Action Alert!

Stories for November 2010

Released Tuesday, Nov. 2

Baghdad: slain Syrian Catholic priest had prepared for worst

Father Thaer Abdal, one of two Syrian Catholic priests murdered by Islamic militants in his church on November 1, had prepared his parishioners for the worst in September after a Florida Protestant...

Bishop martyred by Communists beatified in Romania

A Latin-rite bishop who was tortured and martyred under the Romanian Communist regime was beatified on October 30 in Oradea, Romania. Born in 1911 in what is now Serbia, Bishop Szilárd Bogdánffy...

Anglican converts might be permitted to worship in Anglican churches

Anglicans who enter the Catholic Church under the terms of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus may be permitted to worship in Anglican churches-- most of which were...

Mohammed is UK’s most popular baby name

Mohammed, combined with variant spellings, was most popular baby boy’s name in the United Kingdom in 2009. “It shows that Islam is here to stay in Britain. Islam is here to stay in Europe,” said...

3 new Jesuit college presidents donated to ‘pro-choice’ candidates

Three laymen recently named presidents of Jesuit universities have contributed to candidates who favor legalized abortion, according to federal election records. David W. Burcham, the new...

Younger generation increasingly pro-life

Polling data, record crowds at the 2009 and 2010 March for Life in Washington, and a steep increase in the number of student pro-life groups over the past four years provide evidence that those born...

Vatican envoy implores UN to recognize bias, threats against Christians

The Vatican’s representative at the UN denounced discrimination against Christians in an emotional address on November 1. Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, the permanent observer for the Holy See at...

On All Souls Day, Pontiff prays for predecessors

Following a Vatican tradition, Pope Benedict XVI will make a private visit to the grotto of St. Peter's basilica on November 2-- All Souls Day-- to pray for his predecessors and for all the...

Massachusetts priest sues other priests for starting rumor

A Massachusetts priest has filed a defamation suit against two other priests of his diocese, including the vicar general. Father John Harrington, a priest of the Fall River diocese, named two...

Rome's rabbi dislikes film treatment of Pope Pius XII

Rome’s Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni has criticized a new film about Pope Pius XII as “glaring propaganda,” saying that the movie is too quick to dismiss criticism of the wartime Pontiff for failing to...

Quadriplegic rights activist wins highest French honor

The French Légeion d’honneur, the nation’s highest award, has been conferred upon a quadriplegic woman for her efforts on behalf of the handicapped. Maryannick Pavageau, who has required constant...

Egyptian leaders reject Al Qaida demands

Egypt’s foreign ministry has rejected a demand by Al Qaida terrorists for action to release two women who are allegedly being held in Coptic Orthodox monasteries. The terrorists whose attack on a...

Belgium Church spokesman quits, rips archbishop

A spokesman for Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has resigned, describing the prelate as a “loose cannon.” Archbishop Leonard had come under heavy fire for suggesting that AIDS could...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 3

Pope, Iraqi Catholic leader mourn Baghdad cathedral victims

Pope Benedict and Iraqi Catholics leaders mourned the victims of the October 31 attack by Islamic militants on the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad. “Deeply moved by the violent death of so...

Cardinal: US must not abandon defenseless Iraqis

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement deploring the October 31 attack by Islamic militants on the Syrian Catholic...

Weeks before attack, Baghdad archbishop had cried out against persecution

On October 15, Syrian Catholic Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka of Baghdad delivered one of the most memorable interventions during the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East-- words made even...

California rejects marijuana legalization, suspension of environmental law

California voters on November 2 rejected ballot measures that would have legalized marijuana and suspended a state law that mandates greenhouse gas reductions. The state’s bishops had noted that...

China: forced late-term abortion documented by new social media

A report by an Al Jazeera journalist documenting a late-term forced abortion has been posted on the Chinese version of Twitter. Xiao Ai Ying was eight months pregnant with her second child when the...

New film based on California exorcist

A new film based on a California priest’s training to become an exorcist will be released in theaters in early 2011. The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins, departs from the facts in some respects;...

Pope speaks on the need to cleanse one's conscience

At his public audience on Wednesday, November 3, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Marguerite d’Oingt (1240- 1310), a French Carthusian nun who “conceived of life as a journey of purification leading to...

Down Syndrome babies targeted for extinction, Spanish bishops warn

Children with Down Syndrome are being targeted for destruction in the womb, a spokesman for the Spanish bishops reported. During his visit to Barcelona next week, Pope Benedict XVI will bless a...

Pope seeks prayers for success of trip to Spain

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on November 3, Pope Benedict XVI asked the faithful to "accompany me with your fervent prayers this weekend" as he travels to Spain. The...

Mexican drug-gang enforcer funded new chapel

A Catholic chapel in Tezontle, Mexico, was built with funds from a notorious drug lord. Heriberto Lazcano, the head of the violent Zeta drug-trafficking gang, supplied the money for construction...

Iowa voters oust judges who supported same-sex marriage

Voters in Iowa have ousted three judges of the state’s highest court who voted to give legal recognition to same-sex marriages. The results of the November 2 vote do not alter the effect of the...

Indian nun identifies ringleader of rapist gang

The Indian nun who was sexually assaulted during a spate of anti-Christian violence in Orissa in 2008 has identified her main assailant during a trial. Sister Meena Barwa identified Santosh...

Released Thursday, Nov. 4

Iraqi Christians ‘terrified’; many prepare to leave country

The massacre at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad that killed 58 and wounded 70 has left Iraqi Christians “terrified and in shock,” according to the Redemptorist superior in Iraq. “We are...

Papal trip preview: Santiago de Compostela

On Saturday, November 6, Pope Benedict will begin a two-day apostolic journey, his second to Spain and his eighteenth outside Italy. Pope Benedict will arrive in Santiago de Compostela, now a...

Obama administration considering ACLU’s request to mandate ‘emergency’ abortions at Catholic hospitals

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services is considering the American Civil Liberties Union’s request that the administration require religious hospitals to offer “emergency” abortions. “We...

Philippine bishop criticizes prayers for lottery victory

A Philippine bishop has criticized as “defective” the practice of praying to win at the lottery or other forms of gambling, according to the news agency of the nation’s bishops. Bishop Deogracias...

Holocaust commission member: Pius XII saved my father’s life

A member of the Alabama Holocaust Commission has told the Pave the Way Foundation that Venerable Pius XII saved his father’s life. Robert Adler, a Spanish professor at the University of North...

Majority of Irish Catholic women feel unappreciated by Church

A newly published study conducted by Trinity College Dublin has found that 74% of Irish Catholic women believe that they are not treated with respect by the Church. “It was strongly felt that,...

Vatican envoy at UN reaffirms 2-state solution to Israel-Palestine conflict

The Vatican’s representative at the United Nations repeated the Holy See’s support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in a November 3 presentation. Speaking at a UN session...

Pope presides at Mass for deceased bishops

Pope Benedict XVI presided on November 4 at the annual Mass for bishops who have died during the past year. "We wish to remember these our venerable brothers as zealous pastors whose ministry...

Church in Milan marks 400th anniversary of canonization of St. Charles Borromeo

As the Church in Milan celebrates the 400th anniversary of the canonization of St. Charles Borromeo, Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message to Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi paying tribute to the great...

