Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Italian cardinal: ‘only a blind man’ denies confusion over Amoris Laetita

An Italian cardinal has argued that “only a blind man could deny that there’s great confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity in the Church” because of Amoris Laetitia. Cardinal...

Pope Francis: the Church, like John the Baptist, proclaims Christ

During his January 15 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 1:29-34) and on the baptism of Christ. Christ’s baptism “is a decisive historical...

Papal ghostwriter apparently copied his own work into Amoris Laetitia

Sections of Amoris Laetitia are copied from an essay written more than 20 years ago by a close associate of Pope Francis, a Catholic University professor has revealed. Writing in Crux, Michael...

Vatican ‘foreign minister’ outlines Pope’s top priorities in world affairs

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, outlined the top foreign-policy priorities of Pope Francis in an interview with the National Catholic...

Pope visits Roman parish, distinguishes witness from proselytism

On the afternoon of January 15, Pope Francis made a pastoral visit to the Chiesa di Santa Maria a Setteville, a parish built in 1973 on the outskirts of Rome. The Pope spent 10 minutes visiting...

St. John Paul’s warnings about capitalism have come to pass, Pope Francis tells business leaders

Pope Francis received members of the Global Foundation on January 14 and called upon business leaders to imitate St. Teresa of Calcutta by overcoming indifference to the poor. The Global...

Archbishop of Canterbury to apologize for violence of Protestant Reformation

The Archbishop of Canterbury will issue a statement this week apologizing for the volence that followed the Protestant Reformation. Dr. Justin Welby, who has sought to strengthen ties with the...

Italian police identify siblings arrested in cyberattack on Vatican

Italian police have identified a brother and sister who were arrested last week in connection with a hacking attack on the Vatican and on Italian government officies. Giulio and Mario Occhionero,...

Palestinian president meets with Pope

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis on January 14 as he visited Rome for the opening of a new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See. Abbas also met with Cardinal Pietro...

Show mercy to those most in need, Cardinal Tagle says at international congress

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila encouraged the faithful to imitate Christ by showing mercy to those in need, in his homily at the opening Mass for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy. The...

Pope recalls plight of child migrants, example of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Following his January 15 Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled that the day was the World Day of Migrants and Refugees and recalled the theme of his message for the day, “Child Migrants, the...

Palestinians being stripped of land, rights, American bishop reports

An American bishop told Vatican Radio that “the tension is palpable” in the Holy Land as prospects for a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine founder. Bishop Oscar Cantu of...

Papal condolences after air disaster in Kyrgysztan

Pope Francis has sent his condolences to the victims of an airplane crash in Bishkek, Kyrgysztan. A cargo plane crashed in a residential neighborhood of the capital city on January 16, killing...

Guinea’s president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received President Alpha Condé of Guinea in a January 16 audience. Condé also met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Archbishop...

+Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, 94

Cardinal Gilberto Agustoni, the prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, died on January 13 at the age of 94. Born in 1922 in Switzerland, the prelate was ordained a priest of the Diocese of...

Palestinian President Abbas to meet Pope, open embassy to Holy See

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with Pope Francis on January 14, during a visit to Rome for the opening of a new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See. The Palestinian embassy,...

Bishops of Malta: divorced/remarried should receive Communion if ‘at peace with God’

The Catholic bishops of Malta, in guidelines for the implementation of Amoris Laetitia, have said that those who are divorced and remarried should receive Communion if, after a careful consideration...

Missing priest found dead in Mexico

A Mexican Catholic priest who had been missing since January 3 was found dead on January 12. Police in the state of Coalhuila confirmed that they had discovered the boy of Father Joaquin...

Knights of Malta: chancellor’s removal not solely related to condom program

A spokesman for the Order of Malta has said that the dismisal of the group’s former chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager, was not solely related to his involvement in a condom-distribution...

Russian cathedral, converted to ‘museum of atheism,’ returning to religious use

A Russian Orthodox cathedral that was converted to a “Museum of Atheism” under the Communist regime will be restored to use as a cathedral. As a museum, St. Isaac’s Cathedral in...

Ancient Roman church offers overnight shelter to homeless during cold weather

The church of San Callisto, in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, has been opened to the homeless people of Rome as an overnight shelter during a cold snpa. Bishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal...

Paul Ehrlich, prophet of ‘overpopulation’ doom, invited to speak at Vatican conference

Paul Ehrlich, who predicted the near-extinction of the human race through overpopulation in his 1968 best-seller, The Population Bomb, has been invited to speak at a Vatican conference on...

Papal thanks for Vatican security officials

Pope Francis met on January 13 with officials of the Vatican’s security service, thanking them for their service. “I know that you run risks,” the Pope said to members of the...

