Stories for September 2016

Released Friday, Sep. 2

Papal preacher: man’s sovereignty over creation is for glorifying God

Pope Francis presided at Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “There is almost a competition among non-believing...

USCCB: God calls us to be good stewards of creation

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and...

Commission urges Obama to address religious freedom while in China

Citing increased government repression in China, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has encouraged President Barack Obama to address religious freedom concerns with...

Georgetown addresses past ties to slavery

The nation’s oldest Catholic university has issued a report addressing its historic ties to slavery, including profits from the 1838 sale of 272 slaves. John DeGioia, president of...

Bishop speaks out against payday lending

A Texas bishop has appeared in a documentary on efforts to enact legislation regulating payday lending. Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin said in The Ordinance that “at least a third of...

Prayer intentions of Pope Francis for September 2016

The Holy See Press Office has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for September 2016. The Pope’s universal intention is “that each may contribute to the common good and to...

Islamic State threats against Pope are aimed to radicalize Islam, Patriarch says

The death threats against Pope Francis that have been issued by the Islamic State are part of a propaganda campaign, ultimately aimed to radicalize Muslims, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael...

Over 100,000 expected for canonization of Mother Teresa

More than 100,000 people are expected to gather in St. Peter's Square for the canonization of Mother Teresa on Sunday. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at a September 2 press...

Italian bishop resigns after inquiry into misconduct among diocesan clergy

An Italian bishop has resigned after an inquiry into misconduct among the priests of his diocese. The resignation of Bishop Oliveri of Albenga-Imperia was announced by the Vatican on September 1....

New Jersey priest suspended for homosexual advocacy

A New Jersey priest has been suspended from public ministry because of his persistent homosexual advocacy. Father Warren Hall revealed on Twitter that he had been suspended by Archbishop John Myers...

Released Monday, Sep. 5

USCCB decries human/animal chimera research; faithful urged to comment

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has decried a proposal by the National Institutes of Health to fund human/animal chimera research. “The bottom line is that the...

Pope blesses statue of Our Lady of Aparecida in Vatican Gardens

On September 3, Pope Francis blessed a bronze statue of Our Lady of Aparecida in the Vatican Gardens. The Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is Brazil’s principal Marian shrine. Devotion to...

‘You are the outstretched hand of Christ,’ Pope tells workers of mercy

On September 4, as part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis addressed pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the jubilee of volunteers and workers of mercy. After...

Spanish nun murdered in Haiti

A Spanish religious sister who worked as a nurse in Haiti was murdered on September 2. Sister Isabelle Sola Matas, 51, was driving down a street in Port-au-Prince when she was shot by robbers who...

Pope canonizes Mother Teresa, recalls her commitment to the poor, unborn

Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-97), the foundress of the Missionaries of Charity, on September 4 during an outdoor Mass in St. Peter’s Square. An estimated 120,000...

1 dead in Taliban attack on Christian neighborhood in Pakistan

Four gunmen from a splinter group of the Taliban attacked a Christian neighborhood near Peshawar, Pakistan, on September 2, killing one civilian. A separate attack on a courthouse 25 miles away...

Former UMissouri professor, fired for calling for 'muscle,' to teach at Jesuit institution

A professor who was dismissed after she was caught on videotape calling for “muscle” to remove a photographer from a demonstration, has been hired to teach at a Jesuit college in...

Cardinal Parolin: Mother Teresa 'a clear mirror of the love of God'

Celebrating the Thanksgiving Mass after the canonization of Mother Teresa, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said that the new saint is "a clear mirror of the love of...

Pope hosts pizza party for Rome's homeless to celebrate canonization

Pope Francis invited the poor of Rome to enjoy pizza in the Paul VI auditorium as part of the celebration of the canonization of Mother Teresa. About 1,500 people were invited from homes run by...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 6

Vatican prelate joins foreign ministers’ discussion

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, took part in a meeting of 57 foreign ministers in Potsdam, Germany, on September 1. The foreign...

Korean bishop speaks out against anti-missile system

A South Korean bishop has criticized the nation’s deployment of a US anti-ballistic missile defense system. Bishop Peter Lee Ki-hun of Uijeongbu, president of the Bishops’ Committee...

Brazilian bishops denounce lawlessness in Amazon basin

A commission of Brazilian bishops has issued a statement describing the Amazon River basin as a “land without law.” The bishops stated that major landowners, ranchers, and...

Late Australian bishop’s estate to assist abuse victims

An Australian bishop has decided to allot his predecessor’s estate to assistance for victims of clerical abuse. Bishop Ronald Mulkearns left his estate of $2.1million ($1.6M US dollars) to...

Orlando: former diocesan chancellor accused of fraud

A priest who once served as the Diocese of Orlando’s chancellor has been removed from ministry. Father Nicholas King was arrested on charges of defrauding a 79-year-old widow of $88,700. He...

