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Pope speaks of 'deep sadness' over suffering of Christians in Iraq, Syria CWN - 20 hours ago

Pope Francis reiterated his “dismay and deep sadness” over the continued bloodshed in Iraq and Syria, during a January 30 meeting with ecumenical representatives of the Oriental Orthodox...

Canadian court backs Christian law school in homosexuality dispute CWN - January 30

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled that graduates of Trinity Western University’s law school are permitted to practice law in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society had forbidden...

Vatican document critical of cosmetic surgery CWN - 20 hours ago

A new Vatican document on women takes a critical look at cosmetic plastic surgery, the Crux web site reports. The rising popularity of cosmetic surgery, the document says, may reflect an...

Venezuelan bishop victim of armed robbery CWN - January 30

A bishop and 50 priests and parishioners were victims of an armed robbery at a parish in Puerto Ordaz, a city of 600,000 in Venezuela. Three masked men entered the parish auditorium, and Bishop...

Carmelite priest to preach Lenten retreat for Pope, Curia CWN - January 30

Father Bruno Secondin, a Carmelite priest who teaches at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, will preach the Lenten retreat to Pope Francis and the members of the Roman Curia. The...

Vatican conference addresses evangelization in Europe CWN - 20 hours ago

Addressing participants in a 3-day conference on evangelization in Europe, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, said:...

Christian school attacked in Pakistan CWN - January 30

Over 200 Muslim students, angered by caricatures of Muhammad in a Parisian publication, attacked a Christian boys’ school in Pakistan and demanded its closure, according to Agence...

Pope's prayer intentions for February 2015 CWN - 20 hours ago

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for February 2015. The Pope’s general intention for February is: “That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild...

Myanmar: authorities order removal of cross CWN - January 30

Authorities in Chin State, which is located in western Myanmar (Burma), have ordered the removal of a hillside cross that is 16 feet tall. Tial Cem, who constructed the cross and is refusing to...

New cardinal profile: Archbishop Alberto Suárez Inda CWN - January 30

Seventh on the list of new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on January 4 is Archbishop Alberto Suárez Inda, 76, of Morelia, a city of 730,000 that is capital of the western Mexican state of...

Egypt's new government allows Christians to build new churches, ending years of opposition CWN - January 29

Egyptian Christians have seen notable gains under the government of President Abd al-Sisi, the spokesman for the country’s bishops tells the AsiaNews service. Father Rafic Greiche pointed to...

Archbishop Cordileone launches effort to promote Catholic identity in San Francisco archdiocesan high schools CWN - January 29

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is undertaking a study to determine how well archdiocesan high schools promote the Catholic faith. “We hear stories of children going through 12...

Myanmar: government orders removal of 'illegal' cross CWN - January 29

Christians in Myanmar are distressed by the prosecution of a man who erected a 50-foot cross on a hill in the city of Hakha, the Fides news service reports. Tial Cem could face two years in...

Salvation is individual, but not a private affair, Pope says in homily CWN - January 29

Salvation is an individual matter, but anyone who is interested only in his personal salvation is “going along the wrong path,” Pope Francis said in a homily at daily Mass on June 29. Jesus does...

3 more companies exempted from HHS mandate CWN - January 29

Citing the US Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, a federal court in Colorado has barred enforcement of the HHS mandate against three companies. The three are Continuum Health Partnerships,...

Obama calls for religious tolerance, respect for religious freedom in India CWN - January 29

In a visit to India, now governed by a Hindu nationalist party, President Barack Obama issued a call for greater respect for religious freedom. “We remember the wisdom of Gandhiji, who said, ‘For...

New film on Pius XII and the Jews CWN - January 29

A new film, Shades of Truth, highlights Venerable Pius XII’s efforts to assist Jews during the Holocaust. The film will be previewed at the Vatican on March 2, according to L’Osservatore Romano,...

Appeal from Caritas for Malawi flood victims CWN - January 29

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal on behalf of flood victims in the African nation of Malawi. 120,000 people have had to...