French bishops seen taking more active political role

The Catholic bishops of France have taken a more prominent role in public debates, notes the daily La Croix. The French hierarchy spoke out forcefully against a government crackdown on illegal...

Catholic social teaching should counter powerful vested interests, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI has called for Catholic action in political and economic life to counteract “the predominance of economic and financial groups which dictate-- and intend to continue to do so-- the...

Raul Castro attends opening for new seminary building in Cuba

The Catholic Church opened a new seminary building in Cuba, and President Raul Castro attended the inaugural ceremony, in a vivid demonstration of the Church’s new influence. The new building,...

Catholic gains in US elections

Catholic voters, who favored President Barack Obama in the 2008 election, swung toward the Republican Party in this year’s Congressional elections. The results offered several hopeful developments...

Vatican warning on splinter group of Opus Angelorum

The Vatican has issued a caution about a splinter group that has broken off from an Austrian-born group, Opus Angelorum, which promotes devotion to the angels. In a letter to the world’s bishops,...

Belgian archbishop says media twisted his public statements

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has charged a firestorm of criticism has been provoked by distorted reporting on his public statements. Two days after his public spokesman resigned,...

Ivory Coast: archbishop grateful for peaceful elections

Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has issued a statement of thanks to the nation’s political leaders for their successful management of a peaceful election campaign. The...

Copts report sympathetic response in Egypt after Al Qaida threats

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church says that Iraqi terrorists responsible for a massacre in Baghdad have created new sympathy toward the Christian minority in Egypt by threatening further...

Obama administration backs Arizona tax credit for families using religious schools

The Obama administration has sided with Arizona parents in a Supreme Court case involving tax credits for families with children in religious schools. Acting Solicitor General Neal Kaytal has argued...

Released Friday, Nov. 5

Iraqi prime minister pledges increased security for Christians

A delegation of Iraqi bishops and other Christian leaders has met with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki following the October 31 massacre at Baghdad’s Syrian Catholic cathedral. The prime minister, who...

Papal trip preview: Sagrada Família in Barcelona

On Sunday, November 7, Pope Benedict will conclude his two-day apostolic journey to Spain, his eighteenth outside Italy. The Pope will spend his day in the northeastern city of Barcelona, the...

Australian bishop compares abortion of handicapped to Nazi eugenics

The abortion of unborn children with birth defects is reminiscent of Nazi eugenic, an Australian bishop observed in a recent homily. “A seek-and-destroy policy kills little human beings in the...

C-FAM warns against UN agency’s sex education guidelines

The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute is warning that sex education guidelines published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) promote “a...

2 Catholic colleges ban plastic water bottles

Citing environmental concerns, two Catholic colleges-- the University of Portland and Seattle University-- have joined six other colleges in banning the sale of plastic water bottles on campus....

Archbishop Nienstedt insists he is not ‘single-issue’ bishop

Writing in his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul and Minneapolis insisted he is not a “single-issue” teacher. The archbishop has received criticism for his efforts to...

Priests in New Jersey, Virginia face charges for dipping into parish funds

A New Jersey priest has entered a guilty plea and a Virginia priest faces felony charges in two cases involving diversion of parish funds. Msgr. Patrick Brown of Morris County, New Jersey,...

CCHD critics raise new questions on grants to radical groups

Just two weeks after the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) released new guidelines designed to silence its critics, the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN) has charged that the guidelines...

Liberal priests oppose CCHD reform efforts in Chicago (Exclusive)

Even as lay Catholic activists have renewed their criticism of ties between the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and radical activist groups (see today’s separate CWN story), liberal priests...

Pilgrims and protesters await Pope's arrival in Spain

Thousands of Catholic pilgrims and hundreds of anti-Catholic activists are gathering in Spain in anticipation of the weekend visit by Pope Benedict XVI. Protesters will be outnumbered by loyal...

Pope challenges bishops to lead renewal of religious life

In a November 5 address to visiting bishops from Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI observed frankly that many Catholics today “are asking themselves whether consecrated life continues to be a proposal...

Released Monday, Nov. 8

5 Anglican bishops to enter Catholic Church

Five Anglican bishops will leave the Church of England and enter the ordinariate envisioned by Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. The five are Bishop John Broadhurst...

Bishop urges Christians to leave Iraq

A Syrian Orthodox bishop based in London is urging Iraqi Christians to abandon their native land. “I say clearly and now-- the Christian people should leave their beloved land of our ancestors...

Obama, in India, speaks on jihad; prelates urge him to defend religious freedom

The leading prelate in the eastern Indian state of Orissa has urged President Barack Obama to denounce the persecution of Christians during his November 6-8 visit to India. Some 50,000 Christians...

Iraqi Shiite Muslim leader condemns cathedral massacre

An aide to Iraq’s leading Shiite Muslim cleric has condemned the massacre at Baghdad’s Syrian Catholic cathedral. “Targeting churches and attempted murders are unacceptable and should be...

Congo archbishop ministers to massive diocese by canoe, motorcycle

Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani spoke with the Fides News Agency about the challenges of ministering in Congo’s largest diocese. The archdiocese’s one million Catholics are scattered over...

Eastern prelate: Latin Rite should consider married priests

A Melkite Greek Catholic prelate says that the Latin Rite should learn from the experience of Eastern Catholic Churches and consider ordaining married men to the priesthood. “We always propose...

Pope summons all cardinals for discussion on religious freedom, sex abuse, liturgy

Pope Benedict XVI has summoned the members of the College of Cardinals to a special consistory, for a discussion of liturgy, religious freedom, and the sex-abuse scandal. The Vatican announced...

2 more Christians killed in Baghdad

Two more Christians were shot and killed in Baghdad, as the campaign of violence against the religious minority continues. The killings were announced on the same day that the Syrian Catholic...

Pilgrim Pope challenges secular Spain

"I have come as a pilgrim in this Holy Year of Compostela,” said Pope Benedict XVI on the first major stop of a weekend visit to Spain. The Holy Father arrived on Saturday in Santiago de...

Pope chats with reporters on Spain, secularism, art

Pope Benedict XVI contrasted Spain’s history of great saints with the “strong and aggressive secularism” that gave rise to the nation’s blood civil war, in a conversation with reporters during his...

Vatican dialogue with Islam continues in Iran

The 7th session in a series of meetings between the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization will take place this week in Teheran. The...

Wisconsin bishop stands by conservative priests

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison given his emphatic support to priests whose conservative approach triggered protests in a parish in Platteville, Wisconsin. After more than 450 members of St....

Man disrupts liturgy, hits Belgian archbishop with pie

A man hit Archbishop Andre-Joseph of Brussels in the face with a pie on November 1, as the prelate was presiding at a liturgical service. A spokesman said that Archbishop Leonard had declined to...

Archbishop of Sarajevo faces eviction

A court in Bosnia-Herzegovina has demanded that Cardinal Vinko Puljic vacate his residence, saying that the property belongs to the family of a former member of the Yugoslavian secret...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 9

Israel charges Nazareth imam with inciting violence against Pope

Israeli authorities have charged Nazim Mahmoud Salim, the imam of the mosque in Nazareth, with inciting violence against Pope Benedict during the Pontiff’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May 2009....

