Stories for May 2016

Released Monday, May. 2

Former UN nuncio given new assignment

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, who served as the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations from 2010 to 2014, has been appointed apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Upon...

Be reconciled to God, Pope tells jubilee pilgrims

On April 30, Pope Francis held his fifth special Saturday audience for pilgrims who have come to Rome for the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. “By our efforts alone, we are unable to...

Pope Francis reflects on the Holy Spirit and peace

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 14:23-29), Pope Francis devoted his May 1 Regina Coeli address to the Holy Spirit and peace. The Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said, has the mission...

Papal appeal for Syria

Following his May 1 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis lamented the continued fighting in Syria. “I have heard with great sorrow the dramatic news coming from Syria, about the spiral of...

Indian bishop kidnapped, beaten

An Indian bishop was blindfolded and abducted on April 25, taken to an unknown location, and released the following day. “They hit me and punched me, resulting in injuries all over my...

Moscow patriarch issues Easter message

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, has issued his Easter message. Members of the Russian Orthodox Church, along with many other Eastern...

Leading European bishops’ official links migrant crisis to selfish culture

Representatives of the English, French, and German episcopates met in Paris to discuss the situation in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants who hope to enter the United Kingdom have...

Obama rues persecution of Orthodox Christians

President Barack Obama wished members of the Eastern Orthodox churches a happy Easter and referred to the plight of those who suffer persecution for their faith. “For Orthodox Christians,...

Released Tuesday, May. 3

Adapt your charism to today’s needs, Pope tells Mercedarians

Pope Francis addressed members of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy who had gathered in Rome for their general chapter. Speaking in the Sala del Concistoro (Hall of the Consistory) of...

Aleppo prelate saw resurgence of faith around Easter

During a visit to Connecticut to thank the Knights of Columbus for their support of persecuted Syrian Christians, the Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo spoke about the destruction of his...

English cardinal calls for change of heart toward migrants

Preaching at a Mass for migrants in Westminster Cathedral on May 2, Cardinal Vincent Nichols prayed for “a change of heart in our society, so that we begin by appreciating the great...

Cardinal to receive Italian literary prize

The Italian government will present its 2016 penna d’oro (golden pen) prize to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council of Culture. Established in 1957, the prize...

Vatican newspaper recalls Father Daniel Berrigan

Father Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit known for his anti-war activism, died on April 30 at the age of 94. Obituaries in L’Osservatore Romano and The New York Times recounted his role in the...

Nigerian cardinal survives armed attack

Gunmen opened fire on a car in which Nigeria’s leading prelate was riding, but the prelate survived the attack unharmed. The attack on Cardinal John Onaiyekan took place on April 30 near...

17 nations named ‘particularly severe’ religious-freedom violators

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 17 nations as...

Priest is prime suspect in kidnapping of Indian bishop

A Catholic priest is the prime suspect in the kidnapping and beating of a bishop in India Police in Andra Pradesh, India, have arrested a priest and 13 others in connection with the kidnapping of...

Roman police seize bogus Vatican souvenirs in crackdown on counterfeits

Police in Rome have seized thousands of counterfeit souvenirs that featured the image of Pope Francis and/or the Vatican seal without authorization. The raid on a warehouse yielded about 340,000...

Venezuela's crisis prompts letter from Pope to President Maduro

Pope Francis has written a private letter to Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro about the economic and political crisis in that country. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican...

Released Wednesday, May. 4

NOW ordered to pay court cases to pro-life activists after failed lawsuit

The National Organization for Women (NOW) has been ordered to pay $63,000 in court cases to a group  of pro-life activists, in the final act of a long-running legal case that began in...

New Vatican magazine says Church late to recognize women's role

In the inaugural issue of a new magazine published by the Vatican and devoted to women, the editor writes that the Catholic Church was slow to recognition a "hidden revolution" in...

Aleppo’s bishops: our suffering is not in vain when united to Christ’s Passion

In a joint statement, Aleppo’s Latin-rite and Eastern-rite ordinaries deplored renewed violence in Syria’s city. Citing the “cry of blood of children and martyrs” and...

