Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope celebrates 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination

On June 27, Pope Francis marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop, celebrating Mass with members of the College of Cardinals in the Pauline Chapel of the apostolic...

Pope greets delegation from Ecumenical Patriarch

Pope Francis received a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on June 27, as is customary in the days around the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (June 29), patrons of...

Prelate: Supreme Court’s Trinity Lutheran decision is ‘landmark victory for religious freedom’

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, welcomed the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer as...

Myanmar: Cardinal Bo challenges government to acknowledge Rohingya suffering

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, has spoken out in support of the country’s Rohingya minority, which has been the object of severe repression. About 1.1 million members of the...

British Medical Association endorses decriminalization of abortion

Brushing aside a protest from pro-life members, the British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to approve a motion calling for the decriminalization of abortion. The motion, which gained a...

Australian census shows falling Catholic population

Australia’s Catholic population is falling, and the number of those who claim “no religion” is now the country’s largest bloc, according to the latest census figures. In...

Congo’s bishops decry violence, call for elections

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo called upon President Joseph Kabila to respect a December agreement with opposition leaders to hold elections in 2017. Politicians...

Nuncio encourages Christians to return to Iraq

Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín, the apostolic nuncio to Iraq, has encouraged Christians who have fled Iraq to return to their native land, in order to be “the presence of...

Church in Colombia struggling to cope with ‘hungry’ refugees from Venezuelan

Catholic institutions in Colombia are having difficulty providing help for a flood of migrants from troubled Venzuela, the Fides news service reports. “We have to do something,” said...

Cardinal-designate from Mali recovering from illness, will attend consistory

Cardinal-designate Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, will attend the June 28 consistory at which he will receive a red hat from Pope Francis, having recovered from a stomach ailment that threatened to...

Priest, other hostages seized in Mindanao reported still alive

A Catholic priest who was abducted by Islamic militants on the Philippine island of Mindanao in May is still alive, according to a spokesman for the Filipino military. Father Teresito Suganob...

European court rules out Spanish subsidies for Catholic institutions

The European Court of Justice has ruled that a tax exemption granted to a Spanish Catholic school would be an illegal form of state support for religion, if the school could be classified as a...

Retired Archbishop of Canterbury resigns from Anglican post after abuse report

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has resigned from his role as an Anglican prelate after a negative report on his handling of a sex-abuse claim against another Anglican...

English cardinal addresses Lithuanian parliament

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster addressed the Lithuanian parliament on June 26 in his capacity as president of the Santa Marta Group. The Group, founded in 2014, seeks to foster...

Portuguese bishops announce national hymnal

The president of the Commission for the Liturgy and Spirituality of the Portuguese Bishops’ Conference has announced that a “national songbook” is being prepared. “We have...

Cardinal commemorates Avignon papacy

Cardinal Paul Poupard, the 86-year-old president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was the Pope’s special envoy at a Mass commemorating the 700th anniversary of the Avignon...

Ousted Vatican bank president raps Pope on Amoris Laetitia

In an unusually blunt criticism of Pope Francis, the former president of the Vatican bank has written that in Amoris Laetitia, the Pontiff is in effect saying, “I can contradict myself if I...

Did Venezuelan bishops ask for papal silence on their country’s crisis?

Writing for Crux, Father Raymond de Souza makes the observation that since the Venezuelan bishops sent a delegation to speak with Pope Francis about the crisis in their country, the Vatican has made...

Indonesian parishes reschedule Masses to accommodate Muslim holiday

Catholic churches in Indonesia altered their Mass schedule on June 25, to ease traffic congestion as Muslims marked their feast of Eid al Fitr. In Jakarta, where the Catholic cathedral shares a...

British doctors protest move to decriminalize abortion

Nearly 1,500 doctors and medical students have signed an open letter protesting a move to put the British Medical Association (BMA) on record in favor of decriminalizing abortion. The letter to...

Supreme Court to hear Colorado baker’s plea in gay-wedding cake

The US Supreme Court has agree to hear the appeal of a Colorado court’s ruling that a baker violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by declining to prepare a cake for the wedding of...

Al Azhar university proposes legislation to bar use of religion inciting violence

The Islamic faculty of Al Azhar University has made a proposal for legislation that would counteract the use of religious rhetoric to justify violence. Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyib, the head of Al...

Cardinal Turkson issues statement for UN Day against Drug Abuse

In a statement issued for the UN’s International Day Against Drug Abuse, Cardinal Peter Turkson argues that giving young people a “spiritual vision of existence” is the best way to...

Caring for the sick is of inestimable value, Pope tells anti-cancer organization

In a June 26 audience with the Italian League for the Fight against Tumors, Pope Francis praised the efforts of the organization to foster a culture of cancer prevention and to promote volunteer...

