Stories for June 2016

Released Thursday, Jun. 2

Bishops gather to discuss nuclear disarmament

Bishops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and France gathered recently in London for a colloquium on nuclear proliferation and disarmament. Among the 40 prelates,...

Number of enslaved persons rises to 45.8 million

Following the publication of the 2016 Global Slavery Index, L’Osservatore Romano devoted a front-page article in its June 2 edition to modern-day slavery. According to the index, the...

Amid migration surge, Texas diocese assists nearly 4,000 Cubans

Five institutions in the Diocese of El Paso, including three parishes and a seminary, are offering shelter to a rising number of Cuban migrants. The diocese is currently offering assistance to...

Archbishop Chaput to lead US bishops’ working group on Amoris Laetitia

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia as chairman of a working group that will monitor the...

ISIS attacks have helped forge bonds of unity with Catholics, says Orthodox bishop

The Syriac Orthodox bishop of the Iraqi city of Mosul has told a French publication that ISIS attacks have helped forge bonds of unity with Catholics. The Syriac Orthodox Church is among the...

Cardinal Wuerl decries ‘aggressive gender ideology’

Lamenting “aggressive gender ideology” and criticizing the Obama administration’s recent letter on the use of bathrooms and locker rooms by public school students who state they...

USCCB president calls for civility in politics

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon Christians to bring “civility, compassion, courage, [and] calm” to a “highly charged political...

Coptic bishop: local officials thwart efforts to protect Christians in Egypt

A Coptic Orthodox bishop has said that efforts to promote reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in Egypt are being thwarted by local officials who do nothing to ensure the security of the...

Irish bishops see Church facing hostile environment

"At this point Ireland, through its political and media establishments, seems determined to eliminate the engagement of the Catholic Church in the public sphere," Bishop William Crean of...

'God's name is mercy,' Pope says in meditations for Jubilee for Priests

Pope Francis preached a series of three meditations for priests as a Jubilee for Priests reached its high point on June 2. "Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy," the Pope...

Vatican was slow to move on abuse charges against Peruvian leader of lay movement

The Vatican took nearly five years to act on reports of sexual abuse by the leader of an influential lay movement based in Peru, according to a report by Austen Ivereigh for the Crux web...

Vatican envoy speaks at UN meeting on youth unemployment, climate change

The Vatican's representative at UN offices in Geneva has urged action on "the pressing  issue of youth unemployment." Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic said that policies to create job...

Suspended Irish priest rips 'ridiculous' argument against women's ordination

A suspended Irish priest has assailed the "ridiculous" argument that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, in his latest act of defiance against Church authority. Speaking at the...

Released Friday, Jun. 3

French primate consecrates diocese to the Sacred Heart

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, the primate of the Gauls, is scheduled to reconsecrate his archdiocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the evening of June 3, the Feast of the Sacred...

Details announced for papal trip to Sweden

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation have announced details of Pope Francis’s upcoming October 31 trip to Sweden to take part in a joint...

Ecumenical Patriarchate releases pan-Orthodox council’s draft documents

The press office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has made public the draft documents that will be discussed at the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is scheduled...

Europe’s episcopal conferences highlight religious freedom in prisons

Catholic prison chaplains, joined by chaplains of other religious bodies, met with representatives of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg to discuss radicalization in prisons. Following the...

At international conference, lawmakers, religious leaders condemn terrorism

Lawmakers from 41 nations, joined by representatives of numerous religious bodies, gathered in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 31 for a conference devoted to the topic of “religions against...

Vatican summit on human trafficking

The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hosting a two-day summit on human trafficking and organized crime. Participants in the June 3-4 summit include leading UN, American, British, Dutch,...

Pope Francis preaches on the Sacred Heart and priests’ hearts

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square on June 3, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Mass was the culmination of the jubilee of priests and seminarians, one of...

Imitate courage of St. Thomas a Becket, Cardinal Nichols encourages priests

England's leading Catholic prelate exhorted clerics to imitate the courage of St. Thomas a Beckett during a homily for the Jubilee of Priests. Cardinal Vincent Nichols said that St. Thomas...

English bishop fears 'Brexit' would endanger funds for Catholic charities

An English bishop has argued against the "Brexit" initiative to remove Great Britain from the European Union, saying that the move would endanger funding for Catholic charities. Bishop...

Islamic informant claims evidence that priest kidnapped in Syria is still alive

An Islamic militant who surrendered to French police has claimed that he has access to a video proving that a Catholic priest who disappeared in Syria in 2013 is still alive.  Salah A., as...

Statement from Patriarchate of Antioch raises new concerns about Pan-Orthodox Council

A jurisdictional conflict between the Orthodox patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem poses a new threat to the success of an unprecedented worldwide council of Orthodox prelates.  The...

Released Monday, Jun. 6

Work to eradicate human trafficking, Pope tells judges and prosecutors

Pope Francis delivered an unexpected address on June 3 to a Vatican summit on human trafficking and organized crime. Participants in the June 3-4 summit, hosted by the Pontifical Academy of...

Pope establishes new Vatican Congregation for laity, family, and life

Responding to a proposal made by his nine-member advisory Council of Cardinals, Pope Francis has established a new Vatican congregation for the laity, family, and life. The new congregation will...

Pope tells deacons: in serving others, imitate God’s love

Pope Francis received members of the Internationales Diakonatszentrum (International Center for the Diaconate) in the Hall of Popes of the Apostolic Palace on June 4 in commemoration of the 50th...

Meeting between Pope, member of Qatar’s royal family

Pope Francis received Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar at the Apostolic Palace on June 4. Moza is the second of the three wives of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who ruled Qatar from 1995...

Vatican official named Guam administrator following abuse allegations against archbishop

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, the secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña, Guam,...

Young dioceses’ witness can invigorate older dioceses, Pope tells missionaries

A century after the foundation of the Pontifical Missionary Works by Blessed Paolo Manna, Pope Francis challenged the organization to contribute to the missionary formation of the entire...

