Action Alert!

Stories for June 2010

Released Wednesday, Jun. 2

European court: 10 nations back Italy in crucifix case

Ten of Europe’s 47 states have joined Italy in petitioning the European Court of Human Rights to overturn its decision in the Lautsi case, in which the court ruled that the display of a crucifix in...

Canada: Bishop charged with child-porn possession denies abuse allegation

Bishop Raymond Lahey, who resigned in September 2009 after Ottawa airport security found child pornography on his computer, has denied a sexual abuse allegation. A man who is a former resident of a...

Madagascar: bishops lament national crisis

“Insecurity reigns everywhere, families are divided, unemployment rises, political differences cause disorder, drugs of all kinds are spread everywhere,” the bishops of Madagascar write in a new...

Report: Almost 50 CCHD-funded organizations linked to activities opposed to Catholic teaching

Almost 50 organizations funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development “remain involved in activities directly opposed to Catholic moral and social teachings,” according to a June 1 statement...

Australian bishops criticize proposal to transport asylum seekers to small islands

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is criticizing a government proposal to reinstate the “Pacific solution,” a policy in effect from 2001-7 that transported asylum seekers away from the...

Caritas condemns Israeli raid on ‘Freedom Flotilla’

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic charitable and relief agencies, has joined Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi in condemning the Israeli raid on the “Freedom Flotilla”...

African priest elected head of Society of Missionaries for Africa

In a decision that manifests the success of missionary efforts in Africa over the past century, the Society of Missionaries for Africa have for the first time chosen an African as their superior...

African leaders back Nyerere’s canonization cause

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Jakaya Kitwete of Tanzania voiced support for the canonization cause of Julius Nyerere (1922-99), Tanzania’s founding president. Mr. Nyerere...

Pope voices sorrow, fear after Israeli raid on 'Freedom Flotilla'

Pope Benedict XVI expressed deep regret and "great trepidation" over the Israeli raid on the "Freedom Flotilla," during his weekly public audience on June 2. "I feel the need to express my...

Pope Benedict surveys profound contribution of St. Thomas Aquinas

The work of St. Thomas Aquinas has "fundamental importance in the history of philosophy and theology as well as for history and culture," Pope Benedict XVI said at his public audience on June...

Pope's outreach to traditionalists: often criticized, often effective

Pope Benedict has made ecumenical work a top priority, advancing talks with the Orthodox churches and extending an invitation to Anglicans. But his efforts to reconcile with traditionalist Catholics...

Miami's new archbishop insists on Catholic role in public square

At his installation Mass on June 1, Miami's Archbishop Thomas Wenski said that Catholics should advance Church social teachings "coherently and unapologetically" in public affairs. The new...

Papal prayers for Guatemalan storm victims

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence to the victims of a tropical storm that left 150 dead and many others wounded in Guatemala. In his message-- conveyed in a telegram to...

Vatican exhibit explores roots of Compostela pilgrimage

This week the Vatican is opening an exhibit featuring Diego Gelmirez, the first Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, who was instrumental in the construction of that city's cathedral and in...

Most US abortions involve coercion or pressure, group says

The Elliot Institute, an Illinois organization dedicated to helping women recover from the aftermath of abortions, suggests that "probably the majority of abortions in the United States are unwanted...

Released Thursday, Jun. 3

German prosecutors investigate leading bishop for abetting abuse

The president of Germany’s episcopal conference is under investigation for a 1987 decision to transfer a priest who had committed abuse to another parish. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg was...

Vatican official prods US on immigration reform

In a lengthy address delivered in Washington on June 2, Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, discussed various...

Swiss bishops to report abuse allegations to police

The Swiss bishops’ conference announced on June 2 that it would routinely report clerical abuse allegations to police rather than encouraging victims to file the reports. The bishops’ conference...

Papal greetings for major ecumenical conference in Edinburgh

A century after the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh launched the modern ecumenical movement, representatives of the Catholic Church and various Orthodox and Protestant communities are...

Pontiff blesses bronze bust of Pope Pius XII

Pope Benedict XVI blessed a bronze bust of his predecessor Venerable Pius XII at his June 2 general audience, according to a German-language Vatican Radio report. Pope Benedict also greeted Sister...

Pope blesses Catholic Media Convention via satellite

At the conclusion of his June 2 general audience devoted to St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict blessed participants at the Catholic Media Convention in New Orleans via a satellite link. The...

Vigorous defense of Pius XII by Pave the Way Foundation’s Krupp

Gary Krupp, the head of the Pave the Way Foundation, has mounted a vigorous online defense of Pope Pius XII at Galus Australis, an Australian Jewish online forum. In a May 20 article, Mr. Krupp...

Bishop murdered in Turkey

The president of the Turkish Catholic bishops' conference has been murdered. Bishop Luigi Padovese of Anatolia was stabbed to death on Thursday, June 3. The crime occurred in the port city of...

Prosecutors weighed criminal charges against Los Angeles archdiocesan leadership

California prosecutors have considered bringing criminal charges against Church leaders in the Los Angeles archdiocese including Cardinal Roger Mahony, but the possibility of prosecution is "more...

Pope's trip to Cyprus has strong ecumenical dimension

When he travels to Cyprus this weekend, Pope Benedict XVI will be making the first trip of his pontificate to a predominantly Orthodox country. In choosing Cyprus as the site for the release of the...

Complications plague planning for Pope's trip to Great Britain

Organizers of the September visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain are battling difficulties that include sharply rising costs and unavailable personnel in key planning positions. Church...

Italian region offers financial incentives against abortion

The government of Italy's Lombardy region is offering support to women who are considering abortion because of financial pressures. The government will offer monthly payments of €250, for up to...

Founder of traditional group resigns amid conflicting charges

Father Carlos Miguel Buela, the founder of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, has resigned his post as general superior of that institute-- reportedly at the request of the Vatican after an...

Pope leads Rome's Corpus Christi celebration

The power of the Eucharist "transforms extreme violence and injustice into the supreme act of love and justice," Pope Benedict XVI said as he led Corpus Christi observances on June 3. As the...

Released Friday, Jun. 4

Influential Jesuit journal praises US health care law

The influential Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolicahas published an article praising the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was approved by Congress and signed into law in March....

Belgium: 400 abuse allegations in recent weeks

Catholics in Belgium have reported 400 abuse allegations since the April 23 resignation of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, who admitted abusing a boy before and after his ordination as a bishop. European...

Abbot comes to defense of leading German bishop, says abbey to blame for abusive priest’s transfer

Cistercian Abbot Anselm van der Linde of Wettingen-Mehrerau has come to the defense of Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, the president of the German episcopal conference. The archbishop is...

Danish paper ripped bishop, ignored law that required silence

Editor's note: The story below is a corrected version of a story that first appeared on June 4. After the original story appeared, CWN learned that the Danish newspaper story on which our report was...

1st bishop to be ordained for Muslim Comoros

The Comoros, a French-speaking Muslim nation of three islands in the Indian Ocean, will gain its first bishop on June 19, when Congolese-born Msgr. Charles Mahuza Yava is ordained. Pope Benedict on...

Catholic University of America president named bishop

The Holy See Press Office announed on June 4 that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Father David O’Connell as coadjutor bishop of Trenton (New Jersey). The Vincentian priest, who has served as...

Catholics in Turkey question official explanation of bishop's murder

Catholics in Turkey, mourning the murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese, are raising questions about the official explanation for the killing. Murat Altun, who had been the bishop's driver, has...

