Stories for May 2017

Released Tuesday, May. 2

Pope’s prayer intention for May 2017

The prayer intention of Pope Francis for May 2017 is “that Christians in Africa, in imitation of the merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and...

Egyptian priests: Pope’s visit a big success

Father Rafic Greiche, the spokesman for Egypt’s Catholic bishops, described the Pope’s recent apostolic journey as “a big blessing to the Egyptians, both Muslims and...

Nigerian bishop: government doing little to stop Fulani attacks

A Nigerian bishop said that the government is doing little to stop attacks on Christian institutions by Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan said that “given the...

Ecumenical Patriarch emphasizes importance of ecology, childhood

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, reaffirmed the Orthodox churches’ commitment to ecumenism in a recent address to the...

Canada: Christian leaders prod Trudeau on South Sudan

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the heads of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada, called upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to...

Russian bishops’ official criticizes ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Russian Supreme Court has declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and ordered the confiscation of its property—prompting criticism from the secretary-general of...

Pro-lifers dismayed: GOP spending proposal would fund Planned Parenthood

American pro-life activists have expressed dismay that a federal spending bill, put forward by the Republican Congressional majority, would apparently continued taxpayer funding for Planned...

Venezuela’s President Maduro claims opposition spurns Pope’s call for negotiations

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has charged that the country’s opposition leaders are refusing to engage in peace talks, as recommended by Pope Francis. In a Sunday television...

Pontifical Academy calls for inclusive society

The Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences concluded its annual meeting on May 2, issuing a call for efforts to include those who are marginalized by their societies. The five-day meeting of the...

Indian cardinal protests city’s demolition of historic cross

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, has protested the destruction of a historic cross by city officials. A cross set in 1895 on the roadside of an old urban neighborhood—known as a...

Italian prosecutor: human traffickers involved in migrant-rescue efforts

An Italian prosecutor has charged that some of the organizations helping to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean are involved in the work of human trafficking. Carmelo Zuccaro, the prosecutor in...

Released Wednesday, May. 3

Pope Francis to Catholic Action: root your apostolate in the parish

Nearly 100,000 persons associated with Italian Catholic Action, a lay apostolate with close ties to the hierarchy, celebrated its 150th anniversary at a three-hour commemoration in St. Peter’s...

Cardinal Parolin: Catholic universities are important for youth discernment

In a recent letter commemorating the Italian bishops’ annual day for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, the Vatican’s Secretary of State recalled the theme of the upcoming...

USCCB: May 22, national day of prayer for mariners

In the United States, May 22 will be a national day of prayer and remembrance for mariners and people of the sea, according to a press release from the United States Conference of Catholic...

Pope rebukes the hardhearted who condemn others

In his homily at daily Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 2, Pope Francis reflected on the martyrdom of St. Stephen. In doing so, the Pope contrasted the open hearts of the disciples on the...

Croatian diocese denounces blasphemous play

The Archdiocese of Split-Makarska, Croatia, denounced the scheduled performance of a blasphemous play at a theater festival. The play, by Oliver Frljic, portrays Christ assaulting a Muslim...

Spain: historic shrine vandalized

Vandals broke into a padlocked shrine in Les Llosses, Catalonia, and destroyed chandeliers, vases, and other objects. The vandals also poured an oily substance onto the shrine’s stairs and...

Pope recalls journey to Egypt

Departing from his series of Wednesday general audiences on Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his May 3 address in St. Peter’s Square to his recent apostolic journey to Egypt. “My...

Nigerian bishop charges government collusion with Islamic militants

A Nigerian Catholic bishop charges that government officials have been helping to supply weapons for Islamic groups. Bishop Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan—whose diocese is located in the...

Italian prosecutors ask acquittal for ‘right-to-die’ activist

Government prosecutors in Milan are asking for the acquittal of Marco Cappato, a “right-to-die” activist, who faces a possible 12-year prison term for assisting at a suicide. Cappato...

Jordan’s King Abdullah vows to protect Christian minority

Jordan’s King Abdullah II reaffirmed his determination to protect his country’s Christian minority, during a May 2 meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury. In his discussions with...

In Casablanca, former church will be museum, recalling Christian past

Officials in Morocco plan a major restoration project for the Sacred Heart Church in Casablanca, which is now being used as a museum. Sacred Heart Church was the most prominent Catholic church in...

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch accepts apologies from prelates who challenged leadership

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem II of Antioch has issued a statement formally forgiving four bishops who had charged him with “betrayal of the faith.” In February, six...

Kenyan bishops fear violence during election campaign

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have expressed their fear of violence during the country’s election campaign this year, and lodged a plea for “clean and transparent”...

Nuclear weapons do not offer security, Vatican envoy tells UN conference

Speaking at a UN conference in Vienna on non-proliferation, the Vatican’s representative said that the Holy See wishes to “lend its moral authority to the efforts to work for a wold free...

Released Thursday, May. 4

Relics of St. Nicholas to be venerated in Russia

Some of the relics of St. Nicholas will leave Bari, Italy, for the first time since 1087 and will be venerated in Moscow and Saint Petersburg from May 21 to July 28. Metropolitan Hilarion of...

Lawmaker: 1.5M Christians have left Iraq

A Christian member of the Iraqi parliament said that 1,500,000 Christians have left Iraq since the United States invaded the nation in 2003. According to the Turkish-based Andalou Agency, Josef...

