Stories for August 2017

Released Wednesday, Aug. 2

Pope links Marian devotion, missionary spirit

In a message to a Brazilian Catholic youth gathering, Pope Francis linked Marian devotion with a missionary spirit. “In the midst of daily uncertainties and insecurities and in the midst of...

Archbishop: Trump failed to address essence of transgender issue

The Archbishop for the Military Services has issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that persons who identify themselves as transgender will not be...

2.5 million Russians venerated St. Nicholas’ relics; patriarch thanks Pope

As the relics of St. Nicholas left Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate announced that over 2.5 million Russians venerated the relics during their nine weeks in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Russian...

Pontiff resumes general audiences, reflects on baptism as gate of hope

Resuming his Wednesday general audiences following a month-long hiatus, Pope Francis devoted his August 2 audience to baptism as the gate of hope. “In our continuing catechesis on Christian...

India: prelate calls for continued advocacy on behalf of dalits

An Indian archbishop called for continued advocacy on behalf of members of the lower dalit castes, formerly known as untouchables. Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, SJ, the apostolic administrator...

Patriarch sees youth festival as ‘restart’ of Church in Iraq

550 Chaldean Catholic youth gathered for a festival in Alqosh, a Christian town in northern Iraq that was on the border of ISIS territory during the height of its power. Addressing the youth on...

Date America’s founding from appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, suggests Archbishop Gomez

The founding of the Americas should be dated from the time of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles said in an address to the Napa...

Indian cardinal: ‘Forced conversions do not exist’

New legislation that would impose criminal penalties for forcible conversions in India’s Jharkhand state would be irrelevant to Christians, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi told the...

First-ever Christian woman elected as mayor of Iraqi town

Lara Yussif Zara has been chosen as mayor of Algosh, a small town in Iraq’s Nineveh Plains region. The unanimous selection of the city council, She is the first Christian woman ever to hold...

Pope meets with German soccer squad

Pope Francis met on August 2 with members of Borussia Mönchengladbach soccer squad. The Pontiff thanked the powerful German squad for arranging occasional friendly games with a team made up...

Archbishop stung by criticism of spider-on-cathedral show

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa has expressed regret that some Catholics were offended to see pictures of a giant robotic spider on the roof of the city’s cathedral. The spider...

Malawi’s government praises Catholic media outlets

The government of Malawi welcomes the work of Catholic media outlets and will work cooperatively with them, the government’s information minister says. Nicholas Dausi, a Catholic,...

Vatican forms international group to fight corruption, organized crime

The Vatican’s dicastery for Integral Human Development has formed an international group to fight against corruption and organized crime. The new initiative, which will be launched in...

Released Thursday, Aug. 3

Asian Youth Day begins

Two thousand Catholic youth from across Asia gathered at a convention center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to take part in the 7th Asian Youth Day, an initiative of the Federation of Asian...

USCCB: ‘strong opposition’ to RAISE Act

Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, announced his strong opposition to the Reforming American Immigration...

Iranian Christian convert released from prison

Maryam Naghash Zargaran, an Iranian Muslim who converted to Christianity, has been released from a Tehran prison. An Iranian judge had sentenced her for acts “in line with England and...

Vatican newspaper welcomes Jordanian vote on rape law

The lower house of Jordan’s parliament has voted to abolish a 1960 law allowing rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. In an unsigned front-page article,...

Catholic organizations: be open to Venezuelans fleeing oppression

A coalition of over a dozen Catholic organizations and religious orders that serve migrants and refugees has called upon people and governments in Latin America to be open to Venezuelans who are...

Philippine bishops launch anti-trafficking initiative

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has announced the formation of an anti-human trafficking coalition. The coalition, which is named Cnaht (Catholic Church Against...

Jubilee year of Portiuncula indulgence concludes

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi on August 2 to celebrate the closing Mass of the 800th...

Mexican priest, stabbed on altar in May, pronounced dead

A Mexican priest who was stabbed by an assailant after celebrating Mass at the Mexico City cathedral on May 15 is now considered brain-dead, the Mexico City archdiocese has announced. Father...

Lebanese bishops urge plans to help Syrian refugees return

The Maronite Catholic bishops have called for a “global plan” to help refugees from Syria return to their homes, saying that their continued presence in Lebanon is straining that...

Pope sends greetings, thanks to Knights of Columbus

Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting to leaders of the Knights of Columbus, who are meeting in St. Louis this week at their 135th annual convention. In his message—conveyed in a...

Released Friday, Aug. 4

Papal letter to Japanese interfaith meeting encourages prayer for peace

Pope Francis has sent a letter to participants in the 30th annual interfaith prayer meeting on Mount Hiei in Kyoto, Japan. The meeting concludes on August 6, the anniversary of the dropping of...

Maronite bishops call for global plan to bring Syrian refugees home

The bishops of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern church in full communion with the Holy See, called for a global plan to repatriate Syrian refugees. At least a million Syrians have fled to...

Cardinal comments on book on reparative therapy

Writing on Twitter on August 1, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa, described Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach by the late Joseph Nicolosi (1947-2017)...