Danish prosecutors, citing statute of limitations, drop most sex-abuse probes

Danish prosecutors have dropped 26 of the 31 sex-abuse complaints that had been lodged against Catholic priests. In most of the cases, police said, the statute of limitations makes it impossible to...

Time cover story rehashes old complaints against Pope Benedict

A cover story in Time magazine renews the effort to saddle Pope Benedict XVI with the blame for the worldwide sex-abuse scandal. The Time essay itself covers no new ground and has no real merit, but...

Trip to Cyprus is religious, not political, Pope reminds reporters

Pope Benedict XVI emphasized that his trip to Cyprus is a pastoral rather than political visit, as he spoke with reporters who accompanied him on the June 4 flight from Rome. Questioned about the...

In divided Cyprus, Pope's theme is unity

"Following in the footsteps of our common fathers in the faith, Sts. Paul and Barnabas," Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cyprus on June 4. The Pope-- the first Roman Pontiff ever to visit Cyprus--...

Corpus Christi procession draws 5 million participants in Sao Paulo

Roughly 25% of the population of Sao Paulo turned out for the annual Corpus Christi procession. Not entirely religious-- nor exclusively Catholic-- the huge parade included 630...

Not a perfect game, but definitely a model to emulate

Reflecting on this week's most poignant baseball story-- a pitcher's bid for a perfect game, ruined by an umpire's mistaken call-- columnist Peggy Noonan remarks that the main characters, in their...

Vatican lawyer: defending a tiny nation-state in US courts

Jeffrey Lena-- the American lawyer representing the Vatican in a Kentucky lawsuit that seeks to list Pope Benedict as a defender-- sees himself as a spokesman for the legal rights of small...

Planned Parenthood accelerates push for 'sexual rights' of adolescents

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is boosting its efforts to influence young people, the group's annual financial report shows. IPPF-- which enjoyed $140 million in revenues in...

Released Monday, Jun. 7

Solidarity priest Father Popieluszko beatified

Father Jerzy Popieluszko (1947-84), whose vocal opposition to Communism and support for the Solidarity labor movement led to his brutal martyrdom, was beatified on June 6 in Warsaw. 140,000 people,...

Canada: Reconciliation between diocese, gay altar server as bishop preaches tolerance

Less than a month after a mediation session at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal resulted in a confidential settlement, Bishop Nicola de Angelis of Peterborough traveled to a Cobourg parish to...

Holy See: International Criminal Court should recognize subsidiarity, just wars

Diplomats from around the world are meeting in Kampala, Uganda, to review the Rome Statute, which was drafted in 1998 and created the International Criminal Court to punish crimes against humanity....

Military archbishop: Retain policy against open homosexuality in the military

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services has issued a statement calling for the retention of the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” under which open homosexuality is...

Miami archbishop: Enact immigration reform

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who was installed on June 1 as Archbishop of Miami, is calling upon Congress “to seize the opportunity for a comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. To date,...

North Carolina 7th graders to learn about IUD, spermicides, morning-after pill

North Carolina public schools are preparing for the fall implementation of the Healthy Youth Act, which mandates that seventh and eighth graders be instructed in “the effectiveness and safety of all...

Papal trip highlights crisis facing Christians in the Middle East

The October 2010 meeting of the Synod of Bishops will be "an opportunity for Christians of the rest of the world to offer spiritual support and solidarity to their brothers and sisters in the Middle...

Turkey: bishop's accused killer shouted Islamic phrase

The man charged with killing Bishop Luigi Padovese reportedly shouted "Allah Akbar!" after repeating stabbing the prelate, and boasted of having killed "the great Satan." Police and Church...

European bishops' conference protests bid to curb animal testing by using human embryos

A European bishops' group is cautioning against a directive that would call for protection of animals used in laboratory tests in the European Union, but might encourage the use of tissues harvested...

Confusion continues on plans for Pope's visit to Britain, Newman beatification

Church officials in England have denied reports that the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman could be rescheduled. Pope Benedict XVI is due to preside at the beatification ceremony...

Despite Vatican ruling, dissidents continue vigils at closed Boston parishes

After the Vatican's highest tribunal turned down their effort to stop the closing of five parishes, dissident Catholics in the Boston archdiocese vowed to continue their vigils. The leader of a...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 8

Bishop purchased annuity so notorious abuser would seek laicization

After his installation in the Diocese of Stockton in 1999, Bishop Stephen Blaire purchased a $94,560 annuity for notorious abuser Oliver O’Grady so that he would voluntarily seek laicization. “I...

30 churches threatened in Indonesia in past year

Thirty Christian churches in the world’s largest Muslim nation have been burned down, attacked, or threatened with being closed by authorities, according to Theophilus Bela, the Catholic president...

Denmark: Bishop asks Vatican to investigate nun’s death at convent

Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen, Denmark’s sole bishop, has asked the Vatican to investigate the 1993 death of an elderly nun at a Cistercian convent, according to The Copenhagen Post. The nun,...

Illinois diocese removes 2 priests following allegation

The Diocese of Joliet has removed two of its priests from ministry after a former Catholic school student alleges they abused him three decades ago. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests...

Father Curran in Newsweek: Church should ordain women, change numerous teachings

Father Charles Curran, the priest of the Diocese of Rochester whose dissent from Catholic teaching led to his removal from a Catholic University teaching position in 1986 at the behest of Cardinal...

Clerics gather in Rome for closing celebrations of the Year for Priests

Catholic priests from all around the world are gathering in Rome this week, at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, for the closing events of the Year for Priests. The 3-day celebration begins...

Vatican schedules 9 new beatifications

The Vatican has announced that nine beatifications have been scheduled for the months of June through November. In each case, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had already issued a...

World Anglican leaders suspend US Episcopalians from ecumenical talks

The worldwide leadership of the Anglican communion has suspended representatives of the Episcopal Church in the US from participating in ecumenical dialogues. The disciplinary action came after the...

Italian bishops voice support for priests, decry 'generic accusations'

The Italian bishops' conference has issued a statement of support for the country's priests, noting that the "generic accusations" of misconduct that have arisen because of the sex-abuse scandal...

New killing fuels fears of anti-Christian campaign in Iraq

The execution-style killing of a Christian businessman in Kirkuk, Iraq, has reawakened fears of a systematic campaign against the Christian minority in northern Iraq. Kirkuk, like the nearby city...

British TV network to air documentary on Pope Benedict by gay activist

As Britain prepares for the September visit by Pope Benedict XVI, the Channel 4 television network has announced plans to air a documentary on the Pope. The program will be guided by Peter...

US Supreme Court seen open to incremental pro-life legislation

Surveying the recent decisions of the US Supreme Court, legal theorist (and newly baptized Catholic) Hadley Arkes concludes that in effect, the Court is saying: "We are prepared to entertain...

Coptic Pope defies Egyptian court: will not accept divorce and remarriage

Pope Shenouda II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has confirmed that his church will refuse to abide by a decision of Egypt's highest court, which ruled that the Coptic Church must allow...

Noted scholar confirms: Catholic Church subject to unique pressure on sexual abuse

In a noteworthy column published in USA Today, Philip Jenkins, the respected author of Pedophiles and Priests, points out that while sexual abuse by Catholic priests has become the topic of constant...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 9

Slain bishop’s driver was assigned by government; confrere rips allegation of homosexuality

A funeral Mass for Bishop Luigi Padovese, the slain vicar apostolic of Anatolia and president of Turkey’s episcopal conference, took place on June 7 at the cathedral in Iskenderun. “For us...

