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In testimony before abuse commission, Australian prelates split on sacramental seal

Australian prelates faced intense questioning from a royal commission investigating sexual abuse, and gave different responses to questions about the secrecy of sacramental...

South Sudan’s bishops lament war crimes; ‘this famine is man-made’

As famine spreads in South Sudan, the nation’s bishops issued a pastoral message in which they pleaded again for an end to the nation’s civil war and decried war crimes committed by both...

Pope sees urgent need to protect water supply

Pope Francis underlined the importance of access to water, in a February 24 talk to a conference on that topic organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Access to potable water is a basic...

Another Copt murdered; Christians begin to flee Sinai peninsula

Another Coptic Christian has been killed by Islamic militants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula: the 3rd such killing in two days and the 6th in a month. Gunmen burst into the home of Kamel Youssef in...

USCCB: bishop decries Homeland Security’s memos on border security

Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, criticized two memoranda on immigration enforcement and border security issued by the Department of...

Over 200 parishes have closed in German diocese

The Diocese of Essen, Germany, celebrated its sixtieth anniversary on February 23. Since 1957, the number of Catholics has declined from 1.4 million to 791,000, in part because of a decline in...

European ecumenical initiatives to have greater focus on theology, witness

Representatives of the Conference of European Churches—a fellowship of Orthodox and Protestant communities—met with representatives o the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences...

Pro-life cooperation between Orthodox, Catholics in Russia

Orthodox and Catholics in Russia are working together to protect unborn human life, an official of Aid to the Church in Need said in an interview. “Unfortunately, abortion is very prevalent...

Belgian court: religious freedom includes kosher slaughter of animals

A Belgian constitutional court has ruled that the right to religious freedom permits Orthodox Jews to slaughter animals in a kosher manner. After some legislators had sought to take action...

Coptic Christians murdered, Islamic group vows more attacks in Egypt

Two Coptic Christians were shot and killed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on February 22, continuing a series of attacks on Christians in the region. The killings came shortly after the release...

Cardinal Burke leaves Guam after taking testimony in abuse trial

Cardinal Raymond Burke has left Guam, after taking testimony from witnesses in the sex-abuse trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The American cardinal was sent to Guam in his role as chief judge...

Former Vatican bank officials sentenced for financial misconduct

Two former top officials of the Vatican bank have been sentenced to jail terms for violations of Italian financial regulations. Paolo Cipriani, the former executive director of the Institute for...

Another Catholic aid group involved in condom distribution

The Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) has been involved in condom-distribution programs, the Lepanto Institute has found. The Lepanto Institute cites a number of documents in its analysis of...

Pope greets Argentine soccer team

Greeting the Argentine soccer team Villareal CF at the Vatican on February 23, Pope Franis said that soccer, “like other sports, is an image of life and society.” The Pope remarked...

Papal commission on sexual abuse is floundering, members report

Two members of the special papal commission on sexual abuse said that the group is underfunded and does not meet regularly, in testimony before an Australian royal commission on abuse. Kathleen...

Better an atheist than a hypocritical Catholic, Pope says

It is better to be a sincere atheist than a hypocritical Catholic, Pope Francis said in a homily at morning Mass on February 23. Speaking about the day’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus...

Venezuelan cardinal: Church will not join crisis talks until elections scheduled

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino has announced that Catholic bishops will not participate in talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders until elections are scheduled. The talks are...

Leading Russian Orthodox official laments persecution, says ‘Islamic terrorism’ does not exist

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met on February 21 with representative from 11 Arab states. “The...

Action urged on Planned Parenthood funding

Human Life Action, which works closely with the US bishops on pro-life legislation, has called upon pro-life Americans to urge their senators to rescind a Title X funding rule that went into effect...

Border bishops issue statement on immigration

Twenty bishops from Texas and northern Mexico met at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas, and issued a 19-point statement on immigration. In...

Pope Francis: the Torah manifests the ‘paternal and visceral love of God’

Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka presented Pope Francis with a new edition of the Torah, or first five books of the Old Testament. During their meeting, which took place on February 23 in the...

Popular movements call for sanctuary, disruption; blast racism, ‘all forms of human hierarchy’

Participants in the First US Regional Meeting of Popular Movements issued a “message from Modesto” following a four-day meeting in the California city. Cardinal Peter Turkson and two...

