Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope Francis reflects on the Holy Spirit and peace

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 14:23-29), Pope Francis devoted his May 1 Regina Coeli address to the Holy Spirit and peace. The Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said, has the mission...

Be reconciled to God, Pope tells jubilee pilgrims

On April 30, Pope Francis held his fifth special Saturday audience for pilgrims who have come to Rome for the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. “By our efforts alone, we are unable to...

Papal appeal for Syria

Following his May 1 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis lamented the continued fighting in Syria. “I have heard with great sorrow the dramatic news coming from Syria, about the spiral of...

Indian bishop kidnapped, beaten

An Indian bishop was blindfolded and abducted on April 25, taken to an unknown location, and released the following day. “They hit me and punched me, resulting in injuries all over my...

Leading European bishops’ official links migrant crisis to selfish culture

Representatives of the English, French, and German episcopates met in Paris to discuss the situation in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants who hope to enter the United Kingdom have...

Obama rues persecution of Orthodox Christians

President Barack Obama wished members of the Eastern Orthodox churches a happy Easter and referred to the plight of those who suffer persecution for their faith. “For Orthodox Christians,...

Moscow patriarch issues Easter message

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, has issued his Easter message. Members of the Russian Orthodox Church, along with many other Eastern...

Former UN nuncio given new assignment

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, who served as the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations from 2010 to 2014, has been appointed apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Upon...

German theologian: Amoris Laetitia points toward schism

A prominent German philosopher has warned that Pope Francis has endangered the unity of the Church by contradicting the teachings of his predecessors in Amoris Laetita. ”Chaos was raised to a...

Streamlining Vatican communications will take until 2018, new boss says

The head of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for Communications has indicated that the consolidation of the Vatican’s communications offices will not be complete until 2018. Msgr. Dario Edoardo...

'Vatileaks' witnesses noticed suspicious activity

In the latest session of the “Vatileaks II” trial, two Vatican employees testified that they had observed suspicious behavior in the office of Msgr. Angel Vallejo Balda, who has now admitted that he...

Biden, at Vatican, lauds Pope's compassion

American Vice President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis for his compassion during an April 29 address to a conference at the Vatican, mentioning that the Pontiff had offered him comfort when his son...

Medical research, care should not be driven solely by profit, Pope says

In an April 29 address to participants in a Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Pope Francis voiced his concern that some people, suffering from unusual diseases, do not receive proper care...

Vatican bank closed nearly 5,000 accounts

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), has closed 4,800 accounts under new regulations, according to the annual report of the Financial Information Authority...

Pope's prayer intentions for May 2016

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2016.  The Pope's universal intention is: “That in every country in the world, women may be honoured and...

Bishops discuss Calais migrant crisis

Representatives of the English, French, and German episcopates have met in Paris to discuss the situation in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants who hope to enter the United Kingdom have...

Former Vatican prefect: Pope Francis offers ‘great lesson to all of humanity’

Pope Francis offered a “great lesson to all of humanity” in visiting refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship said in an op-ed...

Ecumenical Patriarch issues Easter encyclical

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has issued an encyclical for Easter, which falls on May 1 this year in the Orthodox liturgical...

Bishop opens medical dispensary to care for Hindu pilgrims

As an estimated 50 million Hindus take part in the Kumbh Mela, a mass pilgrimage to bathe in an Indian river, a bishop has opened a dispensary to offer medical care, according to...

Cardinal visits Nepal on earthquake anniversary

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, the president of Caritas Internationalis, visited Nepal on the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed over 8,000 people and caused an estimated $10...

Prelate laments heavy fighting in Aleppo

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo lamented the intensification of fighting in Syria’s largest city. “The situation of the people is disastrous,” Bishop Antoine Audo said in...

Australian bishops’ conference welcomes closing of migrant detention center

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ordered the closure of a facility where 900 migrants who attempted to reach Australia have been detained. Australia has paid Papua New Guinea to operate...

Refugees need assistance, Pope tells bishop on Italian-Austrian border

In a conversation with an Italian bishop whose diocese borders Austria, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of assisting refugees. The prelate, Bishop Ivo Muser of Bolzano-Bressanone, had...

