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Catholic World News

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Iraqi prelate raps Muslim silence on atrocities of Islamic State CWN - 4 hours ago

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has decried the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I...

Synod council urges further discussion, preparation before October 2015 meeting CWN - 4 hours ago

Vatican officials underlined the importance of preparing for the 2nd meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will resume discussion of the family in the context of evangelization. At meetings in...

Pontiff addresses conference on hunger CWN - 11 hours ago

Pope Francis traveled to the offices of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome to address a major international conference on hunger. “Nowadays there is much talk of rights,...

Ecumenism remains a top priority, Pope tells pontifical council CWN - 2 hours ago

The quest for Christian unity must be an ever-present concern for the Church, Pope Francis said in a message to the members of the Pontifical Council for Christian unity, which is meeting in Rome...

Cardinal Rylko welcomes new lay movements, sees varies charisms CWN - 2 hours ago

Representatives of more than 300 lay movements have gathered at the Vatican this week for a conference on ecclesial movements and new communities, organized by the Pontifical Council for the...

In tense Jerusalem, Christians hold public prayers for peace CWN - 2 hours ago

Christians visited the Stations of the Cross in the Old City of Jerusalem on November 20, in a prayer service for peace in the troubled city. The public prayer service—which was approved by both...

UN report decries parental consent laws, notes economic potential of record population CWN - 11 hours ago

The United Nations Population Fund has issued its annual State of World Population report. The report decried barriers to adolescent “reproductive health” care, including laws that require...

Papal plea for peace in Jerusalem CWN - 13 hours ago

Following an attack on worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, Pope Francis decried violence in the Holy Land and issued a plea for peace. “I am following with concern the alarming increase in...

Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot John Paul II, seeks meeting with Pope Francis CWN - 2 hours ago

The would-be assassin of St. John Paul II has requested a meeting with Pope Francis. Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and gravely wounded Pope John Paul II in May 1981, said that he would like to meet...

Nebraska diocese will move to ad orientem liturgy during Advent CWN - 4 hours ago

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, has announced that Mass will be celebrated ad orientem in the diocsean cathedral during Advent, to remind the faithful of the symbolism of facing...

USCCB calls for passage of Abortion Non-Discrimination Act CWN - 10 hours ago

Following the State of California’s decision to require insurers to cover abortions, the chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon Congress to pass...

Report: Islamic State has weapons to fight for up to 2 years CWN - 12 hours ago

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has sufficient resources “to continuing fighting at current levels for six months to two years,” according to a new report from the UN Security...

Caritas: defend child migrants CWN - 12 hours ago

A quarter century after the adoption of an international treaty on children’s rights, Caritas has called for greater protection of the rights of child migrants. Martina Liebsch, head of advocacy...

Cardinal Müller: attacks on marriage tantamount to suicide for society CWN - 24 hours ago

Western society is “standing on a precipice” because of the failure to defend marriage, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said in an interview with the National...

Pakistan's Catholic leaders demand government action against religious violence CWN - November 19

The president of the Pakistani Catholic bishops’ conference has joined with the president of the Major Superiors Leadership Conference in a plea to the country’s political leaders for tolerance and...

Nigerian diocesan official gives grim account of Boko Haram devastation CWN - November 19

In a report made available to the international charity Aid to the Church in Need, an official of the Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, has outlined the devastation caused by the Boko Haram terrorist...

Vienna's Catholic population drops; Muslim and unchurched numbers climb CWN - November 19

The proportion of Catholics in the population of Vienna, Austria has been cut nearly in half since 1971, a new survey has found. In 1971, 79% of Vienna’s people were Catholic. By 2011 that figure...

Pope will raffle off gifts to raise money for charity CWN - November 19

Pope Francis is raffling off some of the gifts that he has received, with the proceeds going to charity. The Vatican has begun posting notices of the raffle, with tickets on sale at the Vatican...