Vatican releases preparatory document for next Synod of Bishops

The Holy See Press Office has released the preparatory document for the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October 2018. The synod’s theme is “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” In an open letter to the world’s young people, introducing the Synod topic, Pope Francis urges them to hear God’s call...

Pope Francis calls on immigrants in US to turn to Mary

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles celebrated Mass at Dolores Mission Church on January 12 in commemoration of National Migration Week. Toward the end of the Mass, a video message from...

Paris cardinal, other religious leaders meet with French president

French President François Hollande met recently with Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim leaders to discuss terrorism and radical Islam. The president welcomed the “manner in...

Priest alleges Florida diocese retaliated after he cooperated with abuse investigation

A priest who actively assisted police as they investigated child pornography allegations against a fellow priest has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Palm Beach. After a Sunday Mass in...

Report ranks persecution of Christians by country

Open Doors, an organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians, has published its 25th annual ranking of persecution of Christians by country. The 2017 list of 50 countries...

Panama World Youth Day will be held early in 2019

The next international celebration of World Youth Day will be held in Panama in early 2019, Cardinal Kevin Farrell has announced. The prefect of the new Vatican dicastery for Laity, Family, and...

New Vatican dicastery to launch campaign for awareness of vulnerable migrant children

The Vatican’s newly formed dicastery for Integral Human Development will launch a media campaign on January 15, aimed to raise public awareness of the problems and dangers facing migrant...

Irish bishops will discuss proposal for married priests during ad limina visits

The Catholic bishops of Ireland, who are making their ad limina visits to Rome in January, will speak with Vatican officials about a proposal to allow a return to ministry by clerics who left the...

In France, 5% of population attends Mass, but over 50% identifies as Catholic

Just 5% of the French population attends Mass on a regular weekly basis, but 53% of the country’s people still identify themselves as Catholics, according to an extensive new survey undertaken...

Fetal-tissue firm drops suit against undercover-video producers

A California firm that partnered with Planned Parenthood to market fetal tissues has dropped a lawsuit against the pro-life group that produced undercover videos about the...

Sicilian chapel converted to synagogue on anniversary of expulsion of Jews

Archbishop Corrado Lorefice of Palermo has agreed to donate a 15th-century chapel in the city’s Jewish quarter to be used as a synagogue. The transfer of the little chapel of Santa Maria...

Vatican McDonald’s franchise agrees to feed homeless

The controversial new McDonald’s franchise opened near St. Peter’s Square has agreed to provide 1,000 free meals weekly for the homeless people of Rome. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski,...

Ousted leader appeals disciplinary action by Knights of Malta

The German man who was ousted as chancellor of the Knights of Malta has appealed the move, adding another layer of complexity to the controversy within the ancient order. Albrecht von Boeselager,...

Syrian prelate urges West to end sanctions and support for rebels

Syria’s leading Catholic prelate is calling on Western nations to end their sanctions against the Syrian government and their support for rebel factions. Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignatius...

Vatican computers hacked in major international scheme

Italian police have uncovered a major international computer-hacking operation that compromised private communications at the Vatican. Police in Rome announced the arrest of two engineers who are...

Vatican sought to stop Armenian genocide, new research shows

A new book based on research in the Vatican’s secret archives shows that the Vatican’s representative in Turkey took extraordinary measures to stop the genocidal campaign against...

Bishop opposes death sentence for Dylann Roof, convicted of mass killings at South Carolina church

Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, South Carolina has issued a statement regretting the decision of a jury to condemn mass killer Dylann Roof to death. Roof, who was convicted of killing...

Pope recalls Polish saint, warns against fraudulent charges to papal audiences

At the conclusion of his January 11 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to St. Albert Chmielowski, a Polish Third Order Franciscan who died on Christmas Day in 1916. In 1949, the future...

40% of recent sainthood causes are from Italy

40% of the sainthood causes since 2006 have come from Italy, Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said on January 9. Cardinal Amato referred to the 351...

Restoration campaign for famed Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio

The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro has launched a fundraising campaign to repair the famed statue of Christ the Redeemer. “Christ the Redeemer, with his open arms, is the greatest showcase...

USCCB, CRS: pass legislation on human trafficking and supply chains

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have asked the faithful to urge lawmakers to support legislation addressing human trafficking and business supply...

Russian Orthodox leader grateful for ‘resurrection of faith’ since Communism’s fall

In his Christmas message, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow reflected on the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the “resurrection of faith” in Russia since the collapse of...

Cardinal Nichols urges British government to welcome refugees

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster renewed his call to the British government to welcome refugees, especially from Iraq. “All refugees should be offered assistance,” his...

Top 10 biblical archaeology discoveries of past year

Christianity Today recently published a list of the top 10 biblical archaeology discoveries of 2016. Among them are the unsealing of Christ’s tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and...