Leading prelate affirms French bishops will not endorse presidential candidate

In an interview published May 3, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of France affirmed the conference’s 45-year-old practice of not endorsing a presidential candidate. The first...

Spanish bishops issue Fátima statement

The executive committee of the Spanish Episcopal Conference has issued a statement in they welcomed with joy the centenary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fátima. The...

Pope encourages youth to pray the Rosary, recalls feast of Queen of Poland

At the conclusion of his May 3 general audience, Pope Francis encouraged young people to pray the Rosary. “At the beginning of the month of May we invoke the heavenly intercession of Mary,...

UN ambassador, formerly enslaved by ISIS, meets with Pope

While in St. Peter’s Square for his May 3 general audience, Pope Francis met briefly with Nadia Murad, the UN’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human...

12 beatification causes advance, including Father Solanus Casey, 2 cardinals

In a May 4 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance 12 beatification causes. In approving decrees on...

Esolen to join faculty of Thomas More College 

Anthony Esolen, an English professor who has come under fire at Providence College for raising questions about its “diversity” agenda, will be leaving the Dominican-run institution and...

Trump to meet Pope later this month

President Donald Trump will visit the Vatican and meet with Pope Francis later this month, on the first foreign trip of his presidency. White House officials disclosed plans for the presidential...

Vatican communications efforts must look to digital future, Pope says

At a May 4 meeting with officials of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for Communications, Pope Francis discouraged “the temptation of attachment to a glorious past” and said that...

Myanmar, Vatican announce diplomatic relations

The Vatican has established diplomatic relations with Myanmar. The announcement of new diplomatic ties was made on May 4, as Pope Francis met with Aung San Suu Kyi, the First Counselor of the...

Mumbai: another cross demolished

Just days after Cardinal Oswald Gracias lodged a protest against the destruction of a historic cross on private property in Mumbai, India, another cross has been destroyed in the city’s...

England is mission territory, bishop says

The Diocese of Plymouth, England, is “very much in mission territory,” says Bishop Mark O’Toole. Bishop O’Toole reported that practicing Catholics form less than 1% of the...

Michigan priest faces embezzlement charge

A Michigan priest faces embezzlement charges, accused of stealing more than $200,000 from parishes in which he served. Father Richard Fritz, who is now retired from ministry, was charged...

Catholic colleges invite anti-Catholic graduation speakers

At least nine prominent Catholic colleges and universities have scheduled commencement talks and awards for individuals who have taken public stands in opposition to Church teaching, the Cardinal...

South Sudan: thousands flock to cathedral to escape violence

An estimated 16,000 people have sought refuge in the cathedral compound of Wau, South Sudan, to escape the violence that is spreading through Africa’s youngest nation. Although the...

Vatican official criticizes title ‘Pope emeritus’

The president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization has said that he objects to the use of the title “Pope emeritus” for Benedict XVI. Archbishop Rino Fisichella said that...

Pontifical Academy for Life weighs into Italy’s debate on euthanasia

The Pontifical Academy for Life has entered into an escalating public debate in Italy on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. “Ending a life is always a defeat,” said Archbishop...

Trump issues order to protect religious freedom

US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order to protect religious freedom, promising that the federal government will respect the rights of believers. The executive order, issued at a...

Thomas Aquinas College takes control of property for new Massachusetts campus

Thomas Aquinas College has assumed ownership of a campus in Northfield, Massachusetts, where the California-based school expects to open a branch campus in 2018. Thomas Aquinas College, a...

Released Friday, May. 5

Patriarch, Putin honor slain member of czar’s family

In an event that would have been unthinkable decades ago, the Russian president joined the patriarch of Moscow as the latter consecrated a cross at the site of the assassination of a member of the...

Report: majority of Eastern Europe’s Catholics opposing admitting Syrian refugees

53% of Catholics surveyed in 15 Eastern European nations oppose admitting any Syrian refugees, according to a report published by the Tbilisi, Georgia-based Financial. Atheists (63%) are more...

Prelate: amid fundamentalist Islam, Pope is encouraging us not to be afraid

Reflecting on Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Egypt, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s apostolic administrator said that “The world today is frightened by religious...

South Korean bishops: abandon nuclear energy

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea has lent its support to a petition calling upon South Korea to abandon the use of nuclear energy. “There is a general consensus on the...

Pope Francis: evangelize without proselytizing

In his homily at Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 4, Pope Francis reflected on Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). An angel commanded Philip to “get up...

Kazakh police raid Baptist churches

Police in Kazakhstan raided two Baptist churches on Easter Sunday, fining worshippers and having them sign a form stating they were attending an illegal meeting. Kazakhstan recognizes religious...

European bishops’ conference spokesman raps lack of action on religious freedom

The secretary-general of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences has criticized government leaders for failing to take action in defense of religious freedom. “If officials talk...

Kentucky bishop lauds New Ways Ministry, despite cautions from Vatican, US bishops

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, praised New Ways Ministry at the group’s annual conference in Chicago last week. “New Ways Ministry made me want to come here,” the...

Another Christian given life sentence under Pakistan’s blasphemy law

Another Christian man has been sentenced to life imprisonment under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, despite the absence of evidence to support the charge against him. Zafar Bhatti was accused of...

Venezuelan government shirks responsibility for crisis, cardinal says as unrest grows

Hunger is becoming steadily more widespread as a political/economic crisis continues in Venezuela, but Cardinal Baltaz Porras Cardozo of Merida reports that the government of President Nicolas...

