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Holy See calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza-Israel conflict CWN - 7 hours ago

The United Nations Human Rights Council met on July 23 to discuss the human rights situation in Gaza. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative to UN offices based in...

Syrian Orthodox leader laments silence of Muslim leaders in wake of Mosul CWN - 6 hours ago

Speaking at his residence in Lebanon, the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church decried recent events in Mosul following its takeover by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), also known as...

Christian aid workers slain in Afghanistan CWN - 4 hours ago

Two Finnish women who have worked for a Christian aid organization in Afghanistan since 1997 were gunned down in Herat, the nation’s 3rd-largest city. “These women have given their lives-- now...

As Boko Haram expands, Cameroon’s Catholics pray for peace CWN - 6 hours ago

As the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram expands its operations from Nigeria to neighboring Cameroon, the nation’s Catholics gathered in churches on July 19 to pray for peace. “As...

‘China’s aging millions look forward to bleak future’ CWN - 4 hours ago

China’s population of elderly will rise to 350 million by 2030, and the nation’s one-child policy will “impose a huge burden on the country, shrink the labor force that has fueled its growth, and...

Bishop Pates: mining companies, CAFTA have had harmful effects on Central America CWN - 4 hours ago

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, returned from a visit to El Salvador, Guatemala,...

Pope recalls helping other priests hear confessions at shrine CWN - 5 hours ago

In a message commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Shrine to St. Pantaleon in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis said he wished to be “close to you to be able to relive in some way the...

Patron saints named for World Meeting of Families CWN - 5 hours ago

Archbishop Charles Chaput has announced that Pope St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Molla are the patron saints of the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The two “had a deep and...

Kansas City diocese asks court to void new $1.1 million payment to abuse victims CWN - 18 hours ago

The Diocese of Kansas City has asked a Missouri court to set aside a $1.1 million payment to abuse victims that was awarded by an independent arbitrator. Hollis Hanover, a court-appointed...

Vatican plans to clarify language of canon law regarding abuse penalties CWN - 18 hours ago

The president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has revealed that the Vatican plans to revise the Code of Canon Law, to make sections involving the treatment of clerical abuse “more...

52 priests laicized in England and Wales because of abuse, watchdog group reports CWN - 18 hours ago

Since 2001, 52 priests in England and Wales have been laicized because of sexual abuse, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) has disclosed. The NCSC reported that 81 abuse charges...

Catholics reportedly upset by Pope's plans to visit Protestant congregation in Caserta CWN - 18 hours ago

Bishop Giovanni D'Alise of Caserta, Italy, was not informed about plans for a papal trip to the city until the news became public, according to veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister of...

UN 'cannot stand by' during 'crime against humanity' in Mosul, says Chaldean Patriarch CWN - 21 hours ago

In an urgent message to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has said that the UN “cannot stand by and be a witness to the ongoing atrocities committed against...

Freed, Meriam Ibrahim flies from Sudan to Italy, meets with Pope Francis CWN - 21 hours ago

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who once faced a death sentence because she refused to renounce Christianity, has left Sudan, flying to Rome, where she met with Pope Francis on July 24. During...

Papal condolences following Taiwan plane crash CWN - July 24

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent condolences on behalf of Pope Francis following a plane crash in Taiwan that left 47 dead. “The Holy Father learned with...

Bishops: learn from Aboriginal Australians’ love for the land CWN - July 24

In a recent message for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, Australia’s bishops called upon Catholics to learn from indigenous peoples to love the land. “Many Aboriginal and Torres...

USCCB president calls for prayers for peace CWN - July 24

Citing conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon his brother bishops to encourage prayers for...

Japan’s bishops oppose constitutional interpretation that allows for military action CWN - July 24

In a shift from longstanding national policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government stated that the nation’s constitution permits Japan to come to the military defense of allies--...

Sunday Mass attendance falls below 40% in Poland CWN - July 24

Sunday Mass attendance has fallen below 40% in Poland, according to statistics published in L’Osservatore Romano. Nonetheless, some statistics are positive: the nation, for example, has more...

Czech Republic to hold 1st Eucharistic congress CWN - July 24

The Czech Republic, which was formed in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, will hold its first national Eucharistic congress in 2015, the Italian news agency SIR has...

Vatican newspaper decries ‘caliphate of brutality’; Mosul cathedral becomes mosque CWN - July 24

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has removed the crosses from all 30 churches and monasteries in Mosul and converted the Syriac Orthodox cathedral into a mosque, according to the...

Candidate favored by Christians wins Indonesia’s presidential election CWN - July 24

Joko Widodo, the candidate favored by Indonesia’s Christian population, has won the nation’s presidential election. The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s 4th-most populous at 252 million, has...

