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Catholic World News

Stories for November 2014

Released Monday, Nov. 3

All Saints Day Mass: Pope Francis laments destruction of environment, people CWN - November 3, 2014

On the afternoon of All Saints Day, Pope Francis offered Mass at a Roman cemetery and decried environmental destruction and the culture of waste. Reflecting on the first reading from the Book of...

Pope Francis reflects on communion of saints CWN - November 3, 2014

Pope Francis reflected on the communion of saints during his November 1 Angelus address. All Saints Day “helps us to consider a fundamental truth of the Christian faith that we profess in the...

Pope requests prayers for Jerusalem CWN - November 3, 2014

Amid rising tensions between Jews and Muslims over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Pope Francis appealed for prayers for the city’s peace. “Today’s liturgy speaks of the glory of the heavenly...

Spanish Civil War martyr beatified CWN - November 3, 2014

Father Pedro de Asúa, who was martyred during the Spanish Civil War, was beatified in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz on November 1. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for...

All Souls Day: Pope urges prayers, Masses for the dead CWN - November 3, 2014

During his Sunday Angelus address on All Souls Day, Pope Francis called for prayers for the departed, including “those no one remembers.” “We remember the victims of war and violence, the many...

Pope offers Mass for deceased cardinals, bishops CWN - November 3, 2014

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on November 3 for the repose of the souls of the cardinals and bishops who died during the previous year. The mystery of the resurrection, foretold in the Second Book...

Vatican diplomat: the poor should have access to the results of outer space’s use CWN - November 3, 2014

At a recent UN meeting devoted to the peaceful uses of outer space, a leading Vatican diplomat said that the Holy See “rejoices in the marvelous progress of science, seeing it both as a product of...

Iraqi leader vows to assist nation’s Christians CWN - November 3, 2014

Iraq’s new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, “repeated several times he personally feels responsible for the protection and defense of Christian citizens,” the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church...

New York archdiocese announces plans for parish mergers CWN - November 3, 2014

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has announced plans to merge 112 parishes: nearly one-third of the parishes in the New York archdiocese. In the reorganization plan—which the archdiocese is undertaking...

Italian bishop: faithful who attend SSPX services incur excommunication CWN - November 3, 2014

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, has warned that Catholics who attend Mass at chapels staffed by the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) incur excommunication. The bishop...

Vatican to host major conference on traditional marriage CWN - November 3, 2014

The Vatican will host a 3-day conference on traditional marriage later this month, with Pope Francis scheduled to address the opening session. The conference on “Complementarity of Man and...

Catholic priests, religious must leave Crimea by year's end CWN - November 3, 2014

All Catholic priests in the Crimea will be forced to leave by the end of 2014 under new rules established by the Russian government, the Forum 18 news service reports. Since Russia assumed...

Norwegian diocese admits inflating Catholic census to receive government funds CWN - November 3, 2014

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, has revealed that Church membership statistics have included many people who had not identified themselves as Catholics and may not have been aware that they were...

Vatican approves new statutes for Legionaries CWN - November 3, 2014

The Vatican has approved a new set of statutes governing the Legion of Christ, completing a 3-year process of reform for the religious order. The new statutes, containing 235 articles, replace...

Papal visit to Sri Lanka on schedule despite presidential election? CWN - November 3, 2014

A visit to Sri Lanka by Pope Francis will take place on schedule in January, despite the prospect of a presidential election in that country that same month, government officials in the Asian...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 4

Mexican bishops issue letter to families of kidnapped college students CWN - November 4, 2014

Recalling the suffering experienced by the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the cross, four Mexican bishops have encouraged the parents and relatives of 43 abducted college students to “strengthen...

225th anniversary of 1st US diocese CWN - November 4, 2014

The Archdiocese of Baltimore, the first diocese in the United States, commemorated its 225th anniversary on November 2. Founded in 1789, the year George Washington assumed office, the Diocese of...

African cardinal declares week of prayer following military takeover CWN - November 4, 2014

Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Ouagadougou has declared a week of prayer following the sudden resignation of Burkina Faso’s autocratic president and the military takeover of the West African...

Lebanon’s Christian presidency in peril, warns Maronite Patriarch CWN - November 4, 2014

The head of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has called upon Lebanon’s Christian political parties to stop bickering and elect a...

Cardinal Parolin links Pope Francis’s economic teaching to Aristotle, Pope Benedict CWN - November 4, 2014

In a recent address, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, linked Pope Francis’s teaching on economics to Aristotle and the medieval scholastics. He stated that for Pope...

Washington archdiocese warns pastors of demonstrations, disruptions at Catholic churches CWN - November 4, 2014

The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, has warned priests that an unidentified group of protesters has staged demonstrations outside local Catholic churches, and in at least two cases entered the church...

Restrictions on religious freedom are widespread and growing worldwide, study shows CWN - November 4, 2014

Religious freedom is substantially curtailed in more than half of the world’s nations, a new study has found, and restrictions on religious freedom are growing in more than one-fourth of all...

Argentine bishop, too, threatens excommunication for faithful who attend SSPX chapels CWN - November 4, 2014

Following the lead of an influential Italian bishop, a bishop in Argentina has warned that Catholics may be penalized with excommunication if they attend Mass at chapels administered by the...

Theology must serve evangelization, says Cardinal Müller in talk at Catholic University CWN - November 4, 2014

Theology must always serve the cause of evangelization, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith told an audience at Catholic University in a November 3 lecture. Cardinal...

New York bishop bans travel to west Africa, citing Ebola threat CWN - November 4, 2014

Bishop Salvatore Matano of Rochester, New York has banned priests of the diocese from traveling to western African nations because of the threat of transmitting Ebola. Bishop Matano told priests...

Austrian woman 'priest' claims she is accepted by Catholic clergy in Austria CWN - November 4, 2014

A woman who has been excommunicated after claiming to be ordained as a Catholic priest has said that she regularly participates in liturgical ceremonies with Benedictine monks in...

New books offers Pope's thoughts for daily reading CWN - November 4, 2014

A new book meditations and talks by Pope Francis has been published in Italy. Il Mio Breviaro ("My Breviary") is a collection of the Pope's thoughts, taken from his writings, homilies, and public...

Argentine Plaza de Mayo grandmother to meet with Pontiff CWN - November 4, 2014

The founder of the Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo (“Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo”) will meet with Pope Francis on November 4 after the Pontiff’s regular public audience. Estala de Carlotto...

Vietnamese Catholic blogger indicted for criticizing government CWN - November 4, 2014

A Vietnamese Catholic blogger has been indicted for “abuse of freedom and democracy” because he posted essays critical of the government. Nguyen Huu Vinh could face up to seven years in prison,...

Vatican official denies dignity in suicide, commenting on Brittany Maynard death CWN - November 4, 2014

Commenting on the highly publicized death of Brittany Maynard, the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life remarked that suicide is “an absurdity.” "We don't judge people, but the gesture in...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 5

Christian couple burned alive in Pakistan CWN - November 5, 2014

Two Pakistani Christians were thrown into a brick kiln and burned to death following a blasphemy allegation. The killings took place in a village near Lahore. The Fides news agency reported...