Norway: 25,000 left Lutheran church in August

Nearly 25,000 people left Norway’s state Lutheran church in August after the ecclesial community allowed people the option of joining or leaving the church online. Over 8,500 people left...

Philippines: bishops warn about threat of dictatorship as Duterte declares national emergency

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have warned against the danger of dictatorship after President Rodrigo Duterte declared a "state of national emergency" in the wake of a September...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 7

EU bishops welcome China, US commitment to Paris climate-change agreement

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has issued a brief statement welcoming the joint announcement by China and the US that they will formally commit...

New Hungarian government office to assist persecuted Christians

The Hungarian government has established an office to assist persecuted Christians. “Hungary considers itself Christian, and is interested in the situation of Christians all around the...

Gabon prelate calls for international mediation to stop violence

Violence has flared in Gabon following a disputed presidential election, prompting the nation’s leading prelate to call for international mediation. “Given the antagonistic positions...

Vatican newspaper tribute to Hugo Rahner book

The September 7 edition of L’Osservatore Romano devoted nearly a page to Father Hugo Rahner’s first work, A Theology of Proclamation (1939), which was republished in Italy last...

Pope Francis: God did not send his Son to ‘crush the wicked,’ but to call them to conversion

Continuing with weekly series of addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his September 7 general audience to the conversation between Christ and the disciples of St. John the Baptist (Mt....

Church in Italy has assisted 30,000 migrants, refugees in past year

In the year since Pope Francis asked every European parish to welcome at least one refugee family, parishes and other Catholic institutions in Italy have assisted at least 30,000 asylum seekers,...

'Hundreds of thousands' exploited in sexual trafficking, Nigerian archbishop reports

The president of the Nigerian Catholic bishops' conference reports that most of the young Nigerian girls arriving in Italy are victims of sex trafficking. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos,...

Chinese bishop dies, police take coadjutor into custody

Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou, China, who spent more than 20 years in prison camps, has died at the age of 90. After years serving the "underground" Church, Bishop Zhu finally...

Indonesia: militant Muslims disrupt Mass

Islamic militants disrupted the celebration of Mass at a parish in central Java, Indonesia, the AsiaNews service reports. During a memorial Mass for a deceased parishioner, two Muslims began...

Paris police arrest two after finding car filled with gas canisters near Notre Dame

Police in Paris discovered seven gas canisters in a car parked outside Notre Dame cathedral, and arrested the car's owner and another man. The car, which had been left parked near the Seine...

Father Paul Check leaving Courage ministry

Father Paul Check, who has been the executive director of the Courage ministry for almost nine years, is leaving that post to become seminary rector in the Diocese of Bridgeport,...

Massachusetts law could force churches to follow transgender-access policy

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has ruled that the state's anti-discrimination laws require all "agents of places of public accommodation" to allow...

Vatican signs accord with Central African Republic

The Vatican has reached an agreement with the Central African Republic, establishing the legal status of the Church in that country. The "framework agreement" was signed on September 6...

Released Thursday, Sep. 8

Cardinal Marx warns against suspension of EU-US trade negotiations

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, the president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, has expressed concern at calls by European leaders for the suspension of...

South Sudan prelate welcomes UN peacekeeping force

South Sudan’s leading prelate welcomed a proposal by the UN Security Council to deploy 4,000 peacekeepers in the strife-torn nation. “We need this help,” said Archbishop Paulino...

Pope Benedict: governance was my weakness

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has published excerpts of Peter Seewald’s book-length interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Last Testament: In His Own Words will be published...

Catholic hospital system to remove saints’ names from hospitals

A leading Midwestern Catholic hospital system has announced that it will remove saints’ names from the names of its hospitals. Franciscan Alliance will rename its hospitals...

Brazil: bishops express confidence in nation’s people

A week after Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office, the nation’s bishops expressed confidence in the resilience of the nation’s people. Citing “the absence...

Ecumenical Patriarch denies involvement in Turkish coup attempt

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has strongly denied allegations in the Turkish press that Patriarch Bartholomew I, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, was involved in...

Confirmed: Chinese officials abduct bishop

Chinese authorities have arrested a Catholic bishop and removed him from the diocese where he serves, apparently in order to prevent his installation as new leader of the diocese, the AsiaNews...

All believers should show care for earth's resources, Pope tells inter-religious symposium

"The believer is a defender of creation and life, and cannot remain silent or passive in the face of so many rights disregarded with impunity," Pope Francis said in a September 8 address...

Nourish a culture of mercy, Pope urges Benedictine leaders

Benedictine monasteries are "oases of the spirit, where clergy and the lay faithful can dip into the divine springs of mercy," Pope Francis told an international congress of Benedictine...

US Civil Rights Commission: non-discrimination laws take precedence over religious liberty

Non-discrimination laws "are of preeminent importance in American jurisprudence," and should not be subject to religious exemptions, the US Commission on Civil Rights has argued in a...