Report: Vatican closed 8 churches in Baghdad

International Christian Concern, an organization that advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians, reported that the Vatican recently ordered the closure of eight churches in Baghdad. The...

14.5 million Christians remain in Middle East

The Christian population in nine Middle Eastern states is 14,526,000, down from 14,740,000 in 2010, according to a report published by the Vatican newspaper. The total population of Cyprus,...

Cardinal calls on President Trump to fulfill promise to end HHS mandate

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon President Donald Trump to fulfill his promises to end the HHS mandate. “After meeting with President Trump in...

Vatican opposes Venezuelan government’s plan for new constitution

The Vatican has issued a statement urging the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to abandon its plans to install a new National Assembly and rewrite the country’s...

Retired Phoenix Bishop O’Brien accused of sexual abuse

Bishop Thomas O’Brien, the retired head of the Phoenix, Arizona diocese, has been accused of sexual abuse. The bishop denies the charge. Bishop O’Brien resigned in 2003 after he...

‘Gene editing’ poses threat of eugenics, ethicist warns

The director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in England has raised the alarm about recent experiments in “genetic editing” of human embryos, saying that the procedure involves the...

Vatican to host another population-control panel

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has announced plans for another conference on climate change, at which several noted proponents of population control will speak. The conference on...

African archbishop will boycott Anglican conference, citing discord on homosexuality

The Anglican archbishop of Uganda has announced that he will not attend a conference of Anglican leaders in October, because of sharp disagreements on issues of sexuality. Archbishop Stanley...

‘Pope loves China,’ visiting prelate tells Beijing audience

“Pope Francis loves China and loves the people of China,” Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo told an audience in Beijing. The comment by the president of the Pontifical Academy of...

Released Monday, Aug. 7

Transfiguration is focus of Pope’s Sunday audience

The feast of the Transfiguration “offers a message of hope” for the faithful, Pope Francis said at his Angelus audience on Sunday, August 6. The Transfiguration, which the Church...

Cameroon: bishop was killed for opposing gay clerics, priest charges

Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Bala of Bafia, Cameroon, was murdered because he opposed homosexuals in the clergy, according to a leading priest in his diocese. At a memorial Mass for the deceased...

Kurdish leader urges Christian support for independence effort

Christians will be “protected at all levels” in an independent Kurdistan, the leader of a Kurdish independence movement in the Iraqi region has promised. Masud Barzani, the president...

Keep priests safe, bishop asks laity in troubled Congo diocese

A bishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo has appealed to young Catholics to “keep their priests safe” in a region torn by violence. At an August 5 Mass in the cathedral of the...

Puerto Rican religious leaders thank Congress for debt-relief legislation

Christian leaders in Puerto Rico have sent a message of thanks to the US Congress for approving legislation to restructure the debt of the island’s government. In their message the Church...

Deadly gunfire at Nigerian Catholic church

Gunmen burst into a Catholic church in Nigeria’s Ekwusigo state on Sunday, August 6, killing at least eleven people and wounding many others. State police initially reported that eight...

Papal message to Church in Peru

Pope Francis has sent a video message to the Church in Peru, where he will be visiting next January. The Pope’s message—released on the web site of Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne...

Italian Cardinal Tettamanzi dead at 83

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the retired Archbishop of Milan, died on August 5 at the age of 83. Ordained to the priesthood in Milan in 1957, the future cardinal was a seminary instructor in the...

Pope prays at tomb of Paul VI on anniversary of death

On August 6, the anniversary of death of Bl. Paul VI, Pope Francis visited the crypt of the Vatican basilica to pray at the tomb of his predecessor. Pope Paul VI led the Church from 1963 until...

Papal message to Asian Youth Day

Pope Francis sent a video greeting to participants in the 7th Asian Youth Day, which closed on Sunday in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In his mesage—which was conveyed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin,...

Pope to visit Myanmar in November?

Pope Francis will visit Myanmar in November, according to Church sources there. The Vatican has made no announcement about the prospect of a papal trip to the Asian country. But the...

Michigan priest charged with embezzling funds; over $1 million missing from parish

A Catholic priest who has been embezzling funds a parish in Michigan is asking the court to release $800,000 that was seized by police during the investigation into his alleged crime. Father...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 8

Papal condolences following attack on Nigerian parish

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a telegram of condolence in the Pope’s name to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi, Nigeria, following an attack on...

Maduro rips Vatican statement against constitution rewrite

Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s socialist president, strongly criticized a recent Vatican statement opposing his government’s plan to rewrite the nation’s...

Court rules against pro-life organization in HHS mandate case

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Real Alternatives, a Pennsylvania pro-life organization, is not exempt from the HHS mandate because it is not a house of worship. The...

Protestant pastor jailed in Tajikistan

The pastor of a Protestant church in Khujand, Tajikistan, has been sentenced to three years in prison. Secret police detained Bakhrom Kholmatov in April and tortured members of his congregation,...