Baghdad cathedral reopens following massacre

Amid shattered windows and broken statues and pews, Sunday Mass has resumed at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, site of the October 31 massacre that left over 50 worshippers dead. Two...

Austrian nun beatified in Brazil

Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification of Blessed Maria Barbara of the Blessed Trinity (Barbara Maix) on November 6. The...

Bishop to hold funeral for abortion victims found in trash

Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing will preside at a November 20 funeral Mass for 17 abortion victims whose remains were found in the trash by a pro-life activist. The Mass will take place at the city’s...

Jesuit university to honor Catholic Health Association’s Sister Keehan

The University Ministry’s Social Justice Program at the University of San Francisco will honor Sister Carol Keehan, who broke with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to lend support to...

Colorado paper rips San Francisco’s condemnation of Church

The editorial page editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette-- which has consistently defended same-sex marriage-- has written a column denouncing the San Francisco board of supervisors’ condemnation...

Liturgical reform begins with reverence, Pope reminds Italian bishops

In a message to the Italian bishops’ conference, which is gathering this week, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the Church’s liturgy is “a perennial source for education in the good life of the...

Religious freedom and liturgy-- not abuse crisis-- top agenda for cardinals' meeting

The primary topics for the special meeting of the world’s cardinals on November 19 will be religious freedom and the sacred liturgy. Secular news accounts of the special meeting have focused...

Irish government orders new probe of Magdalene Laundries

The Irish government has directed the attorney general to investigate the treatment of women at the “Magdalene Laundries,” after a commission’s report called for a thorough legal investigation and...

Protect Christian minorities, archbishop asks Interpol

The Vatican’s representative at a meeting of Interpol has called for action to protect Christians from violence in the Islamic world. Speaking on November 8 at an Interpol meeting in Qatar,...

Hitchens argues against execution of Tariq Aziz

The outspoken atheist journalist Christopher Hitchens argues against the execution of Tariq Aziz, the former deputy to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Aziz, who was the only prominent Christian in...

Vatican Library offers visitors a glimpse of treasures

The Vatican Library, which is ordinarily open only to scholars, is opening a public exhibition “to make the Vatican Library known to people who do not have the privilege of frequenting it.” The...

Islamic radicals threaten Indonesian tradition of religious tolerance

Corruption, intolerance, and poverty are among the leading problems that face Indonesia, according to the secretary-general of the nation’s Catholic bishops’ conference. As US President Barack...

Ecumenical Patriarchate wins landmark court ruling in Turkey

Prompted by the European Court of Human Rights, a Turkish tribunal has given the Ecumenical Patriarchate legal title to a disputed orphanage. The ruling is a major victory for the Orthodox...

Tensions rise over new settlements in East Jerusalem

Tensions are mounting in East Jerusalem, as Israeli police have set up roadblocks in a Palestinian suburb after angry protests against the construction of new Jewish settlements on the occupied West...

Priest shot, killed in Congo

A parish priest was shot and killed in the eastern section of the Democratic Republic of Congo on November 8. Father Christian Bakulene was returning to his parish in Kanyabayonga when he was...

Britain to review arrests of 'terror suspects' during papal visit

The British government will review the arrest of six men on suspicion of terrorism during the visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom. The six men—all employees of a cleaning firm, and...

ACLU supports pro-life effort in Ohio, columnist notes

At the Wall Street Journal, William McGurn reports—with just a note of understandable incredulity—that the ACLU has taken up the cause of pro-life activists. The Susan B. Anthony List, which...

Anglican bishops explain decision to enter Catholic Church

In a statement explaining their decision to enter an ordinariate in the Catholic Church, five Anglican bishops say that they have “been dismayed, over the last thirty years, to see Anglicans and...

French journalist sees Europe as Pope's priority

Jean-Marie Guénois, a veteran Catholic journalist who covers religious affairs for Le Figaro, offers some interesting observations (in French) about the Pope’s trip to Spain. It is becoming...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 10

Only 5 or 6 exorcists in United States, says bishop

To counter the shortage of exorcists in the United States-- Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield (Illinois), chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, says...

Iraqi priest, torture victim leads school esteemed by Muslim neighbors

The Christian Science Monitor has published a brief profile of Father Douglas al-Bazi, a Chaldean Catholic priest who has decided to stay in his Baghdad neighborhood despite being kidnapped and...

US bishops appoint theologian to strengthen CCHD’s Catholic identity

The academic dean of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland-- often mentioned among the leading American seminaries faithful to the Church’s Magisterium-- has been named consulting theologian to the...

Many Catholic bishops displeased with Anglican ordinariate: Bishop Wright

Anglican Bishop N. T. Wright, a leading biblical scholar, has told the Church of Ireland Gazette that several Catholic bishops in England are unhappy with the ordinariate structure developed by Pope...

Kreeft-Spencer debate on Islam

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts-- one of a handful of Catholic colleges nationwide praised by the Cardinal Newman Society for its strong Catholic identity-- has hosted a debate between Peter...

Serbian Orthodox saint was born in Indiana

The Serbian Orthodox community in Gary, Indiana, is planning a service in honor of Bishop Varnava Nastic (1914-64), the first US-born saint of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Bishop Nastic’s family...

Wave of anti-Christian violence spreading in Iraq

At least six people were killed and dozens injured in a series of bombings in Baghdad, as violence against Christians escalated across Iraq. Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki visited the Baghdad...

Anglican bishop predicts 'thousands' will enter Catholic Church

One of the five Anglican bishops who plans to enter the Catholic Church has predicted that “thousands, not hundreds” of lay Anglicans will make the same move. Anglican Bishop John Broadhurst said...

Pope sends message to Iran's Ahmadinejad

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a personal message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue,...

Reforms coming, radical change unlikely for Legionaries?

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter reports on the reform of the Legion of Christ, supervised by the papal delegate, Archbishop Velasio De Paolis. He finds a widespread belief that the...

New York archdiocese eyes 15 schools for possible closing

The New York archdiocese is weighing a proposed consolidation of the parochial-school system in which 15 schools in the city would be closed. The proposal would affect 4,500 students. The...

Archbishop Sheen's beatification cause on hold?

The cause for beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen has been suspended by the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, because of a disagreement over the famed TV prelate’s burial place. Archbishop Sheen,...

Pope summarizes lessons from visit to Spain

At his regular weekly public audience on November 10, Pope Benedict XVI summed up his impressions after a weekend visit to Spain, concentrating on the meaning of pilgrimage, the need to preserve...

Released Thursday, Nov. 11

Death sentence for Pakistani Christian who refused to convert to Islam

A Pakistani Christian mother has been sentenced to death for blaspheming the prophet Mohammed after she refused to convert to Islam. Asia Bibi, a resident of Ittanwali in the eastern province of...

Cardinal George urges President Obama to come to aid of Iraqi Christians

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago is urging President Barack Obama to come to the aid of Iraq’s Christian community. In his November 9 letter, the president of the United States Conference of...

Angolan bishops call for schools, drinking water in villages

The bishops of a nation infamous for its government corruption have called upon civil authorities to work to provide drinking water, schools, electricity, and modern communication systems in...

Muslim-Catholic dialogue: priest rues anti-Muslim discrimination in US

A Florida Protestant pastor’s proposal to burn the Qu’ran and the controversy over the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero were topics discussed at the latest session of the Midwest...