Italian police disrupt Islamic terror plot on Vatican

Italian police have arrested four people suspected of planning a terror attack on the Vatican. Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said that Abderrahim Moutahrrick, a Moroccan-born man living in Italy, had received a directive from the Islamic State, authorizing him to proceed with an attack on the Vatican and on the Israeli embassy in Rome. The message was believed to have come from Ali Bakr...

Vatican financial watchdog reports leap in queries on suspicious transfers

In its annual economic report for the year 2105, the Vatican's Financial Information Agency (AIF) reported a nearly fourfold increase in the number of suspicious transactions it...

Mexico bishop to boost security after 'painful' armed robbery at parish

A Mexican bishop has denounced the thriving trade in firearms, after a squad of armed men robbed a parish in Irapuato, handcuffing a priest while they looted the church. Bishop José de...

Pope's zucchetto sold at charity auction for over $18,000

A zucchetto worn by Pope Francis has sold for $18,190 on auction. The funds from the auction, conducted on the Catawiki site, will go to Save the Child’s Heart, an Israeli charity that serves...

US bishops' key pro-life staffer retiring after 36 years

Richard Doerflinger, who has served on the US bishops’ pro-life committee for 36 years, will retire on April 29. Beginning as a legislative assistant, Doerflinger earned several promotions,...

Sale of California convent to Katy Perry is still in dispute

A legal battle over the sale of a convent in the Los Angeles archdiocese will continue, after the religious community that once held the property asked a court to block the sale of the building to...

Preservation work done on oldest manuscript of Spiritual Exercises

A team of preservation experts has worked for over a year to preserve the oldest manuscript of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Since the sixteenth century, the...

Maltese cardinal: Scripture speaks to us amid migrant crisis

Noting that the phrase “invasion of barbarians” has been replaced by the “more politically correct ‘migration of peoples,’” a Maltese biblical scholar and...

US House commission holds hearing on ISIS genocide

The United States House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission recently conducted a hearing on the genocide of religious minorities by the Islamic State. The bipartisan...

Pro-life Easter signature campaign at Russian Orthodox churches

On April 30-- the night of the Easter Vigil on the Orthodox calendar-- signatures will be collected at Orthodox churches calling upon Russian lawmakers to ban abortion, according to the Interfax...

Cardinal, USCCB call on Congress to support DC school-choice bill

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, joined by the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, has called on Congress to pass legislation...

Italian president: defend persecuted Christians

Stating that the ISIS “casts its menacing shadow of death also on the cities of our Europe,” President Sergio Mattarella of Italy called for “courage to defend the persecuted...

Peruvian bishops: death penalty 'unacceptable'

The Catholic bishops of Peru have released a statement in opposition to the death penalty, urging all Christians to work for its abolition. "Today the death penalty is unacceptable,"...

Canadian pro-life activist released after 135-day prison term for violating probation

A Canadian pro-life activist has been released from prison after serving more than four months for entering the waiting room of an abortion clinic. Mary Wagner had been found guilty of violating...

Oklahoma archdiocese removes priest after 'new information' about past abuse

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma announced on April 26 that he has removed Father José DaVila from ministry, after he "became aware of new information regarding the...

Religious freedom protects Muslims, too, argues German cardinal

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne has right-wing political leaders who oppose Muslim immigration. The cardinal scoffed at claims by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party that Islam...

Vatileaks trial continues with questioning of witnesses

The "Vatileaks II" trial moved into a new phase on April 26, with the questioning of witnessing before a Vatican tribunal. The first witness to be questioned was Stefano Fralleoni, who...

Pope ready to regularize SSPX?

Pope Francis may be prepared to end the split between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the breakaway traditionalist group is ready to accept a papal offer, according to a report in the National Catholic Register. In an internal memo that has leaked to the media, an influential SSPX leader recommends accepting any offer by the Pope that would grant “an appropriate ecclesial...

Franciscan provincials will face trial on child-endangerment charge in Pennsylvania abuse case

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that three former Franciscan provincials should face trial on criminal charges of child endangerment because of their failure to curb the activities of a brother who...

Bishop calls for Holy See clarification on papal exhortation

Stating that certain passages in Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia [AL] are “objectively vulnerable to misinterpretations,” a Kazak bishop said that it would be...

Reject destructive technologies, Ecumenical Patriarch says in Chernobyl message

In a message for the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said that “we have reached a point in technological development where...

