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Catholic World News

Stories for May 2011

Released Monday, May. 2

Prelates welcome, regret news of Osama bin Laden’s death CWN - May 2, 2011

The Vatican offered a sober reaction to the death of Osama bin Laden, with the director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, noting that the Al Qaida leader "was was gravely...

Australian bishop announces retirement following apostolic visitation CWN - May 2, 2011

Following a 2006 pastoral letter expressing support for women’s ordination and an apostolic visitation led by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, an Australian bishop has announced his early...

Spanish cardinal dies in Rome CWN - May 2, 2011

Cardinal Agustín García-Gasco, the retired Archbishop of Valencia, died in Rome of a heart attack in the hours before the beatification of Pope John Paul II. He was 80 years old. Born in Spain...

Administrator of Father Pfleger’s parish lauds ‘deeply hurt’ priest CWN - May 2, 2011

Father Thulani Magwaza, whom Cardinal Francis George named administrator of St. Sabina Parish in Chicago after suspending Father Michael Pfleger, offered strong praise for the controversial priest...

Pakistan: army intelligence officer abducts young Christian woman CWN - May 2, 2011

Sehar Naz, a 24-year-old Christian woman who works in the insurance industry in the northern Pakistani province of Punjab, was abducted and repeatedly raped by an army intelligence officer,...

Vatican newspaper: Eucharist counters postmodernity’s fragmentation CWN - May 2, 2011

Quoting William Butler Yeats (“Things fall apart / the centre cannot hold / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”), Father Robert Imbelli, a professor of theology at Boston College, writes that the...

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for May 2011 CWN - May 2, 2011

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for May 2011. The Pope's general intention is: "That those working in communication media may respect the truth, solidarity, and...

Mugabe at the beatification: a diplomatic test for the Vatican CWN - May 2, 2011

The attendance of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe at the beatification of Pope John Paul II posed a diplomatic problem for the Vatican, since the African leader has been roundly condemned by...

Vatican signs accord with Azerbaijan CWN - May 2, 2011

The Vatican has announced a new accord with Azerbaijan, establishing the juridical status of the Church in that country. The pact, which was signed on April 29, guarantees the right of Catholics...

Monday Mass of Thanksgiving concludes beatification ceremonies CWN - May 2, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone presided at a Mass of Thanksiving in St. Peter’s Square on May 2, concluding the formal schedule of events for the beatification of Pope John Paul II. All through Sunday...

Beatification of John Paul II: summary CWN - May 2, 2011

Pope John Paul II “restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the May 1 beatification of the Polish Pontiff. Well over 1 million people crowded into...

Polish president thanks Pope Benedict for beatification CWN - May 2, 2011

President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland met on May 2 with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience at the Vatican. The Polish leader “"wished to express the gratitude of the Polish nation for the...

Outsiders arm militant Muslims in Nigeria, bishops fear CWN - May 2, 2011

Religious clashes in Nigeria have caused at least 300 deaths, destroyed 300 homes, and driven 14,000 people from their homes, the Nigerian bishops’ conference reports. The violence in...

Pro-government priests create conflicts for Church in Vietnam CWN - May 2, 2011

"State priests"--Catholic clerics who show greater loyalty to the Communist regime than to the Church--create serious difficulties for Church leaders in Vietnam. Three Catholic priests are...

Papal encouragement for radio broadcasters CWN - May 2, 2011

On April 30, Pope Benedict XVI met with European radio broadcasters who were joining in the 80th-anniversary celebrations of Vatican Radio. In his remarks to the group, the Holy Father said that...

Bishop in Libya joins in mourning Qaddafi's relatives CWN - May 2, 2011

Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, attended the funeral of a son and 3 grandchildren of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, who were killed in a NATO air strike. Bishop Martinelli,...

Overwhelming American public support for beatification of John Paul II CWN - May 2, 2011

The American public solidly supports the beatification of Pope John Paul II, despite heavy media coverage for critics of the ceremony, a new poll shows. The Marist poll, commissioned by the...

Released Tuesday, May. 3

Pakistan’s bishops react to bin Laden’s death; schools closed, churches guarded CWN - May 3, 2011

Amid security fears, Christian schools and other institutions closed in Pakistan following the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden. Additional police have been placed around churches in...

Hundreds of Christians slain in Nigeria; thousands flee CWN - May 3, 2011

An estimated 14,000 people, most of them Christians, have fled their homes in the north-central Nigerian state of Kaduna following the latest in a series of attacks by supporters of presidential...

Pakistan: 500 attack Christian neighborhood CWN - May 3, 2011

Following the discovery of a burnt copy of the Qur’an in a Christian cemetery, 500 extremists attacked a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala, a city in Punjab province in northeastern Pakistan....

Australian bishop removed from office, blasts Pope, Curia CWN - May 3, 2011

A day after Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba said he would retire early following an apostolic visitation, Pope Benedict XVI removed him from office. The May 1 retirement announcement and May 2...