Panama: Archbishop blasts government decision to abandon Sunday rest

During a Corpus Christi address, Panama’s leading prelate strongly criticized a government decision to eliminate Sunday as a day of required rest for workers. “The dignity of man and woman is what...

El Salvador archbishop praises nation’s president for ‘steps towards democracy’

One year after Mauricio Funes assumed office as president of El Salvador, the nation’s leading prelate has lauded him for taking “significant steps” to foster democracy. “Beyond the partisan...

Utah bishop laments execution by firing squad

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City has criticized the scheduled June 18 execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner by firing squad. The method of execution was chosen at the convicted murderer’s request....

Critique of Time cover story on Pope

Greg Erlandson, president of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing and coauthor of Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal, has written a critique of the recent Time...

Catholic-Orthodox dialogue drafting document on steps to unity

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, chaired by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, continued to work on a...

Pope recaps trip to Cyprus, appeals for Christians in the Middle East

Pope Benedict XVI devoted his weekly public audience on June 9 to a recap of his trip the previous weekend to Cyprus, adding a look forward to the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will...

Afghans burn Pope in effigy, protesting Christian relief agencies

Islamic protestors burned the Pope in effigy in Afghanistan, in a demonstration prompted by charges that Christian relief agencies were seeking to convert Muslims. The demonstrators also shouted,...

Australian bishop admits breach of abuse victim's confidence

An Australian bishop has acknowledged that he drew a reprimand from his fellow bishops for violating the confidentiality of a woman who had reported sexual abuse. Bishop Joseph Grech of Bendigo...

Released Thursday, Jun. 10

Pius XII begged FDR to spare civilians, churches, hospitals

The Knights of Columbus have published a recently discovered August 1943 letter from Pope Pius XII to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asking the Allied forces to spare civilians, churches, and...

Chinese authorities demolish parish

Government authorities in Ordos City, a city of 1.6 million in northern China, demolished the city’s only parish on June 7 in order to make way for a larger road. Authorities also handcuffed the...

Danish police seek Cistercian abbess in 1993 death of nun

A Dutch-born Cistercian abbess who has served as a superior of abbeys in Denmark, Germany, and Peru is being sought by Danish police for the 1993 death of a fellow nun. After an elderly nun who was...

Vatican newspaper denounces ‘handi-phobia’

The June 10 edition of L’Osservatore Romano has published an article by neonatologist and bioethicist Carlo Bellieni denouncing “handi-phobia”: a fear of handicapped persons that has led to the...

Botswana prelate: Homosexuality a sickness ‘mostly of our own making’

In a wide-ranging interview published on June 10 by the Gaborone Sunday Standard, Botswana’s leading prelate said that the clerical abuse scandals are a “reflection of a sick society” and that...

Reality show star Susan Boyle will likely sing at papal Mass

Susan Boyle, who achieved worldwide fame in 2009 on a British reality television show, will likely sing at a papal Mass during Pope Benedict’s September visit to the United Kingdom, according to a...

Year for Priests is 'providential' answer to scandal, says Cardinal Bertone

Speaking to priests who were gathered in Rome for the concluding days of the Year for Priests, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that the sex-abuse scandal pointed to the need for a "new season of...

Vatican rumor: Cardinal Pell declined curial post

The widespread belief that Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, would soon be appointed prefect of the powerful Congregation for Bishops has come under question, as rumors now circulate in...

Pope has 'cordial' meeting with Spanish premier despite tensions

Pope Benedict XVI met on June 10 with Spain's Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, for "cordial" discussions that touched on issues that have caused serious tensions between the Spanish...

Involuntary euthanasia found widespread in Belgium

A new report on legal euthanasia in Belgium has found that a significant number of "terminations with request or consent." Although the country's law requires the patient to give informed consent...

Prince Charles lauds Islamic approach to ecology

England's Prince Charles, speaking to an audience at Oxford, has recommended a return to the "spiritual principles" of the world's great religions, as a means of curbing environmental damage. Prince...

Turkey: bishop's murder was political, Church leaders fear

Church leaders in Turkey are raising serious questions about the murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese, and rejecting the official explanation that the bishop's assailant was emotionally...

Released Friday, Jun. 11

Cardinal Hummes urges world’s priests to be missionaries

In a June 9 Mass that was among the concluding celebrations of the Year for Priests, Cardinal Claudio Hummes., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, urged the world’s priests to be...

Finland: Catholic, Orthodox leaders criticize selection of woman as Lutheran bishop

Finland’s sole Catholic bishop has criticized the nation’s Lutheran community for electing its first female bishop. Irja Askola will become the Lutheran bishop of Helsinki, the nation's...

Senate committee approves abortions at military hospitals

In a quiet May 27 vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 15-12 to permit abortions at US military hospitals. The provision is now an amendment to an 852-page bill which, if approved, will...

South African bishops organize ‘parallel World Cup’

As the World Cup takes place in South Africa, the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) has organized an International Soccer Peace Tournament to help bring together different...

Episcopal Church’s Robinson, deposed Ugandan bishop call for sexuality without boundaries

Joined by Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, Christopher Senyonjo, a deposed Ugandan Anglican bishop, called upon Christians to repent of their opposition to...

Massachusetts bishops oppose casino gambling

The bishops of Massachusetts are opposing legislation that would permit resort-style casinos to be built in the state. Edward Saunders, the executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic...

Scandal cannot conceal 'radiance of the priesthood,' Pope tells 15,000 priests

At a Mass in St. Peter's Square concluding the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI said that it was no coincidence that the sex-abuse scandal struck during a year set aside for celebration of the...

At Vatican prayer vigil, Pope defends priestly celibacy

An estimated 15,000 priests, representing 97 different nations, joined in a prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square on Thursday evening, June 10, as the Year for Priests drew toward its conclusion....

Missing from Year for Priests celebration: a papal proclamation on the Curé of Ars

In a break from the program announced in advance by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI did not cap the Year for Priests with a solemn proclamation naming St. John Vianney as the patron of all priests....

Court orders release of depositions by Cardinal Mahony, other LA archdiocesan officials

A California court has ordered the public release of depositions by Cardinal Roger Mahony and other officials of the Los Angeles archdiocese in a notorious sex-abuse case. The depositions,...

Italian police accidentally tapped papal phone calls

Italian police unintentionally recorded a phone conversation of Pope Benedict XVI, while taping the calls of an Italian civic official who was being investigated on corruption...

SSPX ordinations seen as 'provocation' by German bishop

A German bishop has weighed in against plans by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to ordain three priests for the traditionalist order. Bishop Gerhard Mueller of Regensburg, in whose diocese the...

Religious freedom not an Obama priority, former US official charges

A former US State Department official, Thomas Farr, notes that the Obama administration has shown no special interest in religious-freedom questions, waiting 16 months to nominate an ambassador to...

Hearing confessions is crucial to ministry, German cardinal tells priests

Catholic priests should view their work as a divine ministry, not a profession, a German cardinal told priests who had assembled in Rome this week for the closing of the Year for Priests. Cardinal...

Columnist denies that contraception has improved lives

Jenn Giroux, the executive director HLI America, gives a spirited rebuttal of the claim that contraceptives have enriched the lives of American women. An ugly record of disease and depression shows...

Marquette reaches settlement with lesbian scholar over rescinded deanship offer

Marquette University has reached a financial settlement with a lesbian professor who had accepted an offer to serve as dean at Marquette, then seen the offer rescinded amid controversy over her open...

