Stories for July 2017

Released Monday, Jul. 3

Archbishop Ladaria named as prefect of Vatican doctrinal congregation

Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer has been appointed by Pope Francis to succeed Cardinal Gerhard Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). A Spanish Jesuit,...

Pope supports parents of Charlie Gard; Trump offers to help

Pope Francis has offered a statement of sympathy for the parents of Charlie Gard, the 10-month-old child who faces death in a London hospital after his parent were denied legal permission to take...

Cardinal Müller: no tension with Pope

Cardinal Müller denied that there had been any conflict between himself and Pope Francis, in an interview with a German newspaper after he was replaced as prefect of the Congregation for the...

Christian discipleship takes precedence over everything else, Pope tells audience

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, July 2, Pope Francis said that for a Christian, “the condition of the disciple requires that one’s relationship with the Master take precedence over...

Lay faithful reject Pope’s demand to acknowledge bishop in Nigerian diocese

Lay Catholics in the troubled Ahiara diocese in Nigeria have said they will not accept the leadership of Bishop Peter Okpaleke, even if the priests of the diocese adhere to a papal demand for...

AP investigation uncovers substandard practices at ‘the Pope’s hospital’

A Vatican-run hospital for children in Rome provided substandard medical treatment for several years as administrators sought to generate profits, according to an investigative report by the...

Pope again calls for negotiated to end to Venezuelan crisis

Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Venezuela during his regular midday audience on Sunday, July 2. “I promise my own prayers for this beloved nation,” the Pope said....

Venezuelan cardinal blasts ‘reprehensible and intolerable’ government policies

The political crisis in Venezuela could be described as a “government war against the people,” Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas said on June 29. Cardinal Urosa condemned the...

World leaders must recognize right to food, Pope tells FAO

In a message of support to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pope Francis called for international recognition of a right to food. The failure of world leaders to make...

Filipino bishop decries vigilante violence, killings of drug suspects

The war against drug traffickers in the Philippines has targeted marginal dealers rather than going after the major drug lords, charges Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan. “If this is...

Chaldean Patriarch regrets emigration of Iraqi Christians

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad has criticized Western countries for encouraging Christians to leave Iraq. In a July 3 message to his clergy, the Iraqi prelate said that...

7 Planned Parenthood centers close in one day

Seven Planned Parenthood facilities closed operations on June 30, as administrators of America’s largest abortion provider regrouped in anticipation of a cut in federal funding. Citing...

Irish clergy concerned by rash of priest-suicides

A rash of suicides among Irish Catholic priests—at least 8 int he past 10 years—has prompted calls for a dedicated helpline for depressed clerics. The Association of Catholic Priests,...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 4

Pope’s July 2017 prayer intention: lapsed Christians

Pope Francis’s prayer intention for July is for lapsed Christians, that “our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayer and witness to the Gospel, may...

Prelate renews criticism of Senate health care bill

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has renewed his criticism of the Senate Republicans’ proposed health care bill, the Better Care...

Germany legalizes same-sex marriage

In a 393-226 parliamentary vote, Germany has legalized same-sex marriage. Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin, responding on behalf of the German bishops’ conference, expressed regret at the...

Mali: jihadist group releases video of kidnapped nun

A jihadist group in Mail has released a video in which six hostages appear, including a Colombian missionary sister kidnapped from her convent in February. Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal...

Cardinal praises German Protestants for condemning Luther’s anti-Semitism

At a meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews in Bonn, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich praised the Evangelical Church in Germany, a federation of 20 Lutheran and other Protestant...

Reformed Churches accept joint Catholic-Lutheran statement on justification

The World Communion of Reformed Churches has accepted that Joint Declaration on Justification that was originally signed by the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation in 1999, and later...

Israeli extremist found guilty of arson in attack on Church of the Multiplication

An Israeli court has found a Jewish extremist guilty of arson in a June 2015 attack on an ancient Christian church. Yinon Reveni, a 22-year-old who has previously been charged with arson attacks on...