Bishop condemns bombing of Libya CWN - May 3, 2011

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has again urged NATO and its allies to suspend the bombing of Libya. “Yesterday I went to see the house hit by four NATO missiles,” Bishop Giovanni Martinelli said...

New seminary to open in Washington CWN - May 3, 2011

The Archdiocese of Washington has formally announced the opening of Blessed John Paul II Seminary to help educate its burgeoning number of college and pre-theology seminarians. The archdiocese...

Papal telegram for Alabama tornado victims CWN - May 3, 2011

Pope Benedict has expressed his condolences to the Archbishop of Mobile following the tornadoes that left hundreds dead in the southern United States. “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was saddened...

Chinese bishop dead at 45 CWN - May 3, 2011

A Chinese bishop who was ordained in 2007 has died at the age of 45 of pancreatitis. Bishop Francis Lu Shouwang of Yichang, a city of four million in east-central China, was ordained with the...

Iowa church cancels appearance by Newt Gingrich CWN - May 3, 2011

A Catholic church in Iowa has canceled a scheduled appearance by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, explaining that it wished to avoid political repercussions. Gingrich was scheduled to speak on...

Vatican welcomes Catholic bloggers CWN - May 3, 2011

Catholic bloggers from around the world met in Rome on May 2 for an unprecedented Vatican blogging "summit." The 150 invited guests received encouragement from Vatican officials at the meeting,...

Coffin of Blessed John Paul II moved to chapel in Vatican basilica CWN - May 3, 2011

The coffin of Blessed John Paul II, which had been exposed for veneration in the front of St. Peter's basilica during the weekend of his beatification, has now been moved to a final resting place in...

Pope, Italian bishops to join for Rosary CWN - May 3, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will join the bishops of Italy in praying the Rosary on May 26, during a regular meeting of the Italian bishops' conference, the Vatican has announced. The Italian bishops have...

US Supreme Court declines to hear Catholics' bias case against San Francisco city officials CWN - May 3, 2011

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in a lawsuit brought by Catholic activists against San Francisco officials who had condemned Catholic teaching as “hateful and...

Vatican backs Korean archbishops' warnings on 'visionary' CWN - May 3, 2011

The Vatican has warned that the messages of a self-styled Korean “visionary” are not “true Christian teaching.” Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jung of Kwangju has said that the Congregation for the...

The danger of inventing new 'human rights' CWN - May 3, 2011

Father James Schall, SJ, explains how modern states and international organizations, by claiming to define new rights, are actually undermining all human rights. In 1948, Father Schall points...

Former Vatican official sees urgent need for dialogue with Islam CWN - May 3, 2011

A Vatican expert on relations with Islam has remarked on the urgent need for dialogue, underlined by the fresh tensions in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald...

Lively writing and/or objective journalism CWN - May 3, 2011

Readers enjoy lively writing, but newspaper readers generally expect that reporters will maintain an objective approach to the news. So Terry Mattingly was bemused when a New York Times reporter,...

Iraqi envoy promises protection for Christian minority CWN - May 3, 2011

Iraq's ambassador to Italy has promised that his country's Christians will have added government protection in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden. Ambassador Saywan Barzani said that "the...

Egypt's Copts plan massive protest march CWN - May 3, 2011

Coptic Christians in Egypt are hoping to draw 1 million people to a demonstration on May 6, protesting attacks on San Marco cathedral in Abbasseya. The cathedral has been the target of sit-ins...

Administrator named for Australian diocese after bishop's removal CWN - May 3, 2011

Bishop Brian Finnigan, an auxiliary of the Brisbane, Australia archdiocese, has been appointed apostolic administrator of the Toowoomba diocese, following the forced resignation of Bishop William...

Released Wednesday, May. 4

Australian archbishop weighs in on bishop’s removal CWN - May 4, 2011

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane said he supported Pope Benedict’s decision to remove Bishop William Morris from his position as Bishop of Toowoomba, one of Brisbane’s suffragan sees. “I...

Priest recounts raid on bin Laden’s compound CWN - May 4, 2011

Father Akram Javed Gill, who ministers to the small Catholic community in Abbottabad, the city of 120,000 that was the site of Osama bin Laden’s compound, recounted the raid in which the al Qaida...

Pakistan: Paul Bhatti to succeed slain brother as federal minister CWN - May 4, 2011

To the relief of Pakistan’s beleaguered Christian community, Paul Bhatti, currently special adviser to the prime minister, has been named to a cabinet-level post as federal minister for religious...

Jewish leaders pay tribute to Blessed John Paul CWN - May 4, 2011

Several Jewish leaders paid tribute to Blessed John Paul II following his beatification. “The memory of Karol Wojtyla remains indelibly impressed in the collective memory of the Jewish people,”...

Prelate: Christians ignoring Pope’s call for Libyan ceasefire CWN - May 4, 2011

Returning from the funeral of one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s sons, where the apostolic vicar of Tripoli lamented that some Christians were ignoring Pope Benedict’s call for a ceasefire. Saif...

