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Papal audience topic: Abraham’s witness of faith, hope

Continuing his series of weekly catechetical talks on the virtue of hope, Pope Francis spoke to his general audience on March 29 about the example of Abraham, who is “not only a father in faith, but...

Outspoken abuse victim does not expect to rejoin papal commission

An abuse victim who was removed from the Pope’s special commission on sexual abuse because of his outspoken comments has said that he does not expect to rejoin the commission. Peter...

California brings felony charges against pro-lifers for undercover Planned Parenthood videos

California prosecutors have brought felony charges against the pro-life activists whose undercover videos exposed the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the sale of fetal tissues. David...

Papal greeting for Iraqi delegates to inter-religious talks

“We are all brothers, and where there is brotherhood there is peace,” Pope Francis said in his greeting to a group of Iraqi religious leaders, gathered at the Vatican for a conference...

Cardinal Parolin calls for local food solutions to combat hunger

Writing on behalf of Pope Francis to the president of the 10th Forum for the Future of Agriculture, the Vatican’s Secretary of State called upon each country to attain nutritional...

Philadelphia archdiocese announces new approach to catechesis on marriage

The Philadelphia archdiocese is launching a three-year program to renew pastoral service to married couples. The first year of the program will be designed for archdiocesan staff, helping to...

Australian archbishop recalls saving human-trafficking victim

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Melbourne told an Australian parliamentary committee that he once resuced a young woman who was a victim of human trafficking. The archbishop told the...

Paraguay’s bishops dismayed by sudden approval of constitutional amendment

The Catholic bishops of Paraguay have decried the quick approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow for the re-election of the country’s president. The country’s...

Appointment of bishop ends long dispute between Vatican, Argentina

This week Pope Francis named Bishop Santiago Olivera of Cruz del Eje, Argentina, to become the head of the country’s military ordinariate, filling a post that had been vacant for a decade...

Islamic State damaged 12,000 Christian homes in Iraq’s Nineveh region

The Islamic State damaged more than 12,000 Christian homes in the Nineveh Plain region, and completely destroyed nearly 700 of them, Aid to the Church in Need reports. In a survey of Iraqis who...

UN committe prods Italy to ensure doctors will perform abortions

The UN’s human-rights committee is pressing Italy to take steps to ensure that women have ready access to abortion. Although abortion is legal in Italy, feminists have complained that women...

Pope renews appeal for peace in Mosul, Iraq

Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Iraq at the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on March 29. During his greetings of different groups that were in attendance at his...

Vatican official commemorates anniversary of Mother Angelica’s death

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, offered Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the first anniversary of Mother...

EU bishops’ commission calls for targeted VAT reductions

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has weighed in on the EU’s value added tax (VAT), which ranges from 17% to 27% depending on the...

Egyptian police arrest Copts who protested kidnapping

Police in Qena, Egypt, have arrested 13 Coptic Christians who had staged a demonstration to protest the failure of police to respond to the kidnapping of a Christian girl. The father of the...

Cardinal Pell weighs in on Trump

At the presentation of a new book by another author, Cardinal George Pell spoke about Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. These events “have shown that a strong majority of elite...

Patriarch praises rural Russian conservatism

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church recently praised small town conservatism for helping preserve the nation. “Were it not for our hinterlands, it is unclear what would have happened to...

Cardinal Nichols offers Mass for terrorist attack victims

Cardinal Vincent Nichols offered Mass for the victims of the March 22 Westminster terrorist attack that left five dead and 50 injured. “St. Paul says to us, ‘Have nothing to do with...

Another Mexican priest killed

A Catholic priest was killed on March 26 in El Nayar, in the western state of Nayarit in Mexico. Father Felipe Carillo Altamirano was killed on Sunday evening. Few details about the crime were...

Mexican bishop under fire after charging corruption in local state government

A Mexican bishop is facing heavy criticism from local politicians after he charged that the administration of his state was riddled with corruption. Bishop Ramon Castro of Cuernavaca had sought...

Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris sidelined by Guillain-Barre syndrome

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris will be unable to preside at Holy Week and Easter ceremonies, becaue he is suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, the archdiocese has...

Bolivian feminists join bishops in opposition to bill allowing abortion for poor women

The Catholic bishops of Bolivia have renewed their opposition to a proposal that would legalize abortion for poor families—and found unexpected allies in feminists who see the legislation as a...

Pope’s liturgical schedule for Holy Week released

The Vatican has released the schedule of public liturgical events at which Pope Francis will preside during Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, April 9, the Pope will lead the traditional procession and...

Pope Francis: elimination of nuclear weapons is moral imperative

In a message to a United Nations conference on nuclear weapons, Pope Francis said that the “ultimate goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons” is “both a challenge and a...

Congo bishops withdraw from role as mediator between government, opposition

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have withdrawn from their role as mediator between the government of President Joseph Kabila, who has remained in office beyond his constitutional...

English Catholics, Lutherans commemorate Reformation

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham joined the head of the Lutheran Church in England to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The commemoration took place on...

Cardinal Marx meets with Merkel challenger

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich met on March 27 with Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democratic Party and leading challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the September federal...

Indonesia: Muslims protest parish construction; police fire tear gas

Throwing bottles and rocks, several hundred Muslims gathered on March 24 to protest the construction of a Catholic parish in Kaliabang, a city located near the Indonesian capital of...

Communist leader: Catholic-Orthodox split fostered West’s hatred of Russia

Gennady Zyuganov, the head of Russia’s Communist Party since 1993, attributed “hatred for Russia” to “the split of Christianity into the Catholic and the Orthodox...

European Parliament leaders visit Norcia, pledge support to rebuild basilica

A delegation of the European Parliament leadership visited Norcia, Italy on March 24, to see the devastated basilica of St. Francis and discuss restoration plans. The European Parliament is...

Mexico City archdiocese: ‘immoral’ to help build Trump’s border wall

An editorial in the newspaper of the Mexico City archdiocese has argued that helping to build the border wall proposed by American President Donald Trump would be immoral. The wall would be...

Pope meets with bishops from Western Canada

Pope Francis met on March 27 with a group of bishops from western Canada who were completing their ad limina visits. The Canadian prelates were members of the Assembly of Western Catholic...

India: cemetery vandalized after Hindu group charges Christians with forced conversions

A Christian graveyard was vandalized in India’s state of Uttar Pradesh, after a local Hindu-nationalist group issued charges that Christians were using pressure tactics to make...

Mexican bishop: faithful have a duty to oppose abortion, protect life

The Catholic faithful have “a serious, human, and societal responsibility” to protect human life, a spokesman for the Mexican hierarchy said in a message for the national Day for...

German Cardinal Marx suggests lay-run parishes

Instead of closing parishes because of a shortage of priests, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has proposed to appoint lay people to administer parishes. Cardinal Marx said that lay-run parishes...

Court allows re-trial of Philadelphia monsignor after conviction was reversed

A Pennsylvania court has cleared the way for a re-trail of a Philadelphia priest whose conviction on child-endangerment charges was overturned by the state’s top court. Msgr. William Lynn...

Leaders of Roman Curia rally around papal abuse commission

A number of top Vatican leaders attended a March 23 seminar hosted by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), in an unmistakable show of support for the commission. The...

Pope Francis: follow the light of Christ, abandon ‘false lights’

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 9:1-41), Pope Francis said during his March 26 Angelus address that the healing of the man born blind “causes us to reflect on our...

115 Spanish martyrs beatified

115 martyrs from the Spanish Civil War, including 90 diocesan priests, were beatified in Almería on March 25. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Pope Francis, in Milan, preaches on Annunciation, speaks on evangelization

On March 25, Pope Francis traveled to Milan, Italy’s second-largest city and Europe’s largest diocese, in the 13th apostolic journey of his pontificate within Italy. Following a 50-minute flight and a welcoming ceremony at the airport, the Pope stopped at the “White Houses,” a dilapidated housing complex. Greeted by the local parish priest, he visited families in their...