Pope sends aid for Greek earthquake victims

Pope Francis has contributed €50,000 ($57,000) to a fund for earthquake victims on the Greek island of Lesbos. A spokesman for the apostolic nuncio in Greece said that the “unexpected...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 5

Arrests of religious believers in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan

Forum 18, a news service that documents violations of the right to religious freedom, recently reported on government crackdowns on religious groups in two Asian nations that once were part of the...

20 million at high risk of famine

The head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, said at a conference in Rome that 20 million people are “severely affected” by a high...

Vatican newspaper op-ed raps France, Spain, Austria on immigration

In a front-page op-ed in the July 5 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, deputy editor Giuseppe Fiorentino criticized France, Spain, and Austria for betraying the ideals of the European Union by...

Local Iraqis should decide future of Nineveh Plain, patriarch says

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, said that the Iraqi residents of the villages of the Nineveh Plain should decide the future of area as it is liberated...

Bishops’ officials ponder European pluralism

The general secretaries of Europe’s episcopal conferences met in Bucharest from June 30 to July 3 to discuss the Church’s role in a pluralistic Europe.Participants discussed cultural,...

Vatican recognized problems in care at Bambino Gesu Hospital

The Vatican has acknowledged that serious problems were discovered in an investigation into standards of care a the Bambino Gesu Hospital. Earlier this week an investigative report by the...

German Cardinal Meisner, one of four who submitted dubia, dead at 83

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the retired Archbishop of Cologne, died on July 5 at the age of 83. Born in Wroclaw, Poland—a city then under German control, known as Breslau—Joachim...

UK officials resist diplomatic pressure to allow treatment of Charlie Gard

Despite diplomatic pressure, officials at London’s Greater Ormond Street Hospital say that they cannot allow 10-month-old Charlie Gard to be moved to another hospital in Rome or in the US for...

Syria’s Assad meets with Melkite Patriarch, seeks Christian support for national unity

Syria’s President Bashar al Assad met on July 4 with the newly elected Melkite Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi and a delegation from the Melkite Synod. The Syrian leader said that the...

Pope welcomes news portal designed for European migrants

Pope Francis has applauded the launch of a news portal designed to provide information for migrants in Europe. In a message to the ANSA news agency, the Holy Father welcomed the appearance of...

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, longtime Vatican spokesman, dead at 80

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the chief public spokesman during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, has died at the age of 80. A Spaniard who was trained in medicine before becoming a journalist,...

Released Thursday, Jul. 6

Cardinal Tobin denounces anti-immigrant rhetoric, explains welcome for LGBTQ activists

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, compared anti-immigration rhetoric with the acceptance of legal abortion as “a further brutalization of the American heart,” in an interview...

Bishop Bala was not murdered: Cameroon government report

Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla, whose body was discovered in a river in Cameroon on June 2 was not murdered but drowned, according to a new autopsy report. On July 4 the government of Cameroon...

Pope sees ‘culture of encounter’ as path to peace

In a video message to a meeting of young people in Jerusalem, Pope Francis said that personall encounters are the first vital steps toward building a culture of peace. The Pope sent his message...

Papal blessing for new Argentine broadcaster

Pope Francis has sent a message of support to a new Argentine Catholic radio station, which began broadcasting this week. “Thanks for all the work you do,” the Pope said to the staff...

Austrian bishop quits Pax Christi leadership, citing anti-Semitism

An Austrian Catholic bishop has resigned from his post as chairman of the international peace-activist group, Pax Christ, saying that he saw anti-Semitism in the group’s policies. Bishop...

US, European bishops join in call for nuclear disarmament

Catholic bishops in the US and Europe have joined in a statement calling for the systematic elimination of nuclear weapons throughout the world. The statement—entitled “Nuclear...

Netherlands: hundreds euthanized without patient’s request

New statistics on the use of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands show that hundreds of patients were given lethal drugs without a request from the patients. The figures for...

Mob attack on Venezuelan parliament

On July 5—Independence Day in Venezuela—a mob of supporters of President Nicolas Maduro broke into the nation’s parliament building and besieged lawmakers for several...

Maronite bishops worried by spread of weapons, seek government controls

The Maronite Catholic bishops, at a meeting on July 5, issued a statement of concern about the proliferation of weapons in Lebanon and suggested government controls on the private ownership of...