Inaccurate reporting on Bible and Canaanites

A study on the genetic overlap between ancient Canaanites and modern Lebanese demonstrates that the Bible is inaccurate in recounting that the Israelites destroyed the Canaanites, according to...

Indian nun wins international AIDS nursing award

An Indian nun who is director of nursing at a hospital and principal of a nursing college will receive the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care’s Excellence in Global HIV Nursing...

Philippines: prelate welcomes free tuition at state colleges

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law granting free tuition to students at all of the nation’s state colleges and universities. Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the bishops’...

75th anniversary of martyrdom of St. Edith Stein

August 9 marks the 75th anniversary of martyrdom of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), the German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite...

Governing council named for Pontifical Academy for Life

Pope Francis has named a six-member governing council for the Pontifical Academy for Life, completing his thorough revamping of that institution. The new members—who were appointed on May...

Minnesota archdiocese: proposed bankruptcy settlement would destroy Church work

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has lodged strong objections to a new plan for reorganizing the archdioesan finances. The plan was submitted by creditors in a contentious bankrupcty...

Korean religious leaders plead for peace

As political tensions mount on the Korean peninsula, religious leaders held an inter-religious ceremony in Seongju to mark the end of the Korean war and to plead for peace today. “The...

Orthodox prelate protests sale of property in Jerusalem to Jewish settlers

An Orthodox prelate in Jerusalem has blasted an Israeli court decision allowing Jewish settlers to purchase properties near the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Archbishop Atallah Hanna said that...

Scottish archbishop predicts greater hostility to faith in US

Addressing priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, Scotland, said that American Catholics should learn from the problems facing the Church in Great Britain....

Released Wednesday, Aug. 9

Christians in India decry mounting violence, discrimination

A group of academics and other prominent Christians in India has decried growing discrimination and violence against non-Hindus and Dalits, the members of the caste once known as...

Asian Catholic youth pledge to witness to faith amid challenges

Participants in the 7th Asian Youth Day issued a final statement in which they pledged to witness to their faith amid challenges, including “consumerism, addictions, and loss of our own...

Report: massacre at Nigerian parish was drug-related

The recent shooting attack on a Nigerian parish was drug related, according to a report from the Fides news agency. Twelve persons were killed and over 20 wounded in the attack on St. Philip...

‘Pope congratulates, blesses gay couple’

Some gay activists claimed a papal blessing on their lifestyle after a Brazilian man received a standard form letter from a Vatican official. Toni Reis, general secretary of the Brazilian...

Brazilian bishop describes homosexuality as ‘gift from God’

During a recent homily, a Brazilian bishop characterized homosexuality as a “gift from God” and lamented “prejudices that kill.” “If it is not a choice, if it is not...

18 NY parishes may be sold or leased

Eighteen closed New York parishes may soon be sold or leased, potentially bringing hundreds of millions of dollars of income to the Archdiocese of New York. In separate June 30 decrees, Cardinal...

God’s mercy is ‘driving force’ of Christian hope, Pope says at general audience

Continuing his weekly catechetical addresses on Christian hope, Pope Francis reflected on God’s mercy as the source of hope. “We now consider God’s mercy as the driving force of...

Pope orders Belgian Catholic hospitals to end euthanasia

Pope Francis has ordered Belgian psychiatric hospitals run by the Brothers of Charity to cease offering euthanasia. The Brothers of Charity, who operate 15 hospitals in Belgium, disclosed in May...

‘Hate crime’ charge against Spanish archbishop dismissed

A Spanish court has dismissed a complaint against Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez of Granada, who had been accused of “hate crime” after he delivered a sermon against gender...

Papal trip to Russia in planning stage?

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has said that he hopes to lay the foundation for a papal visit to Russia when he visits Moscow later this month. Cardinal Parolin told the...

Papal pleas for peace in Nigeria, Central African Republic

Pope Francis asked for prayers for peace in the Central African Republic, and repeated his expression of sympathy for the attack on a Catholic church in Nigeria, at the close of his regular weekly...

Vatican reaching tacit accord with Beijing on appointment of bishops?

A Vatican official has suggested that although the Holy See has been unable to reach an agreement with the Chinese government about the appointment of Catholic bishops, an unspoken agreement is...

Indonesian bishop under investigation for financial, sexual misconduct

The Vatican has ordered an investigation into complaints that a bishop in Indonesia has used church funds to support a mistress. Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng is the focus of the...

Released Thursday, Aug. 10

Nigerian bishops emphasize Marian devotion, liturgical norms

The bishops of southwestern Nigeria have issued a statement highlighting the importance of Marian devotion and adherence to liturgical norms. “The message of repentance, reconciliation and...

Venezuelan prelate: ‘every day we feel a greater oppression’

The vice president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference denounced the violence and “voracious corruption” of the regime of President Nicolás Maduro and called for an...

Central African Republic bishop: ‘they are cutting the throats of men and children’

A Spanish missionary bishop in the Central African Republic said that militants associated with Muslim-dominated Séléka rebel group sacked the Catholic mission in the village of...

