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Catholic World News

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13 sainthood causes advance CWN - 6 hours ago

In an audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on May 5, Pope Francis cleared the way for the canonization of three blesseds. The Pope officially approved the...

Freed Boko Haram kidnapping victims are undernourished and in shock, says prelate CWN - 7 hours ago

More than 300 persons, kidnapped by Boko Haram and freed by the Nigerian army, traveled to camps in Yola. The city’s bishop told the MISNA news agency that the victims are malnourished and in...

Chaldean patriarch: Kurdish constitution should mention Christians CWN - 7 hours ago

As lawmakers discuss the wording of a constitution for the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church called for the inclusion of the word “Christians” in the...

Polish, German bishops recall anniversary of Dachau liberation CWN - 8 hours ago

The presidents of the German and Polish episcopates, joined by other bishops and priests, offered Mass at Dachau to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the concentration camp’s liberation on April...

Wisconsin city bans discrimination against atheists CWN - 8 hours ago

Without dissent, the city council of Madison, Wisconsin, has banned discrimination on account of “nonreligion” in employment, housing, and public accommodations. “It boils down to the...

Christian leaders deplore continued civil war in South Sudan CWN - 7 hours ago

The South Sudan Council of Churches recently issued a statement deploring the continued civil war in the northeast African nation. “The rule of law is largely absent,” the Christian leaders...

Coptic patriarch: 3rd Sunday of April could be common day for Easter celebration CWN - 7 hours ago

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, said that a proposal to make the third Sunday of April the common date for the Christian celebration of Easter is being...

Belgian archbishop's resignation will test Pope's policy on sex-abuse response CWN - 20 hours ago

The looming resignation of Belgium’s leading Catholic prelate will bring a new test for Pope Francis’ determination to hold prelates accountable for their handling of sex-abuse cases. Archbishop...

Raul Castro to meet with Pontiff CWN - 20 hours ago

Cuban President Raul Castro will meet with Pope Francis on Sunday, May 10, the Vatican has disclosed. The meeting—which comes shortly after the announcement that the Holy Father will visit Cuba...

War in Syria threatens Lebanon's future, too, says Maronite Patriarch CWN - 20 hours ago

A flood of Syrian refugees is causing strains between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon, reports Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. The Maronite prelate told Aid to the Church in Need that...

Vatican announces calendar for extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - May 5

At a May 5 press conference in Rome, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, provided additional details about the...

Honduran cardinal visits Texas detention center CWN - May 5

Honduran Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga visited Central Americans housed at a Texas detention center for migrant families, the Fides news agency reported. The prelate, who serves as...

Report: Iraqi PM invites Pope to visit Iraq CWN - May 5

The prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches has concluded a three-day visit to Iraq. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri visited a refugee camp, preached at Iraq’s cathedral, and met with civil...

Russian Orthodox patriarch praises Pope, criticizes Ukrainian Catholics CWN - May 5

Speaking at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church praised Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin while...

Prayers for peace at Baltimore parishes CWN - May 5

Twenty parishes held Eucharistic adoration and other special prayers for peace in the days following the Baltimore riots, according to the archdiocese. “People are coming to our parishes looking...

Gunmen open fire on guard at controversial Muhammad exhibit; Vatican newspaper weighs in CWN - May 5

Two gunmen shot and wounded an unarmed security guard in Garland, Texas, as he stood near a controversial exhibit with artwork depicting Muhammad, the founder of Islam. The gunmen were...

Vietnam: bishops fear new legislation would heighten restrictions on religion CWN - May 4

Catholic bishops in Vietnam fear that new proposed legislation on “faith and religion” is designed to “profoundly interfere with religious affairs,” the AsiaNews service reports. The government...

Pope joins in salute to Dante on 750th birthday CWN - May 4

Pope Francis saluted Dante as “one of the most illustrious figures of all humanity,” as the Italian Senate honored the poet on the 750th anniversary of his birth. In his message, which was...

Pope asks bishops of Congo to emphasize training of priests, aid to needy dioceses CWN - May 4

In a May 4 address to visiting priests from Congo, who were making their limina visits to Rome, Pope Francis put a high priority on the proper formation of priests, aid to dioceses that lack...

Irish archbishop warns: approval of same-sex marriage will bring intolerance of Christians CWN - May 4

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh has warned that religious freedom will be in danger in Ireland if a referendum approving same-sex marriage succeeds. “If society adopts and imposes a new...

Statue of John Paul II must be removed, French court rules CWN - May 4

A French court has ordered the removal of a statue of St. John Paul II from a town square, saying that the display violated the separated of Church and state. The court in Rennes said that the...

Father Nicholas Gruner, suspended priest who led Fatima Crusader, dead at 72 CWN - May 4

Father Nicholas Gruner, the controversial leader of the Fatima Center, died suddenly on April 29. A Canadian native, Nicholas Gruner was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Avellino,...

