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Pope tells European leaders: solidarity will overcome populism, ‘fruit of egotism’

Addressing 27 European heads of state on March 24, Pope Francis said that the founders of the European Union rightly understood that “the heart of the European political project could only be man himself. The Pope spoke to a distinguished group of European leaders in the Sala Regia, in an event marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which gave birth to...

Experts fear basilica of the Holy Sepulchre could collapse

While Christians in Jerusalem celebrated the re-opening of the Edicule—the shrine in side the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of Jesus’ tomb—experts cautioned that the...

Nigerian cardinal: dialogue with Islam is productive

A Nigerian cardinal insisted that dialogue with Islam can be productive, in a speech to a Notre Dame conference on African theology. “I’ve spent 40 years having dialogue with Muslims...

Christ’s restored tomb inaugurated in Jerusalem

Prelates from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic churches gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to mark the inauguration of the restored Edicule, the...

USCCB leadership issues statement on migrants, refugees

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral statement on accompanying migrants and refugees. “Intense debate is essential to...

Salvadoran bishops anxious for canonization of Archbishop Romero

During their ad limina visit to Rome this week, the bishops of El Salvador inquired anxiously about the progress of the cause for canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Archbishop Romero, an...

Vatican envoy pushes for international action on climate change, development

Speaking at a UN session on climate change and sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative said that international agreements require “a commitment to specific, coordinated,...

Syria: jihadists advance on Christian city

Jihadist groups and their Syrian rebel allies have conquered 11 towns in Hama province since beginning a surprise offensive on March 21, Agence France-Presse reported. A regional news website...

Milan: special art exhibit to mark visit by Pope Francis

An unusual exhibit featuring the Saints of Italy will be opening on March 25 in Milan, as the city prepares for a visit by Pope Francis. The exhibit in the Palazzo Reale, which will run until...

Vatican journalists protest high cost for accompanying papal flights

Journalists who cover the Vatican have lodged a protest against the high cost that is assessed on reporters who accompany the Pope on foreign trips. In a letter to Vatican officials, thirty...

Papal preacher delivers 3rd Lenten Sermon

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the papal household, delivered the 3rd Lenten Sermon on March 24, continuing his series of meditations on the theme: “No one can say, ‘Jesus...

Cardinal calls for prayer, solidarity following Westminster attack

Cardinal Vincent Nichols expressed his shock at the Westminster terrorist attack that left 40 injured and five dead, including the perpetrator, a 52-year-old British convert to Islam. “The...

Texas Anglican-use parish adopted into Anglican ordinariate

A vigorous Catholic parish in Texas, led by a former Anglican priest, has been incorporated into the Anglican Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, ending a battle for control. The Anglican...

At UN forum, Vatican envoy calls for international pacts to ensure safe water supply

At a UN international forum on water and sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative said: “Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right and a condition for sustainable...

Cameroon’s president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on March 23 with President Paul Biya of Cameroon. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had centered on Church-state relations,...

Puerto Rican religious leaders ask for US help in debt crisis

Religious leaders in Puerto Rico have joined in an appeal to the United States to help the island territory escape a debt crisis. Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan and Rev. Heriberto...

In Africa, faith is a ‘happy matter,’ says Cardinal Arinze

Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze said that he is not considered a “conservative” in Africa, during an interview with John Allen of Crux. Cardinal Arinze drew sharp distinctions...

German proposal would annul convictions under anti-sodomy law, grant compensation to convicts

German’s governing cabinet has given its approval to a proposal that would annul men who had been convicted under a law barring homosexual acts, and grant them financial compensation. Until...

Pope sends condolences after London attack

Pope Francis has sent his condolences after a terrorist attack near London’s House of Parliament in which four people were killed and dozens injured. In a telegram to Cardinal Vincent...

Cardinal Parolin sees ‘deep malaise’ in Europe

Europe today is suffering from a “deep malaise,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State remarked in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa. Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that...

Vatican decrees advance 78 candidates for beatification, canonization

The Vatican has released a series of decrees, advancing the cause for beatification or canonization of 78 candidates. The decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, released with the...

Fatima seers cleared for canonization

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved a miracle through the intercession of Francisco and Jacinta Marto—two of the three children who witnessed the apparition of the Virgin...

Cardinal William Keeler, retired Archbishop of Baltimore, dead at 86

Cardinal William Keeler, the retired Archbishop of Baltimore, died in the early morning of March 23 at a nursing home in Maryland, at the age of 86. Born in Pennsylvania, William Keeler was...