Guam archbishop’s return would be ‘a disaster,’ coadjutor says

Archbishop Michael Byrnes—who has taken over the leadership of the Agana, Guam archdiocese while Archbishop Anthony Apuron faces a canonical trial on sex-abuse charges—has stated frankly...

Released Friday, Jul. 7

International efforts continue to treat Charlie Gard

As diplomatic efforts continued in the bid to provide experimental treatment for Charlie Gard, British authorities have continued to insist that the child cannot be moved from Greater Ormond Street...

Cardinal Tagle to priests: don’t begin Mass with ‘Good Morning’

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila has told his priests that they should not say “Good morning” to the congregation at the beginning of Mass. “Is not the expression, ‘The Lord...

Pope to G20: give priority to the poor

In a message to world leaders participating in the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Pope Francis urged them to “give absolute priority to the poor, refugees, those suffering, the displaced, those...

Another Mexican priest murdered

A Mexican priest was murdered on July 5: the 18th Catholic priest to be killed in Mexico in the past six years. The body of Father Luis Lopez Villa was discovered at his residence, bound and with...

New archbishop for Milan, Europe’s largest diocese

Pope Francis has named Bishop Mario Delpini, the vicar general of the Milan archdiocese, to become the city’s new archbishop. Bishop Delpini succeeds Cardinal Angelo Scola, who is retiring...

‘We all are sinners,’ Pope reminds Vatican maintenance workers

Celebrating Mass on July 7 for maintenance workers at the Vatican, Pope Francis remarked in his homily that “we all have a college degree in sin.” In a meditation on the Lord’s...

Eight candidates move toward beatification with new Vatican decrees

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints has issued decrees advancing eight candidates toward beatification. The decrees, issued on July 7 with the approval of Pope Francis...

Texas bishop denounces ‘Pharisees’ who call for end to immigration program

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso, Texas, has denounced the state’s attorney general for opposing the extension of the DREAM program, which protects immigrants from deportation if they were brought...

Vatican tribunal ready to deliberate in trial of Archbishop Apuron

A Vatican tribunal will soon meet to deliberate on the fate of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, the prelate from Guam who is accused of sexual abuse, Archbishop Michael Byrnes has reported. Archbishop...

Prelate says president still promises elections in Democratic Republic of Congo

“Elections will be held,” Archbishop Marcel Utembi of Kisangani said after a July 5 meeting with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Archbishop Utembi...

Turkey holds off on seizure of Orthodox properties

The government of Turkey has not yet moved forward with plans to seize more than 50 properties from the Syriac Orthodox Church in the Mardin province. Provincial officials have declared that the...

Released Monday, Jul. 10

Vatican newspaper analyzes G20 summit

L’Osservatore Romano has published an unsigned front-page analysis of the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg. Describing the summit as a “great opportunity lost,” the Vatican newspaper...

Vatican message highlights plight of seafarers’ families

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, discussed the challenges faced by seafarers in his message for Sea Sunday. “In spite of the...

Prelates call for strategy to eliminate nuclear weapons

Speaking on behalf of the US and European bishops, two prelates have issued “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” a statement that calls upon the international community to...

Turn to Jesus amid life’s problems, Pope encourages pilgrims

In his July 9 Angelus address (video, Italian text), Pope Francis spoke about Christ’s words in the day’s Gospel reading at Mass: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,...

Papal condolences following apartment collapse in Italy

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a deadly collapse of an apartment block in Torre Annunziata,...

Vatican letter to bishops urges vigilance on valid matter for the Holy Eucharist

At the Pope’s request, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has urged the world’s bishops to “watch over the quality of the bread and wine to be...

Cardinal Pell arrives in Australia to face legal charges

Cardinal George Pell has arrived in Australia to answer charges of sexual abuse. The 76-year-old Cardinal Pell, who is on leave from his post as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy,...

Cardinal Müller questions manner of his dismissal, see divisions within Church

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has criticized the way in which Pope Francis dismissed him as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, while continuing to insist that he is loyal to...

Cameroon’s bishops insist Bishop Balla was murder victim, not suicide

The Catholic bishops of Cameroon insist that Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla of Bafia was “brutally assassinated,” rejected the conclusions of an autopsy that found “no trace of...

