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Special report: Internal documents show split within Knights of Malta

As leaders of the Knights of Malta prepare to elect a new grand master, contending factions have put forward radically different explanations for the dispute that caused a crisis in the ancient fraternal order. CWN has obtained internal documents, circulated widely among members of the Knights of Malta, showing that the chancellor of the Order, Albrecht von Boeselager, was aware that the...

Special report: Internal documents show split within Knights of Malta

As leaders of the Knights of Malta prepare to elect a new grand master, contending factions have put forward radically different explanations for the dispute that caused a crisis in the ancient...

16 nations named ‘egregious’ religious-freedom violators

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 16 nations as...

Cardinal Dolan criticizes Democratic Party chairman’s pro-abortion comments

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee said that the Committee would not support pro-life Democratic candidates—prompting criticism from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New...

Foster unity and peace, Pope tells Papal Foundation

Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on April 27 and expressed his gratitude “for your desire to assist the...

Jesuit Islam expert: Pope is visiting Egypt to foster ties with al-Azhar

An Egyptian Jesuit expert on Islam said that Pope Francis is visiting Egypt to foster ties with al-Azhar University, which holds a position of high respect in the Sunni Muslim world. “For a...

USCCB, Catholic Charities: don’t cut domestic anti-poverty programs

Citing a dozen federal programs by name, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA called upon...

Vatican support for Venezuelan cardinal

The Vatican has expressed support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, two weeks after a leftist mob burst into a basilica where he was celebrating Mass. On April 26, the Venezuelan...

Tensions mount as Knights of Malta face vote for new leader

Leaders of the Knights of Malta have recommended that members select an interim leader, as the date for the election of a new grand master approaches. Archbishop Angelo Becciu, named by Pope...

Council of Cardinals concludes meetings, sets new session for June

The Council of Cardinals has concluded a 3-day meeting, during which the group discussed plans for the possible reorganization of the Congregation for Evangelization,. the Pontifical Council for New...

Brazilian bishop backs national strike to oppose government austerity plan

A Brazilian bishop has endorsed a national strike, called by union leaders for April 28 to protest the government’s plans for labor and pension reforms. “I urge you all to take part,...

Friar killed, deacon hurt as robbers hit Madagascar friary

A Capuchin friar was killed and a deacon badly wounded when would-be robbers broke into a friary in Madagascar on April 22, the Fides news service reports. A young deacon named Jeremy was on duty...

Pakistan: tight security measures make Christian schools like prisons

Catholic schools in Pakistan have begun to look like prisons because of the security measures that are needed to guard against terrorist attacks, Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore has said. The...

Irish Catholic hospital agrees to provide legal abortion services

St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, an institution administered by the Sisters of Charity, has agreed to provide legal abortions, as part of a deal that will make the National Maternity Hospital...

Study finds increasing repression of religious believers

The Pew Research Center has released a study finding that repression of groups of religious believers is on the increase. “The share of countries with ‘high’ or ‘very...

Mexico: archdiocese denounces killing of women

The publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City has denounced domestic violence and the killing of women. Stating that six women are killed in Mexico every day, the editorial also noted that...

Prelates call on Europe to be ‘free of populism,’ return to ‘Christian and human values’

The primates of Poland, Francis, Spain, and Bohemia gathered in Gniezno, Poland, for the 600th anniversary of the decision that the archbishop of Gniezno would also be Primate of...

Pope Francis gives surprise TED talk at conference on ‘the future you’

Pope Francis has made a surprise recorded video appearance at the annual TED conference in Vancouver. The conference’s theme is “the future you.” During his 18-minute talk, Pope Francis said he liked the theme because “while looking at tomorrow, it invites us to open a dialogue today, to look at the future through a ‘you.’” “We can only...

Pope offers Mass for Coptic patriarch

Pope Francis offered Mass on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, for Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Church in Alexandria traces its origin to St. Mark,...

Pope reflects on ‘the promise that gives hope’

Reflecting on Christ’s words at the conclusion of St. Matthew’s Gospel (“I am with you all days, to the end of the age”), Pope Francis devoted his April 26 general audience...

Norcia monastery to move outside town

The Benedictine monks who established a community in Norcia in 2000 have announced plans to move out of the town, to set up a new monastery in the neighboring hills. The historic basilica in the...