Pope canonizes Swedish nun, Polish priest

Pope Francis canonized a Polish priest and a Swedish nun during an outdoor Mass in St. Peter’s Square on June 5. St. Stanislaus Papczynski (1631-1701), also known as St. Stanislaus of Jesus...

Pope sets new policy for removal of negligent bishops

Pope Francis has approved new procedures that provide for the removal of bishops who are negligent in addressing complaints of sexual abuse or other serious issues. With a motu proprio entitled...

World's Orthodox prelates urge agreement as disagreements threaten historic council

Orthodox primates are scrambling to salvage plans for an unprecedented meeting of the leaders of the all the world's autocephalous Orthodox churches, after important Orthodox bodies indicated a...

Argentine bishop finds Marian apparitions authentic

An Argentine bishop has said that a series of Marian apparitions in that country are authentic. Bishop Hector Cardelli of San Nicolas announced that the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to a local...

Chinese officials bar reparation service after desecration of the Eucharist

Chinese police refused to allow a day of reparation organized by a Catholic bishop after the Eucharist was desecrated in a local church, the AsiaNews service reports. Bishop Stephen Yang Xiangti...

15th meeting of Council of Cardinals this week

The Council of Cardinals is meeting with Pope Francis this week, continuing its review of proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia. The Council-- the group of nine cardinals appointed by the...

Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople invites Vatican cardinal to join in Divine Liturgy

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches, has been invited to join Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in the celebration of the...

Relic of St. John Paul II stolen from Cologne cathedral

A relic of St. John Paul II has been stolen from the Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany. A glass vial, containing a cloth that had been used to wipe blood from the late Pontiff, was taken...

Planned-Parenthood partner reportedly takes 400-600% profit for fetal organs

A report from the US House of Representatives charges that StemExpress, a California firm, sold fetal tissue for as much as six times the purchase cost, in violation of federal law that prohibits...

Vatican says 'no evidence' of video showing kidnapped priest alive

The Vatican has dismissed a report that a former Islamic terrorist, now acting as a police informant, is prepared to supply a video proving that a priest who disappeared in Syria in 2013 is still...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 7

CDF to issue letter on Church’s hierarchical, charismatic gifts

The Holy See Press Office has announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will issue a letter to the bishops of the Church on the relation between the hierarchical and charismatic...

US Catholic, Orthodox bishops discuss Mideast persecution, pan-Orthodox council

The Joint Committee of Orthodox and Catholic Bishops in the United States met recently in New Hampshire. In view of the upcoming pan-Orthodox council, participants expressed their hope...

President Obama issues Ramadan statement

President Barack Obama has issued a statement marking the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Extending his “best wishes to Muslims across the United States and around the world,” the...

Vatican summit: human trafficking a ‘crime against humanity’

Judges, prosecutors, and others who took part in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences’ summit on human trafficking and organized crime issued a statement at the conclusion of their...

Leading Philippine prelate defends silence in wake of president-elect’s attacks

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has defended his silence in the face of strong criticism of the Church by the nation’s president-elect. Describing...

ISIS claims responsibility for brutal murder of Catholic in Bangladesh

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the brutal murder of a Catholic layman in northwestern Bangladesh. Sunil Gomes, 72, “attended Sunday prayers at my church and then went to...

Patriarchate of Antioch opts out of Pan-Orthodox Council

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has announced that it will not participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled to take place in Crete later this month.  The Antioch patriarchate...

Italian diocese finds sect schismatic

The Diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo, in Italy, has announced that a local sect has been found guilty of schism, thus incurring the penalty of excommunication. The sect, known as the...

Vatican encourages one-minute prayer for peace on June 8

The Vatican has issued an appeal for "all men and women of good will to stop for a minute at 1 pm on June 8-- at the workplace, in the street, at home-- to pray for peace." The...

New York lawmaker charges Brooklyn bishop sought to bribe her

A member of the New York state legislature has charged that Brooklyn's Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio attempted to bribe her to end her support for a bill that would extend the statute of limitations...

Chaldean Patriarch asks Iraqi Muslims to pray for peace during Ramadan

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Rapael I Sako has exhorted Iraqi Muslims to live an "exceptional Ramadan," fasting and praying for peace. In his message, the Chaldean prelate said...

Cardinal Pell will turn 75, submit resignation, on June 8

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, will celebrate his 75th birthday on June 8, and in accordance with canon law will submit his resignation to Pope Francis. The...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 8

Study: England, Wales are 20% Anglican, 8% Catholic, 49% ‘no religion’

A study published by the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham has found that 48.5% of adults in England and Wales identify themselves as having no...

Caritas calls on EU to alter migration policy

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has joined Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Services in calling on EU nations to alter their migration...

Report: 37 nations need food assistance

The number of nations in need of external food assistance has risen from 34 to 37 since March, according to a report highlighted on the front page of the June 8 edition of L’Osservatore...

Report: gunmen abduct diocesan employees in Venezuela

Gunmen have abducted employees from the chancery office of the Diocese of Guarenas, Venezuela, according to the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference. The episcopal conference stated on its Twitter...

Pope Francis reflects on wedding at Cana

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his June 8 general audience to the wedding at Cana. “We now consider the first of Jesus’ miracles, the...

Ecumenical Patriarchate affirms: pan-Orthodox council will proceed

Expressing “surprise and wonder of the positions and opinions expressed recently by some sister Orthodox Churches,” the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has affirmed that the...

Council of Cardinals recommends another new Vatican office

The Council of Cardinals concluded its 15th session on June 8, presenting Pope Francis with a proposal for the creation of a new Vatican office for "Charity, Justice, and Peace." The...

Moscow Patriarchate calls emergency session, weighs withdrawal from Pan-Orthodox Council

The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has called a special meeting, apparently to consider withdrawing from the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to convene in Crete on June 19. With...