Released Monday, Jun. 14

Slovenia: 20-year-old slain by Communists beatified

At the conclusion of Slovenia’s national Eucharistic congress, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone presided over the beatification of Lojze Grozde, a 20-year-old who was tortured...

Spanish bishop: No Islamic worship at cathedral, a former mosque

Bishop Demetrio Fernández González of the southern Spanish city of Córdoba, once the seat of Muslim power in Spain, said that he will not permit Islamic worship at the city’s cathedral. The...

Renewed attacks on Christians in Orissa

Hindu fundamentalists in Orissa attacked a convert to Christianity on June 7 and three Protestant pastors on June 9. “We cannot even have prayers, gatherings and meals together,” said Father...

Uphold immigrants’ dignity, North American bishops urge

Bishops representing bishops’ conferences across North America have issued a statement reaffirming “our commitment to vulnerable persons who migrate in search of protection or for a better life for...

Report: Unfounded abuse allegation scuttled Pell nomination to Vatican post

Cardinal George Pell’s predicted nomination to the Congregation for Bishops was scuttled because of fears of negative publicity surrounding an abuse allegation made against him in 2002, according to...

Archbishop Hannan publishes memoirs, regrets not reaching out to Jackie Kennedy

The 97-year-old retired New Orleans archbishop who offered the Requiem Mass for President John F. Kennedy has published his memoirs, including in them a copy of a handwritten letter from the...

Priests are a gift to the Church, to build civilization of love, Pope says

The feast of the Sacred Heart “is traditionally the ‘day of priestly sanctification,’ and this time it was especially so,” Pope Benedict XVI told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square at his Angelus...

Obama, Casey praise CHA for pushing health-care reform

President Barack Obama has paid tribute to the Catholic Health Association (CHA) for the group’s “help and courage in passing health-care reform” despite the US bishops’ statement of opposition to...

Priest raps Hyundai for irreverent World Cup TV ad

Father Thomas Berg, the president of the Westchester Institute for Ethics and the Human Person, has denounced the Hyundai auto firm for presenting a television advertisement, airing on World Cup...

Most Irish believe Cardinal Brady should step down, poll finds

A lopsided majority of Irish respondents said that Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh should resign, in a new survey conducted for the Irish Times. The Times poll found that 76% of those questioned...

New York parish to march in gay-pride parade despite archbishop's directive?

St. Francis Xavier parish of New York is planning to send a delegation to the city’s gay-pride parade on June 27, despite a message from Archbishop Timothy Dolan saying that no group should...

Media coverage of sex-abuse scandal rivals 2002 high, focus on Pope

News coverage of the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has reached nearly the same saturation levels recorded in 2002, the Pew Research Center reports. But interest in the topic has not...

Papal nuncios serve Church unity, Pope tells future Vatican diplomats

Speaking on June 14 to a group of future Vatican diplomats, Pope Benedict XVI told them that their work would require complete dedication to unity within the Church. A papal representative, the...

Capital serves humans, not vice versa, Pope reminds European bankers

"Economy and finance are not ends unto themselves," Pope Benedict XVI reminded a group of European bankers at a private audience on June 12. He stressed that economic systems must serve human...

Christians must rise to the challenge of Islam, says Italian cardinal

The murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese in Turkey is a reminder of the dangers facing Christians in Turkey and elsewhere in Europe, said Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi at a Mass for the slain prelate in...

Roman police capture fake priest in heist

Police in Rome arrested a Venezuelan man who apparently disguised himself as a priest in an attempt to steal valuable books from the library of a noted Catholic institution. The would-be thief...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 15

Catholic U’s new president: Law school dean who named abortion proponent a commencement speaker

John H. Garvey, the dean of Boston College Law School, has been named president of Catholic University of America. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School, Mr. Garvey...

European Court overturns Moscow ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses

The European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously on June 10 that a 2004 Russian court decision banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses was illegal. In its decision, the court recalled that “freedom of...

Holy See: Respect moral law to prevent spread of AIDS

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, has issued a statement calling upon nations to place greater emphasis on the moral law...

Obama administration loosens funding ban for advocates of prostitution, trafficking

The Obama administration has loosened a ban on international aid to organizations that support prostitution or sex trafficking, the National Catholic Register reports. Under the new policy, an...

England: Sect's 'bishop' involved in homosexual activities

Anthony Earl-Williams, the leader of a sect that has been variously characterized as "Old Catholic" and "traditional Catholic," has been involved in prurient activities of a homosexual nature, The...

Church leaders secure Cuban political prisoner's release

A prominent Cuban political prisoner has been released after talks between government officials and Church leaders. Ariel Sigler Amaya, who had been sentenced to a 20-year prison term after his...

Hyundai pulls offensive World Cup TV ad

Hyundai, the Korean auto manufacturer, has pulled a television advertisement that was being broadcast during World Cup soccer games, acknowledging that the ad had drawn angry protests from Catholic...

Los Angeles archdiocese will not appeal order to release cardinal's depositions

The Los Angeles archdiocese will not appeal a judge’s order that allowed for the public release of depositions by Cardinal Roger Mahony and other archdiocesan officials. The decision clears the...

Irish Church settles in lawsuit against Cardinal Brady and others

Catholic Church leaders in Ireland have agreed to pay €250,000 ($300,000) to settle the legal claims of a woman who reported that she was sexually abused by the late Father Brendan Smyth. Marie...

Hindu extremist arrested: new hope in Orissa?

Police in India’s state of Orissa have arrested a Hindu extremist who was one of the men accused of raping a Catholic nun during a burst of violence in August 2008. The arrest of Pandit...

Legionaries seen likely to experience financial decline

The Legionaries of Christ, once among the wealthier orders in the Catholic Church may suffer a significant fundraising setback as a result of relevations about misconduct by the order’s founder and...

Vatican, Israel close to agreement? Reports are mixed

Vatican and Israeli officials met in Rome on June 15 for the latest in a long-running series of negotiating sessions aimed at concluding an overdue juridical agreement. The latest session ended...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 16

German bishop may ask Pope to rescind resignation

Retired Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg, whose resignation was accepted on May 8 amid allegations of child abuse and financial improprieties, has told a German newspaper that he may ask Pope Benedict...

English cardinal says abuse scandal has made him ‘wounded healer’

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, told a gathering of Irish priests that he would bring the perspective of a “wounded healer” to the apostolic visitation of...

Pakistani bishop warns of prospect of dhimmitude

Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Pakistan’s third largest city, told Aid to the Church in Need that the nation’s Christians are facing the prospect of dhimmitude. Citing the laws against...

CCHD grants $300,000 to help communities affected by oil spill

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the US bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, has approved $300,000 in grants to help communities affected by the BP oil spill. “This tragic oil...

Irish bishops welcome report on Bloody Sunday

The Catholic bishops of Ireland have welcomed the June 15 publication of the Saville Inquiry report into the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, in which members of a British army regiment killed or...

US bishops on retreat in Florida

The annual spring meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is taking place at a Florida hotel. The assembled bishops are on retreat and will not hold any public discussion of...

Don't judge 1986 acts by 2010 standards, Cardinal Mahony said in deposition

In newly released testimony from a sex-abuse lawsuit, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said that the decisions he made in 1986 should not be judged by today’s standards. "The challenge is...

Bombs kill 6 at pro-life rally in Kenya

Two bombs disrupted a rally organized by pro-life groups opposed to a new draft constitution in Nairobi, Kenya, leaving 6 people dead and more than 100 injured. Although police have not...

Gaza blockade hurts Christians too, says local Catholic priest

The pastor of the only Catholic church in the Gaza Strip says that the effect of an Israel blockade is to “undermine people’s lives.” Father Manawel Mussallam said that the blockade—aimed to...

