Stories for July 2016

Released Monday, Jul. 4

Pope condemns terrorist attack in Bangladesh

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, issued a message following an Islamist terrorist attack at a Bangladeshi bakery that left at least 22 dead. The majority of those...

Pope calls on Europe to ‘put the human person back at the center’

Pope Francis spoke in a video message to participants in “Encounter, reconciliation, future,” an ecumenical gathering in Munich sponsored by Together for Europe. “It is time to...

Papal tribute to St. Martin, the ‘father of the poor’

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague as his special envoy to a Mass commemorating the 1,700th anniversary of the birth of St. Martin of Tours. The Mass will take place on July 9...

Pope Francis: hostility, joy surround missionary proclamation

Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20), Pope Francis reflected on Christian missionary proclamation during his July 3 Angelus address. “God became one of us; in...

Dominican cardinal retires; successor named

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez as Archbishop of Santo Domingo for reasons of age and has named Bishop Francisco...

Revival effort at Shrine of the North American Martyrs

The National Catholic Register reports on the effort to restore-- and restore interest in-- the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York. Administered for over a century by...

Indonesian priest becomes political candidate, suspended from ministry

An Indonesian priest has become a candidate for public office in Indonesia, prompting his bishop to suspend him from ministry. Father Rantinus Manalu has declared himself a candidate to be...

Seminarians beaten by mob in Venezuela

Five seminarians were beaten, and one of them required hospitalization, when a gang attacked students in Merida, Venezuela. Bishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Merida condemned the attack, saying...

Christian internet dating site required to offer equal services for gay users

An online Christian dating service will be required to offer its services to homosexuals under the terms of a court settlement. ChristianMingle.com-- which has affiliated sites including...

Bangladesh: bishops condemn terror attack, urge forgiveness

The Catholic bishops of Bangladesh have appealled for calm and forgiveness after a terrorist attack that killed at least 22 people at a bakery in Dhaka. "We condemn the violence of terrorism...

Vatican continuing talks with SSPX

The Vatican remains actively involved in talks aimed at regularizing the status of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the secretary of the Ecclesia Dei commission reports. Last week Bishop Bernard...

Vatican cautions against rumor of special administrator for Medjugorje

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, has dismissed as "premature" rumors that the Vatican will assume direct responsibility for Medjugorje. According to...

Pope will not be deterred by criticism; says resignation was 'act of governance' by Benedict XVI

Pope Francis said that he will pursue his goals for the Church despite critics, in an interview with a journalist from Argentina.  When Joaquin Morales Sola of La Nacion asked him...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 5

Pope Francis: pray, work for peace in Syria

Lamenting the “incredible quantities of money” spent on weapons used in Syria, Pope Francis has renewed his call for prayers for peace in the war-torn nation. The Syrian Civil War,...

Retired Jerusalem patriarch speaks about challenges faced by his successor

The retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has granted an interview in which he discussed the challenges faced by his temporary successor. Pope Francis recently accepted the resignation of...

1st Muslim call to prayer inside Hagia Sophia since 1931

For the first time in 85 years, a Muslim call to prayer has taken place inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Completed in 537, Hagia Sophia served as the basilica of the Patriarch of Constantinople...

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU’s new global strategy

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has welcomed the European Union’s new global strategy for foreign and security...

Cardinal Nichols, other British religious leaders decry racial hatred

In a letter to The Times, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, joined by three other religious leaders, lamented racial hatred. “So many of the political, social and economic...

Ecumenical gathering: ‘Europe must not become a fortress’

“Encounter, reconciliation, future,” an ecumenical gathering in Munich sponsored by Together for Europe, has issued a concluding message. Several Catholic prelates attended the...

Prosecutors ask for four convictions, one acquittal in 'Vatileaks' trial

Prosecutors wrapped up their case in the "Vatileaks II" trial on July 4, asking a Vatican tribunal to find four defendants guilty, and recommending prison sentences of up to 45...

Papal visit to Assisi scheduled for August anniversary

Pope Francis will visit Assisi in August, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the dedication of the Portiuncula chapel. The Pope will visit the little chapel that ws used by St....

