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Catholic World News

Stories for July 2014

Released Wednesday, Jul. 2

Religious leaders: don’t amend or repeal Religious Freedom Restoration Act CWN - July 2, 2014

A coalition of religious leaders, including the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called upon Congress not to amend or repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act...

Minnesota archbishop accused of sexual misconduct CWN - July 2, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has announced that he is the subject of an investigation for misconduct that does not “involve minors or lay members of the...

Filipino prelate named to leading Vatican diplomatic post CWN - July 2, 2014

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the apostolic nuncio to Haiti, as the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. Archbishop Auza succeeds Archbishop Francis...

Congo’s bishops call for multiparty democracy CWN - July 2, 2014

Amid concerns that Joseph Kabila, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, since 2001, will push for a constitutional change that would allow him to seek another term in office, the...

Serbian patriarch reportedly opposed to canonization of Croatian cardinal CWN - July 2, 2014

Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, has announced his opposition to the possible canonization of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (1898-1960), according to Serbian media...

Eastern patriarchs call upon international community to save Iraq CWN - July 2, 2014

Three Eastern Catholic patriarchs, joined by two Orthodox counterparts, met in Lebanon on July 1 and issued a statement urging “the world to prevent Iraq’s disintegration and save its people from...

Philadelphia archdiocese sells nursing homes for $145M CWN - July 2, 2014

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that it has sold seven nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for $145 million. The buyer, Center Management Group, has agreed to maintain the...

Exorcists' group gains Vatican approval CWN - July 2, 2014

The International Association of Exorcists has received canonical approval from the Congregation for Clergy. The group is made up of 250 priests, working as exorcists. Father Francesco Bamonte,...

US bishops' spokesman urges: no quick return for unaccompanied children entering US illegally CWN - July 2, 2014

A spokesman for the US bishops’ conference has urged the Obama administration to abandon plans to send back unaccompanied children who enter the US illegally. “As a nation which has traditionally...

Oklahoma City archbishop asks civic officials to reconsider approval for 'black mass' CWN - July 2, 2014

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City has asked civic leaders to reconsider the approval of plans for a “black mass” to be held at the city’s Civic Center in September. Saying that a black...

Archbishop's laicization is sign that Vatican is serious about abuse, notes UN envoy CWN - July 2, 2014

The laicization of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski is a “sign of seriousness” in the Vatican’s response to sexual abuse, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told Italian reporters on July 1. Archbishop Tomasi,...

Speaker of European Parliament renews invitation for Pope to address body CWN - July 2, 2014

Martin Schulz, who has been elected to a new term as speaker of the European Parliament, has said that his invitation to Pope Francis to address the body remains open. "I would be very happy if...

Holy See denies report of new turmoil at Vatican bank CWN - July 2, 2014

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) is “in a time of natural an peaceful transition,” Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters on July...

Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, added to Council of Cardinals CWN - July 2, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, has been added to the Council of Cardinals, the Vatican has disclosed. Cardinal Parolin has been “regularly present” in meetings of the Council...

Benedictine abbey asks Archbishop Weakland to delay plans for retirement there CWN - July 2, 2014

Archbishop Rembert Weakland has disclosed that his plans to retire to a Benedictine monastery have been put on hold because of concerns that his presence could be disruptive to a community already...

Released Thursday, Jul. 3

Iraq’s Catholics ‘live the mystery of the sleep of Christ in the boat,’ says Patriarch CWN - July 3, 2014

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church issued a statement on July 2 explaining the plight of Iraq’s Catholics. Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako said that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant...

Church in Zanzibar grows despite persecution CWN - July 3, 2014

The Church in Zanzibar, the overwhelmingly Muslim archipelago that is part of Tanzania, has continued to grow despite persecution, according to the parish priest of the cathedral in Zanzibar...

Egypt’s bishops may launch Catholic TV channel CWN - July 3, 2014

The bishops of Egypt are seeking funds to launch a Catholic television channel, according to a report by the Toronto-based Catholic Register. “The Protestants have four channels in Egypt,” said...

Jesuit leader explains resignation plan: to avoid 'personal decay' CWN - July 3, 2014

The worldwide leader of the Jesuit order, who announced in May that he would step down in 2016, said that he made that decision because "I cannot lead the Society under years of personal...

South Sudan: attacks on hospitals as violence spreads CWN - July 3, 2014

Hospitals have been burned to the ground, and patients have been shot and killed in their beds, as violence spreads across South Sudan, the Fides news service reports. At least 58 people have...

Iraqi forces bombing Mosul, forcing new civilian exodus CWN - July 3, 2014

Bombing raids by the Iraqi air force have prompted a new exodus of civilians from the city of Mosul, the Fides news service reports. Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona of Mosul told...

Jerusalem patriarch condemns kidnappings, killings, decries calls for revenge CWN - July 3, 2014

Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem has denounced the killing of a Palestinian teenager, in apparent retaliation for the murder of three Israeli youths by Palestinian...

First woman rector named for a pontifical university in Rome CWN - July 3, 2014

In a historic “first,” a woman has been nominated as rector of one of Rome’s pontifical universities. Sister Mary Melone, who was the first women to be a tenured professor at the Pontifical...

Cardinal Müller sees dangers in American individualism CWN - July 3, 2014

To understand Pope Francis, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said, one must appreciate the experience of Latin American Catholics. In an interview with the German...

Pope wants small Korean car for Korean visit CWN - July 3, 2014

Pope Francis has indicated that he wants to travel in a Korean-made car when he visits the Asian country in August. The Pontiff does not want a bulletproof car, and would prefer "the smallest...

Cardinal Bertone hints at lawsuit over accusations he helped smear a Catholic editor CWN - July 3, 2014

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican Secretary of State, has strongly denied a report in the Italian magazine L’Espresso that he helped orchestrate a campaign against the editor of a...

Cardinal Zen says Pope should not visit China CWN - July 3, 2014

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, has said that Pope Francis should not visit China because he would "be manipulated" by the Beijing regime. Responding to reports that the...

Catholic Health Association condemns opponents of expanded Medicaid benefits CWN - July 3, 2014

In a sharply partisan public statement, the president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) has denounced the 24 American states that have declined to expand Medicaid benefits as “morally and...

Entire board of Vatican bank to be replaced? CWN - July 3, 2014

The president of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) will soon be replaced—not because of any new turmoil at the Vatican bank, but as part of a plan to overhaul the entire leadership of the...

Dying priest, convicted of murder, loses bid to spend last days at home CWN - July 3, 2014

An Ohio court has turned down a request to allow a Catholic priest who was convicted of murder to spend his last days in his home town. Father Gerald Robinson was convicted in 2006 of killing...

Accused woman's supporters urge Pakistani court to end delays on appeal CWN - July 3, 2014

Supporters of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman facing a death sentence on blasphemy charges, have demanded that the courts hear her appeal, after a series of unexplained delays. Asia Bibi, who was...

Vatican announces logo, theme for World Youth Day in Krakow CWN - July 3, 2014

The Vatican has unveiled a logo, a theme, and a prayer for the 31st World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Krakow's Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz presided at a Vatican...

Anglicans in Australia abandon seal of confession for serious crimes CWN - July 3, 2014

Anglican leaders in Australia have unanimously approved a proposal to abandon the confessional seal, authorizing priests to disclose information about serious crimes such as sexual abuse. The...

Released Friday, Jul. 4

Holy See diplomat: abandon uncontrolled consumerism to protect environment CWN - July 4, 2014

Representing the Holy See at the first meeting of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), Archbishop Charles Balvo greeted the new body “with joy” and cited a recent joint statement by...

Survey finds weak religious practice among Russian Orthodox CWN - July 4, 2014

A survey published by the Russian news agency Interfax has found that the level of religious practice among the nation’s Orthodox population is weak. 68% of Russians surveyed describe themselves...

Bishop laments growing alcohol abuse in Ireland CWN - July 4, 2014

In a statement posted on the website of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Auxiliary Bishop Éamonn Walsh of Dublin said that “Ireland’s relationship with alcohol is fast heading towards a...

Cardinal presides over prayer vigil for peace at Roman parish CWN - July 4, 2014

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, presided over a prayer vigil for peace in Syria and Iraq. The vigil took place on the evening of...