European court gives Orthodox patriarchate a win over Turkey's government

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Contantinople in a case against the government of Turkey. The court in Strasbourg ruled that Turkey must...

English bishops release background primer for papal visit

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have issued a 32-page booklet providing background information on the September 2010 visit by Pope Benedict XVI. The booklet, which will be distributed...

Pope highlights contributions of St. Thomas Aquinas on faith and reason, natural law

As his regular weekly public audience on June 16, Pope Benedict XVI continued his discussion on the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas, "a theologian of such importance that the study of his works was...

Released Thursday, Jun. 17

Pontiff: Love of neighbor flows from closeness to Eucharist

Addressing the Roman diocesan congress, which began June 15 in the Lateran Basilica, Pope Benedict reflected on the congress’s theme: the Sunday Eucharist and the witness of charity. Catholic...

Benedict to venerate relics of Pope who resigned

The Holy See Press Office on June 16 announced the schedule for Pope Benedict’s July 4 pastoral visit to Sulmona, a small central Italian city with 25,000 residents. Following an outdoor Mass and...

Caritas warns: 10 million in Sahel region threatened by hunger

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic charitable and relief agencies, is warning that 10 million in the Sahel region of Africa-- 8 million of them in Niger-- are at risk of hunger. “We...

Oil spill: 8,000 seek assistance from New Orleans Catholic Charities

Discussing efforts to assist those affected by the BP oil spill, the communication director of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans told PBS that “we’ve seen about 8,000 people so...

Congo bishop pays tribute to Belgian missionaries

Bishop Nicolas Djomo of Tshumbe, president of the episcopal conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, traveled to Belgium to pay tribute to the missionaries who brought the Catholic faith...

Church rushes to aid victims of Kyrgyzstan unrest

Although there are only 500 Catholics in the Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, the Church was among the first to assist the Uzbek victims of recent unrest, according to Bishop Nikolaus Messmer. “We were...

Cardinal Ouellet-- not Cardinal Pell-- to head Congregation for Bishops?

An Italian journalist who reported in May that Australian Cardinal George Pell would become the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops is now saying that the post will go to Cardinal Marc...

Kentucky Catholic college will not host event for LGBT Pride week [updated]

Brescia University, a Catholic school in Owensboro, Kentucky, has announced that an art auction scheduled to be held on campus on June 25, as part of Owensboro Pride Week, will not take place....

Pope meets with leader of Legionaries

Pope Benedict XVI met with Father Alvaro Corcuera Martinez del Rio, the superior general of the Legionaries of Christ, in a private audience on June 17. The Vatican offered no information about the...

Irish bishops urge parliament to reconsider recognition for same-sex unions

The Catholic bishops of Ireland have issued a statement calling upon legislators to reconsider pending legislation that would give same-sex partnerships the same legal standing as marriage....

Cardinal George lays blame on CHA for passage of health-care reform bill

The president of the US bishops’ conference believes that the Catholic Health Association (CHA) bears a great deal of responsibility for the passage of health-care reform legislation that expands...

US government study finds $1 billion in federal support for abortion advocates

American taxpayers have provided about $1 billion in funding for organizations that promote legal abortion in the US and abroad, according to official statistics furnished by the federal Government...

Released Friday, Jun. 18

Pakistan: Fear keeps parliament from repealing blasphemy law, says bishop

Bishop Max John Rodrigues of the southern Pakistani city of Hyderabad told Fides that while most Pakistanis support the repeal the blasphemy law used to oppress religious minorities, fear of...

Milwaukee vice chancellor rips La Crosse diocese’s abuse policy

Father James O’Connell, vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and a member of the archdiocesan review board for sexual abuse cases, issued an open letter on June 17 in which he blasted the...

Obama fills key religious-freedom post

Nearly 17 months after taking office, President Barack Obama announced his appointee for the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom on June 15. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook,...

Michigan bishop suspends funding of Catholic Campaign for Human Development

A Michigan bishop has temporarily suspended funding of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “After consulting with a number of advisors, Bishop [Bernard] Hebda has decided that for this year...

Philippine bishop excommunicates layman who posed as priest

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines announced on June 18 that Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao has excommunicated a layman who posed as a priest. When Xavier Eubra de Borja visited...

Australian priest to stand trial on 17 abuse counts

Father David Anthony O’Hearn of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has been charged with 17 counts of abuse committed against five boys. In the brief of evidence submitted on Father O’Hearn’s behalf,...

Polish archbishop, suspended in 2002, restored to episcopal ministry

Archbishop Julius Paetz of Poznan stepped down in 2002 after he was accused of making sexual overtures toward seminarians. Archbishop Paetz insisted that the charges were part of a “broadly...

Cardinal George to visit Cuba; Church influence on the rise

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the president of the US bishops’ conference, will visit Cuba next week. The cardinal’s trip will take place at a time when Cuban government officials are...

Planned Parenthood may use 'telemedicine' approach to prescribe abortifacients at long distance

Planned Parenthood clinics in several American regions are apparently promoting a “telemedicine” plan that will allow doctors to prescribe contraceptives after a video conference, without requiring...

Don't jump at new government funding, Church urges English Catholic schools

The Catholic Education Service in England is advising administrators of Catholic schools that they should resist the government’s campaign to reorganize themselves as “academy” schools with public...

Vatican official's visit confirms improved Church-state relations in Cuba

Buoyed by new signs of openness from their country’s government, and a visit by a ranking Vatican official, Church leaders in Cuba have voiced the hope that Pope Benedict XVI will visit their...

Vatican newspaper salutes 'Blues Brothers'

L’Osservatore Romano has hailed the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, as a Catholic classic. To mark the 30th anniversary of the American comedy, L’Osservatore dedicated a full page to the Blues...

Released Monday, Jun. 21

Cardinal Sepe a target of corruption investigation

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, who served as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2001 to 2006, is among those under investigation in an Italian corruption...

Cardinal warns against FDA plans to approve abortifacient Ulipristal

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, warned of the abortifacient nature of a new drug, Ulipristal, in a June 17 letter. “I...

Curia archbishop addresses illegal immigration

Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, addressed the worldwide phenomenon of illegal immigration during a June...

Vatican spokesman: Impotence in face of oil spill should teach man humility

Comparing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the Bhopal and Chernobyl incidents of the 1980s, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said that “what is striking in this...

CDF to investigate allegations against prominent Chilean priest

Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz Ossa of Santiago has asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigation abuse allegations against Father Fernando Karadima Fariña, a revered priest...

Prominent Italian ex-priest charged with abuse

An 85-year-old Italian ex-priest who founded a network of drug-abuse rehabilitation centers stands accused of abusing 12 young men. The trial of Pierino Gelmini, 85, will begin in March 2011....

US bishops pray for oil spill victims

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a brief statement on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. “We, the Catholic Bishops of the United States, gathered in St....

Mexican drug gangs may intimidate voters, rig elections, archdiocese warns

The Archdiocese of Mexico City is fearful that drug traffickers are organizing politically to “impose candidates” on the voters in elections scheduled for July 4. An editorial in the archdiocesan...

German bishops' dispute deepens; leaks of 'secret file' on bishop who resigned

An ugly dispute within the German Catholic hierarchy has grown uglier, with the multiple media references to a “secret file” on Bishop Walter Mixa, reportedly containing allegations of severe...