UNESCO recognizes Tomb of the Patriarchs as Palestinian heritage site

The UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a World Heritage Site, approving a request by the Palestinian...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 11

EU court decision opens path to taxation of Catholic schools in Spain

The Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a decision that may pave the way for the levying of property taxes on Catholic schools in Spain. A 1979 treaty between the Holy See and Spain...

60 imams who oppose terrorism visit attack sites

Sixty imams from seven nations are taking part in a weeklong visit to sites of terrorist attacks in Europe. A Jewish writer and a French imam jointly planned the itinerary, during which local...

Future uncertain for Mosul’s Christians

Iraqi’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the nation’s army has achieved victory over the Islamic State in Mosul following a nine-month battle. The future remains uncertain for...

Pontiff decrees that ‘offering of life’ is path to sainthood

Pope Francis has issued an apostolic letter decreeing that the oblatio vitae—the “offering of life”—has joined martyrdom and the heroic exercise of the virtues as a...

Venezuela’s bishops call on Maduro to cancel plans for new constitution

The bishops of Venezuela have called upon President Nicolás Maduro to respect the independence of lawmakers and cancel the planned July 30 election for a “Constitutional Assembly”...

Pope sees US, Russia as dangerous allies

Pope Francis reportedly said that he is worried by “very dangerous alliances between powers that have a distorted vision of the world,” in a new interview with the Italian journalist...

Vietnamese Catholic blogger given 10-year sentence for criticism of government

The Vietnamese government has sentenced a Catholic woman to a 10-year prison sentence for her work on a blog that reported on human-rights violations. Mary Magdalene Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was...

New works by Raphael discovered at Vatican?

Experts working on the restoration of frescoes in the Hall of Constantine, in the Vatican’s apostolic palace, have discovered two works which they attribute to the Renaissance master...

Hindu pilgrims killed; Indian bishop decries fundamentalist violence

Seven Hindu pilgrims were killed when their bus in India’s disputed Kashmir province. Five women and two men died when the bus carrying them was caught in a crossfire as Muslim militants...

Missionaries of Charity file copyright for sari design

The Missionaries of Charity in India have obtained a copyright for the distinctive blue-and-white sari designed by their founder, Mother Teresa of Calcutta. An attorney who arranged the copyright...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 12

Group documents civilian catastrophe in Mosul

Amnesty International has published a 50-page report documenting the toll on civilians in the battle for West Mosul, Iraq. The report found that over 600,000 civilians were displaced from West...

Leading Venezuelan bishop decries Maduro regime’s oppression

Addressing his brother bishops as they gathered for their summer meeting, the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference said that the Holy Spirit is at work in the nation’s dioceses,...

Pope recalls Europe’s ‘spiritual values’

Pope Francis referred Europe’s “spiritual values” in a tweet on July 11, the feast of St. Benedict, co-patron of Europe. “Europe has a unique patrimony of ideals and...

French bishops’ conference lends support to evangelical youth gathering

The Conference of Bishops of France has lent its support to a six-day evangelical youth gathering that is taking place in Le Havre to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The...

Leading Russian Orthodox official clarifies remarks in praise of monarchy

Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, denied calling for the restoration of the Russian monarchy and said that the Russian...

EU court upholds Belgium’s ban on full-face veil

The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a 2011 Belgium law banning the niqab, or full-face veil. “The controversial ban aims at providing the conditions of living together as a...

Action urged on legislation against human trafficking

Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, has urged Congress to pass the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection...

French prosecutor: no case against Cardinal Barbarin

A French prosecutor has cleared Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon of charges that he covered up evidence of sexual abuse. The prosecutor recommended against any further action on the complaint...

New study of Shroud: blood stains point to agony of Crucifixion

A new scientific study of the Shroud of Turin has found that the linen cloth contains human blood, showing indications of torture. The analysis of the blood on the Shroud, conducted by a team...

Barcelona drops plan for entrance to Sagrada Familia

City officials in Barcelona have set aside plans for a final element of the Sagrada Familia basilica. Architect Antonio Gaudi, who designed the famous cathedral, had envisioned a grand staircase...