Fiji’s president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received George Konrote, Fiji’s president since 2015, at the Apostolic Palace on March 24. Konrote, a Seventh Day Adventist, also met with the Vatican’s Secretary of...

Pope tells European leaders: solidarity will overcome populism, ‘fruit of egotism’

Addressing 27 European heads of state on March 24, Pope Francis said that the founders of the European Union rightly understood that “the heart of the European political project could only be man himself. The Pope spoke to a distinguished group of European leaders in the Sala Regia, in an event marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which gave birth to...

Milan: special art exhibit to mark visit by Pope Francis

An unusual exhibit featuring the Saints of Italy will be opening on March 25 in Milan, as the city prepares for a visit by Pope Francis. The exhibit in the Palazzo Reale, which will run until...

Vatican journalists protest high cost for accompanying papal flights

Journalists who cover the Vatican have lodged a protest against the high cost that is assessed on reporters who accompany the Pope on foreign trips. In a letter to Vatican officials, thirty...

Salvadoran bishops anxious for canonization of Archbishop Romero

During their ad limina visit to Rome this week, the bishops of El Salvador inquired anxiously about the progress of the cause for canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Archbishop Romero, an...

Vatican envoy pushes for international action on climate change, development

Speaking at a UN session on climate change and sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative said that international agreements require “a commitment to specific, coordinated,...

Experts fear basilica of the Holy Sepulchre could collapse

While Christians in Jerusalem celebrated the re-opening of the Edicule—the shrine in side the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of Jesus’ tomb—experts cautioned that the...

Nigerian cardinal: dialogue with Islam is productive

A Nigerian cardinal insisted that dialogue with Islam can be productive, in a speech to a Notre Dame conference on African theology. “I’ve spent 40 years having dialogue with Muslims...

Papal preacher delivers 3rd Lenten Sermon

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, delivered the 3rd Lenten Sermon on March 24, continuing his series of meditations on the theme: “No one can say, ‘Jesus...

Christ’s restored tomb inaugurated in Jerusalem

Prelates from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic churches gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to mark the inauguration of the restored Edicule, the...

Cardinal calls for prayer, solidarity following Westminster attack

Cardinal Vincent Nichols expressed his shock at the Westminster terrorist attack that left 40 injured and five dead, including the perpetrator, a 52-year-old British convert to Islam. “The...

USCCB leadership issues statement on migrants, refugees

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral statement on accompanying migrants and refugees. “Intense debate is essential to...

Syria: jihadists advance on Christian city

Jihadist groups and their Syrian rebel allies have conquered 11 towns in Hama province since beginning a surprise offensive on March 21, Agence France-Presse reported. A regional news website...

Texas Anglican-use parish adopted into Anglican ordinariate

A vigorous Catholic parish in Texas, led by a former Anglican priest, has been incorporated into the Anglican Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, ending a battle for control. The Anglican...

At UN forum, Vatican envoy calls for international pacts to ensure safe water supply

At a UN international forum on water and sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative said: “Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right and a condition for sustainable...

Cameroon’s president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on March 23 with President Paul Biya of Cameroon. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had centered on Church-state relations,...

Puerto Rican religious leaders ask for US help in debt crisis

Religious leaders in Puerto Rico have joined in an appeal to the United States to help the island territory escape a debt crisis. Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan and Rev. Heriberto...

In Africa, faith is a ‘happy matter,’ says Cardinal Arinze

Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze said that he is not considered a “conservative” in Africa, during an interview with John Allen of Crux. Cardinal Arinze drew sharp distinctions...

