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New Irish bill, mandating reporting of abuse, renews concerns about confessional seal CWN - 8 hours ago

The Irish government has published the Children First Bill, which requires professionals—including members of the clergy—to report any concerns about child abuse to appropriate law-enforcement...

Vatican confirms plans to testify before UN committee on torture CWN - 8 hours ago

The Vatican has acknowledged that it will make a report to the UN’s committee monitoring implementation of the Convention against Torture. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican...

Vatican survey on family not intended for public release, says spokesman for English bishops CWN - 9 hours ago

A survey on marriage and family, distributed by the Vatican in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, was not intended for public release, according to a spokesman for the...

Venezuelan cardinal decries trend toward ‘Cubanization’ CWN - 16 hours ago

In a television appearance, Venezuela’s leading prelate criticized socialism and denounced trends toward “Cubanization,” the Fides news agency reported. Referring to officials f the government of...

President Obama reflects on meeting with Pope Francis CWN - 16 hours ago

In remarks delivered at the annual White House Easter prayer breakfast, President Barack Obama reflected on his recent meeting with Pope Francis. After lamenting the murder of three people at a...

Child killed, dozens hurt as missile strikes Catholic school in Damascus CWN - 7 hours ago

One child was killed and 61 people injured when a missile struck a Catholic school in Damascus, Syria, on April 15, the Fides news service reports. The missile hit the Armenian Catholic school in...

Pope will visit Roman jail, distribute pocket-sized Gospels CWN - 8 hours ago

Pope Francis will visit the Regina Caeli prison in Rome on April 16—the Wednesday of Holy Week—and distribute pocket-sized copies of the Gospels to inmates there. The Pope has recommended that...

International survey finds wide variance in acceptance of contraception CWN - 9 hours ago

People all around the world are generally consistent in condemning extra-marital affairs as immoral, a new Pew Research study finds. But attitudes on contraception vary widely. In the 40...

Melkite patriarch welcomes Syrian government’s victory in historic Christian town CWN - 15 hours ago

The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has welcomed the Syrian government’s victory over rebel forces in the historic Christian town of Ma'loula. Rebel forces seized the town in December...

Malta approves civil unions CWN - 8 hours ago

The heavily Catholic island nation of Malta has allowed for legal recognition of same-sex unions, and adoption of children by homosexual couples. The new legislation, despite opposition from the...

Irish columnist fears for safety after being called 'homophobic' CWN - 10 hours ago

A leading Irish newspaper columnist has reported that he has trouble sleeping, has lost weight, fears for his safety, and may move out of Dublin because of harassment and threats he has suffered...

Nigerian prelate deplores ‘aimless’ violence of Boko Haram CWN - 14 hours ago

A Nigerian prelate has decried the increasingly destructive attacks committed by the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram. Boko Haram “continues to kill people like animals,” Archbishop...

New Scottish bishop lives in low-income housing area CWN - 14 hours ago

A newly installed Scottish bishop has taken up residence in a parish house in a low-income housing area, rather than in the more opulent episcopal residence. “[Pope] Francis dreams, and so do I,...

Ecumenical Patriarch exhorts Ukrainians to unity CWN - 15 hours ago

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, issued a Palm Sunday message to civil and Church leaders in Ukraine. “The Holy Mother and Great Church of...

South Sudan’s Christian leaders appeal for peace CWN - 16 hours ago

Warning of a humanitarian catastrophe, South Sudan’s Catholic and Protestant leaders urged the parties in the nation’s four-month-old conflict to stop fighting. “We called on the warring parties...

Greek Orthodox prelates denounce Catholicism as heresy CWN - 9 hours ago

In a harsh 89-page letter addressed to “Francis, head of state of the Vatican City,” two Greek Orthodox prelates have denounced Catholicism as a heresy and urged the Pope to repentance. In their...

Embryo switch rouses fears in Roman assisted-fertility treatment CWN - 10 hours ago

Reports that a woman was implanted with another couple’s twin embryos have caused fears among Italian couples seeking fertility treatment. Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome, where the problem...

Chilean fire victims receive papal message of condolence CWN - 10 hours ago

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the victims of a fire that spread through Valparaiso, Chile, killing at least 12 people and driving 10,000 from their homes. In a message conveyed...

Caritas appeal for Senegal CWN - 15 hours ago

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal on behalf of Senegal. “Recent poor harvests, climatic factors, natural disasters and a...