Greek Orthodox bishop challenges Turkey’s president to convert

Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus has sent an open letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, telling the Muslim leader that he must convert to Christianity or face...

Released Monday, May. 8

Pope reflects on Ignatian spirituality and seminary formation

Pope Francis received seminarians from Italy’s only diocesan seminary entrusted to the care of Jesuits and reflected on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and seminary...

Be soldiers of Christ, resist Satan, Pope tells Swiss Guards

Pope Francis addressed new members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard on May 6, the anniversary of the Sack of Rome in 1527, in which the Guard helped save Pope Clement VII’s life. During the...

Pope raps ‘mother of all bombs’

Pope Francis met on May 6 with students participating in a meeting organized by Italy’s National Coordinating Body of Local Authorities for Peace and Human Rights. Answering students’...

Pope summarizes Fátima message: restoring peace, saving sinners from damnation

On May 13, the centenary of the first of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima, the Pope’s special envoy will crown the image of Our Lady, Health of the Sick, at the Cathedral-Shrine in...

Melkite patriarch resigns

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Patriarch Gregory III Laham, the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church since 2000. The patriarch, 83, presented his resignation to the Pope in...

Swiss president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Swiss President Doris Leuthard on May 6. During her discussions with the Pope and with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with...

Sense the love of the Good Shepherd, Pope tells faithful

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 10:1-10), Pope Francis said during his May 7 Regina Coeli address that Christ, “Good Shepherd and Door of the sheep, is a leader whose...

Pope urges Rosary for peace

Following his May 7 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray the Rosary for peace. “Tomorrow we will address our Supplication to Our Lady of the Rosary of...

Hartford archdiocese announces parish closings, mergers

The Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, has announced a sweeping reorganization plan, in which the number of active parishes will drop from 212 to 127. As part of the restructuring—which...

French bishops’ spokesman happy with clear election result

Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, the president of the French bishops’ conference, said that he was pleased Emmanuel Macron had won a clear-cut victory in the May 7 presidential...

Released Tuesday, May. 9

Pope ordains 10 priests, urges them to be merciful, joyful shepherds

Pope Francis ordained ten men to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica on May 7. “It is true that God has made His entire holy people a royal priesthood in Christ,” the Pope...

7 Spanish martyrs beatified

Father Antonio Arribas Hortigüela, MSC (1908-36) and six companions, martyred in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, were beatified at the cathedral in Girona on May 6. Cardinal Angelo...

USCCB: new health-care bill has ‘major defects,’ is ‘deeply disappointing’

The chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said that the American Health Care Act (AHCA, H.R. 1628), passed by the House of Representatives in a...

Conference on Luther and Catholic tradition sponsored by Vatican committee, USCCB

The Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences and the US bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs are among the sponsors of “Luther and the Shaping of the...

Be devoted to Our Lady, Pontiff tells seminarians

Pope Francis received seminarians from the Pontifical Portuguese College of Rome on May 8 and encouraged them to “seek shelter under the mantle of a Mother who takes us by the hand and teaches...

Vatican scientific congress on black holes

The Vatican Observatory is hosting a four-day scientific congress at Castel Gandolfo devoted to the topic of “black holes, gravitational waves and space-time...

Leading rabbi meets with Pope

Edgar Gluck, the Chief Rabbi of Galicia in Eastern Europe, met with Pope Francis on May 8. Gluck was accompanied by his son, Zvi, and several others, who at one point serenaded the Pope...

Indonesia: ousted Christian governor convicted on blasphemy charge

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (popularly known as “Ahok”), the outgoing Christian governor of Indonesia’s Jakarta province, has been convicted of blasphemy against Islam and faces a...

Melkite patriarch pressured to resign?

Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham is 83 years old, and so his resignation—accepted by Pope Francis this week—would appear to be a matter of routine. But Gianni Valente,...

Paris: Cardinal Vingt-Trois to resume activities after bout with Guillain-Barre disease

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris has been released from the hospital and will gradually resume normal activites as he recovers from a bout with Guillain-Barre disease. Cardinal...

US bishops’ conference to emphasize digital communications

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced a plan to reorganize its communications efforts, with a fresh focus on digital media, following the same pattern set by the Vatican’s...

Venezuelan government cannot quell popular unrest, archbishop says

Retired Archbishop Roberto Lucker of Coro, Venezuela, charges that the government of President Nicolas Maduro wants to impose “a dictatorship disguised as democracy” on the troubled...

Macron won French Catholic vote, but National Front gained ground

French presidential-elect Emmanual Macron won a substantial majority of the Catholic vote, according to a survey commissioned by La Croix and Pelerin. About 62% of French Catholics cast their...

Cardinal Tobin ‘delighted’ with homosexual group’s plan for pilgrimage to Newark cathedral

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, has endorsed a plan for a pilgrimage organized for homosexuals. “I am delighted that you and the LGBTQ brothers and sisters plan to visit our...

Released Wednesday, May. 10

Papal donation, message for beach project for the disabled

Pope Francis has lent his financial and moral support to the Opera San Luigi Gonzaga, an Italian organization that staffs a beach area near Rome for persons with disabilities. In assisting...

Yemen: abducted priest pleads for help in new video

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016, pleaded for help in a newly released video. An earlier video was released in December. “They are...

