Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope will celebrate contemporary martyrs

Pope Francis will preside at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 to honor modern martyrs. The ceremony will take place on Easter Saturday at the basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome. The event has...

As unrest spreads, Venezuelan bishops warn government losing authority

“Civil and peaceful protest is not a crime; it is a right!” The Catholic bishops of Venezuela issued that statement as anti-government protests spread across the country. The bishops...

Cardinal Sarah sees dangers to Church unity

Cardinal Robert Sarah spoke of the “grave risk of fragmentation of the Church” in an interview with the charitable group Aid to the Church in Need. Cardinal Sarah said that Church...

Pope sends encouragement to Coptic leader

In a message of Easter greetings to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis said that “Christians are called to proclaim the Risen One together.” The Pope’s message...

No Mass in Irish diocese for a day

In the Diocese of Limerick, the faithful will have no opportunity to attend Mass next Tuesday, April 25. The priests of the Limerick diocese will gather for a “formation gathering”...

At UN, Vatican envoy decries ‘new lows of barbarism’ in Middle East

The Vatican’s permanent representative at UN headquarters in New York has repeated a plea for “religious leaders to speak out forcefully” against the use of religion as an...

India: man convicted in rape of nun re-arrested, 11 years after escape

A Hindu man who was convicted in the rape of a Catholic nun in 1998 has been arrested, years after his escape from prison. Pidya Singadia was one of 18 men convicted of the gang-rape of nuns, in...

Canadian court: Saskatchewan forbidden to fund non-Catholic students at Catholic schools

A court in Saskatchewan has ruled that the govenrment cannot pay tuition for non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools. Judge Donald Layh’s decision, released on April 20, said that...

Transgender plaintiff sues Catholic hospital for refusing to perform sex-reassignment surgery

A California woman has filed suit against a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a sex-change operation. The plaintiff, Evan Michael Minton—who now identifies herself as male, and is...

Jesuit priest feared kidnap victim in Nigeria

A Jesuit priest has apparently been kidnapped in Nigeria, the Fides news service reports. Father Samuel Okwuidegbe was abducted, along with two other people, as they traveled along a road from...

Santa Fe archdiocese backs tax on soft drinks

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexcio, has given its approval to a legislative proposal that would place a tax on soft drinks, with the proceeds to be used for early-childhood...

Vatican Museums exhibit shows restoration in progress

The Vatican Museums have inaugurated a new exhibit, introducing visitors to the process of restoring fine works of art. The “Museums at Work” exhibit, on display in the Vatican...

Israeli president visits Catholic Patriarch to offer Easter greetings

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited the offices of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem on April 19, to offer his Easter greetings to the country’s Christians. Archbishop...

Al Azhar University rejects charges of extremism

Al Azhar University, which will host Pope Francis later this month, has rejected charges by Egyptian politicians that the school tolerates Islamic extremism. The Supreme Council of Al...

Ugandan army ends manhunt for Joseph Kony, guerrilla leader

Uganda’s military leaders have ended a long quest to capture Joseph Kony, the self-styled leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted by international tribunals for...

Marist Brothers receive Pope’s encouragement

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to the Marist Brothers on the bicentenary of their order. “You belong to a large rich family of witnesses who have known how to donate their...

Trump plans meeting with Pope in May

US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to meet with Pope Francis in May, when the American leader will be traveling to Italy to participate in a meeting of G7 industrial...

Fatima seers to be canonized May 13

Pope Francis will preside at the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13 during his visit to Fatima, Portugal, the Vatican has confirmed. At an ordinary consistory on April 20, the Pope approved plans for the canonization of 35 people, including two of the three young children who witnessed the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima. Both died in their youth, not long after...

Pakistan: Christian-Muslim campaign for peace

The Pakistani bishops’ conference and a Muslim organization have begun a joint campaign for peace that will last through the Easter season. The campaign’s symbol is an olive branch,...

Cardinal Tagle: ‘get in touch with a migrant’

The president of president of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, called upon Catholics and other Christians to “get in touch with a...

EU bishops’ commission backs European Solidarity Corps

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) has lent its support to the European Solidarity Corps, a new initiative that fosters volunteering among the EU’s young...

USCCB: Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would protect religious liberty

Three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for support of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881, S.811). The...

Shooting outside Catholic Charities building in California; 3 dead

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is great], a man shot and killed three persons in Fresno on April 18. One of the shootings took place outside a Catholic Charities building. The suspect...