US bishop concerned about ‘intense scrutiny’ of Muslims CWN - May 4, 2011

An auxiliary bishop of Baltimore has expressed concern about the treatment of Muslims in the United States. “Our dialogue has taken on renewed urgency since we met last year,” said Bishop Denis...

Massachusetts bishops: End funding of teen pregnancy website CWN - May 4, 2011

The bishops of Massachusetts are calling for the end to state funding of a website intended to counter teen pregnancy. “This website employs demeaning and sexually explicit terminology, an...

Canadian bishop on trial for child pornography CWN - May 4, 2011

The trial of Bishop Raymond Lahey, who led the Diocese of Saint George’s (Newfoundland) from 1986 to 2003 and the Diocese of Antigonish (Nova Scotia) from 2003 until his 2009 resignation, begins on...

Filipino president may damage his popularity with support for family-planning bill CWN - May 4, 2011

President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines may have hurt his own political standing with his aggressive support of a family-planning bill, according to a spokesman for the nation's episcopal...

Pope begins series of weekly audience talks on prayer CWN - May 4, 2011

At his weekly public audience on May 4, Pope Benedict XVI launched a new series of talks, on the topic of prayer. The Pope, who recently concluded a series of weekly talks on the most influential...

'Mutual recognition' policy could force EU nations to recognize same-sex unions CWN - May 4, 2011

April 30 was the deadline for citizens of the European Union to make their voices and heard with regard to the recent European Commission drive to introduce “automatic mutual recognition” of public...

Canadian bishop pleads guilty to child-porn charges CWN - May 4, 2011

Bishop Raymond Lahey has entered a guilty plea in his trial on child-pornography charges. The former Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia resigned in 2009, shortly after he was stopped at Ottawa...

Recognize subtle dangers to religious freedom, Pope urges CWN - May 4, 2011

Freedom of religion, which was subjected to “systematic denial by atheistic regimes of the 20th century,” is again in danger today, Pope Benedict XVI told the members of the Pontifical Academy of...

Released Thursday, May. 5

Vatican, Canadian bishops react to Bishop Lahey’s child-porn plea CWN - May 5, 2011

The Holy See Press Office has issued a statement in response to the trial of Bishop Raymond Lahey. The Canadian bishop pled guilty to possession of child pornography and faces a sentence of at least...

4 churches burned down in Nigeria CWN - May 5, 2011

Muslim youth angered by the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan have set fire to four churches in northern Nigeria. “A crowd of young people, disappointed by the result, attacked the homes...

200 Orthodox churches to be built in Moscow CWN - May 5, 2011

The mayor of Moscow has pledged that “there will be no problems and delays” that would hinder a plan by the Russian Orthodox Church to construct 200 churches in the Russian capital. The city of...

Philippine bishops warn of ‘impending’ terrorist retaliation CWN - May 5, 2011

Bishops on the island of Mindanao are warning of the danger of terrorist attacks in response to the killing of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden. “We are really worried [about] the impending...

St. John of Avila to be next Doctor of the Church? CWN - May 5, 2011

Pope Benedict may soon name St. John of Avila (1500-69) the 34th Doctor of the Church, according to the I-Media news agency. Known as the Apostle of Andalusia, the saint helped develop the theology...

Just-war scholars: Killing of bin Laden justified CWN - May 5, 2011

Just-war scholars contacted by the National Catholic Register, including one who emphasized he opposed American military intervention in Iraq, all agree that the killing of Osama bin Laden was...

US House approves ban on taxpayer funding for abortion CWN - May 5, 2011

The US House of Representatives has passed a comprehensive ban on the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” approved on May 4 by a 251- 176 vote,...

Papal thanks for US donors' group CWN - May 5, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI offered his thanks to a group of American Catholic donors in a private audience on May 5. The Pope met with members of the Papal Foundation, who were led by Cardinal Donald...

Illinois Catholic Charities vows to resist same-sex adoptions CWN - May 5, 2011

Catholic Charities of Illinois has asked for an exemption from statewide rules requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples, warning that the agency might otherwise drop its adoption and...

Abortion advocate indicted for threats against pro-lifers CWN - May 5, 2011

The pro-life activist group Operation Rescue has welcomed a federal indictment against a a self-styled "pro-choice terrorist." Theodore Shulman was arrested by the FBI in February, and is charged...

Charges dropped against Notre Dame commencement protesters CWN - May 5, 2011

An Indiana prosecutor has dropped criminal charges against the pro-life demonstrating who were arrested for trespassing while protesting the appearance by President Barack Obama at Notre Dame...

Divine inspiration is central to understanding Bible, Pope says CWN - May 5, 2011

Proper interpretation of the Bible requires a steady awareness of its divine inspiration, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to the Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Pope’s message, made...

Swiss Guard recruits prepare for swearing-in ceremony CWN - May 5, 2011

A group of 34 new members of the Swiss Guard will be sworn in at a Vatican ceremony on May 5. The annual swearing-in ceremony marks the anniversary of the date in 1527 when 147 members of the...

