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Catholic World News

Stories for March 2011

Released Wednesday, Mar. 2

Pakistan: Cabinet minister who defended Christians is assassinated CWN - March 2, 2011

Shahbaz Bhatti, a lay Catholic who served as Pakistan’s federal minister for religious minorities, was assassinated on March 2 while traveling to work. He was 42. The gunman who ambushed Bhatti's...

Holy See delegate urges Anglo-Catholics: accept Pope’s offer of unity CWN - March 2, 2011

Auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, a former Anglican who now serves as the Holy See’s delegate for the Australian ordinariate, is urging Anglo-Catholics to “lay down [their] weapons” and...

Holy See defends marriage, family life before UN commission on women CWN - March 2, 2011

The Holy See’s delegation defended marriage and family life and condemned discrimination against women during a February 28 meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council’s Commission on the Status...

Quebec court orders mayor to cease praying at meetings, remove crucifix CWN - March 2, 2011

A Quebec rights tribunal has ordered Mayor Jean Tremblay of Saguenay, a city of 145,000, to ceasing praying at city council meetings and to remove a crucifix and image of the Sacred Heart from...

Bishop offers strong critique of current missal translation CWN - March 2, 2011

Praising the forthcoming revised translation of the Roman Missal, an Australian bishop has offered a strong critique of the translation in use for the last four decades. The current translation,...

Homily at Bernard Nathanson’s funeral Mass CWN - March 2, 2011

Father Gerald Murray, Bernard Nathanson’s parish priest, preached the homily at the funeral Mass for the prominent abortionist who became a deeply influential pro-life advocate. “I am not...

Pope's new book: all sinners share guilt for death of Jesus CWN - March 2, 2011

The Vatican has released excerpts from the forthcoming 2nd volume of Pope Benedict’s book, Jesus of Nazareth, including an extended meditation on how all sinners share the responsibility for the...

Pope speaks on St. Francis de Sales, total acceptance of God's will CWN - March 2, 2011

Continuing his weekly series of talks on doctors of the Church, Pope Benedict XVI devoted his public audience of March 2 to the influence of St. Francis de Sales (1567- 1622). Early in his life,...

German bishops offer financial support to all abuse victims CWN - March 2, 2011

The German Catholic bishops have announced a plan to offer €5,000 ($6,900) payments to victims of clerical abuse. The bishops’ proposal would also provide for therapy for victims, and extra...

New religious violence in Nigeria CWN - March 2, 2011

Several Christians were killed in an attack by Muslims on a town outside the city of Jos, in central Nigeria, where religious conflicts have flared frequently in recent months. Residents of the...

WFP director speaks with Pope about crisis in northern Africa CWN - March 2, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 2 with Josette Sheeran, the executive director of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP). Sheeran was in Rome after a visit to Libya and Tripoli. After the meeting, she...

Maronite Synod to meet March 9 for election of new patriarch CWN - March 2, 2011

The Maronite Catholic Synod of Bishops will meet on March 9 to elect a new Patriarch on Antioch. The outgoing Patriarch Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, who has retired at the age of 91, called the...

New Indiana auxiliary bishop says he would never deny Communion CWN - March 2, 2011

Bishop Christopher Coyne, a former priest of the Boston archdiocese who was ordained on March 2 as an auxiliary in Indianapolis, Indiana, told an interviewer that he would not withhold the Eucharist...

Weigel takes on dissident German theologians CWN - March 2, 2011

Dissenting Catholic theologians in Germany have issued a public statement calling for radical change in the Church. George Weigel sees that statement as a classic example of chutzpa, since the...

Copts protest official's decision to destroy church building CWN - March 2, 2011

Thousands of Coptic Orthodox Egyptians joined in a protest demonstration after the governor of the Minya province ordered the destruction of building owned by a Coptic church. The building, a...

Released Thursday, Mar. 3

Pakistan’s bishops ‘devastated’ by Catholic cabinet minister’s assassination CWN - March 3, 2011

Pakistan’s bishops have condemned the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic who served as the nation’s federal minister for religious minorities. The gunman who ambushed Bhatti's car and shot...

CDF official: ecumenism’s goal is union with Pope; Lutheran ordinariate in works? CWN - March 3, 2011

In an interview with The Portal-- a new publication devoted to the ordinariate of Anglican communities received into the Catholic Church-- an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the...

New American Bible Revised Edition: ‘young woman’ replaces ‘virgin’ in Isaiah's prophecy CWN - March 3, 2011

Mary Sperry, an official of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has revealed several changes that will appear in the forthcoming New American Bible Revised Edition...

Philippine prelates discuss same-sex attraction; transvestism ‘okay’ CWN - March 3, 2011

Lauding a book by the late Father John Harvey, two Philippine bishops urged Catholics who struggle with same-sex attractions to seek spiritual assistance and support. Father Harvey founded Courage,...

Archbishop Chaput on American religious liberty, shari’a CWN - March 3, 2011

In an address delivered on March 1 at Georgetown University, Archbishop Charles Chaput reflected on the heritage of religious freedom in the United States, noting that “we’re not acting like we...

Rochester bishop ‘happy to receive’ celibate gay seminarians CWN - March 3, 2011

In an interview with a local newspaper, Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester appeared to take issue with a 2005 Vatican document that reaffirmed that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should...

Caritas leader: Vatican control might strain international relief coalition CWN - March 3, 2011

The head of Caritas International, the international consortium of Catholic relief agencies, has expressed concern that some member organizations will become “disillusioned” because of Vatican...

Bad liturgy weakens faith, two Vatican cardinals agree CWN - March 3, 2011

Two top Vatican officials have endorsed an Italian author’s book that argues “liturgical abuses lead to serious damage to the faith of Catholics.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the...

India government says no to mercy killing plea CWN - March 3, 2011

The Indian government has categorically rejected a federal commission's recommendation that terminally ill patients should be allowed to choose death in order to end their suffering. The...

Pope encourages Filipino bishops: nurture piety with sound teaching CWN - March 3, 2011

Speaking on March 3 to a group of bishops from the Philippines who were concluding their ad limina visits, Pope Benedict XVI said that the personal piety which remains strong in that country “needs...

Vatican to encourage more use of canonical penalties CWN - March 3, 2011

The Vatican is plan revisions in the section of the Code of Canon Law that details penalties for various violations, in hopes that bishops will be more inclined to use those sanctions. The...

Israeli PM praises Pontiff for book's treatment of Jews CWN - March 3, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has written to Pope Benedict XVI, thanking the Pontiff for teaching that the Jewish people do not bear collective guilt for the death of Jesus. "I...

Church in Taiwan pleads for permanent end to executions CWN - March 3, 2011

Catholic leaders in Taiwan are appealing to the government to extend a stay on the death penalty, urging a permanent ban on capital punishment. The government of Taiwan has not carried out the...

Catholic-Jewish commission condemns persecution, intolerance CWN - March 3, 2011

A joint Catholic-Jewish dialogue committee ended a week-long meeting in Paris with an expression of concern for the peoples of Northern Africa and the Middle East, “where millions of human beings...

Chilean president meets with Pope, affirms right to life CWN - March 3, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 3 with Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera Echenique, for a 30-minute discussion that touched on Chilean policies and on the situation in Latin America generally....

Church publications offer differing views on Lebanon, Hezbollah CWN - March 3, 2011

Two very influential Catholic publications have published sharply contrasting views on the future of Lebanon and the role of the Hezbollah movement, notes Sandro Magister of L'Espresso. Civilta...

Released Friday, Mar. 4

Day of prayer, fasting in Pakistan as assassinated cabinet minister buried CWN - March 4, 2011

Catholics and other Christians in Pakistan are holding three days of public mourning in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic cabinet minister assassinated for his opposition to the nation’s...

Russian patriarch: no true progress apart from moral norms CWN - March 4, 2011

Lamenting the problems that afflict Russian society-- “corruption, disrespect for the law, alcoholism, drug addiction, criminality, the crisis of the family”-- the head of the Russian Orthodox...

Archbishop Dolan blasts Obama’s decision not to defend DOMA CWN - March 4, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered strong criticism of President Barack Obama’s recent decision not to defend the Defense of...

US bishops call for end of death penalty in Illinois CWN - March 4, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), which typically addresses federal and international political concerns, has asked the governor of Illinois to sign legislation ending the...

Southeastern Europe’s bishops meet to discuss outreach to youth CWN - March 4, 2011

The bishops of nine southeastern European nations are meeting in Cyprus to discuss their outreach to youth in view of the upcoming World Youth Day this August in Madrid. “Today, being a young...

Trouble at the University of Dallas? CWN - March 4, 2011

The board of trustees of the University of Dallas has unanimously approved a new undergraduate major in pastoral ministry. Some of the program’s faculty members, according to Patrick Fagan, have...

Over 16,000 US youth to attend World Youth Day CWN - March 4, 2011

Some 16,500 US youth, accompanied by at least 60 bishops, will attend World Youth Day in Madrid this August, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The largest contingents...

Pope meets with Iceland's leader CWN - March 4, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 4 with Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. Their brief conversation, the Vatican reported, covered a wide range of topics including the international economic...

Pope to lead traditional Ash Wednesday procession CWN - March 4, 2011

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI will lead the traditional Ash Wednesday procession from the church of St. Anselm on the Aventine Hill to the basilica of Santa Sabina. Vatican...

Next Synod meeting will plot strategies for 'new evangelization' CWN - March 4, 2011

The “new evangelization” will be the focus of attention at the 13th ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops, meeting in Rome in October 2012. Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, the secretary general...

Priest convicted, bishop under scrutiny in high-profile Italian abuse case CWN - March 4, 2011

An Italian priest has been sentenced to a 15-year prison term, in a sex-abuse case that prompted national attention because a bishop admitted that he had failed to inform police of accusations...

New York City imposes restrictions on pregnancy-help centers CWN - March 4, 2011

New York's City Council has approved a measure requiring pregnancy-help centers to advertise that they do not provide abortions. The legislation was sponsored by abortion supporters, who charge...

Abuse-victims' lawyer takes out TV ads seeking new clients CWN - March 4, 2011

Jeffrey Anderson, the Minnesota lawyer who has won million of dollars in sex-abuse payments from the Catholic Church, has begun running television advertisements in the Wisconsin area, recruiting...

Former Boston Globe editor discusses early abuse investigation CWN - March 4, 2011

The former editor of the Boston Globe told journalism students about the beginnings of an investigative report into sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese. The work of the Globe's "Spotlight Team"...