Task force finds major flaws in handling abuse complaints in Minnesota archdiocese CWN - April 14

A special task force has reported “serious shortcomings” in the handling of sex-abuse complaints in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese. The Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards Task...

Newark archbishop under fire for planned addition to residence CWN - April 14

More than 22,000 people have signed a petition protesting plans by Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, to build an expensive new addition to his personal residence. Archbishop Myers...

Vatican dismisses abuse charge against Puerto Rican bishop CWN - April 14

The Vatican has dismissed sex-abuse charges made against a Puerto Rican bishop. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith examined a complaint against Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torres of...

SSPX leader rips Cardinal Kasper's proposal on Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics CWN - April 14

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has denounced a proposal by Cardinal Walter Kasper for allowing the reception of Communion by Catholics who are divorced and...

Pakistani woman's appeal on blasphemy charge postponed once again CWN - April 14

For the 4th time in the past two months, a court in Pakistan has postponed a hearing on the appeal of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who was convicted of unsupported blasphemy charges. The High...

Text for Stations of the Cross will examine human suffering CWN - April 14

In meditations written for the Way of the Cross, to be read on Good Friday during the traditional observance at the Roman Coliseum, Archbishop Giancarlo Bregantini of Campobasso-Boiano, Italy calls...

Dutch diocese says abuse charges against former bishop are valid CWN - April 14

The Diocese of Roermond, in the Netherlands, has disclosed that complaints of sexual abuse by the late Bishop Johannes Gijsen were “well-founded.” Bishop Frans Wiertz, the current leader of the...

Another UN committee plans to question Vatican officials on abuse CWN - April 14

Another UN committee is planning to interrogate Vatican officials about the Church’s response to sexual abuse. The UN’s committee monitoring implementation of the Convention Against Torture will...

Rome is top choice for 'religious tourism' in Italy CWN - April 14

The Vatican is an increasingly popular destination for Italian vacationers, according to tour guides, who attribute the trend to the popularity of Pope Francis. Among Italians traveling for...

Capital campaign falls short in Philadelphia archdiocese CWN - April 14

A major fundraising Archdiocese of Philadelphia has fallen short of its goal, due in part to an unusually high level of unfulfilled pledges. The archdiocesan capital campaign, designed to raise...

Passover greetings from Pope to Rome's Jewish community CWN - April 14

Pope Francis has sent a message of best wishes for Passover to Rome’s Jewish community. In his message, which was addressed to Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the Pope expressed the hope that the...

Become shepherds, not bureaucrats, Pope tells seminarians CWN - April 14

In an April 14 address to seminarians from the Pontifical Leonine College, Pope Francis told the young men that if they are not prepared to dedicate themselves to serving the faithful, they should...

President Obama names delegation to canonization Mass CWN - April 14

President Barack Obama has announced the names of the members of the presidential delegation to the April 27 Mass of canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II. John Podesta,...

Pope reflects on suffering of children, asks doctors to care for souls as well as bodies CWN - April 14

In an April 12 address to participants in an Italian Society of Oncological Surgery conference, Pope Francis told physicians that they should “not lose sight of the human person, created in the...

Historical study important for Church of today, says Pope CWN - April 14

In an address to members of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, Pope Francis said that the study of history is important for discerning “what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church...

Focus on World Youth Day during Sunday Angelus address CWN - April 14

In his brief Sunday Angelus address, delivered at the conclusion of Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis greeted 250 World Youth Day delegates, and Brazilian youth consigned the...

In Christ's Passion, who am I like? Pope asks in Palm Sunday homily CWN - April 14

In his homily at Palm Sunday Mass, Pope Francis told those assembled in St. Peter's Square that “we might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord?” “We have just...

Msgr. Marini confirmed as Pope's master of liturgical ceremonies CWN - April 14

Pope Francis has confirmed Msgr. Guido Marini in his position as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, according to a notice in L'Osservatore Romano. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr....

British academic named head of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences CWN - April 14

Pope Francis has named Margaret Archer as president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Archer succeeds Mary Ann Glendon, 75, the Harvard law professor who has served as president of the...

Parents protest speaker's talk on morality at another Catholic high school CWN - April 11

For the 2nd time in recent weeks, parents of students at a Catholic high school are protesting that a speaker’s presentation on Catholic morality was harsh and insensitive. Parents of students at...

Falling fertility rates are cause for alam, Vatican mission alerts UN CWN - April 11

The Vatican’s representative at the UN has called attention to falling fertility rates around the world, saying that they “should be a great cause for alarm.” Citing a report from the UN’s...