Archbishop Chaput: divorced/remarried must live as brother and sister to receive Communion

In new guidelines for the Philadelphia archdiocese, Archbishop Charles Chaput has confirmed the traditional Church teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried may receive the...

Belgian Catholic nursing home fined for refusing euthanasia

A Catholic nursing home in Belgium has been fined for refusing to euthanize a patient. A civil court in Louvain ruled that the St. Augustine home had "no right to refuse euthanasia on the...

Suicide bombing at Medina

Suicide bombers struck at one of Islam's holiest shrines on July 4, and suspicions turned immediately toward the Islamic State. Three blasts occurred in Saudi Arabia on Monday, with two...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 6

Colombian cardinal welcomes peace progress, calls on guerillas to take further steps

Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota welcomed a guerilla leader’s decision to stop levying a “revolutionary tax” in areas under his movement’s control. The...

Syria: Amnesty International deplores torture, persecution in rebel-held areas

Amnesty International has published a report on abductions, torture, and killings in areas controlled by Syrian rebel groups. The report, issued on July 5, offers “a rare glimpse of what...

Brazilian archbishop resigns following allegation

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, 66, from the governance of the Archdiocese of Paraíba, Brazil. The prelate, who was accused of a sexual...

Missionary: Muslim rebel coalition controls 60% of Central African Republic

Séléka, the Muslim rebel coalition that assumed power in the Central African Republic for 10 months in 2013-14, is again expanding its reach and now controls 60% of the nation’s...

Pope meets with parents of murdered American student

Pope Francis met on July 6 with the parents of Beau Solomon, an American college student murdered in Rome. The Pope “manifested his sentiments of deep sympathy and compassion and his...

Pope asks the poor to pray for the conversion of the rich

Pope Francis met with poor pilgrims from the dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Lyon, France, on July 6 and asked them to pray for the conversion of the wealthy. The pilgrims are...

Lawyers ask tribunal to acquit top 'Vatileaks II' defendants

Lawyers for the most prominent defendants in the "Vatileaks II" trial urged the court to acquit their clients, or at least give them minimum sentences, in final statements on July...

Top Vatican liturgical official urges 'ad orientem' liturgy

Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Liturgy, has recommended that priests throughout the world celebrate Mass ad orientem, beginning at Advent. In the ad orientem posture,...

Court rules same-sex parents both belong on child's birth certificate

A federal judge in Indiana ruled last week that both members of a same-sex couple should be listed as parents on their child's birth certificate. The ruling-- which matches court rulings in...

Indian court: government does not recognize Church annulment decrees

India's Supreme Court has ruled that annulment decrees from Catholic Church tribunals have no legal standing in secular courts. The court ruling came in a case brought by a Catholic canon...

Pennsylvania sex-abuse whistle-blower found dead, apparent suicide

A man who was instrumental in exposing a pattern of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania, has been found dead, apparently a suicide. Brian Gergely apparently hanged...

Coptic nun killed by stray bullet in shoot-out in Egypt

A Coptic Orthodox nun was killed by a stray bullet on July 5 in Egypt, the Fides news service reports. Sister Athanasia was riding in a car from Cairo to Alexandria, accompanied by a driver...

Bangladesh bishop: family failures breed radicalism

Reacting to the July 1 terrorist attack that killed 20 people in Dhaka, a Catholic bishop in Bangladesh has suggested that the radicalization of young people is due in part to the failures of...

Released Thursday, Jul. 7

Archbishop Cupich named member of Congregation for Bishops

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago a member of the Congregation for Bishops. The Congregation’s members, whether curial prelates or diocesan bishops like Archbishop...

Brazilian archbishop who resigned criticized aspects of 2014 Synod; prosecutor alleges abuse cover-up

The Brazilian archbishop who resigned following an allegation of a relationship with an 18-year-old male was the coauthor of a book criticizing aspects of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the...

Venezuela’s bishops gather amid rising hunger, violence

Venezuela’s bishops prayed for their nation before the exposed Blessed Sacrament on July 7 as they began a six-day meeting. Venezuela has the world’s highest inflation rate (500%),...

Vietnamese government in new bid to seize land from Catholic monks

Vietnamese government officials have moved to seize the property of a Catholic monastery in Hue province, in the latest in a series of steps to appropriate real estate from Church...