Former Evangelical says study of apostolic succession led to Rome CWN - March 4, 2011

Francis Beckwith, the Baylor University philosophy professor who recently returned to the Catholic Church after years as a prominent Evangelical leader, explains how his reflections on apostolic...

Released Monday, Mar. 7

Prelates in Pakistan, Rome hail Bhatti 'authentic martyr' CWN - March 7, 2011

Bishop Andrew Francis of Multan is calling upon the Church to declare Shahbaz Bhatti a martyr. Bhatti, a Catholic cabinet minister, was assassinated for his opposition to the nation’s blasphemy...

Ivory Coast prelates lament attack on mosque CWN - March 7, 2011

Supporters of incumbent Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo have burned down a mosque in the southern city of Yopougon. Gbagbo, a Catholic whose base of support is in the nation’s south, lost the...

On eve of hearings, White House defends Muslims CWN - March 7, 2011

Speaking on the eve of Rep. Peter King‘s congressional hearings on radical Islam, Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough praised the members of a mosque for their “unequivocal stand...

Bishops join evangelicals, others in urging House to defend DOMA CWN - March 7, 2011

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, chairman of the US bishops’ committee on ecumenical and interreligious affairs, and Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, chairman of the bishops’ ad hoc...

Southeastern Europe: bishops issue message to youth CWN - March 7, 2011

The presidents of the bishops’ conferences of southeastern Europe have issued a message to youth. “We are aware of your problems,” the bishops said at the conclusion of their March 3-6 meeting in...

Caritas appeal for migrant workers fleeing Libya CWN - March 7, 2011

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal on behalf of migrant workers who are attempting to flee the strife-torn nation but are...

Muslim mob attacks Coptic church in Egypt CWN - March 7, 2011

A mob of an estimated 4,000 Muslims attacked a Coptic Orthodox parish in a town south of Cairo on Friday night, March 4, setting fire to the Coptic church and to several homes. Four Coptic...

New York Times reports on grand-jury response in Philadelphia archdiocese CWN - March 7, 2011

Reacting to a grand jury's report that 37 priests accused of sexual abuse are still in active ministry, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has engaged a former prosecutor to re-evaluate each of those...

India's top court rejects 'mercy killing' but allows 'passive euthanasia' CWN - March 7, 2011

The federal supreme court of India on Monday a plea to approve 'mercy killing' in a highly publicized case, but allowed for "passive euthanasia" by the removal of the patient's life-support system....

Pakistan: another man killed after acquittal on blasphemy charge CWN - March 7, 2011

Just a day after the burial of Shahbaz Bhatti, the cabinet minister who was killed for his criticism of Pakistan's blasphemy law, another man has been slain after he was acquitted of violating that...

Pope to visit Ireland next year? CWN - March 7, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Ireland in 2012, according to media reports in that country. The Vatican has made no announcement about a papal trip to Ireland, but Irish government officials have...

Change light bulbs for Lent, Catholic coalition urges CWN - March 7, 2011

A Catholic environmentalist initiative is urging the faithful to observe Lent by recycling, using cloth rather than plastic bags, and replacing incandescent light bulbs. "Lent is the perfect time...

Once an opponent, Seattle priest now calls for acceptance of new Missal translation CWN - March 7, 2011

A prominent Seattle priest who had argued forcefully against a new English-language translation of the Roman Missal has now promised to work for its successful implementation. Father Michael...

God calls each member of the faithful, Pope reminds Rome's seminarians CWN - March 7, 2011

"The Lord has called each of us; each is called by name,” Pope Benedict XVI said during a March 4 visit to Rome’s major seminary. The Pope offered a meditation on the theme of vocation as he made...

Earthly ambitions never satisfy, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - March 7, 2011

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, March 6, Pope Benedict XVI said that trust in God affords the faithful “the solid foundation upon which to build our lives.” Commenting on the day’s Gospel...

Pope voices concern for Libya CWN - March 7, 2011

At the conclusion of his midday audience on Sunday, March 6, Pope Benedict XVI said that he was "following with great concern" the violence in Libya, "where recent clashes have left many dead and...

Italian lawyer to head Vatican financial authority CWN - March 7, 2011

An Italian lawyer specializing in banking, Francesco De Pasquale, has been appointed director of the Vatican’s newly created Financial Information Authority (FIA). Cardinal Attilio Nicora, the...

Abstinence message could save millions from AIDS in Africa CWN - March 7, 2011

Political liberals and population-control enthusiasts often charge that the Catholic Church (or, more specifically, the Pope) endangers the lives of Africans by opposing condom distribution...

Italian TV to pair Pope's homilies with great Catholic art, music CWN - March 7, 2011

An Italian television network plans to broadcast excerpts from homilies and meditations by Pope Benedict XVI each Saturday. The Pope’s words will be accompanied by masterpieces of Catholic artworks...

Vatican prefect calls priests to 'renewed conversion' CWN - March 7, 2011

Priests must be “true prophets,” the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy writes in a letter to Catholic clerics timed for the beginning of Lent. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza exhorts all priests to...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 8

Supreme Court hands victory to Catholic student organization CWN - March 8, 2011

The United States Supreme Court has let stand an appellate court decision that ordered the University of Wisconsin not to discriminate against a Catholic organization in funding student activities....

US bishops to Congress: remember the poor, don’t fund abortions CWN - March 8, 2011

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the committee on domestic justice and human development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is calling upon members of...

Some victims call upon Church to track, confine laicized priests CWN - March 8, 2011

Some victims of clerical abuse are calling upon Church authorities to create special housing for laicized priests or to monitor them as civil authorities monitor convicted sex...

Chastity on the rise among youth CWN - March 8, 2011

An increasing number of teenagers and young adults are choosing to live chastely, according to a new study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. The report, which covered the years...

CNN interview with exorcist portrayed in The Rite CWN - March 8, 2011

Father Gary Thomas, the California exorcist whose story forms the basis of a recently released movie, discussed his experiences in an interview with a CNN reporter. “A lot of folks dabble in the...

Jewish groups denounce potential circumcision ban in San Francisco CWN - March 8, 2011

Jewish organizations are denouncing a proposed ballot initiative that would ban circumcision in San Francisco. “This is one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3,000...

Parents, administrators angry after archbishop bans paddling in school CWN - March 8, 2011

Parents, alumni, and administration of a predominantly African-American Catholic high school in New Orleans are angry that Archbishop Gregory Aymond and the superior general of the Josephite order...

Copts meet with Egyptian premier, discuss assaults CWN - March 8, 2011

Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has met with Coptic Christians whose church was burned down by a Muslim mob, and promised to restore security and help rebuild the church. Although the...

Pope will make TV appearance on Good Friday CWN - March 8, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will set a new precedent with a television appearance on Good Friday, April 22. The Holy Father will answer three questions, chosen from among public submissions, in a program...

New York's Governor Cuomo meets with Catholic bishops CWN - March 8, 2011

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with the state’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday, March 8—just a day after the governor’s office had said that Cuomo would be too busy to speak with bishops’...

Philadelphia archdiocese places 21 priests on leave CWN - March 8, 2011

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed 21 priests on administrative leave, in response to a grand jury report sharply criticizing the Church’s response to sex-abuse charges. The grand jury...

Liberal Australian bishop threatens resignation CWN - March 8, 2011

An outspoken Australian bishop has said that he might resign his post because of dissatisfaction with Church teaching. Bishop Pat Power, an auxiliary in the Canberra archdiocese, said that he is...

Vatican official rebuts criticism from outgoing Caritas International leader CWN - March 8, 2011

Responding to criticism from the outgoing head of Caritas International, the secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum has said that the Vatican wants new leadership in the international...

Vatican developing online news site CWN - March 8, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications is planning an online site that will incorporate reports from all the major Vatican news agencies: L’Osservatore Romano, Vatican Radio, and the Fides...

Bishop in Libya warns against military intervention CWN - March 8, 2011

Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Libya, is pleading for “no further spilling of blood.” The bishop warned against any outside interference in Libya’s current...

Tasmanian government ready to advance legal euthanasia CWN - March 8, 2011

Government leaders in Australian’s island state of Tasmania have announced plans to legalize “death with dignity,” allowing for the opening of euthanasia clinics. Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings...

Care for the sick: St. John of God and the CHA CWN - March 8, 2011

Matthew Hanley contrasts the attitudes toward health care advanced by St. John of God (whose feast day is today, March 8) with those shown by the Catholic Health Association in its support for...

Instruction on Summorum Pontificum will reinforce Pope's directive: Vatican analyst CWN - March 8, 2011

A Vatican document following up on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which called for broader use of the traditional Latin liturgy, will be released within weeks, according to Italy’s leading...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 9

Zambia: bishop accused of inciting people against government CWN - March 9, 2011

A US-born bishop is urging Zambians not to elect former President Frederick Chiluba to a third term-- prompting an angry reaction from the Chiluba’s political party, which remains in power. ...

New York bishops will not deny Communion to pro-abortion politicians CWN - March 9, 2011

The bishops of New York State will not deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion and same-sex marriage, according to Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany. “Some bishops have done that...

600 Anglicans prepare to enter ordinariate CWN - March 9, 2011

Some 600 members of the Church of England are preparing to be received into the Catholic Church this Easter as members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. “We couldn't...

$2M stolen from Spanish convent CWN - March 9, 2011

Over $2 million, stored in plastic bags, has been stolen from the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Lucia in Zaragoza, Spain, according to European press reports. “The sisters said that it was money...

Denver: black wristbands for Lent CWN - March 9, 2011

The Archdiocese of Denver’s liturgy office has made 100,000 black wristbands available for the Lenten season. The wristbands have the word “sacrificium” stamped on them. “The psychology is that...

The world needs conversion, Pope says at Ash Wednesday service CWN - March 9, 2011

For the faithful, Lent should be a time of sincere repentance and genuine conversion, Pope Benedict XVI said as he led the Church of Rome in Ash Wednesday observances. The Holy Father made the...

Philadelphia: reactions vary after 21 priests removed from ministry CWN - March 9, 2011

After the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that 21 priests had been placed on administrative leave, a prosecutor praised the move, while groups representing sex-abuse victims said the move was...

Lenten goal is to draw closer to Jesus, Pope tells audience CWN - March 9, 2011

At this weekly public audience on March 9—Ash Wednesday—Pope Benedict XVI reminded the faithful that Christianity is not a matter of observing rules, but an encounter with the living...

