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Cardinal Koch joins critics of German bishops' push for change in Church teaching CWN - 12 hours ago

A third German-speaking cardinal has joined in questioning the notion that the Church must change its teaching on marriage, with Cardinal Kurt Koch saying that Church leaders should not be too quick...

Iraqi prelate pleads for help at first-ever UN session on persecution of Christians CWN - 11 hours ago

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako called upon the UN to address the “catastrophic situation” facing Christians in Iraq, in a March 27 presentation to the Security Council. The...

Pope Francis to meet with President Obama in White House CWN - 18 hours ago

Pope Francis will meet with President Barack Obama in the White House on September 23, according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office. “The President and the First Lady will welcome His...

Vatican Secretary of State will take part in April's Summit of the Americas CWN - 12 hours ago

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, will attend the Summit of the Americas in April. The meeting in Panama, the 7th in a series of summits, will be the first at which the...

New allegation against former Cardinal O’Brien CWN - 18 hours ago

An anonymous priest who alleged that former Cardinal Keith O’Brien made a sexual advance toward him told The Tablet that he believed that “at least 40 cases” of sexual misconduct took place during...

Holy See diplomat reflects on religion and free expression CWN - 18 hours ago

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva, deplored the actions of the Islamic State and spoke about the relation between religious freedom and freedom of...

Pope sends messages of solidarity to suffering Christians in Iraq, Nigeria CWN - 11 hours ago

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, is traveling to Iraq to spend Holy Week and Easter with embattled Christians there, the Vatican has announced. The...

India: police arrest one suspect in gang-rape of nun CWN - 11 hours ago

Police in India have made an arrest in connection with the gang-rape of an elderly Catholic nun earlier this month. Police reported that a suspect had been detained in Mumbai, and was being...

Papal preacher: Western Christians should learn from Eastern spirituality CWN - 12 hours ago

In his 4th Lenten Sermon of the year, on Friday, March 27, Father Raniero Cantalamessa concluded a series of talks that compared Eastern and Western Christian approaches to...

Indiana governor signs religious-freedom legislation CWN - 19 hours ago

Despite threats of loss of convention business, Gov. Mike Pence signed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. “Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I...

Over 500,000 sign petition to free Asia Bibi CWN - 12 hours ago

More than 500,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the release of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who has been sentenced to death on a questionable blasphemy charge....

Head of Assyrian Church of the East dies CWN - 19 hours ago

Mar Dinkha IV, who became head of the Assyrian Church of the East in 1976, died in the United States on March 26 at the age of 79, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. The church...

Ukrainian bishops speak of ministry amid suffering CWN - 19 hours ago

Two Ukrainian bishops spoke with Aid to the Church in Need about the suffering they have encountered in their ministry in the past year. “Wounded soldiers from the east are being cared for at a...

American prelates criticize death penalty CWN - 19 hours ago

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City criticized Utah’s reinstatement of death penalty by the firing squad. “No human law can trump God's law,” he said. “Taking a human life is wrong, a slap in...

Debate among German cardinals heats up; Cardinal Müller raps statement by Cardinal Marx CWN - March 26

Taking aim at public statements by the president of the German bishops’ conference, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said that it is an “anti-Catholic idea” to suggest that local bishops’ conferences should settle questions about the Church’s approach to Catholics who are divorced and remarried. In an interview with the French journal Famille Chretienne, Cardinal Müller—who is the prefect of the...

Exploitation of child-soldiers peaked in 2014, Vatican envoy tells UN CWN - March 26

“The year 2014 marked the worst year in the modern era of children being used as soldiers in armed conflicts,” a Vatican representative pointed out in a March 25 address to the UN Security...

Survey shows US Catholics feeling stronger ties to faith CWN - March 26

Catholic Americans have became more likely to report a “strong” relationship with the faith, and less likely to report a “not very strong” tie, in the past few years, according to one...

As 150 homeless people tour Sistine Chapel, Pope greets each individual CWN - March 26

Pope Francis made a surprise appearance to greet the 150 homeless people who were given a special tour of the Sistine Chapel on March 26. The Pope greeted each of the guests individually, and...

