Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Oklahoma priest recognized as first US martyr

In a December 1 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. Among them was a...

Ecumenical Patriarch points to areas of agreement with Pope

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, emphasized the many areas of agreement between Pope Francis and himself in response to the...

Franciscan religious killed in Congo

A Franciscan woman religious was killed on Novembe 29 in Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sister Clara Agano Kahambu, who taught at the Christ the King School, was assaulted by a man...

Papal thanks for Piarists’ work in educating the poor

Pope Francis has sent a message to the Piarist Fathers, who are celebrating the 400th anniversary of their founding, thanking them for their dedication to providing free education for poor...

Attack on Christians in Egyptian village

A group of Muslims in an Egyptian village, fearing that a community center would become a church, burned down the center, looted businesses owned by Coptic Christians, and attacked 15 Christian...

Illinois bed & breakfast fined $81K for declining to host same-sex ceremony

The owners of Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast in Paxton, Illinois, have been fined over $81,000 for declining to host a homosexual civil union ceremony in 2011. The Illinois Human Rights...

Indonesia: 200,000 Muslims demand arrest of Christian governor for blasphemy

An estimated 200,000 Muslims participated in a massive demonstration in Jakarta on December 2, calling for the immediate arrest of a Christian governor who has been charged with blasphemy against...

Russian Orthodox Patriarch to dedicate new cathedral in Paris

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow will dedicate a new cathedral in Paris this weekend. The cathedral of the Holy Trinity, located near the Seine just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower,...

Caritas: mixed review of UN climate conference

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s federation of relief and development agencies, said that the recent COP22 UN climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco, sent a “positive yet weak...

Uruguay’s president meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on December 2 with President Tabaré Ramon Vazquez Rosas of Uruguay. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting said that the conversation had centered on the...

2 million pilgrims expected in Spanish town for jubilee year

More than two million pilgrims are expected to travel to Caravaca de la Cruz, Spain, in 2017 for a jubilee year. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, will open the holy...

US bishops’ conference grants nearly $4M to assist Church in Latin America, Caribbean

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America recently granted over $3.8 million to 204 projects to assist the work of the Church in Latin...

Cardinal Müller says CDF cannot answer cardinals’ dubia without Pope’s approval

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has said that he will not respond to the dubia submitted by four cardinals about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, unless...

Nicaraguan bishops protest government violence against citizens

The Catholic bishops of Nicaragua have raised their voices to denounce violence by the government against private citizens, pointing in particular to police attacks on farmers who had planned to...

Bankruptcy costs for Minnesota archdiocese near $12 million

The legal costs associated with the bankruptcy filing of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese are approaching $12 million, Minnesota Public Radio reports. A federal bankruptcy-court judge will...

Iraqi military using militia groups to secure territory recaptured from Islamic State

The Iraqi military is relying on militia groups—some of them organized along religious lines—to secure the territory that has been recaptured from the Islamic State, the Fides news...

Meeting Georgian delegation, Pope recalls September visit

Pope Francis met on December 1 with a delegation of Catholics from Georgia, and told that that it was a “great joy” for him to visit their country in September. “I never thought...

Australian bishops plan national council for 2020

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has been elected by the Australian bishops to chair a commission preparing for a national council in 2020. The national plenary council—the first such...

Study abroad should promote diversity, tolerance, Pope tells international students

In a December 1 address to international students gathered in Rome, Pope Francis contrasted “the modern concept of the intellectual, engaged in the realisation of the self and in search of...

San Diego bishop tells outspoken priest to use parish bulletin only for calendar events

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego has instructed a pastor to use his parish bulletin only for announcing calendar events, rather than his personal views. Father Richard Perozich had come under...

Clashes in China at new bishop’s ordination

The ordination of a new bishop in Chengdu, China, saw a clash between loyal Catholics and police officials, provoked by the attendance of a bishop who has been excommunicated by the...

Ukrainian bishops recall Holodomor

Ukraine’s Latin-rite and Eastern-rite bishops recently recalled the Holodomor, the 1932-33 famine and genocide in which millions of Ukrainians perished under Stalin’s rule. “The...

Prelate lists mandates, executive orders that Trump should rescind to protect religious freedom

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore has called upon President-elect Donald Trump to take several actions that would reverse mandates and executive orders issued by President Barack Obama and his...