Pope urges religious instructors to adapt, be creative

Pope Francis encouraged catechists to find new ways to transmit the faith, in a message to the International Catechetical Symposium, taking place in Buenos Aires. The Pope said that religious...

Tax-funded abortion comes to Oregon

A new state law in Oregon subsidizes abortions with taxpayer funding. The bill—which has passed the state legislature, and awaits only the governor’s signature—requires...

Kurdish leader, pressing for independence, promises to respect Christians’ rights

The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, Masud Barzani, has promised that if Kurdistan wins independence, its government will respect the rights of Christians living in the Nineveh...

Released Thursday, Jul. 13

House passes legislation against human trafficking

The House of Representatives passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R.2200) in a bipartisan voice vote on July 12. The chairman...

Ecumenical body warns against militarization of EU

The Conference of European Churches, an ecumenical body composed of 115 Orthodox, Old Catholic, and Protestant churches and ecclesial communities, warned against the militarization of the European...

Pope to beatify Colombian martyrs

Pope Francis will beatify two martyrs during his upcoming apostolic journey to Colombia, according to the Holy See Press Office. Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve (1916-89) was...

EU bishops’ commission hosts roundtable on resilience

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has hosted a roundtable discussion on the EU’s strategic priority of promoting...

Conflict with ISIS ally is not a religious conflict, Philippine bishops insist

The Philippine bishops said that the conflict with Maute, an ISIS-affiliated group, is not a conflict with Islam. In May, Maute attacked the city of Marawi, setting fire to Christian buildings...

Venezuela’s bishops issue ‘urgent message’ on rising oppression

Stating that the majority of Venezuelans support their views, the bishops of Venezuela issued an “urgent message” on July 12 condemning oppression committed by President Nicolás...

California bill would forbid employee codes of conduct on abortion

The California Catholic Conference has announced its strong opposition to AB 569, a bill that forbids employers from firing or taking other adverse action against employees who have...

Embezzlement charges against two former officials of Vatican-run hospital

The Vatican has indicted two former officials of the Bambino Gesu Hospital on embezzlement charges. The indictment is the first brought by Vatican prosecutors under new rules designed to promote...

Yemeni official confirms: kidnapped priest is still alive

Father Tom Uzhunnalil, the Indian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016, is still alive, the foreign minister of Yemen has stated. Abdulmalik Abduljalil al Mekhlafi, the Yemeni foreign...

Papal backing for ‘Laudato Si’ Pledge Campaign’

Pope Francis has endorsed an effort by the Global Catholic Climate Movement to persuade 1 million Catholics to show their support for Laudato Si‘ by pledging to live more simply and to pray...

Contempt citation for lawyers in release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

Two attorneys who represent David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress have been found in contempt of court for their role in the release of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood...

Coptic Orthodox leader pledges church work for disabled

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has promised that 5% of all church employment will be reserved for people with disabilities. The new policy applies to Coptic schools, health-care facilities, and...

Papal advisers lash out at American conservatives, Catholic-Evangelical alliance

Two close advisers to Pope Francis have published an article in Civilta Cattolica in which they decry a “Manichean” strain in American conservativism and a political alliance between...

Released Friday, Jul. 14

Vatican newspaper chides Macron, Merkel for failing to assist migrants

An unsigned front-page article in the July 14 edition of L’Osservatore Romano criticized French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not doing more to help Italy...

Brazil’s bishops condemn changes to labor law

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil strongly criticized an overhaul of labor regulations approved by the legislature and signed into law by President Michel Temer. Stating that the law...

Vatican’s UN envoy calls for greater respect for dignity of elderly

At a recent UN meeting on aging, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations called for greater respect for the elderly. “As the world’s aged and aging population...

British prelate laments changes to government program for church preservation

The chairman of the Patrimony Committee of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales lamented the loss of a dedicated stream of funds for church preservation from lottery...

Patriarch to displaced Iraqi Christians: return home before others take your land

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church called upon Christians who fled the advance of ISIS to return home before others confiscate their land. “Stop the internecine fights that cause...

‘An ecumenism of hate’

In an article entitled “An ecumenism of hate,” the July 14 edition of the Vatican newspaper offered a four-paragraph summary of a Civilta Cattolica essay decrying a...