Russian patriarch: Soviet persecution was ‘hardest page’ in Church’s history

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, paid tribute to his predecessor, Patriarch Sergius I, who governed the Church from 1925 to 1944. Ninety years ago, Patriarch...

Missionary priest has made 50 trips to North Korea

The Knights of Columbus recently honored an 83-year-old Maryknoll priest who has made over 50 trips to North Korea to treat tuberculosis patients. Father Gerard E. Hammond, who lives in South...

Cardinal Burke: Amoris Laetitia is not authoritative teaching

Cardinal Raymond Burke repeated that Amoris Laetitia is not a magisterial document, in an address in Louisville, Kentucky. The American cardinal observed that Pope Francis has often chosen not to...

Aid groups rush to repair Iraqi Christian homes in Nineveh Plains before school opens

Christian families and relief agencies are rushing to rebuild homes in Iraq’s Nineveh Valley region, to allow families to return in time for the opening of the school year. In the town of...

Priest of small religious order chosen as rector of Rome seminary

Pope Francis has chosen a priest of a small religious order devoted to poverty to be rector of Rome’s dioesan seminary. Father Gabriele Faraghini, of the Little Brothers of Jesus, was...

Italian bishop embraces new role as missionary priest in Honduras

An Italian bishop has resigned his diocesan responsibilities to become a missionary priest in Honduras. Bishop Gianfranco Todisco of Melfi-Rapolla-Venosa submitted his resignation in April at...

Eritrean priest faces charges in Italy for helping illegal immigrants

A priest from Eritrea has been charged by an Italian prosecutor with promoting illegal immigration: a charge that the priest denies. Father Mussie Zerai heads an organization called Habeshia,...

Brazilian archbishop robbed at gunpoint

Archbishop Antonio Muniz Fernandes of Maceio, Brazil, was robbed by a gunman at his residence on August 5. Three armed men approached the archbishop and two companions in the early morning, held...

Priest shortage growing despite ‘Francis effect’

The number of men studying for the Catholic priesthood has dropped during the pontificate of Pope Franics, notes Vatican journalist Marco Tosatti in an analysis for First Things. The number of...

Released Friday, Aug. 11

Cardinal urges Rosary for peace, calls on North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons

As tensions between North Korea and the United States escalate, the cardinal archbishop of Seoul, South Korea, called upon the faithful to pray the Rosary for peace. “The Virgin Mary urged...

Pakistan’s leaders pay tribute to nun who served lepers

A German nun whose life of service to lepers has been compared to Mother Teresa’s died on August 10 at the age of 87. Born in 1929, Sister Ruth Pfau escaped Soviet-occupied East Germany and...

Argentina: bishops oppose nuclear power plant

The bishops of Patagonia, the southernmost region of Argentina, have announced their opposition to the construction of a Beijing-financed nuclear power plant at an unannounced location in Rio Negro...

Bishop charges UN troops with complicity in Central African Republic massacre

A Spanish missionary bishop in the Central African Republic said that militants of the Muslim-dominated Séléka rebel group were able to massacre 50 civilians in the village of Gambo on...

Catholic church in Somaliland reopens, then closes

A Catholic church in Somaliland reopened after 30 years on July 29 but was closed a week later under pressure from the local Muslim population. Somaliland is a de facto independent region within...

Venezuelan bishops demand that regime ‘stop the witch hunt,’ respect human rights

The Venezuelan bishops’ justice and peace commission decried the inhumane treatment of political and other prisoners and demanded that the Maduro regime respect human rights guaranteed by the...

USCCB awards nearly $1.4M to Church in Africa

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants to 54 pastoral projects there. “Our brothers and...

Northern Ireland: government will fight to retain restrictive abortion law

First Minister Arlene Foster of Northern Ireland has said that her government will do “everything in its power” to prevent liberalization of abortion laws. Foster pledged to...

Colombian rebels plan ceasefire for papal visit

Rebel leaders of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia have said that they hope to reach a ceasefire agreement with the country’s government for the September visit by Pope...

Japanese bishops caution politicians on Korea, pray for peace

Japanese bishops have called for ten days of prayer for peace, and criticized politicians for inflammatory language regarding the threat of war with North Korea. Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of...

China continues coercive family-planning measures, despite end of ‘one-child’ policy

Although the Chinese government has formally discontinued its brutal one-child policy, forced abortions continue, the Population Research Institute (PRI) has found. A PRI investigation discovered...

Released Monday, Aug. 14

Pope Francis: faith sustains our journey but does not exempt us from trials

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mt. 14:22-33), in which Christ asks St. Peter to walk on water, Pope Francis said in his August 13 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video) that...

Central African Republic: leading imam backs bishop’s assessment of UN troops’ complicity in massacre

The leading Muslim cleric in the Central African Republic has lent credence to a bishop’s charge that UN peacekeeping troops turned a blind eye to the massacre of civilians by Islamist...

US bishops condemn ‘abhorrent acts of hatred’ in Charlottesville

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued two separate statements denouncing the violence surrounding the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this...