German appeals court affirms conviction of breakaway bishop for Holocaust denial CWN - April 11

A German court has denied Bishop Richard Williamson’s appeal of his conviction for denying the Holocaust. The traditionalist bishop was convicted in 2010 for statements he made in a Swedish...

No turning back in fight against child abuse, Pope vows CWN - April 11

The Church “will not take one step backward” in efforts to punish those who abuse children, Pope Francis promised in an April 11 address to the International Catholic Child Bureau (BICE). The...

Satan is real, Pope reminds congregation CWN - April 11

The devil is a reality, Pope Francis reminded worshippers at a Mass on April 11. “The devil is here, even in the 21st century,” the Pope said in his homily. “And we mustn’t be naïve,...

Orthodox Jews plan Passover sacrifice on Jerusalem's Temple Mount CWN - April 11

An Orthodox Jewish group is planning to offer sacrifice on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Passover next week. The group, Hozrim El Ha-Har, has told members to gather on Monday, April 14,...

Italian court recognizes a same-sex marriage, stirring new controversy CWN - April 11

An Italian court has recognized a same-sex marriage, rousing new hopes among gay-rights activists for a change in the country’s law. The court in Grosseto granted recognition to the union of a...

SSPX priest indicted on charges of rape, torture CWN - April 11

A priest of the Society of St. Pius X has been indicted and jailed on charges of rape and torture, according to French media reports. The Society, which is not in full communion with the Holy...

Pope Francis emphasizes: the life of the unborn is 'sacred and inviolable' CWN - April 11

In an April 11 audience, Pope Francis thanked Italian pro-life leaders for “promoting and defending human life from its conception.” “We know human life is sacred and inviolable,” the Pope said....

USCCB advises 'attentiveness' to local Girl Scout programs CWN - April 11

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth has conducted a dialogue with the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and issued a non-binding...

Cardinal welcomes 1st state visit of Irish president to UK CWN - April 11

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, has issued a statement welcoming the first state visit of an Irish president to the United Kingdom. “The historic events...

Annual survey finds that fewer Americans view the Bible as sacred CWN - April 11

An annual survey conducted by the Barna Group and the American Bible Society has found that increasing numbers of Americans view the Bible as “just another book.” 19% of survey respondents...

Ukrainian Church leaders direct priests to stay out of political campaigns CWN - April 11

As Ukraine prepares for national elections on May 25, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has directed priests to distance themselves from partisan politics. A new document, “Instructions on the...

State Department, bishops to collaborate in fight against human trafficking CWN - April 11

Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that the State Department and the US bishops are collaborating in the fight against human trafficking. “I remember when I went to the Vatican, just the...

Pope urges Venezuelan government, opposition leaders to become 'true builders of peace' CWN - April 11

Pope Francis is urging Venezuelan government and opposition leaders to foster mutual respect and focus on the common good as they begin nationally televised talks. “I am aware of the...

Argentine vigilantes forming lynch parties to fight drug gangs, bishop fears CWN - April 10

Bishop Juan Ruben Martinez of Posadas, Argentina, has called attention to a disturbing outbreak of vigilante violence against suspected criminals, the Fides news service reports. Bishop Martinez...

Venezuela asks Cardinal Parolin to help mediate talks to end political protests CWN - April 10

The government of Venezuela has asked the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to serve as a mediator in negotiations with opposition leaders to end a political crisis. The...

Pharisees show 'tragedy of the closed mind,' Pope says CWN - April 10

Pope Francis cautioned against a “dictatorship of a narrow line of thought” in his homily at a Mass on April 10. Reflecting on the disputes between Jesus and the Pharisees, the Pope said that the...

Cardinal Dolan angry after legislators renege on tax credits for private schools CWN - April 10

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has written to 70,000 families in the New York archdiocese, expressing bitter disappointment that the state legislature did not approve tax credits for parents of children in...

Catholics in Crimea isolated, fear losses CWN - April 10

Catholics living in the Crimea have been cut off from their co-religionists in Ukraine since Russia seized the province, a bishop serving in Crimea has reported to Aid to the Church in Need...

Italian Catholic newspaper raps film 'Noah' CWN - April 10

An Italian Catholic newspaper has criticized the film Noah as "ecologically and vaguely New Age," saying that the movie misses the specifically religious theme of the Biblical story. Avvenire is...

