Stories for April 2017

Released Monday, Apr. 3

‘Be evangelized so as to evangelize,’ Pope tells Peru’s Catholic university

Five months after the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru recovered its pontifical status, Pope Francis called upon members of the university community to “be evangelized so as to...

Pontifical council given oversight of shrines

Pope Francis has issued an apostolic letter transferring oversight of shrine from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The...

Pope warns seminarians against ‘clerical academicism,’ careerism

Pope Francis received seminarians and teachers from the Pontifical Spanish College of St. Joseph in an audience at the Apostolic Palace on April 1. The audience took place to commemorate the...

Papal appeals for Colombia, Congo, Venezuela, Paraguay

Following the recitation of the Angelus on April 2, Pope Francis appealed for prayer for situations in four countries. The Pope delivered his remarks while on his one-day apostolic journey to...

Pope visits northern Italian region devastated by 2012 earthquake

On April 2, Pope Francis spent eight hours in the Diocese of Carpi, located in an area of northern Italy devastated by earthquakes in 2012. Arriving in Carpi, a city of 70,000, the Pope...

Venezuelan bishops encourage resistance as government moves to eliminate opposition

The Catholic bishops of Venezuela have condemned the “morally unacceptable” move by Venezuela’s government to abolish the country’s parliament. The bishops spoke of open...

Cardinal Sandri asks generous support for annual collection for Church in Holy Land

The prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has urged all Catholics to contribute generously to the annual Good Friday collection, which supports the Church in the Holy...

Pope seeks more effective action against human trafficking

Pope Francis lamented that the problem of human trafficking is becoming more acute, in a message to a conference on that topic sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe...

Vatican welcomes three more Syrian refugee families to Rome

The Vatican has welcomed three new families of refugees from Syria. The three families will live temporarily in Vatican-owned apartments in Rome, which have previously been occupied by other...

2nd Montana diocese files for bankruptcy

The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings Montana has become the 15th Catholic diocese in the US to file for bankruptcy in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. The diocese filed for federal bankruptcy...

Chilean institution offers care for children with HIV

A Chilean Catholic institution is providing special care for children who are infected with the HIV virus. The Santa Clara Foundation, located in Santiago de Chile, is now caring for 60 families,...

Mexican priest released unharmed by kidnappers

A Mexican priest who was kidnapped on March 28 has been released, the Fides news service reports. Father Oscar Lopez Navarro, was reportedly exhausted but otherwise healthy after his release on...

Vatican, Poland mark 12th anniversary of death of St. John Paul II

the 12th anniversary of the death of St. John Paul II was marked at the Vatican with a Mass celebrated by the Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, the archpriest of the basilica of St. Mary Major, on...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 4

Prelates call for bipartisan health care reform

Following the withdrawal of the House Republican leadership’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for...

In defeat for Planned Parenthood, Congress nullifies Title X regulation

The US Congress has narrowly voted to nullify a regulation, issued by the Obama administration on January 18, that prevented states from redirecting Title X family planning funds from Planned...

Ohio court dismisses suit by ex-seminarian

Upholding a lower court ruling, the Ohio Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit by a former seminarian who was expelled from the Pontifical College Josephinum. According to the lawsuit, the...

Patriarch laments subway bombing

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church lamented the Saint Petersburg Metro bombing, which left 14 dead and dozens injured. “The impudent crime that has been committed cannot have any...

Church in Myanmar backs Rohingya inquiry

The Church in Myanmar (Burma) has lent its support to a UN inquiry into the treatment of the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim people in the largely Buddhist nation. Myanmar’s military has been...

Vatican rules SSPX priests may officiate at marriages

With the approval of Pope Francis, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has issued a letter to bishops on the marriages of Catholics who seek to exchange their vows in churches of the Society of...

New head for Vatican office handling abuse cases

Pope Francis has appointed a new head for the disciplinary section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF): the office that handles complaints of sexual abuse by clerics. Msgr....

Guilty plea in plot to kill Pope during 2015 visit to US

A teenager in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to a charge that he conspired to kill Pope Francis during the papal visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families in 2015. Santos Colon...

What is ‘integral’ human development, Pope asks—and answers

In an April 4 address to a conference organized by the new Vatican dicastery for Integral Human Development, Pope Francis lamented a modern culture “at least in the Western world, which has...

Salvation comes only from the Cross, Pope says in homily

“There is no salvation in ideas, there is no salvation in good will, in the desire to be good,” Pope Francis said in his homily at morning Mass on April 4. “Salvation comes only...

Priests in hiding in Congo after series of attacks

Catholic priests have reportedly gone into hiding in the Kasai province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, following a series of violent attacks on Church properties. Armed men looted and...

British PM ridicules decision to drop ‘Easter’ from annual egg hunt

British Prime Minister Theresa May has rapped the National Trust for the “absolutely ridiculous” decision to drop the term “Easter” from an annual Egg Hunt. Speaking from...

Prince Charles visits Pontiff

Pope Francis met on April 4 with England’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The royal couple presented the Pontiff with a basket of fruit from their own...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 5

State Department honors Aleppo nun

First Lady Melania Trump has given the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award to 13 women, including a Salesian sister who serves in Aleppo. Sister Carolin Tahhan Fachakh...