Eastern Catholic patriarchs urge international action on genocide of Christians in Middle East

Concluding a meeting in Dimane, Lebanon, the patriarchs of the Eastern churches in communion with Rome have issued a “prophetic appeal” warning agains a “plan of genocide”...

Guam’s Catholics pray for peace as North Korea threatens

On the overwhelmingly Catholic island of Guam, residents prayed for peace as they faced the threat of a missile attack by North Korea. North Korea has indicated that it plans to fire a missile...

FBI raids Catholic Worker house in Des Moines in search of pipeline sabotage evidence

About 30 agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided a Catholic Worker house in Des Moines, Iowa on August 11, in connection with an investigation into sabotage of an oil...

Korean bishops appeal for peace, counsel prudence

The Catholic bishops of Korea have made an appeal for peace, decrying “unreasonable provocations” by North Korea and urging prudence. The bishops argue that in the face of aggressive...

Australian commission recommends ending legal protection of confessional seal

A royal commission investigating child abuse in Australia is recommending that state laws be changed to require priests to report confessions of abuse. The recommendation from the Royal...

Two Chinese ‘underground’ bishops, veterans of prison camps, have died

Two elderly bishops of China’s “underground” Catholic Church—both of whom had served years in prison camps—died this past weekend. Bishop Sylvester Li Jiantang, the...

French archbishop admits ‘inadequate’ response to abuse complaints

Archbishop Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, has admitted to an “inadequate” response to reports of sexual abuse by a priest of his archdiocese. But the archbishop insists that he never...

Crux contributor, editor apologize for ‘convert neurosis’ remarks

Austen Ivereigh, a contributor to the Crux news site, has apologized for a column in which he suggested that some Catholics who entered the Church as adults suffer from a “convert...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 16

For assumption, Pope speaks on power of Mary’s humility

In his Angelus audience on August 15, the feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis spoke on the humility of the Virgin Mary, remarking that “humility is like an emptiness that leaves room for...

Papal prayers for mud-slide victims in Sierra Leone

Pope Francis has offered his prayerful sympathy to the victims of deadly mud slides in Sierra Leone. In a telegram to Archbishop Charles Edward Tamba of Freetown, signed by Cardinal Pietro...

Australian bishops: seal of Confession must be protected

The Australian Catholic bishops have indicated that they will not accept an infringement on the confessional seal. “It is a fundamental part of the freedom of religion, and it is recognized...

Father Sosa: Jesuits’ mission is fostering reconciliation with God, human beings, environment

The superior general of the Society of Jesus said that the Jesuits are called to work for reconciliation “on three levels: with God, with human beings, with the environment.” In an...

New Jersey: judge affirms right of Catholic school to refuse to re-enroll student

A New Jersey judge has affirmed the right of a Catholic school to deny admission to two girls whose parents had twice filed suit against the school’s administration. “The court does...

Bishops ‘very slow to change’ in confronting abuse, says lay leader of Catholic commission

The head of the Australian bishops’ commission on sexual abuse has said that she fears the Church has been only “partially cleansed and unreconstructed” despite months of intense...

Nigerian cardinal: Amoris Laetitia affirmed traditional Church teaching on receiving Holy Communion

A Nigerian cardinal has said that Amoris Laetitia upheld the Church’s traditional teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried cannot receive the Eucharist. Cardinal Jon Onaiyekan...

Prelate praises Uganda’s longtime ruler

A Catholic archbishop has praised Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni for preserving the fragile peace in the African country. At an August 15 Mass at the Queen of Peace shrine in Lweza,...

Jerusalem: Greek Orthodox patriarch decries court decision on sale of Church properties

Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem has condemned the decision of an Israeli court to uphold the sale of properties by his predecessor. Patriarch Irenaios was ousted in 2005 after he...

‘This is the land of Gandhi and Buddha’: India’s prime minister denounces religious violence

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an end to religious violence in a speech marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. “Sometimes in the name of faith,...

Scotland: Church leaders urge action against anti-Catholic hate crimes

Catholic leaders in Scotland are urging government officials to recognize a rising tide of “hate crimes” that target Catholics. Although Catholics account for only about 17% of...

Kenyan bishops plead for peace, fear post-election violence

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have called for calm in the wake of disputed general elections. An independent electoral commission declared on August 11 that incumber President Uhuru Kenyatta had...

Released Thursday, Aug. 17

US State Dept. publishes International Religious Freedom Report; Tillerson highlights ISIS genocide

The US State Department cited the Islamic State as for genocide in its annual report on religious freedom around the world. The report offered critical comments on the practices of many...

Teacher in landmark Philadelphia abuse case released 10 years early

A former teacher at a Catholic school in Philadelphia has been released from prison after a court overturned his conviction on charges of molesting a student. Bernard Shero had been sentenced to...

Melbourne archbishop says he’s prepared to go to jail rather than divulge confessions 

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia said that he would go to jail rather than obey a law requiring him to divulge the contents of a sacramental confession. The archbishop was responding...