Brother of slain Pakistani Christian leader continues work for tolerance CWN - May 5, 2011

A Christian adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister hopes to make Muslims realize that true religious faith “does not admit such alternatives” as violence against Christians. Paul Bhatti—who...

Released Friday, May. 6

Preview: Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to Aquileia, Venice CWN - May 6, 2011

On May 7 and 8, Pope Benedict will make the 40th apostolic journey of his pontificate. He has traveled outside of Italy 18 times; this weekend’s pilgrimage will be his 22nd apostolic journey within...

Pennsylvania diocese drops appeal of Vatican ruling on closed parishes CWN - May 6, 2011

The Diocese of Allentown has dropped its appeal of a decision by the Congregation of the Clergy ordering that nine closed churches be maintained for sacred worship. The Congregation had found...

Disabled infants being denied medical treatment, Vatican newspaper warns CWN - May 6, 2011

The denial of the right to life of the unborn has created a culture in which disabled infants are being killed through denial of medical treatment, neonatologist and bioethicist Carlo Bellieni warns...

US bishops welcome House passage of abortion funding ban CWN - May 6, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed the House passage of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. “By passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the House has...

Vatican names St. Anne patroness of Detroit CWN - May 6, 2011

At the request of Archbishop Allen Vigneron, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has named St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the patroness of...

Brazilian court approves gay unions CWN - May 6, 2011

Brazil's supreme court has ruled that the government must recognize same-sex unions. In its May 5 decision the Federal Supreme Court reasoned that although the country's constitution does not...

Jesuit priest to serve as chaplain to US House of Representatives CWN - May 6, 2011

US Speaker of the House John Boehner has chosen a Jesuit priest to be chaplain of the House. Father Patrick Conroy, SJ, a native of the state of Washington and former chaplain at Georgetown...

Vatican concert marks Pope's 6th anniversary CWN - May 6, 2011

On May 5, the Opera Theatre of Rome performed works by Vivaldi and Rossini in a concert at the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium. The concert was arranged by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano, to...

Pope thanks Swiss Guard, bids new recruits be wary of 'spiritual attack' CWN - May 6, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 6 with 34 new members of the Swiss Guard, and encouraged them to use their terms in Rome “to widen your cultural, linguistic, and above all spiritual horizons.” The...

Australian bishop's ouster sends a message CWN - May 6, 2011

The Australian carries an unusually informed and insightful commentary on the forced retirement of Bishop William Morris. The Pope's insistence on the early retirement of the Australian bishop...

True renewal must respect tradition, Pope reminds liturgists CWN - May 6, 2011

In a blunt address to participants in a conference on post-Vatican II liturgical reform, Pope Benedict XVI expressed concern that “the liturgy has perhaps been seen…more as an object to reform than...

Melkite Patriarch warns West: do not encourage Arab rebellions CWN - May 6, 2011

Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham has cautioned leaders of the Western world that they should not throw their support behind revolutionary movements in the Arab world. "Our Arab...

Economist fails to appreciate--or understand--Pope Benedict's influence CWN - May 6, 2011

The Economist used the beatification of Pope John Paul II as the occasion for an essay criticizing Pope Benedict XVI, suggesting that the current Pontiff's leadership looks unimpressive by...

Cardinal Sodano's lingering influence seen as a problem CWN - May 6, 2011

There is a rising current of unease at the Vatican, writes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter, about the continuing prominent role played by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the former Secretary of...

Vatican Museums continue summer Friday-evening hours CWN - May 6, 2011

The Vatican Museums will be open in the evening on Fridays this summer, for the 3rd consecutive year. "To be open during the evening means offering the possibility for families and friends to...

Bishops fear terrorist attacks in southern Philippines CWN - May 6, 2011

Catholic bishops in the southern Mindanao region of the Philippines are warning of the possibility of terrorist attacks, as supporters of Al Qaida seek revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden. ...

New film shows Opus Dei, founder, in favorable light CWN - May 6, 2011

Commenting on the new film There Be Dragons, which depicts the life of St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, David Gibson can't help noticing the contrast with another film that famously...

Released Monday, May. 9

3 churches attacked in Egypt; 12 dead, over 200 injured CWN - May 9, 2011

Armed with guns and Molotov cocktails, thousands of Muslims attacked Coptic churches and neighborhoods in a Cairo, provoking sectarian violence that led to at least 12 deaths and 232 injuries....

Russians more likely than other Europeans to believe in God CWN - May 9, 2011

Two decades after the collapse of Communism, Russians are more likely believe in God than are citizens of any other European nation, according to two recent surveys. The Public Opinion Fund...

Haiti: earthquake has led to revival of faith, says bishop CWN - May 9, 2011

A Haitian bishop has told Aid to the Church in Need that the January 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 has contributed to a revival of faith in the impoverished nation. The...

Bishops urge Senate: Remember the poor in budget legislation CWN - May 9, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging senators not to make “disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” “Access to affordable, life-affirming health care...

Israel honors priest for hiding Jews during World War II CWN - May 9, 2011

Yad Vashem, the State of Israel’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, has named an Italian priest to its list of “Righteous Among the Nations” because he hid a Jewish family during...