French police question Cardinal Barbarin about handling of abuse complaints

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, was questioned by police on June 8, in an investigation into the case of a priest who has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse. The...

Jean Vanier, Templeton Prize winner, confirms support for legalization of assisted suicide

Jean Vanier, the Canadian Catholic layman who founded the L'Arche network of communities for the mentally disabled and was awarded the Templeton Prize last year, has confirmed that he would...

Guam archbishop welcomes abuse probe, insists his innocence

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam has welcomed a Vatican investigation into sex-abuse complaints against him, insisting that he is innocent. The archbishop has also welcomed the appointment...

Italian expert: Pope is terrorist target, but security is good

An Italian prosecutor has said that Pope Francis is a target for terrorists, but security precautions are working to keep him safe. During an appearance on an Italian Catholic television network,...

Bishops of Northern Ireland cite dangers of 'Brexit'

The Catholic bishops of Northern Ireland have issued a statement indicating their misgivings about a proposal to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union-- although they stop short of...

Released Thursday, Jun. 9

Protect the oceans, Ecumenical Patriarch urges

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has issued a message for World Oceans Day, which took place on June 8. “Now, more than...

Vatican official: Amoris Laetitia calls for new style of ministry, but no new doctrine

In an address to 50 Nigerian bishops, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said recently that Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation on love in the family calls for a new...

Syria’s Christian children pray for peace

Thousands of Catholic and Orthodox children gathered recently in five Syrian cities to pray for peace. In Homs, where forces of the Assad regime recently resumed control, 700 children took part...

Say no to torture, USCCB committee chair urges

Recalling the teaching of St. John Paul II on torture, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace expressed concern about recent political...

Pope Francis to visit Kraków, Auschwitz, Czestochowa during trip to Poland

The Holy See Press Office has announced the official schedule of Pope Francis’s upcoming apostolic journey to Poland. During his five days in Poland, the Pope is scheduled to deliver six...

Serbian Orthodox Church joins in plea to postpone Crete Council

The Serbian Orthodox Church has joined in the call for a postponement of the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to open in Crete on June 19. In a message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of...

Muslim leaders in Bangladesh join in condemnation of Islamic State

More than 100,000 Muslim clerics in Bangladesh have approved a fatwa that condemns Islamic State terrorists as "enemies of Muslims," the AsiaNews service reports.   The fatwa...

'Rigid' approach to faith is heretical, Pope Francis says in homily

At a morning Mass on June 9, Pope Francis said that Catholics who insist things must be done a certain way are heretics. In his homily the Pope said that Catholics are often told "we must do...

Pope forms committee to distribute relief aid in Ukraine

Pope Francis has established a committee to supervise the delivery of relief aid in Ukraine. On April 24, in answer to a special request by the Pope, all the churches in Europe took a special...

Vatican envoy urges OSCE: recognize migrants' dignity, fight intolerance-- including anti-Christian bias

In an address to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Vatican's representative has said that European policies toward migrants should focus not on their legal...

Jubilee pilgrims to Rome top 9-million mark

The number of pilgrims traveling to Rome during the Jubilee Year of Mercy has now surpassed 9 million. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New...

Spanish cardinal faces 'hate crime' charge for denouncing gender theory

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia, Spain, faces criminal charges for a speech in which he said that gender theory is "the most insidious and destructive ideology...

Bill to extend sex-abuse suits is 'clear attack on the Church,' Archbishop Chaput charges

Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput has taken a strong public stand against a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for sex-abuse crimes, saying that the legislation is tailored...

Compassion is key to good medicine, Pope tells doctors

"The doctor's identity and commitment depends not only on scientific knowledge and technical competence, but principally on the attitude of compassion and mercy towards those who suffer in...

Vatican administrator seeks to restore unity to Church in Guam

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has arrived in Guam, where he will assume control of the Agana archdiocese during a probe into sex-abuse charges against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. In his...

Released Friday, Jun. 10

Jerusalem patriarchate sends Ramadan greetings

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has sent greetings to Muslims for the month of Ramadan. “In a Middle East beset by violence, we ask God to help every person to respect one other, to...

Albanian, Cypriot Orthodox leaders defend pan-Orthodox council

Amid calls for the postponement of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is scheduled to begin on June 19 in Crete, Orthodox leaders in Albania and Cyprus came to the defense of...

Vatican conference on leprosy

The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers is sponsoring a two-day conference on leprosy.The conference is taking place at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome. Cardinal Robert...

Canadian prelate calls for conscience protection for doctors

As “medical aid in dying” becomes legal in Canada following a Supreme court ruling, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast called for the legal protection of doctors who do not wish to take...

St. Mary Magdalene’s memorial raised to dignity of a feast

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a decree raising the obligatory memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, celebrated on July 22, to the dignity of a...

El Salvador prelate: minimum wage increase is insufficient

El Salvador’s National Minimum Wage Council has proposed to raise the minimum wage by 5% each of the next three years—a proposal that the nation’s leading prelate has rejected as...

Vatican cancels external audit

The Vatican has cancelled an external audit, announcing that the responsibility for auditing accounts will be carried out by the Vatican's own Auditor General. In April the Secretariat of...

Top Vatican ecumenical officials to attend Orthodox Council

Pope Francis has named the two top officials of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity as his delegates to attend the Pan-Orthodox Council. Cardinal Kurt Koch and Bishop Brian Farrell-- the...

Ecumenism breeds evangelization and charitable witness, Pope tells Protestant group

At a June 10 meeting with leaders of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, Pope Francis called for "an ecumenism that, along with theological dialogue aimed at settling traditional...

African prelate warns Anglican communion against apostasy

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the Anglican primate of Nigeria, has said that the Church of England is following a "false gospel" and the faithful must combat "a globalized secular...

Released Monday, Jun. 13

Georgian Orthodox Church withdraws from council

The Georgian Orthodox Church has joined the Antiochian, Bulgarian, and Serbian Orthodox churches in deciding not to send a delegation to the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which is...

