Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope Francis: Reformation’s 500th anniversary is ‘privileged occasion’ for living the faith

Pope Francis received an ecumenical delegation from Finland on January 19 and said that 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, is “for Catholics and Lutherans a privileged...

French, German bishops issue statement on child migrants

Reflecting on Pope Francis’s message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the bishops’ conferences of France and Germany recently issued a joint statement on the plight of child...

Rising attacks on Christians in India

During the typical week in India, there are ten incidents of anti-Christian violence, such as church burnings or attacks on clerics, The Guardian reported. “There is a clear pattern of...

Nigerian prelate laments lack of missionary commitment

A Nigerian archbishop said in a recent homily that a lack of a sense of missionary urgency among priests and religious is the greatest challenge facing the Church in Africa’s most populous...

Italian cardinal: ‘populism does not solve problems’

In a recent meeting with journalists, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa said that populism is not the answer to the problems facing Europe. The prelate is president of the Italian Episcopal...

US prelates welcome next synod’s preparatory document

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia have issued a joint statement welcoming the release of the preparatory document of the 2018 Synod of Bishops, whose...

Farm animals gather in St. Peter’s Square for annual observance

St. Peter’s Square was filled with farm animals on January 17, for the annual “Farm under the Sky,” organized by Italian farmers’ groups on the feast of St. Anthony the...

Irish primate urges statesmanship after collapse of government in Northern Ireland

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh has called upon political leaders in Northern Ireland to “sustain the painstaking progress which many of you and your predecessors helped to deliver”...

Bishops of Kazakhstan launch appeal for prayer for clear teaching on marriage

Three prelates from Kazakhstan have joined in an urgent appeal to the faithful to pray for a clear statement of Church teaching on marriage, to eliminate confusion and error in the wake of Amoris...

Catholic nun told she cannot wear habit in Nebraska school

A Catholic religious sister has been told that she cannot wear her habit while teaching in a Nebraska secondary school. Sister Madeleine Miller was hired to teach in a public school in Norfolk,...

Pope remains popular with American public, poll shows

Pope Francis has maintained his high approval ratings among Americans, a new Pew Research poll finds. The survey found that 70% of all respondents give the Pope a favorable rating, with only 19%...

Vatican stamp to honor Luther

The Vatican will issue a stamp to honor Martin Luther this year, marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The Vatican regularly issues stamps to mark special occasions and to...

New earthquakes strike central Italy, rattle Rome

A series of earthquakes shook central Italy on January 18, with the epicenter near the town of Amatrice, which was devastated by quakes last year. The tremors were clearly felt in Rome, near 90...

Planned Parenthood coached staff to cover up child abuse, former employee discloses

A former Planned Parenthood employee has said that the organization trained its counselors to skirt laws requiring them to report the sexual abuse of young girls. In 2011, an undercover...

2016 was ‘truly ecumenical year,’ says Cardinal Koch

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity rated 2016 as a “truly ecumenical year” as he looked forward to the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Cardinal...

Cardinal Pell: new personal attacks are a bid to thwart economic reforms

Cardinal George Pell has charged that new public attacks at him are intended to thwart the economic reforms that he is leading at the Vatican. The Australian cardinal, who now heads the...

Pope Francis reflects on Jonah and hope

Continuing his weekly series of catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his January 18 general audience to “Jonah: hope and prayer.” The prophet Jonah...

Bishop interprets Amoris Laetitia in manner consistent with prior papal teaching

Bishop Steven Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter has issued “A Pledged Troth,” a pastoral letter on Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris...

Prelate: Iraqi Christians don’t want ‘humanitarian corridor’

The Syriac Catholic archbishop of Mosul said that Iraqi Christians wish to live in harmony with others throughout the country and do not wish to be confined to a “humanitarian corridor”...

Cardinal Dolan to offer prayer from Book of Wisdom at Trump inauguration

At President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will offer a prayer for wisdom recorded in the Old Testament. The prayer—which St....

Church destroyed in Sri Lanka

A group of Buddhists, led by a monk, recently destroyed a Protestant church in Paharaiya, Sri Lanka. “First, they threatened us verbally,” said Kamal Wasantha, a convert from Buddhism...

Cardinal DiNardo on immigration: ‘we need not sink into the darkness of isolation’

In a statement supporting Pope Francis’s recent video message to immigrants in the United States, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo noted that “in the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense...

Background: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William...

Pope raps Christians who do not want change

In his homily at a morning Mass on January 17, Pope Francis criticized “lazy Christians, Christians who do not have the will to go forward, Christians who don’t fight to make things...

Stockton diocese to emerge from bankruptcy

The Diocese of Stockton, California will soon emerge from bankruptcy protection, after a court approved a plan for financial reorganization. The plan, which provides $15 million to victims of...

Pro-life group unwelcome at ‘Women’s March’

Organizers of a ‘Women’s March’ protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump have removed a pro-life group from the event’s list. The New Wave Feminists, who oppose...

Attorney-general nominee Sessions promises tough enforcement of pornography laws

Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated by incoming President Donald Trump to serve as attorney general, told a Senate confirmation hearing that he would “vigorously” enforce...

In French presidential race, Fillon holds large lead among practicing Catholics

In this year’s presidential contest, Francois Fillon continues to hold a formidable lead among French voters who are practicing Catholics, a new survey shows. The poll by the weekly Famille...

Malta archbishop defends Amoris Laetitia guidelines

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta has defended the guidelines published by the island nation’s bishops for the implementation of Amoris Laetitia. Responding to the charge that the Malta...

Former CDF prefect speaks on curial reform, prosecution of abusive priests

Cardinal William Levada, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said that he does not anticipate a downgrading of the Vatican’s doctrinal agency, and...

Dispute escalates between Vatican, Knights of Malta

The Vatican has underlined its commitment to an investigation into controversy within the Knights of Malta, after the head of that order charged that an investigating committee was troubled by...

Group has spent $45M to aid Middle East’s persecuted Christians

In the past six years, Aid to the Church in Need has spent $45 million assisting the Middle East’s persecuted Christians, according to Crux’s John Allen. With aid provided by the...

Stone slabs stolen from 8 French churches

French authorities have arrested seven people in connection with the theft of stone slabs from eight churches in the Burgundy region of France since September 2015. The seven are also suspected...

English bishop welcomes prime minister’s mental health reforms

The English bishop responsible for pastoral concerns related to mental health has welcomed an initiative by Prime Minister Theresa May to improve mental health care. “I am delighted that...

Catholic organizations petition President-elect Trump on climate

The Catholic Climate Covenant, an organization which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops helped form in 2006, has urged President-elect Donald Trump to “demonstrate bold...

President Obama pays tribute to religious freedom

President Barack Obama paid tribute to religious liberty in a presidential proclamation for Religious Freedom Day. The day, observed on January 16, commemorates the anniversary of Thomas...

Morocco bans burqa sales

Citing concerns about security, the government of Morocco has banned the importation and sale of burqas. Few women in the North African nation wear the burqa; most wear the hijab, or...

Cardinal DiNardo: encounter, solidarity can help overcome racism’s effects

In a brief message for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that “while there have been real gains in our country, we must not...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Archbishop of Canterbury to apologize for violence of Protestant Reformation

The Archbishop of Canterbury will issue a statement this week apologizing for the violence 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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

+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...

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...

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...

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