Bishop mandates prayer to St. Michael after every Mass CWN - May 9, 2011

An Illinois bishop has decreed that the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be said after every Mass in his diocese. “Disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leaves us unable to resist them,”...

Catholic leader fears Islamic takeover in Egypt CWN - May 9, 2011

A spokesman for Egypt’s small Catholic community has appealed to international leaders to support the country’s existing military regime, in order to prevent a takeover by Islamic...

Build bridges, Pope encourages Catholics of Venice CWN - May 9, 2011

During a weekend visit to Venice, Pope Benedict XVI challenged Catholics to uphold their city’s rich tradition as “a crossroads of peoples and of communities.” Venice, the Pope said, has a...

Build a culture of life and love, Pope urges people of northeastern Italy CWN - May 9, 2011

On Saturday, May 7, Pope Benedict XVI flew from Rome to Aquileia, Italy, for the first stop in a weekend trip that would later take him to Venice. (See today’s separate CWN headline story for an...

Vatican asserting greater influence as Caritas International weighs new leadership CWN - May 9, 2011

Leaders of Caritas International will meet later this month, for their first general assembly since the Vatican moved to assert more control over the international coalition of Catholic relief...

Lay Catholic involvement can restore Italy, Pope says CWN - May 9, 2011

In a message to the 14th National Assembly of Italian Catholic Action, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged lay involved in helping to resolve “the most pressing problems of the everyday life of the family:...

Brutal Vietnamese government response to Hmong protest demonstrations CWN - May 9, 2011

Dozens of Hmong Christians have been killed, and scores wounded, in a brutal government crackdown on demonstrations demanding religious freedom and land reform. The violence against Hmong...

Australian archdiocese moves aggressively to laicize priests guilty of abuse CWN - May 9, 2011

The Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, has moved to laicize all priests who have been convicted of sexual abuse against children, The Age reports. Of the 11 living Catholic priests who have...

New Boys Town chairman is a Hindu CWN - May 9, 2011

Boys Town, the famous Nebraska institution founded by Father Edward Flanagan, has elected its first non-Catholic chairman of the board. Rajive Johri, the new chairman, who was born in India and...

German cardinal pulls theologian's license to teach CWN - May 9, 2011

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne has revoked the canonical license of theologian David Berger, citing the professor's dissent from established Church teachings. The Cologne archdiocese...

Küng says Church must follow his advice CWN - May 9, 2011

Dissident theologian Hans Küng has declared that the Catholic Church can survive only by following a program of reform laid out in his new book, Can the Church Still Be...

Over 340,000 advance registrations for World Youth Day in Madrid CWN - May 9, 2011

Early registrations for World Youth Day have already surpassed 340,000, organizers report. World Youth Day will be celebrated in Madrid from August 16 to 21. Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to...

Pakistan: blasphemy charges against mentally ill Christian CWN - May 9, 2011

A 25-year-old man who suffers from mental illness is the latest Pakistani Christian charged with violating the country’s blasphemy law. Babar Masih has been accused of “offending the religious...

Reviewer unimpressed with There Be Dragons CWN - May 9, 2011

Many members of Opus Dei are delighted with the favorable portrayal of their founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, in a newly released major film, There Be Dragons. But reviewer Steven Greydanus, writing...

Vatican worked for years to remove Australian bishop CWN - May 9, 2011

The removal of a dissident Australian bishop, announced by the Vatican on May 2, came after more than a decade of conflict between the bishop and the Vatican, and almost four years after he was...

Released Tuesday, May. 10

Catholic church attacked in Cairo CWN - May 10, 2011

Members of the Islamic Salafi movement have attacked a Catholic church in Imbaba, a suburb of Cairo, according to an Italian missionary. “A group of Salafis came shooting in the church and killed...

Pontifical academy issues report on climate change CWN - May 10, 2011

Stating that “receding glaciers require urgent responses,” a working group commissioned by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences has called upon nations to “reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions...

Malaysia: Christians accused of lobbying for ‘Christian state’ CWN - May 10, 2011

Christian leaders in Malaysia are dismissing claims by Muslim bloggers and a government-owned newspaper that they are lobbying to have Malaysia declared a Christian state. Since 1957, the nation has...

Future of Christian Brothers ‘hopeless,’ says superior CWN - May 10, 2011

Less than two weeks after the North American province of his community filed for bankruptcy, the head of the Irish Christian Brothers has told Catholic News Services that the future of his order...

Vocationist founder beatified in Naples CWN - May 10, 2011

An estimated 40,000 faithful joined four cardinals, 30 bishops, and 400 priests at the beatification of Father Justin Russolillo (1891-1955), founder of the Vocationist fathers and...

Solemn Masses composed at Dachau published CWN - May 10, 2011

Musikstrasse will soon release the final 12 volumes of its Encyclopedia of Music Composed in Concentration Camps. “There were orchestras in Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Lichtenburg and indeed six...

