Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope arrives in Georgia, puts stress on peaceful coexistence

Pope Francis arrived in Georgia on September 30 to begin a three-day visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan, telling Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II that he came “as a pilgrim and a...

Terror attack survivor describes murder of Father Hamel

A French man who survived the terrorist attack on the church of St. Etienne du Rouvray has described the killing of Father Jacques Hamel. Guy Coponet, a layman who was attending Mass on the day...

Pope tells countrymen he cannot visit Argentina before 2018

Pope Francis has ruled out a visit to his native Argentina any time this year or next. In a video message to the people of his homeland, the Pope said that his schedule for 2017 already includes...

Colombia's president says Pope will visit next year

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has announced that Pope Francis will visit the South American country sometime early next year. The Vatican has not disclosed plans for a papal visit...

Chaldean synod prays for peace, urges priests to return

The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, have concluded a six-day synod in Erbil, Iraq. The prelates prayed for the liberation...

World’s migrant population at all-time high, study confirms

The number of people who had been forced to leave their homes reached an all-time high of 60 million worldwide at the close of 2015, a study by the UN has found. The UN High Commissioner for...

Pope admits he does not enjoy travel

In a brief exchange with reporters who accompanied him on a September 30 flight to Tbilisi, Georgia, Pope Francis dropped a broad hint that he is not fond of travel. "This is going to be a...

Challenge for Pope is to find lost sheep without distressing faithful, says Cardinal Ruini

The greatest challenge facing Pope Francis is to bring people back into the Catholic Church without creating a crisis among practicing Catholics, according to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the retired...

Kidnapped Nigerian priest released safely

A Catholic priest who was kidnapped in Nigeria on September 28 was released the next day. Father Emma Dim, the rector of the major seminary in Onitsha, was released without any ransom payment,...

Canadian bishops discuss euthanasia, indigenous peoples

The Canadian bishops have gathered for a five-day meeting to discuss several topics, including euthanasia and relations with indigenous peoples. Following the imposition of euthanasia by the...

USCCB issues Respect Life Month statement

“Moved by mercy” is the theme of the US bishops’ Respect Life Month in October. “Every person is sacred and must be treated with the dignity they deserve,” stated...

Contraceptive users found at heightened risk of depression

Women who use artificial contraceptives are more likely to suffer from depression, a new Danish study has found. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry found that among women who used hormonal...

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for October 2016. The Holy Father's general intention is: “That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be...

Italian filmmaker pushed for new probe into disappearance of Vatican employee's child

An Italian film director has said that his latest effort is a bid to prod Italian police to reopen their investigation into the case of Emanuela Orlandi, the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee,...

Archbishop: ‘in choosing presidents, we choose judges’

In a reflection on the presidential election, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, emphasized that “in choosing presidents, we choose judges, too.” “I sympathize...

Italian bishops outline 4 priorities

At the conclusion of a three-day meeting, the permanent council of the Italian Episcopal Conference outlined four priorities to help guide the conference's future actions. The priorities...

Lebanese prelate says Palestinians have 'natural right' to state status

The Palestinian people have a "natural right" to recognition as a sovereign state, according to Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. The Lebanese prelate said that the...

K of C leader Anderson to receive Path to Peace Award

The Path to Peace Foundation, which supports the Vatican's work at UN headquarters in New York, will give its top annual award to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus. In...

Church doctrine helped fuel anti-Semitism, says Archbishop of Canterbury

The leader of the worldwide Anglican communion has said that Christian doctrine helped to spur the growth of anti-Semitism. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Justin Welby, said that "it is a...

Terror fears prompt tighter security around Canterbury cathedral

Heavily armed police officers are patrolling the area around Canterbury Cathedral, because of heightened concerns about terror attacks. Law-enforcement officials in England have stepped up...

Nicaraguan cardinal: US sanctions would hit the poor hardest

A Nicaraguan cardinal has warned that proposed US sanctions against his country's government would take a heavy toll on the nation's poor. The US House of Representatives has approved a...

Newly released prosecutor's files show details of case against Minnesota archdiocese

New court documents released in Minnesota today show details of the criminal case a prosecutor had built against the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. The papers show that some accusations...

Theme announced for next World Day of Social Communications

“Fear not, for I am with you” (Is. 43:5): communicating hope and trust in our time” is the theme of the next World Day of Social Communications, which will take place on May 28,...

Pope laments continued violence in Syria, Iraq

On September 29, Pope Francis met with members of Catholic charitable organizations who assist those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq. “We must note with great sadness...

Invoke the archangels, Pope tells pilgrims

At the conclusion of his September 28 general audience, Pope Francis called upon pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to seek the intercession of the archangels. “In...

