Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Explosion at Mexican bishops’ conference headquarters

A homemade device exploded outside the headquarters of the Mexican bishops’ conference during the nighttime hours on July 25, shattering glass and blowing open a door. As authorities...

Cardinal Pell appears in court; charges still not made public

Cardinal George Pell appeared in court in Melbourne, Australia on July 26, in the first hearing on sex-abuse charges that have been filed against him. At an administrative hearing, the...

New legal dispute between Charlie Gard’s parents, hospital

A British court is expected to settle a new legal dispute between Charlie Gard’s parents and the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. On July 24, the parents withdrew their appeal for...

Father Hamel lives on, archbishop says on anniversary of French priest’s killing

“Though he is dead, Father Jacques Hamel is still alive,” Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen said in his homily as he celebrated Mass on the anniversary of the priest’s...

Chile’s bishops decry vote to decriminalize abortion

The Catholic bishops of Chile have expressed their dismay at a vote in parliament to end criminal penalties for abortion, and pledged their continued support for the pro-life cause. The Chilean...

Vatican delegate: Holy See favors two-state solution in Holy Land

A Vatican representative told the UN Security Council that the Holy See continues to favor the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a July 25 address. Msgr. Simon Kassas,...

Lutheran leader calls on theologians to remove obstacles to unity with Catholics

The head of the Lutheran World Federation has called on theologians to remove the obstacles that hinder unity with the Catholic Church. Rev. Dr. Martin Junge made his remarks in a letter...

Judge extends stay on deportation of Chaldean Catholics, other Iraqi nationals

A federal district court judge has extended his stay on the deportation of 1,441 Chaldean Catholics and other Iraqis with standing immigration removal orders and criminal records. Judge Mark...

Vatican fountains shut down as Rome faces drought

The Vatican has shut down the fountains in St. Peter’s Square for the first time in years, in response to a severe water shortage in Rome. Dozens of fountains in the Vatican Gardens have...

Vandalism continues in Goa, after suspect’s arrest

A Catholic cemetery was vandalized and crosses were destroyed at a Catholic church in Goa on July 25, continuing a series of attacks on Christian churches. The vandalism took place more than a...

Ghana: prelate strongly criticizes illegal miners

A prelate in Ghana has offered strong criticism of those who mine illegally. “Thinking about yourself and family without considering the nation means you are greedy and evil,” said...

125th anniversary of Catholic faith in Zambia

The bishops of Zambia, joined by the apostolic nuncio, recently celebrated a Mass marking the 125th anniversary of the Catholic faith in Zambia. The nation of 15.5 million is now 75% Protestant...

Al-Azhar begins subway initiative to address extremism

Clerics from Al-Azhar, the revered Sunni Muslim institution in Egypt, have begun to man booths in Cairo’s subway system in an effort to counteract extremism, according to an Associated Press...

Papal prayers for Charlie Gard

Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a brief statement that the Pope “is praying for Charlie Gard and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of...

1st Christian family returns to liberated Iraqi town

AsiaNews has published a profile of Labib Rammo and his family, the first Christian family to return to the town of Karemlash (Karamles), Iraq. Located 18 miles from Mosul, the town was invaded...

Custos: moderation, dialogue needed to address ‘very dangerous situation’ in Jerusalem

The Franciscan superior in the Holy Land has told an Italian news agency that the situation in Jerusalem is “very dangerous.” Violence has erupted following the Israeli installation...

French bishops recall slaying of Father Hamel

The president of the French bishops’ conference has issued a statement on the anniversary of the killing of Father Jacques Hamel. Two Muslim men who had pledged allegiance to ISIS slit the...

Bishop: Land O’Lakes statement was ‘non serviam moment’ for many Catholic universities

In a recent address, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln recalled the 50th anniversary of the Land O’Lakes statement, describing it as the “the ‘non serviam’ moment of many of...

Ecumenical Patriarch recalls 50th anniversary of historic papal visit

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, recalled the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s historic visit to Istanbul—the...

Indian religious leaders denounce lynching of Muslims

Decrying “the atmosphere of fear that stalks the land today,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India recently gathered together 40 religious leaders who denounced a wave of...

Vatican official, at UN, emphasizes ‘right to remain in one’s homeland’

A Vatican official addressed a UN meeting on migrants and development and emphasized “the right to remain in one’s homeland in dignity, peace, and security.” Father Michael...