USCCB: bishops call for renewed emphasis on ministering to youth

Archbishop Charles Chaput, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, has called upon his brother bishops to “reaffirm our commitment to young...

French bishops decry bill that would squelch pro-life websites

Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, has criticized President François Hollande for his support of a bill that would criminalize...

Bishop decries EU, German aid to Sudan’s government

A Sudanese bishop has traveled to Europe to draw attention to what he describes as a “hidden and forgotten conflict”: government attacks on the people of the Nuba mountain region and...

Papal praise for conference on protecting heritage sites in war zones

Pope Francis has lent his support to efforts by France and the United Arab Emirates to protect historically and culturally significant sites in war zones. Referring to an upcoming conference in...

US Catholic college presidents call for continuation of program allowing undocumented immigrant students

More than 70 presidents of American Catholic colleges and universities have joined in a public statement of support for students from families of undocumented immigrants, saying that these students...

Pope encourages French politicians to serve common good

Speaking on November 30 to a group of French political leaders, Pope Francis said that Christians should cooperation “with believers of all religions, and all men of good will, even...

Dutch lawmakers move toward restrictions on Islamic veils

Legislators in the Netherlands have given preliminary approval to restrictions on the use of Islamic veils that cover the face. The measure bans “face-covering clothing” from public...

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for December

The Vatican has made public the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for December 2016. The Pope’s universal is: “That the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated the world...

Pope sends greetings to Orthodox Patriarch on patronal feast day

Pope Francis sent his greetings to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew on November 30, the feast of St. Andrew, the patronal saint of the Constantinople see. During his regular public audience,...

In vocation message, Pope emphasizes prayer as basis of Christian missionary spirit

The Holy See Press Office has released the papal message for the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be commemorated on the Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 7) in 2017. In “Led...

Pope calls for prayer, treatment for those with HIV

At the conclusion of his November 30 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that the United Nations promotes December 1 as World AIDS Day. “Millions of persons live with this disease, and...

Pope reflects on burying the dead, prayer for the living and the dead

Concluding his series of Wednesday catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 30 general audience to burying the dead and praying for the living and the dead. “The...

Papal condolences following plane crash in Colombia

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has two telegrams of condolence on Pope Francis’s behalf following the crash in Colombia of an airplane carrying members of...

EU prelates affirm importance of hospitality to migrants, religious freedom

Representatives of different religions, including two Catholic bishops, took part in an annual dialogue with a leading EU official on November 29. The theme of this year’s dialogue was...

Cardinal: social dimension of mercy at heart of Pope Francis’s teaching

Writing on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia described the social dimension of mercy as the “common thread” that links three key...

20 thieves attack church in Bangladesh

At least 20 thieves attacked a Catholic parish in Gazipur, Bangladesh, on the night of November 26, tied up security guards and the parish priest, and stole cash, a camera, and other objects,...

Pope to receive Scorsese as Silence is screened at the Vatican

Film director Martin Scorsese will meet with Pope Francis on November 30, before the Pope’s regular public audience. Scorsese is in Rome for a screening of his new film, Silence, based on...

Oslo diocese fined for inflating membership figures

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, has been ordered to pay a fine of one million kroner (about $117,000), for inflating statistics on the number of registered Catholics in the diocese. The fine...

Miami’s Archbishop Wenski acknowledges Castro’s victims

Archbishop Thomas Wenski called attention to the victims of Cuba’s Fidel Castro in a statement on the death of the Cuban dictator. “We will all be judged one day,” the...

Venezuelan government still blocking humanitarian supplies, Catholic charity reports

The government of Venezuela has not moved to lift a block on importation of medicine, despite a critical shortage, Caritas Venezuela reports. Yaneth Marquez, the director of the Catholic charity,...

Scottish priest, suspended after writing on ‘powerful gay mafia,’ ordered to leave parish

A Scottish priest who was suspended from ministry after writing a book on homosexual influence in the Church has now been ordered to leave the parish where he was assigned. Father Matthew Despard...

Slovakian bishops warn that international convention on violence against women promotes gender ideology

The Catholic bishops of Slovakia are opposing ratification of an international convention on violence against women, because the convention uses language that reflects “gender...

Canonical trial of accused Guam archbishop has begun, successor reports

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, who was suspended after multiple charges of sexual abuse, is now facing a canonical trail in Rome, his designated successor revealed. “The trial...

