Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope issues new norms for women's contemplative religious communities

Pope Francis has issued new rules for the governance of women's contemplative religious communities. With the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere, the Pope calls for a renewal of women's contemplative communities, listing a dozen key points that should guide those communities in revising their statutes. The Pope emphasizes the vital role that women's contemplative religious...

Syria: patriarch blasts Western efforts to remove Assad

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church—an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See—offered strong criticism of “American, French, English, [and] European Union...

Venezuela asks Vatican to mediate in crisis

The government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has reportedly agreed to a proposal from opposition leaders to ask for Vatican mediation in talks aimed to end the country's political...

Cardinal Sarah: St. Mary Magdalene shows need to recover 'primary of adoration'

Cardinal Robert Sarah has cited the example of St. Mary Magdalene as a model for Catholic spirituality, emphasizing the need to "recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the...

USCCB president announces day of prayer, task force for community peace

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to observe September 9, the memorial of St. Peter Claver, as a “Day of Prayer for Peace in Our...

Croatian court overturns conviction of Cardinal Stepinac

A Croatian court has overturned the conviction of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, who was convicted of treason in a show trial under Communist rule in 1946. Cardinal Stepinac, an implacable foe of...

Bishop: Turkey’s Catholics are safe because they stay out of politics

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his crackdown, assuming unprecedented powers through a state of emergency and suspending adherence to a human rights treaty, one of the...

Cardinal Burke: Islam is ‘fundamentally a form of government’

Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a telephone interview that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.” Speaking with Religion News Service, the patron of the Sovereign Military...

Pakistan: Eucharistic congress counters conversions to Protestantism

An Islamabad parish has hosted a two-day Eucharistic congress, described by AsiaNews as Pakistan’s first. 1,500 mostly young people were in attendance at the congress, and two bishops...

Pope presided at wedding of deaf couple

Pope Francis presided at the wedding of a young couple earlier this month, in a quiet ceremony held in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Paulina Szczepanska, the daughter of a Vatican...

Lebanese prosecutor names three suspects in 2013 kidnapping of Orthodox nuns

A Lebanese prosecutor has issued warrants for the arrest for three Syrian men who are suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of 13 Orthodox nuns. The nuns were abducted from St. Tekla’s...

Profile of Cardinal Dziwiz: longtime secretary to St. John Paul II now hosting World Youth Day

The Crux web site has profiled Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who is hosting World Youth Day. Cardinal Dziwisz, who worked for decades as private secretary to St. John Paul II, sees this...

Top aide to Cardinal Pell leaving Secretariat for Economy

Danny Casey, a chief aide to Cardinal George Pell at the Secretariat for the Economy, will step down from his post and return to his native Australia at the end of September, The Tablet has...

Memo: nuncio curtailed investigation of Minnesota archbishop

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, then apostolic nuncio to the United States, directed that an investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt’s alleged homosexual activity be curtailed, and subsequently asked two auxiliary bishops to destroy a letter about the case, according to a 2014 memo released on July 20 by prosecutors in Minnesota. The memo’s author, identified in press...

Detroit priest sentenced for embezzlement

A Detroit archdiocesan priest who admitted to embezzling money from a charity has been resentenced to three to 20 years in prison. Father Timothy Kane admitted that he had arranged to receive...

Argentina: nuns accused of helping hide $9M

Four nuns at a convent near Buenos Aires are under investigation for allegedly assisting a former cabinet minister in hiding $9 million in cash and jewels. Argentine media showed footage of nuns...

Africa to be consecrated to the Divine Mercy

The continent of Africa will be consecrated to the Divine Mercy on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The consecration will take place during the Third Congress for...

Christian leaders warn of Zimbabwe’s ‘total collapse’

Decrying the repression of protestors, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference has joined with other Christian organizations in warning of the nation’s “total collapse”...

New nuncio: US bishops’ main challenge is evangelization

In an interview with Our Sunday Visitor, Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the new apostolic nuncio to the United States, said that “helping the people know Jesus” is the main challenge...

Co-founder of Neocatechumenal Way dead at 85

Carmen Hernandez, a co-founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, died in Madrid on July 20 at the age of 85, after a long illness. Hernandez had joined with Kiko Arguella and Father Mario Pezzi to...

Video released of priest kidnapped in Yemen, but no new information

The release of a video showing Father Tom Uzhunnalli, the Salesian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March, provides "nothing new" about his condition, and does not even prove that he...