In troubled Indian state, Christian minority hopes elections will bring government devoted to justice CWN - April 10

Christians in India’s troubled Kandhamal region are worried about the outcome of elections, but “they believe in democracy and the power of the vote,” Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar...

Italian court overturns law against donated sperm, eggs CWN - April 10

Italy’s Constitutional Court has overturned a law that prohibited a ban on the use of donated sperm and eggs for human reproduction. The lawyers who challenged the Italian law hailed the ruling...

Pope denounces 'scourge' of human trafficking, hails joint efforts against it CWN - April 10

Human trafficking is “an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the Body of Christ,” Pope Francis said in an April 10 address to participants in the Second International...

Do theology on your knees, Pope tells students at Gregorian University CWN - April 10

The study of theology is “fruitful only if it is done with an open mind and on one’s knees,” Pope Francis said in an April 10 address to students at the Gregorian University in Rome. In his talk...

Archdiocesan data breach leads to identity theft, false tax returns CWN - April 10

A data breach of the Archdiocese of Portland’s computer systems has led to the filing of fraudulent tax returns, according to local media reports. “A number of employees and volunteers of the...

Vatican conference on human trafficking CWN - April 10

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences is hosting a two-day conference on combating human trafficking. The conference, organized by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, features...

Ukraine's Roman-rite bishops support nation's territorial integrity CWN - April 10

The Roman-rite bishops of Ukraine have issued a statement supporting the nation's territorial integrity in the face of recent Russian actions. 10% of Ukrainians are Catholic, and the nation has...

Pakistani report: 700 Christian women kidnapped yearly, forced into Muslim marriages CWN - April 10

A coalition of organizations, including the Pakistani bishops' justice and peace commission, has found that 700 Christian girls and women, and 300 Hindu girls and women, are kidnapped each year, are...

Opponent of proposed religious garb ban wins Quebec election CWN - April 10

An opponent of a proposed ban on religious garb has been elected premier of Quebec. “Ahead of the vote, [Philippe] Couillard said that he opposed the ban on religious symbols for public sector...

$24.5M donated to typhoon relief in US special collections CWN - April 10

Special collections undertaken in the dioceses of the United States to aid the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan have raised $24.5 million, according to the United States Conference of Catholic...

Pope laments Jesuit's murder, issues new plea for peace in Syria CWN - April 10

At the conclusion of his April 9 general audience, Pope Francis issued a new appeal for peace in Syria. “Last Monday Father Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch Jesuit brother aged 75, was assassinated in...

Cardinal George will not attend canonizations, suggests beginning search for successor CWN - April 9

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has announced that he will not travel to Rome for the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II later this month. The cardinal, who is undergoing...

Pope Francis begins weekly audiences on gifts of the Holy Spirit CWN - April 9

Pope Francis has begun a new series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said, is himself the gift of God, and he in turn...

Priest murdered in Nicaragua, served in California parish CWN - April 9

A Nicaraguan priest who ministered in California from 2008 to 2011 was murdered at his parish in Nicaragua. Father Juan Francisco Blandón Meza, 42, was speaking with a woman who had come to him...

Cardinal Delly, former Chaldean patriarch, dead at 86 CWN - April 9

Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, who led the Chaldean Catholic Church from 2003 to 2012, has died in a San Diego hospital, according to a Fides news service report. Born in 1927, Cardinal Delly was...

Moscow patriarch compares Ukrainian protests to Russian Revolution CWN - April 9

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has compared the Euromaidan protest in Ukraine, which led to the resignation of a pro-Russian government, to the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led to the...

DC Courtyard of the Gentiles initiative features hip hop concert, Cokie Roberts CWN - April 9

The Courtyard of the Gentiles, the Pontifical Council for Culture's outreach to nonbelievers, is hosting “Faith, Culture, and the Common Good” at Georgetown University. “In the US, political...

Prelates urge participation in March for Marriage CWN - April 9

Bishop Richard Malone, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the chairman of the...

Pope Francis to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at center for disabled CWN - April 9

Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening at a rehabilitation center for the disabled, according to a Vatican Radio report. St. Mary of Providence Center,...

In Central African Republic, government breakdown leaves Church as only viable institution CWN - April 8

The Catholic Church is the only institution still functioning in the Central African Republic, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, Cameroon has said. “The state no longer exists,” said Archbishop...

Ontario Catholic schools cannot require students to attend Mass, court rules CWN - April 8

Catholic schools in Ontario cannot require students to attend Mass, the Ontario Superior Court has ruled. Catholic high schools in Ontario are at times required to accept non-Catholic students,...