Two key appointments to Roman Curia CWN - May 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has made two important appointments: Archbishop Fernando Filoni, who has been the sostituto or deputy Secretary of State, has been named the prefect of the Congregation for...

Abortion pills found more dangerous than surgical procedures CWN - May 10, 2011

Chemical abortions using the drug RU-486 are more dangerous to mothers than surgical abortions, an Australian study has found. Researchers who examined almost 7,000 cases found that 3.3% of the...

Pelosi fundraising message condemns bid to ban abortion subsidies CWN - May 10, 2011

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a fundraising appeal for Democratic political candidates, asking donors to contribute in order to stop Republicans from their goal of preventing the...

Syria's Christians worried by uprising, government crackdown CWN - May 10, 2011

In a conversation with Vatican Radio, Melkite Catholic Archbishop Jean Jeanbart of Aleppo reports that the Syrian government's brutal crackdown on political demonstrations has caused alarm for the...

India's Christian leaders challenge federal government to protect religious minority CWN - May 10, 2011

Church leaders in India have called the attention of the nation’s leaders to a “saffron-colored corridor” of states in central India where Hindu extremists have pursued a campaign of violence...

Cancer more prevalent among homosexual men, study shows CWN - May 10, 2011

A medical survey in California has found that homosexual men are much more likely to contract cancer as their heterosexual counterparts. The study, published in the journal Cancer, also showed that...

Bombing of Libya is driving thousands of civilians from homes, bishop reports CWN - May 10, 2011

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli, who has consistently denounced the NATO air strikes in Libya, reports that the bombing is causing a massive exodus of refugees. "The Libyans are afraid, every day...

Cardinal Zen repeats: some Chinese bishops more loyal to Beijing CWN - May 10, 2011

Cardinal Joseph Zen has renewed his criticism of Vatican efforts to reach a diplomatic accommodation with Beijing--this time in conversation with the Wall Street Journal. Repeating arguments that...

US Navy preparing chaplains to officiate at same-sex marriages CWN - May 10, 2011

The US Navy has begun training chaplains to solemnize same-sex marriages, despite a federal law that bars the practice. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which became law in 2006, defines...

Released Wednesday, May. 11

Pelosi reconsiders support for Jesuit House chaplain nominee CWN - May 11, 2011

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that she is reconsidering her support for a Jesuit nominee for House chaplain after learning that the Oregon Jesuit province, to which the...

Philippine bishops end dialogue with government over ‘reproductive health’ bill CWN - May 11, 2011

The bishops of the Philippines, citing President Benigno Aquino’s continued support of population control, have ended their dialogue with his administration over the Responsible Parenthood,...

Father Pfleger vows to preach at other churches if suspension isn’t lifted CWN - May 11, 2011

Father Michael Pfleger, the controversial pastor of St. Sabina Pastor in Chicago, has vowed to preach at other churches if Cardinal Francis George does not lift his suspension by this weekend. The...

Archbishop Gomez calls for immigration reform CWN - May 11, 2011

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles urged Congress and the president to work together to enact comprehensive immigration reform. The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration made his...

Presbyterian Church approves ordination of homosexuals CWN - May 11, 2011

Following ratification by the majority of the nation’s 173 regional presbyteries, the Presbyterian Church USA has officially approved the ordination of active homosexuals to its clergy. In doing so,...

Prayer is a natural impulse, Pope tells audience CWN - May 11, 2011

"Man by his very nature is religious," Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on May 11. The impulse to pray, he said, is natural to humanity. From the dawn of history, the Pope said,...

'Instruction' on traditional liturgy to be released May 13 CWN - May 11, 2011

The Vatican has announced that a new Instruction on the implementation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, regarding the broader use of the traditional Latin Mass, will be released on Friday,...

Vatican to offer uniform guidelines on sex-abuse policy CWN - May 11, 2011

The Vatican has prepared a set of guidelines for the handling of sex-abuse charges, which will be offered as a model for policies in every country and diocese. The Vatican document, prepared by...

Navy delays plans for chaplains to solemnize same-sex marriages CWN - May 11, 2011

Under heavy pressure from Congress, the US Navy has set aside plans to train chaplains to officiate at same-sex weddings. Rear Admiral Mark Tidd, the chief of naval chaplains, who had announced...

Catholic professors question Boehner commencement appearance CWN - May 11, 2011

More than 70 professors have signed a public letter challenging an appearance by House Speaker John Boehner as the commencement speaker at Catholic University. The faculty members—many of them...

Indiana cuts funding for Planned Parenthood CWN - May 11, 2011

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana has signed legislation that stops all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, making Indiana the first state to take that step. Planned Parenthood officials...

Sri Lanka: relief agency trains widows to take post-war leadership CWN - May 11, 2011

As Sri Lanka struggles to recover from the effects of a long and bloody civil war, officials of Caritas International, the Catholic relief agency, are forming women's organizations to assume local...

Irish review board reports rise in abuse charges, raps bishops' failure to cooperate CWN - May 11, 2011

Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), in its 3rd annual report, has recorded a significant rise in the number of allegations of abuse in the past year. The NBSC reported 272...