Cardinals’ questions about Amoris Laetitia already answered: Father Spadaro

The questions submitted by four cardinals about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia have already been answered, according to Father Antonio Spadaro. The Italian Jesuit, who is a close adviser...

Cardinal Pell defends four cardinals for asking ‘significant’ questions

Cardinal George Pell has come to the support of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Following an address to an audience in London, the...

Four cardinals could be stripped of status for questioning papal document, says Vatican official

The dean of the Roman Rota has said that Pope Francis, if he wanted, could remove four prelates from the College of Cardinals as punishment for submitting and publicizing their dubia about Amoris...

Mexican archdiocese: families afraid to report kidnappings

The Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, has cancelled a program that registered the names of suspected kidnapping victims, explaining that families were afraid to provide personal information...

San Diego’s Bishop McElroy strongly encourages Communion for divorced/remarried

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, has asked his priests to encourage Catholics who are divorced and remarried to consider whether “God is calling them to return to the...

Ugandan bishops warn against false ordinations

The Uganda Episcopal Conference has warned the faithful that recent priestly “ordinations” of two men by two self-proclaimed bishops were invalid and illicit. In addition, the three...

Ontario court: parent not allowed to exempt elementary school children from objectionable classes

An Ontario court has ruled that a Greek Orthodox father who sends his children to a public elementary school cannot exempt them from classes related to homosexuality and abortion. The court...

USCCB grants $9.2M to US mission dioceses

A subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has granted $9.2 million to 84 US “home mission” dioceses, most of them in rural areas. The funds are provided by an...

Irish premier meets with Pontiff, announces papal visit in 2018

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny met on November 28 with Pope Francis, and later told reporters that the Pontiff had promised to visit Ireland in 2018. The Vatican, in a brief...

Nearly 2.5 million embryos destroyed for IVF in UK

Almost 2.5 million embryos have been intentionally destroyed in the course of in-vitro fertilization treatments in the United Kingdom since 1990, official figures show. The Human Fertilization...

African cardinal reports his country’s language has no word for his new office

Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui in the Central African Republic—the first cardinal ever from that nation—reports that the country’s main language, Sango, does not...

Deadly attack on French monastery fuels fears of new terrorism

An armed man attacked a monastery in southern France on November 24, killing a custodian and binding and gagging residents before he fled as police approached to rescue the residents. The masked...

Papal thanks for organizers, volunteers who worked on Jubilee events

At an audience on November 28, Pope Francis thanked the organizers and volunteers who had helped to prepare for events at the Vatican during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. “All of you, in...

Russian Orthodox Patriarch praises Castro’s legacy

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow expressed his “deep sorrow” at the death of Fidel Castro, describing the Cuban dictator as a “courageous and charismatic person, a man...

French cardinal raps government’s ‘obsession’ with abortion

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris has criticized the “obsession” of the French government with the issue of abortion, and the charged that under the pretext of combatting AIDS...

Former spokesman reveals how St. John Paul II convinced Castro to allow Christmas celebration

Reflecting on the death of Fidel Castro, a former Vatican spokesman described how St. John Paul II persuaded the Cuban dictator to allow the celebration of Christmas. Joaquin Navarro-Valls...

Parishioner shot and killed during Mass in Cali, Colombia

A man was shot and killed during Mass in Cali, Colombia, last week. Fernando Padilla was gunned down during a Mass at St. Cecilia church on November 22. The shooting sparked a panic in the...

Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, former Jesuit leader, dead at 87

Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the former superior general of the Society of Jesus, died in Beirut on November 27, just short of his 88th birthday. A native of the Netherlands, Father Kolvenbach...

Cardinal Zen again voices concern about Vatican-Beijing talks

Cardinal Joseph Zen has again expressed concern about the prospect of an agreement between the Vatican and China. The outspoken former Bishop of Hong Kong said that he fears the Vatican, in its...

Pope urges scientists to push for political action on climate change

Pope Francis encouraged scientists to work for remedies to climate change, in a November 28 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Complaining that the world’s political leaders...

Papal prayers for victims of natural disasters

Following his November 27 Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for victims of natural disasters. The Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square that he was praying “for the...

Pope Francis: Christ’s second coming puts material things in proper perspective

In his Angelus address on the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s second coming to judge the living and the dead. “The Gospel doesn’t want to make us...

Papal condolences following Fidel Castro’s death

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Raúl Castro, president of Cuba’s Council of State, upon the death of his brother, Fidel Castro, the Communist revolutionary who...