Argentine Catholics seek beatification for clerics killed by military regime

As Catholics in Argentina marked the 40th anniversary of the murder of five clerics, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires lent his support to calls for their recognition as martyrs. "The blood of...

Patriarch: don’t encourage Christians to leave the Middle East

During a recent talk at a Cincinnati parish, Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi reflected on the present situation and future prospects of Christians in the Middle...

Vatileaks verdicts: two convicted; journalists cleared

A Vatican tribunal has convicted two former Vatican officials, but cleared two Italian journalists, in the "Vatileaks II" trial. The Vatican announced on July 7 that: Msgr. Lucio...

Released Friday, Jul. 8

California bishop declared venerable; 8 other beatification causes advance

In a July 8 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance nine beatification causes. In approving a decree...

Prelates call for immediate passage of Conscience Protection Act; House vote scheduled

Two prelates who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for the immediate passage of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (H.R.4828/S.2927). In their July 7...

Brazilian bishops’ conference: ‘heartfelt gratitude’ for work of prelate who resigned

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil has issued a statement expressing its “heartfelt gratitude” for the episcopal ministry of an archbishop who resigned following an allegation...

Vatican newspaper offers reflection on conversions to Islam

The Vatican newspaper has published a front-page reflection on conversions to Islam. Summarizing a recent book by journalist Virginie Riva examining the conversions of 11 French women, historian...

Pope encourages Eucharistic adoration

Pope Francis encouraged daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament, in a message to Italy's Eucharistic Congress. In his message-- addressed to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the president of the...

Irish lawmakers reject proposal to allow abortion in cases of fetal abnomality

Ireland's parliament, the Dail, has rejected a bid to allow legal abortion in cases of "fatal fetal abnomality." By a vote of 85- 45 of July 7, Irish lawmakers left intact the...

Dallas bishop pleads for prayers after fatal shootings of police

Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas asked the faithful to pray for peace in the community after five police officers were killed by snipers, and several others wounded. "Dallas is in shock right...

Russian 'anti-terror' legislation raises questions of religious freedom

New Russian legislation, aimed at religious extremists, puts new restrictions on missionary work. Amendments to the country's laws governing religion, signed by President Vladimir Putin on...

Italy: Nigerian Christian refugee killed in racist attack

Church and civil officials in Italy deplored the murder of Emmanuel Chidi Nnamdi, a Nigerian Christian refugee who has lived in Fermo for ten months. Nnamdi, 36, fled Nigeria with a 24-year-old...

Immigrants occupy Regensburg cathedral

A group of about 40 immigrants has occupied the Catholic cathedral of Regensburg, Germany, demanding that they be allowed to remain in the country. The Regensburg diocese has announced that it...

Released Monday, Jul. 11

Prelate: non-Catholic Armenians see Pope as ‘true universal pastor’

Reflecting on the “extremely positive” legacy of Pope Francis’s recent apostolic journey to Armenia, an Armenian Catholic prelate said that “not only Catholics responded, but...

Pope encourages Argentines to fight against global throwaway culture

Reflecting on the bicentennial of Argentina’s independence from Spain, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the poor and marginalized and encouraged his fellow Argentines “to overcome...

Vatican message calls for respect, protection of seafarers’ rights

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People recently issued its annual message for “Sea Sunday,” which was commemorated this year on July...

Cardinal Piovanelli dead at 92

Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, the archbishop emeritus of Florence, died on July 9 at the age of 92. Born near Florence in 1924, Piovanelli was ordained an archdiocesan priest in 1947. He worked...

Pope names new apostolic nuncio to Mexico

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Franco Coppola as the new apostolic nuncio to Mexico, succeeding Archbishop Christopher Pierre, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to the United States in...

Pope Francis: imitate Good Samaritan, doing good works to those in need

The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us “indicates a way of life in which the center of gravity is not ourselves, but others, with their difficulties,” Pope Francis said during his...

Pope appoints American layman as chief Vatican spokesman

Pope Francis has named an American layman, Greg Burke, as the director of the Holy See Press Office, effective August 1. Burke succeeds Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, 73, who has served in the...

USCCB president: ‘the police are not a faceless enemy’

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decried the mass shooting of police officers in Dallas. “The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act...