Vatican official arrives in Ukraine to assess humanitarian needs

Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, the secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, arrived in Ukraine on April 25 and met with leading prelates to assess humanitarian needs. Msgr. Dal Taso’s...

Pope Francis reflects on Good Samaritan

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 27 general audience to the parable of the Good Samaritan. “Jesus had taught the great commandment of...

12 sainthood, beatification causes advance

In an April 26 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance a dozen sainthood causes. In approving...

Pope raps clericalism, encourages lay evangelization

"Clericalism leads to the homogenization of the laity," Pope Francis complained in a message to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Pope's message-- which was dated...

Vatican press statement highlights conflict over audit

The Vatican press office has released a statement justifying the decision to suspend an external audit of Vatican finances, and implicitly rebutting an earlier statement from the Secretariat for the Economy. The April 26 statement from the Vatican press office said that the suspension of the audit does not imply criticism of the worked begun by the auditing firm of PricewaterhouseCooper...

Cardinal Turkson backs call for reconsideration of just-war tradition

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for a broad discussion of the just-war theory, suggesting that a papal encyclical on the topic might be appropriate and...

Egypt's Copts resume travel to Jerusalem after years of boycott

Coptic Christians from Egypt are flocking to Jerusalem on pilgrimage this year, the Fides news service reports, marking an end to a ban on travel by Copts to Israel. The late Coptic Pope Shenouda...

Sponsor of Abortion Act ridicules Northern Ireland's pro-life law

As Northern Ireland prepares to head to the polls, a politician who played a key role in making abortion legal in Britain says it it "simply ridiculous" that abortion remains illegal...

Aleppo's Armenian districts bombarded on anniversary of genocide

Islamic forces in Syria launched an artillery attack on Armenian sections of the city of Aleppo on April 25, the AsiaNews service reports. The heavy bombardment, an obvious violation of a...

Islamic State destroys another landmark church in Mosul

The Islamic State has destroyed a landmark Catholic church in Mosul, Iraq, the Fides news service reports. The Church of the Miraculous Virgin-- also known as the "Clock Church" because...

French bishops appoint head of independent abuse panel as controversy continues

The Catholic bishops of France have named a senior government bureaucrat to head a new independent commission to advise the hierarchy on the handling of sex-abuse complaints. Alain...

Leading Cuban prelate retires; replacement named

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, 79, as archbishop of San Cristobal de la Habana, and has named the leader of the nation’s second-largest...

USCCB files brief in Missouri playground case

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Missouri Catholic Conference have joined with other organizations in calling upon the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s...

US, Holy Land Christian leaders call for peace, protection of Palestinian Christian presence

Christian leaders from the Holy Land, including the Latin and Greek Orthodox patriarchs of Jerusalem, joined US Christian leaders at a conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta to sign a joint...

Prelates, leaders recall Armenian Genocide; Obama mentions Pope

Armenian Apostolic and Catholic prelates commemorated the 101th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians perished. In Armenia, Catholicos Karekin II,...

‘God loves you personally,’ Pope tells prisoners

Responding to a letter addressed to him by prisoners in Velletri, Italy, Pope Francis asked the incarcerated to “always keep lit the light of the hope of faith.” “Always be...

Syrian refugees brought to Rome by Pope tell their stories

Two of the refugees whom Pope Francis brought to Rome on his return trip from the Greek island of Lesbos have recounted their stories. Describing the Pope as “a father to the world,”...

Bishop: the Pope is trying to save Ukraine

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop of Paris expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for the special collection for Ukraine which, at the Pope’s behest, was taken up in Europe’s parishes on...

Secretariat for Economy defends contract for external audit

The Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy has rejected the claim that an external audit was suspended because the contract with the auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had not been drawn...

After pleading guilty to abuse in California, priest surfaces in Oklahoma parish

A priest who admitted to fondling a 19-year-old girl while stationed in San Diego is now serving at parishes in Oklahoma, prompting angry protests from parishioners who were not informed about the...

Over 5 million Jubilee pilgrims to Rome thus far

The number of pilgrims visiting Rome during the Jubilee Year of Mercy has passed 5 million, the Vatican has announced. After lagging below initial expectations-- probably because of fear of...

