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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Confirmed: Pope will visit New York, Washington in September CWN - January 19

Pope Francis has confirmed that he plans to visit Washington, DC, and New York as well as Philadelphia during a trip to the US in September. During a session with reporters aboard his plane as he...

Iraqi prelate challenges Muslim leaders to fight radical Islamic ideology CWN - January 19

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has issued a plea for responsible Islamic leaders to join in the task of “dismantling” radical jihadist ideology. Patriarch Raphael Louis I Sako of the Chaldean...

Pope establishes Eastern Catholic church for Eritrea CWN - January 19

Pope Francis has established a new Eastern Catholic church for Eritrea-- the first Eastern Catholic church formally erected since the early 20th century. According to the Code of Canons of the...

Secretary of pontifical council transferred to Italian diocese CWN - January 19

Pope Francis has named Bishop Mario Toso, a Salesian who has served as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace since 2009, as the new bishop of Faenza-Modigliana, Italy. The...

‘Largest event in the history of the popes’: at least 6 million attend Mass in Manila CWN - January 19

An estimated six to seven million people attended Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at Rizal Park in Manila on January 18. “If this is true, and we think it is, this is the largest event in the history of the popes,” said papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, according to the Holy See Press Office. During the Mass, Pope Francis preached on the importance of family, returning to a...

Pope addresses question: ‘Why do children suffer?’ CWN - January 19

After listening to questions from youth, one of whom spoke about life as a street child, Pope Francis departed from his prepared text and spoke about the suffering of children during his January 18...

Background: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CWN - January 19

In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William O’Connell of...

Joint Lutheran-Catholic ecumenical event announced for fall 2016 CWN - January 19

The Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity have announced that they will hold a joint ecumenical event in fall 2016 “to express the joint gifts received...

Braving a tropical storm, Pope visits typhoon survivors in Philippines CWN - January 17

Pope Francis braved a storm on January 17 to travel to the island of Leyte for an emotional meeting with survivors of typhoon Yolanda. But the Pontiff was forced to cut short his visit as another...

Malawi: Catholic bishop dies in auto accident CWN - January 16

Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of Mzuzu, Malawi, was killed in a car accident on January 15. The bishop was driving his own vehicle at the time of the crash. His car rolled over, and he was thrown...

After greeting Pope, Filipino leader lashes out at Catholic bishops CWN - January 16

After welcoming Pope Francis to the Philippines on January 15, the country’s president lashed out at Catholic prelates the following day, charging that Church officials have been unduly critical of...

Minnesota archdiocese files for bankruptcy CWN - January 16

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the 12th Catholic diocese in the US to take that step in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. The...

Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage CWN - January 16

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases involving state recognition of same-sex marriage, setting the stage for a ruling that could confirm or deny the authority of states to redefine...

Pope defends Humanae Vitae, raps redefinition of family CWN - January 16

Pope Francis made a strong defense of Catholic teachings on marriage in an address to families in the Philippines on January 16. The Pope warned against “the new ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family,” and praised Pope Paul VI for resisting pressures to accept contraception, in the course of his remarks. “Paul VI was courageous, a good pastor, and he warned his sheep...

Vatican spokesman clarifies Pope’s remarks on blasphemy CWN - January 16

Father Thomas Rosica of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement clarifying Pope Francis’s remarks on freedom of speech and blasphemy. The Pope compared mockery of religion to insulting...

USCCB committee calls for patience with Iran in nuclear negotiations CWN - January 16

In a letter to the leaders of three congressional committees, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called for patience with...

Judge reduces award in Indiana diocese’s IVF case CWN - January 16

A federal judge has reduced the damages levied against the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend in the case of a Catholic school teacher whose contract was not renewed after her use of in vitro...

Be ambassadors of Christ, Pope tells priests and religious CWN - January 16

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Manila’s cathedral on January 16 and called upon the bishops, priests, seminarians, and religious who were present to be ambassadors of Christ. “All pastoral...

Pope arrives in Philippines, calls for solidarity with the poor CWN - January 16

Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines on the evening of January 15 and was welcomed at the presidential palace the following morning. “My visit is above all pastoral,” the Pope said. “It comes...

Cardinal Müller concludes meeting with group of European bishops CWN - January 16

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has concluded a three-day meeting in Hungary with the presidents of the doctrinal commissions of Europe’s...

Archbishop argues against change in Northern Ireland abortion law CWN - January 15

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh met on January 15 with David Ford, justice minister of Northern Ireland, to discuss proposals for a liberalization of abortion laws. The archbishop, who led a...

Bankruptcy court approves reorganization plan for Montana diocese CWN - January 15

A federal bankruptcy court has approved plans for reorganizing the finances of the Diocese of Helena, Montana. The reorganization plan will now be presented to creditors for their approval. The...

Egypt's Coptic leader laments Charlie Hebdo cartoons CWN - January 15

Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros has expressed his distaste for the anti-Muslim cartoons published by the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo. “I refuse any form of personal insult,” said...

Saudis building security wall along border with Islamic State CWN - January 15

The government of Saudi Arabia is building a security wall, several hundred miles long, along the country’s border with territory now controlled by the Islamic State. Saudi leaders plan several...

Charlie Hebdo rejects Catholic support CWN - January 15

The editors of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have announced that they do not want the support of the Catholic Church in the wake of a massacre at their offices in Paris. In an...

Pope addresses limits of free speech, climate change, in new interview CWN - January 15

Pope Francis said that freedom of speech should not be exploited to mock religious faiths, and that human beings are largely responsible for climate change, during an in-flight exchange with reporters as he traveled from Sri Lanka to the Philippines on January 15. The Pope responded at length to a question about the killing of Charlie Hebdo staff members. He stressed that “killing in the name...

Delhi: another Catholic church vandalized CWN - January 15

Church officials in Delhi, India, have announced the vandalization of another church: the 4th such incident in the past six weeks. Security cameras at Our Lady of Graces church showed a man...

Pope sends message of appreciation to outgoing Italian President Napolitano CWN - January 15

Pope Francis has sent a message of appreciation of Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano, who announced his resignation this week. In a telegram sent from the papal plane, as he traveled in Asia,...

Vatican, Serbia enter new accord on higher education CWN - January 15

The Vatican has reached a new diplomatic accord with the Republic of Serbia. The agreement, which was signed last June but came into effect on January 12, governs the collaboration of Church and...

Pope arrives in Philippines on 2nd stage of Asian trip CWN - January 15

Pope Francis arrived in Manila on Thursday afternoon, January 15, on the 2nd stage of his trip to Asia. The Pope left Colombo, Sri Lanka, early in the morning. After brief stops at the Benedict...

Canonization this year for Bl. Junipero Serra CWN - January 15

In a surprise announcement, Pope Francis has disclosed that he plans to preside at the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra this year. Speaking to reporters who accompanied him on a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines on January 15, the Pontiff said: "In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States." The Pontiff is scheduled to travel to the US in...

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