At interfaith conference, Vatican official blasts 'barbarism' of killings at Jerusalem synagogue CWN - November 19

Speaking to a conference on inter-religious dialogue just after the news of a terrorist bombing at a synagogue in Jerusalem, the Vatican’s representative said that “no cause, and certainly no...

Kenyan government, Church to jointly test vaccine thought to sterilize young women CWN - November 19

The Kenyan government has agreed to involve Catholic health-care officials in new tests of a tetanus vaccine that the Kenyan bishops have charged is being used to sterilize women without their...

10 Spanish priest removed in abuse inquiry; Pope calls to apologize to victim CWN - November 19

Ten priests have been removed from ministry in the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, after a sex-abuse investigation. And Pope Francis has placed a personal phone call to the man whose complaint to the...

Montana diocese files reorganization plan in bankruptcy court CWN - November 19

The Diocese of Helena, Montana, has filed a reorganization plan in federal bankruptcy court, proposing a $16.4 million payment to victims of sexual abuse. The reorganization plan, which is the...

Italian officials release frozen funds of Vatican bank, acknowledging reforms CWN - November 19

Italian banking authorities have agreed to release €23 million in funds from the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The funds had been frozen in September 2010, after they...

Vatican conference closes with affirmation of marriage CWN - November 19

A 3-day Vatican conference on the complementarity of men and women, sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has concluded with a strong affirmation of Christian marriage. As...

Papal tribute to contemplative religious CWN - November 19

At the conclusion of his November 19 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to contemplative religious. “Friday, November 21, on the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the...

All are called to holiness, Pope Francis emphasizes CWN - November 19

Describing holiness as “the most beautiful face of the Church,” Pope Francis devoted his November 19 general audience to the universal call to holiness. “First, we must bear in mind that holiness...

Pope names president of Vatican financial agency CWN - November 19

Pope Francis has named René Brülhart the president of the Financial Information Authority, a Vatican body created in 2010 to combat illegal financial activities. Brülhart directed Liechtenstein’s...

USCCB urges Congress: protect anti-poverty programs CWN - November 19

Two chairmen of committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have urged members of Congress to “draw a ‘circle of protection’ around the many programs that serve poor and...

Vatican official: adultery incompatible with reception of Holy Communion CWN - November 19

In an address to a Vatican conference on the complementarity of man and woman in marriage, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family spoke about the indissolubility of marriage and the...

Bangladesh: pastors arrested after preaching to Muslims CWN - November 19

Two Protestant pastors, both converts from Islam, were surrounded by a mob and arrested in Lalmonirhat, a district in northern Bangladesh, as they spoke about Christianity to Muslims, according to a...

Stand with Ukraine, nation’s leading prelate urges CWN - November 19

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has called for support for Ukraine as it confronts Russian aggression. “Ukraine is now facing foreign aggression, a kind of ‘hybrid war’ involving...

Number of enslaved persons rises to nearly 36 million CWN - November 19

Following the publication of the 2014 Global Slavery Index, L’Osservatore Romano devoted a front-page article in its November 19 edition to modern-day slavery. One out of every 200 people is...

Senegal's president visits Pontiff CWN - November 18

Pope Francis met on November 18 with President Macky Sall of Senegal. The conversation revolved around Church-state relations in Senegal, but also included discussion of current concerns in the...

Controversial issues should be 'off the table' at next Synod meeting, Cardinal Burke argues CWN - November 18

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that debate on controversial issues distracted attention from the central questions of marriage and family life during the recent Synod of Bishops, and suggested that...

Vatican representative urges UN to discuss moral problems of drone strikes CWN - November 18

The Vatican’s representative at UN offices in Geneva has questioned the growing use of drones in warfare and called for discussion of how drone strikes should be restricted by international...

Fees for annulments barely cover judicial costs, says official of Vatican tribunal CWN - November 18

A Vatican official has cautioned against assuming that all Church tribunals will stop collecting fees for annulment cases. “Pope Francis did not say that procedures for the eventual declaration...