Iraq: jihadist group occupies homes belonging to Church CWN - July 4, 2014

In recent days, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the jihadist group that controls much of Syria and Iraq, has occupied homes belonging to the Chaldean Catholic Church, according to a...

Peru’s bishops denounce government’s move to permit abortion CWN - July 4, 2014

The Peruvian government has issued regulations that implement a 1924 law permitting abortion in some circumstances. In response, the nation’s bishops expressed their “firm rejection concerning...

Catholic Bible published in Thai CWN - July 4, 2014

For the first time, a Catholic Bible has been published in the Thai language. The project, undertaken by Salesian missionaries, was begun in 1992. For decades, Catholics used a slightly modified...

Christian college wins Supreme Court injunction in religious challenge to contraceptive mandate CWN - July 4, 2014

The US Supreme Court has handed a temporary victory to a small Christian college that had challenged the federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptives in employee health-care programs. In...

Council of Cardinals concludes 4-day session CWN - July 4, 2014

The Council of Cardinals concluded a 4-day working session on July 4, turning its attention to the offices of the Roman Curia after previous discussions on the Secretariat of State, the Vatican City...

Vatican plans special session for the elderly CWN - July 4, 2014

The Vatican has announced plans for a special gathering for elderly people on September 28, organized around the theme: “The blessing of long life.” The day-long event, organized by the...

New Vatican theological document explores sensus fidei CWN - July 4, 2014

The International Theological Commission (ITC) has released a study on the Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church, exploring the relationship between the sense of the faithful and the guidance of...

Need for jobs seen as theme for Pope's weekend visit to Molise region CWN - July 4, 2014

"In Campobasso there is talk of nothing but this visit," Archbishop Giancarlo Maria Bregantini of Campobasso-Bojano, Italy, told Vatican Radio, referring to visit by Pope Francis this coming...

Jesuit scholar named as papal adviser to Legionaries CWN - July 4, 2014

Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a Jesuit canon lawyer and former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, has been named as the papal adviser to the Legion of Christ. Father Ghirlanda will not...

Vatican investigating diocese in Paraguay where accused abuser is vicar general CWN - July 4, 2014

The Vatican has organized an investigation of a diocese in Paraguay where the vicar general is a priest who was accused of sexual abuse while serving in the US. Father Carlos Urrutigoity, was...

Released Monday, Jul. 7

Pope travels to Molise, speaks on respect for creation, Sunday rest CWN - July 7, 2014

On July 5, Pope Francis made an apostolic journey to the southern Italian region of Molise and arrived by helicopter in Campobasso, a city of 50,000. The visit to Molise was his fifth apostolic...

Learn from Mary, serve the Lord with true freedom, Pope preaches at Mass in Molise CWN - July 7, 2014

During his July 5 pastoral visit to Molise, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the old Romagnoli Stadium in Campobasso and said that the first reading at Mass “reveals two essential aspects of the life...

Follow Jesus, not ‘sand of emotion,’ Pope tells youth CWN - July 7, 2014

On the afternoon of his one-day apostolic journey to Molise, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from Campobasso to Castelpetroso, a small town of 1,700, where he invited youth who had gathered at a...

Pope asks prisoners to ‘take a step each day’ with God’s help CWN - July 7, 2014

Late in the afternoon of his daylong apostolic journey to Molise, Pope Francis was driven from Castelpetroso to Isernia, a town of 20,000, where he visited the local prison. Emphasizing that all...

Pope calls on faithful to imitate St. Celestine, do works of mercy CWN - July 7, 2014

Pope Francis concluded his apostolic journey to Molise on July 5 by traveling to the cathedral of Isernia. There he met with the sick and launched a local jubilee year in commemoration of the 800th...

Immigration crisis worsening, Pope says in Lampedusa anniversary message CWN - July 7, 2014

Pope Francis has written a message recalling the first anniversary of his visit to Lampedusa, the Italian island of 5,000 that has increasingly become the destination of refugees fleeing poverty and...

Christ invites all to come to him, says Pope CWN - July 7, 2014

In his July 6 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s words, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” “In the poorest countries, but also in...

Australian commission, seeking all Church documents on abuse charges, rebuffed by Vatican CWN - July 7, 2014

The Vatican has declined a request from an Australian royal commission to furnish all internal Church documents related to the handling of sex-abuse complaints in that country. Justice Peter...

Death of Orthodox leader could raise new questions about Russian influence in Ukraine CWN - July 7, 2014

Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, the leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church allied with the Moscow patriarchate, died on July 5 at the age of 78. The death of Metropolitan Vladimir, who had been...

Chilean president plans legislation to allow legal abortions CWN - July 7, 2014

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has pledged to make abortion legal in that country by the close of this year. In the past Bachelet had said that Chile should allow for open debate about the...

In Calabria, church procession takes detour to honor mobster CWN - July 7, 2014

A procession from a Catholic parish church in Calabria, Italy, made an unscheduled stop on July 6 to honor a jailed leader of the ‘Ndrangheta crime family, in defiance of Pope Francis. During...

Argentina: retired military leaders found guilty in bishop's death CWN - July 7, 2014

Two retired Argentine military leaders have been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted for orchestrating the death of a Catholic bishop in 1976. Bishop Enrique Angelelli was killed...

Deadlocked presidential election threatens Lebanon's future, Patriarch warns CWN - July 7, 2014

A delay in electing a new president “threatens the very existence of Lebanon,” the Maronite Catholic Patriarch has warned. Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, underlined a June message from the...

Nigerian diocesan program helps widows of Boko Haram victims CWN - July 7, 2014

The Diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, is providing care for more than 2,000 widows whose husbands were victims of Boko Haram terrorism, the Fides news service reports. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme...

Singapore archbishop defends stance against same-sex adoption CWN - July 7, 2014

Responding to critics of a statement in which he reaffirmed Church teaching on homosexuality, Archbishop William Goh of Singapore has apologized to anyone who was hurt by his comments, but...

Philippines: bishops urge government to investigate in-house corruption charges CWN - July 7, 2014

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have called upon the government to show energy and even-handedness in pursuit of corruption charges. The bishops’ statement, released July 4, responded to...

Meeting abuse victims, Pope pledges accountability CWN - July 7, 2014

Pope Francis spent three hours on July 7 meeting with victims of sexual abuse, and promised “not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not.” The Pope celebrated...

Papal commission on abuse holds first meeting CWN - July 7, 2014

A new commission set up by Pope Francis to coordinate the Church’s response to the sex-abuse scandal met at the Vatican on July 6 and 7, under the leadership of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 8

Budgets for Holy See, Vatican City show small net surplus for 2013 CWN - July 8, 2014

The Holy See showed a budget deficit of €24 million ($33 million) for the 2013 fiscal year, while the Vatican city-state, which operates on its own budget, ran a surplus of €33 million ($45 million...

Vatican newspaper raps processional honor to mob figure CWN - July 8, 2014

The Vatican newspaper has denounced the gesture made by parishioners at a church in Oppido Mamertina, Italy, who detoured a religious procession to honor a convicted leader of the ‘Ndrangheta crime...

Catholic cathedral under siege by Islamic rebels in Central African Republic CWN - July 8, 2014

Rebels of the Seleka militia have surrounded the Catholic cathedral in Bambari, in the Central African Republic, the Fides news service reports. The Islamic rebels reportedly fired on the...

Egypt's Copts appeal to president to curb kidnapping CWN - July 8, 2014

Kidnappings of Coptic Christians are on the rise in Egypt, the Fides news service reports, and members of the Christian minority have appealed to President Abdel al-Sisi to provide better security...

Italian government unveils new policies on assisted reproduction CWN - July 8, 2014

Italy's health ministry has introduced new proposed guidelines for in-vitro fertilization, which would forbid payment for sperm donors and limit treatment to women under the age of 52. The...

Diocese denounces Louisiana court order for priest to break confessional seal CWN - July 8, 2014

The Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has vigorously denounced a ruling by the state’s highest court that would compel a priest to violate the seal of confession or face possible...

Could Ukrainian Orthodox seek independence from Moscow patriarchate? CWN - July 8, 2014

The secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow patriarchate has issued new statements underlining questioning Russian hegemony, raising new speculation that the Orthodox could seek...