Millions at risk from famine in Somaliland

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, warned that millions are at risk from famine in Somaliland, a self-proclaimed independent region within...

Religious sisters in US come from at least 83 nations

A study on the 4,000 international religious sisters serving in the United States was presented in Rome at a meeting of the International Union of Superiors General. The study, conducted by...

Pope reflects on Mary as Mother of hope

Resuming his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 10 about Mary as Mother of hope. (During his general audience on May 3, the Pontiff spoke...

50,000 in Pompei for Mass, Supplication

An estimated 50,000 people gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompei on May 8 for an outdoor Mass and the recitation of the Supplication to the Blessed Virgin, composed by Blessed Bartolo Longo...

Corruption is a scourge in Latin America, Pope writes

In a message to the bishops of Latin America, Pope Francis says that corruption “is one of the most serious sins that plagues our continent today.” Writing to the members of CELAM,...

Vatican tribunal hears final witness against suspended Guam archbishop

A Vatican tribunal weighing sex-abuse charges against Archbishop Anthony Apuron has taken testimony from the last in a series of accusers. John Toves, who was the first man to make public...

Papal greeting, thanks to Coptic Orthodox leader

Pope Francis has sent a message of thanks to Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, expressing his “profound appreciation for your hospitality” during the papal visit to Egypt last...

Vatican probe of Belgian Catholic hospitals’ choice for euthanasia

The Vatican has opened an investigation into the decision by Belgian Catholic hospitals to allow physician-assisted suicide, LifeSite News reports. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of...

Jesuits returning South Dakota lands to Native Americans

A Jesuit mission in South Dakota is returning a tract of over 500 acres to the Rosebud Sioux tribe. The land was donated to the Jesuits by the US government in 1880s, and was soon the site of 23...

Reconstruction begins in Christian villages freed from Islamic State

Christian leaders in Iraq joined in May 8 ceremonies to mark the start of rebuilding in the Nineveh Plains region, where thousands of family homes had destroyed by the Islamic State. The...

Papal message to Portuguese people in advance of trip to Fatima

As he prepares for a May 13 visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis has sent a video message to the people of Portugal, telling them the will travel “as pilgrim in hope and in...

New Vatican clash over economic reforms

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, has rebuked the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (ASPA), saying that APSA overstepped its...

Released Thursday, May. 11

Pope encourages Marian devotion, recalls St. John of Ávila, St. Stanislaus

At the conclusion of his May 10 general audience, Pope Francis recommended the daily Rosary and requested prayers for his upcoming apostolic journey to Fátima. “Next Saturday will be...

Archdiocese, religious orders divest from fossil fuel companies

Representatives of five religious communities and the Archdiocese of Pescara-Penne, Italy, have announced that they will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies. The communities, inspired by...

Religious identity reasserts itself in Eastern Europe

A quarter century after the fall of Communist regimes that promoted atheism, the majority of people in most Eastern European nations identify themselves as Christian. In four nations in the...

South Korea’s bishops call on new president to puruse peace

Following Moon Jae-in’s victory in the South Korean presidential election, the president of the bishops’ conference said that “we now need a leader who walks the path of true peace...

Bishops decry treatment of ethnic minorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Over two decades after the Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War, bishops from Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia took issue with “the infringement of the rights of the citizens and peoples in...

+Archbishop Wang Chongyi, 97

One of China’s oldest bishops has died at the age of 97. Archbishop Wang Chongyi was ordained to the priesthood in 1949, weeks after Mao Zedong assumed power in the world’s most...

Mexican priest explains his work, helping migrants reach US

La Stampa profiles Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest who founded a center to help undocumented migrants. Father Solalinde protects the migrants from exploitation by drug cartels,...

French sociologists see Macron as exemplar of ‘Zombie Catholicism’

In a provocative new book, two French sociologists detail the lingering influence of Catholic traditions among people who no longer practice the faith: a phenomenon they dub “zombie...

Reconciliation of SSPX depends only on doctrinal statement, Vatican official says

A key Vatican official has confirmed that the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) can be reconciled with the Holy See, if its leaders accept a doctrinal statement. Archbishop Guido Pozzo,...

South Korean prelate urges move toward reunification

A South Korean archbishop has called upon the country’s newly elected president to work for reconciliation with North Korea. Archbishop Hyginus Hee-joong Kim of Gwanzi said that he hoped...

Belgian Jews decry legislative to outlaw kosher slaughter

Jewish leaders in Belgium have denounced new legislation that will make kosher slaughter of livestock illegal, beginning in September 2019. Rabbi Menachem Margolin of the European Jewish...

Latin American bishops blame Maduro for Venezuela’s crisis

The Catholic bishops of Latin America have joined in support of the Venezuelan hierarchy, blaming President Nicolas Maduro for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. CELAM, the conference of Latin...

Australian state rejects bid to decriminalize abortion

Lawmakers in New South Wales have defeated a bid to liberalize the Australian state’s abortion law. The proposed legislation, similar to laws that already stand in other Australian...

Pope’s message to Latin American hierarchy: listen to the laity

In a message to the Catholic hierarchy of Latin America, Pope Francis has underlined the importance of listening to the laity, and being willing to join them in their struggle to live the Gospel in...

Released Friday, May. 12

Violence against Muslim converts to Christianity in Germany

An Afghan woman who converted from Islam to Christianity was recently stabbed to death in Prien am Chiemsee, Bavaria. Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public broadcasting service, reported that...