Attacks on religious minorities are human-rights violations, Vatican envoy tells UN meeting CWN - November 18

Attacks against religious minorities should be recognized as violations of fundamental human rights, the Vatican’s representative told a UN-sponsored meeting. Archbishop Bernardito Auza reminded...

Political infighting blocks response to Boko Haram, says Nigerian archbishop CWN - November 18

A Catholic archbishop has lamented that the Nigerian government’s strategy to combat Boko Haram is “completely unreasonable” and has done nothing to stop the terrorist movement. Speaking to a...

Jerusalem: Patriarch denounces attack on synagogue CWN - November 18

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has condemned a bloody attack on a synagogue in that city and extended his sympathies to the victims and their families. “In our churches, convents...

In collected works, Benedict XVI deleted passage on Communion for divorced/remarried CWN - November 18

In the collected works of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, an article from 1972 appears without a passage in which the future Pontiff raises the possibility of allowing Catholics who are divorced and...

Iraq invites Pope to visit, Chaldean prelate discloses CWN - November 18

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has disclosed that Pope Francis has received a formal invitation to visit Iraq. Speaking at a conference in Rome sponsored by the AsiaNews service, the...

Christian ministers urged to stop signing marriage certificates CWN - November 18

Two Episcopalian priests have urged American ministers of all Christian communities to join them in a pledge “to separate civil marriage from Christian marriage” by refusing to acts as “agents of...

Vatican message to Sikhs emphasizes compassion, service CWN - November 18

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued a message to Sikhs in commemoration of the birth of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the first of the Sikh gurus. “The growing materialistic,...

Church of England grants final approval to women bishops CWN - November 18

The General Synod of the Church of England has formally enacted a measure, approved in July, that permits the ordination of women bishops. “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the...

Year of Consecrated Life to begin November 30 CWN - November 18

The year dedicated to consecrated life, announced by Pope Francis last December, will begin on the First Sunday of Advent with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of...

Prelate warns that Syria could turn into another Libya CWN - November 18

An archbishop in northeastern Syria has warned of the disastrous consequences of potential airstrikes by the United States against Syrian government forces. Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, who...

Mexico: missionary’s body found in mass grave CWN - November 18

The body of Father John Ssenyondo, a Ugandan missionary priest who served in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, has been found in a mass grave. On April 30, Father Ssenyondo was...

Islamic State burns Bibles, orders Christians to pay tax CWN - November 18

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has ordered the 23 Christian families that remain in Ar-Raqqah, Syria, to pay a tax of $535 if they wish to avoid expulsion from the city. Located in...

Colombia: exorcism prayers in response to rise in suicides CWN - November 18

In response to a rise in suicides, an exorcism prayer is being said in churches in two Colombian dioceses, according to the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. In all the churches of the...

Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in US, Canada, Australia CWN - November 17

The Vatican has lifted a longstanding ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches. The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allows for the...

Indian court approves extradition of priest to face abuse charges in US CWN - November 17

An Indian court has dismissed a priest’s plea, approves his extradition to the US to face charges of sexual abuse. Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was charged with molesting a teenage girl while...

Pontiff makes quick trip to Castel Gandolfo CWN - November 17

Pope Francis made a quick visit to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, November 16. The Pontiff blessed two sculptures by the Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo, after having...

Pakistan: Christian arrested for blasphemy, 2 arrested for lynching Christian couple CWN - November 17

Police in Lahore, Pakistan, have announced the arrest of a Christian man who had been on the run since 2011, when he was accused of blasphemy. Qaiser Ayub, who had been a computer-science...

Foster family life, Pope tells Zambia’s bishops CWN - November 17

Pope Francis paid tribute to the growth of the Church in Zambia and encouraged the nation’s bishops to promote family life. “I am convinced that the weakening of [family] bonds is particularly...

Pontiff: marriage is the permanent union of a man and a woman CWN - November 17

Pope Francis reflected on sexual complementarity within marriage in an address to a conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The “complementarity of man and woman”...

Pope Francis confirms trip to Philadelphia CWN - November 17

Addressing a conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis said on November 17 that “I wish to confirm that, God willing, in September of 2015, I will go to...