Sri Lanka cardinal praises new government CWN - January 29

Sri Lanka’s leading prelate praised the nation’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, for his efforts to promote religious harmony. Sirisena has appointed a Buddhist, a Hindu, and a Catholic to...

New cardinal profile: Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon CWN - January 29

Sixth on the list of new cardinals announced by Pope Francis on January 4 is Archbishop Pierre (Phero) Nguyen Van Nhon, 76, of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital. Three of his four predecessors were...

Pope changes another tradition: each new archbishop will receive pallium in his own archdiocese CWN - January 28

Pope Francis has decided that each newly appointed metropolitan archbishop should be formally vested with the pallium at a ceremony in his own archdiocese, rather than the ceremony traditionally...

Eastern Christian leaders plea: help for refugees, end support for terrorism CWN - January 28

Leaders of the Eastern Christian community met in Bkerke, Lebanon on January 27, and released a joint statement urging international support for the Christian refugees in the Middle East. The...

Vatican offices adapting to new financial regulations CWN - January 28

All Vatican offices are now obliged to follow new regulations governing financial transactions, the Vatican Insider notes. Implementing the new rules, which call for a full accounting for all...

Pope laments absence of fathers from families CWN - January 28

Stating that the absence of fathers can produce “wounds which may be very serious,” Pope Francis devoted his January 28 general audience to fatherhood. The word “Father,” he said, is particularly...

Bishop defends CCHD-funded group CWN - January 28

A New Mexico bishop has come to the defense of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé), a faith-based organization that, at his recommendation, receives funding from the US bishops’ Catholic Campaign...

California judges barred from work with Boy Scouts CWN - January 28

The California Supreme Court has voted to bar state judges from joining nonprofit youth organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. “Although the court's unanimous...

Ivory Coast’s bishops lament ritual sacrifice of children CWN - January 28

Declaring that their nation is “sick at a spiritual and moral level,” the bishops of Ivory Coast denounced the ritual sacrifice of children. A report from the Reuters news agency linked a recent...

Cardinal welcomes House passage of pro-life legislation CWN - January 28

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has welcomed the House of Representatives’ passage of the No...

Church burned down in India CWN - January 28

A Protestant church in the southern Indian state of Telangana was set on fire on January 16, according to multiple reports. “Activists have threatened me and warned me not to continue the church...

Malaysian archbishop assures faithful: 'Allah' can still be used in worship CWN - January 27

Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur has written a pastoral letter to assure the Catholics of Malaysia that a legal ban on the use of the word “Allah” applies only to the Catholic newspaper, not...

Bishops in Niger appeal to Muslims for solidarity after attacks on churches CWN - January 27

The Catholic bishops of Niger have reached out to Muslims to strengthen inter-religious bonds after a series of violent attacks on Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. "We want to...

Italian bishops' conference leader calls for quick election of new Italian president CWN - January 27

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has called for the prompt election of a new Italian president following the resignation of Giorgio Napolitano. In an...

Swiss court rules Vatican bank must turn over account information to Italian prosecutors CWN - January 27

A court in Switzerland has ruled that Italian prosecutors should have access to information about an account held by the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Swiss federal...

Pope reportedly meets with Spanish transsexual CWN - January 27

Pope Francis met privately with a Spanish transsexual who had written to complain about having been banished from his parish church, according to the Spanish daily Hoy. Diego Neria Lejarraga, who...

Peruvian bishop: government must protect judges after death threats from drug gangs CWN - January 27

A Peruvian bishop has called upon the government to provide protection for judges, the Fides news service reports, after several jurists received death threats from drug-trafficking...

February 8 designated day of prayer, awareness against human trafficking CWN - January 27

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General have designated February 8 as the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human...

Confront indifference to God and neighbor, Pope says in 2015 Lenten message CWN - January 27

The Holy See Press Office has released the text of Pope Francis’s 2015 Lenten message. Entitled “Make Your Hearts Firm”-- a reference to a verse in the Letter of St. James-- the message, dated...