Pence, cardinal, nuncio at summit in defense of persecuted Christians

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is hosting a four-day World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the...

Protect people from extremism, Russian patriarch says in message to Macron

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Orthodox churches, offered congratulations to Emmanuel Macron following his election as French president. “Your compatriots pin...

Venezuela’s bishops blast Maduro proposal for new assembly

Venezuela’s bishops have strongly criticized President Nicolas Maduro’s call to create a “constituent assembly” to replace the nation’s legislature, which is led by the...

Vatican newspaper highlights Ecumenical Advocacy Days

L’Osservatore Romano has published a six-paragraph article on Ecumenical Advocacy Days, a recent four-day gathering at a Washington-area hotel. The event’s theme was...

Pope discusses ‘methodological distinction’ between theology, science

Pope Francis greeted participants at a conference, sponsored by the Vatican Observatory, on the topic of “black holes, gravitational waves, and space-time singularities.” The...

Creditors reject archdiocesan reorganization plan in Minnesota bankruptcy case

Sex-abuse victims voted overwhelmingly to reject a bankrutpcy settlement offered by the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, in favor of an alternate plan put forward by creditors. In...

Egypt: Islamic cleric suspended from ministry after denouncing Christians and Jews

Egyptian authorities have suspended an Islamic preacher from public ministry, after he denounced Christians and Jews as “infidels.” During a television broadcast, Salem Abdel Galil...

Australian bishops split on proposal to discuss limits of confessional seal

Australian Catholic bishops have chosen not to take action on a proposal to seek guidance from Rome about the limits of the confessional seal. Adelaide’s Archbishop Philip Wilson has...

Brooklyn diocese ousts non-Catholic charter school from church-owned building

The Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, has informed a local charter school that it must vacate a church-owned building, because it is not a Catholic school. The Middle Village Preparatory Charter...

Mural on Roman wall depicts Pope embracing Trump

A pseudonymous street artist in Rome has raised eyebrows with a mural that depicts Pope Francis embracing and kissing Donald Trump. The mural, painted on paper that was mounted to the wall of a...

Pope arrives at Fatima

Pope Francis arrived in Portugal on Friday afternoon, May 12, for a two-day visit that will be highlighted by the canonization of the of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three children to...

Released Monday, May. 15

Pope weighs in on Trump meeting, SSPX, Medjugorje

As he returned to Rome from his pilgrimage to Fatima, Pope Francis addressed questions from journalists in an in-flight press-conference. Asked about his upcoming meeting with President Donald...

Irish Jesuit beatified

An Irish Jesuit was beatified at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Dublin on May 13. Father John Sullivan (1861-1933) was son of Sir Edward Sullivan, 1st Baronet, the Lord Chancellor of...

Pontiff entrusts war victims, mothers to Mary

Following his May 14 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis entrusted to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, “the fate of populations afflicted by wars and conflicts, in particular in the Middle...

‘There is so much need of prayer and penance,’ Pope says following pilgrimage

In his May 14 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis recalled his pilgrimage to Fatima, from which he returned the previous evening. “At Fatima the Virgin chose the innocent heart and the...

‘We have a Mother!’: Pope canonizes 2 Fatima visionaries

At an outdoor Mass in Fatima, Portugal, attended by an estimated 500,000 people, Pope Francis canonized Francisco Marto (1908-19) and Jacinta Marto (1910-20), two of the children to whom the Blessed...

Scottish bishops urge voters to defend life

The Catholic bishops of Scotland urge their people to uphold the culture of life, in a pre-election statement. In a pastoral letter about the coming general elections, the Catholic bishops write:...

English bishop: sanctity of life comes first in appraising political candidates

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, has told his flock that questions about the dignity of life should take precedence in the evaluation of political candidates. In a pastoral letter,...

Saudi cleric: forbid Sign of the Cross in soccer competition

A Saudi Arabian cleric has called upon the organizers of international soccer competition to bar players from making the Sign of the Cross. Mohammend Alarefe, an Islamic leader whose Twitter...

Pope prays at Marian basilica after visit to Fatima

Following his usual custom after a voyage abroad, Pope Francis visited the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major on Sunday, May 14, to pray before the image of the Virgin Mary, Salus Populi...

Cardinal Pell’s aide denounces new abuse allegations

A spokesman for Cardinal George Pell has angrily denounced new charges that the Australian prelate molested adolescent boys. In a new book—Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George...

Callista Gingrich to be nominated as US ambassador to Vatican?

Callista Gingrich, the wife of former US Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, will soon be nominated by President Trump to become the US ambassador to the Vatican, according to multiple media...

‘Beauty will save the world,’ archbishop tells UN officials at conference on Raphael’s art

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York, underlined the importance of art in a presentation to a conference entitled “An Evening with...

Syriac prelates urge UN protection for Christians in northern Iraq; Chaldean patriarchate demurs

Three Syriac bishops have called for internationall protection of the Christian enclaves in northern Iraq, but the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Baghdad has distanced itself from the...

US archbishop cautious in response to Trump’s religious-freedom order

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who chairs a committee on religious freedom for the US bishops’ conference, gave cautious approval to the Trump administration’s executive order on...

Feminist demonstrators found not guilty for disrupting papal audience in 2013

Four radical feminists who interrupted a papal audience in 2013 by baring their breasts and and displaying anti-Catholic slogans have been acquitted of criminal charges for disrupting a religious...