Cardinal Parolin: God is the source and goal of human development

Preaching at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica during a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio, Cardinal Pietro Parolin stressed...

SSPX welcomes Vatican letter on marriages

The Society of St. Pius X, founded by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, welcomed a Vatican letter encouraging the world’s bishops to facilitate the validity of marriages of Catholics who...

Indonesian prelate: vote against extremism

Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, has urged Catholics to vote in the April 19 gubernatorial election, which pits a Christian incumbent against a Muslim...

Christian leaders question Pakistan-Afghanistan border wall

Catholic and Protestant leaders in Pakistan have questioned a government decision to construct a wall along its long border with Afghanistan. The Anglican bishop of Peshawar said that “the...

Pope Francis reflects on ‘accounting for the hope’ that is within us

Continuing his series of Wednesday addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis reflected on a passage from the First Letter of Peter (1 Pt. 3:8-17 during his April 5 general audience. “The...

Pope laments attacks in Saint Petersburg, Syria

At the conclusion of his April 5 general audience, Pope Francis lamented the recent Saint Petersburg metro attack in Russia and chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib governorate. “I firmly...

Vatican bank wins ‘white list’ rating from Italian regulators

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) has won a place on the “white list” of banks certified as meeting Italian standards. Italy’s economic minister, Pier...

Cardinal Cupich announces anti-violence drive in Chicago

Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich has unveiled a $250,000 program to combat violence in the city, introducing the program with a message of support from Pope Francis. Cardinal Cupich revealed...

Church in Colombia braces for influx of refugees from Venezuela

Church leaders in Colombia are preparing to offer help to refugees from Venezuela, as the economic crisis in the latter country deepens. Bishop Victor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid of Cucuta, Colombia,...

Falling fertility rates should change world leaders’ priorities, Vatican envoy tells UN

Speaking on April 5 to a UN session on sustainable development, the Vatican’s representative observed that declining fertility rates should cause a shift in nations’...

Papal envoy sees ‘immense’ spiritual benefits at Medjugorje

Concluding a week-long visit to Medjugorje, a special papal envoy said that he had seen “immense” spiritual benefits of the Medjugorje phenomenon, but also recognized serious challenges...

SSPX accused of abuse cover-up

The traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been accused of covering up sexual abuse by priests, in a new television documentary. A Swedish television program, Uppdrag Granskning,...

Muslim leaders from Britain meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on April 5 with a group of Muslim leaders from Great Britain, who were escorted by Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. In brief remarks to the group, the Pope stressed the...

Released Thursday, Apr. 6

Leading US bishops deplore chemical attack in Syria

The president and vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops deplored the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, a Syrian town controlled by Tahrir al-Sham (al-Qaeda in...

Federal court: 1964 Civil Rights Act bars discrimination on basis of sexual orientation

In an 8-3 decision, the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, also prohibits...

Russia may ban Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Russian Supreme Court is considering a government request to ban the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the nation’s justice ministry has suspended the group’s activities. The...

More attacks on priests, nuns in Congo

Violence against priests and nuns, and attacks on parishes and Catholic schools, continued in recent days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the Fides news...

Mob attacks Christian school in Sudan

A mob attacked the Evangelical School of Sudan in Omdurman, killing Younan Abdullah, a local Christian leader who ran to the school to protect the women there. The mob was composed of supporters...

Syria: Catholic agencies provided $200M in assistance to 4.6 million in 2016

Speaking at a conference on humanitarian needs in Syria, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States confirmed the Church’s commitment to offering assistance. “In 2016,...

Worldwide Catholic population up slightly: surge in Africa, decline in Europe

The worldwide Catholic population has increased slightly, with the most impressive growth taking place in Africa, according to the Vatican’s latest statistics. The Vatican released its...

Pope will wash prisoners’ feet at Holy Thursday service

Pope Francis will travel just outside Rome on Holy Thursday, to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper at the Paliano prison, the Vatican has announced. Pope Francis has presided at the Holy...

Filipino archbishop sees assault on Christian principles in Catholic nation

The president of the bishops’ conference in the Philippines fears that the heavily Catholic nation has “started to persecute Christian beliefs.” Archbishop Socrates Villegas of...

French bishop resigns at Vatican’s request, ‘inappropriate’ behavior cited

A French bishop has resigned his post, at the request of the Vatican, because of accusations of inappropriate conduct. The resignation of Bishop Herve Gaschignard of Aire et Dax was announced by...

Rumors that Pope Benedict resigned under pressure are ‘groundless’- Archbishop Gänswein

Reports the Pope Benedict XVI was pressured into resignation are “groundless,” Archbishop Georg Gänswein has told an Italian television audience. Archbishop Gänswein, the...

Iraqi priest to celebrate Palm Sunday Mass in town liberated from Islamic State

A Chaldean priest has spoken with “enthusiasm, but also emotion,” about plans to celebrate Mass in on Palm Sunday in one of the towns liberated from the Islamic State. Father Paul...

Philadelphia priest faces charges for skimming funds from priests’ retirement home

The rector of a home for retired Catholic priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese faces criminal charges for allegedly misappropriating over $500,000. Msgr. William Dombrow is accused of taking...