Caritas appeal for Gaza CWN - July 24

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued a $1.5-million appeal for aid to hospitals and families in Gaza. “Most of the victims are children, women and...

Russian Orthodox leadership: tell the truth about downed airliner in Ukraine CWN - July 23

The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has urged anyone with information about the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine should tell “the whole truth before God and the people.” "It...

In Somalia, bishop travels incognito CWN - July 23

Bishop Giorgio Bertin, who serves the tiny Catholic community in Somalia, reveals that he hides his identity when he visits the troubled African country. “When I go there, I don’t put any...

Bucking trends, Jesuit magazine America adds to staff CWN - July 23

America, the Jesuit-owned magazine, has announced a round of new hirings, expanding its editorial staff at a time when most publications are contracting. America's editor, Father Matt Malone,...

Iraqi prelate: we need action, not just words CWN - July 23

“We need more than words now, we need concrete actions,” an Iraqi archbishop told Vatican Radio. Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul confirmed that Christians have been driven out of the city, with...

White House plans new 'accommodation' for religious groups on contraceptive mandate CWN - July 23

The Obama administration has promised a new effort to address the concerns of religious institutions that object to mandated coverage of contraceptives in employees’ health-care...

DC think-tank finds mixed trends affecting American culture, family life CWN - July 23

A new study by the Heritage Foundation finds hopeful trends in some American cultural indicators, but discouraging news on other fronts. The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity, released by the...

Dublin's archbishop worried by rise in homelessness CWN - July 23

The rising level of homelessness in Ireland is "shameful," says Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Archbishop Martin said that he was particularly worried by the number of families living...

NY mayor meets with Vatican’s Secretary of State, invites Pope to visit CWN - July 23

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City met in Rome with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and invited Pope Francis to visit the city during his potential September 2015 visit...

Papal message urges British, Irish Catholics to ‘combat the culture of death’ CWN - July 23

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message to British and Irish Catholics on behalf of Pope Francis for the Day of Life, which will take place July 27. “The...

Cardinal condemns Nicaragua attack CWN - July 23

Gunmen attacked supporters of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party on July 19, killing five and wounding 24. Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes condemned the attack and urged Nicaraguans, whether...

Former Dutch regulator of euthanasia now criticizes practice CWN - July 23

Stating that “some slopes truly are slippery,” a former regulator of euthanasia in the Netherlands now says that he was wrong to support the practice. “Euthanasia is on the way to become a...

USCCB committee chair calls on Kerry to work for Israeli-Palestinian peace CWN - July 23

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has called upon Secretary of State John Kerry to work for Israeli-Palestinian...

Patriarch tells Mosul’s Christians: do not be afraid CWN - July 23

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has published the text of a speech that Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako addressed to Mosul’s Christians after they fled their city rather than convert to...

Church official in Jerusalem analyzes Gaza-Israel conflict CWN - July 23

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s vicar for the Hebrew Catholic community says that both the Israeli government and Hamas are to blame for the current state of the Gaza-Israel conflict. “The...

Italian politicians urge reinstatement of Catholic-school teacher dismissed for suspected homosexuality CWN - July 22

Twenty members of the Italian parliament have asked education minister Stefania Giannini to investigate the dismissal of a Catholic-school teacher who says that she was fired because she was...

Pontifical Council for Laity plans November meeting of lay movements CWN - July 22

The Pontifical Council for the Laity has announced plans for a 3rd world congress of ecclesial movements, to be held in Rome in November. Founders and leaders of more than 55 recognized lay...

Minnesota judge rejects archdiocesan plea to dismiss abuse suit, sets court date CWN - July 22

A Minnesota judge has rejected a plea by the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis to dismiss a sex-abuse lawsuit. “This case needs to be tried,” said Judge John Van de North, setting a September...

Church leaders in Holy Land plead for end to violence in Gaza CWN - July 22

The apostolic nuncio in the Holy Land has repeated the call of Pope Francis for an end to the violence in Gaza, and the retired Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has denounced the bloodshed...

Pope calls Syriac Patriarch, vows solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria CWN - July 22

Pope Francis has placed a phone call to Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan, to assure him of his prayers and solidarity as Christians face open persecution in sections of Iraq and...

Hindu attack on church in India CWN - July 22

Armed with hammers and hockey sticks, Hindu fanatics attacked a Protestant church near Bulandshahr, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. After assaulting the pastor and others...

Vatican newspaper tribute to film on Christ CWN - July 22

The July 21-22 edition of L’Osservatore Romano included five articles devoted to The Gospel According to St. Matthew, a film released 50 years ago. Emilio Ranzato, who wrote two of the articles,...

USCCB decries Obama’s LGBT executive order as ‘unprecedented and extreme’ CWN - July 22

Referring to the “irrefutable rightness of your cause,” President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning federal employment discrimination against transgendered persons and prohibiting “all companies that receive a contract from the federal government from discriminating against their LGBT employees.” The order contains no exemptions for religious employers with federal...