Pope cuts back authority of Secretariat for Economy

Pope Francis has cut back on the authority of the Secretariat for the Economy, with a new motu proprio that removes the power of the new office to supervise the administration of the Vatican's...

English cardinal warns priests against 'ad orientem' liturgy

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has written to his priests, advising them not to follow a Vatican official's recommendation to begin celebrating Mass ad orientem. Reacting to an...

Vatican deflates 'ad orientem' suggestion

The Vatican has moved quickly to counteract a suggestion by Cardinal Robert Sarah that priests should celebrate Mass ad orientem. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press...

New fighting prompts fear of genocide in South Sudan

Church leaders in South Sudan have warned there is a "risk of genocide," and asked for international intervention to guard against the danger, the Fides news service reports. Citing a...

Chinese officials to honor judge who ordered death of martyr

Public officials in Guangxi, China, plan to open a museum to honor the judge who ordered the death of St. August Chapdelaine, the AsiaNews service reports. The museum, in the village of Dingan--...

Rwandan leaders convicted of massacre at church

Two Rwandan political leaders have been convicted by a French court of leading the massacre of about 2,000 people who had sought haven in a Catholic church during the African country's genocidal...

Schedule released for papal trip to Georgia, Azerbaijan

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a trip by Pope Francis to Georgia and Azerbaijan, from September 30 to October 2. The Pope will leave Rome in the morning on Friday,...

Massachusetts bishops issue neutral statement on state guarantee for 'transgender' rights

The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have issued a public statement encouraging "careful oversight and respect for all individuals" in the wake of the state legislature's approval of...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 12

Chinese publisher has printed 150M Bibles

The world’s largest Bible publisher-- located in Jiangsu, China-- has printed 150 million Bibles since its founding in 1988, according to the Vatican newspaper and the Beijing-based China...

Work should not become an idol, says Vatican prelate

A “culture of work” should be fostered in which work is not made an idol, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said in a recent talk. Addressing a labor festival in...

Scotland’s bishops call for ‘courageous steps’ toward nuclear disarmament

As lawmakers in the United Kingdom prepare to debate the future of the nation’s submarine missile fleet, Scotland’s bishops called upon Parliament to take “decisive and courageous...

South Sudan’s Christian leaders call for peace, repentance as thousands flee capital

South Sudan’s Christian leaders called for peace following a deadly renewal of violence between belligerents in the nation’s civil war. “We condemn all acts of violence without...

USCCB president: ‘tremendous gratitude’ for appointment of Greg Burke as Vatican spokesman

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement welcoming the appointment of Greg Burke as director of the Holy See Press Office. “I learned of Greg...

Vatican works to rekindle dialogue with Sunni Muslim scholars

Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, will travel to Egypt soon to meet with leaders of Al Azhar University, the Vatican announced on July...

Seminarian drowns saving woman

A student at Mount St. Mary's seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, is missing and presumed dead after he disappeared in the Arkansas River, after saving a woman from drowning. Brian Bergkamp was...

Bush: Pope's visit to Mexican border helped Trump

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said that a visit to the US- Mexico border by Pope Francis helped Donald Trump's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Speaking on MSNBC...

Pope chooses Protestant to produce Argentine edition of Vatican newspaper

Pope Francis has chosen Marcelo Figueroa, a Protestant theologian and a personal friend, to edit an Argentine edition of L'Osservatore Romano. Beginning in September, Figueroa will edit an...

Father Lombardi: Pope does not need a spin doctor

Pope Francis does not need a spin doctor, his outgoing spokesman told an Italian interviewer. Father Federico Lombardi, who will step down in May from his post as director of the Vatican press...

Church halts all non-sacramental activities in besieged Syrian city

Bombing and artillery strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo have forced the Catholic Church to suspend all activities except the administration of the sacraments, the city's Latin-rite apostolic...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 13

Cardinal suggests new meeting between Pope, Russian patriarch

During a recent visit to Belarus, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said that a meeting there between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow could foster peace in Ukraine. The Vienna...

House committee holds hearing on First Amendment Defense Act; prelates call for passage

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious...

Ukrainian Catholic leader: EU integration can help preserve independence from Russia

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that Ukraine should continue to pursue integration into European political structures in order to prevent the nation’s absorption by...