Vatican newspaper examines deaconesses and the early Church

Nearly two months after Pope Francis instituted a commission to study women and the diaconate, L’Osservatore Romano has published an article on deaconesses and the early Church. Carlo...

Cardinal Marx warns against nationalism in Europe

Addressing an audience of 800 in Berlin that included Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich praised the German policy of welcoming migrants and condemned...

Bishops discuss integration of migrants in Europe

European bishops responsible for the pastoral care of migrants met recently in Madrid to discuss the integration of migrants and refugees into society. “Before becoming physical realities,...

Florida couple on trial over Christmas display in lawn

The city of Plantation, Florida, has taken a couple to court for refusing to reduce the size of the Christmas display in their front lawn. The display includes 200,000 lights, according to a...

Naples cathedral reports money stolen

Thieves in Naples have stolen about €13,000 ($14,500) that was donated to the city's cathedral in a special collection on the feast of St. Januarius. The thieves also purloined funds...

Pope mourns Israeli leader Shimon Peres

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on the death of Shimon Peres. Peres, who died at 93, was a former prime minister and president of Israel. The...

French government proposes law to ban on-line efforts to discourage abortion

The French government has proposed legislation that would prohibit internet campaigns to dissuade women from having abortions. The legislation would introduce criminal penalties of two years'...

English bishop lowers age for Confirmation, to address falling numbers confirmed

An English bishop has announced that he is lowering the normal age for confirmation in his diocese, in a bid to increase the number of young people who receive the sacrament. In a pastoral letter...

Maronite patriarchate backs Christian presidential candidate in Lebanon

The vicar general of the Maronite Catholic patriarchate has indicated his support for Michel Aoun to be chosen as president of Lebanon. It is "quite normal" to support Aoun, argued...

Missionary priest asks Mexican government help for migrants headed for US

As thousands of emigrants from Haiti line Mexico’s southern border, hoping to cross the country and find refuge in the US, a Catholic priest is calling upon the Mexican government to provide...

Jesuits to elect new superior general

The Society of Jesus’ 36th general congregation will open at the Church of the Gesù in Rome on October 2. During the meeting, the Society, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, will...

Pope Francis: look to the good thief as a model

Continuing his series of weekly addresses devoted to mercy, Pope Francis reflected on forgiveness on the Cross during his September 28 general audience. “Jesus’ words during His...

Aleppo bombers 'accountable to God,' Pope warns

Stating that those who are bombing Aleppo will be “accountable to God,” Pope Francis appealed for peace in the Syrian city. “In expressing my deep sorrow and lively concern for...

Pope receives Jewish leaders, discusses immigration

Pope Francis discussed immigration with the leaders of the World Jewish Congress at a meeting in Domus Sanctae Marthae on the evening of September 26. “Europe often forgets that it has been...

Jamaican prelate: Church will care for babies born with microcephaly

Amid calls for the legalization of abortion for unborn children diagnosed with microcephaly, Jamaica’s leading prelate said that Catholic religious communities are willing to care for any...

USCCB publishes report on implementation of Amoris Laetitia

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a report on the reception and implementation of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The report was written...

Pope's cars to be auctioned; proceeds for Syrian refugees

The cars used by Pope Francis during his July visit to Poland are being auctioned off, with the proceeds to be used to support a clinic in Lebanon that treats Syrian refugees. During his stay in...

Internet search engines block ads for sex-selection abortions in India

Under heavy pressure from the government of India, the operators of world's leading internet search engines have agreed to block advertisements for sex-selection abortion. Google, Yahoo, and...

Nuclear weapons offer only 'false security,Vatican envoy tells UN

Nuclear weapons cannot provide genuine security, the Vatican's representative said at a UN meeting on September 26, and the drive to eliminate all nuclear arms is a "moral and humanitarian...

Confirmed: Trump, Clinton both to appear at NY fundraiser for Catholic Charities

Both major-party presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will speak at the annual Al Smith dinner, the fundraising event for Catholic Charities in New York. The Al Smith dinner...

North Korea nuclear tests worry Pope Francis

Pope Francis is concerned about the ramifications of nuclear tests in North Korea, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has revealed. At a September 27 briefing, Burke said that the tensions raised by...

Cardinal Parolin, in Colombia, welcomes peace accord

As the Colombian government and rebels and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army signed an accord to end their 52-year conflict, the Vatican’s...

Mexico: smear campaign alleged against murdered priests

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City said that state governments have engaged in a smear campaign against three recently murdered priests. “In these cases it has become clear that...

Catholic Charities urges Senate to address Flint lead contamination

Sister Donna Markham, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, has called upon the Senate to address ongoing lead contamination in Flint, Michigan. “Catholic Charities of Shiawassee...

