Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Russian Patriarch says Moscow, Vatican agree on crisis in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said that the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican were close to agreement on the situation in Ukraine, after an August 22 meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the...

Vatican Secretary of State meets Russian counterpart

Conflicts in the Middle East and in Ukraine were high on the agenda for an August 22 meeting between Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Russian foreign minister Sergei...

Northern Ireland: court finds no ‘right’ to same-sex marriage

Northern Ireland’s highest court has dismissed the argument that European law requires legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The court rejected arguments that the recognition of same-sex...

Virginia priest reveals past KKK membership, before change of heart

A Catholic priest in Virginia has taken a leave of absence from ministry after revealing that he was once an active member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Father William Aitcheson repudiated his...

Spanish terrorists planned to bomb Sagrada Familia basilica

The Islamic terrorists responsible for two bombings in Spain last week had apparently planned to target the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. According to Spanish media reports, police...

Louisiana court to weigh case involving abuse complaint, confessional seal

A Louisiana judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that revolves around a priest’s refusal to report sexual abuse that was disclosed in a confession. The plaintiff, Rebecca Mayeux, has sued...

Chilean court upholds bill allowing legal abortion

Chile’s top court has upheld legislation that allows for legal abortion in some circumstances. The court said that a measure allowing for abortion in cases of rape, fetal deformity, or...

Kenya’s bishops welcome legal challenge to election results

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have welcomed a decision by a defeated presidential candidate to challenge the results of the vote. Raila Odigna, who lost the election to incumbent President Uhuru...

10,000 take refuge at cathedral in South Sudan

Ten thousand people fleeing the violence of the South Sudanese civil war have taken refuge in and near the nation’s largest church, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Wau. “Space is at...

Spanish cardinal denounces religious violence

The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference denounced religious violence following the Islamist terrorist attack in Barcelona that left 14 dead and over 130 injured. “Religion is not...

Australian archbishop warns Church workers: same-sex marriage may lead to dismissal

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, has warned that Church employees could lose their jobs if they enter into same-sex marriages. “Our teachers, our parish employees are expected...

Historian sees Catholic involvement in plot to end Nazi Holocaust

In a new book, a Canadian historian suggests that a Swiss Catholic politician and a papal nuncio worked with others to persuade Heinrich Himmler to bring an end to the Nazi campaign to exterminate...

Prelate discusses employment, migration with EU Council president

As Estonia assumed a six-month presidency over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Estonia’s sole Catholic bishop and a leading official of the EU bishops’ commission...

Male religious superiors ask Pope Francis for encyclical on nonviolence

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents male religious institutes in the United States, met recently in Arizona and adopted a resolution on nonviolence. The superiors asked...

USCCB: bishop criticizes termination of program for Central American minors

The US bishops are “deeply disappointed” by the Trump administration’s decision to end the 2014 Central American Minors (CAM) parole program, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin...

English prelate welcomes government report on prisoners’ families

The English bishops’ lead bishop for prisons welcomed the publication of a government report on the importance of prisoners’ families. “I strongly welcome Lord Farmer’s...

Leading Russian Orthodox official reflects on liturgical music

In an interview for the 30th anniversary of his episcopal ordination, Metropolitan Hilarion Volokolamsk spoke about the importance of the sacred liturgy and liturgical music. The prelate leads...

Priests who have children must accept responsibilities: Irish bishops

The Catholic bishops of Ireland are calling upon priests who have fathered children to accept their parental responsibilities. In new guidelines—which have not yet been officially been...

Nigerian archbishop makes plea for obedience in divided diocese

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos has issued a plea to the priests of the troubled Ahiara diocese to accept the authority of Bishop Peter Okpaleke. Bishop Okpaleke, who was appointed by Pope...

Papal greetings for Methodist-Waldensian synod

Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting to leaders of the Methodist and Waldensian churches, who are holding a synod in Turin this week. The Pope promises his prayers for the participants,...

Bolivian bishops rap president’s decision to open tribal land for development

Church leaders in Bolivia have criticized President Evo Morales for signing legislation that will allow development in a national park and in previously protected tribal lands. The lifting of...