Despite devastation of war and threats of Islamic State, Syrian Christians returning to city of Homs CWN - March 26

Christians are gradually returning to the Syrian city of Homs, after a mass exodus that followed the outbreak of civil war in 2011, Aid to the Church in Need reports. But as Christians rebuild their...

Carmelites observe worldwide day of prayer for peace CWN - March 26

Pope Francis joined members of the Carmelite order who were observing a worldwide day of prayer for peace on March 26, concelebrating Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae with Father Saverio Cannestra,...

Pro-life march draws half-million participants in Peru CWN - March 26

An estimated 500,000 people took part in a pro-life march in Lima, Peru, on March 21. The demonstration was held in advance of the annual Day of the Unborn, which is celebrated on March 25. The...

Members of papal abuse commission worried by Chilean bishop's appointment CWN - March 26

Members of a papal commission on sexual abuse have expressed serious misgivings about the appointment of a Chilean bishop who has been accused of failing to report an abusive priest, the Associated...

Pope approves synod participants from nearly 40 nations CWN - March 26

Pope Francis has ratified the names of participants chosen by nearly 40 episcopal conferences to take part in the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. Among the more prominent members of the...

French prelate reflects on January shooting, warns against isolationism CWN - March 26

Addressing the Bishops’ Conference of France, Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, the conference’s president, reflected on the Charlie Hebdo shooting. It is important, said the prelate, for...

Interreligious dialogue at European Parliament CWN - March 26

An annual session of interreligious dialogue took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 24. The chief representative of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European...

The future Pope Francis on fervor and evangelization CWN - March 26

L’Osservatore Romano has published a brief 2006 text by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio on contemplation and action. The text, a foreword to a book by Father Víctor Manuel Fernández, now an...

Prelate: Nigeria needs a president who seeks the common good CWN - March 26

As Nigeria’s March 28 presidential election approaches, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria said that Africa’s largest nation needs “a dynamic, dependable, reliable leader...

Controversy follows passage of Indiana religious-freedom bill CWN - March 26

By large majorities of 63-31 in the House and 40-10 in the Senate, the Indiana General Assembly has passed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The measure “prohibits a governmental...

Firebomb tossed at pro-lifers outside Texas abortion clinic: no injuries, no major-media coverage CWN - March 25

A Texas woman faces felony charges after she toss a crude Molotov cocktail at a group of pro-life activists holding a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic. Melanie Maria Toney was arrested...

Italian tourism official says Rome 'totally capable' of handling pilgrim traffic during Jubilee Year CWN - March 25

A leading Italian tourism official has scoffed at suggestions that the Jubilee Year declared by Pope Francis will strain the resources of Rome. Rome is “totally capable” of absorbing an increase...

Cardinal Nichols instructs priests to avoid public debate on Synod issues CWN - March 25

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has advised English priests not to engage in a public debate on controversial issues that will be discussed at the October meeting of the Synod of...

Shots fired at police guarding church in Lahore, Pakistan CWN - March 25

Masked gunmen opened fire on police officers outside the church of St. Peter on Lahore, Pakistan, on March 24, fueling fears about further attacks on Christian churches. The unidentified gunmen,...

Plans unveiled for April-June exhibition of Shroud of Turin CWN - March 25

At a March 25 press conference in Rome, Church officials outlined plans for the exhibition of the Shroud of Turin, which will be held from April 19 to June 24. The public exhibition, marking the...

Pope pleads for prayers for success of Synod CWN - March 25

At his weekly public audience on March 25, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in October to renew a discussion of marriage and the family. Noting...

Papal telegram of condolence following plane crash CWN - March 25

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the name of the Pope following a plane crash in the French Alps that left 150 dead. “His Holiness...

Homeless to tour Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums CWN - March 25

The Office of Papal Charities has arranged a visit of 150 homeless persons to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums, according to a Vatican Radio report. Following the March 26 tour and a time...

Synod leader: the Pope’s ‘great revolution’ is one of ‘language and attitudes’ CWN - March 25

In an address to the bishops of Slovakia, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops said that “the great revolution” of Pope Francis is “the revolution of language and attitudes, in integral...

Prelate: Christians are not the only group targeted in Pakistan CWN - March 25

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan said in an interview that Christians are not the sole victims of persecution in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation. “The...