USCCB: prelate mourns death of immigrants in tractor-trailer truck

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, lamented the smuggling-related deaths of immigrants in Texas who were packed into a tractor-trailer...

English bishops offer prayers for Charlie Gard and family, praise for hospital

The bishops of England and Wales have extended their “deepest sympathy and compassion” to Charlie Gard’s parents and their son following the parents’ decision to withdraw...

Pope responding personally to Nigerian priests on acceptance of bishop

After demanding that the priests of the Diocese of Ahiara, Nigeria, must write to him accepting their bishop’s authority, Pope Francis had begun responding personally to those priests who...

Charlie Gard’s parents withdraw appeal

The parents of Charlie Gard have withdrawn their appeal for permission to try experimental treatment for their child. At a July 24 court session, a lawyer for the parents said during their long...

Did Vatican pay twice for contractor’s work in embezzlement case?

Investigators have unearthed a series of financial transactions that suggest a contractor was paid by two different Vatican offices for his work in a case that has given rise to the Vatican’s...

Pope’s plans thwarted by resistance in clergy, according to essay in Vatican newspaper

An article in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano argues that the “main obstacle” to the work of Pope Francis is resistance among Catholic priests and...

Pope reflects on parable of weeds and wheat

Pope Francis reflect on the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:24-43) during his July 23 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video). “With this image Jesus tells is that in...

Papal appeal for prayer, dialogue amid Jerusalem violence

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 23, Pope Francis appealed for prayer for peace in Jerusalem, where violence has erupted following the Israeli installation...

Germany: 162,000 Catholics left Church, 537 parishes closed in 2016

162,093 Catholics left the Church in Germany during 2016—down from 181,925 in 2015, according to statistics released by the bishops’ conference on July 21. 28.5% of Germans are...

Leading Communist official says Chinese Catholicism should ‘fit into’ socialism

The fourth-ranking member of China’s Communist party said that it is important for “the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Church” to be “firmly in the hands of those who...

Interfaith statement encourages Trump to pursue 2-state solution in Holy Land

Thirty-five Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders have signed a statement calling upon President Donald Trump to pursue a two-state solution for peace in the Holy Land. The signatories, who...

USCCB: fix Obamacare’s deficiencies, rather than repealing it without a replacement

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development urged senators to “oppose any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a concurrent...

Heavy fines for contempt in release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

A California judge has ordered pro-life activists to pay over $135,000 in fines, citing them for contempt of court for releasing undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in...

Mosul is ‘completely destroyed,’ prelate reports

“Today, Mosul is completely distroyed,” reports the city’s Syric-Catholic Bishop Petros Mouche. “Everything needs to be rebuilt.” Visiting the Iraqi city, which was...

New officials named to Roman Rota

Pope Francis has named two new officials for the Roman Rota. Father Pierangelo Pietracatella, a priest of the Toronta diocese in Italy, will be the chief of office for the Roman Rota; Father...

Filipino bishop suggests new focus for war against drug trade

A Filipino bishop has encouraged President Rodrigo Duterte to “reconfigure” his war against drug trafficking, concentrating on eliminating the demand for illegal drugs rather than wiping...

Pope makes €25,000 contribution to fight famine in eastern Africa

Pope Francis has donated €25,000 to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to support efforts against famine in eastern Africa. The Pope’s contribution fulfills a...

Cameroon bishops demand further inquiry into bishop’s death

The Catholic bishops of Cameroon have filed a formal complaint of murder in the death of Bishop jean-Marie Benoit Bala, saying that they are unsatisfied with the government’s inquiry to...

Texas bishop issues pastoral letter on migration

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso has issued a pastoral letter on migration. “Building walls, deploying a mass deportation force and militarizing our border are not long-term solutions to the...

Vatican’s Secretary of State to meet with Putin

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in August. The visit to Russia will be the first by a Vatican Secretary...

USCCB: bishop criticizes House Republicans’ budget proposal

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development criticized the House Republicans’ budget proposal, which was approved in a July 19 committee...

Sharp decline in Bosnia’s Catholic population

The Catholic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina has fallen to 400,000—down from over 740,000 before the Bosnian War (1992-95). “This decline is mainly due to young people emigrating...

Russian Orthodox mission rededicated in Jerusalem

The St. Sergius Mission, a Russian Orthodox church complex in Jerusalem, was rededicated on July 18 in the presence of Russian and Israeli officials. The complex passed from Israeli to Russian...