Papal adviser: critics of Amoris Laetitia guided by ‘intellectual Pelagianism’

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, a close adviser to Pope Francis, has defended Amoris Laetitia, saying that critics of the papal document are guilty of an “intellectual Pelagianism”...

Vatican delegate expects Holy See to approve Medjugorje apparitions

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who was sent to Medjugorje by Pope Francis in March to investigate the spiritual welfare of the community, has said that he expects the Holy See to approve the reported...

Philippines: bishops protest killing as 76 die in drug raids

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines renewed their appeal for an end to government-sponsored violence after a weekend in which 73 people were killed in raids on suspected drug dealers. The...

Societies must support, promote migrants and refugees: papal message

The Vatican has released the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be observed on January 14, 20018. In his message the Pope reminds readers of the keen...

USCCB: prelate decries Barcelona terrorist attack

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace lamented the August 17 terrorist attack in Barcelona. “Once again, an act of terror has taken more than a...

Bishop demands end to Mapuche violence against churches

A Chilean bishop called upon radical activists of the indigenous Mapuche people to stop burning down churches, according to a Fides report. Speaking on August 15 at the Marian shrine of Metrenco,...

Don’t watch life from a balcony, Pope tells Communion and Liberation gathering

In a message signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis encouraged participants in Communion and Liberation’s annual summer gathering in Rimini, Italy, not to “watch reality...

Pope laments ‘inhuman violence’ of recent terrorist attacks

At the conclusion of his August 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis spoke about recent terrorist attacks. “We carry in our hearts the pain over the terroristic attacks in recent days that have...

Vatican Observatory bloggers cover eclipse

Bloggers associated with the Vatican Observatory Foundation are covering the solar eclipse taking place in the United States. Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, the director of the Vatican Observatory,...

Vatican Secretary of State, Russian patriarch to discuss Ukraine

A staff member of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for External Church Relations said that Ukraine is on the agenda of Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s upcoming meeting with...

Pope Francis: Canaanite woman shows importance of faith, trust

Reflecting on the Gospel of the day (Mt. 15:21-28), Pope Francis said in his August 20 Angelus address that the Canaanite woman’s “insistence on invoking Christ’s intervention is a...

New Jersey mayor removes Guadalupe shrine from state-owned land 

Mayor Hector Lora of Passaic, New Jersey, has ordered the removal of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe that was on public property. The shrine had been set up 14 years ago by a local group, which...

Salesian missionary in Ethiopia has baptized over 7,500 

A Salesian missionary priest has baptized more than 7,500 people in the Ethiopian village where he works. Father Giorgio Pontiggia has been stationed for years in a village outside Gambella....

Catholic marriages in Scotland plunge to 1941 level 

A prominent Scottish priest has called for “systematic and intensified preaching and catechesis on marriage,” noting that the number of Catholic marriages in Scotland has dropped to its...

Cardinal Medina: no Communion, funeral for pro-abortion politicians without public repentance 

A Chilean cardinal has warned politicians that if they support the legalization of abortion, they must not receive the Eucharist until they make a public act of repentance. In a letter published...

Canadian bishops: ‘We cannot accept the unethical way Canadian mining companies have been operating in Latin America ‘ 

The Catholic bishops of Canada have issued a letter condemning “the unethical way Canadian mining companies have been operating in Latin America or other regions of the world.” In a...

To help flood victims, Caritas Vietnam avoids government involvement

Catholic relief workers in Vietnam are avoiding involvement with the government in order to deliver supplies to flood victims in the remote Yen Bai province. Bishop Joseph Nguyen Van Yen led a...

Papal sympathy for victims of accident on Madeira

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the victims of an accident on the Portuguese island of Madeira. At least 13 people died, and 50 were injured, when a tree fell on a group of...

Filipino bishop decries terrorists’ plan to use hostages as suicide bombers

A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has denounced the reported plan of an Islamic terrorist group to force hostages into the role of suicide bombers. Bishop Edwin de la Peña y Angot of...