South African bishops’ conference denounces arms spending

Amid a government probe into possible corruption surrounding weapons procurement in the late 1990s, the justice and peace commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference...

‘Noose tightens’ around Church in Burundi

“Day by day the noose tightens” around the Church in Burundi as government intimidation of bishops, priests, and lay leaders increases, according to a report in La Croix. The regime...

Northern Ireland: bishops’ election statement emphasizes child poverty, abortion

The bishops of Northern Ireland have issued a pastoral reflection ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly election on May 5. Describing “the systemic and comprehensive eradication of...

Increasing number of Asian pilgrims to the Holy Land

An increasing number of Asians, especially Indonesians, are taking part in official pilgrimages to the Holy Land’s shrines, according to the Franciscan Pilgrims Office of the Custody of the...

Pope Francis reflects on Christ as the Good Shepherd

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his May 4 general audience to the Christ the Good Shepherd. “The Lord uses the image of the shepherd who leaves...

‘We have a common Father,’ Pope tells participants in interfaith dialogue

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is sponsoring a colloquium with Jordan’s Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies. Greeting the colloquium’s participants on May 4 in...

Italian bishops will oppose any bid for gay adoptions: Cardinal Bagnasco

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the Italian bishops' conference, stated on May 3 that Church leaders will oppose any measure to legalize same-sex marriage. "Individual rights...

Released Thursday, May. 5

Pray the Rosary daily, Pope tells youth

Following his May 4 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that the month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asked young people to pray the Rosary daily, and called upon the sick to...

Bolivian bishops decry use of tear gas against disabled protestors

The Bolivian Episcopal Conference has rebuked police in the nation’s capital for using tear gas against disabled protestors who were seeking an increase in government benefits. The bishops...

Nicaraguan bishop denounces purchase of 50 Russian tanks

A Nicaraguan bishop has denounced President Daniel Ortega’s decision to purchase 50 Russian tanks for $80 million. “Nicaragua is not at war, Nicaragua does not want war, Nicaragua...

Pope renews praise for cooperatives

In a video message to a conference sponsored by the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, Pope Francis recalled the themes of an earlier address to the organization and praised cooperatives...

English cardinal welcomes government’s decision on child refugees

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to welcome Syrian refugees who are unaccompanied minors. “I am very happy that the...

USCCB committee chair calls on Obama to reduce nuclear weapons arsenal

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called upon President Barack Obama...

Cardinal Marx: Europe needs rebirth, not restoration or nostalgia

During a recent address at Strasbourg Cathedral, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich said that Europe is in need of rebirth, and not of restoration or nostalgia. The prelate, who serves as president...

Released Friday, May. 6

Pope Francis leads prayer vigil ‘to dry the tears’

Reflecting on the tears of Jesus and the tears “shed every second in our world,” Pope Francis led a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica on the evening of May 5 “to dry the...

Vatican message to Buddhists focuses on ecology

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued its annual message to Buddhists on the occasion of Vesak, the commemoration of Buddha’s birthday. This year, Vesak is...

Cardinals address Amoris Laetitia; CDF prefect says Church’s teaching has not changed

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in an address to seminarians that Pope Francis has not changed the Church’s teaching on...

Pakistan: 6 years after mob attack, Muslims help rebuild church

In 2009, a Muslim mob attacked Christians in Gojra, a city of 143,000 in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Eight Christians were burned alive, and 40 homes and a church were destroyed, not...

Pope, in video, laments discrimination, violence against women

Pope Francis has appeared in a video designed to publicize his general prayer intention for May: “that in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their...

Swiss Guard recruits take oath of loyalty

New Swiss Guard recruits took their oath of loyalty on May 6, the anniversary of the 1527 sack of Rome by the troops of Emperor Charles V. The “heroic death” of 147 Swiss Guard...

Pope calls for rebirth of European humanism

Pope Francis called for a rebirth of humanism in Europe, as he accepted the Charlemagne Prize on May 6. The Charlemagne Prize is awarded by the people of Aachen, Germany, in recognition of...

German cardinal wants stronger local voice in selection of bishops

An influential German cardinal has charged that "unlawful outside influences" are interfering in the selection of bishops.  Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, a former president of...

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