New violence between Muslims, Copts in Cairo CWN - March 9, 2011

At least 6 people were killed and dozens injured when violence erupted during a demonstration by Coptic Christians in Cairo. The army intervened after Muslims attacked Copts who were...

Defense of 'human ecology' must come first, Pope reminds Brazilian bishops CWN - March 9, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI endorsed a Lenten environmental campaign backed by the Brazilian Catholic bishops—with the important proviso that “the first ecology to be defended is ‘human ecology.’” In a...

Mexico Church spokesman will appeal conviction for public criticism of politicians CWN - March 9, 2011

The official spokesman for the Mexico City archdiocese plans to appeal a ruling that he was guilty of "proselytism" when he said that Catholics should not support political candidates who favor...

Maronite Synod begins deliberation to choose new Patriarch CWN - March 9, 2011

The bishops of the Maronite Catholic Church have entered a Synod meeting in Bkerke, Lebanon, to select the 77th Patriarch of Antioch. The Synod meeting began March 9 with the bishops joining in a...

Spanish girl beats cancer with umbilical-cord stem cells CWN - March 9, 2011

A young Spanish girl has been pronounced free of a brain cancer after being treated with stem cells developed from her own umbilical cord. Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2009, the girl,...

Anti-Christian violence erupts again in India's Orissa state CWN - March 9, 2011

New attacks on Christians have been reported in the troubled Indian state of Orissa. With several new incidents arising since the beginning of 2011, Christians in Orissa fear that the violence...

Catholic lay group criticizes Boston College tribute to Father Drinan CWN - March 9, 2011

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts has criticized Boston College Law School for sponsoring a tribute to the late Father Robert Drinan, the Jesuit priest who served as a Congressman and...

Hans Küng issues new book attacking Church CWN - March 9, 2011

The dissident theologian Hans Küng has released a new book denouncing the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The German-language book, entitled Can the Church Still Be Saved?, continues Küng’s...

Jaruzelski will not attend beatification of John Paul II CWN - March 9, 2011

General Wojcciech Jaruzelski, the head of Poland’s communist government in the 1980s, will not attend the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, he has announced. Jaruzelski issued his...

Trouble signs in Russian Orthodox statements CWN - March 9, 2011

George Weigel detects danger signals in statements from the Russian Orthodox hierarchy defending the actions of the Russian government-- even in the Stalin era. Patriarch Kirill has congratulated...

Released Thursday, Mar. 10

Vatican again backs parishioners, orders re-opening of Pennsylvania churches CWN - March 10, 2011

For the second time in less than a month, the Congregation for the Clergy has overturned a US diocese’s decision to close parish churches. The Congregation found that the Diocese of Allentown...

Courts: ‘In God We Trust’ does not violate Constitution CWN - March 10, 2011

The United State Supreme Court has let stand an appellate court decision declaring that the national motto (“In God We Trust”) is constitutional. Atheist activist Michael Newdow argued that the...

China may relax 1-child policy CWN - March 10, 2011

Chinese media are reporting that Communist officials may gradually relax the nation’s one-child policy, which has been in effect for over three decades. Urban couples with one daughter may be...

Holy See at UN: don’t confuse economic growth, human development CWN - March 10, 2011

Citing Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, the Holy See’s chief representative at the United Nations urged members of a UN committee not to confuse economic growth with the higher goal...

US, Illinois bishops’ conferences laud death penalty ban CWN - March 10, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is praising Gov. Pat Quinn for signing a bill abolishing the use of capital punishment in Illinois. Sixteen states have now banned the use of...

Nun pleads guilty to embezzling $850,000 from Catholic college CWN - March 10, 2011

Sister Marie Thornton, former vice president of finance at Iona College in New York, has pled guilty to embezzling $850,000 from the college between 1999 and 2009. “She abused her access to cook...

Presidential hopefuls discuss Lent CWN - March 10, 2011

Six potential presidential candidates have discussed their observance-- or non-observance-- of the season of Lent. “I have a regular routine for Lent of attending Mass at least three times a...

Pope gives encouragement, direction for priests of Rome CWN - March 10, 2011

Humility, fidelity, and constant prayer are necessary ingredients in the lives of Catholic priests, Pope Benedict XVI said at a March 10 meeting with the pastors of the Rome diocese. Following a...

Pope's new book released; advance sales top 1 million CWN - March 10, 2011

The Vatican today announced the official publication of a new book by Pope Benedict XVI, the 2nd volume of the Pope’s planned 3-part work on Jesus of Nazareth. Holy Week: From the Entrance into...

Asia Bibi fears she will be assassins' next target CWN - March 10, 2011

After the killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan fears that she could be the next target of Muslim extremists. Asia Bibi, who faces the death sentence...

Vatican inquiry on US women religious concludes on-site visits CWN - March 10, 2011

The apostolic visitation into the life of women’s religious orders in the US has concluded a new phase, wrapping up on-site visits to religious orders. Mother Mary Clare Millea, who is conducting...

Top Egyptian Islamic cleric condemns violence against Christians CWN - March 10, 2011

The head of Cairo’s Al Azhar University has condemned the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, saying that the violence is a “distortion of Islam.” Sheikh Ahmad al Tayyib urged Muslims to help...

Vatican, Asian envoys speak on economics and happiness CWN - March 10, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Culture gathered ambassadors from more than 20 Asian nations for a March 10 conference on the relationship between economic welfare and human happiness. After the...

Women of courage and compassion seek to salve in Mexico's ills CWN - March 10, 2011

Pedro Dutour tells two troubling stories of courage and compassion in Mexico. The stories are troubling because they do not have happy endings, and in one case they involve acts of charity toward...

Why don't liberals care about conscience clauses? CWN - March 10, 2011

Robert Vischer asks why, in today’s America, only political conservatives are inclined to defend the individual’s conscience rights. That’s an interesting question, which he follows up with an...

Released Friday, Mar. 11

Congressional hearings on radical Islam begin CWN - March 11, 2011

A New York Congressman opened hearings on the radicalization of the American Muslim community on March 10. “I have repeatedly said the overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans are outstanding...

5 Christians sentenced to prison in Iran CWN - March 11, 2011

Five Iranian Pentecostal Christians have been sentenced to a year in prison for "crimes against the Islamic order," according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. 282 Christians have been arrested...

3,400 converts in Hong Kong CWN - March 11, 2011

Bishop John Tong of Hong Kong has announced that 3,400 catechumens will be baptized at the Easter Vigil. The Church in Hong Kong has seen a rising numbers of conversions. The number of adult...

US bishops urge Catholics to lobby Congress on marriage CWN - March 11, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ office of government relations has issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact their representatives on behalf of the Defense of Marriage...

‘Underground’ Chinese bishop dead at 95 CWN - March 11, 2011

Bishop Andrew Hao Jinli, who endured imprisonment and constant police surveillance for his loyalty to the papacy, has died at the age of 95. Secretly ordained in 1984, he led the northeastern...

World’s largest stations of the cross in Rome CWN - March 11, 2011

The world’s largest stations of the cross have been placed along the Via della Conciliazione in Rome. Sculpted from 22,000 pounds of bronze, the stations include 49 statues and 11 crosses....

Australian paper sees 'discrimination' in Vatican search for orthodox bishops CWN - March 11, 2011

An Australian newspaper has advanced the preposterous theory that the Vatican might be violated anti-discrimination laws with a survey seeking information about possible candidates for episcopal...

Philadelphia review board never heard accusations against 14 of 21 suspended priests CWN - March 11, 2011

Among the 21 Philadelphia priests suspended this week because of sex-abuse charges, only 7 had their cases brought to the attention of an independent review board, the head of that panel has...

Melkite Patriarch urges Lenten fasting for peace in Middle East CWN - March 11, 2011

The leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has recommended that the faithful offer up their Lenten fasting for the cause of peace in the Middle East. Patriarch Gregory III Laham said that through...

Immigrant's death linked to inability to pay for medical care CWN - March 11, 2011

A comatose immigrant woman died after she was discharged from Georgetown University Hospital and removed from her feeding tubes—against the wishes of her family—in a case that has raised concerns...

Pope's book should boost Scripture studies, Cardinal Ouellet says CWN - March 11, 2011

At a March 10 press conference introducing the 2nd volume of Pope Benedict’s book Jesus of Nazareth, Cardinal Marc Ouellet said that he believed the Pope’s work could lead to “the dawn of a new era...

Pope's book offers approach to conversion of Jews CWN - March 11, 2011

In his new book—the 2nd volume of his work Jesus of Nazareth—Pope Benedict XVI writes that Catholics should not seek the incorporation of the Jewish people into the Church. “Israel is in the...

Vatican's top ecumenist heads to Moscow for meeting with Orthodox Patriarch CWN - March 11, 2011

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the new president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, travels to Moscow this weekend for his first meeting with leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church. Cardinal...

Pope thanks Belgian donors for aid destined to Haiti CWN - March 11, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 11 with members of a Belgian charitable group, thanking them for a donation that he said would be used to help relief efforts in Haiti. The Holy Father told the...

Released Monday, Mar. 14

Japanese bishop: ‘We must take courage’ CWN - March 14, 2011

“The Church in Japan will respond to the tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan with prayer and solidarity,” said Bishop Marcellinus Daiji Tani of Saitama, responding the...

Potential US Anglican ordinariate awaiting CDF decision CWN - March 14, 2011

A priest of the Archdiocese of Washington has told a Pennsylvania newspaper that the decision over whether to establish a personal ordinariate of former Anglicans in the United States is now in the...

Nigerian bishops demand fair election CWN - March 14, 2011

Speaking on behalf of Nigeria’s bishops, Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, the nation’s capital, called for a “free and fair election in Nigeria, carried out in an atmosphere of tranquility and...

Philadelphia abuse investigator ‘an absolute tiger’ CWN - March 14, 2011

Gina Maisto Smith-- the former sex-crimes prosecutor retained by Cardinal Justin Rigali to investigate cases of alleged clerical sexual abuse cited in a recent grand jury report-- was “an absolute...

US Anglican-Catholic dialogue discusses homosexuality CWN - March 14, 2011

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the USA met recently to discuss homosexuality and moral discernment. “One of the primary tasks of this round of dialogue is to examine...

Professor warns against ‘badvocacy’ on behalf of Africa CWN - March 14, 2011

Laura Seay, a Morehouse College professor whose expertise is in African politics, has warned against Western ‘badovacy’ which, despite its good intentions, can do more harm than good in...