Pope laments violence against refugees CWN - November 17

Following his November 16 Angelus address, Pope Francis lamented the recent violence against refugees in Rome. “In these days in Rome there have been very strong tensions between residents and...

Pope Francis: the treasures of the Gospel are not to be kept to oneself CWN - November 17

Reflecting on the parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30), which he urged those assembled in St. Peter’s Square to read, Pope Francis said in his November 16 Angelus address that the treasures of the...

All human life is sacred, Pope emphasizes in address to doctors CWN - November 17

Emphasizing that all human life is sacred, Pope Francis addressed the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors and lamented abortion, euthanasia, and immoral reproductive technologies....

Holy See diplomat urges nations to implement weapons treaty CWN - November 17

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva, urged states that have signed a 1980 weapons treaty to implement it, lest it risk becoming a dead letter. “The...

Peru's President Humala meets with Pontiff CWN - November 14

Pope Francis met on November 14 with president Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso of Peru. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had revolved around the...

Milan archdiocese apologizes for suggestion to keep tabs on gender-related school programs CWN - November 14

The Archdiocese of Milan has apologized for a letter suggesting that religion teachers should report on any school programs related to homosexuality or gender issues. Father Gian Battista Rota,...

Full schedule set for Pope's January visit to Sri Lanka, Philippines CWN - November 14

The Vatican has announced the full schedule for a January trip by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Pontiff will leave Rome on Monday evening, January 12, to fly to Colombo, Sri...

Put people before profits, Pope urges accountants' group CWN - November 14

Christians in the financial world must resist the “strong temptation to defend one's own interests without worrying about the common good, without paying too much attention to justice and legality,”...

Cardinal O'Malley says Pope must take action on Bishop Finn CWN - November 14

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has told the CBS television program “60 Minutes” that the status of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn-- who has been convicted of endangering children because of his...

Islamic State leader targets Rome CWN - November 14

In an audio message released on November 13, a man identified as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, pledged that his group will continue its conquests and vowed to bring jihad to...

Topless 'Femen' protesters removed from St. Peter's Square CWN - November 14

A small group of radical feminists staged an obscene demonstration in St. Peter's Square on November 14, in what they said was a protest against the scheduled appearance by Pope Francis before the...

Vatican diplomat: if Pope visits Philadelphia, he will also visit New York CWN - November 14

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations said on November 13 that if Pope Francis visits Philadelphia in September 2015, he will also visit New York. The 70th anniversary of...

Russian patriarch: ignore Western consumerist pressure CWN - November 14

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called upon the Russian people to safeguard their unity and ignore Western pressure. “Those who see themselves as the winners of the Cold War tell all...

Vatican astronomer receives Sagan Medal CWN - November 14

The American Astronomical Society has awarded Brother Guy Consolmagno its Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science. The Jesuit, who received the award on...

Report: US bishops elect delegates to next synod CWN - November 14

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reportedly selected its four delegates to the October 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family. According to Crux, Father Thomas Reese said that...

CDF official affirms teaching on absolution, Communion for the remarried CWN - November 14

In a letter written three days after the conclusion of the recent Synod of Bishops, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed St. John Paul II’s teaching on absolution...

Mexican bishops: nation’s future at stake in addressing Iguala mass kidnapping CWN - November 14

The Mexican Episcopal Conference has issued a statement decrying the kidnapping of 43 students by police, who reportedly handed them over to a drug cartel. The bishops stated, “We bishops of...

Vatican will offer showers for Rome's homeless CWN - November 13

The Vatican is setting up shower stalls to serve the homeless of Rome. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who as papal almoner has been directed by Pope Francis to provide help for Rome’s homeless, has...

Charity requires preaching Gospel, not just material help, says head of papal charity CWN - November 13

The highest manifestation of Christian charity is not only to provide material help but to preach the Gospel message, the head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum told a conference in...