Over 1,000 missionaries killed since 1980 CWN - March 25

Since 1980, at least 1,062 Catholic missionaries have been killed, according to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. 115 were killed in the 1980s and 604...

Partial legal victory for student rejected by college, in part because of comment on faith CWN - March 25

A federal district court has permitted a lawsuit against officials of the Community College of Baltimore County to proceed. During an interview for entrance into a radiation therapy program,...

Controversy over priestly blessings at public schools in Bologna CWN - March 25

A group of parents and teachers from three public schools in Bologna, Italy, have filed suit against pre-Easter priestly blessings that take place on school grounds. Attendance at the blessings...

Christian doctors file legal challenge to new Ontario policy requiring abortion referrals CWN - March 24

The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada has filed a legal challenge against a new policy in Ontario that requires doctors to provide referrals for abortion, contraception, and...

Japanese archbishop says decline in Catholic population reflects crisis for faith CWN - March 24

Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki has reported that the faithful recognize a “deep sense of crisis” in Japanese Catholicism. Following an archdiocesan synod in 2014, the archbishop...

Vatican plans 2nd raffle of gifts donated to Pontiff CWN - March 24

For the 2nd time this year, the Vatican will raffle off items that were presented as gifts to Pope Francis. In January, a raffle of various items—ranging from wristwatches to a Fiat...

Vatican vigil marks 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae CWN - March 24

The Pontifical Council for the Family has organized an international vigil, hosted by the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, to mark the 20th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae, the landmark encyclical...

Benedict XVI no longer writing on theology, Archbishop Gänswein reports CWN - March 24

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI no longer has the physical strength to tackle new writing projects, his longtime personal secretary has disclosed. Archbishop Georg Gänswein told the Italian magazine...

Cardinal Nichols presides at Requiem Mass before re-interment of England's King Richard III CWN - March 24

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster presided at a Requiem Mass for England’s King Richard III on March 23, as Anglican authorities prepared to re-inter the king’s remains. King Richard III...

New Jersey law will end cemetery-headstone sales by Newark archdiocese CWN - March 24

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that will prevent the Newark archdiocese from selling headstones for the archdiocesan cemeteries. In 2013, when the Newark...

461 priests in England and Wales sign statement urge clear Synod support for traditional teaching CWN - March 24

More than 450 Catholic priests in England and Wales have signed a statement proclaiming their “unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human...

Head of 'Courage' ministry hopes to have an impact on October Synod discussions CWN - March 24

The executive director of Courage, the international ministry dedicated to helping people with same-sex attractions to live chaste lives, has said that his group hopes to have an impact on the...

Former Vatican official raps Cardinal Marx, says German hierarchy unfit to guide universal Church CWN - March 24

In a rare public display of open disagreement among ranking prelates, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes has criticized another German Church leader, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, for his suggestion that the...

Indian Christian identity under attack, cardinal says CWN - March 24

In India, Christians “feel that their Christian identity is being questioned,” the president of the country’s bishops’ conference has said. Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal of Trivandrum...

Italian bishops' leader: cultural collapse is reason why some join Islamic State CWN - March 24

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference decried the collapse of society’s cultural norms in his address to the bishops’ meeting on March 23. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said that...

Encyclical on environment nearly finished, Vatican spokesman reveals CWN - March 24

Pope Francis is expected to complete drafting an encyclical on the environment this week, the Vatican press office has said. Father Ciro Benedettini, the deputy director of the press office, said...

After church bombings, lynchings, Pakistani police arrest 200 Christians CWN - March 24

Police in Pakistan have arrested 200 Christians in connection with the lynchings that took place after the bombing of two churches in Lahore. Following the arrests in the heavily Christian...

Egyptian court upholds first-ever conviction of Muslim militant for blasphemy against Christianity CWN - March 23

An Egyptian appeals court has upheld the conviction of an Islamic leader for burning a Bible. Ahmed Mahmoud, popularly known as Abu Islam, was found guilty of violating an Egyptian law against...

Colombian priest killed in robbery CWN - March 23

A Catholic priest was killed in a robbery in Colombia on March 21, the Fides news service reports. Father Fernando Meza Luna was shot and gravely wounded during an attempted robbery in the city...