Joint Orthodox-Catholic commission concludes study of Blessed Stepinac

A joint Orthodox-Catholic commission studying the life of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898-1960) held its sixth and final meeting at Domus Sanctae Marthae on July 12 and 13. The joint commission...

‘Complaining Forbidden,’ reads poster on Pope’s door

Pope Francis has posted a sign on the door to his apartment in the St. Martha residence: “Complaining is forbidden.” The sign, styled as a warning poster, says that people who complain suffer from...

Papal trip to India planned for late 2017 or early 2018

A papal visit to India is being planned for the near future, a spokesman for the country’s bishops has disclosed. “We are still hopeful that the visit (by Pope Francis to India) will take place at...

Cardinal Schönborn: Amoris Laetitia is easy to understand

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna disputed the charge that his defense of Amoris Laetitia is not persuasive, during an address to an English audience. Cardinal Schönborn said that he was...

American doctor will examine Charlie Gard

A High Court judge in England has ruled that an American specialist should be allowed to Charlie Gard, to give an opinion on whether the child could benefit from experimental treatment. Dr....

Florida court allows priest to sue diocese for defamation in abuse-report case

A Florida judge has ruled that a priest can proceed with his defamation lawsuit against the Diocese of Palm Beach, despite the argument by diocesan attorneys that religious issues should not be...

Egyptian Christians scale back plans for public celebrations amid security fears

Coptic Christians in Egypt have scaled back plans for public events because of security fears, after being warned that authorities fear new attacks by Islamic extremist groups. The Christian...

Released Monday, Jul. 17

Pope Francis reflects on parable of the sower

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:1-23), the day’s Gospel reading at Mass, during his July 16 Sunday Angelus address (Italian text, video). The Pope told pilgrims...

Reach out to lapsed Christians, Pope says in video

The La Machi Agency, in collaboration with the Vatican Television Center, has produced a video associated with the Pope’s July 2017 prayer intention for lapsed Christians. “Let us...

Pontiff greets Carmelites, prays for Venezuela

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on July 16, Pope Francis offered greetings to Carmelites and prayers for Venezuela, whose bishops warned recently of increased...

Vatican cardinal laments international silence on Ukraine

At the invitation of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has visited the nation to show...

Vatican UN envoy: recognizing religion’s public dimension can combat extremism

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has released a 30-page “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence that Could Lead to Atrocity...

Pontiff decries ecological indifference

In a Spanish-language message to an ecological conference that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis emphasized the right to clean drinking water and called upon governments to enact policies...

Cardinal Meisner had ‘profound faith and sincere love for the Church,’ Pope says in telegram

The Vatican newspaper has published Pope Francis’s telegram of condolence following the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne, who passed away on July 5. Cardinal Meisner was one of...

Benedict XVI: deceased cardinal had faith in Church, even in time of crisis

In a tribute to the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI praised the German prelate for his “conviction that the Lord does not leave his Church, even if at times the ship...

Bishops of central Africa region plead for peace

Concluding a plenary meeting last week, the Catholic bishops of Central Africa issued an appeal for an end to the violence in their region. The bishops—from a region that includes Cameroon, the...

Same-sex marriage not a major concern for Church, says German Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich argues that Germany’s acceptance of same-sex marriage is not a defeat for Catholicism. The German cardinal said that the Church should be more concerned about...

Boko Haram destroys Nigerian mosque

A suicide bombing organized by Boko Haram killed at least 8 people in a mosque in Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria on July 17. A spokesman for the Maiduguri diocese remarked that the attack on a...

Oakland diocese sues cathedral builders, architects for design flaws

The Diocese of Oakland, California, has brought suit against architects and contractors involved in the building of the city’s new cathedral, pointing to “design and/or construction...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 18

New governor general named for Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, recently named Leonardo Visconti di Modrone as the Order’s governor...

Archbishop discusses how ‘offer of life’ came to be a recognized path to sainthood

The Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has written an article tracing the background of the Pope’s recent apostolic letter recognizing the “offer of life” as an...