Vatican newspaper op-ed cautions against advance end-of-life directives

A palliative care specialist, writing on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano’s February 23 edition, cautioned readers against drafting advance directives for end-of-life...

Vatican calls for adherence to ceasefire in Ukraine

The Vatican’s UN envoy has urged that “all necessary steps should be taken to enforce the ceasefire in Ukraine.” Archbishop Bernardito Auza spoke of the “grave...

Cardinal Coccopalmerio insists: no confusion over Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the author of a new book interpreting Amoris Laetitia, insists that there should be no confusion about the message of the papal document. In an interview with...

Czech, Slovak prelates cite dangers of immigration surge

A flood of immigrants can pose dangers to society, and a surge in Islamic immigration raises special concerns, two prelates from Slovakia and the Czech Republic said at a conference on religion and...

Cardinal Zen fears Vatican will sell out China’s underground Catholics

Cardinal Joseph Zen voiced his fears that the Vatican is “going to make a very bad agreement with China,” in an interview with LifeSite News. The retired Bishop of Hong Kong said that...

Circus troup entertains at papal audience

The Rony Roller circus gave a short performance in St. Peter’s Square at the conclusion of the regular weekly general audience of Pope Francis on February 22. The show included acrobats and...

Jesuit general: all doctrine is subject to discernment

The superior general of the Society of Jesus has said that all Church doctrine must be subject to discernment. In an interview with a Swiss journalist, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal said that the...

Vatican warns against misuse of Pope’s image, Holy See’s symbols

The office of the Vatican’s Secretary of State has issued a statement warning against the misuse of the Pope’s image. Prompted by reporters’ questions as to whether this warning...

Pope Francis reflects on creation and hope

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his February 15 general audience to a text from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Rom. 8:19-27). St....

Pamphlets in Congo’s capital call for destruction of churches, schools

Pamphlets that are being circulated in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are calling for the destruction of Catholic churches, religious communities, and...

San Diego bishop: ‘we must all become disrupters’

In an address to the US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego called for disruption. “President Trump said he was the candidate of...

Egypt: road planned through ancient monastery’s land

The Egyptian government is planning to build a road through land belonging to the Monastery of St. Macarius the Great. The monastery, located between Cairo and Alexandria, was founded around 360,...

Famine in South Sudan; papal appeal for aid

An estimated 100,000 people in South Sudan are on the verge of starvation, and some 4.9 million are in urgent need to assistance, according to international relief agencies. At the conclusion of...

Patriarch calls for Lenten prayer for peace in Iraq

The head of the Iraqi-based Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has called upon the faithful to offer their Lenten prayer and fasting for...

Ghana’s bishops to reconsecrate nation to Sacred Heart

As Ghana prepares to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its independence, the nation’s bishops have announced that they will reconsecrate the nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Ghana...

Migrants flooding into Guatemala, heading for US

Hundreds of migrants are pouring into Guatemala, evidently hoping eventually to reach the US, the Fides news service reports. Since the beginning of this calendar year, more than 1,200 people...

South African bishop: no violence against foreigners, but strengthen border controls

A South African bishop has condemned a rash of violence against foreigners in that country, and warned that a scheduled public demonstration against immigrants is “cause for serious...

Cardinal Desmond Connell, retired Archbishop of Dublin, dead at 90

Cardinal Desmond Connell, the retired Archbishop of Dublin, died on February 20 at the age of 90, after a lengthy illness. Ordained to the priesthood in Dublin in 1951, the future cardinal was...

Australian bishop: I too was victim of clerical abuse

An Australian bishop has revealed that he himself was a victim of sexual abuse. Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta told a royal investigating committee that he was abused by a cleric...

Vatican officials join Egyptian Muslim leaders in conference on combatting extremism

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, travels to Egypt this week to join in a conference at the Al Azhar University on combatting...

Pope Francis discusses duties to migrants, refugees

In an address on migration, Pope Francis discussed how the political community, civil society, and the Church ought to react to the phenomenon of mass migration, especially forced migration. The...

Cardinal Tobin decries populist racism, xenophobia

In an address to the US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark lamented the “dark clouds gathering” around the United States. The...

German Catholics, Lutherans to hold ecumenical festival

The German Bishops’ Conference has announced that Catholics and Lutherans will take part in a major ecumenical festival on September 16 as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation...