Monk who ran ‘sex club’ allowed to remain at English boarding school

A monk at one of England’s most famous Catholic boarding schools was allowed to remain in residence even after it emerged that he had ran a “sex club” for students, the London...

Pope said to thank Maltese bishops for guidelines on Amoris Laetitia

Pope Francis has reportedly thanked the bishops of Malta for their guidelines on the implementation of Amoris Laetitia. According to a local source, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the...

Use yoga for physical, not spiritual health: Indian bishops

Yoga may have physical benefits, but it is “not a means to experience the divine,” the synod of India’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has proclaimed. The Syro-Malabar bishops...

Irish religious orders fail to implement child-protection plans, watchdog says

Three Catholic religious orders in Ireland have failed to take action to implement programs against sexual abuse of children, according to an independent watchdog group. The National Board for...

Released Friday, Apr. 7

Trump administration, citing forced abortion, ceases support of UNFPA

The US State Department has announced that it has stopped funding the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its support of Chinese agencies involved in forced abortion and...

Ex-ambassador cautions Vatican on negotiations with China

Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former Ambassador of Religious Freedom, said in an address to a parliamentary forum that the Holy See should have no illusions as it negotiates with China about the...

Cardinal Marx: ‘we believe more than ever in the European project’

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU, met recently with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the...

Number of seminarians declines for 4th straight year

The number of major seminarians worldwide has declined for the fourth consecutive year, according to statistics released by the Vatican on April 6. The number of major seminarians worldwide rose...

Pope prays for flood victims in Argentina

Pope Francis has expressed his spiritual closeness to the Argentine people as parts of the nation experience torrential downpours. Entrusting the Argentine people to the intercession of the...

Papal preacher devotes Lenten sermon to Protestant Reformation

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin Franciscan friar who has served as preacher to the papal household since 1980, preached his final sermon of Lent 2017 to the Pope and members of the Roman...

Explore causes of immigration, Pope urges media

Media coverage of the immigration issue should focus on “the causes of this phenomenon,” Pope Francis said in his latest published interview. “The violation of human rights, the...

Malta archbishop open to contraceptive use by married couples?

Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta seemed to indicate a willingness to accept the use of contraception, in comments on a proposal to introduce the “morning-after pill” in Malta. ”What we are...

Mali: four arrested for nun’s kidnapping, but no news on her condition

Four people have been arrested in Mali and charged with involvement in the February kidnapping of a missionary nun from Colombia. Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was abducted from her...

Syrian bishop sees US strikes as hasty, dangerous

A Syrian bishop has criticized the American air strike on Syria, saying that it took place without an adequate investigation into the chemical-weapons attack in the Idlib province. Bishop Georges...

St. Louis archdiocese, priest exonerated in sex-abuse lawsuit

A Missouri court has ruled in favor of the St. Louis archdiocese and an accused priest in a sex-abuse lawsuit. In the suit, Father Joseph Jiang was accused of groping a teenage girl. He had been...

Turkish President Erdogan to pray at Hagia Sophia, raising questions about secular status

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has announced his intention to pray at the Hagia Sophia on April 14, delighting Muslim activists who argue that the building remains a mosque. In 1934,...

Vatican Museums give discounts to blood donors

The Vatican Museums have announced a special admission rate for blood donors. Blood donors at the Gemelli Hospital will receive a voucher that entitles them to a reduced admission rate, as well...

Irish census shows drop in Catholic population, jump in ‘no religion’ responses

The latest Irish census figures show a steady decline in the number of people who identify themselves as Catholics, and a rise in those who claim no religious affiliation. The Central Statistics...

Released Monday, Apr. 10

Dozens killed in bombings at Coptic churches; Islamic State claims responsibility

At least 44 Coptic Christians were killed on Palm Sunday, April 9, in two separate bombings. More than 30 people were killed, and 75 others injured, when a suicide bomber approached the altar of a...

New Hampshire bishop: parish churches cannot offer sanctuary for immigrants

Bishop Peter Libasci of Manchester, New Hampshire has instructed his priests not to offer their churches as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. While he said that the diocese would offer help for...

Pope presides at Palm Sunday services, World Youth Day observances

Pope Francis presided at Palm Sunday services on April 9, leading the traditional procession in St. Peter’s Square and celebrating Mass. In his homily the Pope remarked that the entry of...

Pontiff asks prayers for Copts after bombings

At this regular midday audience on Sunday, April 9, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the Coptic Christians who were targeted by two bombing attacks in Egypt earlier in the day. The Holy Father...

Pope Francis refers to the end of his pontificate

Pope Francis caused a stir in a crowd in Rome on April 8 by suggesting that he might not survive to see the next international celebration of World Youth Day, which will be held in Panama in...

Venezuelan bishops back anti-government protests, civil disobedience

As angry public demonstrations spread in Venezuela, following the virtual abolition of the nation’s parliament, the country’s Catholic bishops warned against a slide “toward...

Jesuit superior rejects charges of heresy

Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the newly elected superior general of the Society of Jesus, has brushed off charges that he engaged in heresy when he questioned the Gospel accounts of Jesus’...