India: police confirm Maoists killed Hindu leader; death sparked anti-Christian violence CWN - May 11, 2011

Police investigators in India's troubled Orissa state have confirmed that Maoists were responsible for the 2008 killing of a prominent Hindu-nationalist leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. The...

Lawyer Anderson makes new bid to sue Pope CWN - May 11, 2011

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who has made multiple efforts to lodge a sex-abuse lawsuit against the Vatican, has filed a new suit charging that two Pontiffs--Popes John Paul II and Benedict...

Released Thursday, May. 12

New Vatican prefect described as China expert who ‘holds fast to principles’ CWN - May 12, 2011

Informed observers are praising the newly-appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as an expert on the Church in China. Pope Benedict appointed Archbishop Fernando...

Christians beginning to flee Egypt CWN - May 12, 2011

Fearful for their safety, some Coptic Christians have begun to flee Egypt, according to John Pontifex, spokesman for Aid to the Church in Need. Offering an overview of recent violence against...

Bolivian bishops issue message to nation’s Catholics CWN - May 12, 2011

The bishops of Bolivia have released an Easter message to the nation’s Catholics following their 91st general assembly, which took place from May 5 to May 10. The commemoration of Holy Week...

Ukrainian Catholic leader hopes for reconciliation with Orthodox CWN - May 12, 2011

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who was elected head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on March 25, discussed his hopes for Christian unity with the...

Vatican official tells missionaries they are instruments, not protagonists CWN - May 12, 2011

The assistant secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of People told participants in a missionary conferences that they are the servants of evangelization, not its...

Families abandoning Tripoli: prelate CWN - May 12, 2011

Families are fleeing Libya’s capital because of NATO missile strikes, the city’s apostolic vicar has told Vatican Radio. “We have no more social life in Tripoli,” said Bishop Giovanni Martinelli...

State lawmaker’s staff: Church lobbying on marriage threatens tax exemption CWN - May 12, 2011

After Father John Echert, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul - Minneapolis, asked a state lawmaker to reconsider his opposition to a state marriage amendment, a member of the lawmaker’s staff...

India: Church official concerned about Bhagavad Gita in schools CWN - May 12, 2011

Father Anand Muttungal, a Church spokesman in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has joined other religious leaders in criticizing a government decision that will make the Bhagavad Gita...

Rabbis recall 1691 burning of Jews in Spanish Inquisition CWN - May 12, 2011

A delegation of Orthodox rabbis traveled to the Spanish island of Majorca to offer prayers for 37 Jews killed under the auspices of the Inquisition in 1691, including three burned alive in the...

Can Catholic schools be saved? CWN - May 12, 2011

Andy Smarick, a former deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Education, examines the rise and fall of Catholic schools in the United States and considers whether faith-based charter...

Released Friday, May. 13

Pope, B’nai B’rith leaders discuss human dignity, State of Israel CWN - May 13, 2011

Pope Benedict met with a delegation from B’nai B’rith International on May 12 and urged Christians and Jews to bear common witness to dignity the human person. Thanking the organization’s...

Australian bishops respond to removal of Bishop Morris CWN - May 13, 2011

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, expressed “sadness” at the recent removal of Bishop William Morris while “gratefully acknowledg[ing]...

30th anniversary of assassination attempt on Pope John Paul CWN - May 13, 2011

Thirty years after the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul, “the time has come to attempt an historical assessment” of the event, according L’Osservatore Romano--“not only for its...

20 incidents of vandalism at Mexico City’s cathedral CWN - May 13, 2011

The destruction of a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday is the latest of 20 incidents of vandalism at Mexico City’s historic cathedral, according to the Fides news agency. Desde la Fe,...

Vatican cardinal to visit earthquake-ravaged Sendai CWN - May 13, 2011

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, is visiting Japan from May 13 to 16 on behalf of Pope Benedict to convey the Pontiff’s closeness, prayers, and assistance to...

Pelosi to support Jesuit House chaplain nominee CWN - May 13, 2011

A spokesman for Rep. Nancy Pelosi said that the House minority leader’s concerns about Father Patrick Conroy, the Jesuit nominee for House chaplain, have been addressed. Pelosi had reconsidered her...

Vatican official: through migrants, Christ knocks at the door CWN - May 13, 2011

Preaching at a Mass in Sydney, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People said that Christ knocks at the door of societies in the person of the...

Nicaragua: bishops launch Rosary crusade CWN - May 13, 2011

The bishops of Nicaragua have launched a national Rosary crusade for peace ahead of national elections later this year. The crusade will culminate in a day of prayer and fasting on July 1. The...

Cyber attack on Mexican bishops’ web site CWN - May 13, 2011

The Mexican bishops’ web site has been offline since May 5 because of a crippling cyber attack. The attack “damaged the database and most data has been lost,” said Paola Rios, head of the digital...

New Vatican document on extraordinary form of the Mass (full text) CWN - May 13, 2011

With the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has released Universae Ecclesiae, an instruction on the application of Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum...