Ukrainian Catholic leader recalls Cardinal Slipyj’s heroism

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has written a letter paying tribute to his predecessor, Cardinal Josyf Slipyj (1892-1984), on the 125th...

California bishop praises President Trump’s travel ban

Stating that “I am not against refugees, since I was one myself,” a Chaldean Catholic bishop who ministers in California defended President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travel...

Parishes looted, abandoned in Congo

Bishop Félicien Mwanama Galumbulula of Luiza recently spoke with the Fides news agency about the “unimaginable atrocities against peaceful citizens” in the Democratic Republic of...

Pope meets with parish children, charity assistants

During his February 19 visit to a parish in suburban Rome, Pope Francis answered questions from children and spoke with Caritas assistants. The Pope addressed questions about the papacy, his...

Vancouver archbishop sees ‘lethal crisis’ in drug overdoses

Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver has called attention to “lethal crisis of drug overdoses,” urging Catholic pastors to respond to the problem. The archbishop cited a government...

Prominent French cleric under investigation for abuse

A prominent French priest and Vatican consultant is being investigated on sex-abuse charges by a Church tribunal, the French daily La Croix reports. Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a therapist with an...

French law requires pro-life web sites ‘openly state’ opposition to abortion

Under a new French law, approved last week by the National Assembly, pro-life activists could face a two-year jail sentence if they operate web sites that do not “openly state who they are,...

Rebel troops destroy Catholic seminary in Democratic Republic of Congo

Armed men assaulted a Catholic seminary in Kananga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on February 18, thoroughly ransacking the building before they were driven off by government...

Syrian Orthodox Church weighs special synod to address Patriarch’s gesture of respect for Qu’ran

The Syrian Orthodox Church may convene a special synod session to address tensions that erupted after Patriarch Ignatius Ephem II raised a copy of the Qu’ran, in a gesture of reverence, during...

Norma McCorvey dies: plaintiff in Roe v. Wade case, later a pro-life activist

Norma McCorvey who was “Jane Roe” in the Roe v. Wade case, but later became a commited Christian and pro-life activist, died in Texas on February 18 at the age of 69. At first an...

Vatican froze over $2 million in suspicious transactions last year

Vatican financial authorities froze more than €2 million ($2.125 million) in funds last year, as part of the continuing crackdown on suspicious financial transactions. Gian Pietro Milano,...

Cardinal Burke: never asked for resignation of Knights of Malta chancellor

Cardinal Raymond Burke has flatly denied a claim that he asked for the resignation of Albert von Boeselager as chancellor of the Knights of Malta. The cardinal told the National Catholic Register...

House hearing on religious liberty in US

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing on the state of religious liberty in America. Four people offered testimony at the February...

Pope Francis: praying for evildoers is ‘Christian path to holiness’

Pope Francis visited Castelverde di Lunghezza, a suburb a dozen miles from the center of Rome, and made a pastoral visit to the Church of St. María Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, named after...

Pope prays for victims of violence in Congo, Pakistan, Iraq

Following the recitation of the Angelus on February 19, Pope Francis asked those gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kasai-Central...

Pope Francis: respond to evil with goodness, love family members who are enemies

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 5:43-58), Pope Francis devoted his February 19 Angelus address to the Christian response to evil. “Jesus does not ask his disciples to...

Pope to visit Rome’s Anglican church

Pope Francis will visit All Saints’ Anglican Church in Rome on February 26. The visit is part of the church’s commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the first Anglican worship...

Evangelize with renewed zeal, Pope tells Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Pope Francis received members of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception on February 18 in the midst of their three-week general chapter in Rome. The Marians—officially known as...

USCCB, CRS urge Secretary Tillerson to support Green Climate Fund, clean-energy investments

Two bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, have called upon Secretary of State Rex Tillerson...

Egyptian Copt gunned down; Islamic militants suspected

A Coptic schoolteacher was shot and killed in Egypt’s Sinai region on February 16, and officials indicated that a local affiliate of the Islamic State was suspected of orchestrating the...

Denver archdiocese issues caution on blogger’s ‘visions’

The Denver archdiocese has issued a new caution about the work of a blogger who claims to receive messages from the Virgin Mary. The archdiocese released a statement saying that the predictions...