Australian archbishop welcomes defeat of bid to decriminalize abortion

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia welcomed the results of a vote in the legislature of New South Wales against decriminalizing abortion. The archbishop, who had urged the faithful to...

Released Tuesday, May. 16

2 attacks on Christians distributing literature in India

On May 13 and May 15, Hindu extremists attacked Pentecostal Christians who were distributing literature in different suburbs of Bangalore. “The attacks on innocent Pentecostal Christians by...

South Korean bishop calls for war-crimes investigation

A South Korean bishop has called for an investigation into war crimes committed by South Korean troops against Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War. “I know that we cannot avoid or...

State Dept. implements expanded ‘Mexico City policy’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has approved Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, a plan to implement President Donald Trump’s January 23 executive order reinstating the “Mexico...

Nigerian to lead Lutheran World Federation

Musa Panti Filibus, the archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, was elected president of the Lutheran World Federation on May 13. Nearly 150 ecclesial communities in 89 nations...

Texas religious leaders condemn immigration-enforcement legislation

Two hundred religious leaders in Texas, including several Catholic priests and religious, have condemned SB4, a new immigration-enforcement law. “The anti-immigrant agenda is born out of...

Schedule announced for papal visit to Genoa

The Holy See Press Office has announced the schedule of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Genoa on May 27. During his ten-hour visit to Italy’s 6th-largest city, the Pope will visit...

Pope to meet with Italy’s president

Pope Francis will pay an official visit to the Quirinal Palace on June 10 and meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The Pope’s visit will reciprocate Mattarella’s 2015 visit...

Vatican financial overseers report decline in suspicious activity

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF) reported 202 suspicious financial transactions at Vatican institutions in 2016, and referred 22 cases to Vatican prosecutors. But to date no...

Vatican commission gave mixed verdict on Medjugorje phenomena: report

A special Vatican commission formed by Pope Benedict XVI to investigate reports of Marian apparitions at Medjugorje concluded that the earliest apparitions were likely authentic, but expressed grave...

French president-elect Macron receives papal congratulations

Pope Francis has sent a message to French President Emmanuel Macron, congratulating him on his assumption of the office. In a telegram to the newly elected president, the Pontiff sent his...

Vatican prelate predicts Pope will change Trump’s view on climate change

The president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences has expressed confidence that Pope Francis will be able to persuade President Donald Trump of the urgency of climate change, when he meets...

Catholic prelates lead mediation efforts in Central African Republic

Two Catholic prelates have been active in efforts to mediate the continuing conflict between the goverment and rebel forces in the Central African Republic, the Fides news service...

Mexican priest stabbed in cathedral

A Catholic priest was attacked and stabbed just after he finished celebrating Mass in the cathedral of Mexico City. Father Miguel Angel Machorro was reported in serious condition after a lone man...

Italian soccer officials meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on May 16 with representatives of two leading Italian soccer squads, Lazio and Juventus, which were due to meet in a league championship match. The Pope congratulated the two...

Italian priest, charity leader charged with stealing funds destined for immigrants

Police in Italy have arrested 68 people—including a Catholic priest and the head of a Catholic charitable agency—in a crackdown on what prosecutors describe as a bid by organized crime...

Released Wednesday, May. 17

Cardinal laments delay in securing Chibok girls’ release

Nigeria’s leading prelate welcomed the release of 82 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014. At the same time, he questioned why it took the government to long to...

Spanish church desecrated

Bishop Casimiro López Llorente of Segorbe-Castellón de la Plana, Spain, offered a Mass of reparation on May 14 after a church was robbed and the Blessed Sacrament desecrated, with...

Aleppo consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima

Aleppo, the war-torn Syrian city that recently witnessed the defeat of Islamist rebel forces, was consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13. The consecration took place in the city’s...

US bishops to discuss religious liberty, immigration at spring meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda for the spring bishops’ meeting, which will take place on June 14 and 15 in Indianapolis. Agenda items include...

EU bishops’ commission: robots should not be treated as legal persons

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has criticized a resolution from the European Parliament that called for consideration of legal personhood status...

Pope reflects on ‘Mary Magdalene, apostle of hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 17 about St. Mary Magdalene “as an apostle of the hope brought by the...

Benedict XVI praises Cardinal Sarah for new book

“With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands,” writes Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, in an afterword for a book by the African...

Amazon may be topic for future Synod

The plight of the native people in the Amazon region might be the topic for a future meeting of the Synod of Bishops, a Peruvian prelate reports. “The Holy Father told us he would like a...

Australian prosecutors near decision on complaints against Cardinal Pell

Australian police say that they are close to a decision on whether or not to bring criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell for sexual abuse. Two men have claimed that the future cardinal...

Life is not ‘normal’ for Palestinians, bishops’ conference of Holy Land says

The Catholic bishops of the Holy Land have joined in a statement warning against the acceptanace of the status quo in relations between Israel and Palestine. The justice-and-peace commission of...

Legislators in Philippines defeat bid to impeach Duterte

Lawmakers in the Philippines have defeated an effort to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte. But a prominent bishop says that the result was expected. Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon observed that...

Released Thursday, May. 18

Leading prelate calls for ‘radical change’ in Venezuela, condemns oppression, pleads for aid

Venezuela’s bishops met in Caracas on May 16 as unrest continued to spread in the nation. The president of the episcopal conference, Archbishop Diego Padrón of Cumaná,...