Egyptian bishop: we have no need of Western protection

Following a surge of attacks on Egypt’s Christians, a Coptic Catholic bishop said that there is no need for Western nations to come to their defense. “If there were oppression on the...

Bill O’Reilly met Pope just before losing slot on Fox network

Bill O’Reilly met Pope Francis on April 19, just hours before the announcement that the Fox News network was severing its ties with the controversial television host. O’Reilly was...

French Cardinal Barbarin defends handling of abuse complaints

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, defended his handling of sex-abuse complaints in comments to the archdiocesan clergy during the Chrism Mass. “Today, no priest identified as the...

Filipino archbishop chastises cafeteria Catholics, urges readiness to suffer for faith

The president of the Filipino bishops’ conference criticized Catholics who reject Church moral teachings, in his Easter message. Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said:...

Dublin archbishop decried ‘judgmental’ attitudes in Good Friday sermon

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, criticized the “judgmental” attitude of the Catholic Church in remarks during the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. “How is...

Indonesia: Christian government defeated in bid for re-election

In Indonesia, a Christian regional governor who had been accused of blasphemy has apparently been defeated in his bid for re-election. The incumbent governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama...

Islamic terrorists attack ancient Orthodox monastery in Egypt

One police officer was killed, and four men wounded, when Islamic terrorists attacked the ancient Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai on April 18. The exchange of gunfire...

No papal visit to Brazil this year, Vatican discloses

Pope Francis has informed Brazil’s President Michel Temer that he cannot visit the South American country this year, because of an already crowded schedule. The Vatican has confirmed that...

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to join Pope in visit to Egypt

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew II of Constantinople will join Pope Francis during his visit to Egypt later this month. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad el Tayyib, the head of Al Azhar University, extended...

Pope Francis: the Resurrection is historical reality

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on hope, Pope Francis devoted his April 19 address to “the risen Christ, our hope.” “In these joyful days of Easter, our...

Arson attack on Nepal’s cathedral

Unknown arsonists attacked Assumption Cathedral in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 18, destroying a car and two motorbikes and damaging the priests’ residence and part of the...

UK bishop welcomes global decline in executions

The number of executions worldwide declined from 1,634 in 2015 to 1,032 in 2016—a development welcomed by Bishop Declan Lang, the English bishops’ lead bishop for international...

New book interprets Amoris Laetitia in continuity with previous popes

Three professors at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome—Father Jose Granados, Father Juan Jose Perez-Soba, Stephan Kampowski—have written a...

USCCB president’s Easter message

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in his Easter message that “Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest...

Thousands entered Church in US at Easter

About one-third of the dioceses in the United States have reported the numbers of catechumens and candidates who were intending to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil. The highest figures were...

Czech bishop raps government’s reluctance to accept Chinese Christian refugees

A bishop in the Czech Republic has criticized his country’s government for not granting asylum to a group of Chinese Christians. The Chinese migrants applied for asylum in the Czech...

Posters in Rome laud Pope Francis as hero of tolerance

Posters thanking Pope Francis for his promotion of tolerance went up on walls around the city of Rome last week. The posters, created by the Global Tolerance Initiative, were in sharp contrast to...

Islam is ‘religion of the sword,’ Jesuit scholar tells Vatican newspaper

In an interview published by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, an Egyptian Jesuit has warned that the dominant strain of Islam is “a religion of the sword.” Father...

Pope’s delegate orders former head of Knights of Malta not to attend election of new leader

The former grand master of the Knights of Malta has been directed by the Vatican not to travel to Rome for the election of the Order’s new leader on April 29. Fra’ Matthew Festing,...

Pakistani Islamic leader: execute accused blasphemers, or lynchings are inevitable

An Islamic leader in Pakistan is calling for the prompt execution of Asia Bibi, claiming that the state’s failure to punish her alleged blasphemy is the cause of the lynching of another man...

Cardinal Lehmann’s successor named

Pope Francis has named Father Peter Kohlgraf, a 50-year-old priest of the Archdiocese of Cologne, as bishop of Mainz. Father Kohlgraf succeeds Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who served as Mainz’s...

USCCB publishes World Refugee Day toolkit

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a 10-page World Refugee Day 2017 “toolkit” that includes a prayer, advocacy suggestions, sample text for social media, and...

Canadian bishops issue message for nation’s 150th anniversary

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a message for the 150th anniversary of the nation’s independence on July 1. “As the festivities of Canada Day...

Moscow patriarch’s Easter message

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, said in his Easter message that “the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the main content of the Christian...