1st female bishop ordained for Church of England CWN - January 27

In a ceremony that took place on January 26, Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first female bishop. Referring to the Ugandan-born Anglican archbishop of York, Lane said that “Archbishop...

Senegal’s bishops denounce religious violence, caricatures of Muhammad CWN - January 27

The bishops of the West African nation of Senegal have issued a statement denouncing religious violence and caricatures of the founder of Islam. “We strongly condemn the murderous violence of...

Russian patriarch: revive positive aspects of Communist era CWN - January 27

In an address to Russia’s parliament, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church called for a revival of what he sees as the positive aspects of the nation’s Communist era, which lasted until...

Mexican, Central American bishops to discuss plight of migrants CWN - January 27

The bishops of Mexico and four Central American nations will begin a three-day meeting on January 28 to discuss the plight of those seeking to enter the United States. “We are saddened and...

Increased religious repression reported in Cuba CWN - January 27

Violations of religious freedom in Cuba increased in 2014, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a UK-based organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians. “Week after...

Bishop: northeastern Nigeria could fall to Boko Haram CWN - January 27

The Islamist terrorist movement Boko Haram has captured Monguno, a city of 100,000 in northeastern Nigeria, and has launched attacks against Maiduguri, a city of 1.2 million. “We find ourselves...

Egypt: church attacked on 4th anniversary of ‘Arab Spring’ CWN - January 27

Four years after the Arab Spring uprising that led to the overthrow of longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood took to the streets against the current...

Judge orders mediation in bankruptcy case of Minnesota archdiocese CWN - January 26

A judge in federal bankruptcy court has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis to go to mediation with creditors— led by sex-abuse victims—in hopes of avoiding a costlier legal...

Spokane diocese settles lawsuit against law firm that handled bankruptcy CWN - January 26

The Diocese of Spokane, Washington, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the law firm that represented the diocese in bankruptcy proceedings. The diocese had brought a malpractice suit...

New papal plea for peace in Ukraine CWN - January 26

Pope Francis renewed his plea for peace in Ukraine, at the conclusion of his Sunday public audience on January 25. The Pope said that he has been following “with deep concern the escalation of...

Death-penalty opponents excluded from jury in 'Marathon bombing' trial CWN - January 26

Jury selection for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the “Marathon Bombings” that shook Boston in 2013, has prompted a controversy over the exclusion of those who object to the death...

Prosecutors find no misconduct in case that caused removal of pastor, school principal CWN - January 26

In Revere, Massachusetts, police and prosecutors have said that they found no evidence of wrongdoing in a case that has led to the forced resignation of a Catholic pastor, the principal of the...

Catholic Relief Services charged with support for program that promotes contraception CWN - January 26

The Lepanto Institute has reported evidence that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas aid agency of the US bishops’ conference, provided support for a sex-education program that encouraged...

Impartial judgment is key for marriage tribunals, Pope tells canonists CWN - January 26

Pope Francis stressed the importance of impartial judgment by marriage tribunals, as he spoke on January 24 to participants in a canon-law seminar. The meeting, co-sponsored by the Pontifical...

Vatican tradition ended: balloons released in place of doves CWN - January 26

The Vatican has altered a traditional gesture—the release of doves in St. Peter’s Square—after complaints from animal-rights groups. For years, on the last Sunday of January, the Pope has been...

Catholic priests playing politics, Belarus government official charges CWN - January 26

The Commissioner for Religions and Nationalities in Belarus has charged that Polish-born Catholic priests are engaged in political activities, and therefore have been denied permission to remain in...

English doctor faces charges for sex-selection abortion CWN - January 26

A doctor in Birmingham, England, will face criminal charges for offering to perform a sex-selection abortion. On January 26 a Birmingham court ordered Dr. Palaniappan Rajmohan to answer the...

Russian Patriarch calls for abortion ban in first-ever address to Duma CWN - January 26

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill suggested a nationwide campaign against legal abortion, as he addressed Russia’s legislative body, the Duma. The Patriarch’s speech was the first ever delivered...