Research should be ‘source of deep joy,’ Pope tells astronomers

Pope Francis told young astronomers taking part in a course organized by the Vatican Observatory that “all of us are moved by the beauty revealed in the cosmos and reflected in the study of...

Pope Francis: include the disabled in the sacraments, evangelization

Addressing a meeting on disabled persons organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope Francis called for a greater participation of persons with disabilities in the sacramental and missionary...

The world is not only for the ‘perfect,’ Pope tells sick and disabled

As part of the extraordinary jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis celebrated Mass on June 12 for participants in the jubilee of the sick and disabled. “We are familiar with the objections raised,...

Italian priest, nun beatified

An Italian priest and religious sister were beatified in separate ceremonies on June 11 and 12. Blessed Giacomo Abbondo (1720-88), a parish priest who ministered in his hometown of Tronzano, was...

Pope laments child slavery

During his June 12 Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis greeted participants in the jubilee for the sick and disabled as well as participants in a Vatican conference on...

Pope reacts to Orlando shooting with horror, condemnation

Pope Francis decried the June 12 Orlando nightclub shooting that left over 50 dead. “The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent...

‘Debureaucratize’ the response to the hunger, Pope tells World Food Programme

Pope Francis visited the offices of the World Food Programme in Rome on June 13 and called upon the UN agency to “debureaucratize” the response to the hunger. “Today we cannot...

Russian Orthodox Church pulls out of Crete council

The Russian Orthodox Church will not send representatives to the Pan-Orthodox Council that is scheduled to open in Crete on June 19, the Moscow patriarchate has announced. "We will not be...

Dominican Republic: bishop protests 'ideological colonization' by OAS

A Catholic bishop in the Dominican Republic has charged that the Organization of American States (OAS) is engaged in the "ideological colonization" of his country, promoting acceptance of...

Police in Northern Ireland found guilty of collusion in 1994 killings by Protestant extremists

In Northern Ireland, an ombudsman's report has concluded that police were complicit in the 1994 killing of six Catholic men by Protestant militia. Relatives of the victims who were gunned...

Brazilian cardinal nearly caught in gun battle between police and criminals

Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro was forced to take cover behind his car on June 10 when he was caught in an exchange of gunfire between gangsters and police. Global Pulse...

US bishops mourn Orlando shooting victims

Many US bishops issued statements mourning the victims of the mass murder in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12. Bishop John Noonan of Orlando spoke of the "sadness, shock, and...

Abstinence, fidelity remain best safeguards against HIV, archbishop reminds UN

During a UN discussion of the fight to curb the HIV-AIDS epidemic, the Vatican’s representative said that it is vital to “call attention to the undeniable fact that the only safe and completely...

Catholic human-rights worker kidnapped in Kabul

A Catholic human-rights activist from India was kidnapped in Afghanistan on June 9, the Fides news service reports. Judith D'Souza was working for the Aga Khan Foundation, promoting the...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 14

USCCB committee chair welcomes discussion of House GOP anti-poverty initiative

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement welcoming discussion of...

UK report calls for greater fairness in assessing refugees’ religious persecution claims

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief has called upon UK government workers to address asylum requests on grounds of religious persecution in a more...

‘Life is for journeying,’ Pope tells pilgrims

Pope Francis has telephoned pilgrims traveling from Macerata, Italy, to the Marian shrine of Basilica of the Holy House of Loreto. “Life is for journeying, for doing something, for going...

Vatican newspaper highlights 2 US books on persecution

L’Osservatore Romano has published positive reviews of two books by Americans. Philip Jenkins’s The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the...

CDF issues letter on relation between hierarchical, charismatic gifts

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has issued Iuvenescit Ecclesia [“The Church Rejuvenates”], a letter to bishops on the relationship between hierarchical and...

8 20th-century beatification causes advance

In a June 14 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance eight beatification causes. In approving a...

Cardinal Müller says study of female deacons will be mostly historical

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has again downplayed expectations that women could be ordained as deacons, emphasizing that a Vatican study on that topic is primarily aimed at the history of female...

Benedict XVI to celebrate 65th anniversary of ordination

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI will be honored on the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination with a quiet ceremony in the Clementine Hall of the apostolic palace later this month.  Joseph...

Vatican seeks 'dialogue' with American women's religious congregations

The Vatican's Congregation for Religious plans to ask a number of women's religious congregations in the US to answer questions about their practices and their adherence to Church teaching,...

Korean Church opens institute for peace at North-South border

The Catholic Church has opened an Institute for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia, located ath the border of North and South Korea.  Bishop Peter Lee Ki-heon of Uijeonbu, South...

Brussels archdiocese eyes over 100 parishes for mergers, closing

The Brussels archdiocese is preparing a major consolidation plan, which could involve closing or merging more than 100 parishes.  Archbishop Jozef De Kesel is weighing plans for drastic cuts...

Last priest to survive Dachau dead at 102

A profile of Father Hermann Scheipers, a young priest who was imprisoned at Dachau in 1940, survived, and died earlier this month at the age of 102. Over 2,700 clergymen were at Dachau; 95%...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 15

Severed head found outside cathedral after militants kill hostage

Members of the Philippine Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf have beheaded a Canadian hostage and reportedly left his severed head in front of the cathedral in Jolo. Robert Hall was kidnapped in...

Patriarchate asks Iraq’s Catholics to join Muslims in fasting

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has asked Iraq’s Catholics to fast on June 17, “in solidarity with the fasting Muslims during this month of Ramadan.” “We will fast and...

French bishops issue message for soccer championship

Expressing wishes for “moments of peaceful joy,” the French bishops have issued a message as the nation hosts 24 teams that are competing in the quadrennial European soccer...

Pope Francis reflects on healing of blind man

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his June 15 general audience to Christ’s healing of a blind man. “We now consider Jesus’ miracle of...