Pope praises Japanese disaster response, donates $100,000 to relief effort CWN - March 14, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a promise a prayer to the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and a financial contribution to relief efforts after the disaster. In a March 12 telegram to...

Pope seen likely to visit Northern Ireland in 2012 CWN - March 14, 2011

A visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Ireland next year would probably include a trip to Northern Ireland, British officials believe. A Foreign Office memo, reflecting on the Pope's trip to Great...

Vatican creates Facebook, YouTube pages for beatification of John Paul II CWN - March 14, 2011

The Vatican has launched pages on Facebook and YouTube to help provide information about the beatification of Pope John Paul II. The Facebook page provides information about the beatification,...

Chinese police block access to funeral for underground bishop CWN - March 14, 2011

Chinese police are curbing access to a village in the Hebei province to deter Catholics from attending the funeral for a beloved bishop of the “underground” Church. Bishop Andrew Hao Jinli, who...

Pope, Vatican officials begin Lenten Retreat CWN - March 14, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia begin their annual Lenten Retreat on Sunday evening, March 13. During the week-long spiritual exercises there will be no papal audiences, and...

Over 200 Anglicans prepare to enter English ordinariate CWN - March 14, 2011

More than 200 Anglicans are preparing to enter the Catholic Church through the new ordinariate of Our Lady of Walshingham. The Westminster archdiocese reports that 62 Anglicans will enter the...

Spanish priest reportedly paid for abortions, remains in ministry CWN - March 14, 2011

A Spanish priest remains in active ministry 3 years after he admitted financing abortions, the LifeSite News service reports. Father Manel Pousa has paid for abortions, blessed same-sex unions,...

Indonesian Christians barred from church in West Java CWN - March 14, 2011

Christians on Indonesia’s province of West Java report that they have been barred by local officials from entering their own church, despite a supreme court order allowing them to use the building....

Cardinal Pell objects to 'hot air' on climate change CWN - March 14, 2011

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has shot back at a government official who said that the prelate’s views on climate change are “simply not scientific.” In answer to the charges leveled...

Ethiopian leader says small Muslim sect carried out attacks on Christian churches CWN - March 14, 2011

The prime minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, said that a small Islamic sect is responsible for a series of arson attacks on Christian churches. Meles said that the Kawarja sect “and other...

Orthodox Patriarch condemns nuclear power after Japanese mishaps CWN - March 14, 2011

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has denounced the peaceful use of nuclear power, saying that it is a “provocation” that violates the laws of nature. Reacting to fears that...

Practice solidarity, subsidiarity, Pope encourages Italian mayors CWN - March 14, 2011

Meeting on March 12 with representatives of an association of Italian mayors, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized two pillars of Catholic social teaching: solidarity and subsidiarity. In his remarks to...

World must recover a sense of sin, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - March 14, 2011

During Lent—which is “a spiritual itinerary of preparation for Easter”—Christians should be keenly aware of the costs of sin, Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on Sunday, March...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 15

Bishop near quake‘s epicenter: ‘We trust in God and ask for prayers’ CWN - March 15, 2011

The bishops of Japan will hold an extraordinary meeting on March 16 following the Sendai earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead. “The situation is very difficult,” said Bishop Martin...

Cardinal O’Brien denounces UK aid to Pakistan as ‘anti-Christian’ CWN - March 15, 2011

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien has denounced UK foreign policy as “anti-Christian” after the government announced it would double foreign aid to Pakistan. “To increase aid to the Pakistan...

Madrid college students storm Catholic chapel, utter blasphemies CWN - March 15, 2011

Some 50 college-age students stormed a chapel at Spain’s leading public university on March 10. “A group of 50 young people, the majority girls, entered disrespectfully the chapel of the...

Syrian prelate: fleeing Iraqis have revitalized Church CWN - March 15, 2011

The thousands of Catholics who have fled Iraq for Syria in the years following the 2003 US attack have revitalized the life of the Church, according to the Maronite archbishop of Damascus. “They...

10,000 converts per year in northeastern India CWN - March 15, 2011

Despite intense opposition from local political leaders, the Church in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh has been blessed with strong growth over the past three decades. In 1978, it...

US bishops, CRS declare ‘national day of action’ against foreign aid cuts CWN - March 15, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are urging Catholics to contact members of Congress on March 15 “to stop careless cuts to poverty-focused...

Maronite Synod chooses new Patriarch CWN - March 15, 2011

Bishop Bechara Rai has been elected the new Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. The new Maronite leader--who had been Bishop of Jbeil, Lebanon—was elected by the Maronite Synod of Bishops...

New Irish government may clash with Church on key issues CWN - March 15, 2011

A new Irish government, combining forces of the Fine Gael and Labor parties, could create new challenges for Catholic political leadership. The government is planning a constitutional convention...

Bronze Stations of the Cross on temporary display outside Vatican CWN - March 15, 2011

Life-sized bronze statues depicting the Stations of the cross have been installed along the Via della Conciliazione: the road leading from the Tiber to St. Peter’s Square. The 49 statues have...

300,000 already registered for World Youth Day in Madrid CWN - March 15, 2011

World Youth Day organizers report that 300,000 young people have already registered for this year’s international celebration in Madrid. Organizers expect about 1.5 million participants at the...

Muslims ask for use of empty French churches CWN - March 15, 2011

Muslims in France have asked for the use of empty Catholic churches, saying that this would "prevent Muslims from having to pray in the streets." Father Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit expert on Islam,...

Planned Parenthood fights Illinois bill requiring wider reporting of sexual abuse CWN - March 15, 2011

Planned Parenthood representatives are lobbying against passage of legislation in Illinois that would expand the number of people required by law to report suspected sexual abuse of children....

Egyptian military helping to rebuild Coptic church CWN - March 15, 2011

The Egyptian government is paying for the reconstruction of a Coptic Orthodox church that was destroyed by arson earlier this month. The church in Soul, a town south of Cairo, was torched by a...

Blasphemy convict found dead in Pakistani jail CWN - March 15, 2011

Christian groups in Pakistan are demanding a full explanation for the sudden death of a Christian man who was serving a life prison term after being convicted of blasphemy. Qamar David, who was...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 16

Japan: poise amid fear; hundreds of Catholic youth volunteer CWN - March 16, 2011

Hundreds of Catholic youth from all over Japan have volunteered to assist the victims of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami, according to Father Daisuke Narui, director of Caritas Japan. “Today...

El Salvador prelate urges Obama action on immigration reform CWN - March 16, 2011

El Salvador’s leading prelate is urging President Barack Obama to address the issue of immigration reform during his March 22-23 visit to the Central American nation. “We would like to ask the...

Bishop Cordileone: Obama’s actions on same-sex marriage threaten democracy CWN - March 16, 2011

The Obama administration’s refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court is “an egregious violation of the separation of powers” that “puts the future prospects of our democracy at stake,”...

Australian bishop on the ‘virtue of discrimination’ CWN - March 16, 2011

A month after a Green Party politician called for the defunding of Catholic schools and welfare agencies on the grounds that they engage in “discrimination,” Auxiliary Bishop Julian Porteous of...

Philippine prelate advises: abstain from marital relations during Lent CWN - March 16, 2011

A Philippine prelate is advising spouses to abstain from marital relations during Lent, according to one of the nation’s leading newspapers. “That is their own decision… but we encourage it,”...

Caritas appeal for Japan CWN - March 16, 2011

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal to assist the victims of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami. “We have received so many...

Church plays a special role in Italy, Pope says CWN - March 16, 2011

The Italian people have “always had a sense of the duty, but at the same time the unique privilege,” of playing host to the Holy See, the center of Catholic life, Pope Benedict XVI has...

Dublin archbishop defends Church role in Irish public affairs CWN - March 16, 2011

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin defended the institution of marriage, expressed concerns about an overhaul of the Irish constitution, and maintained that the Catholic Church remains strong in...

Pakistan: threats prompt hundreds of Christians to embrace Islam CWN - March 16, 2011

Hundreds of Christians in Pakistan are renouncing the faith to embrace Islam, thus avoiding the threats, intimidation, and bias suffered by the nation's political minority. An AsiaNews report...

Excommunication looms for Spanish priest involved in abortion CWN - March 16, 2011

A Spanish priest who says that he paid for abortions faces disciplinary action from the Barcelona archdiocese. Father Manuel Pousa wrote, in a book released late in February, that he had provided...

Religion, government need each other, says US ambassador to Holy See CWN - March 16, 2011

Speaking at Catholic University in Washington, the US ambassador to the Holy See, Miguel Diaz, argued that government leaders should work cooperatively with religious groups. Noting a "worlwide...

Parishioners protest as historic Boston church goes up for sale CWN - March 16, 2011

The Boston archdiocese has listed a historic church for sale, drawing immediate protests from parishioners who note that the church has not yet been officially deconsecrated. Holy Trinity Church,...

In Australia, Cardinal Burke assails abortion, 'culture of death' CWN - March 16, 2011

Cardinal Raymond Burke denounced “the plague of procured abortion, the wholesale murder of the unborn in the womb,” in an address to an Australian audience. The American cardinal, who now heads...

Men will outnumber women in India by 20% in 2030 CWN - March 16, 2011

An international study has found that the prevalence of sex-selection abortion in India is causing a severe shortage of young women, and by the year 2030 there will be 20% fewer women than men in...

Men will outnumber women in India by 20% in 2030 CWN - March 16, 2011

An international study has found that the prevalence of sex-selection abortion in India is causing a severe shortage of young women, and by the year 2030 there will be 20% fewer women than men in...

SNAP objects to Philadelphia archdiocesan payment for accused priest's attorney CWN - March 16, 2011

A group representing victims of sexual abuse has objected to the news that the Philadelphia archdiocese is paying for an attorney to represent a priest accused of sexual abuse. David Clohessy,...

India: Catholics could face bigamy charges after annulment, remarriage CWN - March 16, 2011

Catholics in India who remarry after the Church annuls a prior union could still face bigamy charges under the country’s laws. A lawyer representing a Catholic man who is facing a bigamy charge...

Opinion Roundup CWN - March 16, 2011

Writing for First Things, Wesley J. Smith warns of a new danger on the medical horizon: hospital ethics committees may be given the authority to override the ‘advance directives’ left by a patient,...