Journalist warns against election of Bishop Kicanas as USCCB president

Tim Drake, senior writer for the National Catholic Register, is warning that the election of Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)...

Pope Benedict issues major document on Sacred Scripture (link to full text)

Pope Benedict has issued the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini [The Word of the Lord], the most important Church document devoted to Sacred Scripture since the Second Vatican...

Eucharistic Congress should spark evangelization, Pope tells Irish planners

An International Eucharistic Congress should make “a special contribution to the new evangelization,” Pope Benedict XVI said on November 11 as he welcomed Irish Church officials, who are preparing...

Pope welcomes wide scope of Vatican Library exhibit

Welcoming the opening of an exhibit designed to make more people familiar with the Vatican Library, Pope Benedict XVI has referred to that institution as the “location of the universal Church’s...

Pope challenges G20 leaders: focus on the real problems

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a challenge to the leaders of the G20 nations to recognize “the deeper reasons for the economic and financial crisis.” As the G20 leaders gather in Seoul, the Holy...

In message to Ahmadinejad, Pope pushes for religious freedom

In a message to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pope Benedict XVI says that man’s relationship with God “is the ultimate foundation for the inalienable dignity and sacred character of every...

Benedictine University ousts lesbian administrator

Benedictine University in Springfield, Illinois, has dismissed an administrator whose same-sex marriage was announced in the local newspaper. Laine Tadlock, who had headed the Catholic school’s...

Belarus bans film on Soviet-era persecution of Christians

The government of Belarus has prohibited the showing of Forbidden Christ, a film documenting the persecution of Protestants during the Stalin era, at a Catholic film festival. Belarus, whose...

Polio outbreak feared in Congo

Polio, a dreaded disease that has been eliminated in most parts of the world, is making a comeback in the Republic of Congo. The World Health Organization reports that 94 people have died and 201...

Australian cardinal 'uneasy,' but will not condemn gambling

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia questioned the spectacular salaries of corporate executives, but refused to condemn involvement in gambling or arms trade, in a discussion of business...

Catholic group says Hong Kong sets minimum wage too low

Hong Kong’s minimum wage is too low, according to the Catholic Commission for Labor Affairs. The group argues that the minimum wage of $28 an hour, which will go into effect for the first time in...

Amazon, under protest, pulls book on pedophilia

Amazon, the giant internet bookseller, has stopped offering a book for pedophiles that sparked public outrage. Amazon had been carrying The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, a...

Muslim demonstration inside cathedral was not offensive to Catholics, Spanish court rules

A Spanish court has ruled that forceful entry of Muslim demonstrators into Cordoba’s cathedral was not a violation of a law that provides punishment for offenses against religion. The March...

Released Friday, Nov. 12

Apostolic visitation of Regnum Christi to begin in January

Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez of Valladolid, the apostolic visitator for the consecrated members of the Regnum Christi movement, has announced that his apostolic visitation will take place from...

Archbishop clarifies synod remarks condemned by Jewish organizations

Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros, the Melkite Greek Catholic bishop of Newton (Massachusetts), has clarified remarks made during an October 23 press conference presenting the final message of the...

Iranian religious leader expects Pope to consider Qur’an as holy as the Gospels

A senior Iranian religious leader told Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran on November 11 that he expects Pope Benedict to consider the Qur’an as holy as the Gospels and to condemn US actions in the region....

US bishops’ conference releases animated video to explain, defend CCHD

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a three-minute animated video to explain and defend the work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the US bishops’...

Bishop, local leaders sign ‘Utah Compact’ on immigration reform

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City joined other governnment, business, and religious leaders in signing the “Utah Compact” on immigration reform. “I’m hoping that we can speak loudly and...

Renewed Ukrainian interest in 20th-century Church leader Sheptytsky

The research of Ukrainian historians has led to renewed interest in the Servant of God Metropolitan Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944), who led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for over...

Pope meets with leaders of Roman Curia

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 12 with the heads of all the major offices of the Roman Curia. Although the Vatican did not announce the purpose of the meeting, informed sources said that the...

US seminarian's escape from death linked to intercession of late Vietnamese cardinal

An American seminarian who was twice declared dead believes that he may owe his life to the intercession of the late Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. Joseph Nguyen, an immigrant from...

Bishop Kicanas defends his handling of McCormack case

The vice-president of the US bishops’ conference has denied that he ignored evidence of sexual abuse while he served as rector of a Chicago seminary. Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tuson, Arizona, told...

California man will raise abuse issue in trial for beating priest

A California man who faces trial for battering a Jesuit priest has told AP that he plans to use his trial as a forum in which to expose the priest’s record of sexual abuse. "Somebody needs to be...

Vatican begins inquiry into Irish Church

In a lengthy public statement released on November 12, the Vatican has outlined plans for the apostolic visitation of the Church in Ireland, explaining that the process “is intended to assist the...

Italian journalist sees Pope challenging Italian bishops on liturgical reform

In his message to the Italian bishops’ conference this week, Pope Benedict XVI stressed the importance of reverence in the Eucharistic liturgy. Sandro Magister of L’Espresso sees the papal message...

Released Monday, Nov. 15

50 Anglican clergy to enter Catholic Church: report

Fifty clergy of the Church of England will enter the Catholic Church as part of the Anglican ordinariate that is taking shape, according to The Telegraph. Last week, five Anglican bishops announced...

Archbishop Dolan pays tribute to Dorothy Day

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York paid tribute to the Servant of God Dorothy Day (1897-1980), the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement., during Vespers on November 9. The service, which...

Bill Clinton: Large population a factor in economic growth

Speaking in the Philippines on November 10, former US President Bill Clinton said that the nation is poised for economic growth, in part because of its large population. “You have a huge...

SNAP protests against Bishop Kicanas

Members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) gathered outside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago to protest the potential election of Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson as president...

New name, curriculum for Magdalen College

A New Hampshire college praised by the Cardinal Newman Society for its fidelity to Catholic teaching has a new name and new curriculum. Dr. Jeffrey Karls, president of Magdalen College since...

Prominent US priest bemused by exorcism conference

Father Richard Vega, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and president of the National Federation of Priests Councils, has told The New York Times that when he heard that the US bishops were...

Real communication requires being 'on the same wavelength,' Pope notes

The Church must constantly seek to proclaim the Gospel message “with renewed creativity, critical sense, and discernment,” Pope Benedict XVI said on November 13 as he met with members of the...

Consumerism cannot sustain economy, Pope argues

The world’s continuing financial woes point to the need for “a profound reform of the global economic development model,” Pope Benedict XVI said at his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 14. As...

Criticism of Pope shows his effectiveness, columnist argues

Catholic Herald columnist William Oddie argues that the steady escalating criticism of Pope Benedict proves that the Pontiff is making his points effectively: "If he were not a threat, his enemies...

Pro-life awards to 6 activists

The Gerard Health Foundation has announced $600,000 in prizes to be distributed among the six recipients of this year’s Life Prizes, which recognize outstanding contributions to the pro-life cause....

Pope renews appeal for Haiti

Pope Benedict XVI renewed his prayers and his pleas for help for the people of Haiti as he concluded his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 14. The Pope alerted his audience to the cholera...