Dutch leader meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Vatican on June 15. Following their meeting, Rutte, who assumed office in 2010, met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s...

Loyal Chinese bishop reverses stand, endorses Patriotic Association

After four years under house arrest, Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daquin of Shanghai has shocked loyal Catholics by endorsing the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association. Bishop Ma dramatically...

Ecumenical Patriarch arrives in Crete, pleads for participation in Council

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has arrived in Crete to prepare for the June 19 opening of the Pan-Orthodox Council, and issued a plea for other Orthodox churches to participate in...

Pope refuses donation from Argentine president, cites number '666'

Pope Francis has refused a charitable donation from Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, noting that the check included the number 666, associated with the Antichrist. Macri had sent...

Archbishop Sheen's family seeks to move his remains, re-start beatification process

The family of the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen has asked the New York Supreme Court for approval to transfer his remains from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to the Diocese of Peoria,...

Vatican administrator acknowledges new abuse charges against archbishop in Guam

A Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator in Guam has acknowledged new charges of sexual abuse by Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, who has taken temporary control of the...

As Vatileaks trial nears conclusion, defendant gives birth

The "Vatileaks II" trial took another unusual turn on June 14 when Francesca Chaoqui, one of the defendants in the case, gave birth to a son. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of...

Released Thursday, Jun. 16

Armenia’s Catholics look forward to papal visit

Armenia’s Catholics are eagerly awaiting the Pope’s apostolic journey later this month. “We live in a climate of great expectation, especially among ordinary people,”...

Kuwaiti banks sued for funding genocide of Christians

A California nonprofit has sued two Kuwaiti banks and a sheikh, Hajjaj al-Ajmi, for funding the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. Courthouse News Service identified the nonprofit as St....

San Diego bishop: combat ‘anti-gay prejudice’ in Catholic community

In a statement issued after the Orlando shooting, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego called upon Catholics to “combat ever more vigorously the anti-gay prejudice which exists in our Catholic...

Syriac patriarchs: international community must act to liberate Mosul

The patriarchs of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Syriac Catholic Church have issued a joint statement on the second anniversary of the fall of Mosul, Iraq, to the Islamic State, and the flight...

Attacks on Christians in Pakistan

The Pakistani bishops’ justice and peace commission has lamented recent attacks on Christians in Lahore. “Police behavior shows a biased mindset,” according to Cecil Chaudhry,...

EU bishops offer recommendations on foreign policy, security

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), headquartered in Brussels, has issued “Europe’s Vocation to Promote Peace in the World,” a...

Vatican document on mercy and non-Christian religions

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued “Celebrating Mercy with Believers of Other Religions,” a 90-page document on mercy and non-Christian religions. The...

Pope calls India’s Latin-rite, Eastern Catholics to greater ‘communion in witness’

Addressing participants in the assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), Pope Francis compared restoration work on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the...

Renovations giving new life to Nativity basilica in Bethlehem

A $15-million renovation campaign is bringing new life to the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem: the church built on the site of Jesus' birth. The long-overdue repairs in the basilica are...

Pope welcomes traveling entertainers to Vatican

Pope Francis welcomed traveling artists, musicians, and circus entertainers to the Vatican on June 16, saying that they represent “most ancient form of entertainment.” The traveling entertainers...

Avoid 'rigorism' on divorce and remarriage, Pope advises family conference

Pope Francis tore into priests who refuse to baptize the children of unwed mothers during a June 16 meeting with participants in a Rome conference on the family. It is "pastoral...

Iraqi prelate rebukes 'Christian' paramilitary groups for attacks on civilians

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad has denounced militia groups that have attacked refugees fleeing from the Islamic State. The Iraqi prelate said that although the...

Kenyan firm sues government, says vaccine test results were ignored

A Kenyan medical-research firm has brought suit against the government, claiming that the government refused to pay for testing that showed contamination of vaccines being distributed by the...

Released Friday, Jun. 17

US, EU bishops weigh in on TTIP trade agreement

The presidents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community have issued a joint reflection on the Transatlantic...

Kenyan religious leaders warn against political speech that incites violence

The president of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by other Christian and Muslim leaders, has called upon the government to prosecute politicians who violate laws against political...

Papal blessing for English pro-life day

Pope Francis has offered his blessing to those participating in the Day for Life in England and Wales on June 19. The Pope imparts his apostolic blessing “upon all those persons who are...

Scottish bishop: have compassion on persecuted Christians

Addressing a youth rally, a Scottish bishop called on “those in power in Scotland and across the world” to have compassion on persecuted Christians. “A number of our fellow...

Ecumenical pilgrimage to Wittenberg

Auxiliary Bishop Hubert Berenbrinker of Padeborn joined leaders of the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation on a pilgrimage to Wittenberg, the German city that was the site of...

Bishop sees springtime for the Church in Kosovo

The Catholic Church in Kosovo is experiencing a springtime, Bishop Dodë Gjergji of Prizren, the nation’s sole prelate, said in remarks published by the Vatican newspaper. Kosovo, a...

Russian Patriarch sends greetings to council in Crete, calls for unity

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has sent a message of encouragement to the Orthodox prelates who have gathered in Crete for the Pan-Orthodox Council that opens on Sunday. Although the Russian...

Vatican accepts nine more Syrian refugees

The Vatican has brought nine more Syrian refugees to Rome, adding to the twelve who accompanied Pope Francis when he returned from an April visit to the Greek island of Lesbos. The nine refugees,...

Chinese Catholics shocked after imprisoned bishop recants

Chinese Catholics of the "underground" Church are reacting with incredulity to a statement by Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daquin praising the government-controlled Patriotic Association. Bishop...

Christians and Muslims alike seek God's mercy, Vatican says in Ramadan message

Christians and Muslims alike rely on the mercy of the Almighty, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue noted in an annual message of greetings to the world's Muslims. The Vatican...