‘Much work’ remains in ecumenical dialogue, Pope tells Swedish Lutheran leader CWN - May 4

Pope Francis received the Lutheran archbishop of Sweden in audience on May 4 and said that the Christian division contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and harms the cause of the...

Christ is the true King, Pope tells Swiss Guard CWN - May 4

Pope Francis met with members of the Swiss Guard and their families on May 4 and recalled St. Ignatius of Loyola’s image of “two military camps, one with the banner of Christ and the other with the...

Pope asks parishioners: are you a dead branch, or united to the vine? CWN - May 4

Pope Francis visited the Church of Santa Maria Regina Pacis in the coastal Roman suburb of Ostia Lido where he heard four confessions, delivered three short talks to different groups, and celebrated...

Grow in union with Christ through prayer and the sacraments, Pope says at audience CWN - May 4

Devoting his May 3 Regina Caeli address to the Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 15:1-8), Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s teaching on the vine and the branches. “Grafted by baptism in Christ, we...

Italian religious brother beatified CWN - May 4

Brother Luigi Bordino (1922-77) was beatified on May 2 in Turin, Italy. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, presided at the Mass of...

Blessed Junípero Serra is ‘one of the founding fathers of the United States,' Pope says CWN - May 4

Pope Francis urged American seminarians to imitate the missionary zeal, Marian devotion, and witness of holiness of Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-84), the Franciscan friar who evangelized...

Pope calls for Christian solidarity in the face of unemployment, other social problems CWN - May 4

Speaking to pilgrims from the Italian diocese of Isernia-Venafro, which he visited last July, Pope Francis called for Christian solidarity in the face of youth unemployment and other chronic...

Papal envoy to be present at commemoration of death of Jan Hus CWN - May 4

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the retired archbishop of Prague, as his special envoy for the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the death of Jan Hus. The Bohemian...

Italian man hung up on Pope, thinking call a prank CWN - May 1

An Italian man has revealed that he hung up on Pope Francis-- twice-- because he could not believe that the caller really was the Pontiff. Franco Rabuffi told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore...

McKinsey consultant to become chief operating officer of Chicago archdiocese CWN - May 1

Archbishop Blase Cupich has named a woman with a business background to be the chief operating officer of the Chicago archdiocese. Archbishop Cupich, who was installed last November to head the...

Dominican theologian advances compromise solution for divorced/remarried Catholics CWN - May 1

A Dominican theologian in Switzerland has proposed a new approach to pastoral care for Catholics who are divorced and remarried: a solution that would stop short of admittance to the...

US denies visa to Iraqi nun, scheduled to testify about Islamic State persecution CWN - May 1

A Catholic nun from Iraq has been denied permission to enter the US, where she hoped to testify before Congressional committees about the plight of Christians by the Islamic State. Sister Diana...

Russian prelate: 'intrigues' complicate plans for All-Orthodox Council CWN - May 1

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that planning for an All-Orthodox Council has been complicated by “some intrigues, undercurrents, and attempts to influence, including on the part...

Pope sees Milan Expo as opportunity to boost fight against world hunger CWN - May 1

In a video message for the opening of the Milan Expo on May 1, Pope Francis said that the six-month event, devoted to feeding the world, “is a propitious occasion to globalize solidarity.” “Let...

Chaldean patriarch reflects on Armenian genocide, Islamic State CWN - May 1

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, whose patriarchal offices are located in Baghdad, has published a reflection on the Armenian genocide and the current persecution of Christians by the...

Patriarchate: pan-Orthodox synod will not express solidarity with ‘sexual minorities’ CWN - May 1

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has strongly denied a report on a Greek religious news site that the committee preparing the agenda for the 2016 Pan-Orthodox Council is seeking “to...

Retired curial archbishop teaches Islam at Ohio university CWN - May 1

National Public Radio has broadcast a story on Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, a retired curial official who is teaching a class on Islam this semester at John Carroll University, a Jesuit college...

Church of England welcomes Vatican workshop’s statement on climate change CWN - May 1

The Church of England has welcomed the final statement issued by participants in an April 28 Vatican conference on climate change. “Climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our day, for...

France: Muslim student barred from school for wearing long skirt CWN - May 1

Citing a law that bans the wearing of religious garb in the classroom, a school in northeastern France has decided that a 15-year-old Muslim girl is not permitted to wear a long black skirt. The...

17 nations named ‘particularly severe’ religious-freedom violators CWN - May 1

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 17 nations as “countries of...

US House passes pro-life legislation CWN - May 1

By a 228-192 vote, the House of Representatives has voted to overturn the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA). The city’s legislation forbids...