In Italian prisons, inmates question Pope's denunciation of organized crime CWN - July 8, 2014

A bishop in Italy’s Calabria region has denied reports that inmates at a local prison had stopped attending Mass to protest the denunciation of organized crime by Pope Francis. "There was a...

Pro-lifers demand Catholic hospital in Wisconsin sack doctor with alleged abortion ties CWN - July 8, 2014

Pro-life protestors in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, are demanding that a Catholic hospital sever its ties with a doctor who allegedly recommended an abortion. The protestors, led by Leif and Karen...

New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8, 2014

The Vatican bank has completed the first phase of a sweeping reform, and now plans to begin the second phase with a completely new management team, the Vatican announced on July 8. The Institute...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 9

Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9, 2014

Cardinal George Pell has announced plans for a restructuring of the Vatican offices that handle financial affairs, and a major review of the Vatican's media operations. At a July 9 news...

Vatican plans reforms for media operations CWN - July 9, 2014

The Vatican has announced plans for a thorough review of media operations, designed to streamline the Vatican’s systems of public communications, improve coordination among different media offices,...

Seven candidates move closer to beatification CWN - July 9, 2014

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has released a series of decrees testifying to the “heroic virtue” of seven people, who will now be eligible for beatification if a miracle is certified...

War refugees killed at cathedral in Central African Republic CWN - July 9, 2014

Among an estimated 12,000 people who have sought refuge at the Catholic cathedral in Bamabari to escape the fighting in the Central African Republic, at least 17 have been killed, the Fides news...

Papal summer residence to be unused in 2014? CWN - July 9, 2014

Neither Pope Francis nor Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI plans any extended stay at Castel Gandolfo this year, the National Catholic Register reports, although either may take a short break at the summer...

Cardinal Pell: Vatican reforms are like nothing anyone has seen before CWN - July 9, 2014

Cardinal George Pell expressed confidence that reforms to the Vatican’s financial structure will succeed in an exclusive interview with John Allen of the Boston Globe. After announcing a series...

Catholic leader in Jerusalem raps leaders' 'irresponsible language' CWN - July 9, 2014

A spokesman for the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem has called upon Israeli and Palestinian leaders to avoid "irresponsible language" amid new violence in the Holy Land. Father David Neuhaus,...

Filipino priest faces disciplinary action for denouncing single mother at Baptism CWN - July 9, 2014

A Catholic priest in the Philippines faces disciplinary action for denouncing a single mother during the Baptism of her child. A video that circulated widely on the internet showed Father Romeo...

Malaysia: moderate Muslims ally with Catholics on use of 'Allah' CWN - July 9, 2014

Some moderate Muslims in Malaysia have joined with Catholics in a bid to overturn a court ruling that bars a Catholic publication from using the term 'Allah' in reference to God, the AsiaNews...

Iraqi Christians 'disappearing,' but Kurdistan opens borders CWN - July 9, 2014

Christians in Iraq are “in the process of disappearing,” warns a Chaldean Catholic prelate, “just as the Christians in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and North Africa have disappeared.” But another Iraqi...

Released Thursday, Jul. 10

No papal rivalry for World Cup final CWN - July 10, 2014

Despite scores of light-hearted media reports that Pope Francis and Pope-emeritus Benedict will have rival interests when Germany meets Argentina in the World Cup soccer final, Vatican insiders have...

Anglican leadership will force acceptance of women bishops, sources report CWN - July 10, 2014

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury plans to force acceptance of female bishops even if the General Synod of the Church of England again votes down the proposal, according to a report in The...

Madagascar: priest kidnapped, released in bandit raid CWN - July 10, 2014

In Madagascar, a Catholic priest was kidnapped on July 8, but released the same day, the Fides news service reports. The priest was one of four people taken hostage by bandits who attacked a...

Jesuit-school alumni press Congress to enact immigration reform CWN - July 10, 2014

More than 1,200 alumni of Jesuit high schools and universities have signed a petition urging the US Congress to press forward with comprehensive immigration-reform legislation. The petition,...

Released Friday, Jul. 11

Italian bishop bans processions to deter homage to Mafia CWN - July 11, 2014

A bishop in Italy’s Calabria region has banned public processions indefinitely, responding to the uproar that was roused when a procession in a neighboring town paused to honor an organized-crime...

Canadian pro-life activist enjoys freedom, expects to face jail again CWN - July 11, 2014

Catholic World Report profiles Mary Wagner, the Canadian pro-life activist who was recently released from prison after serving 22 months for entering an abortion clinic in an attempt to persuade...

Missouri police stumped by disappearance of pro-life leader's wife CWN - July 11, 2014

In Missouri, the wife of a pro-life activist has disappeared, and police are at a loss to explain. Lynn Marie Messer apparently walked away from her home during the night, taking virtually...

Vatican council promotes 'pause for peace' at World Cup final CWN - July 11, 2014

The Pontifical Council for Culture is promoting a “Pause for Peace” during the World Cup final on Sunday, July 13. The initiative calls for a moment of silent prayer for peace, and for the...

Vatican employees reassured: pensions are secure CWN - July 11, 2014

The Council for the Economy has moved quickly to ease fears among Vatican employees about the security of their pensions. After Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the...

Pontifical Council issues statement for World Tourism Day CWN - July 11, 2014

The Vatican has released its annual statement for World Tourism Day, with a focus on the relationship between tourism and community development. The statement, issued by the Pontifical Council...

Polish doctor fired for declining to perform abortion CWN - July 11, 2014

A Catholic doctor in a Polish public hospital has been dismissed for his refusal to perform an abortion or refer the pregnant woman to an abortionist. Dr. Bogdan Chazan offered free medical care...

Christian college, seeking exemption from White House order on LGBT equality, faces questions on accreditation CWN - July 11, 2014

A Christian college in Massachusetts will face questions from the local accreditation bureau after its president sought exemption from a new White House order banning discrimination on the basis of...

Church leaders appeal to EU to safeguard 'very fragile' Christian presence in Iraq CWN - July 11, 2014

Iraqi Christian leaders are seeking help from the European Union to avert a new civil war that would threaten the existence of the country’s “very fragile” minority groups. Chaldean Catholic...

Convent attacked in Bangladesh: first such violence in country CWN - July 11, 2014

Armed men attacked a Catholic convent in Bangladesh on July 7, Aid to the Church in Need reports. The attack, by 50 to 60 men, was the first such instance of violence against a Catholic...

China, Russia lead governments guilty of destroying church properties CWN - July 11, 2014

In a survey of government seizures and destruction of properties owned by religious groups, the Pew Forum has found that such incidents have occurred most frequently in Russia, China, and...

Bishops in Philippines encourage conscientious objection to new reproductive-health law CWN - July 11, 2014

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are encouraging the faithful to engage in conscientious objection to oppose implementation of the country’s new reproductive-health law. The bishops have...

Church child-protection policies are advancing on target, reports Vatican expert CWN - July 11, 2014

The Catholic Church is moving ahead on schedule with plans to protection children from sexual abuse, and could now share its knowledge with other institutions, according to the head of the Center...

Ohio abortion clinic, specializing in late-term procedures, closed per by health regulations CWN - July 11, 2014

A doctor specializing in late-term abortions has been ordered to shut down his clinic in Ohio because he does not meet state health regulations. Dr. Martin Haskell had sought an exemption from...

Young German cardinal named to head historic Cologne archdiocese CWN - July 11, 2014

In an unusual transfer of a ranking prelate from one major metropolitan archdiocese to another, Pope Francis has named the current Archbishop of Berlin to become Archbishop of Cologne,...

Priest named in multiple abuse complaints was appointed to Minneapolis marriage tribunal in 1990s CWN - July 11, 2014

A priest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese who had been accused multiple times of sexual misconduct was placed on the archdiocesan marriage tribunal in the 1990s, newly released documents...

Italian poverty rate has doubled since economic downturn: Catholic charity CWN - July 11, 2014

The number of people living in poverty in Italy has doubled since 2007, according to Caritas, the Catholic charitable agency. Caritas recorded about 2.4 million people living below the poverty...

Christians in Sudan are 'de facto illegals,' bishop reports CWN - July 11, 2014

Christians living in Sudan are “de facto illegals,” who cannot hold passports and , according to Bishop Eduard Hiiboro Kussala of Tambura-Yambio, a diocese in the newly independent country of South...