Michael Novak, influential Catholic author and teacher, dead at 83

Michael Novak, the American Catholic author, teacher, and political figure, on February 17 at the age of 83 after a battle with cancer. In his most influential work, The Spirit of Democratic...

Welcome cultural changes, diversity, Pope urges Roman university students

“Migrations are not a danger, but a challenge to grow,” Pope Francis said in a February 17 meeting with students at Roma Tre University. During a visit to the Roman institution, also...

Pope lashes out at ‘corrupt’ global system, intolerance of foreigners

Pope Francis said that “no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist,” in a message to a California conference of popular movements. “Christian terrorism does not exist,...

Texas bishop: Trump’s executive order on refugees is ‘draconian’

In a letter read recently at all Sunday Masses in the Diocese of Fort Worth, Bishop Michael Olson criticized President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees. The prelate said that the...

Pope receives Special Olympics athletes, speaks of joy of sports

Pope Francis received a group of participants in the Special Olympics World Winter Games and spoke about the joy of athletics. “In a way, at the heart of all sporting activity is joy: the...

Pope urges prayer for peace, laments arms trafficking

In his February 16 weekday Mass homily at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis preached on the tragedy of war and the importance of prayer and work for peace. “In today’s world there...

Iraqi Christian refugees call for quicker resettlement

Demanding speedier resettlement, Iraqi Christian refugees took part in a protest outside a UN office in Beirut on February 13. “We understand the frustration of the refugees that are living...

Trump administration keeps Obama’s LGBT envoy

The Trump administration has decided not to eliminate the position of Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, a position created by the Obama administration in 2015. Randy Berry, the...

USCCB committee chairmen call on President Trump to protect religious liberty

Four bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called upon President Donald Trump to enact religious-liberty protections. A draft executive order has...

Venezuelan leftists disrupt Mass, denounce Church involvement in political crisis

Leftists disrupted Mass at a Catholic church in Caracas, Venezuela on February 11, as tensions escalated between the Catholic hierarchy and supporters of the socialist government. Demonstrators...

Chaldean patriarchate rejects calls for revenge against ISIS, made by militia groups

A militia leader in Iraq who has called for revenge against the Islamic State has no right to “make such statements involving Christians” and “does not represent them in any...

Cardinal Burke asked chancellor of Knights of Malta to resign, order’s interim leader says

The new acting head of the Knights of Malta has said that it was Cardinal Burke, not the order’s ousted grand master, who asked for the resignation of the chancellor, Albrecht von...

Church in Australia has paid over $200 million to sex-abuse victims

The Catholic Church in Australia has paid about $213 million in compensation to sex-abuse victims since 1980, a royal commission has reported. The commissions said that more than 3,000 people...

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an...

Members of European Parliament condemn Trump’s reinstatement of Mexico City policy

A large majority of members of the European Parliament have supported an amendment condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to ban the use of federal funds to promote abortion...

Pope recalls Saints Cyril and Methodius

Following his February 15 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that the previous day was the liturgical memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius, apostles of the Slavs and co-patrons of...

EU bishops’ commission: integrate migrants into a ‘cohesive and welcoming’ society

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), joined by Caritas Europa and eight other Christian organizations, has called upon EU policymakers to give greater...

South Sudan: bishop demands justice after nun’s murder

Nine months after a Slovak missionary nun was slain in South Sudan, a bishop has demanded information from the government. “We demand [for] justice,” said Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe...

British prelate: ‘safely reduce’ prison population

Responding to a speech on prisons by a government official, the English bishops’ liaison to prisons called for a reduction in the prison population. “Prisons play an important role in...

Arab bishops discuss migration, other challenges

The Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions has concluded a three-day meeting in Jordan. According to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the prelates heard “poignant...

Historic cathedral transferred back to Russian Orthodox Church

A century after the Bolshevik Revolution, officials in Saint Petersburg, Russia, have returned St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. The church, built in 1858 in what was...

Syrian Orthodox bishops assail Patriarch for reverencing Qu’ran

Six bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church have accused their Patriarch Ignatius Ephem II of “betrayal of the faith,” after the Patriarch made a gesture of respect for the Qu’ran...

Cardinal suggests joint commission to study historical Catholic-Orthodox disputes in Ukraine

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity has suggested the creation of a joint commission to resolve historical disputes between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the...

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