Lay Catholics should 'take the initiative without fear,' Pope says

Lay Catholics should play an active role in a "permanently outbound Church, an evangelizing community that knows how to take the initiative without fear," Pope Francis said in a June 17...

Syria's Assad meets bishops, promises new secular constitution

Syrian President Bashar Assad has met with the leaders of the Syriac Catholic Church, and announced that he plans a new constitution that will ensure the rights of religious minorities, the Fides...

Pope offers support for Aid to the Church in Need

Pope Francis praised the work of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) during a private audience on June 17.  The papal audience drew attention to an ACN fundraising campaign. Pope Francis...

Released Monday, Jun. 20

Repentance, forgiveness are at heart of Gospel, Pope tells jubilee pilgrims

On June 18, Pope Francis held a Saturday public audience for pilgrims who have come to Rome for the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. “Appearing to the disciples in Emmaus, the Risen...

Pope warns against ‘rigidity,’ says 'genocide' is inappropriate description of Christian suffering

On June 18, Pope Francis visited Villa Nazareth, an apostolate that offers educational opportunities for young persons in need, and reflected on the witness that the Good Samaritan offered to the...

Pope visits infirm priests as part of ‘mercy Friday’ initiative

Pope Francis made a visit on June 17 to Monte Tabor, a home for eight elderly and infirm priests. In doing so, he wished to “express his closeness and care for those priests who were unable...

Pope Francis: ‘the world needs Christ more than ever’

Reflecting on day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 9:18-24), in which Christ asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”, Pope Francis said during his June 19 Sunday Angelus address that...

Pope prays for pan-Orthodox council, recalls plight of refugees

Following his June 19 Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled that the day was Pentecost Sunday on the Julian calendar and prayed for the pan-Orthodox council as it began in Crete. “Let us...

Foundress of Redemptoristine nuns beatified

Blessed Maria Celeste (Giulia) Crostarosa (1696-1755), who founded the Redemptoristine nuns after meeting St. Alphonsus Liguori, was beatified in Foggia, Italy, on June 18. Cardinal Angelo Amato,...

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch survives suicide-bombing attack

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Efrem II Karim of Damascus survived an attack by a suicide bomber on June 19, but at least four people (including the bomber) were killed by the...

Notre Dame to open new institute in Dublin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has announced the establishment of a new Centre for Faith and Reason, to be administered by the University of Notre Dame. The new institution will be centered...

Five approved for canonization

Pope Francis has approved the canonization of five new saints. At an ordinary consistory (a meeting of the cardinals present in Rome) on June 20, the Holy Father approved the canonization...

Four cardinals raised to rank of cardinal-priest

At an ordinary consistory on June 20, Pope Francis raised four cardinals from the rank of cardinal-deacon to that of cardinal-priest.  Each of the new cardinal-priests has been a...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 21

Pan-Orthodox council opens with call to unity

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople celebrated the Divine Liturgy of Pentecost on June 19 to open the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. In recent weeks, four of 14...

USCCB committee chair: remember plight of refugees

Recalling that June 20 is commemorated as World Refugee Day, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration urged Catholics to remember the plight of...

Oklahoma prelate: gender ideology is battle between light and darkness

Reflecting on an airport sign for an “all gender” restroom, an Oklahoma prelate recently described gender ideology as “the next tsunami that threatens to sweep away centuries of...

US House holds hearing on international religious freedom

The House Foreign Affairs Committee’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing on international religious freedom and US...

Bishop in Northern Ireland lauds EU

A bishop in Northern Ireland has urged voters in the UK to vote against leaving the European Union in the upcoming “Brexit” referendum. “The European enterprise,” said...

Cardinal Parolin meets with Ukrainian president

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary, made a six-day visit to Ukraine and met with President Petro Poroshenko. “I came to Ukraine to demonstrate and declare the interest,...

Vatican briefing on papal trip to Armenia

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, briefed reporters on June 21 about the plans for a visit to Armenia by Pope Francis this coming weekend. The Pontiff will...

Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, meets with Pope

Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel, met privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 21. The 92-year-old Israeli statesman issued a statement after his visit saying that he had...

British physicians' group maintains stand against assisted suicide

The British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to continue its opposition to physician-assisted suicide. By a vote of 198- 115, the BMA-- the union of medical doctors in the United Kingdom--...

Priest in India survives murder attempt

A Catholic priest in the northeastern state of Assam, India, escaped an assassination attempt on June 20, but was hospitalized with wounds he suffered in warding off the attack, the Fides news...

Pakistan: 5 Christians cleared of blasphemy charges; 2 convicted

Five Pakistani Christians were acquitted of blasphemy charges, but two others were given 6-year prison sentences, by an anti-terrorism court on June 20. The court case, brought under laws that...

Philippines: bishops decry vigilante justice after president-elect speaks of shooting suspects

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have decried a trend toward vigilante violence that has arisen since the election of Rodrigo Duterte to be the country's next president. Duterte, who...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 22

US bishops’ conference grants $4.1M to assist Church in Latin America, Haiti

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America recently granted over $4.1 million to 265 projects to assist the work of the Church in Latin...

March for Marriage to protest Obergefell decision

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is holding a March for Marriage on June 25 to commemorate the anniversary of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws...

Maronite bishops reject calls to partition Syria

The bishops of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, gathered recently near Beirut and rejected “all international plans” to...

Chaldean patriarch calls on priests to stay close to Iraq’s suffering Christians

Meeting with Chaldean Catholic priests in Ankawa, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan to which thousands of Christians fled two years ago, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako called upon priests to live simply and...

Cardinal Parolin backs Ukraine’s territorial integrity, says migrant crisis is ‘really scary’

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said in an interview with Euronews that the Holy See supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia...

Pope Francis reflects on Christ’s healing of the leper

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his June 15 general audience to Christ’s healing of a leper (Lk. 5:12-14). “As we know, lepers were...