India: priest rues government indifference to attacks on Christians CWN - November 5, 2014

Nearly six months after Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister, an official of the Indian bishops’ conference said that the government’s indifference to attacks on Christians encourages...

Papal message calls upon French bishops to ‘keep alive the missionary zeal’ CWN - November 5, 2014

As the French bishops began their autumn meeting on November 4, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a message in Pope Francis’s name. “His Holiness Pope Francis wants...

Pope Francis: annulment decisions should not take years CWN - November 5, 2014

In extemporaneous remarks made to participants in a course sponsored by the Roman Rota, Pope Francis said that justice demands that the Church’s decisions on the validity of marriages should not...

Pope reflects on bishops’ crucial place in ‘our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church’ CWN - November 5, 2014

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on the Church, Pope Francis spoke on November 5 about the essential place of bishops in “our holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.” “In the...

USCCB grants $9M to US mission dioceses CWN - November 5, 2014

A subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has granted nearly $9.03 million to 83 US “home mission” dioceses, most of them in rural areas. The funds are provided by an...

South Sudan’s Catholic radio station reopens CWN - November 5, 2014

A Catholic radio network that had been shut down by South Sudan’s government has reopened. The station had been shut down in August following an accusation of inaccurate reporting on the nation’s...

Early report from Synod 'stained the honor of the Apostolic See,' says Kazakh bishop CWN - November 5, 2014

A Catholic bishop in Kazakhstan has blasted the preliminary report issued during the Synod of Bishops, saying that it left “a black mark which has stained the honor of the Apostolic See.” Bishop...

No-photo rule planned for popular basilica in India CWN - November 5, 2014

Church authorities in India are prepared to ban the taking of photographs in the church that houses the relics of St. Francis Xavier. The basilica of Bom Jesus, in Goa, has become a major tourist...

Vatican issues new rules for bishops' resignations CWN - November 5, 2014

The Vatican has announced new rules governing the resignation of bishops serving in dioceses or in the Roman Curia. The new rules, contained in a rescript from Pope Francis, confirm the current...

Shroud of Turin on exhibition next April- June CWN - November 5, 2014

A public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin will occur from April 19 to June 24 of next year, and Pope Francis intends to visit Turin and reverence the Shroud during that period. Turin’s...

Catholic voters matched overall trends in US elections CWN - November 5, 2014

In this year's Congressional elections, American Catholic voters leaned toward Republican candidates, matching the nationwide trend, according to exit polls cited by the New York Times. The Times...

Russian Orthodox Patriarch calls for national unity against economic sanctions CWN - November 5, 2014

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has called for national unity, urging the Russian people not to be troubled by economic sanctions. “Today we face the problem of foreign sanctions,” the...

Released Thursday, Nov. 6

Coptic leader: Western policies have fostered rise of Islamic extremism CWN - November 6, 2014

The head of Egypt’s largest Christian body said that Western policies have fostered Islamic extremism in the Middle East. Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II made his comments as he concluded a...

Burkina Faso’s cardinal analyzes national turmoil CWN - November 6, 2014

Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo of Ouagadougou said that the recent military takeover of the West African nation was not a coup but resulted from a popular uprising against the autocratic president who...

Nigeria’s bishops to gather for all-night prayer vigil CWN - November 6, 2014

All of Nigeria’s bishops are expected to gather on the evening of November 13 for an all-night prayer vigil that includes Mass, Eucharistic adoration, and the Rosary. The episcopal conference has...

Renewed call for CCHD donations CWN - November 6, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is encouraging Catholics to donate to the upcoming national collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Last year, the...

Russian patriarch calls on Pakistani leader to pardon Asia Bibi CWN - November 6, 2014

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called upon Pakistan’s president to pardon Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. “The execution of Asia Bibi would be...

Pro-life amendments fail in 2 states, pass in Tennessee CWN - November 6, 2014

By a 53%-47% margin, voters in Tennessee have approved a constitutional amendment that was supported by the state’s bishops. “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion...

Pope Francis addresses evangelical Protestants CWN - November 6, 2014

Stating that Scripture “makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God,” Pope Francis discussed baptism, Christian unity, and the kingdom of God in a November...

New president of Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas CWN - November 6, 2014

Pope Francis has named Dominican Father Serge Thomas Bonino, the secretary of the International Theological Commission, as the new president of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas...

New management, accounting norms issued for Vatican offices CWN - November 6, 2014

The Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy has released a handbook for financial management, which will be applied to all Vatican offices beginning on January 1, 2015. The new rules are designed...

Exorcists see rising demand, cite increase in occult activity CWN - November 6, 2014

Exorcists have seen a rise in demand for their services, probably because of an increase in interest in the occult, the Catholic News Agency reports. Following a meeting in Rome of the...

At UN, Vatican envoy presses for renewal of Israel-Palestinian peace process CWN - November 6, 2014

The Vatican’s representative at the UN has called upon leaders to push for renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, to break a “vicious cycle of violence.” Archbishop Bernardito Auza,...

Pakistan: 44 arrests in mob killing of Christian couple CWN - November 6, 2014

Police in Pakistan have arrested 44 people in connection with the horrific murder of a Christian couple. Shahzad and Shama Bibi were thrown alive into a furnace-- reportedly after their legs were...

Chicago archdiocese releases files on priests accused of abuse CWN - November 6, 2014

The Archdiocese of Chicago has released internal files on 36 priests who were accused of sexual abuse. The newly released documents, comprising about 15,000 pages, involve the cases of priests...

Vatican consultant 'absolutely' favors women's ordination CWN - November 6, 2014

A Spanish priest who is a consultant to a pontifical council has said that he is "absolutely" in favor of the ordination of women to the priesthood. Father Pablo d'Ors, a consultant to the...

Minnesota priest defies archbishop, hosts dissident CWN - November 6, 2014

A Minnesota priest has announced that he hosted a talk by a dissident Irish priest in defiance of a directive from his archbishop. Father Mike Tegeder encouraged parishioners at St. Francis...

Released Friday, Nov. 7

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders deplore renewed violence CWN - November 7, 2014

Amid rising Jewish-Muslim conflict over the Temple Mount, Jerusalem’s Christian leaders have called for peace. “We, the heads of Churches in Jerusalem, wish to express our serious concern...

Pakistani bishops’ conference laments government inaction on religious persecution CWN - November 7, 2014

Following the mob killing of a Christian couple in Pakistan, the justice and peace commission of the nation’s episcopal conference said that “the Pakistani government has failed in protecting the...

Pope tells Malawi’s bishops: preach the truths of the faith, promote family stability CWN - November 7, 2014

In an audience with bishops from Malawi, Pope Francis praised the southeastern African nation for its strong family life. “I wish also to express my appreciation for the admirable spirit of the...

Cardinal Burke renews criticism of Cardinal Kasper’s proposal, interim synod report CWN - November 7, 2014

In remarks made in recent days, Cardinal Raymond Burke emphasized his opposition to Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposed to admit those who have remarried to Holy Communion. In Vienna, Cardinal...

Vatican official reflects on the ‘vocation of agriculture’ CWN - November 7, 2014

Taking the place of Cardinal Peter Turkson, an official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace delivered an address in Minnesota on November 5 on the vocation of agriculture. “What are...