Bolivian bishops, President Morales clash on drug policy

Bolivia's Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter condemning the cocaine trade and charged that government corruption nourishes drug trafficking. The bishops' message drew an angry...

Chinese President Xi says government must guard against religious influences

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that government officials should resist "foreign" religious influences. "We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltations via religious...

Schools could be sued for assaults in gender-neutral bathrooms, lawyer warns

An English lawyer has cautioned that if Catholic schools accede to request to designate gender-neutral bathrooms to accommodate transgender students, they could be sued for damages if a sexual...

Hong Kong demonstration protests Chinese campaign against Christian influence

Cardinal Joseph Zen led a group of Christians in Hong Kong in a demonstration against the Chinese government's campaign against Christian churches. "We need to speak out, to take action,...

Pope calls young people to self-sacrificial love, friendship with Christ

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 24 for the 60,000 teenagers who had gathered in Rome for the Jubilee for Boys and Girls. Describing love as the “the...

Pope Francis: pray for the release of clergy, religious held hostage in Syria

During his April 24 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis appealed for the release of clergy and religious held hostage in Syria. On April 22, 2013, the Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox...

5 Spanish Civil War martyrs beatified

Describing persecution as the “daily bread of the Church,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification of...

Pope hears confessions, challenges teens not to hold grudges

Sixty thousand teenagers participated in the Jubilee of Boys and Girls from April 23 to 25 as part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. On the morning of April 23, Pope Francis joined 150...

Indian cardinal laments ecological degradation

As representatives of 174 nations and the European Union gathered to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, a leading Indian cardinal lamented the state of the environment in his...

Transform ‘deserts’ into ‘forests’ through friendship, Pope tells Focolare

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Villa Borghese in Rome on April 24 to address an Earth Day event cosponsored by the Focolare Movement. Founded by the Servant of God Chiara Lubich...

Vatican's UN envoy sees family as key to fight against drug use

Archbishop Bernardito Auza called attention to the critical role of the family in preventing drug use, in an April 21 address to a UN session on the world's drug problems. "The Holy See...

Burundi: politicians charge bishops support violence by opposing president's re-election bid

Leading government officials in Burundi are accusing the country's Catholic bishops of dividing the nation and encouraging violence, because the bishops oppose President Pierre Nkurunziza's...

Sydney archdiocese denies threatening boycott of firms that support same-sex marriage

The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, has rejected a charge that it has threatened to boycott firms that are engaged in a public advocacy campaign to promote legal acceptance of same-sex...

Retired Irish bishop again subject of abuse charge

An Irish bishop who resigned in 1992 after admitting to an affair with an American woman has been hit with a new charge of sexual misconduct. Bishop Eamon Casey, who is now living in retirement at...

Cardinal Ravasi tweets tribute to Prince

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture reacted to the death of the rock musician Price by quoting the lyrics of a famous Prince song on Twitter. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi quoted a few...

Norwegian bishop says priests will no longer officiate at civil marriages

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo has indicated that Catholic priests in Norway will no longer act as civil officials at weddings. The bishop consulted with the Vatican about how churches should...

Pakistan: Islamic radicals demand execution of Asia Bibi

 A radical Islamic group has demanded the execution of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, regardless of the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal in her case. "We...

Cuban Church, Castro government negotiating new accord

The Castro government has opened negotiations with Church leaders in Cuba, aiming to establish a formal understanding of the legal and economic rights of Catholic institutions. There has been no...

Civil rights commission blasts ‘so-called religious liberty’ laws

A federal government agency has blasted “recent state laws passed, and proposals being considered, under the guise of so-called ‘religious liberty’ which target members of the...

German Protestant leader meets with Pope

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany, met with Pope Francis on April 21 in Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 20...

Austrian bishop rejects proposed border fence on Church property

An Austrian bishop has rejected the government’s request to build a border fence on land owned by a parish in Moschendorf, a town of 400 along the Hungarian border. Acknowledging the...

Russian Orthodox official criticizes pan-Orthodox council’s documents, procedure

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church offered criticisms of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church, which will take place in Crete in June. The comments made by Metropolitan...

Christ awaits us in the needy, Pope tells Caritas

Pope Francis met with 700 persons associated with Caritas Italia, the charitable agency of Italy’s dioceses, and called upon them “to be the stimulus and soul so that all the community...

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