Peace begins with 'little things,' Pope tells congregation at daily Mass

Resuming his daily celebration of Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae after a summer hiatus, Pope Francis told a congregation on September 8: "Peace is not just made at big international...

Dissident group honors Father James Martin

Father James Martin, the popular Jesuit author and commentator, has been selected to receive an award from New Ways Ministry, a group that has been cited by the Vatican and by the US bishops'...

Chile: 100,000 join in pro-life rally

An estimated 100,000 people took part in a pro-life rally in Santiago, Chile, last weekend, as the country heads toward a political showdown over a bid to liberalize the country's law against...

Released Friday, Sep. 9

English cardinal: don’t ask about prison sentences on employment applications

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has asked employers, including Catholic agencies, not to ask job applicants whether they have served prison sentences. “It is hard to envisage the crushing...

Take up spiritual weapons, Cardinal Parolin tells Swiss Guard, Vatican police

On the occasion of the Jubilee of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and the Gendarmerie-- part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy-- Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State,...

Nicaraguan bishops welcome security-related immigration restrictions

Following a meeting with officials of the Sandinista government, the bishops of Nicaragua expressed their understanding and approval for immigration restrictions on those entering the country for...

Papal message to conference on Orthodoxy, martyrdom

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message in Pope Francis’s name to a conference on Orthodox spirituality and martyrdom that is taking place in Bose,...

Georgetown slave descendants call for $1B foundation

A week after Georgetown University issued a report seeking to address its historic ties to slavery, including profits from the 1838 sale of 272 slaves, the slaves’ descendants called for the...

Federal court backs Catholic hospital that did not refer for abortion

Upholding a lower court decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that a Catholic hospital in Michigan that did not present abortion as a treatment option did not violate laws against negligent...

Slaves' descendants challenge Georgetown to set up $1 billion foundation

Descendants of slaves who were sold by the Jesuit founders of Georgetown are asking the university to set up a $1 billion charitable foundation to promote reconciliation among the races in...

Pope challenges bishops to be front-line evangelists

Speaking on September 9 to a group of newly appointed bishops from missionary territories, Pope Francis told them that they have "the great privilege and responsibility of being on the front...

Dalai Lama not invited to Assisi prayer meeting

The Dalai Lama has not been invited to participate in the inter-religious prayer meeting that will take place at Assisi on September 20, the AsiaNews service has learned. The Dalai Lama was...

Catholic hospital denies woman's claim she was refused service because of IUD

A Catholic hospital in Chicago has rejected a public complaint by a woman who said that she was denied service because she was using an intrauterine device (IUD). Melanie Jones filed a formal...

Vatican releases Pope's schedule for trip to Sweden to commemorate Reformation

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a visit to Sweden by Pope Francis to join in commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The Pope will leave from on Monday morning,...

French police arrest Islamic radicals involved in gas-canister attack plot

French police have arrested several Islamic radicals after an intense investigation that began when a car carrying gas canisters was discovered near the basilica of Notre Dame in Paris. In what...

California legislature passes bill to criminalize undercover videos at abortion clinics

The California state legislature has approved a bill that would make it a criminal offense to take undercover videos at abortion clinics. The legislation, which gained easy approval in both...

Reshuffling of Roman Curia will leave many Vatican officials without posts

Recent changes in the Roman Curia will leave a number of Vatican officials without jobs, notes Sandro Magister, the veteran Vatican-watcher for the Italian daily L'Espresso.  Pope...

Released Monday, Sep. 12

Pope reflects on redemption and mercy

On September 10, Pope Francis devoted his special monthly Saturday audience for the jubilee year of mercy to the theme of redemption. “God has redeemed all humanity, liberating us by the...

Live the year of mercy, Pope tells Czech and Romanian Catholics

Following his September 10 jubilee audience, Pope Francis greeted Czech and Romanian Catholics who were making national pilgrimages to Rome and asked them to live out the jubilee year of...

Polish priest beatified in Kazakhstan

A Polish priest who spent 13 years in Soviet labor camps was beatified at the cathedral in Karaganda, Kazakhstan on September 11. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes...

Papal appeal for peace in Gabon

Following his September 11 Angelus address, Pope Francis called for peace in Gabon, which is suffering from post-election violence. “I entrust to the Lord the victims of the clashes and...

Pope Francis: the merciful Father rejoices at the repentance of sinners

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Lk. 15:1-32), Pope Francis emphasized during his September 11 Angelus address that the merciful God rejoices at the repentance of...

USCCB proposes resolution in HHS mandate cases

Responding to a request from the Obama administration, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of General Counsel filed comments with the Department of Health and Human...

Pope confirms ill youth

On September 10, Pope Francis administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to a seriously ill oncology patient. Giuseppe Chiolo, 16, was transported from Florence to Rome by ambulance. The...

Schedule announced for papal visit to Georgia, Azerbaijan: September 30- October 2

The Vatican has announced the schedule for a trip by Pope Francis to Georgia and Azerbaijan, beginning on September 30. The Holy Father will leave Rome that Friday morning, arriving in Tbilisi,...