Belfast business owner faces prosecution over refusal to make cake promoting same-sex marriage CWN - November 7, 2014

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, where same-sex marriage is not legal, has vowed to prosecute the manager of a baking company who refused to bake a cake with the message, “Support gay...

Caritas assisted nearly 800,000 people following Philippine typhoon CWN - November 7, 2014

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has assisted nearly 800,000 people in the Philippines in the year since Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6,000 people and caused...

New CD set of 2013 conclave music CWN - November 7, 2014

Deutsche Grammophon, in collaboration with the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Radio, will soon release a two-CD set entitled “Habemus Papam.” The discs contain music from the 2013 conclave that...

Kenyan bishops find that women were unknowingly sterilized in vaccination campaign CWN - November 7, 2014

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have revealed that young women have been sterilized without their knowledge as part of a vaccination campaign sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health...

Cardinal Kasper: don't claim to speak for the Pope CWN - November 7, 2014

Cardinal Walter Kasper told an audience at the Catholic University of America that Catholics should not claim that they are speaking for the Pope. Cardinal Kasper—who, ironically, repeatedly said...

US appeals court upholds state laws against same-sex marriage, pushing question to Supreme Court CWN - November 7, 2014

A US federal appeals court has upheld state laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The decision, conflicting directly with other appeals-court findings, virtually...

Religious life should focus on witness, not ideology, Pope tells Italian superiors CWN - November 7, 2014

The Church grows by attracting people rather than by proselytizing, Pope Francis said in a November 7 address to a gather of Italian superiors of religious orders. Pope Francis emphasized the...

Pope urges common Christian witness to oppose secularism, indifference CWN - November 7, 2014

Pope Francis spoke of the need for “clear testimony of unity between Christians” in a November 7 address to participants in an ecumenical conference organized by the Focolare movement. The Pope...

Kenya: priest, 4 others found guilty of killing bishop CWN - November 7, 2014

A Kenyan court has convicted five men, including a Catholic priest, for the murder of Bishop Luigi Locati in 2005. Father Peter Guyo Wago Malley was found guilty of planning the killing of Bishop...

Released Saturday, Nov. 8

Pope names new ‘foreign minister,’ prefect of Apostolic Signatura; Cardinal Burke given new position CWN - November 8, 2014

The Holy See Press Office announced on November 8 that Pope Francis has named Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, as the prefect of the Apostolic...

Released Monday, Nov. 10

8 beatification causes advance CWN - November 10, 2014

In a November 7 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope approved decrees on the heroic virtues of eight servants of God, who may now be honored with the title...

Evangelize the young, Pope tells Salesian Sisters CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis met with participants in the Salesian Sisters’ general chapter on November 8 and encouraged them to “waste time” in front of the tabernacle so as to be effective evangelizers of...

In address to scouts, Pope stresses importance of family, creation CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis met with members of the Italian Adult Catholic Scout Movement on November 8 and encouraged them to be “missionary disciples” who pray and listen to God’s word. The Pontiff’s talk...

Pope Francis: pray for the grace to live in accord with the faith CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis reflected on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, his diocesan cathedral, during his November 9 Angelus address. “We profess, in the unity of the faith, the bond of...

Pope recalls 25th anniversary of Berlin Wall’s fall CWN - November 10, 2014

Following his November 9 Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. “Twenty-five years ago, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, which for...

Coptic patriarch renews call for common Easter date CWN - November 10, 2014

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church has renewed his call for a common date among all Christians for the celebration of Easter. Patriarch Tawadros II made his remarks in Vienna on November 9,...

Pope addresses West African bishops with ‘small, fragile’ flocks CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis addressed the bishops of four West African nations with significant Muslim populations and encourage them in their witness to Christ. Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis told the...

Vatican profiles new 'foreign secretary' CWN - November 10, 2014

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the newly appointed Secretary for Relations with States, is the first native English speaker to serve as the Vatican’s top foreign-policy official. The 60-year-old...

Federal judge finds for insurance company in suit against Milwaukee archdiocese on abuse claims CWN - November 10, 2014

A federal judge in Wisconsin has ruled in favor of an insurance company’s challenge that it should not be compelled to pay sex-abuse claims incurred because of negligence by Church...

Former Vatican prosecutor deplores paying abuse victims for silence CWN - November 10, 2014

The Vatican’s former chief prosecutor in sex-abuse cases has condemned the use of financial offers to silence the claims of abuse victims. Bishop Charles Scicluna, now an auxiliary bishop of...

Ebola under discussion as Pope meets with Ghana's president CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 10 with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had focused on cooperation between...

Papal condolences for Spanish crash victims CWN - November 10, 2014

Pope Francis has sent a message of sympathy to Bishop Jose Manuel Lorca Planes of Cartagena, Spain, after hearing of a massive roadway accident in the town of Cieza. The papal message promised...

Argentine activist says she was wrong about Pope Francis' role under military regime CWN - November 10, 2014

After meeting with Pope Francis on November 7, an Argentine human-rights activist has said that she was wrong about the future Pontiff’s role in Buenos Aires during the years of military...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 11

Paraguay’s bishops denounce corruption, lend support to family farms, unions CWN - November 11, 2014

The Paraguayan Episcopal Conference met from November 3 to 7 and denounced political corruption tied to the drug trade. The bishops lamented “the worsening of the exponential growth of narcotics...

Nigerian prelate’s pastoral letter on ‘menace of Boko Haram’ CWN - November 11, 2014

A Nigerian bishop whose diocese has borne much of the devastation wrought by Boko Haram has written a pastoral letter on the Islamist terrorist movement. “The menace of Boko Haram: to say that we...

Nuncio urges US bishops: introduce youth to Christ and the saints CWN - November 11, 2014

Addressing the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the apostolic nuncio called upon the bishops to introduce youth to Christ and the saints, especially American...

USCCB president reflects on synod CWN - November 11, 2014

In an address to the US bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, reflected on the recent Synod of Bishops on the family. “My prayer for...

World’s largest Bible factory is located in China CWN - November 11, 2014

The world’s largest Bible factory is located in China and has printed 125 million Bibles since 1987, according to the Financial Times. The Amity Foundation, a government-sanctioned Protestant...

Canadian cardinal: theology should be taught in spirit of ‘repentant adoration’ CWN - November 11, 2014

In an address to the theology faculty of St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins called upon theologians to follow the way of community, concreteness, and...

Pope Francis reflects on the priesthood CWN - November 11, 2014

Pope Francis has sent a message to the Italian episcopate on the priesthood as the nation’s bishops gathered in Assisi to discuss priestly life and formation. One of the principal duties of...

Pope creates new body to judge abuse cases CWN - November 11, 2014

Pope Francis has created a special college of seven cardinals and bishops, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to judge cases involving “the sexual abuse of...

Vatican clears Los Angeles priest of abuse charges after 10-year suspension CWN - November 11, 2014

A Vatican tribunal has cleared a Los Angeles priest of sex-abuse charges, restoring him to active ministry after a suspension that lasted more than a decade. Msgr. Richard Loomis had been removed...

Jordanian prince decries persecution of Christians in Vatican Radio interview CWN - November 11, 2014

Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal told Vatican Radio that “the fact that the Christians are suffering is abhorrent to all of us.” The Jordanian leader, who has been a leading proponent of...