Pope praises service of youthful volunteers

Pope Francis met on November 26 with 7,000 young people who have volunteered for a year with Italy’s National Civil Service. Speaking in Paul VI Audience Hall, the Pope said that “the...

Pope Francis confers Ratzinger Prizes, pays tribute to Pope Emeritus

Pope Francis has conferred the 2016 Ratzinger Prizes for distinction in theology on Msgr. Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. Msgr. Biffi, ordained to the priesthood in 1957, has written...

Pope encourages religious orders to rethink their spending

The Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has held a three-day symposium devoted to the topic of “rethinking the use and management of...

France, Holy See ratify agreement on French church in Rome

The Holy See and France have ratified an agreement, signed in July, entrusting the care of the French church in Rome to the priests of the Emmanuel Community, a French charismatic Catholic...

Papal commission on female deacons holds first meeting

A special commission assembled by Pope Francis to study the history of female deacons in the early Church held its first meeting on November 25. The 12-member commission will hold two days of...

In discussion with Jesuits, Pope speaks on ‘rigid’ seminarians, corrupt politicians

Pope Francis lamented the decline of idealism in politics, and the “rigidity” that he finds in many seminarians, in an exchange with participants in the 36th General Congregation of the...

Christmas tree arrives in St. Peter’s Square

The Christmas tree that will stand this year in St. Peter’s Square, an 80-foot red spruce from Trento in northern Italy, has arrived in Rome. The Christmas tree will be illuminated on...

Italy, Vatican explore joint diplomatic efforts

Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni met on November 24 with his Vatican counterpart, archbishop Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States, to discuss joint diplomatic...

Police subdue hammer-wielding man in Roman church

Police in Rome stopped a man who approached the altar of St. Ignatius Loyola church flourishing a hammer on November 23. The man was a middle-aged native of Rome with a criminal record, police...

Former Irish president wants to use canon law to change the Church

Former Irish President Mary McAleese says that she wants to change the structure of the Catholic Church, because the hierarchy is “not serving its purpose.” McAleese, who has...

Venezuelan opposition says government has stalled Vatican-mediated crisis talks

Venezuela’s political opposition has blamed the government of President Nicolas Maduro for an impasse in negotiations designed to end the country’s political crisis. Government...

Bishop Schneider praises ‘prophetic’ action of four cardinals who submitted dubia

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has issued an open letter praising the “prophetic voice” of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia seeking clarification of Amoris Laetitia. In saying...

Rwandan government says Vatican must apologize for Church role in 1994 massacres

After the Catholic bishops of Rwanda issued an apology for the role played by Catholics in the genocidal massacres of 1994, the country’s government said that the statement was inadequate, and...

Isolation is the enemy of community, Pope says

“It is isolation that harms, not sharing,” Pope Francis said in a video message to participants in the 6th festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The Pope dedicated his...

Misericordia et Misera underlines key theme of Pope Francis, says Cardinal Nichols

England’s leading Catholic prelate says that Misericordia et Misera, the apostolic letter released by Pope Francis at the close of the Year of Mercy, “reinforces the fundamental shape...

Pope laments scourge of drug abuse

At Pope Francis’s request, he Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a two-day workshop on November 23-24 devoted to “narcotics: problems and solutions of this global...

Leading UN official meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Peter Thomson, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, in a private audience on November 24. The UN General Assembly’s president is elected by his peers...

Vietnam’s president meets with Pope Francis

Pope Francis received Tran Dai Quang, Vietnam’s president since April, in a private audience on November 23. The meeting comes amid negotiations, ongoing since 2009, aimed at establishing...

Polish bishop supports cardinals’ request for clarification of Amoris Laetitia

A Polish bishop has joined the debate the request by four cardinals for Pope Francis to clarify Amoris Laetitia. “It would be just to respond” to the four cardinals, said Bishop...

Preparations continue for next Synod meeting

The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome this week, to continue preparations for the next meeting of the Synod, which will be held in October 2018 and will be devoted to...

EU bishops back Pillar of Social Rights, call for recognition of Sunday rest

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) have renewed their support of the European Pillar of Social Rights, an EU document on labor, education, and other...

Prelate: jubilee of mercy showed that Church is a mother, not a stepmother

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization said that the faithful welcomed the recent jubilee year with...

Vatican cardinal meets with Russian patriarch

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Moscow on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Patriarch Kirill and met with him on November...

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