Russia poses no military threat to others, says patriarch CWN - July 22

Speaking at a concert attended by President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that the nation poses “no military threat and no danger to other people.” “May God [grant]...

Ukrainian Church leader: Christians have duty to defend their nation CWN - July 22

The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church told youth taking part in a pilgrimage that Christians have a duty to defend their nation against military aggression. “We never fought wars of conquest,...

Report: few Mosul Christians converted to Islam CWN - July 22

Faced with an ultimatum to convert to Islam, be killed, or leave Mosul, the vast majority of the Christians still in Iraq’s 2nd-largest city in mid-July chose to depart rather than convert,...

Iraq: jihadists expel monks from historic monastery CWN - July 22

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the jihadist group that now controls one-fourth of Syria and 40% of Iraq, stormed a Syrian Catholic monastery on July 20 and expelled the...

Missile hits Syrian monastery CWN - July 22

An air-launched missile has caused severe damage to a Franciscan monastery in Yacubiyah, a town in northwest Syria. The region’s Franciscan province, founded by St. Francis in 1209, reported that...

South Korean leader opens talk on reunification as papal visit nears CWN - July 21

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has formed a commission to study the prospects for reunification of Korea, announcing the move in advance of the visit by Pope Francis. The South Korean...

Sudan: no new churches allowed CWN - July 21

The government of Sudan will not permit the construction of new Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. Government minister Shalil Abdallah told el Jareeda daily that the number of...

Italian navy rescues 61 migrants; more than 20 dead in 3 days CWN - July 21

The Italian navy rescued 61 migrants from drowning as their boat sank off the coast of Sicily on July 21, Vatican Radio reports. But at 6 passengers died, and a dozen more are missing. Just two...

Vatican prelate, in Los Angeles, voices solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria CWN - July 21

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches voiced concern for the suffering of Christians in Iraq and Syria, as he celebrated Mass a the Maronite Catholic cathedral in Los...

Attacks on Belfast Catholic church, synagogue bring broad condemnation CWN - July 21

A fire set at a Catholic church in Belfast drew condemnations from religious and civic leaders in Northern Ireland. The door of St. Mary Star of the Sea church was scorched, but other damage was...

Italian bishop says critical remark about pro-lifers was taken out of context CWN - July 21

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, who earned the wrath of pro-lifers by saying that he could not "identify with the expressionless person who stands outside the abortion...

Rochester diocese ends illicit practice of allowing lay people to preach homilies CWN - July 21

The Diocese of Rochester, New York, is bringing an end to the practice of allowing lay people to deliver homilies at Mass. Bishop Salvatore Matano, who become the leader of the Rochester diocese...

Israeli ambassador to Holy See says religious influence can help bring peace CWN - July 21

Israel's ambassador to the Holy See said that religious leaders can help to promote peace agreements, and acknowledged the power of the Vatican on world opinion, in an interview with the Vatican...

Woman in same-sex marriage sues Missouri diocese following dismissal from parish position CWN - July 21

A Missouri woman who is civilly married to a female Lutheran minister has sued Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph after she was dismissed from her position as her...

USCCB: reduce mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses CWN - July 21

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has backed the US Sentencing Commission’s efforts to reduce mandatory...

A nun’s veil is a ‘royal crown’: Vatican newspaper CWN - July 21

The latest English edition of L’Osservatore Romano includes an article on the importance of the veil in the life of nuns. Mother Anna Maria Canopi, the Benedictine foundress of Mater Ecclesiae...

Islamist militias ‘manage everything’ in Benghazi, says prelate CWN - July 21

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, appealed for prayers for peace and for wisdom for political leaders as clashes between rival militias led to the closing of the Libyan...

‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21

Following an ultimatum from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to leave Mosul, convert to Islam, or be killed, the city’s remaining Christians left for other parts of Iraq. ISIL, the jihadist group that controls large sections of Syria and Iraq, confiscated the Christians’ possessions as they departed from Iraq’s 2nd-largest city. “The heinous crime of the Islamic State was...

Egypt’s government, Christian leaders negotiate on church construction CWN - July 21

The government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed office in June, has entered into negotiations with Christian leaders to draft regulations to facilitate church construction,...

Church leader urges international community: oppose aggression against Ukraine CWN - July 21

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed condolences following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine and called upon the international community to “do...

Pope laments persecution of Iraq’s Christians, appeals for peace CWN - July 21

Following the conclusion of his July 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis lamented the persecution of Christians in Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city. “I have learned with concern the news which reaches...

Pope reflects on the parable of the wheat and the tares CWN - July 21

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of wheat and the tares during his July 20 Sunday Angelus address. “The teaching of the parable is twofold,” he said. “First of all, [Jesus] says that the...