Radical Islam coming to Benin, prelate reports CWN - April 30

Militant Islam is making its presence felt in Benin, Archbishop Pascal N’Koue of Parakou told the Fides news service. The archbishop, who is secretary-general of the country’s episcopal...

Lay Catholics should be involved in politics, Pope says CWN - April 30

“If Christians dissociate themselves from direct involvement in politics, it would be a betrayal of the mission of the lay faithful,” Pope Francis insisted in a message to a group of Italian...

Philadelphia priest returned to prison after court decision reinstating conviction CWN - April 30

A prominent priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese has returned to jail, after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturned an appeals-court decision and reinstated his conviction on...

Pope's prayer intentions for May 2015 CWN - April 30

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2015. The Pope's universal intention is: "That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who...

Despite dangers, Christian pilgrimages still focus on Holy Land, Middle East CWN - April 30

The Roman institution sponsoring pilgrimages, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (OPR), continues to focus on trips to the Middle East, despite the rising dangers of conflict there. Msgr. Liberio...

Ecumenical work is obligatory, Pope tells Anglican-Catholic commission CWN - April 30

Working for Christian unity is not an option but an obligation, Pope Francis told members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) at an audience on April 30. “There is a...

Nigerian bishop rips Obama administration for pushing African nations to accept homosexuality CWN - April 30

A Nigerian bishop has renewed his complaint that American foreign-aid officials are “making aids and grants to Africa conditional on our accepting anti-life values.” Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo...

Pope institutes commission to reform Vatican’s media operations CWN - April 30

At the recommendation of the nine-member Council of Cardinals, which is advising Pope Francis in the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis has instituted a new commission to reform the Vatican’s...

Coptic Orthodox leader denounces court decision on divorce CWN - April 30

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, has denounced an Egyptian court decision permitting Coptic Christians greater latitude to remarry following divorce. The...

Armenian church seeks return of historic headquarters CWN - April 30

The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, one of the two most prominent sees in the Armenian Apostolic Church, has filed a lawsuit in Turkish court in order to gain the return of its historic...

International community’s indifference to Mideast Christians is reminiscent of Pilate, says prelate CWN - April 30

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, lamented the indifference of the international community to the fate of the Middle East’s Christians. Stating that...

Vatican climate-change conference calls for ‘rapid world transformation’ to renewable, low-carbon energy CWN - April 30

Participants in an April 28 Vatican workshop on climate change have issued a final statement. Scientists, religious leaders, and business and political figures, including the UN secretary general...

Cardinal Canestri dies at 96 CWN - April 30

Cardinal Giovanni Canestri, who served as archbishop of Genoa from 1987 to 1995, has died at the age of 96. Born in 1918, Cardinal Canestri was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rome in 1941....

Action urged on pro-life legislation CWN - April 30

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), which works closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on legislative matters, is calling upon pro-life citizens to...

Nigerian archbishop says industrial countries should bear brunt of fossil-fuel restraints CWN - April 29

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has argued that the developed countries of the industrial world should bear the brunt of efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, rather than imposing the...

Catholic-school teachers in New York threaten a strike CWN - April 29

Teachers at parochial schools in New York have threatened a 1-day strike to protest plans for school closings in the archdiocese. The work stoppage also reflects the dissatisfaction with members...

Nigerian troops free 300 women kidnapped by Boko Haram CWN - April 29

Nigerian military forces have announced the liberation of about 300 women and girls who had been kidnapped and held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists. The hostages were freed when Nigerian troops...

Nuclear deterrence is unstable; weapons should be eliminated, UN envoy tells UN CWN - April 29

The Vatican’s representative has told a UN audience that “the theory of nuclear deterrence is too ambiguous to be a stable and global basis of world security and international order.” Speaking at...

Three suspects charged in death of Austrian missionary nun in South Africa CWN - April 29

Police in South Africa have arrested three people in connection with the murder of Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher, an Austrian missionary who was killed in KwaZulu-Natal on April 19. Police said...

Pope meets with Ecuador’s president CWN - April 29

Pope Francis met privately on April 28 with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who was in Rome attending a workshop on climate change sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Science. The Pontiff...

Revere and have compassion on the poor, Pope says in video appeal CWN - April 29

In a video message to homeless actors at a performance that took place under the auspices of the Diocese of Rome’s Caritas organization, Pope Francis called for compassion on the poor. Recalling...

Pope laments broken marriage bonds, calls for equal pay for equal work CWN - April 29

Continuing his catechesis on the family during his April 29 general audience, Pope Francis lamented the decline of marriage and said that men and women should be compensated equally for equal...

Victory for Nashville Dominicans, other Catholic entities against HHS mandate CWN - April 29

Without comment, the United States Supreme Court has ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling that the Michigan Catholic Conference and other Catholic entities fall under the purview...