German proposal would annul convictions under anti-sodomy law, grant compensation to convicts

German’s governing cabinet has given its approval to a proposal that would annul men who had been convicted under a law barring homosexual acts, and grant them financial compensation. Until...

Pope sends condolences after London attack

Pope Francis has sent his condolences after a terrorist attack near London’s House of Parliament in which four people were killed and dozens injured. In a telegram to Cardinal Vincent...

Cardinal Parolin sees ‘deep malaise’ in Europe

Europe today is suffering from a “deep malaise,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State remarked in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa. Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that...

Vatican decrees advance 78 candidates for beatification, canonization

The Vatican has released a series of decrees, advancing the cause for beatification or canonization of 78 candidates. The decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, released with the...

Fatima seers cleared for canonization

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved a miracle through the intercession of Francisco and Jacinta Marto—two of the three children who witnessed the apparition of the Virgin...

Cardinal William Keeler, retired Archbishop of Baltimore, dead at 86

Cardinal William Keeler, the retired Archbishop of Baltimore, died in the early morning of March 23 at a nursing home in Maryland, at the age of 86. Born in Pennsylvania, William Keeler was...

European Commission confirms pledge to support reconstruction of Norcia basilica

The president of the European Commission has confirmed a commitment to support the reconstruction of the basilica at Norcia, Italy, that was demolished by earthquakes last year. Jean-Claude...

Cardinal Bagnasco leery of Italian living-will proposal

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference has criticized a legislative proposal to introduce living wills, saying that the bill reflects an “individualistic” approach to...

Bishop says Pope will visit South Sudan in October

Pope Francis is planning an October visit to South Sudan, according to a bishop from that country. Bishop Erkolano Tombe of Yei told the Reuters news agency that a Vatican official confirmed...

Strong papal endorsement for ‘24 Hours’ initiative for Confessions

Pope Francis warmly welcomed the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative during his public audience on March 22, and urged all Catholic parishes to join in the movement. “I invite...

Migration poses greatest world problem since World War II, Pope tells audience

Speaking at his regular weekly public audience on March 22, Pope Francis said that the worldwide flood of migrants and refugees is posing the greatest tragedy the world has faced since World War...

Hope is shown in endurance, encouragement, Pope tells Wednesday audience

Continuing his series of weekly catechetical talks on the virtue of hope, Pope Francis told his Wednesday general audience of March 15 that hope “is not optimism—that is something else. Basing his...

Cardinal Farrell: focus of Amoris Laetitia is preventing marriage divisions

Cardinal Kevin Farrell has told the Italian news agency SIR that “the pastoral priority identified in Amoris Laetitia for the present time is to prevent wounds, divisions, and failures in...

Restoration of Christ’s tomb in Holy Sepulchre basilica completed

Restoration work at the site of the empty tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been completed. Restoration work on the “Edicule”—the shrine at the site where Jesus was...

Christian nannies, maids face abuse in Saudi Arabia

L’Osservatore Romano has drawn attention to the plight of Christian maids and nannies in Saudi Arabia, some of whom are effectively enslaved. The domestic workers come from India, the...

Moscow Patriarchate opposes burial of Lenin’s body

The Moscow Patriarchate opposes a proposal to bury the corpse of Vladimir Lenin, whose Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 unleashed a wave of brutal persecution against Christians. Since his death in...

USCCB: praise, criticism for GOP healthcare proposal

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said in a letter to members of the House of Representatives that portions of the proposed American Health...

Kuwait: man with knife disrupts Mass

A man armed with a long kitchen knife disrupted Mass at the cathedral in Kuwait City on March 19, according to a local newspaper report. The man entered the sanctuary, asked to see the Pope, and...

African Catholics reject Communion for divorced/remarried, theologian reports

In Africa, Catholics who are divorced and remarried do not expect to receive Communion, a Nigerian theologian told the Crux news site. The publication of Amoris Laetitia has not stirred much...