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders issue joint Easter Message

In a joint Easter message, the Christian leaders of Jerusalem have proclaimed that “pain, suffering, and death do not have the final word, it is God—who has the first word and the...

Protect life, respect nature, Pope encourages bioethics committee

In an April 10 address to members of the National Committee for Biosafety, Biotechnology, and Life Sciences, Pope Francis remarked that “the sciences and technologies are made for man and the...

Vatican opens free laundromat for Rome’s homeless

The Vatican has opened a free laundry for the homeless people of Rome. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, said that the initiative was “a concrete sign wanted by the office of...

Cardinal Müller: do not expect Vatican ruling on Medjugorje soon

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said that it may “take a long time” for the Vatican to issue a decision on the authenticity of the reported Marian...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 11

Franciscans seek canonical change to allow a brother’s election to lead order

Franciscan leaders have asked Pope Francis to consider allowing a dispensation from the canon-law requirement that the head of a religious order must be an ordained priest. At an April 10...

Chinese officials take ‘underground’ bishop into custody before Chrism Mass

Chinese officials have taken an ‘underground’ Catholic bishop into custody, just before he was due to celebrate the Chrism Mass for the first time in his diocese. Bishop Vincent Guo...

Irish archbishop asks for help discovering remains of ‘disappeared’

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh has called for help in finding the remains of people who disappeared during “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Celebrating a Mass for families of...

Vatican consistory to approve canonization of Fatima saints, others

Pope Francis has called a consistory of cardinals for April 20—Holy Thursday—to give formal approval to several causes for canonization, including those of Francesco and Jacinto Marto,...

Pope will be ‘totally safe’ in Egypt, Al Azhar representative promises

A spokesman for Al Azhar University has vowed that Pope Francis will be “totally safe” during his visit to Egypt later this month. “I can guarantee that there won’t be any...

Belgian Catholic university removes faculty member for pro-life stand

The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium has dismissed a faculty member who provoked outcries by describing abortion as a form of murder. Stephanie Mercier was charged by feminist groups...

Franciscan brother killed in Venezuela, food stolen

A Franciscan brother was murdered in Venezuela on April 10, and food he had collected for the needy was stolen. Brother Diego Begolla was found dead in his office at the Casa Hogar, a home that...

Papal congratulations to Portuguese radio station on 80th anniversary

Pope Francis has sent a congratulatory message to a Portuguese Catholic radio station that is celebrating its 80th anniversary. The Pope praised Radio Renascença for its work in spreading...

Bambino Gesu hospital is like a family, Pope tells young patients

Meeting on April 11 with a group of children from the Bambino Gesu hospital, Pope Francis made the remark that the institution is “more than a hospital; this is a family.” The Pope...

Noted Evangelical, ‘Bible Answer Man,’ becomes Orthodox

Hank Hanegraaff, a noted Evangelical leader and talk-show host, has been received into the Greek Orthodox Church, along with his wife and two of their twelve children. Hanegraaff, who is known as...

South Sudan: bishop begs leaders to stop, cites civilian suffering

A Catholic bishop in South Sudan is pleading with warring leaders to end violence, especially violence against civilians. Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, the president of the...

2018 Synod needs input from all young people, not just Catholics, cardinal says

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldesseri, the secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, says that Pope Francis wants input from all of the world’s young people—not just Catholics—in...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 12

‘Earthly hopes fall down before the Cross,’ Pope tells weekly audience

“Jesus has brought into the world a new hope,” Pope Francis said at his general audience on April 12, contrasting Christian hope with other sorts of hope. The Holy Father reminded his audience that...

Cardinal Burke reveals Pope has not answered request for a meeting

Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he has asked for, but has not yet been granted, an audience with Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke, who has asked the Holy Father to clarify Amoris Laetitia,...

Top Anglican leaders issue statement lamenting Reformation break in Christian unity

Two leading prelates of the Church of England have issued a statement calling upon the faithful to acknowledge “the lasting damage done five centuries ago to the unity of the Church” by...

Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel to close, as her religious order shrinks

The National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, will be closed at the end of this calendar year, its administrators have announced. The shrine, which contains relics of...

New Vatican stamps for 90th birthday of Benedict XVI, 100th anniversary of Fatima apparitions

The Vatican will issue new stamps in May to commemorate the 90th birthday of Pope-emeritus Benedict and the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima. The stamp honoring Benedict XVI, which...

Spanish priest cleared of abuse; Pope Francis had backed accuser

A Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain, has been cleared of sex-abuse charges, in a case that saw Pope Francis intervene on behalf of the priest’s accuser. David Ramirez...

Papal liturgy will honor ‘New Martyrs’

Pope Francis will preside on April 22 at a special Liturgy of the Word to honor the “new martyrs” of the past century, the Vatican has announced. The ceremony, organized by the...

Coptic Catholic leader sees bombings as test for Egyptian Catholics

The Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic Orthodox churches were “a test for the faith of Egypt’s Christians,” the head of the country’s Catholic Copts told the Fides news...

Italian bishops’ spokesman says West responsible for refugees’ plight

Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference, has said that Western nations—and Italy in particular—have an obligation to accept refugees from...