Chinese police take another ‘underground’ bishop into custody

As Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin was about to celebrate his first Paschal Triduum as bishop of Wenzhou, Chinese police took him into custody. The prelate—like Bishop Vincent Guo Xijn on Mindon,...

Korean bishop downplays threat of war

The president of the South Korean bishops’ National Justice and Peace Commission downplayed the threat of war between the US and North Korea. “I do not think there will be a military...

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU emphasis on resilience

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Pax Christi International, and the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions have issued a statement...

Tombs of archbishops of Canterbury found under museum

The tombs of five archbishops of Canterbury have been discovered by workers renovating a museum in London. The tombs were discovered under the foundation of the Garden Museum, which is adjacent...

Irish church desecrated; tabernacle stolen

The tabernacle has been stolen from a Catholic church in Longford, Ireland. The desecration of St. Michael’s church was discovered on Easter Sunday morning. The robbers had damaged the...

Vatican tribunal for Guam archbishop hears more testimony in California

A Vatican tribunal investigating charges of sexual abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, heard testimony in San Francisco in March, Pacific Daily News has reported. Cardinal...

Chinese bishop concelebrates with Beijing-appointed prelate

A Chinese bishop who spent months under house arrest concelebrated Easter Mass with a bishop appointed by the Beijing regime in defiance of Rome, in a show of strength for the government-backed...

French presidential candidate Le Pen: ‘I am angry with the Church’

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told the daily La Croix: “I am angry with the Church because I think it interferes with everything except what it should really be concerned...

Turkey’s President Erdogan drops plan to pray at Hagia Sophia?

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan apparently did not carry through with his announced plan to pray at the Hagia Sophia on April 14. The Turkish leader is appealing to Muslims in his campaign...

Proclaim the Resurrection, Pope exhorts faithful

At a midday public audience on Easter Monday, April 17, Pope Francis said that all Christians share the task that was given by angels to the women who visited Jesus’ empty tomb: “Go...

Shrine of Renunciation to open in Assisi

Pope Francis has written a letter to Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi to mark the May 20 inauguration of the Shrine of Renunciation at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in...

Pope preaches off-the-cuff Easter Sunday homily

Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square and delivered an extemporaneous homily. “The Church never ceases to say, faced with our defeats, our closed...

Vatican newspaper: ‘the Milky Way is lost’

On Easter Sunday, the Vatican newspaper published an essay on light pollution by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory. Citing Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2012 Easter...

Good Friday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica: the cross, the only hope of the world

Pope Francis presided at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter’s Basilic on Good Friday. As is customary, the preacher of the papal household, Father Raniero...

Pope Emeritus Benedict turns 90

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated his 90th birthday on Easter Sunday, April 16. In a lengthy pre-birthday interview with EWTN, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary since...

Pope Francis’s Easter Vigil Mass homily: full text, link to video

“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb” (Mt 28:1). We can picture them as they went on their way… They walked like people going to a cemetery, with uncertain and weary steps, like those who find it hard to believe that this is how it all ended. We can picture their faces, pale and tearful. And their...

Pope Francis’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (To the City and the World): full text

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter! Today, throughout the world, the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” —“He is truly risen, as he said!” The ancient feast of Passover, the commemoration of the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery, here finds fulfilment. By his resurrection, Jesus Christ has...

Leftist mob assaults Venezuelan archbishop at Mass

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas was roughed up by leftists who burst into the basilica of Santa Teresa on Wednesday of Holy Week. The violent protesters, supporters of President Nicolas...

Chicago archdiocese agrees to pay another $3.15 million to McCormack victims

The Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $3.15 million to settle the latest in a series of lawsuits stemming from sexual abuse by the laicized priest Daniel McCormack. The archdiocese has now...

Cardinal Marx laments persecution of Christians in Muslim nations

Speaking during the via crucis procession in Munich on Good Friday, Cardinal Reinhard Marx lamented the persecution of Christians, particularly “in many nations that have been shaped by...

Korean Christian body decries Trump nuclear-carrier decision

The National Council of Churches in Korea, a Protestant and Orthodox ecumenical body in South Korea, expressed grave concern about the Trump administration’s decision to send a nuclear carrier...

USCCB president expresses solidarity with persecuted Copts

Following the recent attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt, the president of the US bishops’ conference expressed his “deepest sadness,” prayers, and condolences. Echoing Pope...

Nigerian bishop: Boko Haram is demonic, must be fought spiritually

The Nigerian jihadist organization Boko Haram is making increasing use of child suicide bombers, according to a new UNICEF report. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, where the terrorist...