Connecticut priest under spotlight for $1 million in missing funds

A Connecticut priest is being investigated in a connection with an estimated $1 million missing from parish accounts. Father Kevin Gray, who was placed on medical leave in April, could face...

Utah bishop laments execution

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City issued a statement of regret after the June 18 execution of Ronnie Lee Garner, a convicted murderer. The bishop voiced the hope that society can “move beyond the...

Top Vatican finance official to become delegate to Legionaries?

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, will soon be named as the Pope’s delegate to supervise the affairs of the Legionaries of...

Cardinal Zen fears political 'reform' could hurt democracy in Hong Kong

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, has warned that political reforms introduced to promote democratic government in the Chinese province may actually have the opposite effect....

Australian bishop presses colleague to answer 'cover-up' charges

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has been urged by an outspoken colleague to come forward with information about an accused predator priest. Bishop Michael Malone of...

Pope to Brazilian bishops: teach the truth boldly

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged a group of Brazilian bishops to “teach the truth boldly and authentically,” as he spoke at the conclusion of their ad limina visit on June 18. The Pope laid heavy...

Polish archbishop's suspension remains in effect, Vatican clarifies

Correcting reports that appeared in the Polish news media late last week, the Vatican press office has denied that Archbishop Juliusz Paetz has been restored to episcopal ministry. Archbishop...

Priesthood is a vocation, not a career, Pope says at ordinations in Rome

As he ordained 14 new priests for the Rome diocese, in a June 20 ceremony at the Vatican basilica, Pope Benedict XVI issued a stern warning that the priesthood is not a career. “Anyone who...

All Christians should take up the Cross, Pope reminds Sunday audience

At his midday Sunday audience on June 21, Pope Benedict XVI said that all Christians must recognize the Cross as “pinnacle of our good and crown of our hope.” Reminding the crowd in St. Peter’s...

Papal plea for Kyrgyzstan

Pope Benedict XVI issued a plea for peace in Kyrgyzstan at the conclusion of his Angelus audience on June 21. The Pope asked “all the ethnic communities of the country to renounce any form of...

Vietnam, Vatican resume talks on resuming diplomatic ties

Vietnamese government officials are in Rome this week for meetings with Vatican officials. The object of the meeting, the Vatican announced, is “to strengthen and develop bilateral relations.” The...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 22

South Korean bishops hold day of prayer, fasting to prevent war with North

Amid escalating tensions between North and South Korea, the bishops of South Korea held a day of prayer and fasting on June 20 to prevent war. “War would be a terrible tragedy, and we want to...

Burundi bishops warn against chaos, say elections should not be repeated

The bishops of Burundi are opposing calls by the nation’s political opposition to repeat the local elections of May 24. Alleging that fraud took place, the opposition is boycotting the June 28...

Holy See: Children, poor in developing world have right to medicine

Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in...

Kazak bishop recalls Communist persecution, questions Communion in the hand

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan recounted the persecution Catholics endured in the Soviet Union under the regime of...

Chile: Priest stabbed while distributing Holy Communion

Father José Francisco Nuñez Calisto, a parish priest of the south-central Chilean Archdiocese of Puerto Montt, was stabbed in the neck on June 18 while distributing Holy Communion during Mass....

200 parishioners question Bishop Morlino about ‘conservative’ Spanish community

Expressing concern about the prospective introduction of the extraordinary form of the Mass and an end to female altar servers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, 200 members of a parish...

New questions on tax funding for Planned Parenthood

A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Planned Parenthood Federation received about $1 billion in federal funds from 2002 to 2009. But PPFA audits account for only...

Filipino government postpones sex-ed program, agrees to consult with bishops

The government of the Philippines has agreed to postpone implementation of a proposed sex-education program, while consulting with the country’s Catholic bishops about the contents of the pilot...

Cardinal Pell sees Green Party as 'explicitly anti-Christian'

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia has voiced concerns about the growing influence of the country’s Green party. At a meeting of Christian leaders with the top representatives of the...

Education is key to Christian-Muslim coexistence, says Patriarch of Venice

Education is the way to overcome fundamentalism, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice said at a meeting of the Oasis Foundation, a group that he founded to advance dialogue between the Christian and...

Hit Italian film retells story of a female pope

A film based on the spurious legend of “Pope Joan” has become one of the most popular movies in Italy this season. The movie tells the story of a woman who supposedly disguised herself as a man and...

US bishops' conference, news agency at odds over account of Cardinal George's speech

An official of the US bishops’ conference has accused an independent Catholic news agency of fabricating a report about a speech by Cardinal Francis George. Helen Osman, the secretary for...

Maciel's son sues Legionaries

A Mexican man who says that he is the son of the late Father Marcial Maciel has filed a lawsuit in Connecticut court against the Legionaries of Christ, saying that the religious order’s negligence...

Roman musical tells life story of Pope John Paul II

A new musical production in Rome compresses the life story of Pope John Paul II into a 2-hour show, including 18 songs. The musical, Non Abbiate Paura (Do Not Be Afraid) was written by two Italian...

Emigration, guest workers change the face of the Christian population in the Middle East

Every year thousands of Christian families leave their homes in the Islamic countries of the Middle East, seeking better prospects—including more religious freedom—elsewhere. At the same time,...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 23

Bishop Mixa reaffirms resignation; German bishops’ conference confirms 'secret dossier'

A German bishop who resigned in the face of abuse charges, then threatened to rescind his resignation, has announced that he will adhere to his decision to resign, and apologized for his misconduct....

USCCB official calls upon Kansas dioceses to release names of accused priests

Teresa Kettelkamp, who has served as the executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection since 2005, has called upon the dioceses...

Report: California bishop wrote recommendation for abusive priest

While serving as bishop of Boise (Idaho) in 1990, Bishop Tod Brown wrote a letter of recommendation to the Archdiocese of Tijuna on behalf of Father Ruben Idalio Garcia, a priest who had committed...

Irish bishop: Church’s problems with abuse were in the past

Auxiliary Bishop Donal McKeown of Down and Connor has written a column emphasizing that the clerical abuse of children took place in the past. “Even though the vast majority of claims about...

India: Bishops speak out against surrogate parenthood

The bishops of Kerala-- the southwestern Indian state that has been a center of Catholicism since its evangelization by St. Thomas the Apostle-- are speaking out against a bill that would legalize...

Ugandan archbishop urges expatriates to return home

Preaching at a Mass in Boston at the invitation of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Uganda’s leading prelate urged Ugandans living abroad to return to their native land. “It is good to move out in places...

Dissident groups use scandal to call for change in Austrian Church

“The wall of silence has to be broken,” said Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn as he introduced new policies designed to curb sexual abuse by Austrian priests. The abuse scandal, the cardinal...

Obama administration extends family-leave law to same-sex households

The US Department of Labor has issued a ruling that extends medical-leave coverage to same-sex households. In the latest of a series of moves by the Obama administration to advance policies...

Found in Rome's catacombs: oldest known images of Apostles

Archeologists in Rome have discovered the oldest known images of the Apostles. Using laser technology to peel away layers of stone that had built up over the centuries, workers uncovered a series...

CHA, undaunted by bishops' concern, reaffirms support for health-care reform bill

The Catholic Health Association (CHA) has issued a statement reaffirming its support for the health-care reform legislation that was opposed by the US bishops’ conference. Just days after Cardinal...

Pope speaks on Summa, 'masterpiece' of St. Thomas Aquinas

Devoting a 3rd consecutive weekly audience to the influence of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on June 23 about the Summa Theologica, observing that the work "corresponds almost in its...