Jailed former head of St. Luke Institute agrees to mental-health counseling

A laicized New Hampshire priest, the former chancellor of the Manchester diocese, has agreed to undergo mental-health counseling, as a condition for his release from prison, where he is completing a...

Released Thursday, Apr. 13

Pope Francis, at Chrism Mass, preaches on the joys of the Gospel

Pope Francis celebrated the Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday morning and preached on the joy of the Gospel. “Good news,” he said. “A single word...

Pope to visit Pius VI’s birthplace and Bologna

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will visit Cesena, the birthplace of Pope Pius VI (1717-1799), on October 1 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his birth. Cesena,...

Cardinal pays tribute to late Italian priest

In a front-page article in the April 13 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia paid tribute to Father Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959) as one of the great Italian...

2 Franciscan friars minister in area under ISIS control

Two of the 15 Franciscan friars who minister in Syria do so in territory controlled by the Islamic State. As a condition for staying with the families, ISIS imposed upon the friars the condition...

Patriarch calls for Catholic-Orthodox cooperation to decrease East-West conflict

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow received Italian President Sergio Mattarella on April 12 and said that “the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church can and should do everything to make the...

USCCB calls for renewed efforts for Syrian peace

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace,...

Palestinian leader hopes papal visit to Egypt will strengthen moderate Muslims

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has written to Pope Francis, offering his best wishes that the Pope’s visit to Egypt later this month will strengthen moderate Muslims. Abbas said that...

Cause opened for beatification of French priest slain at altar last year

The Archdiocese of Rouen has opened a formal cause for the beatification of Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed by Islamic terrorists last July while he was celebrating Mass in the church of St....

Forgive sinners, stop warmakers, Pope says in new interview

In a new interview, Pope Francis underlined the importance of offering forgiveness, and said that war is the most evident manifestation of sin in today’s world. The interview with the Italian daily...

Released Friday, Apr. 14

EWTN, America editor named consulters to Vatican body

Pope Francis has appointed 13 consulters to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications. Three of the 13 consulters, who will serve in an advisory capacity, are Americans. Michael Warsaw...

Pope Francis’ Via Crucis at the Colosseum: full text of meditations

The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has released the meditations for the Way of the Cross at which Pope Francis will preside. The Way of the Cross takes place on...

Nigerian bishop: Boko Haram is demonic, must be fought spiritually

The Nigerian jihadist organization Boko Haram is making increasing use of child suicide bombers, according to a new UNICEF report. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri, where the terrorist...

USCCB president expresses solidarity with persecuted Copts

Following the recent attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt, the president of the US bishops’ conference expressed his “deepest sadness,” prayers, and condolences. Echoing Pope...

Korean Christian body decries Trump nuclear-carrier decision

The National Council of Churches in Korea, a Protestant and Orthodox ecumenical body in South Korea, expressed grave concern about the Trump administration’s decision to send a nuclear carrier...

Cardinal Marx laments persecution of Christians in Muslim nations

Speaking during the via crucis procession in Munich on Good Friday, Cardinal Reinhard Marx lamented the persecution of Christians, particularly “in many nations that have been shaped by...

Chicago archdiocese agrees to pay another $3.15 million to McCormack victims

The Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $3.15 million to settle the latest in a series of lawsuits stemming from sexual abuse by the laicized priest Daniel McCormack. The archdiocese has now...

Leftist mob assaults Venezuelan archbishop at Mass

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas was roughed up by leftists who burst into the basilica of Santa Teresa on Wednesday of Holy Week. The violent protesters, supporters of President Nicolas...

Released Sunday, Apr. 16

Pope Francis’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (To the City and the World): full text

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter! Today, throughout the world, the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” —“He is...

Pope Francis’s Easter Vigil Mass homily: full text, link to video

“After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb” (Mt 28:1). We can picture them as they went on their way…...

Released Monday, Apr. 17

Pope Emeritus Benedict turns 90

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated his 90th birthday on Easter Sunday, April 16. In a lengthy pre-birthday interview with EWTN, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary since...

Good Friday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica: the cross, the only hope of the world

Pope Francis presided at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter’s Basilic on Good Friday. As is customary, the preacher of the papal household, Father Raniero...

Vatican newspaper: ‘the Milky Way is lost’

On Easter Sunday, the Vatican newspaper published an essay on light pollution by Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory. Citing Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s 2012 Easter...

Pope preaches off-the-cuff Easter Sunday homily

Pope Francis celebrated an outdoor Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square and delivered an extemporaneous homily. “The Church never ceases to say, faced with our defeats, our closed...

Shrine of Renunciation to open in Assisi

Pope Francis has written a letter to Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi to mark the May 20 inauguration of the Shrine of Renunciation at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in...

Proclaim the Resurrection, Pope exhorts faithful

At a midday public audience on Easter Monday, April 17, Pope Francis said that all Christians share the task that was given by angels to the women who visited Jesus’ empty tomb: “Go...

Turkey’s President Erdogan drops plan to pray at Hagia Sophia?

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan apparently did not carry through with his announced plan to pray at the Hagia Sophia on April 14. The Turkish leader is appealing to Muslims in his campaign...

