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Catholic World News

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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Thousands attend March for Marriage in Washington CWN - April 27

During an April 25 march in Washington, thousands of people witnessed to marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “My dear friends, marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one...

Coptic teacher, students arrested for ‘contempt of religion’ in Egypt CWN - April 27

A Coptic Christian teacher and four of his students were arrested for “contempt of religion” after a Muslim discovered a video of the students mocking the actions of Islamic State militants. The...

Papal telegram to Divine Mercy conference CWN - April 27

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a telegram in Pope Francis’s name on April 26 to participants in a conference in Gela, Sicily, devoted to Divine Mercy. The Pontiff...

Christ is the Good Shepherd, Pope emphasizes CWN - April 27

Reflecting on the day’s Scripture readings at Mass, Pope Francis devoted his April 26 Regina Caeli address to Christ as the Good Shepherd. “Unlike the mercenary, Christ is a caring, guiding...

Foundress of religious institute beatified in Canada CWN - April 27

Sister Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon (1840-81), the foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, was beatified in Quebec on April 26. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation...

Papal prayer, solidarity for Nepal’s earthquake victims CWN - April 27

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name on April 26 following an earthquake that left thousands dead. “His Holiness Pope...

Pope Francis ordains 19 men to the priesthood CWN - April 27

Pope Francis ordained 19 deacons to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 26. Three of them were educated at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, nine at the Neocatechumenal Way’s Roman...

Pope Francis pays tribute to St. John Paul II CWN - April 27

Pope Francis met with members of the John Paul II Foundation during an April 25 audience that took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. Paying tribute to St. John Paul II, who...

Vatican envoy speaks at UN about extremists' recruitment of young followers CWN - April 24

Broken families, failed expectations, and alienation are factors in pushing young people into violent extremism, the Vatican’s delegate said in an address to the UN. “The family is the first...

Belgian court finds archbishop culpable for failure to act on abuse complaint CWN - April 24

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has been ordered to pay €10,000 (about $11,000) to a victim of sexual abuse, after a Belgian court found that the archbishop failed to take action on an...

Keep faith growing, Pope encourages bishops from Namibia, Lesotho CWN - April 24

Pope Francis spoke of the “flourishing Christian faith” in Lesotho and Namibia, as he met on April 24 with bishops from those African countries. In his message to the bishops, who were concluding...

Czech president visits Pontiff CWN - April 24

Pope Francis met on April 24 with President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, on the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between that country and the Holy See. A brief Vatican...

Italian prosecutor says his investigation stopped terror attack on Vatican in 2010 CWN - April 24

An Italian prosecutor has claimed that his investigation prevented a terrorist attack on the Vatican in 2010. “Our activity was indispensable to ensure that the irreparable did not happen,” Mauro...

Nations may fear 'legal consequences' of recognizing Armenian genocide, says Lebanese prelate CWN - April 24

Many nations are afraid to acknowledge the Armenian genocide because “they fear the legal consequences,” according to Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. In a statement released from...

Soccer star Maradona meets Pope, calls himself 'number-one fan' CWN - April 24

Argentina’s legendary soccer star, Diego Maradona, met with Pope Francis on April 22, and pronounced himself the Pontiff’s “number-one fan.” Maradona was in Rome with representatives of the South...

Moroccan government minister's polygamous plan stirs public debate CWN - April 24

The Moroccan government has been shaken by news that two cabinet ministers plan to be married, with the man involved taking his 2nd wife. Habib Choubani, the minister for civil-society relations,...

Report: Pope to criticize Argentine hierarchy’s actions during dictatorship CWN - April 24

Pope Francis said recently that he has ordered the opening of the Vatican Archives to shed light on the Church’s actions during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-83), according to an...

Vatican cardinal visits Cuba CWN - April 24

Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, has begun a five-day visit to Cuba ahead, the Spanish news agency EFE reported. The Holy See Press Office recently...