Released Thursday, Mar. 17

Archbishop warns of ‘near-genocide’ of Iraqi Christians CWN - March 17, 2011

Speaking in Ireland, a Chaldean Catholic bishop who ministers in northern Iraq offered an overview of the persecution of Christians there and lamented the “the human rights abuses and near-genocide...

Pakistan: diocese demands answers in death of Catholic accused of blasphemy CWN - March 17, 2011

The Archdiocese of Karachi is demanding answers from prison officials following the prison death of Qamar David, a Catholic accused of blasphemy. “Given that he was accused of blasphemy, he was...

US bishops reaffirm: New Ways Ministry not a Catholic organization CWN - March 17, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reaffirmed that New Ways Ministry dissents from Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is not a Catholic organization. Cardinal Donald Wuerl...

Mubarak supporters inciting violence against Christians in Egypt: pastor CWN - March 17, 2011

An Anglican pastor who ministers in Cairo writes that the view is widespread that recent violence against Christians is “being orchestrated by pro-Mubarak members of the State Security and by...

Irish bishops issue St. Patrick’s Day message CWN - March 17, 2011

The bishops of Ireland have issued a brief message for St. Patrick’s Day. “Patrick was called to serve and bring God to a people far from his homeland,” the bishops write. “In 2011 we are in the...

Attenborough rips Church on population growth CWN - March 17, 2011

Calling the Catholic Church “a major factor” in contributing to the world's “population problem,” broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough told the Royal Society of Arts in London that...

‘The global war against baby girls’ CWN - March 17, 2011

Writing for First Things, Joe Carter observes that “biologically impossible ratios” of baby boys to girls exist in dozens of nations because of sex-selective abortions and girls’ higher death rates....

Former Anglican bishops given title of 'monsignor' CWN - March 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the title of “monsignor” on the three former Anglican bishops who entered the Catholic Church in January. Msgr. Keith Newton, who will lead the new Anglican...

Controversial Chicago priest to be moved from urban parish? CWN - March 17, 2011

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago may soon remove a controversial priest from the urban parish where he has been pastor for 30 years. Father Michael Pfleger met with Cardinal George this week,...

St. Patrick's Day in Rome: Irish Church marks centennial CWN - March 17, 2011

Cardinal William Levada presided at Mass on March 17 in St. Patrick’s church in Rome, as the church serving the Irish community celebrated its 100th anniversary on the feast of its...

Patriarch Kirill, Cardinal Koch speak about Catholic-Orthodox partnership CWN - March 17, 2011

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, met on March 16 with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. Neither the Vatican nor the Russian Orthodox Church...

Filipino bishops say Japanese crisis confirms stand against nuclear power CWN - March 17, 2011

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have issued a statement claiming that the crisis at Japanese nuclear power plans vindicates their opposition to the development of peaceful nuclear...

Foundation gives millions to fight Christian view on homosexuality and marriage CWN - March 17, 2011

The Arcus Foundation has given nearly $500,000 to organizations that oppose Catholic teachings on homosexuality, notes Tom Peters of CatholicVote. Run by gay activists, the Arcus Foundation has...

Dutch lawmaker presses case for militant secularism CWN - March 17, 2011

Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, gives voice to militant secularism in a remarkably polemical column for the Guardian. The Dutch politician finds it ominous that...

Pope's book seen as extension of lectio divina CWN - March 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has been a strong proponent of lectio divina, the prayerful reading of the Scriptures, and has offered demonstrations of the practice in his meetings with Rome's priests and...

Released Friday, Mar. 18

Report examines persecution of Church in 33 nations CWN - March 18, 2011

Aid to the Church in Need has issued its 2011 report on the persecution of Christians worldwide. The report, which examines persecution in 33 nations, notes that “Christians in Muslim countries...

Holy See diplomat emphasizes parental rights, religious liberty in education CWN - March 18, 2011

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading representative at UN offices in Geneva, has reminded fellow diplomats that both parents have a fundamental right to educate children in their...

House committee encourages public buildings, schools to post ‘In God We Trust’ CWN - March 18, 2011

By a voice vote, the House Judiciary Committee has approved a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto and “encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public...

Solemn entry of St. Therese’s relics into Jerusalem CWN - March 18, 2011

Some 2,000 faithful, led by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, welcomed the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux into Jerusalem in a solemn procession. “We welcome Little Therese with emotion,” said...

US bishops offer prayers, urge donations for Japan CWN - March 18, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written the Japanese hierarchy “to assure you of the prayers and solidarity of the...

Weigel: Papal States’ fall was blessing for papacy CWN - March 18, 2011

Commenting on the 150th anniversary of Italy’s independence, George Weigel writes that “it would take a particular kind of obtuseness, combined with over-the-top romanticism, to think that the loss...

European court allows crucifix in public schools CWN - March 18, 2011

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the display of a crucifix in a public-school classroom is not a violation of human rights. The March 18 decision by the Strasbourg court...

Cleared of abuse charges, Irish bishop remains in restricted ministry CWN - March 18, 2011

An elderly Irish bishop will not resume public ministry, although he has been cleared of sex-abuse charges. The Irish Independent profiles Bishop Eamon Casey, noting that neither the Irish...

Filipino bishops confident that birth-control bill can be defeated CWN - March 18, 2011

Church leaders and pro-life legislators in the Philippines are expressing confidence that they will be able to secure enough votes to block an aggressive birth-control bill. Cardinal Ricardo...

Australian bishops caution against Green Party agenda CWN - March 18, 2011

Ten Australian Catholic bishops have joined in a statement warning the faithful against support for the Green Party, pointing to the party’s public stands that violate “the beliefs and values of...

Malaysian Christians reject government demands for warning label on Bibles CWN - March 18, 2011

Christians in Malaysia are refusing to accept shipment of 35,000 Bibles, after the country’s government said that each Bible must carry a warning label to say that the book is “for the use of...

Vatican plans major effort to engage non-believers CWN - March 18, 2011

The "Courtyard of the Gentiles,” a Vatican bid to start conversations with non-believers, will be unveiled in Paris next week. At a March 18 Vatican press conference, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi,...

Sex-selection abortion harming society, India's president warns CWN - March 18, 2011

Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the president of India and the first woman to hold the office, has expressed grave concern over reports of a steady decline in the number of young women in the country. ...

Italian police make arrest for 'beatification ticket' fraud CWN - March 18, 2011

Italian police have accused a tour guide of bilking tourists by selling false "tickets" to the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II. The American-born suspect, who is already charged with...

Lutheran group expresses interest in ordinariate CWN - March 18, 2011

An American Lutheran group, the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church—has expressed a desire to enter an ordinariate established in the US for former Anglicans entering the Catholic Church. Leaders of...

Obama to visit grave of Archbishop Romero CWN - March 18, 2011

US President Barack Obama will visit the grave of Archbishop Oscar Romero during a trip to El Salvador next week. Archbishop Romero, who had frequently denounced human-rights violations in El...

Released Monday, Mar. 21

Ethiopia: 10,000 Christians flee homes after 69 churches burned down CWN - March 21, 2011

Muslim extremists have burned down 69 Protestant churches-- 46 of them Pentecostal-- in southwestern Ethiopia. The violence started in the town of Asendabo following reports that the Qur’an was...

Irish bishops issue pastoral statement on abuse CWN - March 21, 2011

Marking the first anniversary of Pope Benedict’s letter to Irish Catholics, the bishops of Ireland have issued a pastoral statement, “Towards Healing and Renewal.” “The abuse of children by...

Mexico: death threats against 162 priests CWN - March 21, 2011

Over 1,000 Mexican priests were victims of attempted extortion last year, and 162 received death threats, according to an analysis by the Mexico-based Centro Católico Multimedial. Twelve priests...

Vatican spokesman calls for reflection on nuclear power CWN - March 21, 2011

Discussing the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead in Japan, the director of the Holy See Press Office has called for reflection on the “correct use” and risks of nuclear...

Catholic weddings plummet in nation’s most Catholic state CWN - March 21, 2011

Between 1969 and 2009, Catholic weddings declined by 71%-- from 4,452 to 1,300-- in Rhode Island. During the same time period, the number of civil marriages fell by 17%. 59% of Rhode Island’s...

Montana: homemade bomb thrown at pro-life vigil CWN - March 21, 2011

A homemade bomb was thrown at an elderly woman who was taking part in a pro-life prayer vigil in Kalispell, Montana. The woman was not injured. “If the bomb were aimed at this lady and the...

Vatican welcome European court ruling on crucifix display CWN - March 21, 2011

The Vatican has welcomed the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights upholding the display of a crucifix in Italian schools. The decision recognizes “that the culture and rights of man...

Pope pleads for peace in Libya CWN - March 21, 2011

During his regular Angelus audience on Sunday, March 20, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of his “great apprehension” about military action in Libya, and issued “an urgent appeal to everyone with political...

Majority in US now favor same-sex marriage, poll indicates CWN - March 21, 2011

A majority of Americans now favor legal recognition of same-sex marriage, according to a Washington Post-ABC news poll. The poll shows 53% in favor of same-sex marriage, and 44% opposed. The...

Troubled families need extra care , Pope reminds Roman parish CWN - March 21, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI underlined the importance of pastoral support for young families, during a March 20 visit to a parish on the outskirts of Rome. The Holy Father told the people of St....

Lenten Retreat concluded at Vatican CWN - March 21, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia concluded their annual Lenten Retreat on Saturday evening, March 19. The Holy Father thanked the preacher of this year’s spiritual exercises,...

1,000 attend Mass of Reparation at Madrid university chapel CWN - March 21, 2011

Nearly 1,000 people attended a special Mass of Reparation in a chapel at a university in Madrid on March 18, a week after a group of students had invaded the chapel to shout blasphemies. Bishop...

Indian bishops begin ad limina visits; to discuss work in multi-religious society CWN - March 21, 2011

As the Catholic bishops of India begin their ad limina visits to the Vatican, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai told Vatican Radio that their greatest challenge involved "how to live Jesus in a...

Church leader in Libya calls for ceasefire CWN - March 21, 2011

Libya’s top Catholic leader has condemned the military action in his nation, insisting that “we need to cease shooting immediately and begin mediation straight away to resolve the crisis...

Pope's book hits NY Times best-seller list CWN - March 21, 2011

Pope Benedict's new book, the 2nd volume of his work Jesus of Nazareth, placed 10th on the latest New York Times list of best-sellers in the non-fiction category. Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week:...