French presidential candidate Le Pen: ‘I am angry with the Church’

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told the daily La Croix: “I am angry with the Church because I think it interferes with everything except what it should really be concerned...

Chinese bishop concelebrates with Beijing-appointed prelate

A Chinese bishop who spent months under house arrest concelebrated Easter Mass with a bishop appointed by the Beijing regime in defiance of Rome, in a show of strength for the government-backed...

Vatican tribunal for Guam archbishop hears more testimony in California

A Vatican tribunal investigating charges of sexual abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, heard testimony in San Francisco in March, Pacific Daily News has reported. Cardinal...

Irish church desecrated; tabernacle stolen

The tabernacle has been stolen from a Catholic church in Longford, Ireland. The desecration of St. Michael’s church was discovered on Easter Sunday morning. The robbers had damaged the...

Tombs of archbishops of Canterbury found under museum

The tombs of five archbishops of Canterbury have been discovered by workers renovating a museum in London. The tombs were discovered under the foundation of the Garden Museum, which is adjacent...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 18

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU emphasis on resilience

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Pax Christi International, and the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions have issued a statement...

Korean bishop downplays threat of war

The president of the South Korean bishops’ National Justice and Peace Commission downplayed the threat of war between the US and North Korea. “I do not think there will be a military...

Chinese police take another ‘underground’ bishop into custody

As Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin was about to celebrate his first Paschal Triduum as bishop of Wenzhou, Chinese police took him into custody. The prelate—like Bishop Vincent Guo Xijn on Mindon,...

Moscow patriarch’s Easter message

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, said in his Easter message that “the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the main content of the Christian...

Canadian bishops issue message for nation’s 150th anniversary

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a message for the 150th anniversary of the nation’s independence on July 1. “As the festivities of Canada Day...

USCCB publishes World Refugee Day toolkit

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a 10-page World Refugee Day 2017 “toolkit” that includes a prayer, advocacy suggestions, sample text for social media, and...

Cardinal Lehmann’s successor named

Pope Francis has named Father Peter Kohlgraf, a 50-year-old priest of the Archdiocese of Cologne, as bishop of Mainz. Father Kohlgraf succeeds Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who served as Mainz’s...

Pakistani Islamic leader: execute accused blasphemers, or lynchings are inevitable

An Islamic leader in Pakistan is calling for the prompt execution of Asia Bibi, claiming that the state’s failure to punish her alleged blasphemy is the cause of the lynching of another man...

Pope’s delegate orders former head of Knights of Malta not to attend election of new leader

The former grand master of the Knights of Malta has been directed by the Vatican not to travel to Rome for the election of the Order’s new leader on April 29. Fra’ Matthew Festing,...

Islam is ‘religion of the sword,’ Jesuit scholar tells Vatican newspaper

In an interview published by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, an Egyptian Jesuit has warned that the dominant strain of Islam is “a religion of the sword.” Father...

Posters in Rome laud Pope Francis as hero of tolerance

Posters thanking Pope Francis for his promotion of tolerance went up on walls around the city of Rome last week. The posters, created by the Global Tolerance Initiative, were in sharp contrast to...

Czech bishop raps government’s reluctance to accept Chinese Christian refugees

A bishop in the Czech Republic has criticized his country’s government for not granting asylum to a group of Chinese Christians. The Chinese migrants applied for asylum in the Czech...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 19

Thousands entered Church in US at Easter

About one-third of the dioceses in the United States have reported the numbers of catechumens and candidates who were intending to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil. The highest figures were...

USCCB president’s Easter message

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in his Easter message that “Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest...

New book interprets Amoris Laetitia in continuity with previous popes

Three professors at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome—Father Jose Granados, Father Juan Jose Perez-Soba, Stephan Kampowski—have written a...

UK bishop welcomes global decline in executions

The number of executions worldwide declined from 1,634 in 2015 to 1,032 in 2016—a development welcomed by Bishop Declan Lang, the English bishops’ lead bishop for international...

Arson attack on Nepal’s cathedral

Unknown arsonists attacked Assumption Cathedral in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 18, destroying a car and two motorbikes and damaging the priests’ residence and part of the...

Pope Francis: the Resurrection is historical reality

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on hope, Pope Francis devoted his April 19 address to “the risen Christ, our hope.” “In these joyful days of Easter, our...

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew to join Pope in visit to Egypt

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew II of Constantinople will join Pope Francis during his visit to Egypt later this month. Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad el Tayyib, the head of Al Azhar University, extended...

No papal visit to Brazil this year, Vatican discloses

Pope Francis has informed Brazil’s President Michel Temer that he cannot visit the South American country this year, because of an already crowded schedule. The Vatican has confirmed that...

Islamic terrorists attack ancient Orthodox monastery in Egypt

One police officer was killed, and four men wounded, when Islamic terrorists attacked the ancient Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai on April 18. The exchange of gunfire...

Indonesia: Christian government defeated in bid for re-election

In Indonesia, a Christian regional governor who had been accused of blasphemy has apparently been defeated in his bid for re-election. The incumbent governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama...

