January 18. The Hindu...

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