Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Leading scholars urge Pope to clarify Amoris Laetitia

Two leading Catholic scholars have urged Pope Francis to stop what they term the “misuse” of Amoris Laetitia, and more than 20 scholars have backed the four cardinals who submitted...

Pope prays for Rome, world in traditional homage to Immaculate Mary

Following a custom that dates back several decades, Pope Francis left the Vatican on the afternoon of December 8 and traveled to the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, where he offered an act of veneration...

Pope contrasts Adam’s ‘no,’ Virgin Mary’s ‘yes’

In his Angelus address for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis contrasted the “no” of our first parents with the Virgin’s...

Christian refugees unlikely to return to Syria, Iraq, prelate fears

The Christian refugees who have fled from violence in Syria and Iraq are not likely to return under current conditions, according to the apostolic administrator of the Jerusalem...

Swiss bishop: no last rites for people planning assisted suicide

A Swiss bishop has told his priests that they should not provide the last rites for people who are planning to end their lives by assisted suicide. “The readiness of a suffering patient to...

Be mediators, not rigid ‘middlemen,’ Pope exhorts priests

Priests should offer their lives in service to their people, not pursue their own interests, Pope Francis said in his homily at a morning Mass on December 9. The Pope drew a contrast between...

Cardinal Dziwisz retires; successor named

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz as Archbishop of Kraków for reasons of age. The 77-year-old prelate was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of...

Beijing shows no willingness to accept papal authority, says Cardinal Zen

The participation of an excommunicated bishop in the ordination of a new bishop last week was “a slap in the face of the Holy Father,” says Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of...

Belarus denies permission for foreign-born Catholic priest’s appointment

The government of Belarus has denied permission for a Catholic priest from Russia to serve in a parish in Vitebsk, the Forum 18 news service reports. The government rejected a request for...

Association approved for female Vatican employees

The Vatican has approved its first association for women employees. Membership in Donne in Vaticano (Women in the Vatican) is open to the 750 female employees of the Holy See and Vatican...

Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Mauritania

The Vatican has established diplomatic relations with Mauritania. The Vatican announced on December 9 that an apostolic nunciature would be established in the African country, while the Islamic...

New bishop of Rockville Centre named

Pope Francis has name Bishop John Barres of Allentown as the bishop of Rockville Centre, NY, one of the United States’ ten most populous dioceses. A graduate of Princeton University, where...

Papal prayers for Indonesian earthquake victims

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on December 8, Pope Francis prayed for victims of a recent earthquake in Aceh on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The...

Church leaders press Venezuelan government on human rights

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas has said that the government of Venezuela must fulfill its commitments to preserve a fragile dialogue with opposition leaders. “We must set the many...

Notre Dame president not ready to commit to Trump invitation

Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame University, is not prepared to commit to inviting President-elect Donald Trump to speak on campus. “I do think the elected leader of the...

Cardinal Turkson suggests open debate on Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Peter Turkson suggested an open public debate on the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, in remarks to the National Catholic Register. “For all of these people who’ve said...

Christian governor to face blasphemy trial in Indonesia next week

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (popularly known as “Ahok”), the Christian governor of Jakarta, will go on trial for blasphemy on December 13. The charge against Ahok stems from a campaign...

Pope notes link between fight against corruption, quest for human rights

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on December 7, Pope Francis called attention to two days designated by the UN for special observances: the International Anti-Corruption Day...

In new interview, Pope explains synodality, condemns media disinformation

Pope Francis explained his understanding of the “synodal Church,” and issued a strongly worded condemnation of defamation and disinformation in the media, in a new interview with the...

Bishop Schneider says ‘schism already exists’ following dispute on Amoris Laetitia

Because of the heated debate on the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, “we are witnessing today a bizzare form of schism,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider said in a French television...

Vatican confirms ban on homosexual candidates for priesthood

The Vatican has confirmed that homosexual men should not be ordained to the priesthood. In a new instruction for the training of seminarians, entitled The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, the Congregation for the Clergy says that the Church “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called...

Pope begins series of audiences on Christian hope

Having concluded his series of Wednesday general audiences on mercy, Pope Francis has turned to the topic of Christian hope. “Today we begin a new series of catecheses dealing with...

Pope calls on Christian artists to create beautiful works as a ‘spark of hope’

In a December 6 message to the 11 pontifical academies on the occasion of a joint meeting, Pope Francis spoke about beauty in the midst of cities. Reflecting on the meeting’s...

Uganda entrusts Caritas with care of 42,000 refugees

In five months, a Ugandan grassland has been transformed into the world’s 2nd-largest refugee camp, according to Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and...