Chinese officials close down Buddhist monk’s crisis-pregnancy center

Chinese officials have closed down a home run by a Buddhist monk to provide for abandoned babies and women in crisis pregnancies. Master Daolu, a successful business executive who became a monk,...

Prominent English theologian says canon law should allow for correction of Pontiff

A noted English theologian has proposed amending the Code of Canon Law to include “a procedure for calling to order a Pope who teaches error.” Father Aidan Nichols—a Dominican...

Australian prelate urges faithful to vote against same-sex marriage 

An Australian archbishop has urged Catholics to register to vote, in advance of a unusual postal referendum on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth, in a...

Cardinal Parolin, Patriarch Kirill won’t discuss papal visit 

When he visits Moscow later this month, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, will not be making plans for a papal visit to Russia, according to a spokesman for the Russian...

Pope ‘greatly disturbed’ by Barcelona attack, prays for victims 

Pope Francis has sent a statement of sympathy and a promise of prayers to the victims of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain. The Pope condemned “such an inhuman act,”...

Over 1 million people have fled South Sudan for Uganda 

More than 1 million refugees from South Sudan have flooded into Uganda, as the situation in the war-torn African country becomes intolerable. ”Families are escaping a living hell in South...

Cardinal Urosa: Venezuelan bishops reject foreign military intervention, whether from US or Cuba 

The Catholic bishops of Venezuela “reject any foreign military interference” despite the country’s critical situation, said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas. After...

Catholic Church in Russia recalls victims of Communism 

The secretary-general of the Russian Catholic bishops’ conference has asked Christians in the West to help keep alive the memory of Russian Christians who died under Communist...

Protests follow prison death of Pakistani Christian 

Christians in Pakistan have staged public demonstrations to demand an investigation into the death of a Christian man who died in police custody. Indaryas Ghulam died in prison in Lahore. The...

In foreword for book by abuse victim, Pope Francis repeats pledge to take action

Pope Francis has written a foreword to a new book by a Swiss man who was a victim of clerical abuse. In his foreword for Father I Forgive You, by Daniel Pittet, the Pope refers to sexual abuse as...

Church in El Salvador establishes Office of Lay Martyrs to honor civil-war victims

The Catholic Church in El Salvador has established an Office of Lay Martyrs, to honor those who were killed during the country’s civil war. “When someone sacrificed his life for...

Church must clarify papal teaching, Cardinal Burke says

Cardinal Raymond Burke insisted that a clarification of Church teaching on divorce, remarriage, and the Eucharist is “now necessary,” in an interview with the weekly The...

Cardinal Sarah urges faithful to resist ‘revolutionaries’ who attack faith and family

At a memorial Mass honoring the martyrs of the Vendée region in France, Cardinal Robert Sarah challenged Catholics to oppose “the modern persecutors of the Church,” and warned...

Trump administration poised to end contraceptive mandate

The Trump administration will soon unveil new regulations that will exempt religious institutions from the “Obamacare” requirement that health-insurance programs must include...

Vatican donates to shelters for immigrants on Texas border

The Vatican has donated $175,000 to two centers serving immigrants and refugees in the Rio Grande valley in Texas. Cardinal Blase Supich of Chicago visited Sacred Heart parish in McAllen, Texas...

India: Catholics rally against ‘one village, one denomination law’ 

Catholics in a small village in India’s state of Manipur have rallied to protest local officials’ decision that a Catholic who once lived in the village cannot be buried...

Investigator in fetal-parts scandal wins legal battle against university employees 

The man responsible for a series of investigative reports on the involvement of Planned Parenthood with the sale of fetal body parts has won a court victory over researchers who had sought to...

Over 200 Christians detained in Eritrea since May 

The death of a Christian woman in a prison camp in Eritrea has called attention to the arrests of scores of Christians. More than 200 people have been detained in camps in recent...

Indian state of Jharkand passes anti-conversion bill 

Jharkhand was become the 7th state in India to enact legislation to limit religious conversions, despite heavy opposition from religious-freedom advocates. The legislation—which provides...