Attack on Christians in Egypt

An angry mob, responding to a rumor that a new Coptic church was being constructed, attacked a Coptic Christian property owner and his brother near Alexandria, Egypt, on June 17. With security...

Melkite synod postponed; Patriarch decries bishops' 'open rebellion'

A synod of the Melkite Catholic Church has been postponed, after half of the Melkite bishops boycotted the meeting in a bid to force the resignation of Patriarch Gregory III Laham. "I shall...

Pope Francis lauds theology of Benedict XVI

Pope Francis pays tribute to his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, in the preface to a new collection of the former Pontiff's theological work. "Every time I have read the works...

Bishops in Philippines will oppose bid to restore capital punishment

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines will strongly oppose a bid by newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte to restore the death penalty, the Fides news service reports. Archbishop Socrates...

Papal support for drive to end the death penalty worldwide

Pope Francis has sent a strong message of support to the Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty, which is being held in Oslo, Norway this week. In his video message, the Pope argues that...

Vatican hosts conference on inter-religious dialogue

The Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue hosted a conference on June 21 to mark the 5th anniversary of the document: "Christian witness in a multi-religious world: recommendations...

Nigerian bishop says forgiveness will bring peace after massacre

A Nigerian bishop has encouraged his people to find forgiveness for the killers responsible for an April massacre. Bishop Godfrey Igwebuike Onah of Nsukka spoke at a service for some of the...

Theme announced for 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees

The Vatican has announced the theme for the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees: "Minor migrants, vulnerable and voiceless." The World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be...

Gallup diocese wins court approval for settlement with victims, could end bankruptcy

A federal bankruptcy court has approved a plan by the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, to provide $25 million in compensation for victims of sexual abuse.  “This is, monetarily, a...

Jewish extremists harass Orthodox worshippers in Jerusalem

A group of Jewish extremists attempted to disrupt services held by an Orthodox community on June 20 at the Cenacle, the site of the Last Supper. Israeli police maintained a fragile peace as...

Released Thursday, Jun. 23

5th Fortnight for Freedom begins

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has begun its fifth annual observance of the Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness of threats to religious liberty. This year’s theme is...

USCCB awards $4.7M to projects in Eastern Europe

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has awarded $4.7 million to fund 219 projects. Such funding “for over...

HHS: California is permitted to force insurers to cover abortions

The US Department of Health and Human Services has determined that California’s decision to force insurers to cover abortions does not violate federal legislation designed to protect...

Refugees join Pope as he delivers general audience

Before delivering his June 22 general audience, Pope Francis invited a group of refugees to join him on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica after seeing their banner, according to a CNS...

Pope Francis: Armenian Genocide among the worst sufferings in history

Two days before his apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis released a video message in which he recalled “the sufferings that are among the most terrible that humanity records”-- a...

Pan-Orthodox council discusses document on mission

On June 20 and 21, participants in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church discussed “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World,” one of six draft documents on...

74% of world's population living with 'high' levels of restriction on religious activities

Government restrictions on religion decreased slightly worldwide in 2014, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. In 2014 (the latest year for which statistics were available), 24%...

Spanish cardinal cleared of 'hate crime' charge

A Spanish court has dismissed "hate crime" charges that were brought against Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia after he denounced gender...

Colombian archbishop cautiously welcomes peace accord with FARC rebels

The president of Colombia's Catholic bishops' conference has welcomed a peace accord that could end decades of guerrilla warfare, but cautioned that some questions remain. "The...

Vatican denies involvement in Chinese bishop's reversal on Patriotic Association

After Cardinal Joseph Zen protested the silence of Vatican officials in the wake of a shocking public statement by Shanghai's Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the Vatican issued a short statement...

Released Friday, Jun. 24

In election statement, French bishops rue family breakdown, call for greater subsidiarity within EU

The permanent council of the Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement on the spring 2017 presidential election. Calling for an “authentic democratic debate,” the...

Pan-Orthodox council discusses regional bishops’ assemblies

On June 21, participants in the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, gathered at the Orthodox Academy of Crete, discussed “The Orthodox Diaspora,” one of six draft documents on...

Miami prelate laments persecution of Christians, criticizes bishop’s post-Orlando remarks

In his homily at a Fortnight for Freedom opening Mass, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami lamented the persecution of Christians and took issue with remarks made by Bishop Robert Lynch of St....

Former Custos to administer Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Patriarch Fouad Twal, 75, as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem and has named Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa as apostolic administrator, rasing him to the...

Pope prays at St. Mary Major before trip to Armenia

On the eve of his apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and prayed before the image of the Salus Populi Romani, leaving a bouquet of flowers in the...

Vatican message calls for ‘universal accessibility’ to tourism

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has released its annual message for World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27. In “Tourism for All -...

British bishops call for civility after Brexit vote

Responding to the "Brexit" decision, the British Catholic bishops have issued a statement saying that the referendum decision "must be respected whatever our personal...

Arriving in Armenia, Pope invokes the term: genocide

Arriving in Armenia on June 24 to begin a weekend visit, Pope Francis broke from his prepared text to use the term "genocide" in a reference to the massacres of 1915. At a meeting with...

Vatican delegate shakes up leadership of Guam archdiocese

A Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator in Guam has shaken up the administrative leadership of the Archdiocese of Agana. Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, who has taken temporary control of the...

Pope speaks on Brexit, Colombian peace accord

Pope Francis touched on the subjects of the Brexit referendum and the Colombian peace agreement during a conversation with reporters who accompanied him on his June 24 flight to...

Colombia's bishops hail peace accord with FARC rebels

The Catholic bishops of Colombia have welcomed the government's peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as "a historic event." Signed on June 23 after...

Nigerian priest found dead after kidnapping

Authorities in Nigeria have reported discovering the body of a Catholic priest who was kidnapped in April. The remains of Father John Adeyi, who had been the vicar general of the Otukpo...