Indian archbishop accused of attempting to poison former archdiocesan spokesman

An Indian priest has filed a criminal complaint alleging that his archbishop attemped to poison him, in a bizarre legal case. Father Anand Muttungal, a former spokesman for the Archdiocese of...

Tight security, a ‘new normal,’ for papal trip to Egypt

Security will be tight when Pope Francis travels to Egypt on April 28, presidential spokesman Greg Burke told reporters, but there are no specific threats. At an April 25 briefing, Burke said...

Catholic bishops deplore failure to find consensus in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for an end to a political impasse, which now threatens plans for new presidential elections this year. Late in March the...

Council of Cardinals studying tribunals, staffing issues

The Council of Cardinals is studying the work of the Vatican tribunals, and addressing questions about Vatican staff appointments, in meetings with Pope Francis this week. The Council of...

Catholic vote divided in French presidential run-off

Catholic voters have no clear-cut preference in the French presidential election, which now pits Emmanuel Macron against Marine Le Pen, according to opinion polls. The French bishops have...

Pope issues message to people of Egypt

Pope Francis has issued a video-message to the people of Egypt on the eve of his apostolic journey there. “With a joyful and grateful heart I will come in a few days’ time to visit...

Pope, in video message, pays tribute to priest-educator

Appearing on video, Pope Francis has released a message on the occasion of the publication of the collected works of Father Lorenzo Milani (1923-67), an educator. “Going to school means...

Pope to make pilgrimage to pray at priests’ tombs

On June 20, Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of Father Primo Mazzolari, and to Barbiana to pray at the tomb of Father Lorenzo Milani. A parish priest in the...

French bishops’ conference reacts to presidential vote

The Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement following the first round of the presidential voting, which saw Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen emerge as the two candidates in the...

‘In China, unregistered churches are driving a religious revolution’

The Atlantic has published a profile of a Protestant congregation in Chengdu, China, that the government neither officially recognizes nor has shut down. A policeman visits the church weekly, and...

Lebanese Orthodox prelate confident that kidnapped bishops remain alive

A Syriac Orthodox bishop in Lebanon has expressed confidence that two Orthodox prelates who were kidnapped in Syria in 2013 are still alive, despite a lack of information about their...

Boston archdiocese opens first new church in 60 years

For the first time in over 60 years, the Archdiocese of Boston has dedicated a new church. The church of Our Lady of Good Voyage, located in the city’s seaport district, is not actually a...

‘Newman Guide’ colleges show steady growth, report says

The 10th-anniversary edition of The Newman Guide, published to help draw attention to authentically Catholic colleges, shows a pattern of strong growth among the schools recommended for their...

Pope decries ‘rigid’ and ‘rationalistic’ theology

In his homily at a morning Mass on April 24, Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit enables believers to “go forward along the parth of the Spirit without compromise, without...

Gay activist hired for communications job in Oslo diocese

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, is under fire for hiring a communications official who has been involved with the gay-rights movement. Petter Stocke-Nicolaisen, who has been active in the...

Australian bishops oppose drive to legalize assisted suicide

The Catholic bishops of Victoria, Australia have issued a pastoral letter opposing a new drive to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The letter argues that “euthanasia euthanasia and...

100,000 attend Divine Mercy devotions in El Salvador

A stunning crowd estimated at 100,000 joined in a weekend of Divine Mercy devotions at a shrine in El Salvador this weekend. The Divine Mercy Hills shrine in Misamis Oriental, in El Salvador...

Papal reference to ‘concentration camps’ for Europe’s refugees draws criticism

Pope Francis drew new controversy on April 22 when he compared the transit centers for European migrants to “concentration camps.” During a ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s...

French priest beatified in Spain

Father Louis-Antoine-Rose Ormières Lacase (1801-90), a French priest who spent the last years of his life in Spain, was beatified at Oviedo Cathedral on April 22. Cardinal Angelo Amato,...

Pope Francis: mercy opens the door of the mind and the heart

During his April 23 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis recalled the removal of white baptismal garments by new converts on the Octave of Easter and described St. John Paul II’s institution of...

+Cardinal Attilio Nicora, 80

Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, died on April 22 at the age of 80. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1964,...

Pope honors new martyrs, says Satan foments persecution

Pope Francis presided at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 in honor of the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. The liturgy took place at the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola in...