Vatican: ‘grave concern’ over detained Chinese bishop

The Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the plight of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou. The prelate, whose ministry is recognized by the Holy See but not by the Chinese...

Lithuanian bishop beatified as martyr

Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis (1873-1962), who suffered intense persecution from the Soviet regime during his 33 years as a bishop, was beatified as a martyr at the cathedral in Vilnius,...

Pope Francis: the Christian must expect rejection, persecution

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 10:24-33), Pope Francis said in his June 25 Angelus address that the disciple must expect rejection and persecution. “The disciple is...

Pontiff greets Italian swimmers, speaks about water, baptism

Pope Francis received participants in an Italian swimming competition on June 24 and reflected on water and values associated with athletics. “Water is life, without water life does not...

Many await the joyful proclamation of the Resurrection, Pope tells Resurrectionists

Pope Francis met with participants in the general chapter of the Congregation of the Resurrection on June 24 and reflected on the theme of their meeting, “Witnesses of the Presence of the...

Schedule announced for papal trip to Colombia

The Holy See Press Office has announced the schedule for Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Colombia. The Pope will depart from Rome and arrive in Bogotá, the nation’s capital...

Be bold, Pope urges members of Serra International

In a June 23 address to members of Serra International, Pope Francis encouraged the group to continue its work “with courage, creativity, and boldness.” Serra International, the Holy...

US Senate health-care bill is ‘unacceptable,’ says bishops’ spokesman

Bishop Frank Dewane, who chairs the US bishops domestic-policy committee, has described a health-care reform proposal in the US Senate as “unacceptable as written.” Bishop Dewane...

Illinois bishop bars Communion, funerals for same-sex married couples

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, has instructed his pastors that they should not administer the sacraments to Catholics who are engaged in same-sex marriages. In a formal decree...

Patriarch to consecrate Lebanon, Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, the head of the Maronite Catholic Church, will renew the consecration of Lebanon and the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration will take...

Pope calls on priests to show apostolic zeal, denounce evil

In his June 22 weekday Mass homily at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis outlined the traits of a priest who is a true shepherd. The true shepherd loves his flock and is able to say,...

Leading exorcist appeals for improved seminary formation

In an address to members of the Congregation for the Clergy, the chairman of the International Association of Exorcists appealed for an improved formation of seminarians. “Those in charge...

Community of at Sant’Egidio brokers Central African Republic accord

The Community of Sant’Egidio announced that it has brokered a peace agreement between rival factions in the Central African Republic. Shortly after the agreement was announced, however, the...

Federal court blocks deportation of Iraqi Christians

A federal court has blocked the plan of US immigration authorities to deport nearly 200 Iraqi natives, most of them Chaldean Christians, who were seized in raids in the Detroit area. Judge Mark...

Trump administration issues new letter on transgender students

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education has issued an instruction stating that schools that fail to use transgender students’ “preferred names and pronouns”...

USCCB: prayer, solidarity following London mosque attack

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement on the Finsbury Park attack, in which a man drove a van into a crowd near a London...

Church of England acknowledges cover-up of abuse by retired Anglican bishop

The Church of England has acknowledged that Anglican leaders covered up evidence of sexual abuse by a disgraced bishop. Former Anglican Bishop Peter Ball was arrested in 1992 on suspicion of...

Dutch royals meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 22 with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the Pope had spoken with the Dutch...

Vatican Secretary of State: need to consider excommunication for Mafia figures

Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters that the Vatican must reflect on a recommendation, advanced last week by the dicastery for Integral Human Development, that Mafia members should be...

New Melkite Patriarch receives papal welcome

Pope Francis has granted a request for ecclesiastical communion from the newly elected Melkite Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi of Antioch. The new Patriarch was elected on June 21 by the Melkite...

Islamic State razes historic mosque in Mosul

Islamic State fighters destroyed a historic mosque in the city of Mosul, as they battled to retain control of a section of the city. With Iraqi forces slowly pushing the Islamic State out of...

Pope recognizes ‘heroism’ of Eastern Catholic churches

The Eastern Catholic churches “should be kept and preserved” through current crises, Pope Francis said in a June 22 address to the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches...

Los Angeles archdiocese cancels pro-abortion forum scheduled for cathedral plaza

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has cancelled a forum that was scheduled to take place on the plaza outside the city’s cathedral, in which speakers would rally support for legal...

Indonesian priests ask Vatican to intervene in conflict with bishop

The 69 priests who have resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Ruteng, in Indonesia, have asked the Vatican to help resolve their dispute with Bishop Hubertus Leteng. The priest charge that...

California court dismisses charges against makers of films exposing Planned Parenthood

A California judge has dismissed 14 criminal charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, whose undercover videos exposed the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the sale of fetal...