Released Monday, Jul. 14

Pope asks: what kind of soil is our heart? CWN - July 14, 2014

Pope Francis devoted his July 13 Angelus address to the parable of the sower (Mt. 13:1-23), the Gospel reading at Mass that day. Calling the seed “the true protagonist of this parable,” the Pope...

Papal appeal for peace in Holy Land CWN - July 14, 2014

Following his July 13 Angelus address, Pope Francis invited the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to join him in silent prayer for peace. After recalling his June 8 meeting with the Israeli...

Headache, nausea led Pope to miss hospital visit CWN - July 14, 2014

In a video message to patients at the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital in Rome, Pope Francis revealed that a headache and nausea led him to miss his scheduled visit on June 27. At the time, the...

Vatican official: Pope not calling for abandonment of market economy CWN - July 14, 2014

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has told Vatican Radio that Pope Francis is not calling for the abandonment of the market economy. Bishop Mario Toso made his remarks...

Pope Francis emphasizes: man must be at center of economy CWN - July 14, 2014

Warning against “anthropological reductionism,” Pope Francis told participants at a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace that man must be at the center of the...

Vatican questions accuracy of new newspaper interview with Pope Francis CWN - July 14, 2014

The director of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement questioning the accuracy of statements attributed to Pope Francis in the July 13 edition of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica....

Vatican message for ‘Sea Sunday’ CWN - July 14, 2014

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has issued a message for “Sea Sunday,” which took place on July 13. “During this Sea Sunday, we are invited to become...

Report: Pope says he will preach, offer apology at Roman Pentecostal church CWN - July 14, 2014

Pope Francis said he will preach in a Pentecostal church in Rome this month and offer an apology, the global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance stated on his blog. Brian Stiller, who...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 15

Senate may soon vote on bill that would curtail religious freedom in response to Hobby Lobby decision CWN - July 15, 2014

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, the chairman of the conference’s Ad Hoc...

Church of England approves women bishops CWN - July 15, 2014

The General Synod of the Church of England has voted to permit the ordination of women bishops. “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years ago with the ordination of women as...

Kidnapped nuns released in Iraq CWN - July 15, 2014

Seventeen days after they were kidnapped by Islamic militants in Mosul, two nuns and three orphans have been released. “I am overjoyed at the release of the two sisters and three orphans,”...

Holy Land bishops’ assembly calls Israeli, Palestinian leaders to ‘courageous change’ CWN - July 15, 2014

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has called upon Israeli and Palestinian leaders to undertake “courageous change” and promote peace. “We...

Ukraine’s military has helped save nation from slavery, says prelate CWN - July 15, 2014

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic archbishop of Lviv has offered strong praise for the nation’s military. “I’m watching enthusiastically how you, the younger generation of Ukrainians, have become a...

Pope Francis issues message on plight of child migrants in Mexico CWN - July 15, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to Mexico City for conversations with Mexican government officials on international migration and development, and Pope Francis...

Irish prelate: Church must become a place where abuse victims can find healing CWN - July 15, 2014

In an article published in the most recent English edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin warned against complacency in addressing the clerical sexual abuse crisis. “The...

Christian college granted exemption on transgendered housing CWN - July 15, 2014

The United States Department of Education has granted George Fox University an exemption from federal Title IX anti-discrimination legislation in a case involving the housing of a transgendered...

Archbishop Gänswein reports papal reactions to World Cup final CWN - July 15, 2014

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI was pleased with Germany’s win in the World Cup soccer final, although he did not watch the contest, according to his private secretary. Archbishop Georg Gänswein told...

Salvadoran prelate: everyone should work together against exploitation of young migrants CWN - July 15, 2014

Mexico and the US should work with the nations of Central America to stop the flood of children entering the US illegally, said Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador. “We all have...

Massachusetts politicians unveil legislation to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' at abortion clinics CWN - July 15, 2014

Working quickly in response to a Supreme Court decision that overturned the law that established a “buffer zone” outside abortion clinics, Massachusetts political leaders have introduced new...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 16

Abuse victim describes papal meeting as ‘life-changing experience’ CWN - July 16, 2014

One of the victims of clerical sexual abuse who met recently with Pope Francis has told the Boston Globe that the encounter was a “life-changing experience.” “He’s granted me something that the...

Colombia’s bishops willing to mediate between government, rebel group CWN - July 16, 2014

The new president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia has said that the nation’s bishops are willing to mediate in the dispute between the nation’s government and the National Liberation Army, a...

Venezuela’s bishops offer ‘full support’ for teachers in dispute with government CWN - July 16, 2014

The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference has issued a statement offering its “full support” to 2,300 teachers and school staff whose wages have been slashed. The teachers, who offer vocational...

Vatican official calls for renewed efforts against tuberculosis CWN - July 16, 2014

Speaking at a recent conference on tuberculosis sponsored by the World Health Organization and the European Respiratory Society, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers...

USCCB awards $5M to Church in Ukraine, other Eastern European nations CWN - July 16, 2014

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has awarded nearly $5 million to fund 211 pastoral, construction, and...

Prelate invites Anglicans to learn more about ordinariate CWN - July 16, 2014

Following the Church of England’s decision to allow women bishops, the head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has invited those who are “considering their future” to learn more...

Report: ISIL orders no food aid for Christians in Mosul CWN - July 16, 2014

The Sunni jihadist group that controls much of Iraq and Syria has ordered that no food aid be distributed to Christians in Mosul, according to a Fides news agency report. The ban also extends to...

Quebec: abuse victims win class-action suit against Redemptorist order CWN - July 16, 2014

The Quebec Superior Court has ruled that the Redemptorist order must pay between $75,000 and $150,000 to each seminarian who was a victim of clerical sexual abuse at St.-Alphonse Seminary in...

Disgraced Scottish cardinal found living in English village near Scottish border CWN - July 16, 2014

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned in disgrace in 2012 after admitting to sexual misconduct, is now living in a home purchased by the Edinburgh archdiocese in Northumberland, England, the...

Sri Lankan Catholics foresee organized Buddhist opposition to papal visit CWN - July 16, 2014

A Catholic organization in Sri Lanka has charged that Buddhist leaders are planning to rally public opposition to the visit by Pope Francis to that country next January. The lay group called...

New charges of lax handling of abuse complaints in Minnesota archdiocese CWN - July 16, 2014

In a lengthy and detailed affidavit, a former official of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese has testified that Church leaders took a “cavalier attitude” toward sex-abuse policies. Jennifer...

Russian Patriarch will not attend annual celebration in Ukraine CWN - July 16, 2014

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill will not travel to Ukraine for the annual celebration of the anniversary of the Baptism of the Rus, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow patriarchate has...

UN committee demands change in Irish abortion law CWN - July 16, 2014

The UN’s Committee on Human Rights has condemned Ireland’s ban on abortion as “unacceptable cruelty,” and demanded liberalization of the law. Following testimony by several pro-abortion...

CCHD cuts support for Oregon group over stand on same-sex marriage CWN - July 16, 2014

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has cut off funding for an Oregon group working with immigrants, because of the group’s public support for same-sex marriage. The CCHD announced...

Croatian parliament gives same-sex unions same benefits as marriage CWN - July 16, 2014

Croatia’s parliament has approved legislation that would extend to same-sex unions the same legal rights as those of marriage, except the right to adopt children. The new law, which passed easily...

Coptic Church will not endorse Egyptian political candidates, patriarch stresses CWN - July 16, 2014

Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II has warned clerics to avoid partisan political involvements as Egypt faces new elections later this year, the Fides news service reports. The Egyptian...

Released Thursday, Jul. 17

‘No longer a holy land,’ says Jerusalem patriarch CWN - July 17, 2014

The Latin patriarch of Jerusalem has again lamented the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, describing the region as “no longer a holy land” and the situation as “no longer a normal...

ISIL removes cross from Mosul cathedral CWN - July 17, 2014

The jihadist militant group that controls approximately 40% of Iraq and 30% of Syria has removed the cross from the dome of the Syriac Orthodox cathedral in Mosul, according to a report from the...