Cardinal Kasper asks prayers for Synod, says 'a battle is going on' CWN - March 23

Cardinal Walter Kasper has asked the faithful to pray for the success of the October 2015 meeting of the Synod of Bishops, “because a battle is going on.” Cardinal Kasper-- who played a leading...

Nigerian cardinal says country needs change, whoever wins legislative elections CWN - March 23

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria has said that he does not have a preference between the two major parties contending legislative elections scheduled for March 28, but “there has to be...

Ivory Coast: bishops warn against messages, allegedly from Virgin Mary, predicting catastrophe CWN - March 23

The Catholic bishops of the Ivory Coast have warned the faithful not to place any confidence in email and text messages that claim to be instructions from the Virgin Mary. Reacting to a rash of...

No justice without mercy, Pope says in homily CWN - March 23

“Where there is no mercy there is no justice,” Pope Francis said in his homily at Mass on March 23. Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading, which recounted the story of the woman caught in...

Angry protests mar installation of Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse CWN - March 23

Bishop Juan Barros Madrid was installed on March 21 to head the Diocese of Osorno, Chile, despite angry public protests over his alleged failure to report sexual abuse. Scores of noisy protesters...

Report: 2 ‘underground’ priests arrested in China CWN - March 23

Two priests faithful to the Holy See have been arrested in Mudanjiang, a city of 2.8 million in northeastern China, according to an AsiaNews report. Father Shaoyun Quan, 41, and Father Jianyou...

Cardinal preaches at transfer of Richard III’s remains CWN - March 23

The remains of King Richard III of England, discovered during an excavation at the University of Leicester in 2012, were transferred to Leicester Cathedral on March 23. “We pray for him today...

Partial victory for Quebec Catholic school in Canadian high court case CWN - March 23

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a decision by Quebec’s education minister and ruled that a Catholic school should be permitted to teach a Catholic version of the province’s...

USCCB: religious freedom, conscience rights under fire in DC CWN - March 23

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, joined by five bishops who serve as chairmen of committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have asked Congress to rescind two laws recently...

Offer the Gospel, the crucifix, and witness to those who are seeking Jesus, says Pope CWN - March 23

Reflecting on the Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 12:20-33), Pope Francis said at his March 22 Angelus address that we should offer the Gospel, the crucifix, and witness to those who are seeking...

In Naples, Pope denounces corruption, calls criminals to conversion CWN - March 23

Pope Francis began a one-day pastoral visit to Naples on March 21 by praying at the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei. He then traveled to Scampia, a suburb of Naples, where he...

Papal tribute to Japan's 'hidden Christians' CWN - March 20

Pope Francis paid homage to the “hidden Christians” of Japan, who kept the faith alive after priests were expelled from the country, during a March 20 meeting with the Japanese Catholic...

Assyrian prelate: Church is not allied with any faction in Syrian conflict CWN - March 20

A leader of the Assyrian Church of the East has sent a message to the leaders of the Islamic State, telling them that Christians are not supporting any of the armed groups fighting in...

Head of Roman charity urges help for the poor, cautions against profiteering during Jubilee Year CWN - March 20

The head of the Roman office of Caritas, the Catholic charity, has suggested that utility companies should offer special support for the poor during the Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope...

Dublin's Archbishop Martin calls for calm, respectful debate on same-sex marriage CWN - March 20

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin called for a calm and respectful discussion before a referendum vote on same-sex marriage, and defended the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage and family...

After public appearance in St. Louis cancelled at Vatican request, Medjugorje 'seer' holds private event CWN - March 20

After a public appearance was cancelled at the request of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, one of the “seers” of Medjugorje held a meeting this week in a private home. Sponsors of the event said...

Boston archdiocese goes to court to end occupation of closed parish church CWN - March 20

The Archdiocese of Boston is seeking a court injunction to end the occupation of a parish church that was officially closed more than a decade ago. The “Friends of St. Frances Cabrini,” who have...

Senate Democrats block bill to aid victims of human trafficking, insist on abortion funding CWN - March 20

Democratic members of the US Senate have blocked passage of a bill to aid victims of human trafficking, because the bill does not provide funding for abortions. The Democratic Party, determined...