Pope promotes worldwide prayer vigil for unborn life

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a reminder that the eve of the First Sunday of Advent will see a worldwide prayer vigil for unborn human life. At the conclusion of his regular Angelus audience on...

Pope cautions: episcopal conference must not erode bishop's authority

The national bishops’ conference exists to promote collaboration among bishops, not to replace their authority, Pope Benedict XVI said to a visiting group of bishops from Brazil on November...

Pakistan under pressure to revoke death sentence on young mother for 'blasphemy'

Christian leaders and human-rights activists are mounting a campaign to repeal Pakistan’s blasphemy law, after a young Christian mother was sentenced to death for defending her faith. Asia Bibi,...

Australian religious orders down by 50%

The number of male and female religious in Australia has dropped by more than 50% since 1976, a new study shows. Among the remaining religious, the median age is 73. More than one-fourth are over...

Chicago priest apologizes for public statements on women's ordination

A Chicago priest who issued public statements in August and September criticizing Church teaching on the ordination of women has now apologized for those statements and promised to “do my very best...

Sudanese bishops appeal for help as key national referendum approaches

The Catholic bishops of Sudan have appealed to Church leaders in other African countries for support for the people of southern Sudan, as the nation approaches a critical referendum on...

Russian Orthodox reject Catholic protest on seized church property

The Russian Orthodox diocese of Kalingrad has rejected a Catholic prelate’s complaints about the seizure of a Catholic parish church in Kalingrad. The Orthodox diocese said it is “more than...

Pope lauds athletic activity-- without 'illicit means'

Athletic competition can be “a school in which to learn and develop human and Christian values,” Pope Benedict XVI said during a November 15 meeting with Italian ski instructors. However, the...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 16

Nuncio urges US bishops to evangelize

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States, urged the bishops assembled at the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to evangelize. “Evangelization...

Cardinal George laments dissent from bishops on abortion and health care

In his final address as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago spoke briefly about Pope Benedict’s apostolic visit to the United States,...

Baghdad cathedral: priests were killed during Mass, confession; 3-year-old murdered

Cardinal Francis George, speaking at the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told those assembled that the two priests slain in the Syrian Catholic cathedral on October...

US Catholics gave over $80M to Haiti, fed 900,000

Catholics in the United States donated $82.6 million to the national collection for Haitian earthquake relief, according to a report presented to the fall meeting of the United States Conference of...

President Obama issues Muslim holiday, Mecca pilgrimage statement

President Barack Obama has offered greetings to Muslims worldwide on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, a festival that commemorates Abraham’s willingness (according to the Qur’an) to sacrifice his son...

US dioceses urged to embrace Facebook, Twitter

Addressing the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria (Louisiana) called upon American dioceses to embrace new forms of social...

Detroit newspaper series on abuse scandal

The Detroit Free Press has published a six-article series on the clerical abuse scandal. The articles examine different facets of the scandal, from the work the Opus Bono Sacerdotii in defense of...

US bishops break precedent, elect Archbishop Dolan as conference president

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has elected New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan as president, in a vote that marks a major break from tradition. In every previous election, the US...

Vatican, Iranian officials issue joint statement, affirm religious freedom

Vatican officials and Islamic leaders in Iran have concluded their 7th session of inter-religious dialogue, issuing a joint statement that affirms the importance of religious faith and the necessity...

Vatican now ready to broadcast in HDTV

The Vatican Television Center (CTV) has inaugurated high-definition broadcasting of papal ceremonies and other noteworthy events. Father Federico Lombardi, the director CTV as well as of the...

Schedule set for consistory, 'courtesy visits' with new cardinals

The Vatican’s liturgical office has confirmed the schedule for a consistory on November 20 at which Pope Benedict will elevate 24 new members to the College of Cardinals. After the...

American experts rap Vatican's public-relations approach

Two leading American Vatican-watchers offered frank criticism of Vatican public relations and management policies, at a November 15 forum in Washington. "The Vatican communications debacle has...

Minnesota Catholic school removes student editorial criticizing bishops' effort on same-sex marriage

A Catholic high school in Minnesota has deleted two online editorials in the student newspaper debating the campaign by the state's bishops against legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The...

Two more Iraqi Christians murdered

Two more Christians were gunned down in Mosul on November 16, as the campaign of violence against Iraq’s religious minority continues. The two men were killed when gunmen burst into their home...

Pro-life statement brings death threats for Dutch journalist

A Dutch journalist has received multiple death threats after publishing an open letter asking a lawmaker to reconsider her support for legal abortion. The open letter by Mariska Orban de Haas,...

Does the Pill endanger the environment?

Writing for MercatorNet, Cristina Alarcon points out that environmentalists call for strict regulation of carbon emissions, but ignore the evidence that the ecology is threatened by a different sort...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 17

USCCB again urges: no contraception, sterilization mandates in health care

Addressing the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Preventive Services for Women on November 16, Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged that...

Archbishop compares gay marriage to abortion on eve of Roe v. Wade

Addressing his brother bishops on November 15, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, compared the legal climate surrounding...

‘Death panels’ could help reduce deficit: Nobel Prize winner Krugman

Paul Krugman, the Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2008, said on November 14 that “death panels” may be needed to help curb the...

SNAP welcomes defeat of Bishop Kicanas in USCCB election

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has praised the US bishops for breaking precedent and not electing Bishop Gerald Kicanas as president of the United States Conference of...

Abortionist who practiced after license expired won’t be prosecuted

Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo has criticized a local prosecutor’s decision not to bring charges against an abortionist who practiced after her medical license had expired. “I am disappointed by...

Pro-life activist Lila Rose recounts efforts to expose Planned Parenthood

In a recent article in First Things, pro-life activist Lila Rose, the founder of Live Action, discussed her undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood clincs. At the age of nine, “on the...

England sees surge in seminary entries

The number of young men entering English seminaries this year hit a 10-year high. The enrollment of 56 new candidates for the priesthood came in September, just as Pope Benedict was visiting the...

Georgetown to weigh 'gender-blind' undergraduate housing?

America’s oldest Catholic university may consider a “gender-blind’ approach to housing for undergraduates, according to the campus newspaper. The Hoya, the campus newspaper at Georgetown...

Commentator sees USCCB election as defeat for 'seamless garment' approach

Reflecting on the upset election of New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan as president of the US bishops' conference, George Neumayr of Catholic World Report sees the vote as continuation of a long...

Iraqi archbishop sees dangerous new phase in anti-Christian violence

Syrian Catholic Archbishop George Basile Casmoussa of Mosul sees a new phase in the campaign of violence against Iraqi Christians, with the murder of two Christian in their own home. The attack...

Pope joins in appeal for Pakistani Christian woman facing death sentence

Pope Benedict XVI has added his voice to the chorus of international appeals for Asia Bibi, a Pakistani woman who faces the death sentence for alleged violation of the country’s controversial...

Pope reports new burst of interest in Eucharistic adoration

Pope Benedict XVI is happy to report a “springtime of Eucharist devotion in the Church today,” he told his weekly public audience on November 16. The Pope said that he has seen a revival of...

Pope recalls relief effort after 1980 Italian earthquake

During his weekly public audience on November 17, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the devastating earthquake that wreaked havoc across southern Italy in 1980, noting that “the wounds are still deep and...