US laywoman named member of Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications

One year after he established the Secretariat of Communications, Pope Francis has named 16 members of the Secretariat. The Secretariat, led by Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, was founded to...

South Sudan: 16,000 take refuge in parishes

Thousands of people have taken refuge in parishes in South Sudan, and the Church lacks the means to feed them, the nation’s leading prelate told Vatican Radio. “In our Catholic...

Archbishop Zimowski, head of Pontifical Council for Health Care, dead at 67

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, died on July 12 the age of 67, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Kupienin, Poland, Zygmunt...

Joint Orthodox-Catholic commission begins study on Cardinal Stepanic

A joint Catholic-Orthodox commission met this week to begin its exploration of the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, whose cause for canonization is a controversial topic in Croatia and...

At UN, Vatican envoy calls for 2-state solution in Middle East, questions morality of drone strikes

During a UN discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on July 12, the Vatican's representative reaffirmed the commitment of the Holy See to a two-state solution. "The time is long...

Venezuelan bishops respond to national crisis

"We are on the brink of a food and health-security crisis," the Catholic bishops of Venezuela warned in a statement released at the conclusion of their annual meeting. While widespread...

Released Thursday, Jul. 14

Papal condolences following train collision

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a train collision in Puglia, Italy, that left 23...

Cardinal praises new British PM

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster welcomed the appointment of Theresa May as the United Kingdom’s new prime minster. As Home Secretary, May, 59, has worked with Cardinal Nichols to...

Leading Philippine prelate: we will ‘stand up for the moral right’ and ‘resist the moral wrong’

Before the debate over the Reproductive Health Act in 2012, Philippine bishops were “heard and respected,” but now the Church is a “Church in the wilderness,” the president...

Christian girl abducted, father killed in Pakistan

A 14-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and her father was killed when he tried to rescue her, according to AsiaNews and L’Osservatore Romano. The Vatican...

House passes Conscience Protection Act

In a largely party-line 245-182 vote, the US House of Representatives has passed the Conscience Protection Act. The legislation provides that federal, state, and local governments “may not...

Irish nuns remaining in South Sudan

Irish nuns from two religious institutes are choosing to remain in South Sudan despite the dangers from the escalating conflict there. Members of the Sisters of Loreto are taking care of nearly...

US Catholic voters lean toward Clinton, survey shows

American Catholic voters lean strongly toward Hillary Clinton in this year's presidential contest, according to a new Pew Forum survey. The Pew poll found that Clinton held a 56-39% advantage...

Venezuelan College for seminarians in Rome closed by national emergency

The Venezuelan College in Rome, where some of the country's most promising seminarians study for the priesthood, has been closed because of the country's economic crisis. With Venezuela...

Pope makes surprise visit to office of pontifical commission

Pope Francis broke from his schedule on Wednesday to make a surprise visit to the office of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. After a visit to the dentist at the Vatican health...

Vatican envoy tells UN: human rights are not created by states

Speaking at a UN meeting on human rights, the Vatican’s representative reminded the assembly that human rights take precedence over the authority of states and national...

Released Friday, Jul. 15

USCCB awards nearly $1.2M to Church in Africa

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded $1.17 million in grants to pastoral projects there. “The funding granted by the...

Ukrainian cardinal decries Russia’s ‘imperial ambitions’

The retired head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has criticized Russian expansionism, according to a report from the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. “I am looking at the...

Christian man arrested on blasphemy charges in Pakistan

A Pakistani Christian man has been arrested on blasphemy charges after he was accused by a Muslim man of using WhatsApp Messenger to send a poem that denigrated Muhammad. Following the...

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice

The Vatican has condemned the terrorist attack in Nice, France, that left 84 dead. “We have followed during the night, with the greatest concern, the terrible news which has come from...

South Sudan bishop analyzes conflict

In a recent op-ed piece in The Guardian, a South Sudanese bishop explained that the conflict there runs far deeper than a dispute between supporters to two politicians. “What we are dealing...

Vatican, China working toward accord?

The Vatican is pushing for an agreement with Beijing over the appointment of Catholic bishops in China, according to a special report from the Reuters news agency. Citing confidential interviews...