Catholic school sued for not permitting same-sex dance date

A former student of a Catholic high school in Memphis has filed a $1-million suit because the school’s principal told him he could not bring a date of the same sex to a dance. In his...

Guam lifts statute of limitations in abuse cases

Guam’s governor has signed legislation removing the statute of limitations in civil cases involving sexual abuse—a decision that places the Archdiocese of Agana at risk of...

Bishop welcomes UN resolution on nuclear treaty

The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution calling upon various nations, including the United States, to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The United States has signed...

Saudi Arabia deports Christians for celebrating Assumption

Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Catholics, all Lebanese Maronites, who were arrested for celebrating the feast of the Assumption in a private home. Saudi religious police raided the home in Al...

Profiling Catholic presence in Georgia, Azerbaijan before papal visit

The Vatican has released a statistical profile of the Catholic presence in Georgia and Azerbaijan in advance of the visit to those two countries by Pope Francis, which will take place September 30...

Chinese officials again take 'underground' bishop into custody to prevent appearance at prelate's funeral

For the 2nd time in less than a month, Chinese officials have taken an "underground" Catholic bishop on a trip to a remote part of the country, so that he cannot preside at the funeral of...

Jordan: Islamic party voters reject Christian candidates

In Jordan's legislative elections, Islamic voters refused to support Christian candidates, reports Archbishop Maroun Lahham, the patriarchal vicar for the Jerusalem patriarchate. Under...

Schedule updated for papal visit to Sweden, Reformation celebration

The Vatican has updated the schedule for a visit by Pope Francis to Sweden, to join in a celebration of the Reformation. The Pontiff will leave Rome in the morning on Monday, October 31, arriving...

Vatican Secretary of State assures nuncios: no major concessions in talks with China

Cardinal Pietro Parolin has reportedly assured Church diplomats that the Vatican will not allow the Chinese government a role in the appointment of new bishops. Speaking at a meeting of apostolic...

DRC President Kabila meets with Pope to discuss African country's unrest

Pope Francis met on September 26 with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to discuss the continued violence and unrest in the African nation. Although a brief...

Jordanian journalist murdered at court; was charged with offending Islam

A Jordanian journalist was shot and killed as he arrived at a court in Amman to answer charges that he had offended Islam with a cartoon posted on his Facebook page. Nahed Hattar, who had...

San Marino liberalizes abortion law

The little European nation-state of San Marino has voted to allow for legal abortion in some circumstances. The San Marino Council approved legislation that allows for abortion in cases of rape,...

Rhode Island parishioners protest at Mass after homosexual music director's dismissal

A small group of parishioners at a parish in Providence, Rhode Island, sang their own song during the recitation of the Nicene Creed to protest the removal of a homosexual music director. Michael...

Realism necessary in handling European immigrants, says Croatian prelate

Church leaders "need to be very realistic about the crisis of refugees arriving in Europe," Cardinal Joip Bozanic of Zagreb told a meeting of European Catholic officials working with...

US exorcism rate soaring

The demand for exorcisms in the US has soared in recent years, two Catholic priests told the Daily Telegraph. The London newspaper—covering a story that is rarely mentioned in US...

Massive demonstration in Mexico against same-sex marriage

Over 200,000 people joined in demonstrations in Mexico City on September 24 to protest plans by President Enrique Pena Nieto for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The demonstrators, dressed...

Mexico: kidnapped priest found dead

A priest who was abducted last week from his parish in the Mexican state of Michoacan has been found dead of gunshot wounds. Father José Alfredo Lopez Guillen is the third priest to be...

Pope recalls World Day of the Deaf

During his September 25 Angelus address, delivered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis recalled that the day was the World Day of the Deaf. “I wish to greet all the deaf people,...

Pope backs Mexican bishops’ defense of life, marriage

On September 25, at the conclusion of Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the jubilee of catechists, Pope Francis delivered a brief Angelus address in which he expressed support of the Mexican...

‘Angel of Dachau’ beatified

A German priest known as the “angel of Dachau” was beatified as a martyr in Würzburg, Germany, on September 24. Blessed Engelmar Unzeitig (1911-45) entered the Marianhill...

Focus on the essential message of the faith, Pope tells catechists

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the jubilee of catechists on September 25 and encouraged them to focus on the proclamation of the Risen Lord. “We are being asked not to tire of keeping...

Pope receives families of victims of terrorist attack in France

Pope Francis met with the relatives of the victims of the July 14 attack in Nice, France, in which Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian, drove a truck into a crowd, killing 87 and injuring over...