Ireland: national collection to address ‘greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II’

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has announced a special collection at all Masses on July 22 and 23 to address the hunger crisis that affects 25 million people in Kenya, South Sudan,...

Venezuela’s bishops back opposition plebiscite; shots fired on crowd outside church

Amid rising malnutrition and fears of a future Marxist dictatorship, over seven million Venezuelans took part in an unofficial plebiscite on July 16 on President Nicolas Maduro’s proposal to...

Prelate urges Trump administration to raise refugee cap

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called upon the Trump administration to raise its cap on admission of refugees to the United States. A presidential executive order in...

Italian priest named no. 2 official at Vatican doctrinal congregation

Pope Francis named Msgr. Giacomo Morandi as the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 18 and raised him to the dignity of archbishop. Msgr. Morandi, the...

Vatican tribunal rejects move to dismiss embezzlement charges against hospital executives

The trial of two former executives of a Vatican-owned hospital on embezzlement charges began today, with a Vatican tribunal rejecting a motion by the two defendants to dismiss the case. Giuseppe...

Australian archbishop unsurprised by decline in religious affiliation

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has said that there is “nothing very surprising” about Australian census figures that show a sharp rise in the number of young people with no...

Widespread abuse charged in German choir school

More than 500 choir boys suffered abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, over a period of 45 years, according to an investigator’s report. The...

Two priests kidnapped in Democratic Republic of Congo

Two Catholic priests were kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 17. A group of masked and armed men reportedly attacked the parish of Notre Dame in Bunyuka, in the northeast of...

Archbishop tells UN about religion’s role in economic development

In the quest to end poverty, religious leaders make their best contribution by raising awareness of the ethical principles that lie behind humanitarian efforts, the Vatican’s representative...

Lebanese Patriarch: refugees from Syria impose strain on country

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has warned that the presence of 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is straining the fabric of that country. “Even with all our solidarity with the...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 19

New Philippine bishops’ president viewed as more open to dialogue with government

The Philippine bishops have elected Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao to a two-year term as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Archbishop Valles, who assumes the...

South African officials turning blind eye to human trafficking, bishops’ spokesman says

The priest who serves as the South African bishops’ liaison to parliament said that the nation’s culture of corruption allows human trafficking to go unpunished. Commenting on a US...

Immigration: USCCB renews support for DACA

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration called on the Trump administration not to end a 2012 program that grants work authorization and a reprieve from deportation to over...

Austria: majority of altar servers are girls

Nearly a quarter century after the practice of female altar servers became licit, 55% of Austria’s 45,000 altar servers are girls, according to statistics published by the Archdiocese of...

Maronites to commemorate Eastern martyrs

The Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, will commemorate a Day of the Martyrs of the Eastern Churches on July 31. The Encyclopedia of Martyrs...

Catholic layman arrested for Goa desecrations

A 54-year-old Catholic layman has been arrested for the desecration of a Catholic cemetery and the destruction of at least 11 crosses in the past month. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão said...

Facebook blocked, then restored, many Catholic pages

Facebook blocked access to more than 20 Catholic pages on July 18, without any explanation. By July 19, the Catholic pages were all apparently restored, but Facebook had still not offered any...

Archbishop Gänswein: statement by Benedict XVI not aimed at Pope Francis

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime personal secretary to Benedict XVI, denounced suggestions that the retired Pontiff had intended to criticize Pope Francis with a statement issued for the...

Archbishop Paglia explains new direction for Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia explained the new strategic vision of the Pontifical Academy for Life in an interview with Austen Ivereigh for Crux. The Italian prelate brushed aside criticism that...

Released Thursday, Jul. 20

Pontifical abuse commission member praises Regensburg bishop for confronting abuse

The publication of a report on widespread abuse at the famous choir school associated with the Diocese of Regensberg, Germany, manifests a “courageous” attitude on the part of the local...

Russian high court affirms ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses

Russia’s Supreme Court has upheld an earlier court decision banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The court accepted the Putin administration’s argument that the group’s...

80th anniversary of French ecumenical initiative

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page article recalling that July 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Dombes Group, an ecumenical initiative in Lyon, France. Father...