Released Thursday, Jun. 24

Belgian police raid archdiocesan offices, home of Cardinal Daneels

Police in Belgium have raided the offices of the Archbishop of Brussels, and the home of retired Cardinal Godfried Daneels, in an investigation of sexual abuse. A police spokesman said that the...

Manipulation or not, human life begins at conception, columnists show

Writing for National Review, Robert George and Patrick Lee rebut the latest pseudo-scientific argument and confirm that human life begins at...

No plans to shelve sex-ed program, says government of Philippines

Countering reports that had circulated earlier this week, the government of the Philippines has announced that it will not stop implementation of a controversial sex-education program in the...

Cardinal Newman's beatification to take place at Birmingham?

Plans for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman have been scaled back, to take place at location that will accommodate a smaller congregation, English Catholic journalists report. Pope...

Another Chinese bishop ordained with approval of Holy See, Beijing

Bishop Joseph Han Yingjin was ordained on June 24 to head the Diocese of Shaanxi, China. He was the 4th bishop ordained this year with the approval of both the Vatican and the Beijing government. In...

Pope blessed restored statue, a favorite of the people of Rome

Pope Benedict XVI traveled across Rome on June 24 to bless a beloved statue of the Virgin Mary that has been restored after being severely damaged in a storm last year. The Holy Father visited...

Cardinal George visiting Cuba as Castro government shows new interest in Church

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, the president of the US bishops’ conference, is in Cuba this week for meetings with Church and government leaders. The American prelate’s 2-day trip follows...

Pope visits Rome convent, praises cloistered religious life

Pope Benedict XVI visited a Dominican convent in Rome on June 24, joined the nuns for the Liturgy of the Hours, and spoke about the importance of prayer of cloistered religious in the life of the...

Another 'blasphemy' arrest draws protest from Pakistan's Catholic bishops

The arrest of a Pakistani man on blasphemy charges has prompted the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference to protest the misuse of the law “to strike religious minority groups.” Rehmat Masih, a...

New abuse-related lawsuit accuses Los Angeles archdiocese of fraud

A California man is suing the Los Angeles archdiocese for fraud, claiming that archdiocesan officials falsely promised him that a priest who had molested him would never be allowed to work in youth...

Massachusetts resort town approves condoms for elementary school

The town of Provincetown, Massachusetts has approved a new policy providing free condoms to students at public schools. The policy extends to both high schools and elementary schools. The policy...

Released Friday, Jun. 25

Belgian bishops, Vatican protest aggressive search of archdiocese

As details emerged about an aggressive police search of the Brussels archdiocese, the Catholic bishops of Belgium and the Vatican issued matching protests against “the way in which the search took...

Irish diocesan official tipped accused priest about sex-abuse complaint, victims charge

Irish sex-abuse victims charge that the official appointed to handle victims’ complaints for the Cloyne diocese tipped off the accused priest, handing him a file on the charges before he was...

Lithuanian archbishop compares European ban on crucifix display to Soviet policy

On June 30 the European Court of Human Rights will hold a hearing on the display of the crucifix in Italian school classrooms. Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevi?ius of Kaunas, the president of the...

If Hollywood honored Christian heroes...

Weary of blockbuster films that distort the history of the Church and/or focus on the negative, Michael Cook, the editor of the Australian site MercatorNet, muses on how many compelling films could...

US bishops' committee backs Bishop Olmsted on hospital abortion stand

Coming to the support of Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, who condemned the decision to allow an abortion at a local Catholic hospital, the doctrine committee of the US Catholic Conference has...

Cardinal Newman's beatification confirmed for Birmingham

Church officials in England have confirmed that the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman will take place in Birmingham rather than, as originally planned, at Coventry airport. Pope...

Anti-Christian violence flares up in southern India

Two major incidents of anti-Christian violence have been reported from around Bangalore, India in recent days. On Wednesday, two young pastors of an evangelical church were beaten with iron rods...

Swiss euthanasia proponent's new wealth draws scrutiny

The head of Dignitas, the Swiss firm that specializes in euthanasia, has amassed a fortune since he founded the firm 12 years ago. Although assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, the law...

Belgian Catholic lay leader recounts long conflict with hierarchy on abuse issues

Alexandra Colen, a member of the Belgian parliament, testifies that she could not obtain a hearing from the country’s Catholic leaders—including particularly the retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels...

London newspaper highlights new evidence of abortion-breast cancer connection

While American media outlets remain silent on the issue, London’s Daily Mail has called attention to a new medical study showing the connection between abortion and breast cancer. The latest...

Pope urges Christians in Middle East to remain, 'despite sacrifices'

Pope Benedict XVI said that he would encourage the Christians living in the Middle East “to keep the faith and, despite numerous sacrifices, stay in the land were they were born.” He urged the...

Lay group protests sale of Boston Catholic health-care system

A Catholic lay organization in Boston is opposing the sale of the archdiocesan health-care system to a secular corporation, citing the loss of Catholic identity and the likelihood that the...

Austrian Church leaders weigh compensation standards for abuse victims

The Austrian Catholic hierarchy is expected to approve standards of compensation for victims of sexual abuse, with damage payments ranging from €5,000 ($6.200) for lesser violations up to €25,000...

Cardinal Kasper confirms his imminent departure from Roman Curia

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the veteran president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, said that he has “come to the end of my service,” at a June 25 press conference. The German cardinal,...

Released Monday, Jun. 28

Afghan Christians detained as politician calls for converts’ execution

Afghan authorities have detained over 20 of the nation’s Christians after Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a deputy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s National Assembly, called for the execution of...

Bishops pray for reconciliation amid rising Hungarian-Slovak tensions

Amid rising tensions between Hungary and Slovakia, the bishops of the two nations made a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in Matraverebely-Szentkut on June 26 to pray for reconciliation. Hungary’s...

Philippine bishops oppose illegal organ trade

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is supporting a proposal by the nation’s health minister to create a national organ donor registry. “This is in line with our goal to address the...

Irish diocese’s victim advocate resigns amid cover-up allegations

Father Bill Bermingham resigned from his position as Designated Person for the Safeguarding of Children in the Diocese of Cloyne on June 25 after it was reported he had told an accused priest about...

Milwaukee vice chancellor: US bishops’ abuse audits fail to probe compliance with tougher Vatican norms

A week after issuing an open letter denouncing the Diocese of La Crosse’s abuse policy, the vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has criticized the United States Conference of Catholic...

5 years after Mundelein seminary deaths, priest shares message of reconciliation

In 2005, Mundelein seminarian Rob Spaulding, returning from a sports bar with a blood alcohol content nearly twice the legal limt, lost control of the vehicle he was driving, leading to the deaths...

Pope joins angry criticism of Belgian police raid

Pope Benedict XVI joined in criticizing the aggressive search by Belgian police in the cathedral and chancery of the Brussels archdiocese. A spokesman for the Brussels archdiocese suggested that...

Pope confirms Vatican office for 'new evangelization'

Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed his plan to create a new office of the Roman Curia: the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Speaking on June 28 at a Vespers service in the basilica of...

Supreme Court declines to hear Vatican appeal; abuse victims' suit will proceed

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear the Vatican’s appeal of an Oregon judge’s decision allowing a sex-abuse victim to proceed with a lawsuit against the Vatican. The Supreme Court made no...

Pontiff thankful for Peter's Pence collection

Pope Benedict XVI met on Saturday, June 26, with representatives of the Circolo di San Pietro, which each year presents the Pontiff with the receipts from the Peter’s Pence collection in the Rome...