In World Youth Day message, Pope meditates on Magnificat

In his message for World Youth Day 2017, Pope Francis offers a meditation on the Virgin Mary, using her Magnificat as a model of prayer. World Youth Day will be observed on Palm Sunday. The...

Another Mexican priest attacked

A Catholic priest was attacked in Coahulla, Mexico, last week by men wearing police uniforms, Church officials have revealed. A group of men broke into the home of Father Robert Coogan Francis,...

Court paves way for sale of Los Angeles convent to Katy Perry

A California judge has cleared the way for the sale of a convent by the Los Angeles archdiocese to entertainer Katy Perry. Judge Stephanie Bowick ruled that a previous sale of the property, by...

Philippine bishops issue statement against capital punishment

The Philippine bishops have issued a new statement against the death penalty. “To the people who use the Bible to defend death penalty, need we point out how many other crimes against...

Punjab proposes changes to Christian marriage law

The government of the Pakistani province of Punjab has proposed broadening the grounds under which Christians may obtain a divorce. Currently, a Christian husband can obtain a divorce only if his...

Pakistani bishops’ official against potential social media ban

A Pakistani government minister has threatened to block social media sites that do not censor comments that are deemed blasphemous. “We condemn the Facebook pages containing blasphemous...

Archbishop: return to Aleppo

The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo has called upon Christians who fled the city during the Syrian Civil War to return. “The lucky ones,” said Archbishop...

Prelates welcome House resolution on environmental stewardship

Two bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed H.Res.195, a proposed resolution expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to...

Pope apologizes for Church involvement in Rwandan genocide

Pope Francis apologized for the role that Catholics played in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, during a May 20 meeting with that country’s President Paul Kagame. The said that the participation...

Schedule released for papal visit to Fatima in May

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a visit by Pope Francis to Fatima in May. The Holy Father will leave Rome on Friday afternoon, May 12, flying into the Monte Real air base in...

Chaldean Catholic patriarchate says it cannot supply priests for ‘diaspora’ communities

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has announced that it cannot supply priests for all of the Chaldean communities living outside Iraq, and has urged those communities to find their own candidates...

Vatican official confirms: agreement with SSPX is close

The secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission has confirmed that the Vatican is close to an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that would regularize the status of the traditionalist...

Former Pope’s health good as 90th birthday approaches

Pope-emeritus Benedict is “in good shape” at he approaches his 90th birthday, his longtime aide reports. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who continues to serve as private secretary to...

Australia: priest stabbed by assailant before Mass

As Australian priest was assaulted and stabbed on March 20 by a parishioner who apparently accused him of being a Hindu. Father Tomy Kalathoor Mathew was treated and released for knife wounds in...

Layman who refused to recite Hitler oath beatified

An Italian layman refused to recite the Hitler oath was beatified as a martyr at the cathedral in Bolzano on March 18. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Papal prayer for flood victims

Following his March 19 Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for victims of flooding in Peru that has killed 72 and left thousands homeless. “I wish to assure my closeness to the beloved...

Pope Francis: renew the grace of baptism, encounter Christ personally

Reflecting on Christ’s encounter with the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:5-42), Pope Francis said during his March 19 Angelus address that “the woman was struck by the great respect that Jesus...

+Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, 84

A Czech cardinal who exercised his priestly ministry in a clandestine manner under Communist rule died on March 18 at the age of 84. Born in 1932, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk served in the military and...

Vatican appeal for Holy Land collection

The Congregation for the Eastern Churches has issued an appeal for the annual Holy Land collection, which takes place in churches around the world on Good Friday. “Today, as we know, living...

Pope to visit Egypt in April

Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has announced that Pope Francis will visit Cairo on April 28 and 29. The visit—the Pope’s eighteenth apostolic journey outside...

Papal preacher reflects on Christ, true God from true God

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin Franciscan friar who has served as preacher to the papal household since 1980, preached his second Lenten sermon to the Pope and members of the Roman Curia...

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