Vatican official calls for greater commitment to sustainable energy CWN - July 17, 2014

The Holy See supports the goal of sustainable energy for all, and achieving this goal requires a “radical paradigm shift,” the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said at a...

Priests kidnapped in Ukraine CWN - July 17, 2014

Two Catholic priests have been kidnapped by separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Religious Information Service for Ukraine (RISU) has reported. Father Tikhon Kulbaka, a priest of the Ukrainian...

Nigerian prelate prods government on kidnapped schoolgirls CWN - July 17, 2014

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has called upon the nation’s government to make the release of 200 kidnapped schoolgirls an urgent priority, according to the Catholic...

Chaldean patriarch urges Iraq’s parliament to elect new national leaders CWN - July 17, 2014

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has urged the members of the Iraqi parliament to set aside their differences and quickly...

New Burundi law would restrict small denominations CWN - July 17, 2014

The lower house of Burundi’s parliament has unanimously passed a bill that would deny legal recognition to churches that have fewer than 500 members or do not worship in a building. The measure...

Vatican prelate: family life threatened in Africa CWN - July 17, 2014

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has traveled to the Congo Republic, where he addressed the members of the Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa and lamented...

Senate bill curtailing religious freedom fails in procedural vote CWN - July 17, 2014

In a procedural vote, the United States Senate decided not to consider the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014,” a bill that would curtail religious freedom in response...

Catholic charity aids suffering civilians in Gaza CWN - July 17, 2014

Caritas Jerusalem, the Catholic relief agency, is working to provide aid to civilians in Gaza who have suffered from Israeli air strikes in retaliation after Hamas rocket attacks. Caritas...

Italian prosecutor asks Church to 'isolate' crime bosses CWN - July 17, 2014

An Italian prosecutor has said that Catholic priests can play a key role in defeating the power of organized crime, by encouraging the faithful to “isolate” the crime bosses. Federico Cafiero De...

Vancouver Catholic schools adopt policy to accommodate transgender students CWN - July 17, 2014

The Catholic school system of Vancouver has agreed that a 11-year-old transgendered student at a Catholic school, who was born as a boy but now prefers to live as a girl, will not be required to use...

Americans view Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals warmly; cool toward Muslims and atheists CWN - July 17, 2014

Americans are favorably disposed toward Jews, Catholics, and Evangelical Christians, according to a new survey by the Pew Forum. Jews, Catholics, and Evangelicals are tightly bunched at the top...

Russian Orthodox spokesman: female bishops in Church of England will harm ecumenical dialogue CWN - July 17, 2014

The chief ecumenical spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement lamenting the decision by the Church of England to allow for female bishops. "The Orthodox Church takes a...

Pope plans two quick trips to Caserta, Italy CWN - July 17, 2014

Pope Francis will make two quick trips to Caserta, Italy, on July 26 and 28, the Vatican has announced. On Saturday, July 26, the Pope will travel to Caserta at the invitation of Bishop Giocanni...

Korean Church eager for papal visit CWN - July 17, 2014

The faithful of South Korean "can't wait" for an August visit by Pope Francis, a spokesman for the Seoul archdiocese reports. Father Hur Young-yup told a radio audience that the papal visit will...

Argentine soccer team presents Pope with signed jersey CWN - July 17, 2014

The Argentine national soccer team, which finished 2nd in the World Cup, has sent Pope Francis a jersey signed by all of the team's members. During their stay in Brazil for the World Cup...

Santa Rosa diocese settles abuse suit for $3.5 million CWN - July 17, 2014

The Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, has paid $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a sex-abuse victim. The settlement—one of the largest paid to a single victim—leaves the Santa Rosa...

Released Friday, Jul. 18

Lawsuit after Kenyan bishops’ conference cancels lease for Muslim-run restaurant CWN - July 18, 2014

A Somali Muslim who operates a restaurant has filed suit against the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops after it canceled its lease agreement with him. The bishops’ conference had signed a...

President Obama: remarks at dinner during Ramadan CWN - July 18, 2014

The White House hosted an Iftar dinner on July 14 to mark the end of fasting on one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan began this year on June 28; it concludes on July 28. “Tonight,...

Vatican official: UN trade agency is ‘inspiration’ for Holy See’s positions CWN - July 18, 2014

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has paid tribute to UNCTAD, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, at a meeting in Geneva marking the body’s 50th...

Leading Russian Orthodox official weighs in on Ukrainian conflict CWN - July 18, 2014

One of the leading officials of the Russian Orthodox Church has told the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation that while each side has legitimate grounds to take up weapons in the unrest in...

Cardinal Nichols, other religious leaders speak out against assisted-suicide bill CWN - July 18, 2014

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury have joined other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in urging the House of Lords not to pass an assisted-suicide...

Vatican message to Muslims calls for ‘genuine fraternity’ CWN - July 18, 2014

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its annual message to Muslims for the end of Ramadan, which will take place on July 28. The statement, dated June 24, was released...

Swiss bishops call for greater generosity to Syrian refugees CWN - July 18, 2014

The Swiss bishops’ conference is urging the nation’s government to be more generous to refugees from the Syrian Civil War. Bishop Markus Büchel of Sankt Gallen, the conference’s president, called...

Catholic university may open in Vietnam CWN - July 18, 2014

Communist authorities in Vietnam may soon permit the opening of a Catholic university. “The dialogic approach adopted with the government is producing results,” Archbishop Paul Bùi Van Doc of Ho...

Pope calls Peres, Abbas, to plead for peace CWN - July 18, 2014

Pope Francis has placed personal phone calls to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to stem the renewed conflict in the Holy Land. The Pope called "to...

Christians in Mosul told: leave, convert, or die CWN - July 18, 2014

Christians in Mosul, Iraq, have been told that they must leave, convert to Islam or accept dhimmitude, or die. A communique from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) gave Christians a...

Papal prayers for airline crash victims in Ukraine CWN - July 18, 2014

Pope Francis is offering his prayers for the passengers of the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down over Ukraine, and for their families, the Vatican has announced. Without commenting on...

Bishops of Calabria join Pope in condemnation of organized crime CWN - July 18, 2014

Following up on the message of Pope Francis, the bishops of Italy's Calabria region have denounced organized crime as a "shameful scourge of society" and a "denial of the Gospel." The Calabrian...

Archbishop of Canterbury hopes approval of female bishops will not block ecumenical progress CWN - July 18, 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the other Christian leaders, saying that he hopes ecumenical progress can continue after the decision of the Church of England ordain women as...

Pope sends prayers to people of Gaza CWN - July 18, 2014

Pope Francis has promised his prayer to the people living in the Gaza Strip, as fears mount amid reports of an Israeli military offensive into the region. "I am close to you, to the nuns and the...

Novice raped by intruders in Indian convent CWN - July 18, 2014

Church leaders in India have expressed outrage at the gang-rape of a 17-year-old novice in a convent in Bangalore, the AsiaNews service reports. Archbishop Bernard Moras condemned the assault as...

New Legionary leader explains plans for renewal, recovery of morale CWN - July 18, 2014

Father Eduardo Robles Gil, the new general director of the Legion of Christ, spoke of his plans to restore morale within the troubled order, in a lengthy interview published in the National Catholic...

Pope's message: solve 1994 terror bombing at Buenos Aires Jewish center CWN - July 18, 2014

In an impromptu message, recorded on a visitor’s smartphone, Pope Francis has challenged his native Argentina to resolve questions about the terror bombing that killed 85 people in a Jewish...

Stratford Caldecott, English Catholic writer, succumbs to cancer at 60 CWN - July 18, 2014

Stratford Caldecott, a noted English Catholic writer and editor, died on July 17 at the age of 60, after a long struggle with cancer. For years Caldecott had edited Second Spring, a magazine that...

Released Monday, Jul. 21

Pope reflects on the parable of the wheat and the tares CWN - July 21, 2014

Pope Francis reflected on the parable of wheat and the tares during his July 20 Sunday Angelus address. “The teaching of the parable is twofold,” he said. “First of all, [Jesus] says that the...

Pope laments persecution of Iraq’s Christians, appeals for peace CWN - July 21, 2014

Following the conclusion of his July 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis lamented the persecution of Christians in Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city. “I have learned with concern the news which reaches...