Church leaders decline suggestion that bishop should lead transitional government in Burkina Faso CWN - November 11, 2014

Church leaders in Burkina Faso have politely declined a suggestion that a Catholic bishop should act as the transitional president of the African nation, the Fides news service reports. Following...

Kenyan government promises probe into vaccination campaign that included sterilization CWN - November 11, 2014

The Kenyan government has promised a thorough investigation of charges by the Catholic bishops’ conference that women were sterilized without their knowledge as part of a nationwide vaccination...

Pope asks G-20 leaders to remember the poor, work for peace CWN - November 11, 2014

Pope Francis called for attention to the poor and to the pursuit of peace in a message to the “G-20” meeting that will be held in Brisbane, Australia, on November 15-16. In his message—addressed...

Italian bishops' leader says children have right to mother, father CWN - November 11, 2014

Children have “the right to a father and a mother,” the president of the Italian bishops’ conference said in an address to an annual assembly. Speaking about artificial methods of reproduction,...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 12

USCCB meeting: bishops approve translations, elect committee chairmen CWN - November 12, 2014

In a meeting marked by little disagreement, the bishops of the United States approved, by large margins, a revised translation of Order of the Dedication of a Church and an Altar, the first English...

Bishop encourages president to act on immigration reform CWN - November 12, 2014

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson encouraged President Barack Obama to take executive action on immigration reform. “The preference would be to have a bipartisan solution, and a comprehensive...

NY farm owners pay fine for saying no to lesbian wedding CWN - November 12, 2014

The owners of an Albany-area farm and wedding venue have paid a $13,000 fine levied by the state’s Division of Human Rights after they declined to host a lesbian wedding. Robert and Cynthia...

Ireland reopens Vatican embassy CWN - November 12, 2014

Pope Francis on November 11 received Ireland’s new ambassador to the Holy See, ending a three-year hiatus in which the ambassador was based in Ireland. In November 2011 the Irish government...

Archbishop Forte loses election for Italian bishops’ position CWN - November 12, 2014

By a vote of 140-60, Bishop Mario Meini of Fiesole has defeated Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto in an election for the vice presidency of the Italian Episcopal Conference, according to La...

Pope Francis encourages clergy to be kind, humble CWN - November 12, 2014

Pope Francis devoted his November 12 general audience to the qualities of bishops, priests, and deacons discussed by St. Paul in his Letters to Saints Timothy and Titus. According to Vatican...

Pope expresses ‘deep spiritual closeness’ to persecuted Christians CWN - November 12, 2014

At the conclusion of his November 12 general audience, Pope Francis expressed his “deep spiritual closeness to Christian communities that are harshly persecuted with an absurd violence that does not...

European bishops recall WWI dead, vow recovery of Europe's spiritual heritage CWN - November 12, 2014

After a pilgrimage to Verdun to commemorate the deaths of World War I, the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has issued a statement affirming “our commitment to...

Maryland county schools drop religious holidays from calendar CWN - November 12, 2014

Public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, will strip all references to religious holy days from the schools’ annual calendars, as the result of a 7-1 vote by the county’s education...

Cardinal George puzzled about Pope's plans CWN - November 12, 2014

Cardinal Francis George, the retired Archbishop of Chicago, admitted that he has been confused by the actions of Pope Francis, in an interview with the New York Times. Cardinal George remarked...

Minnesota archdiocese faces steep budget cuts CWN - November 12, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has announced plans for a 20% cut in its annual budget, after reaching a costly financial settlement with sex-abuse victims. The archdiocese...

Egypt's tourism office promotes Christian pilgrimages to sites of Holy Family's flight CWN - November 12, 2014

Egyptian government officials are encouraging Christians from abroad to consider pilgrimages to the sites traditionally associated with the flight into Egypt by the Holy Family. The Coptic...

Released Thursday, Nov. 13

Pakistan returns school to Church CWN - November 13, 2014

The Pakistani government has returned a Catholic school to the Archdiocese of Lahore. In 1972, the socialist regime of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto nationalized Christian schools and hospitals, according...

Cardinal Pell’s successor installed in Sydney CWN - November 13, 2014

Bishop Anthony Fisher, a Dominican often described as a protégé of Cardinal George Pell, was installed as the Archbishop of Sydney on November 12. “My hope is for a Church in which the Gospel is...

Iran’s Christian population soars; Bible translated into Farsi CWN - November 13, 2014

For the first time, the Bible has been translated into Farsi (modern Persian), the official language of Iran and Afghanistan. The translation, which took 18 years, was undertaken by Elam...

National Cathedral to host Muslim prayer service CWN - November 13, 2014

For the first time, the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral in Washington will host a Muslim prayer service. The midday Friday prayer service on November 14 is cosponsored by five Muslim...

Call White House about deportation of immigrants, urges US bishops’ initiative CWN - November 13, 2014

Justice for Immigrants, a campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is urging Catholics to call the White House and “leave this simple message: protect as many immigrants and...

Indonesia: Islamists thwart celebration of Mass CWN - November 13, 2014

Members of Islamist groups threatened to burn down a parish in West Java if Catholics celebrated Mass there on November 9. As a precaution, the priest removed sacred vessels from the parish and...

Russian Orthodox official: West is indifferent to plight of Syrian, Iraqi Christians CWN - November 13, 2014

An official of the Moscow Patriarchate said that “many people who are in power in modern world politics” are “indifferent” to the plight of persecuted Christians in Syria and...

Extremists must be isolated to ease Israeli-Palestinian problem, says Italian cardinal CWN - November 13, 2014

After a visit to the Holy Land, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference told Aid to the Church in Need that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in “creating an alliance of...

New study shows mass exodus from Catholic Church in Latin America CWN - November 13, 2014

While 84% of the people in Latin America say that they were raised as Catholics, only 69% identify themselves as Catholics today. Protestant denominations in the region have grown substantially...

On eve of Chicago installation, Archbishop-elect Cupich blasted by Spokane law firm CWN - November 13, 2014

On the eve of his installation as leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Archbishop-elect Blase Cupich has been accused of a “money grab” in his lawsuit against a Spokane, Washington law firm. In...

Benedict XVI in 'fantastic health,' mentally sharp, American visitor reports CWN - November 13, 2014

An American priest reported finding Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI in “fantastic health” and mentally alert during a recent meeting at the Vatican. Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, the spiritual director of...

Austrian president meets with Pontiff CWN - November 13, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 13 with President Heinz Fischer of Austria. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had centered on religious freedom...

Russian Orthodox prelate calls for independent Orthodox banks CWN - November 13, 2014

A leading representative of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has said that Russia’s economy should move toward independence from the world’s banking system, to reduce the pressures from “global...

Ousted editor reportedly back on payroll in legal battle with Italian bishops' newspaper CWN - November 13, 2014

Dino Boffo, who was ousted as editor of the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, has won a legal battle against the bishops, the ANSA news service reports. Boffo was forced to...

Catholic-Muslim forum condemns terrorism, calls for deeper understanding CWN - November 13, 2014

A Catholic-Muslim forum, meeting this week at the Vatican, concluded with a statement calling for a “culture of inter-religious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding.” The joint statement...