Syriac Catholic patriarch laments US invasion of Iraq, Western aid to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels 

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan of Antioch said that Western support for “moderate” Syrian rebel factions has caused the devastation of the country. “I can...

Melbourne archbishop says he’s prepared to go to jail rather than divulge confessions 

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia said that he would go to jail rather than obey a law requiring him to divulge the contents of a sacramental confession. The archbishop was responding...

Teacher in landmark Philadelphia abuse case released 10 years early

A former teacher at a Catholic school in Philadelphia has been released from prison after a court overturned his conviction on charges of molesting a student. Bernard Shero had been sentenced to...

US State Dept. publishes International Religious Freedom Report; Tillerson highlights ISIS genocide

The US State Department cited the Islamic State as for genocide in its annual report on religious freedom around the world. The report offered critical comments on the practices of many...

Kenyan bishops plead for peace, fear post-election violence

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have called for calm in the wake of disputed general elections. An independent electoral commission declared on August 11 that incumber President Uhuru Kenyatta had...

Scotland: Church leaders urge action against anti-Catholic hate crimes

Catholic leaders in Scotland are urging government officials to recognize a rising tide of “hate crimes” that target Catholics. Although Catholics account for only about 17% of...

‘This is the land of Gandhi and Buddha’: India’s prime minister denounces religious violence

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an end to religious violence in a speech marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. “Sometimes in the name of faith,...

Jerusalem: Greek Orthodox patriarch decries court decision on sale of Church properties

Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has condemned the decision of an Israeli court to uphold the sale of properties by his predecessor. Patriarch Irenaios was ousted in 2005 after he...

Prelate praises Uganda’s longtime ruler

A Catholic archbishop has praised Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni for preserving the fragile peace in the African country. At an August 15 Mass at the Queen of Peace shrine in Lweza,...

Nigerian cardinal: Amoris Laetitia affirmed traditional Church teaching on receiving Holy Communion

A Nigerian cardinal has said that Amoris Laetitia upheld the Church’s traditional teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried cannot receive the Eucharist. Cardinal Jon Onaiyekan...

Bishops ‘very slow to change’ in confronting abuse, says lay leader of Catholic commission

The head of the Australian bishops’ commission on sexual abuse has said that she fears the Church has been only “partially cleansed and unreconstructed” despite months of intense...

New Jersey: judge affirms right of Catholic school to refuse to re-enroll student

A New Jersey judge has affirmed the right of a Catholic school to deny admission to two girls whose parents had twice filed suit against the school’s administration. “The court does...

Father Sosa: Jesuits’ mission is fostering reconciliation with God, human beings, environment

The superior general of the Society of Jesus said that the Jesuits are called to work for reconciliation “on three levels: with God, with human beings, with the environment.” In an...

Australian bishops: seal of Confession must be protected

The Australian Catholic bishops have indicated that they will not accept an infringement on the confessional seal. “It is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion, and it is recognized...

Papal prayers for mud-slide victims in Sierra Leone

Pope Francis has offered his prayerful sympathy to the victims of deadly mud slides in Sierra Leone. In a telegram to Archbishop Charles Edward Tamba of Freetown, signed by Cardinal Pietro...

For assumption, Pope speaks on power of Mary’s humility

In his Angelus audience on August 15, the feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis spoke on the humility of the Virgin Mary, remarking that “humility is like an emptiness that leaves room for...

Crux contributor, editor apologize for ‘convert neurosis’ remarks

Austen Ivereigh, a contributor to the Crux news site, has apologized for a column in which he suggested that some Catholics who entered the Church as adults suffer from a “convert...

French archbishop admits ‘inadequate’ response to abuse complaints

Archbishop Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, has admitted to an “inadequate” response to reports of sexual abuse by a priest of his archdiocese. But the archbishop insists that he never...

Two Chinese ‘underground’ bishops, veterans of prison camps, have died

Two elderly bishops of China’s “underground” Catholic Church—both of whom had served years in prison camps—died this past weekend. Bishop Sylvester Li Jiantang, the...