Continue to serve the sick with love, Pope tells women religious

Pope Francis received members of the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy in a September 24 audience and encouraged them to persevere in their service to the sick. The community was founded in 1821 by the...

Catholic bishops suspend involvement in 'national dialogue' talks in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have announced that they are backing away temporarily from involvement in national dialogue on elections, as tensions mount in the...

Polish bishops reject campaign by gay-right activists

The Catholic bishops of Poland have spoken out against a drive by homosexual activists to gain greater acceptance. The gay-rights campaign, organized around the theme, "Let's exchange a...

Canadian archbishop accepts award from dissident group FutureChurch

A Canadian archbishop has agreed to accept an award from the dissident Catholic group "FutureChurch." Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, will be honored by...

New Vatican rules for testing miracles in causes for canonization

The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints has announced has issued new rules governing the medical boards that investigate reported miracles in connection with the causes of candidates...

China plans new restrictions on religious groups

The Chinese government has proposed strict new rules to regulate the activities of religious organizations, emphasizing that they must "not be controlled by foreign forces." Expanding...

Vatican becomes signatory of anti-corruption treaty

On September 19, the Vatican City State became a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, a 2003 anti-corruption treaty signed by 140 nations. In adhering to the treaty, the...

Philippine cardinal at Assisi: Islamist terrorists are ‘practical atheists’

Members of the Philippine Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf are “practical atheists” whose actions manifest a “denial of God,” a Philippine cardinal said during the recent...

Chaldean synod begins

The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church began a week-long synod in Erbil, Iraq, on September 22. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told AsiaNews that the synod would examine the situation in the...

Charlotte bishop calls for prayer following violence

Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte has issued a statement on the violence and looting that has taken place in the North Carolina city following the fatal shooting of an African-American man by an...

Attack on Catholic church in Aleppo

A Syriac Catholic church in Aleppo has suffered damage from rocket and mortar fire. The Free Syrian Army, a rebel coalition group, attacked the church recently in violation of a cease-fire,...

Trump campaign forms Catholic advisory group

The Donald Trump presidential campaign has announced the formation of a Catholic advisory group. Members include Sen. Rick Santorum, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, and Father Frank Pavone of Priests...

At UN, Cardinal Parolin outlines Vatican 'foreign policy'

In a September 22 address to the UN General Assembly, the Vatican's Secretary of State offered an overview of the Holy See's concerns about world affairs. Cardinal Pietro Parolin opened...

Another Mexican priest kidnapped

Another Mexican Catholic priest has been kidnapped, and his fate remains unknown, just a few days after two priests were murdered in the state of Veracruz. Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia...

Archbishop Gerety, world's oldest bishop, dead at 104

Archbishop Peter Gerety, the retired Archbishop of Newark, died on September 20 at a nursing home in New Jersey. Archbishop Gerety, who led the Newark archdiocese from 1974 until his retirement...

Clinton, Trump invited to NY Catholic Charities fundraiser

Both leading American presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have been invited to speak at the annual fundraising dinner for Catholic Charities in New York, archdiocesan...

Bishop Olmsted: Amoris Laetitia does not mean Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has announced that Catholics who are divorced and remarried should not receive the Eucharist. Writing in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Olmsted said...

Inter-faith dialogue thwarts extremists, says apostolic administrator of Jerusalem

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the apostolic administator of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has underlined the importance of inter-religious dialogue as a means of combatting...

Orthodox-Catholic commission reaches agreement on primacy

A joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission has approved a statement on the primacy in Church history. The statement-- which covered the questions of both synodal government and primacy in...

Formal statutes approved for Vatican's new Communications Secretariat

Pope Francis has approved statutes for the Secretariat for Communications, the new Vatican office that has been created to coordinate and streamline the media operations of the Holy See. The...

Report truths, do not spread fears, Pope says to journalists

Journalists should be motivated by love of the truth, professionalism, and respect for human dignity, Pope Francis said in a September 22 address. Speaking to members of Italy's Naiotnal...

Coptic Orthodox leader urges support for Sisi

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church called upon Coptic Christians in the United States to show their support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as he traveled to New York for a UN...

Zambia: bishops criticize establishment of government religion ministry

Zambia’s bishops have joined the Protestant Council of Churches in Zambia in criticizing the government’s decision to establish a Ministry of National Guidance and Religious...

Archbishop Cupich: dialogue with Muslims more important than ever

There is an “urgent need to cultivate positive dialogue” with Muslims, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago said in a statement. The prelate, who serves as co-chairman of the National...

Suspects arrested in murder of Nigerian priest

Nigerian police have arrested four suspects in the murder of Father John Adeyi. Father Adeyi, the vicar general of the Diocese of Otukpo, was kidnapped on April 24. His decomposed body was...

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