Italy: priest arrested for murder CWN - April 24

Father Gratien Alabi, a Congolese priest who ministers in Arezzo, Italy, has been arrested on charges of murdering and concealing the corpse of Guerrina Piscaglia in May 2014. Piscaglia, 50, sent...

Colombian bishops lament euthanasia protocol CWN - April 24

In response to an order from the nation’s high court, the Colombian government has issued regulations permitting terminally ill adults to choose physician-assisted suicide. Stating that every...

President Obama welcomes Pope’s ‘expression of views’ on Armenian genocide CWN - April 24

A century after the beginning of the Armenian genocide, President Barack Obama issued a statement noting that “the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to...

Activists, congressmen prod Obama on religion envoy CWN - April 24

Following a vote of 402-22 in the House of Representatives and a voice vote in the Senate, President Barack Obama signed the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act in August...

Religious leaders issue open letter on marriage and religious liberty CWN - April 24

Over 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and other religious leaders have issued a joint open letter affirming their “commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one...

Pope's visit causes twist in pro football schedule CWN - April 23

The National Football League (NFL) revised its schedule for the 2015 season to accommodate a visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote to NFL...

Vatican has not decided on proposed French ambassador, agency reports CWN - April 23

The Vatican has not yet made a decision regarding the appointment of a new ambassador from France to the Holy See, the respected Roman news agency I Media reports. Contrary to rumors that have...

German bishops' report: laity want change in Church teaching; many priests do not pray regularly CWN - April 23

The German Catholic bishops’ conference has made public a report on a survey of the faithful in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, finding a “gap between the lived reality...

Vatican celebrates Pope's 'name day' CWN - April 23

The Vatican celebrated April 23 as a holiday, marking the feast of St. George, the patron saint of Pope Francis, who was born Jorge Bergoglio. Msgr. Guillermo Karcher, an Argentinian priest and...

Bishop intervenes to block lecture by Sister Jeannine Gramick in North Carolina CWN - April 23

A Catholic parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, has cancelled a scheduled talk by a nun whose advocacy for homosexuals has drawn cautions from the Vatican and the US bishops’ conference. Bishop...

Nuns walk out of San Francisco Catholic high school to protest pro-homosexual program CWN - April 23

Five women religious teaching at a Catholic high school outside San Francisco boycotted their own classes last week to protest a program that they regarded as sympathetic toward a gay-rights...

ACLU suit challenges federal funding for Catholic programs aiding immigrants, citing lack of access to abortion CWN - April 23

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has formally filed a lawsuit challenging federal funding from programs run by Catholic agencies to support immigrants. “We have heard reports that...

Pastor halts firearms training, on bishop' orders CWN - April 23

A Michigan priest has rescinded his decisions to sponsor firearms-safety classes at his parish, on orders from his bishop. Father Edward Fride had encouraged his congregation to purchase firearms...

Cardinal Danneels reportedly urged Belgian King Badouin to sign liberal abortion law CWN - April 23

Two prominent Belgian political leaders have confirmed reports that Cardinal Godfried Danneels tried to persuade King Baudouin to sign a liberal abortion law in 1990. Despite the advice of the...

No simple solution to immigrant crisis: Italian bishops' spokesman CWN - April 23

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference has said that "all routes must be taken, all solutions must be adopted," to prevent a recurrence of the disaster in which an estimated 800...

Italy's quick-divorce law takes effect CWN - April 23

A new Italian law allowing quick divorces took effect on April 22. The new law, which allows for a divorce to become final in six months if both parties consent, had passed with the support of...

Refugees from Mediterranean tragedy buried in Malta at inter-religious ceremony CWN - April 23

Catholics and Muslims in Malta joined in a memorial service for the 800 immigrants who died in a tragedy on the Mediterranean Sea. The bodies of 24 people, from among the hundreds lost at sea,...

Estonian Orthodox gravitating toward Ukrainian Catholic Church? CWN - April 23

In Estonia, parishioners are leaving Orthodox churches affiliated with the Patriarchate of Mosow to join the Ukrainian Catholic Church, according to a representative of the World Congress of...

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