Pope raps choice of abortion to preserve good looks

During his public audience on January 11, Pope Francis decried the choice of a woman to procure an abrtion in order to preserve her figure. In speaking about the pursuit of superficial goals such...

Over 800 dead since September in tribal violence in Nigeria

Tribal violence in the Nigerian state of Kaduna has caused over 800 deaths since September, Bishop Joseph Danlami Bagobiri of Kafanchan reports; move than 1,400 homes and 12 churches have been...

Dominican prelate pleads for government action against crime wave

Bishop Gregorio Nicanor Pena Rodriguez, the president of the episcopal conference in the Dominican Republic, has appealed to the country’s government for action against crime. The bishop...

Pope’s special prayer intention for January 2017

The Vatican has released a video in which Pope Francis sets forth his special prayer intention for January 2017, for the cause of full Christian unity. Beginning in January, the Vatican is using...

Boston archdiocese to convert sacramental records to digital form

The Archdiocese of Boston has announced plans to covert parish sacramental records into digital form. Parish records dating back to 1789 will be digitized, in a program that is being undertaken...

Filipino government to provide free contraceptives for the poor

The government of the Philippines will provide free contraceptives to 6 million poor women, in a drive to ensure “zero unmet need for family planning.” President Rodrigo Duterte has...

Vatican: investigation of Knights of Malta is legitimate

A Vatican committee set up to investigate a dispute within the Knights of Malta will proceed with its work, despite the Order’s resistance, the Catholic News Service (CNS) reports. The...

French presidential candidate Le Pen criticizes rival Fillon for emphasizing Catholic faith

Maxine Le Pen, the presidential candidate of France’s populist National Front, has assailed her leading rival, Francois Fillon, for making frequent references to his Catholic faith during the...

Catholic schools cannot oppose same-sex marriage, says UK government official

Dame Louise Casey, the “integration czar” for the British government, has stated that “it is not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage.” Dame...

Cold snap killing vulnerable children in Sudan

An unusual pattern of cold weather has caused the death of malnourished refugee children in Sudan and endangered many others, relief officials report. Icy cold in the region of Jebel Marra, in...

St. Louis Archbishop Carlson rips proposal for abortion ‘sanctuary city,’ says Church would not comply

Archbishop Robert Carlson has spoken out strongly against proposed legislation that would make St. Louis a “sanctuary city” for abortion, and vowed that the archdiocese will not comply...

In Ethiopia, Church works against genital mutilation

A commission of the Eastern-rite Ethiopian Catholic Church recently held a three-day conference with school leaders and teachers to help them counter the practice of female genital mutilation. In...

Egypt: Muslim leader visits Coptic cathedral

Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, extended Christmas greetings to the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church during a recent visit to his cathedral. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria...

Pope Francis reflects on ‘false hopes and worldly idols’

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his January 11 general audience to the “false hope of idols.” “The Scriptures...

Church in Nepal dedicates 2017 to the family

Bishop Paul Simick, the apostolic vicar of Nepal, has dedicated the year 2017 to strengthening the family. The Himalayan nation of 29 million was a Hindu kingdom until 2006 and has few Christians...

Belarus may ban religious symbols in medical settings

Doctors and other medical personnel in Belarus may soon be forbidden to display icons in their offices or wear religious symbols such as crosses. In a letter to the nation’s health...

Priest missing in Mexico

A priest of the Diocese of Saltillo, Mexico, disappeared on January 3. Father Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes, a parish priest in Aurora, Coahuila, was scheduled to begin a vacation...

USCCB initiative issues action alert on immigration

Justice for Immigrants, an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has urged Catholics to contact their representatives and senators, asking them to “support humane...

Report: doctrinal congregation suggested corrections to Amoris Laetitia

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) raised a number of questions about Amoris Laetitia, and suggested several corrections, before the papal document was published, according to a...

Most Jesuit-college alumni in US Congress support legal abortion, study finds

In the new US Congress, most of the representatives who graduated from Jesuit-run colleges and universities are strongly in favor of legal abortion, according to a study by Matthew Archbold of the...

New books by ‘Vatileaks II’ figures promise new sensations

Two forthcoming books, by authors who figured prominently in the “Vatileaks II” scandal, threaten to cause more headaches for Vatican officials, with sensational promises of exposing...

Situation ‘desperate’ in Venezuela, reports president of bishops’ conference

The people of Venezuela are living “amid much desperation” because of the government’s failure, the president of the country’s episcopal conference said in a report to his...

90,000 Christians killed in 2016, report says

About 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016 because of their faith, accorindg to World Religion News. Most of the deaths occurred in tribal conflicts in Africa, where over 60,000 people were...

Pope renews attack on ‘clericalist attitude’

Pope Francis renews his critique of a “clericalist attitude” in a homily at daily Mass on January 10, contrasting the teaching of Jesus with that of the Pharisees. Jesus taught with...