Australian commission recommends ending legal protection of confessional seal

A royal commission investigating child abuse in Australia is recommending that state laws be changed to require priests to report confessions of abuse. The recommendation from the Royal...

Korean bishops appeal for peace, counsel prudence

The Catholic bishops of Korea have made an appeal for peace, decrying “unreasonable provocations” by North Korea and urging prudence. The bishops argue that in the face of aggressive...

FBI raids Catholic Worker house in Des Moines in search of pipeline sabotage evidence

About 30 agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided a Catholic Worker house in Des Moines, Iowa on August 11, in connection with an investigation into sabotage of an oil...

Guam’s Catholics pray for peace as North Korea threatens

On the overwhelmingly Catholic island of Guam, residents prayed for peace as they faced the threat of a missile attack by North Korea. North Korea has indicated that it plans to fire a missile...

Eastern Catholic patriarchs urge international action on genocide of Christians in Middle East

Concluding a meeting in Dimane, Lebanon, the patriarchs of the Eastern churches in communion with Rome have issued a “prophetic appeal” warning agains a “plan of genocide”...

US bishops condemn ‘abhorrent acts of hatred’ in Charlottesville

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued two separate statements denouncing the violence surrounding the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. On August 12, the day of the rioting, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the USCCB president, condemned “the abhorrent acts of violence and hatred” and offered prayers for the victims. “We...

Central African Republic: leading imam backs bishop’s assessment of UN troops’ complicity in massacre

The leading Muslim cleric in the Central African Republic has lent credence to a bishop’s charge that UN peacekeeping troops turned a blind eye to the massacre of civilians by Islamist...

Pope Francis: faith sustains our journey but does not exempt us from trials

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 14:22-33), in which Christ asks St. Peter to walk on water, Pope Francis said in his August 13 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video) that...

China continues coercive family-planning measures, despite end of ‘one-child’ policy

Although the Chinese government has formally discontinued its brutal one-child policy, forced abortions continue, the Population Research Institute (PRI) has found. A PRI investigation discovered...

Japanese bishops caution politicians on Korea, pray for peace

Japanese bishops have called for ten days of prayer for peace, and criticized politicians for inflammatory language regarding the threat of war with North Korea. Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of...

Colombian rebels plan ceasefire for papal visit

Rebel leaders of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia have said that they hope to reach a ceasefire agreement with the country’s government for the September visit by Pope...

Northern Ireland: government will fight to retain restrictive abortion law

First Minister Arlene Foster of Northern Ireland has said that her government will do “everything in its power” to prevent liberalization of abortion laws. Foster pledged to...

USCCB awards nearly $1.4M to Church in Africa

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants to 54 pastoral projects there. “Our brothers and...

Venezuelan bishops demand that regime ‘stop the witch hunt,’ respect human rights

The Venezuelan bishops’ justice and peace commission decried the inhumane treatment of political and other prisoners and demanded that the Maduro regime respect human rights guaranteed by the...

Catholic church in Somaliland reopens, then closes

A Catholic church in Somaliland reopened after 30 years on July 29 but was closed a week later under pressure from the local Muslim population. Somaliland is a de facto independent region within...

Bishop charges UN troops with complicity in Central African Republic massacre

A Spanish missionary bishop in the Central African Republic said that militants of the Muslim-dominated Séléka rebel group were able to massacre 50 civilians in the village of Gambo on...

Argentina: bishops oppose nuclear power plant

The bishops of Patagonia, the southernmost region of Argentina, have announced their opposition to the construction of a Beijing-financed nuclear power plant at an unannounced location in Rio Negro...

Pakistan’s leaders pay tribute to nun who served lepers

A German nun whose life of service to lepers has been compared to Mother Teresa’s died on August 10 at the age of 87. Born in 1929, Sister Ruth Pfau escaped Soviet-occupied East Germany and...

Cardinal urges Rosary for peace, calls on North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons

As tensions between North Korea and the United States escalate, the cardinal archbishop of Seoul, South Korea, called upon the faithful to pray the Rosary for peace. “The Virgin Mary urged...

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