China planning illicit ordination of more bishops for 'official' Church? CWN - January 26

The Chinese government’s bureau of religious affairs plans to organize the ordination of more Catholic bishops without Vatican approval in 2015, the AsiaNews service reports. The move would...

Notre Dame’s Father McBrien dead at 78 CWN - January 26

Father Richard McBrien, who chaired the University of Notre Dame’s theology department for 11 years, died on January 25 at the age of 78. While his public influence was significant--not only...

Pope concludes Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CWN - January 26

Pope Francis concluded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with the celebration of Vespers on January 25 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and reflected on the encounter of Jesus with...

Pope Francis: in Jesus, man’s thirst and God’s thirst meet CWN - January 26

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 1:14-20), Pope Francis said during his January 25 Angelus address that “Jesus' announcement is similar to that of John, with the major difference that...

Papal praise for 2005 document on nullity cases CWN - January 26

The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts’ 2005 document Dignitas Connubii remains a “modest but useful vademecum that really takes the ministers of the tribunals by the hand toward the...

Conversion, prayer, holiness necessary for Christian unity, says Pope CWN - January 26

Pope Francis met with participants in an ecumenical gathering of religious on January 24 and said that “religious life has a particular vocation” to promote Christian unity. The gather was...

Pope on Catholic-Muslim dialogue: listen and study, but avoid syncretism CWN - January 26

Listening and thorough study are important components of dialogue with Muslims, Pope Francis said to participants in a January 24 meeting organized by the Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic...

Republicans now outnumber Democrats among Catholics in US House of Representatives CWN - January 23

In the 114th Congress, Catholic Republicans outnumber Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives, 69 to 68, the Pew Research Center reports. Although the margin is minimal, the trend is...

Syrian priest raps Western silence after car-bomb kills 15 in Homs CWN - January 23

A Syrian Catholic priest has blasted the silence of the Western media after 15 people were killed, and 50 others wounded, by a car-bomb explosion in the center of the city of Homs. Father Hilal...

Beatification cause opened for Focolare founder Chiara Lubich CWN - January 23

Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, has formally opened a cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Focolare movement. Born in 1920 in Trent, Sylvia Lubich (as...

Chinese bishop says Church should take initiative to end conflict with Beijing CWN - January 23

A Chinese bishop of the “underground” Church faithful to Rome has said that the Vatican should take the first step to resolve a long-running conflict with the Beijing regime. In an interview...

Red hat is not a 'prize,' Pope reminds new cardinals CWN - January 23

In a letter to each of the prelates who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals at the February consistory, Pope Francis has remembered them that a red hat should not be seen as “a prize, or...

Do not let legalism block access to salvation, Pope tells tribunal judges CWN - January 23

In a January 23 address to officials of the Roman Rota, Pope Francis reminded the judges and advocates that the highest priority of canon law is the salvation of souls. As is customary, the Pope addressed the officials of the Roman Rota as they opened their judicial term for 2015. The Roman Rota is the top appellate court in the Church’s system of tribunals. Most of its work involve marriage...

22 martyrs recognized; causes of US-born priest, others advance CWN - January 23

In an audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on January 22, Pope Francis approved a decree on a miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Maria Teresa...

Pope Francis reflects on the family and communication CWN - January 23

In his message for the World Day of Social Communications, which will take place in May, Pope Francis reflected on the encounter between the Blessed Virgin Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in...

President Obama: abortion is a ‘core constitutional right’ CWN - January 23

In a January 22 statement, President Barack Obama described Roe v. Wade as “a decision that protects a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health, and reaffirms a...

Religious leaders call for renewed US effort for 2-state solution in Middle East CWN - January 23

A group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders has called upon President Barack Obama to “work with Israel and [the] Palestinian Authority to achieve a negotiated two-state peace agreement before...