Council of Cardinals meeting with Pope Francis 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...

VP candidate Kaine says Church will someday endorse same-sex unions

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine has expressed his opinion that the Catholic Church will eventually endorse same-sex marriage. Kaine—who is described in news reports as a...

Pope confirms: Amoris Laetitia allows divorced/remarried to receive Communion in some cases

Pope Francis has strongly endorsed a document in which the Catholic bishops of Argentina say that Amoris Laetitia allows for Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion under...

Papal sex-abuse panel will join in orientation sessions for new bishops

The papal commission on sexual abuse will participate in an annual Vatican training session for new bishops this year, for the first time. Last year, the training session for newly appointed...

Devil seeks to attack unity in the Eucharist, Pope tells congregation at morning Mass

In an effort to cause divison within the Church, the devil "goes right to the root of Christian unity," which is the Eucharist, Pope Francis said in a homily at daily Mass on September...

Ukrainian leaders bid for independent status of Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Two former presidents of Ukraine have presented the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew with a petition signed by 5,000 people, asking for recognition of the autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox...

Rome's Grand Mosque refuses to join in anti-violence initiative

The Grand Mosque of Rome declined to take part in a national "Say no to violence" initiative that was supported by more than 2,000 other Islamic communities in Italy. For the September...

Irish parish welcomes lesbian couple; critic reports threats

An Irish parish has welcomed back a lesbian couple who had resigned from parish leadership roles, and the Catholic man who called for their resignations has said that he is the subject of "a...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 13

Mideast Christian leaders to explain plight to international community

Christian leaders from around the Middle East, including six Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs, gathered in Amman, Jordan, at a meeting of the Council of Churches of the Middle East. Participants...

2 million pilgrims in Mecca

An estimated two million pilgrims are in Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage, according to the Associated Press. Iran is not permitting its citizens to attend the hajj this year because of...

Congo’s bishops threat to pull out of national dialogue

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s bishops have threatened to pull out of a national dialogue on elections if President Joseph Kabila seeks an unconstitutional additional term. A...

Tanzania’s religious leaders urge opposition not to protest

Tanzania’s bishops have joined with Muslim and Protestant leaders in calling upon opposition forces to engage in dialogue with the government rather than engaging in protests. “The...

Diocese backs school’s rejection of application from transgender student

The Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, is supporting a Catholic high school’s decision not to permit a self-identified transgender student to enroll in the school. In February, Camden Catholic...

Courtyard of the Gentiles to examine economy

The Courtyard of the Gentiles-- an initiative of the Pontifical Council for Culture begun at the behest of Benedict XVI and directed toward nonbelievers-- is joining with the Italian embassy to the...

Put people, not profits, at center of economic system: Cardinal Turkson

The world's economic systems should be designed to serve people, not profit, the newly appointed prefect of the Vatican's dicastery for Integral Human Development told participants in a...

Three women charged in Notre Dame bomb plot

French prosecutors have brought criminal charges against three women involved in an apparent terrorist plot in Paris. The plot was discovered when police found gas canisters in a car parked...

5,000 attend funeral for Chinese bishop; coajdutor still in custody

More than 5,000 people attended the funeral for Bishop Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou, China, while government officials continued to hold his coajdutor bishop, the AsiaNews service reports. Although...

Pope to preside at memorial Mass for Father Hamel

Pope Francis will preside at a Mass on Wednesday, September 14, for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques Hamel, the French priest who was murdered in July as he was celebrating...

Catholic teacher killed in Indonesia

A Catholic schoolteacher was shot and killed in Ilaga, in the Papua province of Indonesia, on September 12. The bullet-riddled body of Yuni Yesra Patatang was found on Tuesday morning. No...

Immigration is not the answer, Nigerian cardinal says

Cardinal John Oneiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, says that his country's goverment must take steps to revive economic prospects, to curb the flow of emigrants and thereby stop providing opportunities...

New British PM encouraging growth of Catholic schools

British Prime Minister Theresa May has encouraged the establishment of new Catholic schools, signaling a break in a trend toward secularization, writes Austen Ivereigh for the Crux news site. In...

Vienna's Cardinal Schönborn sees Muslim threat to Europe

Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn warned that "Europe is on the verge of forfeiting its Christian heritage" during a homily at Sunday Mass on September 11. Cardinal...

Virginia bishop responds to Kaine's support for same-sex marriage, affirms Church teaching

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia, has issued a statement reaffirming the Catholic teaching on marriage—apparently in response to a public prediction by vice-presidential...

New book shows 'astounding measure of self-criticism' by Benedict XVI, says Archbishop Gänswein

The longtime private secretary to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI said that a new book-length interview with the retired Pontiff gives remarkable insights into the thought of the retired...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 14

Prelate criticizes ‘reckless’ statement by US civil rights commission chair

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has responded to a statement by Martin Castro, the chairman of the US Commission on...