Syriac Catholic patriarch laments US invasion of Iraq, Western aid to ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels 

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan of Antioch said that Western support for “moderate” Syrian rebel factions has caused the devastation of the country. “I can...

Indian state of Jharkand passes anti-conversion bill 

Jharkhand was become the 7th state in India to enact legislation to limit religious conversions, despite heavy opposition from religious-freedom advocates. The legislation—which provides...

Over 200 Christians detained in Eritrea since May 

The death of a Christian woman in a prison camp in Eritrea has called attention to the arrests of scores of Christians. More than 200 people have been detained in camps in recent...

Investigator in fetal-parts scandal wins legal battle against university employees 

The man responsible for a series of investigative reports on the involvement of Planned Parenthood with the sale of fetal body parts has won a court victory over researchers who had sought to...

India: Catholics rally against ‘one village, one denomination law’ 

Catholics in a small village in India’s state of Manipur have rallied to protest local officials’ decision that a Catholic who once lived in the village cannot be buried...

Vatican donates to shelters for immigrants on Texas border

The Vatican has donated $175,000 to two centers serving immigrants and refugees in the Rio Grande valley in Texas. Cardinal Blase Supich of Chicago visited Sacred Heart parish in McAllen, Texas...

Trump administration poised to end contraceptive mandate

The Trump administration will soon unveil new regulations that will exempt religious institutions from the “Obamacare” requirement that health-insurance programs must include...

Cardinal Sarah urges faithful to resist ‘revolutionaries’ who attack faith and family

At a memorial Mass honoring the martyrs of the Vendée region in France, Cardinal Robert Sarah challenged Catholics to oppose “the modern persecutors of the Church,” and warned...

Church must clarify papal teaching, Cardinal Burke says

Cardinal Raymond Burke insisted that a clarification of Church teaching on divorce, remarriage, and the Eucharist is “now necessary,” in an interview with the weekly The...

Church in El Salvador establishes Office of Lay Martyrs to honor civil-war victims

The Catholic Church in El Salvador has established an Office of Lay Martyrs, to honor those who were killed during the country’s civil war. “When someone sacrificed his life for...

In foreword for book by abuse victim, Pope Francis repeats pledge to take action

Pope Francis has written a foreword to a new book by a Swiss man who was a victim of clerical abuse. In his foreword for Father I Forgive You, by Daniel Pittet, the Pope refers to sexual abuse as...

Protests follow prison death of Pakistani Christian 

Christians in Pakistan have staged public demonstrations to demand an investigation into the death of a Christian man who died in police custody. Indaryas Ghulam died in prison in Lahore. The...

Catholic Church in Russia recalls victims of Communism 

The secretary-general of the Russian Catholic bishops’ conference has asked Christians in the West to help keep alive the memory of Russian Christians who died under Communist...

Released Friday, Aug. 18

Cardinal Urosa: Venezuelan bishops reject foreign military intervention, whether from US or Cuba 

The Catholic bishops of Venezuela “reject any foreign military interference” despite the country’s critical situation, said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas. After...

Over 1 million people have fled South Sudan for Uganda 

More than 1 million refugees from South Sudan have flooded into Uganda, as the situation in the war-torn African country becomes intolerable. ”Families are escaping a living hell in South...

Pope ‘greatly disturbed’ by Barcelona attack, prays for victims 

Pope Francis has sent a statement of sympathy and a promise of prayers to the victims of terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain. The Pope condemned “such an inhuman act,”...

Cardinal Parolin, Patriarch Kirill won’t discuss papal visit 

When he visits Moscow later this month, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, will not be making plans for a papal visit to Russia, according to a spokesman for the Russian...

Australian prelate urges faithful to vote against same-sex marriage 

An Australian archbishop has urged Catholics to register to vote, in advance of a unusual postal referendum on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth, in a...

Prominent English theologian says canon law should allow for correction of Pontiff

A noted English theologian has proposed amending the Code of Canon Law to include “a procedure for calling to order a Pope who teaches error.” Father Aidan Nichols—a Dominican...

Chinese officials close down Buddhist monk’s crisis-pregnancy center

Chinese officials have closed down a home run by a Buddhist monk to provide for abandoned babies and women in crisis pregnancies. Master Daolu, a successful business executive who became a monk,...

Filipino bishop decries terrorists’ plan to use hostages as suicide bombers

A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has denounced the reported plan of an Islamic terrorist group to force hostages into the role of suicide bombers. Bishop Edwin de la Peña y Angot of...

Papal sympathy for victims of accident on Madeira

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the victims of an accident on the Portuguese island of Madeira. At least 13 people died, and 50 were injured, when a tree fell on a group of...

To help flood victims, Caritas Vietnam avoids government involvement

Catholic relief workers in Vietnam are avoiding involvement with the government in order to deliver supplies to flood victims in the remote Yen Bai province. Bishop Joseph Nguyen Van Yen led a...

Canadian bishops: ‘We cannot accept the unethical way Canadian mining companies have been operating in Latin America ‘ 

The Catholic bishops of Canada have issued a letter condemning “the unethical way Canadian mining companies have been operating in Latin America or other regions of the world.” In a...