Kenya’s bishops warn faithful against tribalism

As Kenya prepares for August 8 general elections, the nation’s bishops cautioned the faithful against tribal-based politics. The nation’s major ethnic groups include the Kikuyu (22%),...

Hundreds of Catholic institutions closed or destroyed in Congo violence

Violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has claimed 3,383 lives since last October, according to the apostolic nuncio. Five seminaries, 60 parishes, 34 religious houses, and 141 Catholic schools have been closed or damaged, Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor told the Fides news agency. In addition, two bishops—Bishops Félicien Mwanama Galumbulula...

4 new members of US bishops’ National Review Board

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has named four new members of the National Review Board, which advises the bishops on the protection of...

Pontiff encourages faithful to turn to the Sacred Heart, pray for priests

Following his June 21 general audience, the Pope recalled that the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on June 23 this year. The Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square...

Pope backs proposed Italian legislation on migrants

Pope Francis has lent his support to proposed Italian legislation intended to better integrate migrants into the workplace and civil society. Following his June 21 general audience, the Pope said...

EU bishops’ commission weighs in on security, defense

As the EU’s heads of state and government prepared to meet to discuss security and defense, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) published a six-page document...

Papal initiative sends aid to South Sudan

The Vatican has announced a special initiative to send aid to the people of South Sudan. At a June 21 press conference Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the dicastery for Integral Human...

Italian theologian: Pope must address ‘full crisis of faith’

A noted Italian theologian has said that the Church is experiencing a “full crisis of faith,” and argued that Pope Francis must make an unambiguous statement to correct “ambiguous...

Leader of Communion and Liberation applauds Pope’s leadership

The leader of the Communion and Liberation movement strongly endorsed the pastoral leadership of Pope Francis, in an interview with John Allen of Crux. Father Julian Carron, the influential...

Pope again plans no meeting with cardinals at June consistory

Pope Francis has apparently chosen once again not to hold a meeting of the College of Cardinals prior to the June 28 consistory at which he will confer red hats on five new cardinals. On June 21...

Melkite Synod elects new Patriarch

Bishop Youssef Absi has been elected by the Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church to become the next Patriarch of Antioch and leader of the world’s 1.6 million Melkite Catholics. A native of...

New president for Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Pope Francis has named Joachim von Braun, a German agricultural economist, as president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Braun is a professor of economics and technology, and director for...

Football Hall of Fame members meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 21 with an American delegation from the National Football League’s Hall of Fame. The Pope, who is known for his enthusiasm for soccer, joked: “As many of you...

6th Fortnight for Freedom begins

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has begun its sixth annual observance of the Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness of threats to religious liberty. This year’s theme is...

Saints are witnesses and companions of hope, Pope says at Wednesday audience

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 21 audience to the saints as witnesses and companions of hope. “The Letter to...

Refugees meet with Pope

Pope Francis met with 35 refugees who are being hosted by Roman parishes. The meeting took place on June 19 in the Lateran Palace. “The problem of people seeking shelter is a big...

Nigerian police rescue kidnapped priest

Police in Imo State, Nigeria, have rescued an abducted priest who spent two days in captivity, according to Nigerian media reports. Father Charles Nwachukwu was found unharmed in a forest in...

Venezuelan bishops blast government over police attacks on citizens

The Venezuelan bishops’ justice and peace commission has denounced the “the very serious worsening of the violation of human rights and democratic liberties.” Criticizing the...

Moscow patriarch links Islamist terrorism, Western secularism

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow received a delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church on June 18 and lamented attacks on Christians in Egypt. “Our brothers and sisters, members of your Church,...

Papal tribute to Cardinal Dias

In a telegram of condolence to the brother of Cardinal Ivan Dias, who died on June 19, Pope Francis paid tribute to the prelate’s service as apostolic nuncio, archbishop of Mumbai, and curial...

Zambia: Christian leaders warn against autocratic rule

The Christian leaders of Zambia have issued a joint statement warning against the threat of autocratic rule. The Catholic bishops’ conference joined with the Council of Churches in Zambia...

Help adolescents mature, rather than seek ‘eternal youth,’ Pope urges adults

Opening the annual pastoral conference of the Rome diocese on June 20, Pope Francis spoke about the education of adolescents. The Pope said that adolescence should not be regarded as a...

Syrian Christians still suffering, emigrating, nuncio reports

The Christian population of Syria continues to experience “general and broad suffering,” the apostolic nuncio in that country told the AsiaNews service. Cardinal Mario Zenari reported...

Papal ‘pilgrimage’ to honor Italian priest-activists

Pope Francis traveled to northern Italy on June 20, to pay tribute to two Italian priests known for their social activism in the 20th century. The Pontiff traveled first by helicopter to Bozzolo,...