Knights of Malta reiterate stand against Vatican investigation

The Knights of Malta have indicated that they will not cooperate with the Vatican commission formed by Pope Francis to investigate a dispute within the order. In a statement released on January...

India: high court bans religious references in elections

Emphasizing India’s nature as a secular state, the country’s Supreme Court has ruled that candidates may not invoke religion, race, ethnicity, or caste when campaigning. Catholic...

Stay focused on message of salvation through faith alone, Lutheran leader emphasizes

The general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation called upon Lutherans around the world to remain focused on Martin Luther’s teaching of salvation through faith alone during 2017, the...

Anglican leader calls on British to ‘live well together’ amid differences

In his message for the new year, the head of the Church of England spoke of refugees as a “a blessing to our way of life” and called on the British to reconcile following the Brexit...

Malta: prelate sees renewed hope for EU as Church identifies 3 ‘normative objectives’

Representatives of the bishops’ conferences of the European Union met with Malta’s prime minister on January 6 as Malta began a six-month term presiding over the Council of the European...

President Obama offers Christmas greetings to Orthodox Christians

President Barack Obama has issued a statement on the celebration of Orthodox Christmas. “During this sacred season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and reflect on the commandment...

Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Gomez issue migration-week message

The president and vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a message for National Migration Week, which the bishops’ conference commemorates during the...

Priests attacked in Roman basilica

A man entered the sacristy of a Roman basilica on January 7 and used a broken bottle to attack two priests. Worshippers at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore heard shouts from the sacristy as a...

Archbishop suggests presidential pardon for political prisoners in South Sudan

Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro of Juba, South Sudan, has recommended a presidential pardon for all political prisoners, as a means of kindling a “national dialogue” that might avert...

Egyptian President unveils plans for Coptic cathedral in Cairo

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi has announced a plan to build the largest Christian church in Egypt, on the outskirts of Cairo. The Egyptian leader announced the project at the...

Indian cardinal decries acquittal of nun’s accused rapists

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai has issued a public statement decrying the decision of a Chhartisgarh court to find two suspects not guilty in the rape of a Catholic woman religious. The court...

Security tight as 1.4 million Filipino Catholics join annual procession

As estimated 1.4 million people participated in an annual procession in Manila, under heavy security because of fears of a terrorist attack. The procession of the Black Nazarene—a wooden...

Italian archbishop, after attending exorcism, testifies to reality of devil

An Italian archbishop, after attending an exorcism, has announced that people who do not believe in the existence of the devil are “mistaken.” Archbishp Erio Castellucci told the...

New lawsuit challenges $60 million bequest to Legion of Christ

A Rhode Island court has cleared the way for a lawsuit against the Legion of Christ, alleging that the order used fraud and undue influence on a wealthy widow to become her sole...

Pope reflects on foreign trips in new Italian book

In a new Italian book entitled In Viaggio (“On a Journey”), Pope Francis speaks about his the foreign visits he has undertaken since becoming Roman Pontiff. In excerpts of the book,...

Cardinal Müller: no need to clarify Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has said that there is no need for clarification of Amoris Laetitia. Speaking to a German...

Vatican now has diplomatic ties with 182 countries

During his annual address to members of the Vatican diplomatic corps (see today’s top CWN news headline story), Pope Francis welcomed new bilateral agreements between the Holy See and the...

Pope condemns terrorism in address to Vatican diplomatic corps

In his annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, Pope Francis denounced terrorism as “a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power.” In the speech— which is generally seen as the Pope’s “State of the World” address, insofar as he addresses the Vatican’s most pressing...

Italian priest describes conversion of Mafia boss

An Italian priest has offered dramatic testimony about the religious conversion of hardened Mafia killers, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale. Father Marcello Cozzi says that he...

‘Very high’ chance of terror attack on Rome, Italian official fears

The possibility of a terrorist attack in Italy is “very high,” warns one of the country’s top civic officials. Franco Gabrielli, the head of Protezione Civile—the office...

Columnist Nat Hentoff dead at 91

Nat Hentoff, a Jewish atheist who became a leading advocate for the pro-life cause, died in Manhattan on January 7 at the age of 91. A native of Boston who began his professional life in...

Pope calls for prayers, assistance for the homeless

Following the recitation of the Angelus on January 8, Pope Francis asked those present in St. Peter’s Square to pray for the homeless and to assist them. “Think about all those who...

Pope reflects on Christ’s baptism and the mission of the baptized

In his January 8 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the significance of Christ’s baptism by St. John the Baptist. “Jesus came precisely to close the distance between man and...

Pope baptizes 28 children

In a Mass celebrated ad orientem in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis administered the Sacrament of Baptism to 28 children of Vatican employees on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which fell...

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