Cardinal Medina: no Communion, funeral for pro-abortion politicians without public repentance 

A Chilean cardinal has warned politicians that if they support the legalization of abortion, they must not receive the Eucharist until they make a public act of repentance. In a letter published...

Catholic marriages in Scotland plunge to 1941 level 

A prominent Scottish priest has called for “systematic and intensified preaching and catechesis on marriage,” noting that the number of Catholic marriages in Scotland has dropped to its...

Salesian missionary in Ethiopia has baptized over 7,500 

A Salesian missionary priest has baptized more than 7,500 people in the Ethiopian village where he works. Father Giorgio Pontiggia has been stationed for years in a village outside Gambella....

New Jersey mayor removes Guadalupe shrine from state-owned land 

Mayor Hector Lora of Passaic, New Jersey, has ordered the removal of a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe that was on public property. The shrine had been set up 14 years ago by a local group, which...

Released Monday, Aug. 21

Pope Francis: Canaanite woman shows importance of faith, trust

Reflecting on the Gospel of the day (Mt. 15:21-28), Pope Francis said in his August 20 Angelus address that the Canaanite woman’s “insistence on invoking Christ’s intervention is a...

Vatican Secretary of State, Russian patriarch to discuss Ukraine

A staff member of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for External Church Relations said that Ukraine is on the agenda of Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s upcoming meeting with...

Vatican Observatory bloggers cover eclipse

Bloggers associated with the Vatican Observatory Foundation are covering the solar eclipse taking place in the United States. Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, the director of the Vatican Observatory,...

Pope laments ‘inhuman violence’ of recent terrorist attacks

At the conclusion of his August 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis spoke about recent terrorist attacks. “We carry in our hearts the pain over the terroristic attacks in recent days that have...

Don’t watch life from a balcony, Pope tells Communion and Liberation gathering

In a message signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Pope Francis encouraged participants in Communion and Liberation’s annual summer gathering in Rimini, Italy, not to “watch reality...

Bishop demands end to Mapuche violence against churches

A Chilean bishop called upon radical activists of the indigenous Mapuche people to stop burning down churches, according to a Fides report. Speaking on August 15 at the Marian shrine of Metrenco,...

USCCB: prelate decries Barcelona terrorist attack

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace lamented the August 17 terrorist attack in Barcelona. “Once again, an act of terror has taken more than a...

Societies must support, promote migrants and refugees: papal message

The Vatican has released the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be observed on January 14, 20018. In his message the Pope reminds readers of the keen...

Philippines: bishops protest killing as 76 die in drug raids

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines renewed their appeal for an end to government-sponsored violence after a weekend in which 73 people were killed in raids on suspected drug dealers. The...

Vatican delegate expects Holy See to approve Medjugorje apparitions

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who was sent to Medjugorje by Pope Francis in March to investigate the spiritual welfare of the community, has said that he expects the Holy See to approve the reported...

Papal adviser: critics of Amoris Laetitia guided by ‘intellectual Pelagianism’

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, a close adviser to Pope Francis, has defended Amoris Laetitia, saying that critics of the papal document are guilty of an “intellectual Pelagianism”...

Bolivian bishops rap president’s decision to open tribal land for development

Church leaders in Bolivia have criticized President Evo Morales for signing legislation that will allow development in a national park and in previously protected tribal lands. The lifting of...

Papal greetings for Methodist-Waldensian synod

Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting to leaders of the Methodist and Waldensian churches, who are holding a synod in Turin this week. The Pope promises his prayers for the participants,...

Nigerian archbishop makes plea for obedience in divided diocese

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos has issued a plea to the priests of the troubled Ahiara diocese to accept the authority of Bishop Peter Okpaleke. Bishop Okpaleke, who was appointed by Pope...

Priests who have children must accept responsibilities: Irish bishops

The Catholic bishops of Ireland are calling upon priests who have fathered children to accept their parental responsibilities. In new guidelines—which have not yet been officially been...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 22

Spanish cardinal denounces religious violence

The president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference denounced religious violence following the Islamist terrorist attack in Barcelona that left 14 dead and over 130 injured. “Religion is not...

USCCB: bishop criticizes termination of program for Central American minors

The US bishops are “deeply disappointed” by the Trump administration’s decision to end the 2014 Central American Minors (CAM) parole program, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin...

Leading Russian Orthodox official reflects on liturgical music

In an interview for the 30th anniversary of his episcopal ordination, Metropolitan Hilarion Volokolamsk spoke about the importance of the sacred liturgy and liturgical music. The prelate leads...

10,000 take refuge at cathedral in South Sudan

Ten thousand people fleeing the violence of the South Sudanese civil war have taken refuge in and near the nation’s largest church, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Wau. “Space is at...

English prelate welcomes government report on prisoners’ families

The English bishops’ lead bishop for prisons welcomed the publication of a government report on the importance of prisoners’ families. “I strongly welcome Lord Farmer’s...