Chinese bishops reportedly pressed to join in illicit ordination

Catholic bishops in China’s Hebei province are under heavy pressure to participate in the consecration of a new bishop who has not been recognized by the Vatican. Priests in Hebei reported to...

Mass at Vatican for Baghdad massacre victims

The Vatican has scheduled a Mass in memory of the Iraqi Catholics who were killed in a murderous assault on the cathedral in Baghdad on October 31. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the...

'National Assembly' could fuel tensions among Chinese Catholics

The Chinese government plans to call a meeting of the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives before the end of this year, putting additional pressure on Catholics to recognize the authority...

Allen offers 3 reasons why US bishops chose Dolan

Rather than endorsing the conservative-vs.-liberal analysis favored by so many reporters, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter writes that the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan as...

Archbishop of Canterbury to meet with Pope

The Archbishop of Canterbury will meet with Pope Benedict XVI on November 18, in a “private meeting” that takes place shortly after the announcement that five Anglican bishops are entering the...

Iraqi president opposes death penalty for Tarik Aziz

Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani has announced that he will not sign the legal papers authorizing the execution of Tarik Aziz. Aziz, who was deputy prime minister in the government of Saddam...

Released Thursday, Nov. 18

Archbishop of Canterbury: Anglican ordinariates not an ‘aggressive act’

The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion has told Vatican Radio that he did not view Pope Benedict’s decision to establish Anglican ordinariates for the reception of Anglican communities into...

Muslim mob sets fire to Christian homes, shops in Egypt

Shouting “Allah is the greatest,” a mob of 1,000 Muslims set fire to two dozen Coptic Christian homes and shops in a central Egyptian village on November 15 after a rumor spread that a teenage...

Archbishop Burke recalls ‘rebelliousness’ he observed in seminary

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal-designate Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, recalled that “discipline in the seminary practically evaporated” following 1968. The...

Prelate welcomes Pope’s words on behalf of Asia Bibi

A Pakistani prelate has praised Pope Benedict for calling for the release of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death on blasphemy charges after she refused to convert to...

President Obama outlines allowable religious practices for federally-funded organizations

President Barack Obama signed an executive order on November 17 outlining the allowable religious practices of faith-based social service organizations that receive federal funds. Such organizations...

Bishop Kicanas succeeds Archbishop Dolan as Catholic Relief Services chairman

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, whose term as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is drawing to a close, has appointed Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson as the...

Choice of new papal nuncio is critical, says English Catholic journalist

Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, has announced his retirement. The appointment of his successor, argues William Oddie of the Catholic Herald will be crucial...

Ecumenism is not compromise, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI underlined the importance of ecumenical work, yet cautioned that ecumenism cannot be seen as a political effort, in a November 18 address to members of the Pontifical Council for...

Health-care plans must follow moral law, Pope insists

Health-care policy “cannot divorce itself from moral rules,” Pope Benedict XVI insists. In a message to the Pontifical Council for Health Care, which is hosting a conference in Rome this week,...

Vatican denounces Chinese plan for illicit ordination of bishop

The Vatican has registered a strong objection to plans by Chinese official for the ordination of a Catholic bishop without the Pope’s approval. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the...

Iraqi archbishop urges president: stop executions

After Jalal Talabani announced that he will not sign an order for the execution of Tarik Aziz, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk urged the Iraqi president to stop other executions as...

Same-sex unions corrupt understanding of marriage, says Australian bishop

Legal recognition of same-sex unions would seriously undermine the understanding of marriage, argues Bishop Julian Porteous. The Sydney, Australia auxiliary writes that acceptance of same-sex...

Released Friday, Nov. 19

Bishops of England, Wales announce details of new Anglican ordinariate

The bishops' conference of England and Wales has announced the details of the new Anglican ordinariate that will allow for the reception of Anglican individuals and communities into the Catholic...

USCCB reacts to report on inaccuracies in new translation of Roman Missal

Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, the outgoing chairman of the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a statement on November 18...

State Department issues annual religious freedom report

The US Department of State has issued its annual report on religious freedom in each of the world’s nations. The report’s executive summary highlights the state of religious freedom in Afghanistan,...

Bishop pledges that CCHD funding will not conflict with Catholic teaching

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has released the text of a talk delivered by Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)....

Study documents decline of marriage in US

A new study by the Pew Research Center documents the decline of marriage and the increasing acceptance of cohabitation in the United States. The study finds that 39% of Americans believe marriage...

Dominican sisters to appear again on ‘Oprah’

One of the nation’s most thriving religious communities has announced that some of its members will be featured for a second time this year on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The show will air on November...

Bishop's illicit ordination creates new crisis for Church in China

Chinese officials have confirmed plans to ordain a bishop without Vatican approval on November 20. The illicit ordination will severely damage Chinese relations with the Holy See and cause new...

Religious freedom tops agenda as cardinals meet with Pontiff

Religious freedom and the Eucharistic liturgy were the top items for discussion as the College of Cardinals met with Pope Benedict XVI on November 19. Virtually every report about the meeting...

Pope to visit Germany in 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Germany late next year, Church officials in that country have disclosed. The Pope will be making his first official visit to his native country since his election in...

Russian Patriarch sees Vatican as key ally against secularism

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill told a Moscow audience that the Catholic and Orthodox churches are working together “defending the traditional concept of family and human values from aggressive...

Chinese bishop's death provokes another challenge for 'official' Church

The death of Bishop Paul Taoran Jiang raises delicate new questions for the ‘official’ Catholic Church in China, since the deceased bishop was under the guidance of an ‘underground’ bishop, who is...

Released Monday, Nov. 22

Vatican insists: Pope has not changed Catholic teaching on condoms

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has issued a statement on Pope Benedict’s remarks on condoms in Light of the World, the book-length interview granted to journalist...

SSPX threatens to expel Bishop Williamson

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, has publicly ordered Bishop Richard Williamson to reconsider his decision to retain an attorney associated with the neo-Nazi...

Caritas welcomes Pope’s words on condoms

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, has issued a statement welcoming Pope Benedict’s remarks on condoms in the book-length interview with Peter...

Obama administration: ‘Gender stereotypes’ can violate federal civil rights law

In a recent letter that could have a potentially chilling effect on students’ free-speech rights, an official of the Obama administration told principals nationwide that students who propound...

Bishop Soto to oversee work of CCHD

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento has been named the new chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Campaign for Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He replaces Bishop...

Arab Christians call for canonization of Christians slain in Iraq

An anonymous group of Arab Christians in the Holy Land is calling for the canonization of Christians murdered in Iraq. “We, as Arab Christians, want to reaffirm our joy and our desire to live out...

The Pope and Condoms: a note from the editor

Thousands of secular media outlets-- and more than a few Catholic news services-- are leading their coverage today with headlines about Pope Benedict's statement on the use of condoms. CWN is not...

Pope elevates 24 cardinals, emphasizing role of service

Pope Benedict XVI elevated 24 prelates to the College of Cardinals at the 3rd consistory of his pontificate on November 20. At the Saturday ceremony, the Pope reminded the new cardinals that they...

Papal prayer for persecuted Christians, especially in Iraq

Pope Benedict XVI affirmed his support for persecuted Christians, especially in Iraq, during his Angelus audience on November 21. Noting that the bishops of Italy had called for special prayers...