Pope is ‘the voice of suffering Ukraine,’ leading Eastern prelate says

In a recent homily at his cathedral in Kiev, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church paid tribute to Pope Francis for his concern for strife-torn Ukraine. “We feel that the Pope...

Day of prayer, fasting for Venezuela’s Catholics

Venezuela’s bishops have declared July 21 to be a day of prayer and fasting. The prelates called on the faithful to ask God to bless the efforts of the Venezuelan people for freedom,...

South African bishops oppose bid for registration of religious ministers

The Catholic bishops of South Africa have announced their opposition to a proposal for the registration of religious ministers with the government. Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, the...

Central African Republic: Muslims take refuge in Catholic cathedral

More than 2,000 Muslims have sought refuge in the Catholic cathedral in Bangassou, in the Central African Republic, to escape sectarian violence. The Muslim refugees have fled from attacks by the...

Charlie Gard offered permanent-resident status in US

The US House of Representatives has approved a measure that would grant permanent-resident status to Charlie Gard, enabling the 11-month-old child to travel to an American hospital for medical...

Facebook restores Catholic pages, says blocking was accidental

Facebook has restored full access to more than 20 Catholic pages that had been blocked on July 18, saying that the blockage was due to an error. “This incident was triggered accidentally by...

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders insist on free access to sacred sites for all

All of the major Christian leaders in Jerusalem have issued a joint statement of “serious concern” about the rise in tensions at the Temple Mount, where two police officers were killed...

Nigerian bishop: government corruption has aided Boko Haram

Speaking in Hungary, a Nigerian bishop said that government corruption has helped foster the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme ministers in Maiduguri, a center of Boko...

Vatican’s Secretary of State condemns attack on crowd outside Venezuelan church

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, condemned an attack by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro on a crowd outside a church near Caracas. After Cardinal Jorge Urosa...

Caritas rues ‘lack of political will’ to address hunger, ecological problems

The Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies recently called upon participants in a UN meeting to make greater efforts to address hunger and ecological concerns. Citing two...

80th anniversary of French ecumenical initiative

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page article recalling that July 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Dombes Group, an ecumenical initiative in Lyon, France. Father...

Russian high court affirms ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses

Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld an earlier court decision banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The court accepted the Putin administration’s argument that the group’s...

Pontifical abuse commission member praises Regensburg bishop for confronting abuse

The publication of a report on widespread abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, manifests a “courageous” attitude on the part of the local...

Archbishop Paglia explains new direction for Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia explained the new strategic vision of the Pontifical Academy for Life in an interview with Austen Ivereigh for Crux. The Italian prelate brushed aside criticism that...

Archbishop Gänswein: statement by Benedict XVI not aimed at Pope Francis

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime personal secretary to Benedict XVI, denounced suggestions that the retired Pontiff had intended to criticize Pope Francis with a statement issued for the...

Facebook blocked, then restored, many Catholic pages

Facebook blocked access to more than 20 Catholic pages on July 18, without any explanation. By July 19, the Catholic pages were all apparently restored, but Facebook had still not offered any...

Catholic layman arrested for Goa desecrations

A 54-year-old Catholic layman has been arrested for the desecration of a Catholic cemetery and the destruction of at least 11 crosses in the past month. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão said...

Maronites to commemorate Eastern martyrs

The Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, will commemorate a Day of the Martyrs of the Eastern Churches on July 31. The Encyclopedia of Martyrs...

Austria: majority of altar servers are girls

Nearly a quarter century after the practice of female altar servers became licit, 55% of Austria’s 45,000 altar servers are girls, according to statistics published by the Archdiocese of...

Immigration: USCCB renews support for DACA

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called on the Trump administration not to end a 2012 program that grants work authorization and a reprieve from deportation to over...

South African officials turning blind eye to human trafficking, bishops’ spokesman says

The priest who serves as the South African bishops’ liaison to parliament said that the nation’s culture of corruption allows human trafficking to go unpunished. Commenting on a US...

New Philippine bishops’ president viewed as more open to dialogue with government

The Philippine bishops have elected Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao to a two-year term as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Archbishop Valles, who assumes the...

Lebanese Patriarch: refugees from Syria impose strain on country

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has warned that the presence of 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is straining the fabric of that country. “Even with all our solidarity with the...

Archbishop tells UN about religion’s role in economic development

In the quest to end poverty, religious leaders make their best contribution by raising awareness of the ethical principles that lie behind humanitarian efforts, the Vatican’s representative...