Schedule set for Pope's afternoon trip to Assisi, August 4

The Vatican has released the full schedule for an afternoon pilgrimage to Assisi by Pope Francis on August 4. The Pontiff will travel to Assisi by helicopter in he afternoon, arriving at...

Beatification sought for theologian Romano Guardini

The Archdiocese of Munich, Germany, will soon open a cause for the beatification of the theologian Romano Guardini. Born in Verona in 1885, Guardini taught at the University of Berlin until he...

Vatican envoy urges UN members not to veto action on war crimes

In a UN discussion about war crimes, the Vatican's representative has exhorted Security Council members not to block action on crimes against humanity. Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that...

Pope sends greetings to Poland, where stage is set for World Youth Day

Pope Francis has sent a message of greetings to the young people of Poland, one week before he visits Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day (WYD). This year's WYD, the Pope said, will...

Former OSV publisher to head US bishops' news service

Greg Erlandson, who recently retired as publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, has been named editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service (CNS), the news agency run by hte US bishops'...

Military officer, convicted of killing Guatemalan bishop, dies in prison riot

A former Guatemalan military officer who was convicted in 2001 of killing a Catholic bishop has himself been killed in a prison riot. Byron Lima, a former army captain, was found guilty of the...

Orthodox Patriarch left Turkey just before coup, sparking rumors

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople left Turkey just hours before the abortive coup this past weekend, prompting rumors that he had been warned of the attempt of oust President...

Buttiglione backs Amoris Laetitia in L'Osservatore Romano article

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has published a front-page essay by Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian political leader and adviser to St. John Paul II, supporting the argument of...

At UN, Vatican envoy deplores child trafficking

At a recent UN meeting devoted to the trafficking of children, the Holy See’s permanent observer said that the Church “has sought to fight to address its various causes, care for those...

Rebel rockets rain down on Christian quarter in Aleppo

On a single day last week, 250 rockets rained down on the largely Christian quarter of west Aleppo, which is controlled by the Assad regime. In west Aleppo, Christians “at least have the...

2 churches attacked in Turkey

Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey, a Catholic church and a Protestant church in different cities suffered attacks, a Brussels-based newspaper reported. Using sledgehammers and stones,...

Parish priest in Nice builds good relations with Muslims, evangelizes

Father Patrick Bruzzone, parish priest of Saint-Pierre de l’Ariane in the immigrant quarter in Nice, France, has built good relations with the Jewish and Muslim communities, according to a...

40,000 Americans to take part in World Youth Day in Poland

More than 40,000 Americans, including 85 bishops, have registered to take part in World Youth Day, which will begin on July 26 in Krakow, Poland. “The 40,000 Americans registered represent...

Chilean bishop: multinational corporations trying to influence Catholic organizations

A Chilean bishop opposed to the construction of a massive hydroelectric plant warned Catholic organizations not to accept donations from multinational corporations involved in the project. Bishop...

Patriarch Bartholomew foresees significant ecumenical progress in coming years

In an interview with La Repubblica, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew discussed the recent Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church and said that those who wish to interrupt dialogue with other...

Boston cardinal concerned about Trump’s comments on Muslims

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston has expressed concern about comments made by Donald Trump about Muslims. In Ireland for the rededication of Knock Basilica, the prelate warned...

See gifts in every person, Cardinal Tagle urges faithful

Christians should look on all other people as gifts, Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila said in his homily at a Mass closing the 3rd Philippine Conference on New Evangelizaiton. "You don't...

Catholic Theological Society honors 'married' homosexual scholar

The Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) has given its highest award to an openly homosexual scholar who is a partner in a same-sex union. Orlando Espin, who teaches systematic theology...

African bishops plead for peace in South Sudan, condemn all violence

The Catholic bishops of eastern Africa have denounced the bloodshed in South Sudan and condemned "all acts of violence without exception." "Fighting for whatever reason is an act...

Chinese officials balk at visas for World Youth Day travel

The Chinese government is discouraging young people from traveling to Poland for World Youth Day (WYD), the AsiaNews service reports. About 2,000 young people from China are expected in Krakow...

Pope to Dominicans: 'testify to mercy'

In a message to leaders of the Dominican order, who are holding a general chapter in Bologna this week, Pope Francis urged: "Testify to mercy, professing it and embodying it in...