Seal of confession remains after penitent dies, Vatican officials affirm CWN - November 13, 2014

A priest is never allowed to disclose what he heard in a sacramental confession, Vatican officials emphasized in talks during a conference this week on the confessional seal. The applies even...

Charity requires preaching Gospel, not just material help, says head of papal charity CWN - November 13, 2014

The highest manifestation of Christian charity is not only to provide material help but to preach the Gospel message, the head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum told a conference in...

Vatican will offer showers for Rome's homeless CWN - November 13, 2014

The Vatican is setting up shower stalls to serve the homeless of Rome. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who as papal almoner has been directed by Pope Francis to provide help for Rome’s homeless, has...

Released Friday, Nov. 14

Mexican bishops: nation’s future at stake in addressing Iguala mass kidnapping CWN - November 14, 2014

The Mexican Episcopal Conference has issued a statement decrying the kidnapping of 43 students by police, who reportedly handed them over to a drug cartel. The bishops stated, “We bishops of...

CDF official affirms teaching on absolution, Communion for the remarried CWN - November 14, 2014

In a letter written three days after the conclusion of the recent Synod of Bishops, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed St. John Paul II’s teaching on absolution...

Report: US bishops elect delegates to next synod CWN - November 14, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reportedly selected its four delegates to the October 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family. According to Crux, Father Thomas Reese said that...

Vatican astronomer receives Sagan Medal CWN - November 14, 2014

The American Astronomical Society has awarded Brother Guy Consolmagno its Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science. The Jesuit, who received the award on...

Russian patriarch: ignore Western consumerist pressure CWN - November 14, 2014

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called upon the Russian people to safeguard their unity and ignore Western pressure. “Those who see themselves as the winners of the Cold War tell all...

Vatican diplomat: if Pope visits Philadelphia, he will also visit New York CWN - November 14, 2014

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations said on November 13 that if Pope Francis visits Philadelphia in September 2015, he will also visit New York. The 70th anniversary of...

Topless 'Femen' protesters removed from St. Peter's Square CWN - November 14, 2014

A small group of radical feminists staged an obscene demonstration in St. Peter's Square on November 14, in what they said was a protest against the scheduled appearance by Pope Francis before the...

Islamic State leader targets Rome CWN - November 14, 2014

In an audio message released on November 13, a man identified as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, pledged that his group will continue its conquests and vowed to bring jihad to...

Cardinal O'Malley says Pope must take action on Bishop Finn CWN - November 14, 2014

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has told the CBS television program “60 Minutes” that the status of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn-- who has been convicted of endangering children because of his...

Put people before profits, Pope urges accountants' group CWN - November 14, 2014

Christians in the financial world must resist the “strong temptation to defend one's own interests without worrying about the common good, without paying too much attention to justice and legality,”...

Full schedule set for Pope's January visit to Sri Lanka, Philippines CWN - November 14, 2014

The Vatican has announced the full schedule for a January trip by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Pontiff will leave Rome on Monday evening, January 12, to fly to Colombo, Sri...

Milan archdiocese apologizes for suggestion to keep tabs on gender-related school programs CWN - November 14, 2014

The Archdiocese of Milan has apologized for a letter suggesting that religion teachers should report on any school programs related to homosexuality or gender issues. Father Gian Battista Rota,...

Peru's President Humala meets with Pontiff CWN - November 14, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 14 with president Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso of Peru. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had revolved around the...

Released Monday, Nov. 17

Holy See diplomat urges nations to implement weapons treaty CWN - November 17, 2014

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva, urged states that have signed a 1980 weapons treaty to implement it, lest it risk becoming a dead letter. “The...

All human life is sacred, Pope emphasizes in address to doctors CWN - November 17, 2014

Emphasizing that all human life is sacred, Pope Francis addressed the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors and lamented abortion, euthanasia, and immoral reproductive technologies....

Pope Francis: the treasures of the Gospel are not to be kept to oneself CWN - November 17, 2014

Reflecting on the parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30), which he urged those assembled in St. Peter’s Square to read, Pope Francis said in his November 16 Angelus address that the treasures of the...

Pope laments violence against refugees CWN - November 17, 2014

Following his November 16 Angelus address, Pope Francis lamented the recent violence against refugees in Rome. “In these days in Rome there have been very strong tensions between residents and...

Pope Francis confirms trip to Philadelphia CWN - November 17, 2014

Addressing a conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis said on November 17 that “I wish to confirm that, God willing, in September of 2015, I will go to...

Pontiff: marriage is the permanent union of a man and a woman CWN - November 17, 2014

Pope Francis reflected on sexual complementarity within marriage in an address to a conference sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The “complementarity of man and woman”...

Foster family life, Pope tells Zambia’s bishops CWN - November 17, 2014

Pope Francis paid tribute to the growth of the Church in Zambia and encouraged the nation’s bishops to promote family life. “I am convinced that the weakening of [family] bonds is particularly...

Pakistan: Christian arrested for blasphemy, 2 arrested for lynching Christian couple CWN - November 17, 2014

Police in Lahore, Pakistan, have announced the arrest of a Christian man who had been on the run since 2011, when he was accused of blasphemy. Qaiser Ayub, who had been a computer-science...

Pontiff makes quick trip to Castel Gandolfo CWN - November 17, 2014

Pope Francis made a quick visit to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo on Sunday, November 16. The Pontiff blessed two sculptures by the Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo, after having...

Indian court approves extradition of priest to face abuse charges in US CWN - November 17, 2014

An Indian court has dismissed a priest’s plea, approves his extradition to the US to face charges of sexual abuse. Father Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was charged with molesting a teenage girl while...

Vatican lifts ban on married priests for Eastern Catholic churches in US, Canada, Australia CWN - November 17, 2014

The Vatican has lifted a longstanding ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Eastern Catholic churches. The tradition and discipline of the Eastern churches allows for the...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 18

Colombia: exorcism prayers in response to rise in suicides CWN - November 18, 2014

In response to a rise in suicides, an exorcism prayer is being said in churches in two Colombian dioceses, according to the Episcopal Conference of Colombia. In all the churches of the...

Islamic State burns Bibles, orders Christians to pay tax CWN - November 18, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has ordered the 23 Christian families that remain in Ar-Raqqah, Syria, to pay a tax of $535 if they wish to avoid expulsion from the city. Located in...

Mexico: missionary’s body found in mass grave CWN - November 18, 2014

The body of Father John Ssenyondo, a Ugandan missionary priest who served in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, has been found in a mass grave. On April 30, Father Ssenyondo was...

Prelate warns that Syria could turn into another Libya CWN - November 18, 2014

An archbishop in northeastern Syria has warned of the disastrous consequences of potential airstrikes by the United States against Syrian government forces. Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, who...

Year of Consecrated Life to begin November 30 CWN - November 18, 2014

The year dedicated to consecrated life, announced by Pope Francis last December, will begin on the First Sunday of Advent with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of...

Church of England grants final approval to women bishops CWN - November 18, 2014

The General Synod of the Church of England has formally enacted a measure, approved in July, that permits the ordination of women bishops. “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the...

Vatican message to Sikhs emphasizes compassion, service CWN - November 18, 2014

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued a message to Sikhs in commemoration of the birth of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the first of the Sikh gurus. “The growing materialistic,...