Male religious superiors ask Pope Francis for encyclical on nonviolence

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents male religious institutes in the United States, met recently in Arizona and adopted a resolution on nonviolence. The superiors asked...

Prelate discusses employment, migration with EU Council president

As Estonia assumed a six-month presidency over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Estonia’s sole Catholic bishop and a leading official of the EU bishops’ commission...

Vatican Secretary of State meets Russian counterpart

Conflicts in the Middle East and in Ukraine were high on the agenda for an August 22 meeting between Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Russian foreign minister Sergei...

Louisiana court to weigh case involving abuse complaint, confessional seal

A Louisiana judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that revolves around a priest’s refusal to report sexual abuse that was disclosed in a confession. The plaintiff, Rebecca Mayeux, has sued...

Kenya’s bishops welcome legal challenge to election results

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have welcomed a decision by a defeated presidential candidate to challenge the results of the vote. Raila Odigna, who lost the election to incumbent President Uhuru...

Spanish terrorists planned to bomb Sagrada Familia basilica

The Islamic terrorists responsible for two bombings in Spain last week had apparently planned to target the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. According to Spanish media reports, police...

Virginia priest reveals past KKK membership, before change of heart

A Catholic priest in Virginia has taken a leave of absence from ministry after revealing that he was once an active member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Father William Aitcheson repudiated his...

Northern Ireland: court finds no ‘right’ to same-sex marriage

Northern Ireland’s highest court has dismissed the argument that European law requires legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The court rejected arguments that the recognition of same-sex...

Russian Patriarch says Moscow, Vatican agree on crisis in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill said that the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican were close to agreement on the situation in Ukraine, after an August 22 meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the...

Historian sees Catholic involvement in plot to end Nazi Holocaust

In a new book, a Canadian historian suggests that a Swiss Catholic politician and a papal nuncio worked with others to persuade Heinrich Himmler to bring an end to the Nazi campaign to exterminate...

Chilean court upholds bill allowing legal abortion

Chile’s top court has upheld legislation that allows for legal abortion in some circumstances. The court said that a measure allowing for abortion in cases of rape, fetal deformity, or...

Australian archbishop warns Church workers: same-sex marriage may lead to dismissal

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, has warned that Church employees could lose their jobs if they enter into same-sex marriages. “Our teachers, our parish employees are expected...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 23

Theme announced for papal trip to Chile

The Vatican has released the theme and logo for Pope Francis’s four-day apostolic journey to Chile, which begins on January 18. The trip’s theme is “My peace I give you”...

Report: 3 Kenyan Christians killed after refusing to convert to Islam

Members of the jihadist group Al-Shabaab hacked three Kenyan Christians to death after they refused to heed a demand to convert to Islam, according to World Watch Monitor, which reports on the...

Virginia congressman: ‘something bold’ must be done to help Iraq’s Christians

Following a visit to Iraq, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) offered policy recommendations to assist Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. “There is an ever-increasing concern that many of the ethnic...

Nigerian bishops warn of simmering ethnic, regional tensions

Recalling the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70), the bishops of Nigeria have issued “Enough of This Drum Beat of War,” a statement warning that simmering ethnic,...

Paraguayan bishop: ‘there is no justice’ in region

A bishop who ministers in Paraguay’s sparsely populated Chaco region said that the region’s public defenders obtain their positions through political connections, but then choose to work...

Canadian prelate denounces racism following Charlottesville violence

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops offered prayers and expressed condolences to the bishops of the United States following the violence in Charlottesville,...

‘We need fear nothing,’ Burkina Faso bishop says following terrorist attack

Following an August 13 jihadist terrorist attack in Burkina Faso’s capital, a bishop encouraged the Catholic faithful not to be afraid. Preaching at the nation’s largest Marian...

Pontiff reflects on Christian hope and the heavenly Jerusalem

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke about the heavenly Jerusalem in his August 23 address in Paul VI Audience Hall. “We discover in...

Archbishop says Nigerian government should compensate Boko Haram victims

A Nigerian archbishop has argued that the country’s government should provide compensation to the victims of Boko Haram terrorist attacks. Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna said...

Pope prays for Ischia earthquake victims

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on August 23, Pope Francis offered a prayer for the victims of an earthquake that struck the island of Ischia, near Naples, on August...

Venezuela’s Maduro claims fear of US invasion, asks Pope for help

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has charged that the US is preparing to invade his country, and asked Pope Francis to help ward off the threat. “I ask for the Pope’s help against...

Ugandan prelate: push for women’s ordination causing divisions in Catholic Church

Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu, Uganda has called for an end to the drive for the ordination of female Catholic priests, saying that advocates are “bringing a lot of tension into the...

US bishops’ conference forms committee against racism

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has formed an ad hoc committee to combat racism. “Recent events have exposed the extent to which the sin of racism continues to inflict our...

South African cardinal: BBC ‘propaganda’ harms society

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is undermining Christian morality with a consistent propaganda campaign, charges Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa. “Hardly a day...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.