Pope Francis’ Via Crucis at the Colosseum: full text of meditations

The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has released the meditations for the Way of the Cross at which Pope Francis will preside. The Way of the Cross takes place on...

EWTN, America editor named consulters to Vatican body

Pope Francis has appointed 13 consulters to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. Three of the 13 consulters, who will serve in an advisory capacity, are Americans. Michael Warsaw...

Forgive sinners, stop warmakers, Pope says in new interview

In a new interview, Pope Francis underlined the importance of offering forgiveness, and said that war is the most evident manifestation of sin in today’s world. The interview with the Italian daily...

Cause opened for beatification of French priest slain at altar last year

The Archdiocese of Rouen has opened a formal cause for the beatification of Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed by Islamic terrorists last July while he was celebrating Mass in the church of St....

Palestinian leader hopes papal visit to Egypt will strengthen moderate Muslims

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has written to Pope Francis, offering his best wishes that the Pope’s visit to Egypt later this month will strengthen moderate Muslims. Abbas said that...

USCCB calls for renewed efforts for Syrian peace

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace,...

Patriarch calls for Catholic-Orthodox cooperation to decrease East-West conflict

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow received Italian President Sergio Mattarella on April 12 and said that “the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church can and should do everything to make the...

2 Franciscan friars minister in area under ISIS control

Two of the 15 Franciscan friars who minister in Syria do so in territory controlled by the Islamic State. As a condition for staying with the families, ISIS imposed upon the friars the condition...

Cardinal pays tribute to late Italian priest

In a front-page article in the April 13 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia paid tribute to Father Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959) as one of the great Italian...

Pope to visit Pius VI’s birthplace and Bologna

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will visit Cesena, the birthplace of Pope Pius VI (1717-1799), on October 1 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his birth. Cesena,...

Pope Francis, at Chrism Mass, preaches on the joys of the Gospel

Pope Francis celebrated the Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday morning and preached on the joy of the Gospel. “Good news,” he said. “A single word —Gospel —that, even as it is spoken, becomes truth, brimming with joy and mercy. We should never attempt to separate these three graces of the Gospel: its truth, which is non-negotiable; its...

Jailed former head of St. Luke Institute agrees to mental-health counseling

A laicized New Hampshire priest, the former chancellor of the Manchester diocese, has agreed to undergo mental-health counseling, as a condition for his release from prison, where he is completing a...

Italian bishops’ spokesman says West responsible for refugees’ plight

Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, has said that Western nations—and Italy in particular—have an obligation to accept refugees from...

Coptic Catholic leader sees bombings as test for Egyptian Catholics

The Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic Orthodox churches were “a test for the faith of Egypt’s Christians,” the head of the country’s Catholic Copts told the Fides news...

Papal liturgy will honor ‘New Martyrs’

Pope Francis will preside on April 22 at a special Liturgy of the Word to honor the “new martyrs” of the past century, the Vatican has announced. The ceremony, organized by the...

Spanish priest cleared of abuse; Pope Francis had backed accuser

A Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, has been cleared of sex-abuse charges, in a case that saw Pope Francis intervene on behalf of the priest’s accuser. David Ramirez...

New Vatican stamps for 90th birthday of Benedict XVI, 100th anniversary of Fatima apparitions

The Vatican will issue new stamps in May to commemorate the 90th birthday of Pope-emeritus Benedict and the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. The stamp honoring Benedict XVI, which...

Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel to close, as her religious order shrinks

The National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, will be closed at the end of this calendar year, its administrators have announced. The shrine, which contains relics of...

Top Anglican leaders issue statement lamenting Reformation break in Christian unity

Two leading prelates of the Church of England have issued a statement calling upon the faithful to acknowledge “the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church” by...

Cardinal Burke reveals Pope has not answered request for a meeting

Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he has asked for, but has not yet been granted, an audience with Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke, who has asked the Holy Father to clarify Amoris Laetitia,...

‘Earthly hopes fall down before the Cross,’ Pope tells weekly audience

“Jesus has brought into the world a new hope,” Pope Francis said at his general audience on April 12, contrasting Christian hope with other sorts of hope. The Holy Father reminded his audience that...

2018 Synod needs input from all young people, not just Catholics, cardinal says

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldesseri, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, says that Pope Francis wants input from all of the world’s young people—not just Catholics—in...

South Sudan: bishop begs leaders to stop, cites civilian suffering

A Catholic bishop in South Sudan is pleading with warring leaders to end violence, especially violence against civilians. Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, the president of the...

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