Congressman calls for safe haven for Iraqi Christians

A Nebraska congressman has introduced a resolution calling for a semi-autonomous Nineveh Plain province that would serve as a safe haven for Iraqi Christians. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s...

Vatican, World Council of Churches discuss status of relations

Representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches have begun five days of meetings in Bossey, Switzerland, devoted to examining the status of...

Vatican foreign minister affirms support for Andorra’s form of government

The Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States has affirmed the Vatican’s support for Andorra’s unique form of government, in which a bishop serves as co-prince. Since 1278,...

Pope Francis states that Father Hamel is a martyr, emphasizes that killing in God’s name is satanic

On the morning of September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Pope Francis offered Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest who was murdered...

Pope reflects on the yoke of Christ

Continuing his weekly series of addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his September 14 general audience to the yoke of Christ (Mt. 11:28-30). “We hear the Lord calling the discouraged,...

Council of Cardinals discussed appointment of bishops, papal nuncios

The Council of Cardinals focused on the appointment of new bishops and of apostolic nuncios during a three-day meeting at the Vatican this week. Briefing reporters about the meeting, Vatican...

Bishops denounce 'Catholics for Choice'

In response to an advertising campaign by the pro-abortion group "Catholics for Choice," a number of American bishops have issued statements reaffirming that Catholics should not support...

German Cardinal Marx favors controversial trade treaty

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has given his support to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still under negotiation, despite public protests against the proposed...

Released Thursday, Sep. 15

USCCB joins criticism of ‘Catholics for Choice’ ad campaign

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has joined other bishops in criticizing an advertising campaign by “Catholics for...

Times explores Russian Orthodox support of Putin in Europe

The New York Times has published a front-page article exploring the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Vladimir Putin, especially in European nations from France to Moldova. “While...

Eastern European bishops: ‘Europe, first of all, needs stable families’

Representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Central and Eastern Europe met recently in Bratislava and discussed the crises of the family and the low European...

Czech bishops oppose adoption by homosexual couples

The Czech bishops have announced their opposition to a proposal to permit homosexual couples to adopt children. The proposal “is a further attempt to downplay the importance of biological...

Gabon’s bishops renew appeal for calm

As strife-torn Gambia awaits a court decision on a disputed presidential election, the nation’s bishops renewed their appeal for calm. In their recent appeal, the bishops urged politicians...

Patriarch: remove mines from Nineveh Plain

As the Iraqi government takes back land from the Islamic State, and as Christians and others return to the Nineveh Plain, mines need to be removed before schools and clinics are built, the head of...

Disabled Indian woman killed for alleged disrespect of Sikh text

In India's Punjab region, a Christian woman with severe intellectual disabilities was killed by Sikh militants who thought that she had descrated their sacred text. Balwinder Kaur died...

Cardinal Schönborn clarifies: European squander culture; Islamists exploit weakness

Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has issued a statement denying that he warned against a Muslim drive to conquer Europe. In a Sunday homily that drew worldwide attention, the...

Cooperation in abortion, homicide, attempted suicide ruled obstacles to priestly ordination

Men who have been involved in homicide, abortion, or attempted suicide should not ordinarily be considered as candidates for the priesthood, the Vatican announced on September 15. Clarifying a...

Papal document brings Code of Canon Law into line with law of Eastern Catholic churches

With a motu proprio issued on September 15, Pope Francis has amended the canon laws of the Roman Catholic Church to bring them into harmony with the canon law of the Eastern Catholic...

Abu Dhabi prince meets Pontiff

Pope Francis met on September 15 with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Sultan Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. The prince from the United Arab Emirates said after the meeting that he had spoken with the...

Australian bishop denies supporting same-sex unions

An Australian Catholic bishop has issued a statement denying that he supported same-sex unions in a public lecture. In a response to what he characterized as "misinterpretatin of the...

Canadian bishops: no change in policy on Communion for divorced/remarried

The Catholic bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories in Canada have issued new guidelines for priests regarding the pastoral care of divorced and remarried Catholics, saying that those who...

Released Friday, Sep. 16

USCCB committee chair: overcome partisanship, heed Catholic teaching on migration

As heads of state prepare for a September 19 UN meeting on migrants and refugees, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration has called upon Catholics to “overcome the...

We have dignity because we are children of God, Pope tells biblical scholars

Pope Francis received members of the Italian Biblical Association on September 15 and referred to the theme of the association’s meeting, “Let us be human beings … male and...

Nuncios gather in Rome, discuss gender, Islam

106 of the 108 nuncios and other papal diplomatic representatives gathered in Rome on September 15 for three days of meetings as part of the extraordinary jubilee of mercy. On September 15, Msgr....

Catholic-Orthodox dialogue focuses on synodality, primacy

The Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church began an eight-day meeting on September 15. The meeting, hosted by the Archdiocese of...