Religious order sues Boston archdiocese over pension funds CWN - March 21, 2011

The Daughters of St. Paul, a religious order involved in media apostolates, has filed suit against the Boston archdiocese, seeking to protect the pensions of the apostolates' lay employees. The...

'60 Minutes' profiles New York's Archbishop Dolan CWN - March 21, 2011

The popular American Sunday-evening television program, '60 Minutes,' profiled Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, portraying him as a powerful emerging force in the American Catholic Church and...

Chicago: Father Pfleger resists leaving parish assignment CWN - March 21, 2011

The controversial Chicago priest, Father Michael Pfleger, has confirmed that Cardinal Francis George has asked him to accept a new assignment. But Father Pfleger told his congregation at St....

Christians in Middle East face martyrdom, need help, writes Vatican cardinal CWN - March 21, 2011

Christians in the Middle East are “experiencing the actuality of martyrdom” and desperately need the support of their brothers around the world, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern...

Opinion Roundup CWN - March 21, 2011

Elizabeth Scalia offers a balanced perspective on what we know (not much) and what we don’t know (a lot) regarding charges that have reportedly been leveled against Father Corapi. Father...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 22

Russian Orthodox official lauds improved Catholic-Orthodox relations CWN - March 22, 2011

Calling for a “strategic alliance” in which Catholic and Orthodox believers act as “allies,” the Russian Orthodox Church’s chief ecumenical officer lauded the “real positive results in normalization...

Florida: Protestant pastor burns Qu’ran CWN - March 22, 2011

A Florida Protestant pastor burned the Qu’ran before a small crowd on March 20. Terry Jones, whose threats to burn the Qu’ran last year provoked an international outcry and led to the bombing of...

Muslim-Christian meditation to commemorate Trappists' murder CWN - March 22, 2011

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon and two local Muslim leaders will lead a brief period of meditation on March 26 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the murder of seven Trappists in Algeria....

Kenya: bishops appeal for aid as famine looms CWN - March 22, 2011

The bishops of Kenya have appealed for assistance as 2.1 million Kenyans face the prospect of famine brought on by drought. “We are all deeply concerned by this crisis and suffering of many...

Settlement between Philadelphia Catholic college, homosexual ‘priest’ CWN - March 22, 2011

Chestnut Hill College and Jim St. George have reached a settlement less than a month after the college announced that the openly homosexual “priest” would no longer be teaching classes there. St....

Jesuit universities to hold conferences on ‘sexual diversity’ CWN - March 22, 2011

Two Jesuit universities and two Protestant divinity schools will hold a series of conferences this fall devoted to “sexual diversity and the Catholic Church.” The first conference, at Fordham...

New guidelines for seminary studies in philosophy CWN - March 22, 2011

The Vatican has issued new guidelines for the teaching of philosophy to seminary students. At a March 22 press conference in Rome, officials of the Congregation for Catholic Education explained...

Egyptian Christians leery of constitutional changes CWN - March 22, 2011

Egyptian Christians voted against proposed changes in their country’s constitution, Reuters reports, because quick elections could lead to the rise of an Islamic government. The amendments that...

Boycott of new translation favors 'liturgical anarchy,' says Australian bishops' spokesman CWN - March 22, 2011

A spokesman for the Australian bishops’ conference has decried the call for a boycott of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, saying that it would “open the doors to liturgical...

Uncertain future for conservative Anglican group as ordinariates begin CWN - March 22, 2011

The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the most visible organization representing Anglicans seeking to enter the Catholic Church, has seen major fissures in its ranks since Anglicanorum Coetibus...

Huge internet traffic for John Paul II beatification site CWN - March 22, 2011

The Facebook page set up for the beatification of Pope John Paul II drew almost 30,000 fans in its first week. The beatification Facebook page includes videos from the pontificate of John Paul...

Gay-rights opponents have human rights too, Vatican delegate reminds UN CWN - March 22, 2011

At a UN session in Geneva, the Vatican's delegate has argued that respect for fundamental human rights should not be used as a pretext for forcing public acceptance of homosexual...

Northern Ireland to end special drive for Catholic police recruits CWN - March 22, 2011

After more than a decade of aggressively recruiting Catholic members, the police force in Northern Ireland will no longer give special preference to Catholic candidates. Owen Paterson, the...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 23

Libya: bishop criticizes bombing campaign CWN - March 23, 2011

Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, has renewed his criticism of military intervention in Libya. “From last night to tonight we heard several very loud...

Pakistani bishops condemn Qu’ran burning CWN - March 23, 2011

The bishops of Pakistan have condemned the March 20 burning of the Qu’ran by a Florida Protestant pastor. Two Pakistani churches were attacked last year after Rev. Terry Jones said that he would...

Failed bomb attacks against churches in Nigeria CWN - March 23, 2011

Two bomb attacks against Protestant churches in the central Nigerian region of Jos have failed. One bomb exploded prematurely, killing the three attackers; the other failed to detonate. The...

Ivory Coast: convent hit by artillery CWN - March 23, 2011

As the Ivory Coast descends into civil war, a convent of Poor Clare nuns has been hit by heavy artillery fire. The nuns, who were praying in the convent’s chapel, were not injured. The convent is...

Practicing Catholics more likely than general public to back homosexual unions CWN - March 23, 2011

Only 31% of Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly oppose granting legal recognition to homosexual unions, according to a new report by the Public Religion Research Institute. 64% favor some sort...

NPR profile of Salesians in Ecuador CWN - March 23, 2011

National Public Radio has profiled the work of Salesians who assist street children in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. “The Salesians try to get them caught up in school, and teach them a useful...

Pope speaks on St. Lawrence of Brindisi: scholar, preacher, and peacemaker CWN - March 23, 2011

At his regular weekly public audience on March 23, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559- 1619), and made a pointed reference to the saint's work as a mediator, easing conflicts...

Pakistani Christians shot outside church CWN - March 23, 2011

Two Pakistani Christians were killed and two others seriously wounded when young Muslims shot then outside a church in Hyperabad on Monday evening, March 21. The shootings took place after a...

US diplomats reportedly distort Vatican position on anti-discrimination measure CWN - March 23, 2011

The US State Department is reportedly trying to convince Latin American diplomats at the UN that the Vatican backs a proposal to condemn discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation and gender...

Survey shows religion on the wane in Western countries CWN - March 23, 2011

A study by the American Physical Society (APS) has confirmed the well-established trend away from religious affiliation in secularized Western societies, and predicted that the trend will...

South Dakota law will require abortion waiting period CWN - March 23, 2011

A new law in South Dakota, which would take effect on July 1, mandates a 72-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion. The bill, which was signed by Governor Dennis Daugaard on March...

Vatican newspaper raps France for 'hasty' military intervention in Libya CWN - March 23, 2011

L'Osservatore Romano has criticized France for a "hasty" decision to begin military operations in Libya. The Vatican newspaper said that the military strategy reflected "great confusion," and...

Cuba will release last political prisoners CWN - March 23, 2011

The Cuban government has agreed to release the last political prisoners from a group of 75 arrested in 2003. The release of prisoners has been negotiated by the Catholic Church, with Cardinal...

Released Thursday, Mar. 24

Libya: bishop calls for truce CWN - March 24, 2011

Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, has called for a truce in the Libyan conflict following continued military intervention by a coalition of 14 nations. “The...

Iranian Christians to stand trial for blasphemy CWN - March 24, 2011

Five Iranian Christians will soon stand trial on charges of blasphemy against Islam, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The five-- a Protestant pastor and four laymen-- have already been...

Obama pays tribute to Archbishop Romero CWN - March 24, 2011

Accompanied by Archbishop Escobar Alas of San Salvador and President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador, President Barack Obama visited the tomb of the Servant of God Oscar Romero on the evening of March...

Japan faces prospect of major epidemics, priest warns CWN - March 24, 2011

The executive director of Caritas Japan warns that the nation faces the prospect of major epidemics because of lack of sanitation. 300,000 people have been evacuated from their homes following...

Temporary legal victory for traditional marriage in California CWN - March 24, 2011

In a temporary victory for supporters of Proposition 8-- the 2008 California ballot measure that recognized marriage as the union of a man and a woman-- the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has...

Parish policies prevent migrants from receiving sacraments: priest CWN - March 24, 2011

Numerous migrant workers and their children have been prevented from receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, First Confession, and First Holy Communion because of parish regulations, says...

US bishops launch Spanish-language, pro-marriage radio campaign CWN - March 24, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a Spanish-language radio campaign designed to strengthen marriage and family life among Latino Catholics. “Our main...

Eating meat: permitted on the Annunciation CWN - March 24, 2011

Citing Canon 1251, various dioceses, Catholic bloggers, and even secular newspapers are noting that the obligation to abstain from meat is abrogated on Friday, March 25, because it is the Solemnity...

UN, Church leaders mark anniversary of Archbishop Romero's assassination CWN - March 24, 2011

Church leaders are calling public attention to the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the outspoken critic of human-rights abuses in El Salvador, who was shot and killed while celebrating Mass on...

'Courtyard of Gentiles' aims to address ultimate questions, not prompt conversion CWN - March 24, 2011

A new Vatican initiative to open dialogue with the secular world, the “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” should not be seen as an effort to convert unbelievers, according to the Vatican official...

Irish national seminary to be closed? Rector denies report CWN - March 24, 2011

The head of St. Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth has angrily denied a published report that the institution could soon cease to function as Ireland’s national seminary. Michael Kelly of the Irish...

Why does the US lead the world in marriage annulments? CWN - March 24, 2011

With only 6% of the world's Catholic population, the US accounts for 60% of the annulments granted by Church tribunals. In a Catholic World Report feature, Jeff Ziegler asks why. Some Church...

Gay-rights supporters funded poll on Catholic attitudes toward same-sex unions CWN - March 24, 2011

Thomas Peters gives us reason to question the results of a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), which purported to show that Catholics were more likely than other Americans favor...

New papal nuncio faces major challenges in England CWN - March 24, 2011

Anna Arco of London's Catholic Herald interviews Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the new apostolic nuncio to Great Britain. The interview is noteworthy for two reasons. Archbishop Mennini recounts...

Church leaders must confront dissenters, says Bishop Aquila CWN - March 24, 2011

Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, strongly insisted that politicians who support legal abortion should be denied the Eucharist, in a powerful keynote address to a symposium on priestly...

Brother of slain Pakistani cabinet minister given government post CWN - March 24, 2011

Paul Bhatti has been appointed a "special adviser" to the prime minister of Pakistan, responsible for the affairs of religious minorities, the Fides news service reports. Paul Bhatti is the...