After renovation, prison where Sts. Peter and Paul were jailed now open to visitors

The ancient Roman prison where Sts. Peter and Paul were once confined has been re-opened to visitors after a year-long renovation. The Mamertine prison, also known as the Carcer Tullianum, is a...

Released Monday, Jul. 18

Turkey needs dialogue, says bishop

The failed coup d’état attempt in Turkey manifests an unease with the direction in which the nation is heading, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia told Vatican Radio. Urging calm,...

Understand the jihadists’ strategy, Muslim journalist writes in Vatican newpaper

In a front-page column that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano following the terrorist attack in Nice, a Muslim journalist said that a greater understanding of Islam is necessary to counter the...

Iraqi bishop laments conditions in refugee camps

In an interview with a California-based magazine, an Iraqi bishop deplored the situation of Christians who fled the Islamic State and now live in refugee camps. “The situation for these...

Pope prays for victims of Nice terrorist attack

Stating that “the pain of the massacre is alive in our hearts,” Pope Francis prayed for the victims of the Nice terrorist attack following his Angelus address on July 17. The attack...

Pope Francis: listening is at heart of hospitality

St. Luke’s account of Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha (Lk. 10:38-42) emphasizes the importance of listening, Pope Francis said in his July 17 Sunday Angelus address. “In busying...

South African bishops urge lawmakers to address media censorship

South Africa’s bishops have lent their support to demonstrators who have protested censorship at the state-run South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), including the suspension of...

Baton Rouge bishop calls for week of prayer and fasting after police slain

Bishop Robert Muench of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has called for "a diocesan-wide week of prayer and fasting" in response to the shooting deaths of three police officers. The bishop said...

Statistics show sharp decline of German Catholic Church

Despite statistics that show a catastrophic decline, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich insists that the Catholic Church in Germany is "a strong force, whose message is heard and...

Italian Church receives $1.3 billion from 'church tax'

The Catholic Church in Italy received $1.3 billion from income-tax returns, under a system that send 0.8% of tax payments to religious or charitable institutions. Italian taxpayers are given the...

Papal encouragement for Evangelical meeting in Washington

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to "Together 16," a rally of Evangelical Christians in Washington, DC. In his message, conveyed by video, the Pope says that all young...

Dissident Boston 'parish' sets up rival congregation

The group of dissident Catholics who fought for 14 years to prevent the closing of their parish by the Boston archdiocese have now set up their own community, outside the structure of the Catholic...

German cardinal sees negative results from resignation of Benedict XVI

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, has written that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was imprudent-- although certainly...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 19

Philippine bishops warn against vigilantism, police killing of suspects

Extrajudicial killings cry out to heaven for justice, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines warned in a recent letter. “We are disturbed by an increasing number of...

Russian Orthodox Church: recent council in Crete was ‘important’ but ‘not pan-Orthodox’

The recent Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church was not a pan-Orthodox council, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has said. The Russian Orthodox Church—the largest of...

Church will foster ‘life-saving dialogue,’ USCCB president says following police shooting

Following the shooting of three police officers in Baton Rouge, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that “we find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament...

Brooklyn diocesan spokesman delivers invocation at GOP convention

The Diocese of Brooklyn’s vicar of communications delivered the invocation before the evening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18. Msgr. Kieran Harrington...

Illinois bishop defends Archbishop Chaput’s teaching on Communion for divorced/remarried

An Illinois bishop has come to the defense of Archbishop Charles Chaput, who recently confirmed the traditional Church teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried outside the Church may...

Archbishop Gänswein says loyalty to Pope Benedict makes him unwelcome in Germany

In an interview with Schwäbischen Zeitung, Archbishop Georg Gänswein said that his work as the personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his previous work for the Congregation...

Pope to Dominicans: 'testify to mercy'

In a message to leaders of the Dominican order, who are holding a general chapter in Bologna this week, Pope Francis urged: "Testify to mercy, professing it and embodying it in...

Chinese officials balk at visas for World Youth Day travel

The Chinese government is discouraging young people from traveling to Poland for World Youth Day (WYD), the AsiaNews service reports. About 2,000 young people from China are expected in Krakow...