New French ambassador to Holy See presents credentials, ending diplomatic impasse

A new French ambassador to the Holy See, Philippe Zeller, has presented his diplomatic credentials to Pope Francis, ending a long impasse over the appointment of a French envoy. In April, after a...

Syrian archbishop agrees: suffering of Christians is not 'genocide'

A Syrian Catholic prelate has applauded Pope Francis for insisting that the suffering of Christians in the Middle East should be described as martyrdom rather than genocide. By refraining from...

Ousted from papal commission on abuse, outspoken member refuses to resign

Peter Saunders, the outspoken English layman who was removed in February from a papal commission on sexual abuse, has insisted that he remains a member of the commission, and refuses to...

Cardinal Marx: Church should see positive aspects of homosexual relationships

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has said that the Church should "say sorry" for mistreatment of homosexuals. Speaking to an audience in Dublin, Cardinal Marx-- who is the president of...

Released Monday, Jun. 27

Pope visits Armenian Genocide memorial

June 25 was the second day of Pope Francis’s three-day apostolic journey to Armenia, a nation described as the world’s first Christian nation because of its acceptance of the Christian...

In joint statement, Pope Francis, Armenian Catholicos lament persecution of Christians

On June 26, the final day of his three-day apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis met with Armenian Catholic bishops before taking part in the Divine Liturgy in the Armenian Apostolic...

Supreme Court immigration decision is ‘huge disappointment,’ says USCCB committee chair

The chairman of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has decried United States v. Texas, the June 23 Supreme Court ruling against two Obama administration...

ACLU sues HHS over exemption granted to USCCB

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the US Department of Health and Human Services for exempting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its subgrantees from...

Pan-Orthodox council concludes with message, encyclical

The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church concluded with the publication of a message and encyclical signed by the representatives of the ten Orthodox churches that attended the...

Pope: Church should apologize for mistreating gays

Pope Francis said that the Church should ask for the forgiveness of homosexual persons who have been offended, during a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied him on his...

In interview, Pope touches on Armenian genocide, deaconesses, Benedict XVI

In a June exchange with reporters-- in which he sparked headlines by saying that the Church should apologize to homosexuals (see today's separate CWN headline story)-- Pope Francis also spoke...

Vatican disputes report of 'takeover' at Joseph Ratzinger Foundation

The Vatican has issued a statement denying an Italian media report that Pope Francis has taken control of a foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI to promote theological studies. The Joseph...

US Supreme Court overturns Texas law regulating abortion clinics

By a 5-3 vote, the US Supreme Court has overturned a state law that imposed health regulations on abortion clinics in Texas. In the decision, announced June 27, the Court majority ruled that the...

Duterte promises to promote contraception in Philippines

Rodriguo Duterte, the newly elected president of the Philippines, has vowed to defy the Catholic hierarchy by promoting an aggressive family-planning policy. "Three' enough,"...

Cardinal Marx: Brexit vote 'extremely regrettable'

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has referred to the "Brexit" referendum victory as "extremely regrettable," and called for the strengthening of the European Union. Speaking...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 28

Vandalism at Bonn basilica

A deranged 24-year-old man entered a Romanesque basilica in Bonn, Germany, and caused extensive damage to the crypt where the relics of Saints Cassius and Florentius, the city’s patrons, are...

Ecumenical Patriarch, in letter to Pope, reflects on solidarity, Europe’s Christian roots

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has sent his best wishes to Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the patrons of Rome. Thanking Pope Francis for joining him on the...

Canadian bishops: legalization of assisted suicide is ‘appalling landmark’

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement denouncing the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. “The recent approval of Bill C-14, which...

Congo’s bishops call for dialogue so that president may leave office

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have called for a national dialogue aimed at creating a timeframe for President Joseph Kabila to leave office rather than seek an unconstitutional...

Prelate: South Sudan is ‘ruled by monkeys’

A prelate in South Sudan denounced the nation’s rulers amid surging violence in Wau, one of the nation’s largest cities. “More than 100,000 people are in the bush being...

Pope Francis calls on Catholics, Orthodox to abandon ‘rivalry, mistrust, and rancor’

Pope Francis received a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on June 28, the day before the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and called upon Catholics and Orthodox to...

Turkish government rips Pope's reference to 'genocide,' will recall ambassador

The government of Turkey has issued a stern statement decrying the use of the term "genocide" by Pope Francis in reference to the 1915 deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. The Pope's...

Cardinal Nichols fears racism after Brexit vote

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, has warned against an increase of racial tension in the wake of the "Brexit" vote. Commenting on reports that immigrants had been...

Benedict XVI, celebrating anniversary of ordination, thanks Pope Francis for kindness

In his first public statement since his resignation, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI thanked Pope Francis for his kindness, saying that it has been "a real inspiration for me." The former...

Supreme Court rejects appeal for pharmacists' conscience rights

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a Washington state law that requires pharmacists to provide customers with potentially abortifacient drugs. The Court's decision,...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 29

Pope blesses pallia, warns against being closed

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and blessed the pallia that will be conferred on metropolitan archbishops by pontifical...

Retired religious receive $25M from national collection

The National Religious Retirement Office has granted $25 million to 401 religious communities to help pay for medication, nursing care, and other expenses associated with the care of retired...

Suicide bombers attack Lebanese Christian village

Eight suicide bombers crossed the border from Syria to Lebanon and attacked the Christian village of Qaa on June 27. Five civilians were killed, according to a report from the Al Arabiya...

Jesuit elected chairman of US religious freedom commission

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, has been elected chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom by his fellow commissioners. Father Reese, senior analyst for the National...

Bishop Fellay: SSPX ‘does not seek primarily a canonical recognition’

The superior general of the Society of St. Pius X said in a June 29 statement that the Society “does not seek primarily a canonical recognition.” “In the great and painful...

Pope laments Istanbul terrorist attack

Pope Francis lamented the terrorist attack on the Istanbul airport following the recitation of the Angelus on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. At least 41 people were killed and...

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