Church leader urges international community: oppose aggression against Ukraine CWN - July 21, 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed condolences following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine and called upon the international community to “do...

Egypt’s government, Christian leaders negotiate on church construction CWN - July 21, 2014

The government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed office in June, has entered into negotiations with Christian leaders to draft regulations to facilitate church construction,...

‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21, 2014

Following an ultimatum from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to leave Mosul, convert to Islam, or be killed, the city’s remaining Christians left for other parts of Iraq. ISIL, the...

Islamist militias ‘manage everything’ in Benghazi, says prelate CWN - July 21, 2014

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, appealed for prayers for peace and for wisdom for political leaders as clashes between rival militias led to the closing of the Libyan...

A nun’s veil is a ‘royal crown’: Vatican newspaper CWN - July 21, 2014

The latest English edition of L’Osservatore Romano includes an article on the importance of the veil in the life of nuns. Mother Anna Maria Canopi, the Benedictine foundress of Mater Ecclesiae...

USCCB: reduce mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug offenses CWN - July 21, 2014

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has backed the US Sentencing Commission’s efforts to reduce mandatory...

Woman in same-sex marriage sues Missouri diocese following dismissal from parish position CWN - July 21, 2014

A Missouri woman who is civilly married to a female Lutheran minister has sued Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph after she was dismissed from her position as her...

Israeli ambassador to Holy See says religious influence can help bring peace CWN - July 21, 2014

Israel's ambassador to the Holy See said that religious leaders can help to promote peace agreements, and acknowledged the power of the Vatican on world opinion, in an interview with the Vatican...

Rochester diocese ends illicit practice of allowing lay people to preach homilies CWN - July 21, 2014

The Diocese of Rochester, New York, is bringing an end to the practice of allowing lay people to deliver homilies at Mass. Bishop Salvatore Matano, who become the leader of the Rochester diocese...

Italian bishop says critical remark about pro-lifers was taken out of context CWN - July 21, 2014

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference, who earned the wrath of pro-lifers by saying that he could not "identify with the expressionless person who stands outside the abortion...

Attacks on Belfast Catholic church, synagogue bring broad condemnation CWN - July 21, 2014

A fire set at a Catholic church in Belfast drew condemnations from religious and civic leaders in Northern Ireland. The door of St. Mary Star of the Sea church was scorched, but other damage was...

Vatican prelate, in Los Angeles, voices solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria CWN - July 21, 2014

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches voiced concern for the suffering of Christians in Iraq and Syria, as he celebrated Mass a the Maronite Catholic cathedral in Los...

Italian navy rescues 61 migrants; more than 20 dead in 3 days CWN - July 21, 2014

The Italian navy rescued 61 migrants from drowning as their boat sank off the coast of Sicily on July 21, Vatican Radio reports. But at 6 passengers died, and a dozen more are missing. Just two...

Sudan: no new churches allowed CWN - July 21, 2014

The government of Sudan will not permit the construction of new Christian churches, the Fides news service reports. Government minister Shalil Abdallah told el Jareeda daily that the number of...

South Korean leader opens talk on reunification as papal visit nears CWN - July 21, 2014

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has formed a commission to study the prospects for reunification of Korea, announcing the move in advance of the visit by Pope Francis. The South Korean...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 22

Missile hits Syrian monastery CWN - July 22, 2014

An air-launched missile has caused severe damage to a Franciscan monastery in Yacubiyah, a town in northwest Syria. The region’s Franciscan province, founded by St. Francis in 1209, reported that...

Iraq: jihadists expel monks from historic monastery CWN - July 22, 2014

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the jihadist group that now controls one-fourth of Syria and 40% of Iraq, stormed a Syrian Catholic monastery on July 20 and expelled the...

Report: few Mosul Christians converted to Islam CWN - July 22, 2014

Faced with an ultimatum to convert to Islam, be killed, or leave Mosul, the vast majority of the Christians still in Iraq’s 2nd-largest city in mid-July chose to depart rather than convert,...

Ukrainian Church leader: Christians have duty to defend their nation CWN - July 22, 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church told youth taking part in a pilgrimage that Christians have a duty to defend their nation against military aggression. “We never fought wars of conquest,...

Russia poses no military threat to others, says patriarch CWN - July 22, 2014

Speaking at a concert attended by President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that the nation poses “no military threat and no danger to other people.” “May God [grant]...

USCCB decries Obama’s LGBT executive order as ‘unprecedented and extreme’ CWN - July 22, 2014

Referring to the “irrefutable rightness of your cause,” President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning federal employment discrimination against transgendered persons and prohibiting “all...

Vatican newspaper tribute to film on Christ CWN - July 22, 2014

The July 21-22 edition of L’Osservatore Romano included five articles devoted to The Gospel According to St. Matthew, a film released 50 years ago. Emilio Ranzato, who wrote two of the articles,...

Hindu attack on church in India CWN - July 22, 2014

Armed with hammers and hockey sticks, Hindu fanatics attacked a Protestant church near Bulandshahr, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. After assaulting the pastor and others...

Pope calls Syriac Patriarch, vows solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria CWN - July 22, 2014

Pope Francis has placed a phone call to Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan, to assure him of his prayers and solidarity as Christians face open persecution in sections of Iraq and...

Church leaders in Holy Land plead for end to violence in Gaza CWN - July 22, 2014

The apostolic nuncio in the Holy Land has repeated the call of Pope Francis for an end to the violence in Gaza, and the retired Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has denounced the bloodshed...

Minnesota judge rejects archdiocesan plea to dismiss abuse suit, sets court date CWN - July 22, 2014

A Minnesota judge has rejected a plea by the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis to dismiss a sex-abuse lawsuit. “This case needs to be tried,” said Judge John Van de North, setting a September...

Pontifical Council for Laity plans November meeting of lay movements CWN - July 22, 2014

The Pontifical Council for the Laity has announced plans for a 3rd world congress of ecclesial movements, to be held in Rome in November. Founders and leaders of more than 55 recognized lay...

Italian politicians urge reinstatement of Catholic-school teacher dismissed for suspected homosexuality CWN - July 22, 2014

Twenty members of the Italian parliament have asked education minister Stefania Giannini to investigate the dismissal of a Catholic-school teacher who says that she was fired because she was...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 23

Church official in Jerusalem analyzes Gaza-Israel conflict CWN - July 23, 2014

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s vicar for the Hebrew Catholic community says that both the Israeli government and Hamas are to blame for the current state of the Gaza-Israel conflict. “The...

Patriarch tells Mosul’s Christians: do not be afraid CWN - July 23, 2014

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has published the text of a speech that Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako addressed to Mosul’s Christians after they fled their city rather than convert to...

USCCB committee chair calls on Kerry to work for Israeli-Palestinian peace CWN - July 23, 2014

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has called upon Secretary of State John Kerry to work for Israeli-Palestinian...

Former Dutch regulator of euthanasia now criticizes practice CWN - July 23, 2014

Stating that “some slopes truly are slippery,” a former regulator of euthanasia in the Netherlands now says that he was wrong to support the practice. “Euthanasia is on the way to become a...

Cardinal condemns Nicaragua attack CWN - July 23, 2014

Gunmen attacked supporters of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party on July 19, killing five and wounding 24. Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes condemned the attack and urged Nicaraguans, whether...

Papal message urges British, Irish Catholics to ‘combat the culture of death’ CWN - July 23, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message to British and Irish Catholics on behalf of Pope Francis for the Day of Life, which will take place July 27. “The...

NY mayor meets with Vatican’s Secretary of State, invites Pope to visit CWN - July 23, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City met in Rome with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and invited Pope Francis to visit the city during his potential September 2015 visit...

Dublin's archbishop worried by rise in homelessness CWN - July 23, 2014

The rising level of homelessness in Ireland is "shameful," says Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Archbishop Martin said that he was particularly worried by the number of families living...

DC think-tank finds mixed trends affecting American culture, family life CWN - July 23, 2014

A new study by the Heritage Foundation finds hopeful trends in some American cultural indicators, but discouraging news on other fronts. The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity, released by the...

White House plans new 'accommodation' for religious groups on contraceptive mandate CWN - July 23, 2014

The Obama administration has promised a new effort to address the concerns of religious institutions that object to mandated coverage of contraceptives in employees’ health-care...