Pope receives Liechtenstein’s monarch

Pope Francis received Prince Hans Adam II and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein on April 22. Prince Hans Adam II is the nation’s head of state, while Hereditary Prince Alois, as...

Vatican message to Buddhists focuses on nonviolence

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued its annual message to Buddhists on the occasion of Vesak, the commemoration of Buddha’s birthday. “Jesus Christ and the...

Santa Fe archdiocese backs tax on soft drinks

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexcio, has given its approval to a legislative proposal that would place a tax on soft drinks, with the proceeds to be used for early-childhood...

No Mass in Irish diocese for a day

In the Diocese of Limerick, the faithful will have no opportunity to attend Mass next Tuesday, April 25. The priests of the Limerick diocese will gather for a “formation gathering”...

Cardinal Sarah sees dangers to Church unity

Cardinal Robert Sarah spoke of the “grave risk of fragmentation of the Church” in an interview with the charitable group Aid to the Church in Need. Cardinal Sarah said that Church...

At UN, Vatican envoy decries ‘new lows of barbarism’ in Middle East

The Vatican’s permanent representative at UN headquarters in New York has repeated a plea for “religious leaders to speak out forcefully” against the use of religion as an...

Canadian court: Saskatchewan forbidden to fund non-Catholic students at Catholic schools

A court in Saskatchewan has ruled that the govenrment cannot pay tuition for non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools. Judge Donald Layh’s decision, released on April 20, said that...

Vatican Museums exhibit shows restoration in progress

The Vatican Museums have inaugurated a new exhibit, introducing visitors to the process of restoring fine works of art. The “Museums at Work” exhibit, on display in the Vatican...

Pope will celebrate contemporary martyrs

Pope Francis will preside at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 to honor modern martyrs. The ceremony will take place on Easter Saturday at the basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome. The event has...

Transgender plaintiff sues Catholic hospital for refusing to perform sex-reassignment surgery

A California woman has filed suit against a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a sex-change operation. The plaintiff, Evan Michael Minton—who now identifies herself as male, and is...

Israeli president visits Catholic Patriarchate to offer Easter greetings

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited the offices of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem on April 19, to offer his Easter greetings to the country’s Christians. Archbishop...

Jesuit priest feared kidnap victim in Nigeria

A Jesuit priest has apparently been kidnapped in Nigeria, the Fides news service reports. Father Samuel Okwuidegbe was abducted, along with two other people, as they traveled along a road from...

As unrest spreads, Venezuelan bishops warn government losing authority

“Civil and peaceful protest is not a crime; it is a right!” The Catholic bishops of Venezuela issued that statement as anti-government protests spread across the country. The bishops...

Pope sends encouragement to Coptic leader

In a message of Easter greetings to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis said that “Christians are called to proclaim the Risen One together.” The Pope’s message...

India: man convicted in rape of nun re-arrested, 11 years after escape

A Hindu man who was convicted in the rape of a Catholic nun in 1998 has been arrested, years after his escape from prison. Pidya Singadia was one of 18 men convicted of the gang-rape of nuns, in...

Al Azhar University rejects charges of extremism

Al Azhar University, which will host Pope Francis later this month, has rejected charges by Egyptian politicians that the school tolerates Islamic extremism. The Supreme Council of Al...

Ugandan army ends manhunt for Joseph Kony, guerrilla leader

Uganda’s military leaders have ended a long quest to capture Joseph Kony, the self-styled leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted by international tribunals for...

Marist Brothers receive Pope’s encouragement

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to the Marist Brothers on the bicentenary of their order. “You belong to a large rich family of witnesses who have known how to donate their...

Trump plans meeting with Pope in May

US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to meet with Pope Francis in May, when the American leader will be traveling to Italy to participate in a meeting of G7 industrial...

Fatima seers to be canonized May 13

Pope Francis will preside at the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13 during his visit to Fatima, Portugal, the Vatican has confirmed. At an ordinary consistory on April 20, the Pope approved plans for the canonization of 35 people, including two of the three young children who witnessed the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima. Both died in their youth, not long after...

Pakistan: Christian-Muslim campaign for peace

The Pakistani bishops’ conference and a Muslim organization have begun a joint campaign for peace that will last through the Easter season. The campaign’s symbol is an olive branch,...

Cardinal Tagle: ‘get in touch with a migrant’

The president of president of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, called upon Catholics and other Christians to “get in touch with a...