Dublin archbishop decried ‘judgmental’ attitudes in Good Friday sermon

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, criticized the “judgmental” attitude of the Catholic Church in remarks during the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. “How is...

Filipino archbishop chastises cafeteria Catholics, urges readiness to suffer for faith

The president of the Filipino bishops’ conference criticized Catholics who reject Church moral teachings, in his Easter message. Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said:...

French Cardinal Barbarin defends handling of abuse complaints

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, defended his handling of sex-abuse complaints in comments to the archdiocesan clergy during the Chrism Mass. “Today, no priest identified as the...

Bill O’Reilly met Pope just before losing slot on Fox network

Bill O’Reilly met Pope Francis on April 19, just hours before the announcement that the Fox News network was severing its ties with the controversial television host. O’Reilly was...

Released Thursday, Apr. 20

Egyptian bishop: we have no need of Western protection

Following a surge of attacks on Egypt’s Christians, a Coptic Catholic bishop said that there is no need for Western nations to come to their defense. “If there were oppression on the...

Shooting outside Catholic Charities building in California; 3 dead

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is great], a man shot and killed three persons in Fresno on April 18. One of the shootings took place outside a Catholic Charities building. The suspect...

USCCB: Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would protect religious liberty

Three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for support of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881, S.811). The...

EU bishops’ commission backs European Solidarity Corps

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) has lent its support to the European Solidarity Corps, a new initiative that fosters volunteering among the EU’s young...

Cardinal Tagle: ‘get in touch with a migrant’

The president of president of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, called upon Catholics and other Christians to “get in touch with a...

Pakistan: Christian-Muslim campaign for peace

The Pakistani bishops’ conference and a Muslim organization have begun a joint campaign for peace that will last through the Easter season. The campaign’s symbol is an olive branch,...

Fatima seers to be canonized May 13

Pope Francis will preside at the canonization of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on May 13 during his visit to Fatima, Portugal, the Vatican has confirmed. At an ordinary consistory on April 20, the...

Trump plans meeting with Pope in May

US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to meet with Pope Francis in May, when the American leader will be traveling to Italy to participate in a meeting of G7 industrial...

Marist Brothers receive Pope’s encouragement

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to the Marist Brothers on the bicentenary of their order. “You belong to a large rich family of witnesses who have known how to donate their...

Ugandan army ends manhunt for Joseph Kony, guerrilla leader

Uganda’s military leaders have ended a long quest to capture Joseph Kony, the self-styled leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), who is wanted by international tribunals for...

Al Azhar University rejects charges of extremism

Al Azhar University, which will host Pope Francis later this month, has rejected charges by Egyptian politicians that the school tolerates Islamic extremism. The Supreme Council of Al...

Released Friday, Apr. 21

India: man convicted in rape of nun re-arrested, 11 years after escape

A Hindu man who was convicted in the rape of a Catholic nun in 1998 has been arrested, years after his escape from prison. Pidya Singadia was one of 18 men convicted of the gang-rape of nuns, in...

Pope sends encouragement to Coptic leader

In a message of Easter greetings to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis said that “Christians are called to proclaim the Risen One together.” The Pope’s message...

As unrest spreads, Venezuelan bishops warn government losing authority

“Civil and peaceful protest is not a crime; it is a right!” The Catholic bishops of Venezuela issued that statement as anti-government protests spread across the country. The bishops...

Jesuit priest feared kidnap victim in Nigeria

A Jesuit priest has apparently been kidnapped in Nigeria, the Fides news service reports. Father Samuel Okwuidegbe was abducted, along with two other people, as they traveled along a road from...

Israeli president visits Catholic Patriarchate to offer Easter greetings

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin visited the offices of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem on April 19, to offer his Easter greetings to the country’s Christians. Archbishop...

Transgender plaintiff sues Catholic hospital for refusing to perform sex-reassignment surgery

A California woman has filed suit against a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a sex-change operation. The plaintiff, Evan Michael Minton—who now identifies herself as male, and is...

Pope will celebrate contemporary martyrs

Pope Francis will preside at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 to honor modern martyrs. The ceremony will take place on Easter Saturday at the basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome. The event has...

Vatican Museums exhibit shows restoration in progress

The Vatican Museums have inaugurated a new exhibit, introducing visitors to the process of restoring fine works of art. The “Museums at Work” exhibit, on display in the Vatican...

Canadian court: Saskatchewan forbidden to fund non-Catholic students at Catholic schools

A court in Saskatchewan has ruled that the govenrment cannot pay tuition for non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools. Judge Donald Layh’s decision, released on April 20, said that...

At UN, Vatican envoy decries ‘new lows of barbarism’ in Middle East

The Vatican’s permanent representative at UN headquarters in New York has repeated a plea for “religious leaders to speak out forcefully” against the use of religion as an...

Cardinal Sarah sees dangers to Church unity

Cardinal Robert Sarah spoke of the “grave risk of fragmentation of the Church” in an interview with the charitable group Aid to the Church in Need. Cardinal Sarah said that Church...

No Mass in Irish diocese for a day

In the Diocese of Limerick, the faithful will have no opportunity to attend Mass next Tuesday, April 25. The priests of the Limerick diocese will gather for a “formation gathering”...