Two priests kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two Catholic priests were kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 17. A group of masked and armed men reportedly attacked the parish of Notre Dame in Bunyuka, in the northeast of...

Widespread abuse charged in German choir school

More than 500 choir boys suffered abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, over a period of 45 years, according to an investigator’s report. The...

Australian archbishop unsurprised by decline in religious affiliation

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has said that there is “nothing very surprising” about Australian census figures that show a sharp rise in the number of young people with no...

Vatican tribunal rejects move to dismiss embezzlement charges against hospital executives

The trial of two former executives of a Vatican-owned hospital on embezzlement charges began today, with a Vatican tribunal rejecting a motion by the two defendants to dismiss the case. Giuseppe...

Italian priest named no. 2 official at Vatican doctrinal congregation

Pope Francis named Msgr. Giacomo Morandi as the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 18 and raised him to the dignity of archbishop. Msgr. Morandi, the...

Prelate urges Trump administration to raise refugee cap

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called upon the Trump administration to raise its cap on admission of refugees to the United States. A presidential executive order in...

Venezuela’s bishops back opposition plebiscite; shots fired on crowd outside church

Amid rising malnutrition and fears of a future Marxist dictatorship, over seven million Venezuelans took part in an unofficial plebiscite on July 16 on President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal to...

Ireland: national collection to address ‘greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II’

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced a special collection at all Masses on July 22 and 23 to address the hunger crisis that affects 25 million people in Kenya, South Sudan,...

Archbishop discusses how ‘offer of life’ came to be a recognized path to sainthood

The Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has written an article tracing the background of the Pope’s recent apostolic letter recognizing the “offer of life” as an...

New governor general named for Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, recently named Leonardo Visconti di Modrone as the Order’s governor...

Oakland diocese sues cathedral builders, architects for design flaws

The Diocese of Oakland, California, has brought suit against architects and contractors involved in the building of the city’s new cathedral, pointing to “design and/or construction...

Boko Haram destroys Nigerian mosque

A suicide bombing organized by Boko Haram killed at least 8 people in a mosque in Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria on July 17. A spokesman for the Maiduguri diocese remarked that the attack on a...

Same-sex marriage not a major concern for Church, says German Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich argues that Germany’s acceptance of same-sex marriage is not a defeat for Catholicism. The German cardinal said that the Church should be more concerned about...

Bishops of central Africa region plead for peace

Concluding a plenary meeting last week, the Catholic bishops of Central Africa issued an appeal for an end to the violence in their region. The bishops—from a region that includes Cameroon, the...

Benedict XVI: deceased cardinal had faith in Church, even in time of crisis

In a tribute to the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI praised the German prelate for his “conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship...

Cardinal Meisner had ‘profound faith and sincere love for the Church,’ Pope says in telegram

The Vatican newspaper has published Pope Francis’s telegram of condolence following the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, who passed away on July 5. Cardinal Meisner was one of...

Pontiff decries ecological indifference

In a Spanish-language message to an ecological conference that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis emphasized the right to clean drinking water and called upon governments to enact policies...

Vatican UN envoy: recognizing religion’s public dimension can combat extremism

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has released a 30-page “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity...

Vatican cardinal laments international silence on Ukraine

At the invitation of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has visited the nation to show...

Pontiff greets Carmelites, prays for Venezuela

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 16, Pope Francis offered greetings to Carmelites and prayers for Venezuela, whose bishops warned recently of increased...

Reach out to lapsed Christians, Pope says in video

The La Machi Agency, in collaboration with the Vatican Television Center, has produced a video associated with the Pope’s July 2017 prayer intention for lapsed Christians. “Let us...

Pope Francis reflects on parable of the sower

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:1-23), the day’s Gospel reading at Mass, during his July 16 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video). The Pope told pilgrims...

Egyptian Christians scale back plans for public celebrations amid security fears

Coptic Christians in Egypt have scaled back plans for public events because of security fears, after being warned that authorities fear new attacks by Islamic extremist groups. The Christian...

Florida court allows priest to sue diocese for defamation in abuse-report case

A Florida judge has ruled that a priest can proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the Diocese of Palm Beach, despite the argument by diocesan attorneys that religious issues should not be...

American doctor will examine Charlie Gard

A High Court judge in England has ruled that an American specialist should be allowed to Charlie Gard, to give an opinion on whether the child could benefit from experimental treatment. Dr....

Want more news? Visit the Archives.