Buddhist leader meets with Pope

Pope Francis received the leader of Tendai Buddhism in a September 16 audience, according to the Holy See Press Office. Koei Morikawa, 91, became the 257th Tendai Buddhist head priest in 2015....

Pope receives leading Russian Orthodox official

Pope Francis received Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, in audience on September 15. According to the...

Mercy should guide all pastoral work, Pope tells new bishops

Speaking to newly appointed bishops on September 16, Pope Francis said: “The most precious richness you can bring from Rome at the beginning of your episcopal ministry is the awareness of...

Papal condolences on death of Italy's former President Ciampi

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Italy's Senate, mourning the death of the country's former prime minister and president, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.  Ciampi-- who was...

Archbishop Chaput: 'exhausted' US political system needs spiritual renewal

In a major address on American political affairs, Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput lamented that this year's presidential election features "two such deeply flawed"...

Guam: deacon calls for timely investigation of abuse charges against archbishop

Deacon Steve Martinez, who in the past was responsible for responding to sex-abuse complaints for the Catholic Church in Guam, has voiced concern that charges against Archbishop Anthony Apuron have...

Bishops challenge president to protect Christians in northern Nigeria

Saying that Christians face a "hurricane of violence" in northern Nigeria, the country's Catholic bishops have appealled to President Muhmmadu Buhari to renounce...

Filipino bishops condemn extra-judicial killings as death-squad violence mounts

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have issued a strong statement condemning the extra-judicial killings of drug addicts and dealers as "sins that harm the dignity of the human...

Released Monday, Sep. 19

Have compassion on refugees, Pope tells Jesuit alumni

Pope Francis encouraged members of the European Confederation of the World Union of Jesuit Alumni and Alumnae to follow the example of the late Jesuit superior general Father Pedro Arrupe (1907-91)...

Pope addresses nuncios on dealings with governments, selection of bishops

Pope Francis met with the Holy See’s apostolic nuncios and other pontifical representatives and urged them to “be a true expression of an outbound Church, a ‘field...

Pope thanks Vatican police on 200th anniversary

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on September 18 for 200th anniversary of the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City. In his homily, the Pope the Vatican police and...

Pope Francis: choose the Gospel, not the spirit of the world

During his September 18 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis challenged the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to make a clear choice for the Gospel rather than the spirit of the...

Italian widow beatified

An Italian widow and mother of seven was beatified in her hometown of Codrongianos, Sardinia, on September 17. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Pope appeals for prayers for peace on September 20

Following his September 18 Angelus address, Pope Francis asked the faithful to join him in praying for peace on September 20, as he travels to Assisi. “I will go to Assisi for the prayer...

Pope visits neonatal unit, hospice

As part of his “mercy Friday” initiative during the jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis visited a hospital and a hospice on September 16. In the morning, the Pope visited the...

Belgium reports first euthanasia of teenager

Authorities in Belgium have reported the legal death by euthanasia of a minor. Euthanasia is legal in Belgium, and in 2014 the country's law was amended to allow for euthanasia of children...

Apostolic administrator seeks removal of Guam's Archbishop Apuron

An apostolic administrator is calling for the removal of Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, in the face of multiple complaints of sexual abuse. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who was...

Father Gabriele Amorth, outspoken exorcist, dead at 91

Father Gabriele Amorth, the world's most famous exorcist, died in Rome on September 16 at the age of 91. Father Amorth, who had served as official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome (he was...

Miracle of St. Januarius repeated in Naples

The blood of St. Januarius liquefied on September 19, his feast day, in the repetition of a familiar miracle in Naples, Italy. St. Januarius, who was martyred during the persecutions of...

Regensburg address of Benedict XVI was prophetic: Cardinal Müller

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the Regensburg address of Pope Benedict XVI was "prophetic," in a speech to...

No injuries as man drives through police barrier in St. Peter's Square

An emotionally disturbed man crashed his car through barriers in St. Peter's Square on Friday evening, September 16, but was quickly apprehended by Vatican police. The man, who was not...

Syrians suspicious of US motives, says Syrian bishop

Bishop George Abu Khazen of Aleppo reports that residents of the Syrian city are extremely skeptical of American intentions, particularly after a US air strike reportedly killed 90 Syrian government...

Lay member quietly resigned from papal abuse commission

A 2nd lay member has left the special papal commission on sexual abuse, the National Catholic Reporter has disclosed. Claudio Papale, a canon-law professor at the Pontifical Urbaniana, has...

Russian Orthodox official: Eastern-rite Catholics are obstacles to ecumenical unity

Speaking on September 16 at a meeting of a joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission, the chief ecumenical officer of the Russian Orthodox Church said that the activity of the...

Root causes of migrant crisis are man-made, says Cardinal Parolin

Speaking to a UN summit meeting on refugees and migrants, the Vatican's Secretary of State said that the greatest challenge for world leaders is "to identify and act on the root causes that...