Church in Niger suspends operation of schools, other apostolates CWN - January 23

Citing the widespread destruction of churches and other Catholic institutions and the general situation of insecurity, the bishops of Niger have indefinitely suspended the operation of all Catholic...

Vatican newspaper: time between the 2 synods is one of ‘reception, deepening’ CWN - January 23

The year between the extraordinary and ordinary synods of bishops on the family is a time of “reception” and “deepening,” according to a front-page article that appeared in the January 23 edition of...

1.6 million have abandoned homes because of Boko Haram CWN - January 23

An estimated 1.6 million Nigerians have fled their homes in the wake of the advance of the Islamist militant organization Boko Haram, according to the Associated Press. Most have fled to other...

Vatican Museums experts discover fake mummies in collection CWN - January 22

Researchers at the Vatican Museums have discovered that two mummies in the Vatican collection are fakes. Alessia Amenta, the curator of the museum’s collection of Egyptian antiquities, told the...

All Sri Lankans-- not just Catholics-- welcomed papal visit, bishop reports CWN - January 22

The visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis was welcomed not only by Catholics, but by the entire diverse population of the country, Bishop Valence Mendis of Chilaw told Aid to the Church in...

'Absurd' to see conflict between Benedict XVI, Francis, says Archbishop Gänswein CWN - January 22

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who has served as private secretary to both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, has said that it is “absurd” to believe that there are disagreements between the two...

Cardinal Marx speaks on Pope Francis' leadership, Synod debate on marriage CWN - January 22

“This whole pontificate has opened new paths,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich told an American Jesuit publication. Cardinal Marx, a member of the Council of Cardinals, spoke at length about...

Vatican cardinal meets with Vietnamese political leaders CWN - January 22

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, met with Vietnamese government officials as he continued a pastoral visit to the Asian...

French bishop resigns after furor in diocese CWN - January 22

Bishop Jean-Marie Le Vert of Quimper, France, has resigned, the Vatican has announced. A brief announcement on January 22 indicated that Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the French...

Salvation, not healing or teaching, is Christ's greatest gift, Pope tells congregation CWN - January 22

In his homily at a daily Mass at the Vatican on January 22, Pope Francis reminded the congregation that although Jesus can bring relief to those who suffer, the most important reality is that Jesus...

Jordan's King Abdullah backs Pope's statement on respect for religion CWN - January 22

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has praised Pope Francis for his insistence that religious beliefs should be treated with respect, the Fides news service reports. King Abdullah endorsed the Pope’s...

Kenyan bishops remain leery of vaccination campaign CWN - January 22

The Catholic bishops of Kenya remain concerned about a vaccination campaign sponsored by the World Health Organization, despite preliminary tests that seemed to quell fears that the vaccine included...

Republicans drop plans to push pro-life bill in US House of Representatives CWN - January 22

Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives have pulled back from plans to pass legislation that would have banned abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. In a stunning political...

Finnish Lutheran delegation meets with Pontiff CWN - January 22

Welcoming a delegation of Finnish Lutherans to the Vatican on January 22, Pope Francis remarked: “A shared Christian witness is very much needed in the face of the mistrust, insecurity, persecution,...

Papal thanks for Vatican security officials CWN - January 22

Pope Francis met on January 22 with members of the Vatican’s General Inspectorate for Public Security, thanking them for conducting their daily work “with professionalism and dedication.” The...

Top Malaysian prelate shaken by court ruling against Christian use of 'Allah' CWN - January 22

Archbishop Julian Leow Kim of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has expressed keen disappointment at a court ruling that prohibits Christians from using the word “Allah” to identify God, saying that the...

India's bishops appeal to prime minister: save secular society CWN - January 22

India’s Catholic bishops have made an urgent plea to Prime Minister Narendara Modi to uphold the secular character of the country. The bishops, led by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos,...

Catholic parishes in Crimea re-register with Russian authorities CWN - January 22

Heeding Russian law, the Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol, whose territory includes Crimea, has reregistered its parishes with the Russian government. “Today we sent the documents to Moscow and are...

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