Christian ministers urged to stop signing marriage certificates CWN - November 18, 2014

Two Episcopalian priests have urged American ministers of all Christian communities to join them in a pledge “to separate civil marriage from Christian marriage” by refusing to acts as “agents of...

Iraq invites Pope to visit, Chaldean prelate discloses CWN - November 18, 2014

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has disclosed that Pope Francis has received a formal invitation to visit Iraq. Speaking at a conference in Rome sponsored by the AsiaNews service, the...

In collected works, Benedict XVI deleted passage on Communion for divorced/remarried CWN - November 18, 2014

In the collected works of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, an article from 1972 appears without a passage in which the future Pontiff raises the possibility of allowing Catholics who are divorced and...

Jerusalem: Patriarch denounces attack on synagogue CWN - November 18, 2014

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has condemned a bloody attack on a synagogue in that city and extended his sympathies to the victims and their families. “In our churches, convents...

Political infighting blocks response to Boko Haram, says Nigerian archbishop CWN - November 18, 2014

A Catholic archbishop has lamented that the Nigerian government’s strategy to combat Boko Haram is “completely unreasonable” and has done nothing to stop the terrorist movement. Speaking to a...

Attacks on religious minorities are human-rights violations, Vatican envoy tells UN meeting CWN - November 18, 2014

Attacks against religious minorities should be recognized as violations of fundamental human rights, the Vatican’s representative told a UN-sponsored meeting. Archbishop Bernardito Auza reminded...

Fees for annulments barely cover judicial costs, says official of Vatican tribunal CWN - November 18, 2014

A Vatican official has cautioned against assuming that all Church tribunals will stop collecting fees for annulment cases. “Pope Francis did not say that procedures for the eventual declaration...

Vatican representative urges UN to discuss moral problems of drone strikes CWN - November 18, 2014

The Vatican’s representative at UN offices in Geneva has questioned the growing use of drones in warfare and called for discussion of how drone strikes should be restricted by international...

Controversial issues should be 'off the table' at next Synod meeting, Cardinal Burke argues CWN - November 18, 2014

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that debate on controversial issues distracted attention from the central questions of marriage and family life during the recent Synod of Bishops, and suggested that...

Senegal's president visits Pontiff CWN - November 18, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 18 with President Macky Sall of Senegal. The conversation revolved around Church-state relations in Senegal, but also included discussion of current concerns in the...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 19

Number of enslaved persons rises to nearly 36 million CWN - November 19, 2014

Following the publication of the 2014 Global Slavery Index, L’Osservatore Romano devoted a front-page article in its November 19 edition to modern-day slavery. One out of every 200 people is...

Stand with Ukraine, nation’s leading prelate urges CWN - November 19, 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has called for support for Ukraine as it confronts Russian aggression. “Ukraine is now facing foreign aggression, a kind of ‘hybrid war’ involving...

Bangladesh: pastors arrested after preaching to Muslims CWN - November 19, 2014

Two Protestant pastors, both converts from Islam, were surrounded by a mob and arrested in Lalmonirhat, a district in northern Bangladesh, as they spoke about Christianity to Muslims, according to a...

Vatican official: adultery incompatible with reception of Holy Communion CWN - November 19, 2014

In an address to a Vatican conference on the complementarity of man and woman in marriage, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family spoke about the indissolubility of marriage and the...

USCCB urges Congress: protect anti-poverty programs CWN - November 19, 2014

Two chairmen of committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have urged members of Congress to “draw a ‘circle of protection’ around the many programs that serve poor and...

Pope names president of Vatican financial agency CWN - November 19, 2014

Pope Francis has named René Brülhart the president of the Financial Information Authority, a Vatican body created in 2010 to combat illegal financial activities. Brülhart directed Liechtenstein’s...

All are called to holiness, Pope Francis emphasizes CWN - November 19, 2014

Describing holiness as “the most beautiful face of the Church,” Pope Francis devoted his November 19 general audience to the universal call to holiness. “First, we must bear in mind that holiness...

Papal tribute to contemplative religious CWN - November 19, 2014

At the conclusion of his November 19 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to contemplative religious. “Friday, November 21, on the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the...

Vatican conference closes with affirmation of marriage CWN - November 19, 2014

A 3-day Vatican conference on the complementarity of men and women, sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has concluded with a strong affirmation of Christian marriage. As...

Italian officials release frozen funds of Vatican bank, acknowledging reforms CWN - November 19, 2014

Italian banking authorities have agreed to release €23 million in funds from the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The funds had been frozen in September 2010, after they...

Montana diocese files reorganization plan in bankruptcy court CWN - November 19, 2014

The Diocese of Helena, Montana, has filed a reorganization plan in federal bankruptcy court, proposing a $16.4 million payment to victims of sexual abuse. The reorganization plan, which is the...

10 Spanish priests removed in abuse inquiry; Pope calls to apologize to victim CWN - November 19, 2014

Ten priests have been removed from ministry in the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, after a sex-abuse investigation. And Pope Francis has placed a personal phone call to the man whose complaint to the...

Kenyan government, Church to jointly test vaccine thought to sterilize young women CWN - November 19, 2014

The Kenyan government has agreed to involve Catholic health-care officials in new tests of a tetanus vaccine that the Kenyan bishops have charged is being used to sterilize women without their...

At interfaith conference, Vatican official blasts 'barbarism' of killings at Jerusalem synagogue CWN - November 19, 2014

Speaking to a conference on inter-religious dialogue just after the news of a terrorist bombing at a synagogue in Jerusalem, the Vatican’s representative said that “no cause, and certainly no...

Pope will raffle off gifts to raise money for charity CWN - November 19, 2014

Pope Francis is raffling off some of the gifts that he has received, with the proceeds going to charity. The Vatican has begun posting notices of the raffle, with tickets on sale at the Vatican...

Vienna's Catholic population drops; Muslim and unchurched numbers climb CWN - November 19, 2014

The proportion of Catholics in the population of Vienna, Austria has been cut nearly in half since 1971, a new survey has found. In 1971, 79% of Vienna’s people were Catholic. By 2011 that figure...

Nigerian diocesan official gives grim account of Boko Haram devastation CWN - November 19, 2014

In a report made available to the international charity Aid to the Church in Need, an official of the Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, has outlined the devastation caused by the Boko Haram terrorist...

Pakistan's Catholic leaders demand government action against religious violence CWN - November 19, 2014

The president of the Pakistani Catholic bishops’ conference has joined with the president of the Major Superiors Leadership Conference in a plea to the country’s political leaders for tolerance and...

Cardinal Müller: attacks on marriage tantamount to suicide for society CWN - November 19, 2014

Western society is “standing on a precipice” because of the failure to defend marriage, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said in an interview with the National...

Released Thursday, Nov. 20

Papal plea for peace in Jerusalem CWN - November 20, 2014

Following an attack on worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue, Pope Francis decried violence in the Holy Land and issued a plea for peace. “I am following with concern the alarming increase in...

Caritas: defend child migrants CWN - November 20, 2014

A quarter century after the adoption of an international treaty on children’s rights, Caritas has called for greater protection of the rights of child migrants. Martina Liebsch, head of advocacy...

Report: Islamic State has weapons to fight for up to 2 years CWN - November 20, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has sufficient resources “to continuing fighting at current levels for six months to two years,” according to a new report from the UN Security...