European Commission confirms pledge to support reconstruction of Norcia basilica

The president of the European Commission has confirmed a commitment to support the reconstruction of the basilica at Norcia, Italy, that was demolished by earthquakes last year. Jean-Claude...

Cardinal Bagnasco leery of Italian living-will proposal

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference has criticized a legislative proposal to introduce living wills, saying that the bill reflects an “individualistic” approach to...

Bishop says Pope will visit South Sudan in October

Pope Francis is planning an October visit to South Sudan, according to a bishop from that country. Bishop Erkolano Tombe of Yei told the Reuters news agency that a Vatican official confirmed...

Strong papal endorsement for ‘24 Hours’ initiative for Confessions

Pope Francis warmly welcomed the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative during his public audience on March 22, and urged all Catholic parishes to join in the movement. “I invite...

Migration poses greatest world problem since World War II, Pope tells audience

Speaking at his regular weekly public audience on March 22, Pope Francis said that the worldwide flood of migrants and refugees is posing the greatest tragedy the world has faced since World War...

Hope is shown in endurance, encouragement, Pope tells Wednesday audience

Continuing his series of weekly catechetical talks on the virtue of hope, Pope Francis told his Wednesday general audience of March 15 that hope “is not optimism—that is something else. Basing his...

Cardinal Farrell: focus of Amoris Laetitia is preventing marriage divisions

Cardinal Kevin Farrell has told the Italian news agency SIR that “the pastoral priority identified in Amoris Laetitia for the present time is to prevent wounds, divisions, and failures in...

Restoration of Christ’s tomb in Holy Sepulchre basilica completed

Restoration work at the site of the empty tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been completed. Restoration work on the “Edicule”—the shrine at the site where Jesus was...

Christian nannies, maids face abuse in Saudi Arabia

L’Osservatore Romano has drawn attention to the plight of Christian maids and nannies in Saudi Arabia, some of whom are effectively enslaved. The domestic workers come from India, the...

Moscow Patriarchate opposes burial of Lenin’s body

The Moscow Patriarchate opposes a proposal to bury the corpse of Vladimir Lenin, whose Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 unleashed a wave of brutal persecution against Christians. Since his death in...

USCCB: praise, criticism for GOP healthcare proposal

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said in a letter to members of the House of Representatives that portions of the proposed American Health...

Kuwait: man with knife disrupts Mass

A man armed with a long kitchen knife disrupted Mass at the cathedral in Kuwait City on March 19, according to a local newspaper report. The man entered the sanctuary, asked to see the Pope, and...

African Catholics reject Communion for divorced/remarried, theologian reports

In Africa, Catholics who are divorced and remarried do not expect to receive Communion, a Nigerian theologian told the Crux news site. The publication of Amoris Laetitia has not stirred much...

In World Youth Day message, Pope meditates on Magnificat

In his message for World Youth Day 2017, Pope Francis offers a meditation on the Virgin Mary, using her Magnificat as a model of prayer. World Youth Day will be observed on Palm Sunday. The...

Another Mexican priest attacked

A Catholic priest was attacked in Coahulla, Mexico, last week by men wearing police uniforms, Church officials have revealed. A group of men broke into the home of Father Robert Coogan Francis,...

Court paves way for sale of Los Angeles convent to Katy Perry

A California judge has cleared the way for the sale of a convent by the Los Angeles archdiocese to entertainer Katy Perry. Judge Stephanie Bowick ruled that a previous sale of the property, by...

Philippine bishops issue statement against capital punishment

The Philippine bishops have issued a new statement against the death penalty. “To the people who use the Bible to defend death penalty, need we point out how many other crimes against...

Punjab proposes changes to Christian marriage law

The government of the Pakistani province of Punjab has proposed broadening the grounds under which Christians may obtain a divorce. Currently, a Christian husband can obtain a divorce only if his...

Pakistani bishops’ official against potential social media ban

A Pakistani government minister has threatened to block social media sites that do not censor comments that are deemed blasphemous. “We condemn the Facebook pages containing blasphemous...

Archbishop: return to Aleppo

The Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo has called upon Christians who fled the city during the Syrian Civil War to return. “The lucky ones,” said Archbishop...

Prelates welcome House resolution on environmental stewardship

Two bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed H.Res.195, a proposed resolution expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to...

Pope apologizes for Church involvement in Rwandan genocide

Pope Francis apologized for the role that Catholics played in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, during a May 20 meeting with that country’s President Paul Kagame. The said that the participation...

Schedule released for papal visit to Fatima in May

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a visit by Pope Francis to Fatima in May. The Holy Father will leave Rome on Friday afternoon, May 12, flying into the Monte Real air base in...