Asia Bibi fasting; relatives worried about her health CWN - March 24, 2011

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman who faces a death sentence after being convicted of violating the nation's blasphemy law, has undertaken a rigorous Lenten fast, prompting relatives to fear for her...

Compared: new books by Pope Benedict, Hans Küng CWN - March 24, 2011

Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute contrasts the new books by two theologians whose lives have crossed several times: Pope Benedict XVI and Hans Küng. The comparison is not flattering to...

Released Friday, Mar. 25

US bishops 'firm in commitment' to 'zero tolerance' policy on abuse CWN - March 25, 2011

The bishops of the United States “remain especially firm in our commitment to remove permanently from public ministry any priest” who has sexually abused a child, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president...

Libya: bishop renews call for end of bombing CWN - March 25, 2011

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed his criticism of military intervention in Libya and called upon the international community to “allow room” for the African Union’s attempt at...

Archbishop Gomez on the immigration debate CWN - March 25, 2011

In an address delivered at Catholic University of America, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles sought to “outline what I believe to be the root issues with US-Mexican migration,” “explain the...

Don’t sell land or emigrate, Lebanese Christians urged CWN - March 25, 2011

The provincial of the Discalced Carmelite friars in Lebanon is urging Christians there not to sell land or emigrate despite the economic difficulties they face. “We might suffer, we might have...

US bishops call for aid to Latin America on anniversary of archbishop’s death CWN - March 25, 2011

Marking the anniversary of the Archbishop Oscar Romero’s assassination, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling upon the US government to “do more for the people of Latin...

Selection of John Paul II’s press interviews published CWN - March 25, 2011

Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishing house, has announced the publication of a selection of Pope John Paul II’s in-flight interviews with journalists. “Today, the words that...

Church attendance linked to obesity in young adults CWN - March 25, 2011

A study conducted by Northwestern University researchers has found that young adults who attend church services at least weekly are more than twice as likely to become obese than those who do not....

'Courtyard of the Gentiles' opens in Paris CWN - March 25, 2011

The “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” a Vatican initiative to promote dialogue with unbelievers, opened a 2-day event in Paris on March 24. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical...

UN moves away from campaign against 'defamation of religion' CWN - March 25, 2011

The UN’s Human Rights council has adopted a resolution endorsing religious freedom, distancing itself from previous resolutions that condemned “defamation of religion.” The UN body made its...

Oregon Jesuit province makes record sex-abuse settlement CWN - March 25, 2011

The Oregon province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay $166 million to victims of sexual abuse by Jesuits in Native American communities of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The settlement is...

Ukrainian Catholic Church selects young bishop as new leader CWN - March 25, 2011

A 40-year-old bishop serving in Argentina has been elected to lead the Ukrainian Catholic Church: the largest Eastern Church in communion with the Holy See. Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the...

Mass rally in Manila against family-planning legislation CWN - March 25, 2011

An estimated 20,000 people joined in a March 25 rally in Manila, voicing their opposition to legislation that would launch an aggressive family-planning effort in the Philippines. Cardinal...

Pregnancy-help centers challenge constitutionality of New York ordinance CWN - March 25, 2011

A New York city ordinance imposing new restrictions on pregnancy-help centers faces a constitutional challenge. Expectant Mother Care (EMC), a chain of 12 pregnancy-help centers, has filed suit,...

English Catholics will welcome former Anglicans: Archbishop Nichols CWN - March 25, 2011

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has promised that former Anglicans will be “warmly welcomed” into the Catholic Church when they enter the new Anglican ordinariate. The archbishop’s words...

Pope offers support to new Maronite Patriarch CWN - March 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has offered his support and prayers to the newly elected Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. In a message to Patriarch Bechara Rai, who was elected by the Maronite Synod...

Confession should help both priest and penitents, Pope says CWN - March 25, 2011

The rite of Confession can be a learning experience for both priests and penitents, Pope Benedict XVI said on March 25. Addressing an annual Vatican conference on the "internal forum," the Pope...

Pope encourages bishops of Syro-Malankar Catholic Church CWN - March 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 25 with the bishops of India's Syro-Malankar Catholic Church, who were making their ad limina visits to Rome. The Holy Father encouraged the Indian prelates to...

Marquette University will offer 'domestic-partner' benefits CWN - March 25, 2011

Marquette University, a Jesuit-run institution in Wisconsin, will offer “domestic-partner” benefits to employees beginning next year. Marquette’s president, Robert Wild, said that offering...

Tensions in China's Catholic Church: an overview CWN - March 25, 2011

Recent efforts by the Chinese regime to control the Catholic Church have put any prospects for diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Beijing on the back burner, reports Father Bernardo...

Opinion Roundup CWN - March 25, 2011

The single most talked-about passage in a new book by Pope Benedict XVI is his treatment of efforts to evangelize Jews. In the National Catholic Register, Jimmy Akin provides an admirably complete...

Released Monday, Mar. 28

US bishops: military intervention in Libya ‘appears to meet’ key just-war standard CWN - March 28, 2011

Military intervention in Libya, in the judgment of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “appears to meet” the just-cause criterion of Catholic teaching on just war. The USCCB,...

Pakistan: bishops ask Holy See to declare assassinated layman a martyr CWN - March 28, 2011

The bishops of Pakistan have asked the Holy See to declare Shabhaz Bhatti a martyr and patron of religious freedom. Bhatti, a layman who served as federal minister of minorities, was assassinated on...

Catholic Relief Services avoids closing of operations in Darfur [updated] CWN - March 28, 2011

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has announced that it has resumed relief operations in the troubled Sudanese province of Darfur, after warning that those operations might be closed down because of...

USCCB: sexual orientation, gender identity should not be protected categories CWN - March 28, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is opposing a proposal by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the...

Ivory Coast prelate urges end to medicine embargo CWN - March 28, 2011

As civilians flee strife-torn Ivory Coast’s capital for the countryside, the nation’s leading prelate has asked the European Union to end a month-old embargo on medicine. “You do not need a lot...

Catholic Charities bestows highest award on Father Hesburgh CWN - March 28, 2011

Father Theodore Hesburgh, who served as the president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, has been awarded Catholic Charities USA’s Centennial Medal, “the most prestigious symbol of...

Excommunicated Life Teen founder lashes out at bishop CWN - March 28, 2011

Dale Fushek, the excommunicated former vicar general of the Diocese of Phoenix and founder of the international youth ministry Life Teen, has lashed out at Bishop Thomas Olmsted in a new...

Ukrainian Catholic leader enthroned; Orthodox delegates attend ceremony CWN - March 28, 2011

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk was enthroned as the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church—the largest Eastern Church in communion with the Holy See—in a solemn ceremony in Kyiv on March...

Ultimate questions must be addressed, Pope tells 'Courtyard' meeting CWN - March 28, 2011

“The question of God must not be absent from the great questions of our time,” Pope Benedict XVI insisted as he addressed the first meeting of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” a Vatican initiative...

Employment is high priority, Pope tells visiting steel workers CWN - March 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the dignity of human labor as he met on March 26 with a group of pilgrims from the Italian diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia. The diocesan pilgrimage commemorated the...

Pope prays at Nazi massacre site CWN - March 28, 2011

On March 27, Pope Benedict XVI visited the “Fosse Ardeatine,” a cite on the outskirts of Rome that marks a 1944 Nazi massacre. The Pope was accompanied by Rabbi Ricardo Di Segni, the head of...

Christ thirsts for our faith, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - March 28, 2011

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, March 27, Pope Benedict XVI said that the day’s Gospel, recounting the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, makes “a clear allusion to the...

Pope seeks end to bombing in Libya CWN - March 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI said that he is “becoming progressively more concerned about the welfare and safety of civilians” as a NATO bombing campaign continues. As he concluded his regular public...

Cypriot Orthodox leader meets with Pope CWN - March 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on March 28 with Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, for a discussion of the problems of the Middle East in general and Cyprus in particular. The Pope spoke with...

Woman religious to write meditations for Way of the Cross on Good Friday CWN - March 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen an Augustinian nun, Mother Maria Rita Piccione, to write the meditations that will be read during the Way of the Cross on Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome. Pope...

Indian group sees conspiracy between Hindu extremists, army officers CWN - March 28, 2011

A Christian group in India has charged that there is a criminal conspiracy between Hindu zealots and army officers to allow violence against Christians. The Christian Secular Forum said that a...

Pakistan: more Muslim reprisals for burning of Qur'an in Florida CWN - March 28, 2011

Two Christians were killed and churches burned in Pakistan as militant Muslims continued to assault the local Christians, in a campaign of vengeance that was triggered by the news that a Florida...

Maine bishop declares day of penance for clerical abuse CWN - March 28, 2011

Bishop Richard Malone of Portland (Maine) has declared March 29 a day of prayer and penance for the sin of clerical sexual abuse. In addition to offering a special Mass at the cathedral, the bishop...

Australian euthanasia supporter anxious to open clinic CWN - March 28, 2011

Australia's leading public advocate of legal euthanasia, Phililp Nitschke, hopes to open an assisted-suicide clinic in Adelaide if a law lifting criminal penalties on the practice is passed....

Opinion Roundup CWN - March 28, 2011

Writing in London's Catholic Herald, William Oddie makes a brash claim: not merely that the NATO air strikes on Libya are justified under the standards of "just war" set by St. Thomas Aquinas, but...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 29

North African bishops: ‘No to war’ in Libya CWN - March 29, 2011

The bishops of Northern Africa have called for an end to the military conflict in Libya. “We know that war solves nothing, and when it breaks out, it is just as uncontrollable as the explosion of...

New Ukrainian Catholic leader to ask Pope for patriarchal status CWN - March 29, 2011

Two days after his March 27 enthronement as head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said he would ask Pope Benedict to raise the Eastern Catholic church to...

Canadian bishops issue election guide CWN - March 29, 2011

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an election guide ahead of the May 2 federal election. The bishops offer five “examples of how Catholic moral and social teaching is to be...

Key Russian Orthodox official criticizes invasion of Iraq CWN - March 29, 2011

Lamenting indifference to the worldwide persecution of Christians, the Russian Orthodox Church’s chief ecumenical officer said that the Western invasion of Iraq brought suffering to numerous...

Archbishop Dolan issues pastoral letter on Confession CWN - March 29, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has issued a pastoral letter on the Sacrament of Penance. The letter, reprinted in the new issue of Origins, calls upon all Catholics to make a good...