Iraqi prelate: we need action, not just words CWN - July 23, 2014

“We need more than words now, we need concrete actions,” an Iraqi archbishop told Vatican Radio. Archbishop Amel Nona of Mosul confirmed that Christians have been driven out of the city, with...

Bucking trends, Jesuit magazine America adds to staff CWN - July 23, 2014

America, the Jesuit-owned magazine, has announced a round of new hirings, expanding its editorial staff at a time when most publications are contracting. America's editor, Father Matt Malone,...

In Somalia, bishop travels incognito CWN - July 23, 2014

Bishop Giorgio Bertin, who serves the tiny Catholic community in Somalia, reveals that he hides his identity when he visits the troubled African country. “When I go there, I don’t put any...

Russian Orthodox leadership: tell the truth about downed airliner in Ukraine CWN - July 23, 2014

The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has urged anyone with information about the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine should tell “the whole truth before God and the people.” "It...

Released Thursday, Jul. 24

Caritas appeal for Gaza CWN - July 24, 2014

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued a $1.5-million appeal for aid to hospitals and families in Gaza. “Most of the victims are children, women and...

Candidate favored by Christians wins Indonesia’s presidential election CWN - July 24, 2014

Joko Widodo, the candidate favored by Indonesia’s Christian population, has won the nation’s presidential election. The Southeast Asian nation, the world’s 4th-most populous at 252 million, has...

Vatican newspaper decries ‘caliphate of brutality’; Mosul cathedral becomes mosque CWN - July 24, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has removed the crosses from all 30 churches and monasteries in Mosul and converted the Syriac Orthodox cathedral into a mosque, according to the...

Czech Republic to hold 1st Eucharistic congress CWN - July 24, 2014

The Czech Republic, which was formed in 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, will hold its first national Eucharistic congress in 2015, the Italian news agency SIR has...

Sunday Mass attendance falls below 40% in Poland CWN - July 24, 2014

Sunday Mass attendance has fallen below 40% in Poland, according to statistics published in L’Osservatore Romano. Nonetheless, some statistics are positive: the nation, for example, has more...

Japan’s bishops oppose constitutional interpretation that allows for military action CWN - July 24, 2014

In a shift from longstanding national policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government stated that the nation’s constitution permits Japan to come to the military defense of allies--...

USCCB president calls for prayers for peace CWN - July 24, 2014

Citing conflicts in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon his brother bishops to encourage prayers for...

Bishops: learn from Aboriginal Australians’ love for the land CWN - July 24, 2014

In a recent message for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday, Australia’s bishops called upon Catholics to learn from indigenous peoples to love the land. “Many Aboriginal and Torres...

Papal condolences following Taiwan plane crash CWN - July 24, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent condolences on behalf of Pope Francis following a plane crash in Taiwan that left 47 dead. “The Holy Father learned with...

Freed, Meriam Ibrahim flies from Sudan to Italy, meets with Pope Francis CWN - July 24, 2014

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who once faced a death sentence because she refused to renounce Christianity, has left Sudan, flying to Rome, where she met with Pope Francis on July 24. During...

UN 'cannot stand by' during 'crime against humanity' in Mosul, says Chaldean Patriarch CWN - July 24, 2014

In an urgent message to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has said that the UN “cannot stand by and be a witness to the ongoing atrocities committed against...

Catholics reportedly upset by Pope's plans to visit Protestant congregation in Caserta CWN - July 24, 2014

Bishop Giovanni D'Alise of Caserta, Italy, was not informed about plans for a papal trip to the city until the news became public, according to veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister of...

52 priests laicized in England and Wales because of abuse, watchdog group reports CWN - July 24, 2014

Since 2001, 52 priests in England and Wales have been laicized because of sexual abuse, the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) has disclosed. The NCSC reported that 81 abuse charges...

Vatican plans to clarify language of canon law regarding abuse penalties CWN - July 24, 2014

The president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has revealed that the Vatican plans to revise the Code of Canon Law, to make sections involving the treatment of clerical abuse “more...

Kansas City diocese asks court to void new $1.1 million payment to abuse victims CWN - July 24, 2014

The Diocese of Kansas City has asked a Missouri court to set aside a $1.1 million payment to abuse victims that was awarded by an independent arbitrator. Hollis Hanover, a court-appointed...

Released Friday, Jul. 25

Holy See calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza-Israel conflict CWN - July 25, 2014

The United Nations Human Rights Council met on July 23 to discuss the human rights situation in Gaza. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent representative to UN offices based in...

Syrian Orthodox leader laments silence of Muslim leaders in wake of Mosul CWN - July 25, 2014

Speaking at his residence in Lebanon, the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church decried recent events in Mosul following its takeover by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), also known as...

As Boko Haram expands, Cameroon’s Catholics pray for peace CWN - July 25, 2014

As the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram expands its operations from Nigeria to neighboring Cameroon, the nation’s Catholics gathered in churches on July 19 to pray for peace. “As...

Pope will visit Philadelphia in 2015 for World Meeting of Families CWN - July 25, 2014

Archbishop Charles Chaput has disclosed the Pope Francis plans to attend the World Meeting of Families, to be held September 2015 in Philadelphia. Although the Vatican has not made an official...

Pope recalls helping other priests hear confessions at shrine CWN - July 25, 2014

In a message commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Shrine to St. Pantaleon in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis said he wished to be “close to you to be able to relive in some way the...

Bishop Pates: mining companies, CAFTA have had harmful effects on Central America CWN - July 25, 2014

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, returned from a visit to El Salvador, Guatemala,...

‘China’s aging millions look forward to bleak future’ CWN - July 25, 2014

China’s population of elderly will rise to 350 million by 2030, and the nation’s one-child policy will “impose a huge burden on the country, shrink the labor force that has fueled its growth, and...

Christian aid workers slain in Afghanistan CWN - July 25, 2014

Two Finnish women who have worked for a Christian aid organization in Afghanistan since 1997 were gunned down in Herat, the nation’s 3rd-largest city. “These women have given their lives-- now...

English primary school ordered to change admissions policy that favored Mass-going families CWN - July 25, 2014

A Catholic primary school in England has been ordered by government officials to alter its admissions policies, which had given preference to the children of families that attended Mass...

Pope is surprise luncheon visitor at Vatican workers' cafeteria CWN - July 25, 2014

Pope Francis surprised Vatican workers on July 25 by dropping into the staff cafeteria for lunch. Arriving without warning just after noon, the Pope took a tray, chose a Friday lunch of fish and...

Released Monday, Jul. 28

Papal condolences following plane crash in Mali CWN - July 28, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent condolences on behalf of Pope Francis following an Air Algérie plane crash in Mali that left 118 dead. The Pope assured the...

‘No official confirmation’ of papal trip to Philadelphia CWN - July 28, 2014

A day after Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said that “Pope Francis has told me that he is coming” to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015, the director of the...

Pope says priests should be men of prayer who are close to the people CWN - July 28, 2014

On July 26, Pope Francis made an apostolic journey to the southern Italian region of Campania and arrived by helicopter in Caserta, a city of 80,000. The visit to Caserta was the Pope’s sixth...

Pope Francis: Jesus is the treasure, Jesus is the pearl CWN - July 28, 2014

Pope Francis concluded his brief apostolic journey to Caserta on July 26 by celebrating evening Mass in the piazza in front of the city’s royal palace. Preaching about the parables of the...

Cardinal Marchisano dead at 85 CWN - July 28, 2014

Cardinal Francesco Marchisano died on July 27 at the age of 85. In a telegram of condolence, Pope Francis described him as “generous in his vocation as a priest and bishop, solicitous of the...

‘Read the Gospel and find Jesus,’ says Pope CWN - July 28, 2014

During his Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel from the Mass of the day (Mt. 13:44-52). “Whoever finds [the kingdom of God] has no doubts, he feels...

Pontiff recalls World War I centenary: ‘no more war!’ CWN - July 28, 2014

At the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled that July 28 marks the centenary of the beginning of World War I. “As we remember this tragic event, I hope that the...

After investigation of diocese in Paraguay, Vatican suspends ordinations CWN - July 28, 2014

The Vatican has suspended priestly ordinations in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, according to multiple media reports. Following an investigation of the diocese led by Cardinal Santos...