Archbishop Gänswein says loyalty to Pope Benedict makes him unwelcome in Germany

In an interview with Schwäbischen Zeitung, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said that his work as the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his previous work for the Congregation...

Illinois bishop defends Archbishop Chaput’s teaching on Communion for divorced/remarried

An Illinois bishop has come to the defense of Archbishop Charles Chaput, who recently confirmed the traditional Church teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried outside the Church may...

Brooklyn diocesan spokesman delivers invocation at GOP convention

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s vicar of communications delivered the invocation before the evening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18. Msgr. Kieran Harrington...

Church will foster ‘life-saving dialogue,’ USCCB president says following police shooting

Following the shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that “we find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament...

Russian Orthodox Church: recent council in Crete was ‘important’ but ‘not pan-Orthodox’

The recent Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church was not a pan-Orthodox council, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has said. The Russian Orthodox Church—the largest of...

Philippine bishops warn against vigilantism, police killing of suspects

Extrajudicial killings cry out to heaven for justice, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines warned in a recent letter. “We are disturbed by an increasing number of...

German cardinal sees negative results from resignation of Benedict XVI

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, has written that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was imprudent-- although certainly...

Dissident Boston 'parish' sets up rival congregation

The group of dissident Catholics who fought for 14 years to prevent the closing of their parish by the Boston archdiocese have now set up their own community, outside the structure of the Catholic...

Papal encouragement for Evangelical meeting in Washington

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to "Together 16," a rally of Evangelical Christians in Washington, DC. In his message, conveyed by video, the Pope says that all young...

Italian Church receives $1.3 billion from 'church tax'

The Catholic Church in Italy received $1.3 billion from income-tax returns, under a system that send 0.8% of tax payments to religious or charitable institutions. Italian taxpayers are given the...

Statistics show sharp decline of German Catholic Church

Despite statistics that show a catastrophic decline, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich insists that the Catholic Church in Germany is "a strong force, whose message is heard and...

Baton Rouge bishop calls for week of prayer and fasting after police slain

Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has called for "a diocesan-wide week of prayer and fasting" in response to the shooting deaths of three police officers. The bishop said...

South African bishops urge lawmakers to address media censorship

South Africa’s bishops have lent their support to demonstrators who have protested censorship at the state-run South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), including the suspension of...

Pope Francis: listening is at heart of hospitality

St. Luke’s account of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha (Lk. 10:38-42) emphasizes the importance of listening, Pope Francis said in his July 17 Sunday Angelus address. “In busying...

Pope prays for victims of Nice terrorist attack

Stating that “the pain of the massacre is alive in our hearts,” Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack following his Angelus address on July 17. The attack...

Iraqi bishop laments conditions in refugee camps

In an interview with a California-based magazine, an Iraqi bishop deplored the situation of Christians who fled the Islamic State and now live in refugee camps. “The situation for these...

Understand the jihadists’ strategy, Muslim journalist writes in Vatican newpaper

In a front-page column that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano following the terrorist attack in Nice, a Muslim journalist said that a greater understanding of Islam is necessary to counter the...

Turkey needs dialogue, says bishop

The failed coup d’état attempt in Turkey manifests an unease with the direction in which the nation is heading, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia told Vatican Radio. Urging calm,...

After renovation, prison where Sts. Peter and Paul were jailed now open to visitors

The ancient Roman prison where Sts. Peter and Paul were once confined has been re-opened to visitors after a year-long renovation. The Mamertine prison, also known as the Carcer Tullianum, is a...

Vatican, China working toward accord?

The Vatican is pushing for an agreement with Beijing over the appointment of Catholic bishops in China, according to a special report from the Reuters news agency. Citing confidential interviews...

South Sudan bishop analyzes conflict

In a recent op-ed piece in The Guardian, a South Sudanese bishop explained that the conflict there runs far deeper than a dispute between supporters to two politicians. “What we are dealing...

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice

The Vatican has condemned the terrorist attack in Nice, France, that left 84 dead. “We have followed during the night, with the greatest concern, the terrible news which has come from...

Christian man arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan

A Pakistani Christian man has been arrested on blasphemy charges after he was accused by a Muslim man of using WhatsApp Messenger to send a poem that denigrated Muhammad. Following the...

