Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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%),...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Merkel meets with Pope

Pope Francis received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace on June 17.Merkel subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of...

7 beatification causes advance

In a June 16 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance seven beatification causes. In approving the...

Discastery sees need to explore excommunication for corruption, mafia association

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in conjunction with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, hosted an “International Debate on Corruption” on June...

Pope Francis recalls Avignon papacy

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy at the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the enclave of the...

Papal condolences following Grenfell Tower fire

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. “His Holiness Pope...

Priest says charge against Cardinal Pell involves ‘physically impossible’ scenario

An Australian priest has told police that a sexual-abuse charge against Cardinal George Pell could not possibly be accurate. Two men have charged that then-Archbishop Pell made an improper...

Vatican calls for negotiations, elections to resolve Venezuelan crisis.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has told Latin American leaders that the Holy See supports negotiations to resolve the political and economic crisis in Latin...

Pope names no. 2 official of new dicastery

Pope Francis has named Father Bruno Marie Duffé as the secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The dicastery, led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, came into...

Austrian bishops discuss security

Listening to military experts, the bishops of Austria discussed global security and security at churches during their summer meeting at the Marian shrine of Mariazell. All are “called to...

Israeli official sees ‘obvious progress’ in negotiations with Vatican

An Israeli government official said that he sees signs of “obvious progress” in negotiations with the Vatican toward a final diplomatic agreement establishing the legal and economic...

69 priests resign posts in Indonesian diocese

Accusing their bishop of embezzling funds and having an affair, 69 of the 167 priests in the Diocese of Ruteng, Indonesia, have resigned from their diocesan and parish posts. Bishop Hubertus...

New Swedish cardinal: ‘Europe is not lost for Christianity’

Cardinal-designate Anders Arborelius, who was recently named Sweden’s first cardinal, said that the papal visit last fall has made the Church a more accepted part of the secular...

WCC leader surveys ecumenical landscape

Olav Fykse Tveit, the Norwegian Lutheran who heads the World Council of Churches, said in a recent report that the contemporary ecumenical landscape can be interpreted in two ways. On the one...

Turn to St. Anthony, Pope encourages faithful

At the conclusion of his June 14 general audience, Pope Francis recommended devotion to St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), whose memorial the Church celebrated the previous day. Describing the...

Stolen relic of St. John Bosco is recovered

A relic of St. John Bosco, which was stolen from the basilica in Castelnuova, Italy earlier this month, has been recovered. Police have arrested a man who, they believe, took the relic from its...

US bishops extend mandate of committees on religious liberty, immigration reform

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has chosen to extend the life of two committees: an ad hoc committee on religious liberty and a working group on immigration. The ad hoc committee...

Pope writes preface to Cardinal Turkson’s book on corruption

Pope Francis has contributed a preface to a new book-length interview with Cardinal Peter Turkson that focuses on the human costs of political corruption. In his book Corrosion, due for...

Christian population of Iraq, Syria halved since 2011

The number of Christians living in Syria and Iraq has been cut in half—and perhaps significantly further—since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011, according to a new...

Former secretary to two Popes releases new book

In a book based on his experiences as secretary to two Pontiffs, Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki reveals that St. John Paul II considered resignation as his health declined, but was persuaded to...

Suspended Guam archbishop awaits canonical trial outcome before settling abuse suits

A lawyer representing Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is a defendant in several sex-abuse lawsuits brought by young men in Guam, has indicated that the prelate will not settle those lawsuits until...

English political leader steps down, says party stands incompatible with Christian faith

The leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party has resigned, saying that the party’s platform is no longer compatible with his Christian faith. “To be a political leader,...

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU document on resilience

The European Commission and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have issued a 24-page “Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external...

Papal support for Day for Life

Pope Francis has sent a message of support for the British bishops’ annual Day for Life, which takes place this year on June 18. “Pope Francis invokes the protection of Our Lady, and...

Maduro calls for papal intervention

Amid continued protests against his authoritarian regime, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said he would call upon Pope Francis to ask the opposition to stop “training...

Australia: abuse victims angered by apology service

Some of the Australians who suffered abuse at a Catholic boarding school are angry that the school is apologizing within the context of a prayer service at the school. At least 160 students were...

US bishops ask forgiveness for role in abuse scandal

The US bishops gathered at the cathedral in Indianapolis on the evening of June 14 to express their prayer for victims of sexual abuse and their penance for their role in the abuse...

Nuncio challenges US bishops to evangelization, solidarity

The apostolic nuncio to the United States addressed the US bishops as they began their spring meeting in Indianapolis. Praising the bishops’ efforts on behalf of human life, religious...

Israeli and Vatican negotiators still short of long-awaited diplomatic accord

A joint Vatican-Israeli working commission met in Rome on June 13 to continue negotiations aimed at a final diplomatic agreement establishing the legal and economic status of Church institutions in...

Cameroon bishops urge police action to solve bishop’s brutal murder

“Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Balla did not commit suicide; he was brutally murdered,” the Catholic bishops of Cameroon have said, calling for action to find those responsible for...

Leader of Brazilian movement steps down amid rumors of Vatican investigation

Msgr. Joao Scognamiglio Cia Dias, the founder and superior of the movement known as the Heralds of the Gospel, has stepped down, opening the way for the selection of his successor. Msgr. Cia, hwo...

Council of Cardinals weighs plans for decentralization of Church governance

The Council of Cardinals discussed proposals for decentralizing the governance of the Church, during its three-day meeting in Rome this week. At their meetings, held Monday through Wednesday, the...

Rome’s mayor calls for moratorium on immigration

Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi has asked the Italian government to stop the flow of immigrants into the country’s capital. Saying that it is now “impossible” to accommodate...

New Hampshire diocese joins trend toward earlier confirmation

The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, will soon join other US dioceses that schedule Confirmation alongside First Communion, typically for students in the 3rd grade. In the Eastern Catholic...

Archbishop vacates apartment in Rome, offers it to Syrian refugees

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski has moved out of his apartment in Rome to make it available to a family of refugees from Syria. The Polish archbishop, whose job as papal almoner involves coordinating...

Pope Francis: ‘in God’s love is the source of all our hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 14 audience to the relationship between God’s love and our hope. “In our...

Holy See names new head of hospital that suffered financial scandal

The Holy See has appointed Antonio Maria Leozappa, a business attorney, as the president of the Luigi Maria Monti Foundation, which runs the Dermatological Institute of the Immaculate Conception in...

English bishop: Trump on ‘wrong side of history’ on climate change

In a letter to the editor of the Times of London, a Catholic bishop in England strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate...

Eastern Catholic leader recalls 70th anniversary of deportation of Ukrainians

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has recalled the 70th anniversary of Operation Vistula, in which the Communist governments of Poland and the Soviet Union forcibly deported over...

Detroit’s Chaldean bishop responds to deportation of Iraqi Christians

Bishop Francis Kalabat, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit, described the federal government’s immigration roundup of dozens of Detroit-area...

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