In talk to Evangelical congregation, Pope apologizes for Catholic hostility CWN - July 28, 2014

Pope Francis apologized for Catholic cooperation in campaigns against Pentecostalists and Evangelicals, during a visit to a Protestant congregation in Caserta on July 28. The Pope was traveling...

5 killed in bombing of Catholic church in Nigeria CWN - July 28, 2014

At least five people were killed, and several others seriously injured, when a Catholic church was bombed in Kano, in northern Nigeria, on July 27. The explosion at St. Charles church came...

Family of Jesuit abducted in Syria issues appeal on anniversary of his disappearance CWN - July 28, 2014

The family of an Italian Jesuit priest who was kidnapped in Syria has issued an appeal, as the anniversary of his disappearance arrives. Father Paolo Dell'Oglio was apparently captured near...

Colombian bishop welcomes rebel group's transformation into political party CWN - July 28, 2014

The move by former guerilla groups to form political parties is a step toward peace for Colombia, Bishop Julia Cesar Vidal Ortiz told the Fides news service. The bishop, who has served as a...

In new interview, Pope speaks on leisure, family rest on Sunday CWN - July 28, 2014

Pope Francis reflected on his youth, spoke about the importance of leisure to family life, and the brutality of warfare in a newly published interview. Speaking to the Argentine weekly Viva about...

Vatican prelate voices fears for Iraqi Christians, during visit to California CWN - July 28, 2014

The prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches condemned religious violence, and offered prayers for the embattled Christians of Iraq, as he presided at the Divine Liturgy on July 27...

European court: no 'human right' to same-sex marriage CWN - July 28, 2014

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that member nations are not required to “grant access to marriage to same-sex couples,” in a complicated case involving a transgendered...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 29

Prelates rue recent court decisions on marriage CWN - July 29, 2014

Prelates around the country have criticized recent court rulings declaring that the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unconstitutional. “Recent court decisions on...

Southern African bishops pledge to pray, advocate on behalf of Palestinians CWN - July 29, 2014

Citing “your pain, humiliation and increased oppression,” the head of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has expressed “our profound solidarity, our fervent prayers and our renewed...

In Caserta meeting, evangelical pastor greets Pope Francis as ‘my beloved brother’ CWN - July 29, 2014

The Holy See Press Office has released the remarks made by evangelical pastor Giovanni Traettino during his July 28 meeting with Pope Francis in Caserta, Italy. As he introduced “my beloved...

Ukraine: separatists release kidnapped priest CWN - July 29, 2014

A Roman-rite priest who was abducted by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on July 15 has been released, the Religious Information Service for Ukraine reported. Father Viktor Vonsovych...

Dates announced for Pope’s trip to Sri Lanka, Philippines CWN - July 29, 2014

The Holy See Press Office has officially announced the dates of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Pontiff will visit Sri Lanka from January 12-15 and the...

Zhejiang: 360 crosses, Christian buildings destroyed CWN - July 29, 2014

Chinese Communist officials have continued their campaign against Christian institutions in the eastern province of Zhejiang. Since January, the government has demolished 360 crosses or...

Report: jihadists destroy St. George’s mausoleum in Mosul CWN - July 29, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the jihadist group that took over Mosul in June and subsequently expelled Christians from the city, has destroyed the mausoleum of St. George, the city’s...

Cardinal Müller, in new book, renews argument against change in Church teaching on marriage CWN - July 29, 2014

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, renews his argument against changes in Church teaching on marriage, in a new book-length...

France offers asylum to Christian refugees from Iraq CWN - July 29, 2014

The government of France has offered asylum to Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes by Islamic militants. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said that his government is...

Destruction in Gaza nears WWII levels, says Catholic aid official CWN - July 29, 2014

An official of Caritas Jerusalem, the Catholic charitable agency, has compared destruction wrought by an Israeli offensive in Gaza to the devastation of World War II. Father Raed Abusahliah said...

Milwaukee archdiocese faces $14 million in legal bills for bankruptcy proceedings CWN - July 29, 2014

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee owes roughly $14 million in legal fees connected with its filing for bankruptcy protection, the National Catholic Reporter has found. The legal fees-- which the...

Filipino Christians working in Libya are at risk, pastor says CWN - July 29, 2014

A Filipino priest serving in a parish in Libya has warned that the lives of Christians are endangered in that country, the AsiaNews service reports. Father Amado Baranquel pointed to the case of...

Bishop says talk of 'priest shortage' is nonsense CWN - July 29, 2014

Priests in the Diocese of Rockville Center, New York, have taken issue with the claim by Bishop William Murphy that talk about a priest shortage is “nonsense.” Bishop Murphy, in a recent blog...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 30

Aid Iraq’s persecuted Christians, USCCB committee chair urges Obama administration CWN - 21 hours ago

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged the Obama administration to provide humanitarian assistance to...

Patriarch, in Washington, denounces ‘mass cleansing’ of Mosul’s Christians CWN - 21 hours ago

Following the expulsion of Christians from Mosul, Iraq’s 2nd-largest city, the head of the Syrian Catholic Church traveled to Washington to seek support for Iraq’s beleaguered Christians. “It is...

Bombing damages Gaza’s Catholic parish school CWN - 20 hours ago

An Israeli army bombing has damaged the school of Gaza’s only Catholic parish, as well as the office of Gaza’s parish priest. The target of the bombing was a nearby home, the Fides news agency...

Nuncio: Syrian war becoming a ‘forgotten conflict’ CWN - 20 hours ago

The apostolic nuncio in Syria said that the three-year-old Syrian Civil War is becoming a “forgotten conflict,” according to a L’Osservatore Romano report. Rebel forces are battling with the...

Kerry decries persecution of Christians by Boko Haram, Islamic State CWN - 19 hours ago

The US State Department issued its annual International Religious Freedom Report and named Turkmenistan its 9th “country of particular concern” because of egregious governmental repression of...

Seminary rector sees ‘Taliban mentality’ in Pakistan CWN - 19 hours ago

The rector of a seminary in Lahore, Pakistan’s 2nd-largest city, sees a troubling “Taliban mentality” in society despite strong national support for anti-terrorist efforts. “Many madrasas and...

President Obama issues statement for end of Ramadan CWN - 19 hours ago

President Barack Obama has issued a statement commemorating Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. “This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and...

Dallas bishop asks lawyers to assist migrant children CWN - 19 hours ago

Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, joined by Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, appealed to lawyers to volunteer to assist unaccompanied migrant children. The children “are running from tremendous...

Peru’s bishops call for ‘new battle’ against threats to life, family CWN - 18 hours ago

Recalling the example of national military heroes, Peru’s bishops called for “a new battle against selfishness, hedonism, and relativism” in a message for the nation’s independence day. These...

Vatican confirms suspension of ordinations in troubled Paraguay diocese CWN - 10 hours ago

The Vatican has confirmed that all priestly ordinations have been suspended in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, after a Vatican investigation of the diocese. Father Federico Lombardi,...

Following Pope's example, Evangelical leader apologizes for hostility toward Catholics CWN - 10 hours ago

Reacting to the address delivered by Pope Francis to a congregation of Evangelical Christians in Caserta, Italy, the head of the World Evangelical Alliance has said that just as the Pope apologized...

Vatican Secretariat of State issues alert to diplomatic corps on plight of Christians in Middle East CWN - 10 hours ago

The Vatican Secretariat of State has sent a formal note to all the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, calling their attention to the appeals by Pope Francis for Christians in Iraq and elsewhere...

Melkite Patriarch urges Christians, Muslims to 'save Islam' from violence CWN - 10 hours ago

Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch, the leader of the world's Melkite Catholics, has issued an appeal to the Arab world to unite against Islamic extremism. The Melkite prelate called upon...

Resolution honoring Pope Francis stalls in US Congress, with little Republican support CWN - 9 hours ago

A Congressional resolution honoring Pope Francis for his “inspirational statements and actions” has stalled on Capitol Hill, with Republican Party leaders reluctant to move it forward. The...

Minnesota archbishop rejects calls for resignation CWN - 9 hours ago

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has rejected calls for his resignation, and insisted that he never knowingly concealed evidence of clerical abuse. "I am bound to...

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