Maryland parish offers gun-surrender program

A Catholic parish in Baltimore, Maryland is offering cash rewards to parishioners who turn in guns, in an effort to decrease the number of firearms on the streets. Msgr. Damien Nalepa, the pastor...

Jesuit Cardinal Navarette dead at 90

Cardinal Urbino Navarette Cortes, the former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, died on November 22 at the age of 90. A native of Spain, the future cardinal entered the Jesuit order...

Two more Iraqi Christians murdered

Two more Christians were shot down in Mosul, Iraq, on November 22, as the campaign of violence and intimidation aimed at Christians continues unchecked. Saad and Waad Hanna were killed by gunmen...

Chinese cardinal denounces 'gangster-style' ordination

Chinese authorities proceeded with the illicit ordination of Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai was ordained bishop in Chengde on November 20, ignoring strong protests from the Vatican. Since 2006, no new...

Jewish spokesman raps Pope's defense of Pius XII

An American Jewish leader has said that Pope Benedict’s praise for Pope Pius XII has cast “a menacing shadow on Vatican-Jewish relations,” and warned that beatification of Pius XII would cause...

Korean team treats tumors with adult stem cells

Researchers at a Catholic hospital in Seoul, South Korea, have announced major advances in medical research using stems cells taken from adult tissues. Experiments by the Korean team, led by Jeon...

English bishops stalled earlier outreach to Anglicans, journalist reports

Reflecting on the ordinariates that are being established to welcome Anglicans into the Catholic Church, William Oddie of London’s Catholic Herald reports that a similar accommodation could have...

Iraqi archbishop describes violence, asks for support

As Italian Catholic parishes joined in a day of prayer for the embattled Christians of Iraq, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk added an appeal: “Do not leave us alone in this time of...

Sex-abuse scandal points to deeper crisis, says Irish archbishop

The sex-abuse scandal is evidence is a “much deeper crisis” in the Irish Church, said Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Speaking at a Mass that marked the 30th anniversary of the death of...

World's largest statue of Jesus unveiled in Poland

The world’s largest statue of Jesus has been unveiled in Swiebodzin, Poland. The 108-foot statue of “Christ the King of the Universe” was dedicated on the feast of Christ the King, with Cardinal...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 23

Pope highlights Newman’s obedience to God, devotion to truth

Blessed John Henry Newman is a “master who teaches us that primacy of God is also primacy of truth and love,” Pope Benedict wrote in a message to participants in a symposium organized by the...

US bishops to close their seminary in Louvain

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced its decision to close the American College of Louvain, a seminary founded in 1857 to prepare Europeans for missionary work in the...

Cardinal makes governance, personnel changes to Legionaries of Christ

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate for the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, has made governance and personnel changes to the Legionaries of Christ, according...

1,000 attend bishop's burial Mass for aborted children found in trash

Over 1,000 attended a November 20 funeral Mass at the cathedral in Lansing for 17 abortion victims whose remains were found in the trash by a pro-life activist. Following the Mass, the babies’...

Caritas notes ‘feminization of migration’

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, is drawing attention to the growing number of women who are leaving their native lands alone to work abroad as...

Catholic law school launches center for defense of marriage

Ave Maria School of Law has announced the founding of the Center for Research on Marriage, Religion and Public Policy. The center is led by Maggie Gallagher, one of the nation’s leading defenders of...

Pakistani cabinet minister finds Christian woman 'wrongly sentenced'

Pakistan’s Minister for Minority Affairs has concluded that a young Christian woman was wrongfully convicted on a blasphemy charge. Asia Bibi had faced execution after being condemned for...

Vatican official introduces Pope's new book, Light of the World

Light of the World, a new book in which Pope Benedict XVI is interviewed by German journalist Peter Seewald, was released today, with a Vatican press conference introducing the book to the...

Pope's statement on condom use applies to heterosexuals, spokesman says

In a controversial statement on condom use, Pope Benedict XVI intended to include both men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, his spokesman has said. At a Vatican press conference on...

Ex-priest faces charges in alleged murder plot

Texas police have arrested a suspended Catholic priest, charging that he had attempted arrange the murder of a young man who had accused him of sexual abuse. John Fiala, who has been removed from...

Dissident Belgian Catholics form parishes without priests

The New York Times reports on the “ecclesia” movement in Belgium, in which groups of dissident Catholics gather to conduct their own priestless rituals, imitating the Catholic Eucharistic liturgy....

Released Wednesday, Nov. 24

Muslim leaders: Don’t pardon Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy

Muslim religious leaders in Pakistan are urging President Asif Ali Zardari not to pardon Asia Bibi, the 45-year-old Christian mother of five whose death sentence on blasphemy charges has provoked an...

Cardinal Burke emphasizes: Catholic teaching on condoms has not changed

Catholic teaching on the immorality of the use of condoms has not changed, Cardinal Raymond Burke said in an interview with the National Catholic Register. The prefect of the Apostolic Signatura...

Archbishop Dolan: Pope cannot change Catholic teaching

Catholic teaching on the immorality of condom use has not changed, and not even the Pope can change Catholic moral teaching, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has told The New York Times. “The...

Cardinal’s would-be assassin released from prison

A month after a man attempted to murder Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum during the celebration of Mass, police have released his would-be assassin. Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman was released...

Illinois bishops: Same-sex civil union legislation threatens religious freedom

Legislation that would legalize homosexual civil unions in Illinois threatens religious liberty, the Illinois Catholic Conference said in a November 22 statement. “Marriage is what it is and...

Prelates issue statements on cremation, note that burial is preferred

“While interment of the body remains the preference of the Church, after the manner of the burial of the Lord Jesus, the use of cremation is allowed,” Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote recently as he...

Caritas adviser encouraged by Pope's words on AIDS fight

Pope Benedict’s dicussion of AIDS in his new book Light of the World is a “wonderful affirmation” of the work done by Caritas International in Africa, according to a priest who advises the...

Member of papal household killed in automobile accident

A member of Pope Benedict’s personal household was killed in a traffic accident that took place on Tuesday night, November 23. Manuela Camagni, one of the four women of the Memores Domini...

No new papal teaching on condoms, Father Fessio explains

In a guest column for Reuters, Father Joseph Fessio-- once a student of the future Pope Benedict, now the Pope's English-language publisher-- explains that the Pontiff did not intend any alteration...

St. Catherine of Siena: model for the faithful

Pope Benedict XVI offered St. Catherine of Siena as a model for the faithful, at his regular weekly public audience on November 24. Speaking to about 7,000 people in the Paul VI auditorium, the...

Stern Vatican statement condemns Chinese bishop's ordination

The Vatican has issued a strongly worded condemnation of the illicit ordination of a new bishop in China. The unauthorized ordination was “a painful wound upon ecclesial communion and a grave...

Egyptian police stall construction of Coptic church

Egyptian security forces have clashed with Coptic Orthodox faithful at the construction site of a church near the Pyramids in Giza. Human-rights activists charge that local officials are inciting...

Milwaukee archdiocese negligent in abuse cases, appeals court confirms

A Wisconsin appeals court has ruled that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was negligent in its handling of sex-abuse cases, and insurance companies are therefore not liable for the costs of settling...