Ukrainian cardinal decries Russia’s ‘imperial ambitions’

The retired head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has criticized Russian expansionism, according to a report from the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. “I am looking at the...

USCCB awards nearly $1.2M to Church in Africa

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded $1.17 million in grants to pastoral projects there. “The funding granted by the...

Vatican envoy tells UN: human rights are not created by states

Speaking at a UN meeting on human rights, the Vatican’s representative reminded the assembly that human rights take precedence over the authority of states and national...

Pope makes surprise visit to office of pontifical commission

Pope Francis broke from his schedule on Wednesday to make a surprise visit to the office of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. After a visit to the dentist at the Vatican health...

Venezuelan College for seminarians in Rome closed by national emergency

The Venezuelan College in Rome, where some of the country's most promising seminarians study for the priesthood, has been closed because of the country's economic crisis. With Venezuela...

US Catholic voters lean toward Clinton, survey shows

American Catholic voters lean strongly toward Hillary Clinton in this year's presidential contest, according to a new Pew Forum survey. The Pew poll found that Clinton held a 56-39% advantage...

Irish nuns remaining in South Sudan

Irish nuns from two religious institutes are choosing to remain in South Sudan despite the dangers from the escalating conflict there. Members of the Sisters of Loreto are taking care of nearly...

House passes Conscience Protection Act

In a largely party-line 245-182 vote, the US House of Representatives has passed the Conscience Protection Act. The legislation provides that federal, state, and local governments “may not...

Christian girl abducted, father killed in Pakistan

A 14-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and her father was killed when he tried to rescue her, according to AsiaNews and L’Osservatore Romano. The Vatican...

Leading Philippine prelate: we will ‘stand up for the moral right’ and ‘resist the moral wrong’

Before the debate over the Reproductive Health Act in 2012, Philippine bishops were “heard and respected,” but now the Church is a “Church in the wilderness,” the president...

Cardinal praises new British PM

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster welcomed the appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s new prime minster. As Home Secretary, May, 59, has worked with Cardinal Nichols to...

Papal condolences following train collision

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a train collision in Puglia, Italy, that left 23...

Venezuelan bishops respond to national crisis

"We are on the brink of a food and health-security crisis," the Catholic bishops of Venezuela warned in a statement released at the conclusion of their annual meeting. While widespread...

At UN, Vatican envoy calls for 2-state solution in Middle East, questions morality of drone strikes

During a UN discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on July 12, the Vatican's representative reaffirmed the commitment of the Holy See to a two-state solution. "The time is long...

Joint Orthodox-Catholic commission begins study on Cardinal Stepanic

A joint Catholic-Orthodox commission met this week to begin its exploration of the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, whose cause for canonization is a controversial topic in Croatia and...

Archbishop Zimowski, head of Pontifical Council for Health Care, dead at 67

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, died on July 12 the age of 67, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Kupienin, Poland, Zygmunt...

South Sudan: 16,000 take refuge in parishes

Thousands of people have taken refuge in parishes in South Sudan, and the Church lacks the means to feed them, the nation’s leading prelate told Vatican Radio. “In our Catholic...

US laywoman named member of Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications

One year after he established the Secretariat of Communications, Pope Francis has named 16 members of the Secretariat. The Secretariat, led by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, was founded to...

Ukrainian Catholic leader: EU integration can help preserve independence from Russia

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that Ukraine should continue to pursue integration into European political structures in order to prevent the nation’s absorption by...

House committee holds hearing on First Amendment Defense Act; prelates call for passage

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious...

Cardinal suggests new meeting between Pope, Russian patriarch

During a recent visit to Belarus, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said that a meeting there between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow could foster peace in Ukraine. The Vienna...

Church halts all non-sacramental activities in besieged Syrian city

Bombing and artillery strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo have forced the Catholic Church to suspend all activities except the administration of the sacraments, the city's Latin-rite apostolic...

Father Lombardi: Pope does not need a spin doctor

Pope Francis does not need a spin doctor, his outgoing spokesman told an Italian interviewer. Father Federico Lombardi, who will step down in May from his post as director of the Vatican press...

Pope chooses Protestant to produce Argentine edition of Vatican newspaper

Pope Francis has chosen Marcelo Figueroa, a Protestant theologian and a personal friend, to edit an Argentine edition of L'Osservatore Romano. Beginning in September, Figueroa will edit an...

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