Caritas rues ‘lack of political will’ to address hunger, ecological problems

The Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies recently called upon participants in a UN meeting to make greater efforts to address hunger and ecological concerns. Citing two...

Vatican’s Secretary of State condemns attack on crowd outside Venezuelan church

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, condemned an attack by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro on a crowd outside a church near Caracas. After Cardinal Jorge Urosa...

Nigerian bishop: government corruption has aided Boko Haram

Speaking in Hungary, a Nigerian bishop said that government corruption has helped foster the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme ministers in Maiduguri, a center of Boko...

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders insist on free access to sacred sites for all

All of the major Christian leaders in Jerusalem have issued a joint statement of “serious concern” about the rise in tensions at the Temple Mount, where two police officers were killed...

Facebook restores Catholic pages, says blocking was accidental

Facebook has restored full access to more than 20 Catholic pages that had been blocked on July 18, saying that the blockage was due to an error. “This incident was triggered accidentally by...

Charlie Gard offered permanent-resident status in US

The US House of Representatives has approved a measure that would grant permanent-resident status to Charlie Gard, enabling the 11-month-old child to travel to an American hospital for medical...

Central African Republic: Muslims take refuge in Catholic cathedral

More than 2,000 Muslims have sought refuge in the Catholic cathedral in Bangassou, in the Central African Republic, to escape sectarian violence. The Muslim refugees have fled from attacks by the...

South African bishops oppose bid for registration of religious ministers

The Catholic bishops of South Africa have announced their opposition to a proposal for the registration of religious ministers with the government. Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, the...

Released Friday, Jul. 21

Day of prayer, fasting for Venezuela’s Catholics

Venezuela’s bishops have declared July 21 to be a day of prayer and fasting. The prelates called on the faithful to ask God to bless the efforts of the Venezuelan people for freedom,...

Pope is ‘the voice of suffering Ukraine,’ leading Eastern prelate says

In a recent homily at his cathedral in Kiev, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church paid tribute to Pope Francis for his concern for strife-torn Ukraine. “We feel that the Pope...

Russian Orthodox mission rededicated in Jerusalem

The St. Sergius Mission, a Russian Orthodox church complex in Jerusalem, was rededicated on July 18 in the presence of Russian and Israeli officials. The complex passed from Israeli to Russian...

Sharp decline in Bosnia’s Catholic population

The Catholic population of Bosnia and Herzegovina has fallen to 400,000—down from over 740,000 before the Bosnian War (1992-95). “This decline is mainly due to young people emigrating...

USCCB: bishop criticizes House Republicans’ budget proposal

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development criticized the House Republicans’ budget proposal, which was approved in a July 19 committee...

Vatican’s Secretary of State to meet with Putin

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in August. The visit to Russia will be the first by a Vatican Secretary...

Texas bishop issues pastoral letter on migration

Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso has issued a pastoral letter on migration. “Building walls, deploying a mass deportation force and militarizing our border are not long-term solutions to the...

Cameroon bishops demand further inquiry into bishop’s death

The Catholic bishops of Cameroon have filed a formal complaint of murder in the death of Bishop jean-Marie Benoit Bala, saying that they are unsatisfied with the government’s inquiry to...

Pope makes €25,000 contribution to fight famine in eastern Africa

Pope Francis has donated €25,000 to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to support efforts against famine in eastern Africa. The Pope’s contribution fulfills a...

Filipino bishop suggests new focus for war against drug trade

A Filipino bishop has encouraged President Rodrigo Duterte to “reconfigure” his was against drug trafficking, concentrating on eliminating the demand for illegal drugs rather than wiping...

New officials named to Roman Rota

Pope Francis has named two new officials for the Roman Rota. Father Pierangelo Pietracatella, a priest of the Toronta diocese in Italy, will be the chief of office for the Roman Rota; Father...

Mosul is ‘completely destroyed,’ prelate reports

“Today, Mosul is completely distroyed,” reports the city’s Syric-Catholic Bishop Petros Mouche. “Everything needs to be rebuilt.” Visiting the Iraqi city, which was...

Heavy fines for contempt in release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

A California judge has ordered pro-life activists to pay over $135,000 in fines, citing them for contempt of court for releasing undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in...

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