Chaldean Catholic patriarchate says it cannot supply priests for ‘diaspora’ communities

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has announced that it cannot supply priests for all of the Chaldean communities living outside Iraq, and has urged those communities to find their own candidates...

Vatican official confirms: agreement with SSPX is close

The secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission has confirmed that the Vatican is close to an agreement with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that would regularize the status of the traditionalist...

Former Pope’s health good as 90th birthday approaches

Pope-emeritus Benedict is “in good shape” at he approaches his 90th birthday, his longtime aide reports. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who continues to serve as private secretary to...

Australia: priest stabbed by assailant before Mass

As Australian priest was assaulted and stabbed on March 20 by a parishioner who apparently accused him of being a Hindu. Father Tomy Kalathoor Mathew was treated and released for knife wounds in...

Layman who refused to recite Hitler oath beatified

An Italian layman refused to recite the Hitler oath was beatified as a martyr at the cathedral in Bolzano on March 18. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Papal prayer for flood victims

Following his March 19 Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for victims of flooding in Peru that has killed 72 and left thousands homeless. “I wish to assure my closeness to the beloved...

Pope Francis: renew the grace of baptism, encounter Christ personally

Reflecting on Christ’s encounter with the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:5-42), Pope Francis said during his March 19 Angelus address that “the woman was struck by the great respect that Jesus...

+Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, 84

A Czech cardinal who exercised his priestly ministry in a clandestine manner under Communist rule died on March 18 at the age of 84. Born in 1932, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk served in the military and...

Vatican appeal for Holy Land collection

The Congregation for the Eastern Churches has issued an appeal for the annual Holy Land collection, which takes place in churches around the world on Good Friday. “Today, as we know, living...

Pope to visit Egypt in April

Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has announced that Pope Francis will visit Cairo on April 28 and 29. The visit—the Pope’s eighteenth apostolic journey outside...

Papal preacher reflects on Christ, true God from true God

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin Franciscan friar who has served as preacher to the papal household since 1980, preached his second Lenten sermon to the Pope and members of the Roman Curia...

Mafia boss cannot be godfather, Sicilian archbishop says

A Sicilian archbishop has said that organized crime figures should not be Baptism or Confirmation sponsors. “A Christian godfather should be a guarantee of raising a child in the...

Cuban magazine reproduces notes for talk Pope delivered before 2013 conclave

The handwritten notes that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio used as the basis for an address to the College of Cardinals, on the eve of the conclave that elected him as Pope Francis, have been published by...

Australian Anglican bishop resigns, cites ‘systemic’ protection for abusers

An Australian Anglican bishop has resigned, denouncing the response to the sex-abuse scandal. Bishop Greg Thompson of Newcastle resigned just as an Australian royal commission was concluding its...

Vatican UN envoy: equal treatment for women implies recognizing their special role

The Vatican’s representative to the UN has encouraged world leaders to promote equal treatment for women in the workplace, while also recognizing women’s “expressed preference and...

Pope leads penance service, speaks on what makes a good confessor

Pope Francis spoke to a group of priests about the characteristics of a good confessor—on the same day that he led a Penance service in the Vatican basilica. The Holy Father began the...

Vatican newspaper article criticizes dissent from Amoris Laetitia

L’Osservatore Romano has published an article criticizing “dissent in the form of public criticism” of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Father...

Vatican newspaper draws attention to administrative procedures to dissolve marriage

The Vatican publishing house has republished a work on administrative canonical procedures that can dissolve a marriag, and the Vatican newspaper has published a strongly positive review of the...

Irish primate: reflect on St. Patrick as an undocumented migrant

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, has issued his St. Patrick’s Day message and called for reflection on St. Patrick as a refugee and undocumented...

Dutch Catholic reaction to populist’s defeat

Anna Kruse, a spokeswoman for the Dutch episcopal conference, said that the bishops would not issue a statement in reaction to the victory of Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the March 15...

Knights of Columbus calls on US government to assist persecuted Christians

The Knights of Columbus has granted an additional $1.9 million in humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, bringing its total aid to $12 million...

Archbishop reins in Neocatechumenal Way in Guam

Archbishop Michael Byrnes has set new limits on the activities and liturgical practices of the Neocatechumenal Way in the Archdiocese of Agana, Guam. The American-born prelate—who was...

Caritas Europa decries restrictions on immigration

Caritas Europa, an umbrella organization for Catholic relief agencies in Europe, has issued a statement denouncing the European Union’s March 2016 agreement curbing the flow of immigrants from...