Egyptian Christians, Muslims closer together in wake of martyrdoms in Libya, bishop says CWN - March 20

The 21 Coptic Christians who were slaughtered by the Islamic State in Libya are “true martyrs” and will be recognized as such, an Egyptian bishop has said. Bishop Kyrillos William Samaan of...

Pope raises Byzantine-rite Hungarian Catholic Church to status of sui juris metropolitan see CWN - March 20

Pope Francis has reorganized the hierarchy of the Byzantine-rite Hungarian Catholic Church, raising it to the level of a sui juris metropolitan Church. The Pope has raised the Eparchy of...

Capital punishment never justified, Pope argues CWN - March 20

“Nowadays the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed,” Pope Francis said at a March 20 meeting with members of the International Committee against the Death...

Disgraced Scottish cardinal renounces his rank CWN - March 20

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned his post as Archbishop of Edinburgh in 2013 after admitting to sexual misconduct, has renounced his rights and privileges as a member of the College of Cardinals. The Vatican announced on March 20 that the Scottish cardinal had voluntarily tendered his resignation “after a long period of prayer” and after a private meeting with Pope Francis. Cardinal...

Pope Francis calls Pope Emeritus CWN - March 20

Pope Francis called Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. The Pontiff wished the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger a happy name day, and the Pope Emeritus in turn...

Pope decries terrorist attack in Tunis CWN - March 20

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the Holy Father’s name following a terrorist attack on a museum in Tunis. The Pontiff reiterated...

Chaldean bishop: war is the only way to stop the persecution of Iraq’s Christians CWN - March 20

In an interview that will air on the CBS news show 60 Minutes, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, said that war is the only way to protect Iraq’s...

USCCB, CRS call for ‘robust funding’ of federal housing programs CWN - March 20

Officials of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA have called for the “robust funding” of several federal housing programs. “As Catholics, we believe that...

Latin American bishops rue effects of mining by multinational coroporations CWN - March 20

Testifying before a hearing of a regional human rights body, representatives of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM) called upon the US and Canada to hold multinational mining companies...

Italian Senate approves 'fast-divorce' proposal CWN - March 19

A proposal to speed the process of legal divorce has won overwhelming approval in the Italian Senate. By a vote of 228 to 11, lawmakers passed the “fast-divorce” bill, which would reduce the...

Pope donates over 1,000 pounds of food to serve needy Roman neighborhood CWN - March 19

Pope Francis has donated 1,100 pounds of food to a charitable agency that serves a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Rome. After visiting a parish in the Tor Bella Monaca district, the Pope...

Vatican official: no return to 1998 English translation of the liturgy CWN - March 19

The secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has ruled out the use of the English-language translation of the Roman Missal that was proposed by the International Commission on...

Breakaway traditionalist prelate ordains new bishop, incurs new excommunication CWN - March 19

Bishop Richard Williamson, the traditionalist prelate who was dismissed from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in 2012, has ordained a new bishop for his schismatic group, incurring the automatic...

Vatican downplays concerns about costs to government for Jubilee year CWN - March 19

Vatican officials have reacted coolly to a contentious debate among Italian politicians about the potential costs the government might incur during the Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope...

Illinois CCD teachers face felony child-porn charges CWN - March 19

An Illinois man who faces child-pornography charges was teaching religious-education classes in a Catholic parish. John Gabriel and his partner, Margarita Hernandez, face felony charges. An...

Cardinal Sarah speaks of ‘sound tradition,’ ‘legitimate progress’ in the liturgy CWN - March 19

Reflecting on the collect of the Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said in a brief...

Cardinal Parolin: the Church must be free to preach the Gospel CWN - March 19

In an address marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Romania and the Holy See, the Vatican’s Secretary of State emphasized the importance of religious freedom, including the...

Pope will address United Nations on September 25 CWN - March 19

Pope Francis will address the United Nations General Assembly on September 25, according to a statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Secretary-General welcomes the visit of Pope Francis...

Vatican official assures Syria’s bishops of Pope’s closeness CWN - March 19

The secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has concluded a six-day visit to Syria to express the Holy See’s closeness to the war-torn nation. Archbishop Cyril Vasil’ prayed at the...

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