UN report decries parental consent laws, notes economic potential of record population CWN - November 20, 2014

The United Nations Population Fund has issued its annual State of World Population report. The report decried barriers to adolescent “reproductive health” care, including laws that require...

Pontiff addresses conference on hunger CWN - November 20, 2014

Pope Francis traveled to the offices of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome to address a major international conference on hunger. “Nowadays there is much talk of rights,...

USCCB calls for passage of Abortion Non-Discrimination Act CWN - November 20, 2014

Following the State of California’s decision to require insurers to cover abortions, the chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon Congress to pass...

Nebraska diocese will move to ad orientem liturgy during Advent CWN - November 20, 2014

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, has announced that Mass will be celebrated ad orientem in the diocsean cathedral during Advent, to remind the faithful of the symbolism of facing...

Synod council urges further discussion, preparation before October 2015 meeting CWN - November 20, 2014

Vatican officials underlined the importance of preparing for the 2nd meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will resume discussion of the family in the context of evangelization. At meetings in...

Iraqi prelate raps Muslim silence on atrocities of Islamic State CWN - November 20, 2014

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has decried the silence of the world’s Islamic leaders in the face of the “barbaric” violence of the Islamic State. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I...

Cardinal Rylko welcomes new lay movements, sees varies charisms CWN - November 20, 2014

Representatives of more than 300 lay movements have gathered at the Vatican this week for a conference on ecclesial movements and new communities, organized by the Pontifical Council for the...

In tense Jerusalem, Christians hold public prayers for peace CWN - November 20, 2014

Christians visited the Stations of the Cross in the Old City of Jerusalem on November 20, in a prayer service for peace in the troubled city. The public prayer service—which was approved by both...

Ecumenism remains a top priority, Pope tells pontifical council CWN - November 20, 2014

The quest for Christian unity must be an ever-present concern for the Church, Pope Francis said in a message to the members of the Pontifical Council for Christian unity, which is meeting in Rome...

Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot John Paul II, seeks meeting with Pope Francis CWN - November 20, 2014

The would-be assassin of St. John Paul II has requested a meeting with Pope Francis. Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and gravely wounded Pope John Paul II in May 1981, said that he would like to meet...

Released Friday, Nov. 21

Ukraine’s bishops renew plea for peace CWN - November 21, 2014

Ukraine’s Roman-rite and Byzantine-rite bishops gathered for a joint retreat and renewed their pleas for peace. “The call for peace is based on truth and justice; it comes from the depths of our...

Russian patriarch: Europe’s secularism has reached ‘apocalyptic’ proportions CWN - November 21, 2014

Citing abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that Europe’s secularism has reached ‘apocalyptic’ proportions. Patriarch Kirill made his remarks...

USCCB welcomes Obama’s decision to defer immigrant deportations CWN - November 21, 2014

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration has welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to defer the threat of deportation of an estimated 4.7 million...

Colombia: prelate laments breakdown in talks CWN - November 21, 2014

Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, the head of the Colombian Episcopal Conference, has called upon the nation’s president to restart peace talks with Colombian rebels. President Juan Manuel...

Pope Francis pays tribute to Paul VI’s teaching on Mary CWN - November 21, 2014

In a message to the Pontifical Marian International Academy, Pope Francis paid tribute to Blessed Paul VI’s Marian teaching and said that he, like his predecessor, has entrusted the Church to the...

People, not money, central to economic development, says Pope CWN - November 21, 2014

In a video message to a festival devoted to Catholic social teaching, Pope Francis said that people, and not money, are central to economic development. “Money alone does not create development,”...

Vatican message for World Fisheries Day CWN - November 21, 2014

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has released a message for World Fisheries Day, which is commemorated on November 21. The pontifical council called...

Spanish archbishop summoned to Vatican to discuss handling of sex-abuse charges CWN - November 21, 2014

Archbishop Francisco Martínez Fernández of Granada, Spain, has reportedly been summoned to Rome to discuss his handling of reports about a ring of pedophile priests. Earlier this year the...

Cardinal Napier added by Pope to organizing committee for October 2015 Synod meeting CWN - November 21, 2014

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, has been added to the list of prelates who will supervise the organization of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015. Pope Francis added Cardinal...

Pope decries 'price lists' for parish services CWN - November 21, 2014

“Churches must never become businesses,” Pope Francis said in a homily at morning Mass on November 21. Commenting on the Gospel passage in which Jesus clears the Temple of money-changers, the...

China seeks agreement with Vatican on appointment of new bishops CWN - November 21, 2014

The Chinese government has proposed a cooperative arrangement with the Vatican regarding the appointment of Catholic bishops. The Beijing regime has clashed repeatedly with Rome over the...

See migration as a sign of hope, Pope Francis suggests CWN - November 21, 2014

Migration should be recognized as a sign of hope, even when it takes place in circumstances that are “at times painful and even tragic,” Pope Francis said on November 21 in an address to the...

No special security planned for Pope's trip to Turkey CWN - November 21, 2014

Vatican officials insist that they have no special concerns about security as Pope Francis prepares to travel to Turkey next week. “There is no specific reason for concern,” Father Federico...

Minnesota archdiocese weighs bankruptcy option CWN - November 21, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, is considering the possibility of filing for bankruptcy protection, in the wake of a costly financial settlement with sex-abuse...

Detroit archdiocese bars speaker from New Ways Ministry CWN - November 21, 2014

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit has blocked an appearance by a representative of New Ways Ministry at a parish in his archdiocese. Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways...

Released Monday, Nov. 24

Italy’s president meets with Pontiff CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis met with Giorgio Napolitano, Italy’s president since 2006, in a “strictly private” meeting, according to an announcement from Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See...

Proclaim the Gospel to everyone, Pope urges missionaries CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis met with participants in Italy’s National Missionary Congress on November 22 and urged them to proclaim the Gospel to everyone. The Pontiff began by recalling that Jonah initially...

Do not manipulate the immature, Pope tells members of new ecclesial movements CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis received participants in the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on November 22 and urged them continually to turn to their founding charism and not to...

Cardinal Angelini dies at 98 CWN - November 24, 2014

Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, who led the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers from 1985 to 1996, died on November 22. He had been the oldest living member of the College...

Pope Francis canonizes 6 saints, reflects on Christ’s kingdom CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis canonized six saints during a Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Square on November 23. Two of the saints were members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in...

Cardinal Sarah named prefect of Congregation for Divine Worship CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The...

Vatican officials discuss proposals for reform of Roman Curia CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 24 with ranking Vatican officials, to discuss proposals for an overhaul of the Roman Curia. The meeting was called to brief the officials on proposals that have been...

Break the stigma of autism, Pope exhorts health-care workers CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis spoke on November 22 about the need “to break through the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma that burdens people affected by autism spectrum disorders, and frequently also their...

Italian bishops' leader backs Pope: no payments for sacraments CWN - November 24, 2014

Moving to defuse a potential controversy, the president of the Italian Catholic bishops’ conference has said that he was not disagreeing with Pope Francis when he said that the sacraments are not...

Vatican's new top prosecutor was involved in notorious abuse case, Boston Globe finds CWN - November 24, 2014

The American Jesuit priest who was recently appointed as the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases was involved in the handling of complaints against a notorious abusive priest, the Boston...