Pope meets Lebanese president, promises a visit

Pope Francis met on March 16 with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, and reportedly promised to visit Lebanon. An official Vatican statement indicated that the Pope had expressed his...

UN report rips ‘apartheid regime’ in Israel

A new report by UN researchers, charging that Israel uses systematic racial discrimination to “dominate” the Palestinian people, has been disowned by the office of the UN Secretary...

Bishops resume mediation of peace talks in Democratic Republic of Congo

Peace talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), aimed to establish a government of national unity leading up to presidential elections, resumed on March 16. The Catholic bishops of the DRC...

Vatican spokesman reflects on Pope’s ‘sincere humanity’

Greg Burke, the director of the Holy See Press Office, told EWTN that the Pope’s “sincere humanity” has “done a great service to all of us.” “The Pope says...

Church of England issues documents on abuse

The Church of England has released a 57-page document on domestic abuse and a seven-page document on abuse in ecclesial settings. The first document “encourages churches to become places of...

Caritas appeal for migrant, refugee children

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has called for “proper protection” for the “millions of children who now make up an astonishing half...

Cardinal Sodano: Fatima is a message of hope

Speaking at the Portuguese embassy to the Holy See on March 15, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that the message of the Marian apparitions at Fatima is a fundamentally a message of hope. The...

Pope meets with man considering suicide

During his March 15 general audience, Pope Francis spoke in St. Peter’s Square with a Peruvian man who has requested assisted suicide in Switzerland. L’Osservatore Romano reported...

Vatican newspaper: stakes high in Dutch election

In a front-page L’Osservatore Romano op-ed piece, Luca Possati argued that the stakes were high in the Dutch general election, which pitted the party of incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte...

New Mexico bishops decry ‘scandal’ of pro-abortion Catholic politicians

The Catholic bishops of the state of New Mexico have joined in a statement rejecting the idea that a Catholic politician can support legal abortion or assisted suicide. “It is not morally...

European Court upholds employer’s ban on all workplace religious displays

The European Court of Justice has ruled that an employer can ban the wearing of the Islamic veil, but the court’s ruling could also be used to justify a ban on the wearing of a crucifix or...

Bolivian bishops decry proposal to allow abortion in cases of poverty

The Catholic bishops of Bolivia have strongly opposed a plan to liberalize the country’s abortion law, allowing for legal abortion in cases when the mother is living in poverty or already has...

Real human liberation comes through the Gospel, Pope says

In a March 15 address to the International Association of Charities, Pope Francis remarked that “human development, the authentic liberation of man, does not exist without the proclamation of...

Nigerian archbishop pleads for peace in Lenten message

The president of Nigeria’s episcopal conference has issued a Lenten message begging for peace, lamenting a new surge of violence in the country. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos insisted...

Former vicar general of Minnesota archdiocese leaves priesthood

The former vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis has left the priesthood. Pope Francis has approved the request of Peter Laird to be laicized, the archdiocese has announced....

Worker layoffs can be ‘very grave sin,’ Pope says

During his weekly public audience on March 15, Pope Francis said that employers who lay off workers may be guilty of a “very grave sin.” The Pope made that statement as he recognized...

Vatican cardinal cautions against sentimental ‘mercy without reason’

Addressing a course on the internal forum, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Penitentiary Major of the Apostolic Penitentiary, reflected on the fruits of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. Two...

Pope Francis reflects on charity and hope

Continuing his series of Wednesday addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis reflected on charity and hope in his March 15 general audience. “Today we consider the joy that hope brings to...

UK: prelate welcomes government guidance on end-of-life care

An English bishop who represents the bishops’ conference in pro-life matters has praised the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s new guidance on the care of dying adults...

Federal court: 1964 Civil Rights Act does not bar discrimination on basis of sexual orientation

A US circuit court in Georgia has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, does not by that fact prohibit...

Attack on church in Luxembourg

The parish in Bettembourg, Luxembourg, sustained serious damage after someone vandalized and set fire to its interior. “It was like a bomb struck,” said Father Edmond Ries....

Campaign to end Mass on Spanish public TV

Podemos, a leftist political party that is Spain’s third largest, seeks to eliminate the broadcast of Sunday Mass on Spanish public television. The Mass attracts 303,000 weekly...

Former sex-abuse commission member rebuts Cardinal Müller’s defense of Vatican

Marie Collins, who cited an intransigent Vatican bureaucracy when she resigned from her post on the Vatican sex-abuse commission, has taken issue with Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s defense of...

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