Islamic censors allow 'Noah' into Egypt CWN - April 8

Muslim censors have ruled that the film Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky, can be shown in Egypt because it does not offend Islam. Noah has been banned from showings in Morocco, Qatar, Bahrain,...

Forgiveness of sins comes only from Jesus, not from our conduct, Pope reminds congregation CWN - April 8

“Christianity is not a philosophical doctrine,” Pope Francis told his congregation at Mass on April 8. “It’s not a program for life survival, or education, or peacemaking.” “Christianity is a...

Cathedral rector removed following abuse allegation CWN - April 8

The rector of the cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has been removed from ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. In 1998, Father Phillip Altavilla allegedly abused a...

Argentine prelate defends baptism of lesbian's child, raps media coverage CWN - April 8

An Argentine archbishop has criticized media coverage of the baptism of a child who is being raised by lesbians. Archbishop Carlos Nanez of Cordoba said that the baptism of Umma Azul on April 5...

Survey finds rise in number of 'stay-at-home mothers' in America CWN - April 8

The proportion of American women not working outside the home has risen sharply in the past decade, the Pew Research Center reports. The number of American women who stayed home had dropped...

Pope highlights importance of Synod of Bishops CWN - April 8

Pope Francis has elevated Msgr. Fabio Fabene, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops since February, to the order of bishop. In a letter to Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the...

Ukrainian Catholic leader reconsecrates nation to Mary’s protection CWN - April 8

On April 6, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church renewed the consecration of Ukraine to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk did so “because...

English cardinal, Anglican primate urge prayer, service on behalf of the poor CWN - April 8

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury have launched a weeklong initiative of prayer for, and service to, the poor. “It started when we had a roundtable...

Philippine high court upholds reproductive health law CWN - April 8

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has upheld the constitutionality of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 but struck down some of the act’s provisions, according to...

Pakistani Christian couple sentenced to death on blasphemy charges CWN - April 8

A Pakistani Christian couple has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, according to multiple media reports. Emmanuel and Shagufta Shafqat Kausar of Gojra were found guilty of sending text...

Supreme Court declines appeal of ruling on Christian photographer and same-sex wedding CWN - April 8

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a New Mexico court’s ruling that it is illegal for a photography business owned by a Christian to refuse to photograph a same-sex...

Jordan’s king meets with Pope CWN - April 8

Pope Francis received King Abdullah II of Jordan in audience at the Domus Sanctae Marthae on the afternoon of April 7. The Pontiff will celebrate Mass at a stadium in Amman, Jordan’s capital, at...

New York abortion clinics rarely inspected, Post finds CWN - April 7

Abortion clinics in New York are rarely inspected by public-health officials, the New York Post reports. Of the 25 abortion clinics listed by the public-health department, eight were never...

Teach prayer, fidelity, chastity, Pope urges bishops of Tanzania CWN - April 7

Meeting on April 7 with a group of bishops from Tanzania who were concluding their ad limina visits to Rome, Pope Francis said that Church leaders in Africa should “foster the missionary imperative”...

Brazilian organizers of World Youth Day receive papal thanks, encouragement CWN - April 7

Pope Francis met on April 7 with the organizing committee for the 28th World Youth Day events held last July in Rio de Janeiro, and offered his thanks for their efforts. The Pope told the...

Abuse victims protest Milwaukee archdiocesan plan for reorganization after bankruptcy CWN - April 7

A restructuring plan offered by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which is seeking to emerge from bankruptcy, has been condemned by a group representing sex-abuse victims as “a morally repugnant attempt...

Denver archdiocese defends new $6.5 million meeting center, residence for archbishop CWN - April 7

The Archdiocese of Denver had defended plans for a $6.5 million construction project to build an archdiocesan center and a new residence for Archbishop Samuel Aquila. The Holy Trinity Center...

AP reporter tells students: Pope is a 'conservative Catholic' CWN - April 7

Speaking to a student audience on North Carolina, AP’s Vatican correspondent characterized Pope Francis as “a conservative Catholic.” Nicole Winfield told a crowd at Elon University that they...

Priests, nun kidnapped in Cameroon; Boko Haram suspected CWN - April 7

Two missionary priests and a nun were kidnapped in Cameroon on April 4, and Church officials fear that they may have been abducted by forces of Boko Haram, the terrorist group operating mainly in...

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