Jewish leader decries genocide of Christians in Middle East

At a December 5 interfaith forum in New York, the president of the World Jewish Congress pleaded for concerted action to stop the genocide of Christians. “Today we are witnessing the...

Bishop helped broker ransom of 226 hostages from ISIS

In February 2015, the Islamic State attacked Christian villages in northern Syria, seizing over 200 hostages. The Associated Press has published a report on how Syrian Christians around the world...

Swiss bishops ask pardon for sexual abuse

Switzerland’s bishops gathered at Valère Basilica in Sion on December 5 and asked God for forgiveness for sexual abuse within the Church. “At the express request of Pope...

Cardinal Koch: it is better to commemorate the Reformation than to celebrate it

The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told a French Catholic newspaper that it is better to “commemorate” the 500th anniversary of the Protestant...

Bishops work to bolster fragile peace in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are acting as mediators to ward off a national crisis created by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to relinquish his...

Vatican hosting its first Rembrandt exhibition

The Vatican has opened an exhibition of works by Rembrandt van Rijn: the first exhibit of the Dutch artist ever shown at the Vatican Museums. Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican...

Sheen beatification cause delayed again as New York archdiocese appeals decision to transfer remains

A New York judge has granted the New York archdiocese a temporary stay of a court order calling for the transfer of the remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen from New York to Peoria, Illinois. The...

Promote ‘ethic of responsibility’ to replace nuclear deterrence: Vatican envoy

“The logic of fear and mistrust that is epitomized by nuclear deterrence must be replaced with a new global ethic,” a Vatican representative said in an address to the International...

Cemetery desecrated in Galilee

A Christian cemetery has been desecrated in Kafr Yasif, an Arab town of 10,000 in northern Israel whose residents are mostly Christians and Muslims. “Blasphemous and obscene graffiti,...

Asian bishops discuss family life, consecrate families to the Holy Family

The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for a seven-day meeting devoted to “The Asian Catholic Family: Domestic Church of the Poor on a Mission of...

John Kerry meets with Pope

Pope Francis received US Secretary of State John Kerry in a December 2 private audience. While the Holy See Press Office did not disclose the topics of their conversation, Kerry tweeted,...

South Sudanese bishop warns of potential massacre

The bishop of Yei, South Sudan’s second-largest city, told the Fides news agency that people there are at risk of being massacred by the president’s forces in the nation’s ethnic...

EU court rules against Romanian Catholic parish that sought return of its property

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against a Romanian Greek Catholic parish that sought the return of its property from the Romanian Orthodox Church. In 1948, Romania’s Communist...

Cardinal Dolan welcomes papal statement on abortion and confession

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has welcomed Pope Francis’s statement in the apostolic letter Misericordia et Misera that “I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the...

Syrian Orthodox prelates denied visas to visit London

Two Syrian Orthodox prelates were denied permission to enter the United Kingdom to participate in the dedication of a new cathedral. Archbishops Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf and Timothy Mosa Alshamany...

Ecumenical Patriarch praises Amoris Laetitia in Vatican newspaper column

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has voiced his admiration for Amoris Laetitia, in a column published in the Vatican newspaper, L‘Osservatore Romano. The Orthodox leader...

Talmud scholar, Weigel meet with Pope

Pope Francis received Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and George Weigel in separate private audiences on December 5. Steinsaltz is a leading scholar of the Talmud; Weigel, who wrote Witness to Hope, the...

US Jesuit discusses influence on Silence

Father James Martin, SJ, the editor of America magazine, has discussed his role as consultant to Martin Scorsese’s film Silence, which portrays the work of Jesuit missionaries in Japan under...

FBI: 59 anti-Catholic hate crimes in 2015

A total of 69 people were victims of 59 hate-crime offenses motivated by anti-Catholic bias in the US in 2015, according to a report recently issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The...

USCCB: December 12 to be day of prayer for immigrant families

Dioceses in the United States will mark the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12) as a day of prayer and solidarity with families of immigrants. “So many families are wondering how...

Pope Francis: convert, for God’s kingdom is in our midst

In his Angelus address for the Second Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis called upon the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to convert. Reflecting on St. John the Baptist’s call to...

Promote economic inclusion and dignity of human person, Pope tells business leaders

Pope Francis met with international business leaders taking part in a Fortune-Time Global Forum and called upon them to place the economy at the service of the human person and seeks ways to include...

Franciscan religious killed in Congo

A Franciscan woman religious was killed on November 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...

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...

Uruguay’s president meets 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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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