Santa Fe archdiocese backs tax on soft drinks

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexcio, has given its approval to a legislative proposal that would place a tax on soft drinks, with the proceeds to be used for early-childhood...

Released Monday, Apr. 24

Vatican message to Buddhists focuses on nonviolence

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued its annual message to Buddhists on the occasion of Vesak, the commemoration of Buddha’s birthday. “Jesus Christ and the...

Pope receives Liechtenstein’s monarch

Pope Francis received Prince Hans Adam II and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein on April 22. Prince Hans Adam II is the nation’s head of state, while Hereditary Prince Alois, as...

Pope honors new martyrs, says Satan foments persecution

Pope Francis presided at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 in honor of the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries. The liturgy took place at the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola in...

+Cardinal Attilio Nicora, 80

Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, died on April 22 at the age of 80. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Milan in 1964,...

Pope Francis: mercy opens the door of the mind and the heart

During his April 23 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis recalled the removal of white baptismal garments by new converts on the Octave of Easter and described St. John Paul II’s institution of...

French priest beatified in Spain

Father Louis-Antoine-Rose Ormières Lacase (1801-90), a French priest who spent the last years of his life in Spain, was beatified at Oviedo Cathedral on April 22. Cardinal Angelo Amato,...

Papal reference to ‘concentration camps’ for Europe’s refugees draws criticism

Pope Francis drew new controversy on April 22 when he compared the transit centers for European migrants to “concentration camps.” During a ceremony at St. Bartholomew’s...

100,000 attend Divine Mercy devotions in El Salvador

A stunning crowd estimated at 100,000 joined in a weekend of Divine Mercy devotions at a shrine in El Salvador this weekend. The Divine Mercy Hills shrine in Misamis Oriental, in El Salvador...

Australian bishops oppose drive to legalize assisted suicide

The Catholic bishops of Victoria, Australia have issued a pastoral letter opposing a new drive to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The letter argues that “euthanasia euthanasia and...

Gay activist hired for communications job in Oslo diocese

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, is under fire for hiring a communications official who has been involved with the gay-rights movement. Petter Stocke-Nicolaisen, who has been active in the...

Pope decries ‘rigid’ and ‘rationalistic’ theology

In his homily at a morning Mass on April 24, Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit enables believers to “go forward along the parth of the Spirit without compromise, without...

‘Newman Guide’ colleges show steady growth, report says

The 10th-anniversary edition of The Newman Guide, published to help draw attention to authentically Catholic colleges, shows a pattern of strong growth among the schools recommended for their...

Boston archdiocese opens first new church in 60 years

For the first time in over 60 years, the Archdiocese of Boston has dedicated a new church. The church of Our Lady of Good Voyage, located in the city’s seaport district, is not actually a...

Lebanese Orthodox prelate confident that kidnapped bishops remain alive

A Syriac Orthodox bishop in Lebanon has expressed confidence that two Orthodox prelates who were kidnapped in Syria in 2013 are still alive, despite a lack of information about their...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 25

‘In China, unregistered churches are driving a religious revolution’

The Atlantic has published a profile of a Protestant congregation in Chengdu, China, that the government neither officially recognizes nor has shut down. A policeman visits the church weekly, and...

French bishops’ conference reacts to presidential vote

The Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement following the first round of the presidential voting, which saw Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen emerge as the two candidates in the...

Pope to make pilgrimage to pray at priests’ tombs

On June 20, Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to Bozzolo to pray at the tomb of Father Primo Mazzolari, and to Barbiana to pray at the tomb of Father Lorenzo Milani. A parish priest in the...

Pope, in video message, pays tribute to priest-educator

Appearing on video, Pope Francis has released a message on the occasion of the publication of the collected works of Father Lorenzo Milani (1923-67), an educator. “Going to school means...

Pope issues message to people of Egypt

Pope Francis has issued a video-message to the people of Egypt on the eve of his apostolic journey there. “With a joyful and grateful heart I will come in a few days’ time to visit...

Catholic vote divided in French presidential run-off

Catholic voters have no clear-cut preference in the French presidential election, which now pits Emmanuel Macron against Marine Le Pen, according to opinion polls. The French bishops have...

Council of Cardinals studying tribunals, staffing issues

The Council of Cardinals is studying the work of the Vatican tribunals, and addressing questions about Vatican staff appointments, in meetings with Pope Francis this week. The Council of...

Catholic bishops deplore failure to find consensus in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for an end to a political impasse, which now threatens plans for new presidential elections this year. Late in March the...

Tight security, a ‘new normal,’ for papal trip to Egypt

Security will be tight when Pope Francis travels to Egypt on April 28, presidential spokesman Greg Burke told reporters, but there are no specific threats. At an April 25 briefing, Burke said...

Indian archbishop accuses of attempting to poison former archdiocesan spokesman

An Indian priest has filed a criminal complaint alleging that his archbishop attemped to poison him, in a bizarre legal case. Father Anand Muttungal, a former spokesman for the Archdiocese of...

Norcia monastery to move outside town

The Benedictine monks who established a community in Norcia in 2000 have announced plans to move out of the town, to set up a new monastery in the neighboring hills. The historic basilica in the...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.