Hundreds protest archbishop’s stand against corporal punishment at school CWN - March 29, 2011

More than 500 students, staff, and supporters of an African-American Catholic high school in New Orleans marched on archdiocesan offices to protest Archbishop Gregory Aymond’s decision to end...

Family-planning bill fails to gain quick passage in Philippines CWN - March 29, 2011

Proponents of aggressive family-planning legislation in the Philippines failed to gain parliamentary approval as a legislative session ended. But the measure will be on the docket when lawmakers...

Building strong families is key, Pope tells Latin American bishops CWN - March 29, 2011

In a message to a conference of Latin American bishops, devoted to family-life ministry, Pope Benedict XVI said that pastoral care for the family is a vital component of the Church’s evangelical...

Two nuns collaborate on Stations of the Cross for Good Friday CWN - March 29, 2011

Two Augustinian nuns are collaborating on the text and illustrations to be used for the Stations of the Cross at the Roman Coliseum on Good Friday. The Vatican has announced that Sister Elena...

New Maronite Patriarch outlines vision for Lebanon's future CWN - March 29, 2011

The newly elected leader of the Maronite Catholic Church voices his concerns for Lebanon and the Middle East during his investiture ceremony. Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi alluded to the...

New violence in Holy Land reflects 'paralysis' in peace talks, says Franciscan Custos CWN - March 29, 2011

A new flare-up of violence could reflect the breakdown in Israel-Palestinian talks, according to the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Speaking on Vatican Radio, Father...

Irish education minister aims to cut Church control of primary schools by 50% CWN - March 29, 2011

Ireland's education minister has formed a blue-ribbon panel to examine how the nation's primary schools can be moved out of the control of the Catholic Church. About 90% of Ireland's primary...

300,000 expected for each public event at beatification of John Paul II CWN - March 29, 2011

Vatican planners are expecting at least 300,000 people each of the public events surrounding the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1. Organizers say that earlier estimates, predicting...

'Courtyard' sparks atheists' interest in dialogue, Cardinal Ravasi reports CWN - March 29, 2011

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, reports that he has seen strong interest among French non-believers in continuing the dialogue that was opened by the...

US firm uses aborted fetal cells to test artificial food flavors CWN - March 29, 2011

A California company that uses tissues from aborted children to test its products is supply artificial flavors for major American food manufacturers, a Florida pro-life group has...

Another Christian church attacked in Pakistan CWN - March 29, 2011

Armed Muslims attacked and tried to burn down a Catholic church in Pakistan on March 28, in the latest in a series of violent incidents in which Islamic militants hit Christian targets. Pakistani...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 30

Japan: bishop opposes new nuclear power plants worldwide CWN - March 30, 2011

Amid continued concern about the Fukushima nuclear accidents that have followed the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a Japanese bishop has told the Fides news agency that he opposes the construction...

US Senate: Cardinal McCarrick defends religious freedom of Muslims, Catholics CWN - March 30, 2011

Testifying before a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing on “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims,” Cardinal Theodore McCarrick defended the religious freedom of Muslims and...

Mexico: bishop calls on drug traffickers to repent CWN - March 30, 2011

A Mexican prelate has called upon drug traffickers to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. “Repent and believe in the Gospel," said Archbishop José Guadalupe Martín Rábago of León, Mexico’s...

Indonesian military allegedly tortured Catholic in chapel CWN - March 30, 2011

Members of the Indonesian military allegedly tortured youths in an ecumenical chapel at a military base. One of the youths, a 24-year-old Catholic, has died. The reported torture “desecrates a...

Arizona bishops issue statement against the death penalty CWN - March 30, 2011

The bishops of Arizona have issued a strongly worded statement against the death penalty. “We firmly hold that capital punishment is state-sanctioned vengeance that is not in keeping with the...

Prominent New York ex-priest sues accuser for defamation CWN - March 30, 2011

A prominent New York priest who was laicized by Pope Benedict has filed suit against the man who accused him of abuse. “When he made this accusation in writing, [a former seminarian] knew it was...

Vocations to religious brotherhood collapse in US CWN - March 30, 2011

While much attention has been focused on the decline of vocations to the priesthood and women’s religious life in the United States, less attention has been paid to the dwindling numbers of...

Confessors need to combat 'loss of moral conscience,' Pope tells audience CWN - March 30, 2011

Priests must dedicate themselves to the sacrament of Penance, to combat “clear signs of a loss of moral conscience” in our age, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly audience on March 30. The Holy...

Ukrainian prelate visits Rome, pushes for patriarchate CWN - March 30, 2011

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv, the newly elected head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, visited Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on March 30. At his regular Wednesday audience, the...

Weigel analyzes tensions between Vatican, Caritas International leadership CWN - March 30, 2011

When the Vatican declined to approve a new term for Lesley-Anne Knight, the secretary-general of Caritas International, a brief statement indicated that the Holy See wanted to reinforce the...

Philippines: bishops, president resume talks on family-planning bill CWN - March 30, 2011

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have renewed their talks with President Benigno Aquino III about proposed legislation to promote family planning. The bishops, who have adamantly opposed...

Simon Wiesenthal Center gives posthumous honor to John Paul II CWN - March 30, 2011

Pope John Paul II has been posthumously awarded a “Medal of Valor” by the Simon Weisenthal Center, a group dedicated to confronting anti-Semitism and preserving the memory of the Holocaust....

Another Jesuit province charged with flagrant cover-up for prominent ex-priest CWN - March 30, 2011

Lawyers representing the victims of sexual abuse by a former Jesuit priest have presented an Illinois court with a chain of evidence showing that the priest’s Jesuit superiors had received and...

Pope pleads for end to fighting in Ivory Coast CWN - March 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Peter Turkson to Ivory Coast to “express my solidarity and that of the universal Church” to the victims of a continuing struggle for power in the African...

Chinese bishop ordained with Vatican approval CWN - March 30, 2011

A Chinese bishop has been ordained, with the full approval of the holy See, for the first time this year. Bishop Paul Liang Jiansen was consecrated on March 30 to head the Jiangmen diocese. All...

Militant Muslims terrorize Pakistani Christians, priest reports CWN - March 30, 2011

Pakistan is under siege by a “kind of Mafia” of Islamic extremists, according to a prominent Catholic priest there. Militant Muslims are responsible for the deaths of prominent public figures...

Planned Parenthood exposed again: no mammograms provided CWN - March 30, 2011

In a new exposé, the pro-life activist group Live Action has found that Planned Parenthood does not offer mammograms—despite a concerted public-relations effort claiming that the group provides that...

Campbell Soup drops ties with corporation that uses fetal tissue to test flavors CWN - March 30, 2011

The Campbell Soup company has severed its business ties with a California corporation that uses cells from aborted children to test artificial flavors. Following revelations that Senomyx...

Maryknoll order threatens to expel priest who promotes women's ordination CWN - March 30, 2011

The Maryknoll order has warned an excommunicated priest that he faces dismissal if he does not recant his public support for the ordination of women. In August 2008, Father Roy Bourgeois, A...

Philadelphia archdiocese suspends 2 more priests CWN - March 30, 2011

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that 2 retired priests have been placed on administrative leave, in the wake of a grand-jury investigation that charged many priests in the archdiocese...

Released Thursday, Mar. 31

Libya: bombs are causing civilian casualties, says bishop CWN - March 31, 2011

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed his criticism of military intervention in Libya and called upon the international community to turn to the African Union to mediate in the crisis. “To...

US bishops criticize book by Fordham's Sister Elizabeth Johnson CWN - March 31, 2011

The Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a 21-page critique of Quest for the Living God by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, a Fordham University professor...

Ivory Coast: the ‘overlooked crisis’ CWN - March 31, 2011

The international community failed to take due notice of the humanitarian crisis brought on by Ivory Coast’s descent into civil war, Vatican Radio notes. More than one people have fled their...

‘Remarkable’ Lourdes healing: man with paralyzed leg walks 1,000 miles CWN - March 31, 2011

A man with a paralyzed leg who visited Lourdes in 2002 regained the use of his leg and subsequently made a 1,000-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. “In the name of the Church, I publicly...

Bishop pays tribute to Christian volunteers working to avert nuclear catastrophe CWN - March 31, 2011

Some 180 anonymous volunteers, led by a Christian, are carrying out emergency operations in the Fukushima I nuclear power plant in the hopes of averting a nuclear disaster. “In the midst of this...

Australian school: formerly homosexual speaker not in line with Catholic values CWN - March 31, 2011

Stating that “the Catholic Church abhors all forms of homophobia and will not provide a venue for homophobes,” an Australian Catholic secondary college has withdrawn permission to allow a Protestant...

Pope's prayer intentions for April 2011 CWN - March 31, 2011

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for the month of April 2011. The Pope's general intention is: "That through its compelling preaching of the Gospel, the Church...

Australian ordinariate plans advancing, but no date set CWN - March 31, 2011

Australian Church leaders are “quietly moving to that stage when we hope the Holy See will establish an ordinariate” to serve Anglicans entering the Catholic Church, the bishop guiding the process...

Vatican's new banking rules to take effect CWN - March 31, 2011

Tough new standards governing all financial transactions by Vatican agencies will come into effect on Friday, April 1. The new rules--promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI last December, in response...

Truth is key to peace, Vatican says in message to world's Buddhists CWN - March 31, 2011

In an annual message to the world’s Buddhists, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue stresses the importance of seeking truth, as a requirement for peace. The Vatican statement says...

Internet contacts spur rise in Satanism CWN - March 31, 2011

A rise in Satanic activity can be attributed in part to the widespread availability of information on the internet, according to Church experts gathered for a conference on the problem. Meeting...

Should UK Catholics be warned against Green Party? CWN - March 31, 2011

Australia's Catholic bishops have issued a blunt warning to their people about the political policies favored by the Green Party, notes William Oddie, writing in London's Catholic Herald. The...

Smaller families linked to decline in vocations to religious life CWN - March 31, 2011

Examining a report on the decline in vocations among women's religious orders, Terry Mattingly notices that a young woman's parents sometimes discourage interest in the convent--because, among other...

Pakistani minister wants international action against Florida pastor who burned Qur'an CWN - March 31, 2011

Pakistan's interior minister has called upon Interpol to investigate the burning of a copy of the Qur'an in Florida, and asked Pope Benedict XVI to condemn the act. Rehman Malike made his requests...

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