Pakistan's top court demands investigation into lynching of Christians CWN - November 24, 2014

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has called upon the government to press forward with a full investigation into the lynching of a Christian couple. Shahzad Masih and Sharma Bibi were burned to death by...

Indian pilgrims meet with Pontiff, celebrate newly canonized saints CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis met on November 24 with a group of pilgrims from India, members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, who had traveled to Rome for the canonization of two Indian saints, which took place...

Dutch woman rescues daughter from Islamic State CWN - November 24, 2014

A Dutch Catholic woman has captured headlines by reporting that she had traveled into the Islamic State to rescue her teenage daughter, who had flown to Syria to marry an Islamic militant. The...

Chinese Christians now outnumber Chinese Communists CWN - November 24, 2014

The number of Christians in China now outnumbers the number of Communists, writes Steven Mosher for the Aleteia site. Mosher, who heads the Population Research Institute, reports that he...

Pope prays before beloved Marian icon on eve of address to European Parliament CWN - November 24, 2014

Pope Francis traveled across Rome on Monday afternoon, November 24, to visit the basilica of St. Mary Major and pray silently before the famous image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani. The...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 25

Pope meets with Egypt’s president CWN - November 25, 2014

Pope Francis met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a November 24 audience at the Vatican. Sisi, a general, helped oust the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi from power in 2012...

Vatican Radio: interview with Cardinal Burke on the sacred liturgy CWN - November 25, 2014

Vatican Radio has interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke, the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, on the sacred liturgy. “What happened after the [Second Vatican] Council was the reform...

St. Louis archbishop pleads for peace in Ferguson CWN - November 25, 2014

Violence flared in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer who shot a teenager in August. “I and other religious and civic leaders have repeatedly called for...

Cardinal urges transparency on Nicaragua Canal CWN - November 25, 2014

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes of Managua has called for greater transparency from the regime of Daniel Ortega about the Nicaragua Canal. Construction on the $40-billion canal, which will connect the...

Islamic militants murder non-Muslims on Kenyan bus CWN - November 25, 2014

Members of al-Shabaab, the Somali-based jihadist terrorist group, attacked a bus in northeastern Kenya on November 22 and murdered 28 non-Muslims. “The non-Somali passengers were then asked to...

USCCB backs call for greater spending on high-speed Internet access for schools CWN - November 25, 2014

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has called upon the nation to spend $1.5 billion more each year to ensure that all schools have high-speed Internet access. The chairmen of...

Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25, 2014

In a major address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Pope Francis called for a Europe “which revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person.” “My visit...

Jihadists raze Catholic convent in Mosul CWN - November 25, 2014

Islamic State fighters have blown up a Catholic convent in Mosul, Iraq, the AsiaNews service reports. The convent had housed the Chaldean Catholic Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who had worked with...

Gay-rights group targets US bishops in pressure campaign to influence Synod CWN - November 25, 2014

A leading gay-rights group is targeting several Catholic bishops, hoping to influence the results of the 2015 Synod of Bishops, the National Catholic Register reports. The Human Rights Campaign...

Build defense of human rights on strong basis, Pope advises European leaders CWN - November 25, 2014

In an afternoon meeting with leaders of the Council of Europe on November 25, Pope Francis recalled the roots of the European Union and challenged political leaders to promote peace through a...

European bishops' conference draws 'hope and encouragement' from papal address in Strasbourg CWN - November 25, 2014

Speaking in his capacity of president of the Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Cardinal Reinhard Marx told reporters that the November 25 address by Pope Francis to...

Spanish police arrest three priests in Granada abuse scandal CWN - November 25, 2014

Spanish police have arrested four Catholic priests in connection with a sex-abuse scandal in Granada. The arrests are the product of an investigation that began “some time ago,” prosecutors...

Pope decries unilateral strikes, 'state terrorism' CWN - November 25, 2014

In an exchange with reporters on his return flight to Rome on November 25, after addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Pope Francis said that dialogue with terrorists is “difficult, you...

Vatican confirms solidarity with Haiti, 5 years after deadly earthquake CWN - November 25, 2014

Cardinal Robert Sarah is visiting Haiti this week, to mark the 5th anniversary of an earthquake that devastated the country and caused over 200,000 deaths. Cardinal Sarah—who was named this week...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 26

Reports from Pakistan: Christian tortured to death by police; woman miscarries after attack CWN - November 26, 2014

A Christian man was tortured to death while in Pakistani police custody on November 22, according to his family. The Express Tribune, a Pakistani daily, reported that Rakha Shahzad, 35, was taken...

Pope Francis reflects on heaven CWN - November 26, 2014

Pope Francis devoted his November 26 general audience to the Church’s pilgrimage to heaven. “This is the goal toward which the Church projects itself: it is the ‘new Jerusalem,’ ‘Paradise,’” he...

Vatican foreign minister appeals for multilateral action to stop Islamic State CWN - November 26, 2014

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, who is completing his tenure as the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, addressed Australia’s bishops on November 25 on the Holy See’s diplomatic...

US bishops to develop national plan for ministry to Asian, Pacific Catholics CWN - November 26, 2014

A subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has commissioned a National Survey of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to assist in the development of a National Pastoral Plan...

Cardinal Tauran, in Iran, calls for respect for religious minorities CWN - November 26, 2014

Addressing a Muslim-Catholic colloquium in Tehran, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran called for respect for religious minorities. “It would, however, be more opportune to give these little communities...

President Obama, Chicago archbishop discuss immigration CWN - November 26, 2014

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago met with President Barack Obama on November 25 to discuss immigration reform. Describing the meeting as “delightful,” Archbishop Cupich said that “the president...

Minnesota archdiocese sues insurance companies CWN - November 26, 2014

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed suit against eight insurance companies that declined to pay claims involving the clerical abuse of minors. Archbishop John Nienstedt...

Jesuit official defends Vatican prosecutor CWN - November 26, 2014

A top American Jesuit has come to the defense of Father Robert Geisinger, the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, after the Boston Globe disclosed that Father Geisinger was involved in the...

German bishops weigh hiring homosexual partners, remarried divorcés CWN - November 26, 2014

The German Catholic bishops have discussed—but eventually tabled—a proposal to allow Church institutions to hire workers who are divorced and remarried, or who are in active homosexual...

Pope asks prayers for success of his visit to Turkey CWN - November 26, 2014

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on Wednesday, November 26, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for the success of his visit to Turkey, which begins on Friday. The Pope will...

Church leaders protest Sri Lankan political exploitation of Pope's scheduled visit in January CWN - 24 hours ago

Church officials in Sri Lanka have cautioned the government against using a January visit by Pope Francis to boost the re-election campaign of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In October, when the...

Hindu nationalists identify Christians as 'enemies of the faith' CWN - 23 hours ago

A pamphlet distributed at the World Hindu Congress identifies Christians among the enemies of the Hindu faith, the Fides news service reports. At the World Hindu Congress, meeting in Delhi this...

Released Thursday, Nov. 27

Happy Thanksgiving! CWN - 6 hours ago

The offices of Catholic World News will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28, so that our staff can celebrate the holiday. Barring unexpected developments, our regular daily news...

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Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25