Stratford Caldecott, English Catholic writer, succumbs to cancer at 60 CWN - July 18

Stratford Caldecott, a noted English Catholic writer and editor, died on July 17 at the age of 60, after a long struggle with cancer. For years Caldecott had edited Second Spring, a magazine that...

Pope's message: solve 1994 terror bombing at Buenos Aires Jewish center CWN - July 18

In an impromptu message, recorded on a visitor’s smartphone, Pope Francis has challenged his native Argentina to resolve questions about the terror bombing that killed 85 people in a Jewish...

New Legionary leader explains plans for renewal, recovery of morale CWN - July 18

Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legion of Christ, spoke of his plans to restore morale within the troubled order, in a lengthy interview published in the National Catholic...

Novice raped by intruders in Indian convent CWN - July 18

Church leaders in India have expressed outrage at the gang-rape of a 17-year-old novice in a convent in Bangalore, the AsiaNews service reports. Archbishop Bernard Moras condemned the assault as...

Pope sends prayers to people of Gaza CWN - July 18

Pope Francis has promised his prayer to the people living in the Gaza Strip, as fears mount amid reports of an Israeli military offensive into the region. "I am close to you, to the nuns and the...

Archbishop of Canterbury hopes approval of female bishops will not block ecumenical progress CWN - July 18

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the other Christian leaders, saying that he hopes ecumenical progress can continue after the decision of the Church of England ordain women as...

Bishops of Calabria join Pope in condemnation of organized crime CWN - July 18

Following up on the message of Pope Francis, the bishops of Italy's Calabria region have denounced organized crime as a "shameful scourge of society" and a "denial of the Gospel." The Calabrian...

Papal prayers for airline crash victims in Ukraine CWN - July 18

Pope Francis is offering his prayers for the passengers of the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down over Ukraine, and for their families, the Vatican has announced. Without commenting on...

Christians in Mosul told: leave, convert, or die CWN - July 18

Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been told that they must leave, convert to Islam or accept dhimmitude, or die. A communique from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gave Christians a deadline of July 19, saying that if they do not leave or accept Islamic rule, "their destiny is the sword." The Aleteia web site, citing local sources, said that this message was being broadcast on...

Pope calls Peres, Abbas, to plead for peace CWN - July 18

Pope Francis has placed personal phone calls to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to stem the renewed conflict in the Holy Land. The Pope called "to...

Catholic university may open in Vietnam CWN - July 18

Communist authorities in Vietnam may soon permit the opening of a Catholic university. “The dialogic approach adopted with the government is producing results,” Archbishop Paul Bùi Van Doc of Ho...

Swiss bishops call for greater generosity to Syrian refugees CWN - July 18

The Swiss bishops’ conference is urging the nation’s government to be more generous to refugees from the Syrian Civil War. Bishop Markus Büchel of Sankt Gallen, the conference’s president, called...

Vatican message to Muslims calls for ‘genuine fraternity’ CWN - July 18

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its annual message to Muslims for the end of Ramadan, which will take place on July 28. The statement, dated June 24, was released...

Cardinal Nichols, other religious leaders speak out against assisted-suicide bill CWN - July 18

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury have joined other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in urging the House of Lords not to pass an assisted-suicide...

Leading Russian Orthodox official weighs in on Ukrainian conflict CWN - July 18

One of the leading officials of the Russian Orthodox Church has told the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation that while each side has legitimate grounds to take up weapons in the unrest in...

Vatican official: UN trade agency is ‘inspiration’ for Holy See’s positions CWN - July 18

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has paid tribute to UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, at a meeting in Geneva marking the body’s 50th...

President Obama: remarks at dinner during Ramadan CWN - July 18

The White House hosted an Iftar dinner on July 14 to mark the end of fasting on one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan began this year on June 28; it concludes on July 28. “Tonight,...

Lawsuit after Kenyan bishops’ conference cancels lease for Muslim-run restaurant CWN - July 18

A Somali Muslim who operates a restaurant has filed suit against the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops after it canceled its lease agreement with him. The bishops’ conference had signed a...

Santa Rosa diocese settles abuse suit for $3.5 million CWN - July 17

The Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, has paid $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a sex-abuse victim. The settlement—one of the largest paid to a single victim—leaves the Santa Rosa...

Argentine soccer team presents Pope with signed jersey CWN - July 17

The Argentine national soccer team, which finished 2nd in the World Cup, has sent Pope Francis a jersey signed by all of the team's members. During their stay in Brazil for the World Cup...

Korean Church eager for papal visit CWN - July 17

The faithful of South Korean "can't wait" for an August visit by Pope Francis, a spokesman for the Seoul archdiocese reports. Father Hur Young-yup told a radio audience that the papal visit will...

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