Chaldean prelate challenges Christian families to return to area liberated from Islamic State

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has urged Iraqi Catholics to return to their homes in the Nineveh Plain regime, to help with the rebuilding process after the area was liberated from the...

Vatican auditor resigns

The Vatican’s auditor general has resigned, in another apparent setback for the cause of financial reform. In a terse announcement on June 20, the Vatican said that Libero Milone had...

Dubia cardinals make public plea for audience with Pontiff

The four cardinals who last year submitted dubia requesting clarification of Amoris Laetitia have now made public a letter pleading for an audience with Pope Francis. In a clear sign of frustration with the Pope’s failure to respond to their request for a meeting, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four cardinals who submitted the original dubia, has released the text of a letter in...

Prelate calls for passage of Iraq and Syria genocide act

Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has called upon the Senate to pass the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and...

200th anniversary of Church in South Africa

In 1818, Pope Pius VII established the Vicariate Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope, the beginning of the institutional presence of the Church in South Africa. For the previous 150 years, Dutch...

+Cardinal Ivan Dias, 81

Cardinal Ivan Dias has died in Rome at the age of 81. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Mumbai (Bombay) in 1958, the prelate entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, serving as...

Ambassador calls on China to release bishop

Michael Clauss, Germany’s ambassador to China, has called upon Communist authorities to release Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has been held by police since May 18. “His...

Catholic organizations issue World Refugee Day statement

Caritas, Catholic Charities USA, Jesuit Refugee Services, the Union of Superior Generals (USG), and other Catholic organizations have signed an ecumenical statement for World Refugee Day, which the...

Cardinal Nichols: prayers, support for Muslim community following attack

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster offered his prayers and support to members of the Muslim community following the Finsbury Park attack, in which a man drove a van into a crowd near a...

Irish bishops announce plan for reform at Maynooth seminary

The Catholic bishops of Ireland have announced plans for reform of the national seminary, St. Patrick’s at Maynooth. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh announced that the bishops have agreed...

Italian bishops seek citizenship for children of immigrants

The Italian Catholic bishops’ conference has thrown its support behind a law that would offer citizenship to children of immigrants if they are born on Italian soil. The ius soli (law of...

Judge weighs competing plans in Minnesota archdiocesan bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy-court judge had begun hearing arguments on the merits of two proposed settlements in the case of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minnesota: a plan submitted by the archdiocese and...

Melkite Synod meets to elect new Patriarch

The Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church convened on June 19 in Ain Traz, Lebanon, to choose a new Patriarch. The resignation of Patriarch Gregory III Laham, who is 82 years old, was accepted by...

Archbishop Paglia defends appointment of abortion supporter to Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has defended the appointment of an Oxford ethicist who supports legal abortion as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Archbishop Paglia told the Italian daily...

Maronite Patriach fears inadequate moral teaching, urges efforts to keep families intact

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai expressed concern about “deficiencies in the pastoral and spiritual formation of priests,” in his address to the Synod of Maronite bishops last...

Dutch bishop nixed ‘Pink Saturday’ service at cathedral

A Dutch bishop has withdrawn his permission for an ecumenical prayer service to mark “Pink Saturday.” Bishop Gerard de Korte of Hertogenbosch had originally given permission for the...

Pope plans visit to Chile, Peru in 2018

Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in January 2018, the Vatican has announced. The papal trip will begin January 15, and include stops in Santiago, Temuco, and Iquique, Chile; and Lima,...

‘Underground’ Chinese bishop reported back in diocese, but still held in custody

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has been held by police since May 18, has apparently returned to Wenzhou, put remains under custody at an undisclosed location. Bishop Shao—a leader...

Rosary helps us unite our lives to Christ’s: papal message to Marian shrine

Pope Francis sent a video message to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu in Malta on the occasion of the installation of three new mosaics. In his June 18...

The Eucharist comforts us with God’s love, Pope preaches in Corpus Christi homily

Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on June 18. Emphasizing the concept of memory in his homily, the Pope observed that we live in...

Personal encounter with refugees removes prejudices, Pope tells faithful

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on June 18, Pope Francis recalled that June 20 is the United Nations’ World Refugee Day. “Today more than ever we...

Pontiff: in the Eucharist, Christ sustains us on the pilgrimage to eternal life

In his Angelus address for the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Francis said that “the crucified Son of Man is the true paschal Lamb, which makes one come out of sin and sustains one on the way...

Helmut Kohl was a ‘great statesman,’ Pope says upon his death

Pope Francis paid tribute to Helmut Kohl as a “great statesman” following his death on June 16 at the age of 87. Kohl, a Catholic, served as chancellor of West Germany, and then of...

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