Lawmaker: European Parliament must send ‘strong message’ against persecution of Christians

The politician who leads a coalition of center-right parties in the European Parliament called upon the body to send a “strong message” against the persecution of Christians. Manfred...

Pope pays tribute to World War II veterans, recalls saint’s love for the Eucharist

At the conclusion of his May 17 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to the Polish World War II veterans in St. Peter’s Square. “I greet all the fighters here who, during the...

Mexican anti-drug trafficking priest meets with Pontiff

At his May 17 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met briefly with Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest who has worked to oppose the nation’s drug traffickers,...

Abbas meets with Russian patriarch

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met recently in Moscow with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the largest of the Orthodox churches. “The preservation of the holy sites, which is part of...

Nations must promote humane economy, fight fundamentalism, Pope tells new ambassadors

Speaking on May 18 to a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Francis said that government leaders should build a more humane economic system, fight against fundamentalist approaches to...

Never destroy embryos for research, Pope cautions research scientists

Pope Francis reiterated the moral principle that human embryos should not be destroyed for purposes of research, however beneficial, in a May 18 address to people affected by Huntington’s...

Russian Patriarch urges opposition to proposal changing status of Orthodox churches in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has asked Pope Francis and other religious leaders to exert their influence against a proposal to amend Ukrainian laws to withdraw protection from religious bodies...

Australian archbishop seeks dismissal of charge for concealing evidence of abuse

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has made a new attempt—his third—to persuade a corut to dismiss charges that he failed to report information about sexual abuse. The...

Pope postpones Corpus Christi procession

Pope Francis has decided to postpone the annual Corpus Christi procession from June 15, when the feast is observed in Rome, until the following Sunday, June 18. On the feast of Corpus Christi the...

Russian Patriarch says meeting with Pope drew world’s attention to persecution

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill believes that the most important outcome of his historic meeting with Pope Francis was a new public recognition of the persecution of Christians. In an interview...

Released Friday, May. 19

Commission prods President Trump on international religious freedom

At a May 17 press briefing, members of the US Commission on International Freedom called upon President Donald Trump to make religious freedom a greater foreign policy priority, according to a World...

Venezuela’s bishops call on government to end oppression

At a special meeting in Caracas, Venezuela’s bishops issued a statement on the worsening crisis in the nation. Thanking Pope Francis and the apostolic nuncio for their solicitude, the...

Anglican prelates urge voters to consider faith, ‘British values’

In their recent statement on the upcoming UK election, the Anglican archbishops of Canterbury and York called upon voters to consider the “British values” of “cohesion, courage,...

Judge reopens Romero murder case

A judge in El Salvador has reopened the case of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was slain while offering Mass in 1980 and beatified as a martyr in 2015. The judge, Ricardo Chicas,...

Cardinal welcomes apparent slowdown in China negotiations, criticizes Vatican officials

The retired bishop of Hong Kong said in an interview that “it seems the Vatican-China deal” on the selection of bishops “is not proceeding. That’s good.” Cardinal...

Doctrine can become ideology, and is then divisive, Pope warns

Doctrine unites the Church, but ideology divides believers, Pope Francis told a congregation at morning Mass on May 19. Reflecting on the day’s days reading, which recounted the story of...

Cardinal Maradiaga makes personal attack on Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the chairman of the Council of Cardinals, has launched a startling personal attack on Cardinal Raymond Burke, calling the American prelate “a poor...

Judge acts to trim legal fees in Minnesota archdiocese bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy-court judge has criticized the unusually high legal fees that have been incurred in the case of the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minnesota. “It bothers me so much that all...

Jesuit superior general signed letter of support for Fidel Castro

The new superior general of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, signed a letter praising Fidel Castro in 1989. Father Sosa, a native of Venezuela, was one of several hundred “intellectuals and...

Pope makes surprise visit to housing project, knocking on parishioners’ doors

Pope Francis continued his “Mercy Friday” projects on May 19 with a visit to a public housing project in Ostia, on the Mediterannean coast outside Rome, near Leonardo da Vinci airport....

Released Monday, May. 22

Pope names 5 new cardinals

At the conclusion of his May 21 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis announced that he will create five new cardinals in a June 28 consistory. The five prelates are Archbishop Jean Zerbo, 73,...

Pray for Central African Republic, Pope urges faithful

At the conclusion of his May 21 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis appealed for prayers for the Central African Republic, where fighting has flared between militia groups. “Armed clashes...

Be open to dialogue, Pontiff asks Chinese Catholics

Amid negotiations between the Holy See and China’s Communist government over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis has asked the nation’s Catholics to remain “open to encounter...

Christian communities should be characterized by love, Pope says in address

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 14:15-21), Pope Francis said in his May 21 Regina Coeli address that “the Lord calls us today to respond generously to the evangelical call...

Callista Gingrich named US ambassador to Holy See

President Donald Trump has appointed Callista Gingrich as US ambassador to the Holy See. Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, is president of the Gingrich...

Pakistan: government spokesman says ‘religious cleansing must stop’

The chief government spokesman in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, acknowledged recently that the Islamic republic has failed to protect its religious minorities. “The...

Italian bishops meet with Pontiff; new head of episcopal conference to be named

The Catholic bishops of Italy are meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, to nominate three candidates to replace Cadrinal Angelo Bagnaso as president of their episcopal conference. Pope...

English bishop sees influence of gay-rights advocates in bishops’ program

An English bishop has expressed dismay that a sex-education program distributed by the bishops’ conference contains material from gay-rights activist groups. The bishops’ conference...