EU bishops’ commission backs European Solidarity Corps

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) has lent its support to the European Solidarity Corps, a new initiative that fosters volunteering among the EU’s young...

USCCB: Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would protect religious liberty

Three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for support of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881, S.811). The...

Shooting outside Catholic Charities building in California; 3 dead

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is great], a man shot and killed three persons in Fresno on April 18. One of the shootings took place outside a Catholic Charities building. The suspect...

Egyptian bishop: we have no need of Western protection

Following a surge of attacks on Egypt’s Christians, a Coptic Catholic bishop said that there is no need for Western nations to come to their defense. “If there were oppression on the...

Bill O’Reilly met Pope just before losing slot on Fox network

Bill O’Reilly met Pope Francis on April 19, just hours before the announcement that the Fox News network was severing its ties with the controversial television host. O’Reilly was...

French Cardinal Barbarin defends handling of abuse complaints

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, defended his handling of sex-abuse complaints in comments to the archdiocesan clergy during the Chrism Mass. “Today, no priest identified as the...

Filipino archbishop chastises cafeteria Catholics, urges readiness to suffer for faith

The president of the Filipino bishops’ conference criticized Catholics who reject Church moral teachings, in his Easter message. Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said:...

Dublin archbishop decried ‘judgmental’ attitudes in Good Friday sermon

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, criticized the “judgmental” attitude of the Catholic Church in remarks during the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. “How is...

Indonesia: Christian government defeated in bid for re-election

In Indonesia, a Christian regional governor who had been accused of blasphemy has apparently been defeated in his bid for re-election. The incumbent governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama...

Islamic terrorists attack ancient Orthodox monastery in Egypt

One police officer was killed, and four men wounded, when Islamic terrorists attacked the ancient Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai on April 18. The exchange of gunfire...

No papal visit to Brazil this year, Vatican discloses

Pope Francis has informed Brazil’s President Michel Temer that he cannot visit the South American country this year, because of an already crowded schedule. The Vatican has confirmed that...

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to join Pope in visit to Egypt

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew II of Constantinople will join Pope Francis during his visit to Egypt later this month. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad el Tayyib, the head of Al Azhar University, extended...

Pope Francis: the Resurrection is historical reality

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on hope, Pope Francis devoted his April 19 address to “the risen Christ, our hope.” “In these joyful days of Easter, our...

Arson attack on Nepal’s cathedral

Unknown arsonists attacked Assumption Cathedral in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 18, destroying a car and two motorbikes and damaging the priests’ residence and part of the...

UK bishop welcomes global decline in executions

The number of executions worldwide declined from 1,634 in 2015 to 1,032 in 2016—a development welcomed by Bishop Declan Lang, the English bishops’ lead bishop for international...

New book interprets Amoris Laetitia in continuity with previous popes

Three professors at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome—Father Jose Granados, Father Juan Jose Perez-Soba, Stephan Kampowski—have written a...

USCCB president’s Easter message

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in his Easter message that “Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest...

Thousands entered Church in US at Easter

About one-third of the dioceses in the United States have reported the numbers of catechumens and candidates who were intending to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil. The highest figures were...

Czech bishop raps government’s reluctance to accept Chinese Christian refugees

A bishop in the Czech Republic has criticized his country’s government for not granting asylum to a group of Chinese Christians. The Chinese migrants applied for asylum in the Czech...

Posters in Rome laud Pope Francis as hero of tolerance

Posters thanking Pope Francis for his promotion of tolerance went up on walls around the city of Rome last week. The posters, created by the Global Tolerance Initiative, were in sharp contrast to...

Islam is ‘religion of the sword,’ Jesuit scholar tells Vatican newspaper

In an interview published by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, an Egyptian Jesuit has warned that the dominant strain of Islam is “a religion of the sword.” Father...

Pope’s delegate orders former head of Knights of Malta not to attend election of new leader

The former grand master of the Knights of Malta has been directed by the Vatican not to travel to Rome for the election of the Order’s new leader on April 29. Fra’ Matthew Festing,...

Pakistani Islamic leader: execute accused blasphemers, or lynchings are inevitable

An Islamic leader in Pakistan is calling for the prompt execution of Asia Bibi, claiming that the state’s failure to punish her alleged blasphemy is the cause of the lynching of another man...

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