Former Irish president backs challenge to Church teaching on contraception

Ireland's former President Mary McAleese has thrown her support behind a statement by a group of Catholic academicians, challenging the Church's teaching on contraception. McAleese...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 20

USCCB committee chairs: Catholic teaching on nature of marriage cannot change

The chairmen of the US bishops’ Committees on Doctrine and on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have issued a joint statement affirming the immutability of Catholic teaching on the nature...

Vatican newspaper mourns Belgian euthanasia victim

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page column lamenting the first reported death of a Belgian teenager from euthanasia. The column’s author, Ferdinando Cancelli, discussed his...

Russian Orthodox official renews criticism of Ukrainian Catholics

A leading Russian Orthodox official has renewed his criticism of Ukraine’s Eastern-rite Catholics. Days after characterizing Eastern Catholics as obstacles to Christian unity, Metropolitan...

Caritas criticizes Calais wall proposal

Caritas Social Action Network. the social action arm of the Church in England and Wales, has criticized the British government’s proposal to build a wall to keep migrants in Calais, France,...

Nuncios appeal for peace

Following a three-day meeting in Rome, the Holy See’s nuncios and pontifical representatives issued an appeal for peace. The nuncios asked world leaders to “work harder and more...

Pope Francis: ‘I keep dreaming of a new European humanism’

In a message to a European bishops’ meeting in Sarajevo, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of the works of mercy. “To contribute to the rebirth of Europe, the Church, as a caring...

Australian bishops speak out against 'ageism'

The Australian Catholic bishops' conference has issued a statement decrying "ageism" and calling for "renewed solidarity among generations, young and old." The...

Two Mexican priests kidnapped, killed

Two Mexican priests were kidnapped and murdered in the state of Veracruz on September 18. The two priests, Fathers Alejo Nabor Jimenes Juarez and Joe Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz, were seized on...

Cardinal Parolin to participate in Colombia peace conference

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has agreed to participate in a ceremony marking the peace accord between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces...

South African bishops appalled by deaths attributed to health-care cost cuts

The Catholic bishops of South Africa has decried the deaths of 36 psychiatric patients who had been removed from a care facility because of budget shortages. The bishops said that it was...

Over 500 scholars affirm Church teaching on contraception

More than 500 scholars have signed a statement of support for the Catholic Church's teaching on contraception. At a press conference held at the Catholic University of America on September...

'God's name is peace,' world religious leaders affirm at Assisi day of prayer

Pope Francis joined 400 religious leaders in an interfaith prayer service for peace at Assisi on September 20, marking the 30th anniversary of the historic event organized by St. John Paul...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 21

USCCB welcomes day of prayer for abuse survivors

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed Pope Francis’s call for episcopal conferences to designate a day of prayer for survivors of sexual abuse. The...

Prelate: 1/3 of priests have left Damascus

A Syrian archbishop has told Aid to the Church in Need that “one in three priests has chosen to leave Damascus towards more peaceful countries.” Discussing the grave problems facing...

Priest: fabric of family life being shaken in India

Many of India’s Catholic families face challenges from alcoholism and lack of prayer, according to executive secretary of the family commission of the nation’s Latin-rite...

Strive for holiness, cardinal tells new bishops

The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops celebrated Mass with bishops who have been named during the past year and called upon them to “make a total sacrifice of themselves all the way to...

Pope Francis: be merciful as the Father is merciful

Continuing his series of weekly addresses devoted to mercy, Pope Francis reflected on Luke 6:36-68 during his September 21 general audience. “We are reminded of our call to be merciful even...

Papal appeal for Alzheimer’s patients

Following his September 21 general audience, Pope Francis issued an appeal for Alzheimer’s patients. Recalling that September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day, the Pope asked the faithful...

Archbishop of Canterbury: 'our worship is diminished' by lack of Christian unity

Speaking on September 20 at the interfaith prayer service in Assisi, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that because of the lack of unity among Christians "our worship is...

Cardinal Parolin, in UN meetings, highlights role of religious leaders in fighting extremism

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, spoke on the responsibility of religious leaders to combat intolerance, and to provide education against extremism, in two separate September...

Vatican confirms authority of bishop abducted by Chinese officials

The Vatican has confirmed that Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin has become the Bishop of Wenzhou, following the death of Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang. Bishop Zhu died earlier this month, at the age of 90,...

Roman rumor: new drive to allow married priests?

A meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Claudio Hummes has touched off speculation that the Pope might support a move to allow the ordination of married men as priests. Cardinal...

Threats force cancellation of Australian conference by marriage supporters

A conference organized by Australian Christian groups to discuss opposition to same-sex marriage was cancelled because "threats of violence" received by the staff of the hotel where the...

Slain Mexican priests knew assailants, prosecutor says

A Mexican prosecutor has said that two priest who were found dead in the state of Veracruz were acquainted with their assailants, and were meeting socially with them before the crime. Father...

Released Thursday, Sep. 22

USCCB report highlights plight of Southeast Asia’s refugees

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration & Refugee Services office has issued a report on the situation of refugees in Southeast Asia, some of whom are victims of human...