Vietnam, Vatican take step toward diplomatic ties

The Vatican has announced a significant step forward in relations with Vietnam: a plan to name a “non-resident representative” of the Holy See to the Vietnamese government. The announcement came...

Vatican welcomes first Russian ambassador

The Vatican has received the diplomatic credentials of Nikolay Sadchikov, the first-ever Russian ambassador to the Holy See. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Secretary for Relations with...

Vocational call is a powerful witness, Pope tells Sunday audience

Young Catholics who heed the call to the priesthood or religious life offer a “living example of the radical response to the divine vocation,” Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on Sunday,...

Ecumenical outlook with Orthodox world is encouraging, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI said that he was encouraged with ecumenical progress, and hoped that the Orthodox churches would play a role in the October 2010 Synod of Bishops, as he met on June 28 with a...

Portuguese bishop urges 'realism' on homosexual unions, birth control

A Portuguese bishop has suggested that the Church should recognize homosexual union as a reality, even if they cannot be recognized as marriages. Bishop Januario Torgal Ferreira, who heads the...

Vatican defends management of Congregation caught in corruption charge

Clearly stung by corruption charges against Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and the Vatican office he once headed, the Congregation for Evangelization, the Vatican on June 28 released a statement...

Vatican rebukes Cardinal Schönborn for criticism of ex-Secretary of State

After Cardinal Christoph Schönborn met with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience on June 28, the Vatican released an unusual statement that was, in effect, a rebuke to the Austrian cardinal for...

Ukraine seen as remaining stumbling block for Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical advances

Pope Benedict XVI remarked on June 28 that he sees great signs of hope in relations between the Holy See and the world’s Orthodox churches. While the ecumenical climate has undoubtedly improved in...

Beatification for Lebanese Maronite monk

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, represented Pope Benedict XVI on June 27 at the beatification of Estephan Nehmeh (1889- 1938), a Maronite Catholic...

Archbishop Chaput's provocative thoughts on liturgy

In a challenging talk on the crisis of the Catholic liturgy, Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput cites Romano Guardini, who questioned whether modern man can properly relate to liturgical prayer. The...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 29

Belgian government defends raid of bishops’ meeting

Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere defended an aggressive police raid of a bishops’ meeting during an investigation of the clerical abuse scandal. The Vatican and the Belgian bishops have...

Supreme Court rules against Christian student group that ‘discriminated’ against gays

In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled on June 28 that the University of California Hastings College of the Law may deny recognition to a Christian organization that does not...

Russian patriarch: Protestant acceptance of homosexuality undermines ecumenism

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, met with the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on June 28 and said that the acceptance of...

Brooklyn diocese launches sainthood cause of priest who earned KKK’s wrath

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn on June 24 opened a canonical inquiry into the canonization cause of Msgr. Bernard J. Quinn (1888-1940), a diocesan priest who fought racial bigotry. During the...

West Virginia bishop: Late Senator Byrd is now ‘experiencing Perfect Joy’

Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston-- West Virginia’s sole diocese-- issued a statement on June 28 following the death of Sen. Robert Byrd. One of the most influential politicians of...

Irish bishops rap politician for saying Pope Benedict fuels homophobia

The Irish bishops have issued a strong protest against a leading politician’s charge that Pope Benedict XVI is “giving comfort” to bullies who attack homosexuals. Eamon Gilmore, the leader of the...

Hindu militant convicted of Christian's murder in landmark Orissa decision

A prominent Hindu-nationalist politician has been convicted of murder in a case stemming from the burst of violence targeted against Christians in the eastern Orissa state. Manoj Pradhan, a...

Mexican Church will continue to resist homosexual adoption, spokesman says

Even if Mexico’s courts allow adoption by homosexual couples, the Catholic Church will continue to condemn the practice as immoral, a spokesman for the Mexico City archdiocese has said. Father...

Church unity assures freedom, Pope tells new metropolitan archbishops

Union with the Holy See guarantees the freedom of the local Catholic churches, Pope Benedict XVI said on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Pope explained that he was referring to...

Dissent widespread within Austrian clergy, poll shows

More than half of Austria’s Catholic priests believe that women should be ordained, despite the Church’s definitive pronouncement that this is impossible, a new poll shows. Among the 500 priests...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 30

European court: No obligation for nations to legalize same-sex marriage

In a unanimous decision, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union “did not impose an obligation on the Austrian Government to grant a...

US bishops: Don’t permit abortions in military hospitals

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged senators in a June 29 letter to remove a committee amendment that would permit...

12.3 million in slavery as human trafficking expands

Catholic Relief Services, the US bishops’ humanitarian agency, has drawn attention to the US State Department’s recent annual report on human trafficking, which estimates that the number of “adults...

Bankruptcy judge: Abuse victims may seek funds from parishes as well as diocese

A bankruptcy judge has ruled that more than 140 alleged victims of clerical abuse may seek parish funds invested by the Diocese of Wilmington, even though the parishes are separate nonprofit...

US bishops emphasize: Marriage is between a man and a woman

The US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage has launched “Marriage: Unique for a Reason,” an initiative that emphasizes that marriage is only between one man and one woman. “The...

CAFOD: G8 not fulfilling commitments to the poor

The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD)-- the humanitarian agency of the bishops of England and Wales-- has issued a statement expressing disappointment in the recent G8 summit. “At...

Cardinal Ouellet to head Congregation for Bishops

Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and has named Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, as his...

Ugandan martyrs' feast drew 500,000 pilgrims

A staggering 500,000 African Catholics joined in a pilgrimage to northeastern Uganda for the feast day of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions earlier this month, the Catholic News Agency reports....

Archbishop Fisichella to lead new Pontifical Council for Evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI has formally created a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, and named Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, the current president for the Pontifical Academy for Life, as the...

India's bishops encourage moderation in parish feasts

The Catholic Bishops Council in India’s southern Kerala state that has called for more austere, spiritual, and “greener” celebration of parish feasts. In guidelines made public on June 30, the...

Belgian abuse victim protests police seizure of confidential files

A Belgian man has filed a formal complaint against the police seizure of files belonging to a Church commission investigating sex-abuse complaints. Jan Hertogen, who says that he was sexually...

Pope, at audience, offers another saint as model of priesthood

Pope Benedict XVI returned to the theme of the priesthood in his regular weekly audience on June 30, speaking about St. Joseph Cafasso, a 19th-century Italian priest. The Pope cited him as the model...

Hindus harass Christian schoolchildren in Orissa

Members of a Hindu fundamentalist group stopped a bus carrying 40 children to a Christian school in India’s Orissa state on June 28, questioned the children about their beliefs, and took them to a...

Vatican UN envoy named nuncio to Poland

Pope Benedict named Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the permanent observer of the Holy See for the United Nations, as his new apostolic nuncio to Poland. The previous nuncio to Poland, Archbishop...

Vatican message for World Tourism Day: focus on biodiversity

The Vatican has released its annual message for World Tourism Day, on the theme of biodiversity. World Tourism Day will be observed on December 27. The Vatican message, released by the Pontifical...

Vatican-watcher notes theologians in top curial seats

Commenting on the appointment of Cardinal Marc Ouellet as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter makes the observation that the Pope's three top...

Kagan amended medical statement to support partial-birth abortion

Elena Kagan, who has been nominated by President Barack Obama for a seat on the US Supreme Court, inserted a crucial phrase into a 1996 document that was used to defend the legality of...

Restoration complete for Rio's statue of Christ

Restoration work has been completed on the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 130-foot statue, perched on a mountaintop overlooking the city, had been surrounded...

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