Kentucky court upholds right of business to refuse to print gay pride T-shirts CWN - April 29

In 2012, Hands On Originals, a business in Lexington, Kentucky, refused to print gay pride T-shirts. Two years later, the city’s Human Rights Commission ruled that the company had violated an...

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in same-sex marriage case CWN - April 29

The US Supreme Court heard arguments on April 28 in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case which, when decided in late June, has the potential to strike down all state laws that define marriage as the union...

Political demonstrations turn deadly in Burundi as president seeks 3rd term CWN - April 28

Political demonstrations in Burundi have turned violent, resulting in several deaths, as protesters oppose President Pierre Nkhurunziza’s campaign to win a third term. Father Emmanuel...

Papal charity sends $100,000 to Nepal earthquake victims CWN - April 28

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the charitable arm of the Holy See, has pledged $100,000 in immediate relief to victims of the earthquake in Nepal. The donation from Cor Unum, which will be...

Christians used as scapegoats as Sunnis, Shi'ite struggle for power, Iraqi prelate says CWN - April 28

Christians in the Middle East are being caught up in a power struggle between Islamic sects, says Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako. The Iraqi prelate said that Christians are being...

Turkey invites Vatican to exposition: conciliatory gesture after diplomatic row CWN - April 28

The government of Turkey has issued an invitation to the Vatican to visit the country’s pavilion at an international exposition that opens in Milan this coming weekend. The invitation represents a...

Bishop reports 'very, very frightening scene' after earthquake in Nepal CWN - April 28

Bishop Paul Simick of Kathmandu said that the April 27 earthquake created “a very, very frightening scene” in the capital city of Nepal. Bishop Simick—the only Catholic bishop in Nepal—told Aid...

Pennsylvania's top court restores conviction of Philadelphia cleric on abuse charge CWN - April 28

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reinstated the conviction of a top cleric from the Philadelphia archdiocese, overturning the ruling by an appeals court. Msgr. William Lynn was convicted in...

Syrian archbishop says government could defeat Islamic State if foreign nations cut support CWN - April 28

A Syrian Catholic archbishop has described the country’s President Bashar Al Assad as “a good man,” although he quickly added that he did not intend a political endorsement. In an interview for...

Christian exodus contributing to rise of militant Islam in Middle East: Maronite Patriarch CWN - April 28

The steady exodus of Christians from the Middle East is weakening the position of moderate Muslims, warns Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. The Lebanese prelate told a UNESCO audience in...

Cardinal Mamberti receives additional appointment CWN - April 28

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Dominque Mamberti, the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as the president of the Commission of Advocates. Cardinal Mamberti, who remains...

Pope, UN secretary general push for worldwide action on climate change CWN - April 28

Pope Francis welcomed Ban Ki-moon to the Vatican on April 28, as the UN secretary general arrived to address an interfaith conference on climate change. Participants in the conference-- ranging from scientists to political and religious leaders-- issued a statement expressing their conviction that the world's climate is changing because of human activities. They suggested that talks in Paris...

Mexican cardinal laments nation’s corruption, violence CWN - April 28

The president of the Mexican Episcopal Conference lamented widespread corruption and crime and said that the principal reason for the decline in the nation’s Catholic population-- from 95% in 1975...

Vatican cardinal: Jaricot a ‘bright star’ in Church’s evangelizing efforts CWN - April 28

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, traveled to Lyon, France, where he upheld Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot as a model for lay involvement in...

Pope Francis to celebrate outdoor Mass in Washington CWN - April 28

Pope Francis’s Mass for the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra will be celebrated outdoors, outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to a statement...

Anniversary of St. John Paul’s canonization recalled CWN - April 28

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals and St. John Paul II’s secretary of state during the latter portion of his pontificate, was the principal celebrant at an April 27 Mass in...

Bakery owners ordered to pay $135,000 over same-sex wedding cake CWN - April 28

One year after ruling that the owners of an Oregon bakery violated a non-discrimination law when one of its owners declined to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, the Oregon Bureau of Labor...

Swedish queen meets with Pope CWN - April 27

Pope Francis met on April 27 with Queen Silvia of Sweden, who was in Rome to participate in a Vatican conference on human trafficking. Queen Silvia was accompanied by her daughter, Princess...

Vatican official unsatisfied with Europe's response to immigration crisis CWN - April 27

The president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants has voiced his dissatisfaction with European leaders’ response to the immigration crisis. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio said that an agreement...

US priests urge Synod to issue clear affirmation of Church teaching on marriage CWN - April 27

A growing number of Catholic priests in the US have signed a statement urging the Synod of Bishops to “make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching” on...

All are called to holiness, Pope reminds Benin’s bishops CWN - April 27

Pope Francis received the bishops of Benin in audience on April 27 and expressed gratitude to God for the large numbers of conversions and priestly and religious vocations in the West African...

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