NY Court rejects 'conscience' lawsuit by nurse ordered to assist at abortion

A Catholic nurse has no standing to sue a hospital that forced her to assist at a late-term abortion, a New York court has ruled. Catherine DeCarlo had brought suit against Mt. Sinai Hospital...

Australian priest challenges Church authority on women's ordination

An Australian priest is waiting for a response from his archbishop after delivering a homily in which he called for the ordination of women to the priesthood. "I believe certain women are being...

John Allen defends L'Osservatore Romano

Unlike CWN editor Phil Lawler, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter thinks that it would be a major mistake to fire Gian Maria Vian, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano. Allen argues that...

Released Thursday, Nov. 25

CWN closed for Thanksgiving weekend

Following our usual policy-- and a wonderful American tradition-- CWN will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26, so that our staff can fully enjoy the Thanksgiving celebration....

Released Monday, Nov. 29

Church in Ireland in need of radical renewal, says leading prelate

In a homily commemorating the 30th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Frank Duff, the founder of the Legion of Mary, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said that the Church in Ireland...

Man imprisoned for touching Qur’an with dirty hands released

Munir Masih, a Pakistani Christian sentenced to 25 years in prison for blasphemy, has been released on bail by order of the Lahore High Court, which is expected to overturn the verdict. Masih was...

Congo clergy warn of 'genocide in the making'

In a message approved by their bishop, clergy of a northeastern Congolese diocese are warning that “populations in the east of the country remain subject to a regime of growing terror: insecurity,...

Pakistani Christians outraged at acquittal of girl’s alleged rapist, murderer

Christians in Pakistan are expressing outrage at the acquittal of Chaudhry Naeem, a wealthy Muslim attorney accused of raping and murdering Shazia Bashir, a 12-year-old who had worked as Naeem’s...

Catholic parish damaged in North Korean attack

North Korea’s surprise November 23 artillery attack on Yeonpyeong-do Island damaged the island’s sole Catholic parish. The chancellor of the Diocese of Incheon reported that the two shells that hit...

Caritas urges climate accord at Mexico summit

As UN climate talks begin in Cancun, Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, is calling upon the world’s governments “to make progress on funding for...

Asia Bibi fearful of violence even if death sentence is lifted

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman who faces a death sentence on a blasphemy conviction, fears that her life will be in danger even if she receives a pardon. She worries that her family, too, may be in...

Pope praises Japan's work against nuclear proliferation

Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against nuclear proliferation during a November 27 meeting with a new ambassador from Japan to the Holy See. The Pope told the new envoy, Hidekazu Yamaguchi, that...

Pope leads worldwide prayer vigil for life

On the eve of the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict led a worldwide “prayer vigil for unborn life.” Presiding at Vespers in the Vatican basilica, the Holy Father thanked all those who were...

Synod sees progress, problems in the Americas

The Synod of Bishops sees reasons for both hope and concern about recent developments in the Western hemisphere. The Synod of Bishops has released a report on the November meeting of its special...

Cuban cardinal says more prisoners will be freed

Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino has a “clear promise” from the Cuban government that 11 political prisoners who remain behind bars will soon be released. Cardinal Ortega-- who helped negotiate...

Spanish bishop: Pope never recommended condom use

The secretary-general of the Spanish bishops’ conference has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI never suggested that condom use is acceptable. As the Spanish bishops concluded their plenary meeting...

Advent raises expectations, Pope tells audience

At his Angelus audience on November 28, the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict XVI said that expectation—the dominant theme of the liturgical season—is “a dimension that touches our entire...

Scottish Church spokesman rips 'deep and wide' anti-Catholic bigotry

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland has said that a “deep and wide” strain of anti-Catholic bigotry still flourishes in that country. Peter Kearney, the director of the Scottish...

Catholic newspapers still play key role, Pope tells journalists

Newspapers— especially Catholic newspapers—retain an important place despite the latest advances in communications technology, Pope Benedict XVI believes. The Holy Father told a group of Italian...

Pope praises Filipino bishops for stands against contraception, death penalty, divorce

Pope Benedict XVI has praised the bishops of the Philippines for their public role in opposition to birth control, divorce, and the death penalty. Greeting a group of Filipino bishops who were...

India: court rejects challenge on Sonia Gandhi's religious faith

A court in India has rejected a petition for disclosure of the religious affiliation of Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party. Born in Italy and baptized as a Catholic, Sonia Gandhi has...

Anglican ordinariate in Australia by Easter, bishop predicts

An ordinariate for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church will be in place in Australia by Easter of 2011, according to Bishop Peter Elliott. Bishop Elliott—a Melbourne auxiliary who is handling...

As Vatican prays for Iraqi Christians, Baghdad announces massacre arrests

At a Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s basilica for the Christians who died in a Baghdad church massacre, the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches insisted that Christians must be assured...

Saudi Islamic leader condemns violence

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has delivered an important sermon condemning religious violence and ideological extremism. Sheik Abdul Aziz al Sheikh insists that Islam is a religion of peace,...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 30

Anglican bishop lays mitre, crozier at Our Lady’s feet as he leaves for ordinariate

Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet, one of five Anglican bishops who have announced they will seek full communion with the Holy See, laid his mitre and crozier at Our Lady’s feet in his last sermon...

US bishops praise House resolution on protecting Iraq’s religious minorities

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is praising a House resolution calling for the protection of Iraq’s religious minorities. “Our conference welcomes this bipartisan...

Colosseum lit up in Sant’Egidio initiative to end death penalty

The Colosseum and other landmarks in 1,307 communities were lit up on the evening of November 29-30 as part of the “Cities for Life” campaign, an annual initiative sponsored by the Community of...

Central American bishops create radio network

The bishops of Central America decided at a recent meeting in Costa Rica to unite the 60 Catholic radio stations in the region into a network. “There are 60 radio stations broadcasting in Central...

Caritas cardinal calls for increased funding for children with HIV

Caritas, the international consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, is calling for increasing funding to treat the 2.5 million children who suffer from the HIV virus. 90% of these...

Ethiopian monasticism struggles following Marxist nationalization of land

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is struggling to maintain its monastic traditions in the wake of the Marxist nationalizaton of monastic properties in the late twentieth century. “Under Marxist...

New Catholic college in Atlanta

A Catholic college in Atlanta with a robust Catholic identity has opened its doors to undergraduates. “We have an unequivocal commitment to teaching the truths of the faith,” said Gareth Genner,...

Pope salutes Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople on feast day

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, saluting him for “your wise efforts for the good of Orthodoxy and for the promotion of Christian...

Pope mourns death of member of papal household

The Vatican has released a statement in which Pope Benedict XVI laments the sudden death of Manuela Campagni, a member of the papal household, who died in a traffic accident on November 24. A...

Pope's December prayer intentions

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for December 2010. The Pope’s general intention is: "That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better...

Cardinal Bertone leads Vatican delegation to OSCE talks

The Vatican has sent a high-level delegation to participate in the December 1-2 meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is taking place in Astana,...

Orthodox Patriarchate celebrates official recognition by Turkish government

As the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople celebrated its patronal feast of St. Andrew on November 30, Patriarch Bartholomew I said that a key legal victory in the European Court of Human...

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