African bishops plead for peace in South Sudan, condemn all violence

The Catholic bishops of eastern Africa have denounced the bloodshed in South Sudan and condemned "all acts of violence without exception." "Fighting for whatever reason is an act...

Catholic Theological Society honors 'married' homosexual scholar

The Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) has given its highest award to an openly homosexual scholar who is a partner in a same-sex union. Orlando Espin, who teaches systematic theology...

See gifts in every person, Cardinal Tagle urges faithful

Christians should look on all other people as gifts, Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila said in his homily at a Mass closing the 3rd Philippine Conference on New Evangelizaiton. "You don't...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 20

Boston cardinal concerned about Trump’s comments on Muslims

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston has expressed concern about comments made by Donald Trump about Muslims. In Ireland for the rededication of Knock Basilica, the prelate warned...

Patriarch Bartholomew foresees significant ecumenical progress in coming years

In an interview with La Repubblica, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew discussed the recent Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church and said that those who wish to interrupt dialogue with other...

Chilean bishop: multinational corporations trying to influence Catholic organizations

A Chilean bishop opposed to the construction of a massive hydroelectric plant warned Catholic organizations not to accept donations from multinational corporations involved in the project. Bishop...

40,000 Americans to take part in World Youth Day in Poland

More than 40,000 Americans, including 85 bishops, have registered to take part in World Youth Day, which will begin on July 26 in Krakow, Poland. “The 40,000 Americans registered represent...

Parish priest in Nice builds good relations with Muslims, evangelizes

Father Patrick Bruzzone, parish priest of Saint-Pierre de l’Ariane in the immigrant quarter in Nice, France, has built good relations with the Jewish and Muslim communities, according to a...

2 churches attacked in Turkey

Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey, a Catholic church and a Protestant church in different cities suffered attacks, a Brussels-based newspaper reported. Using sledgehammers and stones,...

Rebel rockets rain down on Christian quarter in Aleppo

On a single day last week, 250 rockets rained down on the largely Christian quarter of west Aleppo, which is controlled by the Assad regime. In west Aleppo, Christians “at least have the...

At UN, Vatican envoy deplores child trafficking

At a recent UN meeting devoted to the trafficking of children, the Holy See’s permanent observer said that the Church “has sought to fight to address its various causes, care for those...

Buttiglione backs Amoris Laetitia in L'Osservatore Romano article

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has published a front-page essay by Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian political leader and adviser to St. John Paul II, supporting the argument of...

Orthodox Patriarch left Turkey just before coup, sparking rumors

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople left Turkey just hours before the abortive coup this past weekend, prompting rumors that he had been warned of the attempt of oust President...

Military officer, convicted of killing Guatemalan bishop, dies in prison riot

A former Guatemalan military officer who was convicted in 2001 of killing a Catholic bishop has himself been killed in a prison riot. Byron Lima, a former army captain, was found guilty of the...

Former OSV publisher to head US bishops' news service

Greg Erlandson, who recently retired as publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, has been named editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service (CNS), the news agency run by hte US bishops'...

Pope sends greetings to Poland, where stage is set for World Youth Day

Pope Francis has sent a message of greetings to the young people of Poland, one week before he visits Krakow for the 31st World Youth Day (WYD). This year's WYD, the Pope said, will...

Vatican envoy urges UN members not to veto action on war crimes

In a UN discussion about war crimes, the Vatican's representative has exhorted Security Council members not to block action on crimes against humanity. Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that...

Beatification sought for theologian Romano Guardini

The Archdiocese of Munich, Germany, will soon open a cause for the beatification of the theologian Romano Guardini. Born in Verona in 1885, Guardini taught at the University of Berlin until he...

Schedule set for Pope's afternoon trip to Assisi, August 4

The Vatican has released the full schedule for an afternoon pilgrimage to Assisi by Pope Francis on August 4. The Pontiff will travel to Assisi by helicopter in he afternoon, arriving at...

Video released of priest kidnapped in Yemen, but no new information

The release of a video showing Father Tom Uzhunnalli, the Salesian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March, provides "nothing new" about his condition, and does not even prove that he...

Co-founder of Neocatechumenal Way dead at 85

Carmen Hernandez, a co-founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, died in Madrid on July 20 at the age of 85, after a long illness. Hernandez had joined with Kiko Arguella and Father Mario Pezzi to...