Syria: Kurdish soldiers loot Christian homes; archbishop escapes death

Kurdish forces fired bullets into the home of a Syrian Catholic archbishop as part of a campaign of intimidation against Christians. Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, who is based in the...

Suspects arrested in murder of Nigerian priest

Nigerian police have arrested four suspects in the murder of Father John Adeyi. Father Adeyi, the vicar general of the Diocese of Otukpo, was kidnapped on April 24. His decomposed body was...

Archbishop Cupich: dialogue with Muslims more important than ever

There is an “urgent need to cultivate positive dialogue” with Muslims, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago said in a statement. The prelate, who serves as co-chairman of the National...

Zambia: bishops criticize establishment of government religion ministry

Zambia’s bishops have joined the Protestant Council of Churches in Zambia in criticizing the government’s decision to establish a Ministry of National Guidance and Religious...

Coptic Orthodox leader urges support for Sisi

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church called upon Coptic Christians in the United States to show their support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as he traveled to New York for a UN...

Report truths, do not spread fears, Pope says to journalists

Journalists should be motivated by love of the truth, professionalism, and respect for human dignity, Pope Francis said in a September 22 address. Speaking to members of Italy's Naiotnal...

Formal statutes approved for Vatican's new Communications Secretariat

Pope Francis has approved statutes for the Secretariat for Communications, the new Vatican office that has been created to coordinate and streamline the media operations of the Holy See. The...

Orthodox-Catholic commission reaches agreement on primacy

A joint Catholic-Orthodox theological commission has approved a statement on the primacy in Church history. The statement-- which covered the questions of both synodal government and primacy in...

Inter-faith dialogue thwarts extremists, says apostolic administrator of Jerusalem

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the apostolic administator of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has underlined the importance of inter-religious dialogue as a means of combatting...

Bishop Olmsted: Amoris Laetitia does not mean Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has announced that Catholics who are divorced and remarried should not receive the Eucharist. Writing in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Olmsted said...

Clinton, Trump invited to NY Catholic Charities fundraiser

Both leading American presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have been invited to speak at the annual fundraising dinner for Catholic Charities in New York, archdiocesan...

Archbishop Gerety, world's oldest bishop, dead at 104

Archbishop Peter Gerety, the retired Archbishop of Newark, died on September 20 at a nursing home in New Jersey. Archbishop Gerety, who led the Newark archdiocese from 1974 until his retirement...

Another Mexican priest kidnapped

Another Mexican Catholic priest has been kidnapped, and his fate remains unknown, just a few days after two priests were murdered in the state of Veracruz. Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia...

At UN, Cardinal Parolin outlines Vatican 'foreign policy'

In a September 22 address to the UN General Assembly, the Vatican's Secretary of State offered an overview of the Holy See's concerns about world affairs. Cardinal Pietro Parolin opened...

Released Friday, Sep. 23

Trump campaign forms Catholic advisory group

The Donald Trump presidential campaign has announced the formation of a Catholic advisory group. Members include Sen. Rick Santorum, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, and Father Frank Pavone of Priests...

Attack on Catholic church in Aleppo

A Syriac Catholic church in Aleppo has suffered damage from rocket and mortar fire. The Free Syrian Army, a rebel coalition group, attacked the church recently in violation of a cease-fire,...

Charlotte bishop calls for prayer following violence

Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte has issued a statement on the violence and looting that has taken place in the North Carolina city following the fatal shooting of an African-American man by an...

Chaldean synod begins and ends

The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church began a week-long synod in Erbil, Iraq, on September 22. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told AsiaNews that the synod would examine the situation in the...

Philippine cardinal at Assisi: Islamist terrorists are ‘practical atheists’

Members of the Philippine Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf are “practical atheists” whose actions manifest a “denial of God,” a Philippine cardinal said during the recent...

Vatican becomes signatory of anti-corruption treaty

On September 19, the Vatican City State became a signatory of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, a 2003 anti-corruption treaty signed by 140 nations. In adhering to the treaty, the...

China plans new restrictions on religious groups

The Chinese government has proposed strict new rules to regulate the activities of religious organizations, emphasizing that they must "not be controlled by foreign forces." Expanding...

New Vatican rules for testing miracles in causes for canonization

The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints has announced has issued new rules governing the medical boards that investigate reported miracles in connection with the causes of candidates...

Canadian archbishop accepts award from dissident group FutureChurch

A Canadian archbishop has agreed to accept an award from the dissident Catholic group "FutureChurch." Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, will be honored by...

Polish bishops reject campaign by gay-right activists

The Catholic bishops of Poland have spoken out against a drive by homosexual activists to gain greater acceptance. The gay-rights campaign, organized around the theme, "Let's exchange a...

Catholic bishops suspend involvement in 'national dialogue' talks in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have announced that they are backing away temporarily from involvement in national dialogue on elections, as tensions mount in the...

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