Seal of confession remains after penitent dies, Vatican officials affirm CWN - November 13

A priest is never allowed to disclose what he heard in a sacramental confession, Vatican officials emphasized in talks during a conference this week on the confessional seal. The applies even...

Catholic-Muslim forum condemns terrorism, calls for deeper understanding CWN - November 13

A Catholic-Muslim forum, meeting this week at the Vatican, concluded with a statement calling for a “culture of inter-religious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding.” The joint statement...

Ousted editor reportedly back on payroll in legal battle with Italian bishops' newspaper CWN - November 13

Dino Boffo, who was ousted as editor of the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, has won a legal battle against the bishops, the ANSA news service reports. Boffo was forced to...

Russian Orthodox prelate calls for independent Orthodox banks CWN - November 13

A leading representative of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has said that Russia’s economy should move toward independence from the world’s banking system, to reduce the pressures from “global...

Austrian president meets with Pontiff CWN - November 13

Pope Francis met on November 13 with President Heinz Fischer of Austria. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had centered on religious freedom...

Benedict XVI in 'fantastic health,' mentally sharp, American visitor reports CWN - November 13

An American priest reported finding Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI in “fantastic health” and mentally alert during a recent meeting at the Vatican. Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, the spiritual director of...

On eve of Chicago installation, Archbishop-elect Cupich blasted by Spokane law firm CWN - November 13

On the eve of his installation as leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich has been accused of a “money grab” in his lawsuit against a Spokane, Washington law firm. In...

New study shows mass exodus from Catholic Church in Latin America CWN - November 13

While 84% of the people in Latin America say that they were raised as Catholics, only 69% identify themselves as Catholics today. Protestant denominations in the region have grown substantially in recent decades, thanks in part to an influx of former Catholics. Today 19% of the Latin American population is Protestant, although only 9% of the people were raised as Protestants. There has also...

Extremists must be isolated to ease Israeli-Palestinian problem, says Italian cardinal CWN - November 13

After a visit to the Holy Land, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference told Aid to the Church in Need that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in “creating an alliance of...

Russian Orthodox official: West is indifferent to plight of Syrian, Iraqi Christians CWN - November 13

An official of the Moscow Patriarchate said that “many people who are in power in modern world politics” are “indifferent” to the plight of persecuted Christians in Syria and...

Indonesia: Islamists thwart celebration of Mass CWN - November 13

Members of Islamist groups threatened to burn down a parish in West Java if Catholics celebrated Mass there on November 9. As a precaution, the priest removed sacred vessels from the parish and...

Call White House about deportation of immigrants, urges US bishops’ initiative CWN - November 13

Justice for Immigrants, a campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is urging Catholics to call the White House and “leave this simple message: protect as many immigrants and...

National Cathedral to host Muslim prayer service CWN - November 13

For the first time, the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral in Washington will host a Muslim prayer service. The midday Friday prayer service on November 14 is cosponsored by five Muslim...

Iran’s Christian population soars; Bible translated into Farsi CWN - November 13

For the first time, the Bible has been translated into Farsi (modern Persian), the official language of Iran and Afghanistan. The translation, which took 18 years, was undertaken by Elam...

Cardinal Pell’s successor installed in Sydney CWN - November 13

Bishop Anthony Fisher, a Dominican often described as a protégé of Cardinal George Pell, was installed as the Archbishop of Sydney on November 12. “My hope is for a Church in which the Gospel is...

Pakistan returns school to Church CWN - November 13

The Pakistani government has returned a Catholic school to the Archdiocese of Lahore. In 1972, the socialist regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto nationalized Christian schools and hospitals, according...

Egypt's tourism office promotes Christian pilgrimages to sites of Holy Family's flight CWN - November 12

Egyptian government officials are encouraging Christians from abroad to consider pilgrimages to the sites traditionally associated with the flight into Egypt by the Holy Family. The Coptic...

Minnesota archdiocese faces steep budget cuts CWN - November 12

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has announced plans for a 20% cut in its annual budget, after reaching a costly financial settlement with sex-abuse victims. The archdiocese...

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