Released Thursday, Jul. 21

New nuncio: US bishops’ main challenge is evangelization

In an interview with Our Sunday Visitor, Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the new apostolic nuncio to the United States, said that “helping the people know Jesus” is the main challenge...

Christian leaders warn of Zimbabwe’s ‘total collapse’

Decrying the repression of protestors, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference has joined with other Christian organizations in warning of the nation’s “total collapse”...

Africa to be consecrated to the Divine Mercy

The continent of Africa will be consecrated to the Divine Mercy on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The consecration will take place during the Third Congress for...

Argentina: nuns accused of helping hide $9M

Four nuns at a convent near Buenos Aires are under investigation for allegedly assisting a former cabinet minister in hiding $9 million in cash and jewels. Argentine media showed footage of nuns...

Detroit priest sentenced for embezzlement

A Detroit archdiocesan priest who admitted to embezzling money from a charity has been resentenced to three to 20 years in prison. Father Timothy Kane admitted that he had arranged to receive...

Memo: nuncio curtailed investigation of Minnesota archbishop

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, then apostolic nuncio to the United States, directed that an investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt’s alleged homosexual activity be curtailed, and...

Top aide to Cardinal Pell leaving Secretariat for Economy

Danny Casey, a chief aide to Cardinal George Pell at the Secretariat for the Economy, will step down from his post and return to his native Australia at the end of September, The Tablet has...

Profile of Cardinal Dziwiz: longtime secretary to St. John Paul II now hosting World Youth Day

The Crux web site has profiled Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who is hosting World Youth Day. Cardinal Dziwisz, who worked for decades as private secretary to St. John Paul II, sees this...

Lebanese prosecutor names three suspects in 2013 kidnapping of Orthodox nuns

A Lebanese prosecutor has issued warrants for the arrest for three Syrian men who are suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of 13 Orthodox nuns. The nuns were abducted from St. Tekla’s...

Pope presided at wedding of deaf couple

Pope Francis presided at the wedding of a young couple earlier this month, in a quiet ceremony held in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Paulina Szczepanska, the daughter of a Vatican...

Released Friday, Jul. 22

Bishop: Turkey’s Catholics are safe because they stay out of politics

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his crackdown, assuming unprecedented powers through a state of emergency and suspending adherence to a human rights treaty, one of the...

Syria: patriarch blasts Western efforts to remove Assad

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church—an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See—offered strong criticism of “American, French, English, [and] European Union...

USCCB president announces day of prayer, task force for community peace

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to observe September 9, the memorial of St. Peter Claver, as a “Day of Prayer for Peace in Our...

Cardinal Burke: Islam is ‘fundamentally a form of government’

Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a telephone interview that Islam is “fundamentally a form of government.” Speaking with Religion News Service, the patron of the Sovereign Military...

Pakistan: Eucharistic congress counters conversions to Protestantism

An Islamabad parish has hosted a two-day Eucharistic congress, described by AsiaNews as Pakistan’s first. 1,500 mostly young people were in attendance at the congress, and two bishops...

Pope issues new norms for women's contemplative religious communities

Pope Francis has issued new rules for the governance of women's contemplative religious communities. With the apostolic constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere, the Pope calls for a renewal of...

Croatian court overturns conviction of Cardinal Stepinac

A Croatian court has overturned the conviction of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, who was convicted of treason in a show trial under Communist rule in 1946. Cardinal Stepinac, an implacable foe of...

Cardinal Sarah: St. Mary Magdalene shows need to recover 'primary of adoration'

Cardinal Robert Sarah has cited the example of St. Mary Magdalene as a model for Catholic spirituality, emphasizing the need to "recover the primacy of God and the primacy of adoration in the...

Venezuela asks Vatican to mediate in crisis

The government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has reportedly agreed to a proposal from opposition leaders to ask for Vatican mediation in talks aimed to end the country's political...

Released Monday, Jul. 25

Papal condolences following Munich shooting

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a shooting in Munich that left nine dead and over two dozen...

Pope Francis: the word ‘Father’ is the ‘secret of Jesus’ prayer’

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 11:1-13) during his July 24 Angelus address, Pope Francis said that “this word [Father] is the secret of Jesus’...

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