Mob vandalizes new church in India

A mob vandalized a Catholic church in Keesara, India, on May 21, less than two weeks after it had been consecrated. About 100 people burst into the church of Our Lady of Fatima, breaking a...

Papal encouragement for Sister Disciples of the Divine Master

Meeting on May 22 with leaders of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, who were holding their general chapter this week, Pope Francis encouraged them to exercise “the apostolate of the...

Irish president meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on May 22 with Ireland’s President Michael Higgins. A brief statement issued by the Vatican after the meeting indicated that the conversation had touched on Church-state...

Released Tuesday, May. 23

New Texas law protects sermons from government subpoenas

The State of Texas has passed a new law preventing government units from issuing subpoenas for sermons. The new law comes three years after city officials in Houston withdrew subpoenas demanding...

Oppose slaughter of Christians, Trump tells Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia

Addressing the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, President Donald Trump spoke about the war on terrorism and the persecution of Jews and Christians. “This is not a battle between...

6 prelates weigh in on Trump budget, find defense spending increase ‘profoundly troubling’

Six bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a joint letter on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. “Our Conference has long...

Venezuelan cardinal denounces government violence

As Venezuela’s bishops led a day of prayer and fasting for peace, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas renewed his condemnation of the Maduro regime’s violence. “They must not...

Rosaries, religious statues banned from car dashboards in Philippines

A Philippine law designed to prevent distracted driving will ban rosaries and religious statues on car dashboards. A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has...

Pope, in parish visit, emphasizes importance of gentleness, respect

Pope Francis visited a parish on the outskirts of Rome on May 21 and celebrated Sunday evening Mass. The Mass at the Parish of St. Peter Damian in Casal Bernocchi, Acilia, followed a question-and...

Prelates voice horror at Manchester terror attack

Catholic prelates joined in condemnation of the terrorist attack in Manchester on May 23, and sent their sympathy and promises of prayer to the victims’ families. Bishop John Arnold of the...

Vietnam: police attack protesters after activist’s arrest

A Catholic environmental activist was arrested in Vietnam last week, and when his supporters gathered outside local government offices to demand an explaination, police attacked the crowd. Father...

St. Louis archbishop vows defiance of new city ordinance on abortion

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has filed suit to block a new city ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “reproductive health decisions.” The ordinance,...

Sexual abuse hits 1 in 5 children in South Africa, bishops report

One out of every five children in South Africa suffers sexual abuse, according to a study released by the country’s bishops. “The social and human cost is immense,” said...

Italian bishops nominate candidates to head episcopal conference

The Italian bishops have nominated three candidates to replace Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco as president of their episcopal conference. Pope Francis will choose the new president from the bishops’...

Belgian bishops reject hospitals’ decision to allow euthanasia

The Catholic bishops of Belgium have issued a statement rejecting the policy proposed by the Brothers of Charity, who have said that they will allow doctors to euthanize patients in the hospitals...

Vatican envoy reminds UN: war is main reason for emigration

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has reminded his colleagues that warfare is by far the single most important factor contributing to mass migration. Archbishop...

Released Wednesday, May. 24

Pope Francis: ‘person-based approach’ to economics promotes ‘entrepreneurial spirit’

Pope Francis highlighted the plight of the unemployed during a recent address to participants attending a conference of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. In his May 20 remarks, the...

Cardinal Bassetti named president of Italian Episcopal Conference

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve as the new president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who has served as the...

USCCB committee chair welcomes Trump administration action on Haitian migrants

The chairman of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration thanked Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security for extending Temporary Protective...

Emmaus account shows Jesus’ ‘therapy of hope,’ Pope says in weekly audience

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 24 about Christ’s encounter with the disciples on the road to...

Pope Francis receives President Trump: video, full text of Vatican statement

Pope Francis received President Donald Trump at the Vatican on May 24 (video). Following the meeting, the Holy See Press Office released the following statement: This morning, Wednesday 24...

Brazil’s bishops denounce corruption following allegations against president

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil has issued a statement denouncing corruption following bribery allegations against President Michel Temer. “Such accusations require rigorous...

Islamic militants attack cathedral on Mindanao, seize 15 hostages

Tensions have sharply escalated on the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines, as Islamic militants attacked the cathedral in the city of Marawi, seizing 15 hostages and demolishing the...

SSPX bishops authorized to ordain priests without permission of local bishops

Bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) have been authorized by Pope Francis to ordain new priests without the approval of the local diocesan bishop, according to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the...

‘Underground’ Chinese bishop taken into custody again

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who was arrested by Chinese officials just before Easter, has again been taken into custody, the AsiaNews service reports. Bishop Shao, whose appointment is...

French abuse victims press lawsuit against Cardinal Barbarin, other bishops

Sex-abuse victims in France have filed a lawsuit against several Catholic prelates, charging that they failed to report abuse by a priest. Last year French prosecutors decided not to bring...

Venezuelan cardinal quotes Archbishop Romero in plea for end to government repression

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas invoked the memory of Blessed Oscar Romero, the slain Salvadoran archbishop, in a plea for an end to the government’s abuse of power. “In the...

India: arrests in vandalization of new church

Police in India have arrested 22 people in connection with the vandalization of a new Catholic church in Keesara. A mob of over 100 people burst into the church of Our Lady of Fatime on May 21,...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.