Pope Benedict meditates on 'theology of the body' CWN - May 13, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI extolled his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, for introducing the “theology of the body,” as he met on May 13 with participants in a conference organized by the John Paul II...

Philadelphia review-board chair rips Church policies on abuse inquiries CWN - May 13, 2011

The chairman of the review board that handled sex-abuse complaints for the Philadelphia archdiocese has issued a harsh critique of the procedures that led to a scathing grand-jury report earlier...

Uganda: priests charged with incitement against government CWN - May 13, 2011

Two Catholic priests in northern Uganda have defied orders requiring them to appear before the police over alleged criticism of the government in their preaching. Father Nakary Adiga and Father...

Vatican Instruction demands equal dignity for traditional liturgy CWN - May 13, 2011

In a new Instruction, the Vatican has made it clear that the use of the extraordinary form—the traditional Latin liturgy—should be available to all the faithful. Universae Ecclesiae, released on...

Released Monday, May. 16

Pope appeals for peace in Libya, Syria CWN - May 16, 2011

Following his May 15 Regina Caeli address, Pope Benedict appealed for peace in Libya and Syria. “I continue to follow with great apprehension the dramatic armed conflict that in Libya has caused...

English bishops reestablish meatless Fridays CWN - May 16, 2011

Catholics in England and Wales will be obliged to abstain from meat every Friday beginning September 16--the anniversary of the first day of Pope Benedict’s 2010 trip to the United...

Extraordinary form Mass at high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - May 16, 2011

For the first time in over four decades, a solemn Pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite has been offered at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal Walter...

Beatification of priest who was martyred at Dachau CWN - May 16, 2011

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the May 15 beatification of Father Georg Häfner (1900-42), a parish priest who perished of malnutrition at...

Every Christian must evangelize, Pope emphasizes CWN - May 16, 2011

In a world with “new problems and new forms of slavery”--“both in the so-called First World, wealthy and rich but uncertain about its future, and in emerging countries,” where the “masses of the...

Libya: bishop calls for truce CWN - May 16, 2011

The apostolic vicar of Tripoli has renewed has call for a truce in the Libyan conflict. “Yesterday, in Marsa [el-]Brega, 16 people died, and several were killed in other parts of Tripoli. The...

Vatican newspaper denounces sale of human organs CWN - May 16, 2011

The Vatican newspaper has denounced proposals to legalize the sale of human organs. “The moral problem is not primarily that of the seller,” writes Giulia Galleoti in L’Osservatore Romano. “In...

Papal telegram for Spanish earthquake victims CWN - May 16, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has offered condolences in the name of Pope Benedict to the families of the victims of the May 11 earthquake in the southeastern Spanish...

Pope Benedict urges prayer for vocations CWN - May 16, 2011

Pope Benedict reflected on Christ as the Good Shepherd during his May 15 Regina Caeli address and urged Christians to pray for bishops, priests, and vocations to the priesthood. “The attitude of...

New Vatican document on sexual abuse of minors CWN - May 16, 2011

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a circular letter “to assist episcopal conferences in developing guidelines for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by...

Released Tuesday, May. 17

Proclaim Christ, avoid syncretism: papal address to Indian bishops CWN - May 17, 2011

Describing India as a “home to various ancient religions, including Christianity,” Pope Benedict urged a group of Latin-rite bishops from India to promote a culture of religious freedom and...

Pope Benedict lauds Mater et Magistra on its 50th anniversary CWN - May 17, 2011

Addressing participants in a conference organized by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, Pope Benedict praised Blessed John XXIII’s landmark social encyclical Mater et Magistra on the 50th...

Amnesty International criticizes Vatican over abuse CWN - May 17, 2011

In its newly released 2011 annual report on human rights, Amnesty International criticized the Holy See for “not sufficiently comply[ing] with its international obligations relating to the...

'Great fear' in Orissa following rape, murder of Christian woman CWN - May 17, 2011

A 17-year-old Christian woman has been kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Orissa, the northeastern Indian state that was site of an anti-Christian pogrom in 2008. “There is great fear among the...

University chaplain slain in Colombia CWN - May 17, 2011

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia has denounced the murder of Father Gustavo Garcia Bohorquez, a 34-year-old university chaplain. “A murder has been committed that has deeply affected all...

Upcoming beatification ‘one of most complex’ in Church history CWN - May 17, 2011

The June 5 beatification of Juan de Palafox (1600-59), a bishop who served as governor of Mexico, will be a milestone in “one of the most complex [sainthood] causes in the history of the Church,”...

Pope foresees blending of 'extraordinary form' into 'ordinary' liturgy, Vatican official says CWN - May 17, 2011

The Instruction issued this week, underlining Pope Benedict’s desire for wider use of the “extraordinary form” of the Mass, is part of the Pontiff’s overall plan for a liturgical “reform of the...

Bishops are responsible for sex-abuse discipline, CDF official confirms CWN - May 17, 2011

While the Vatican has called upon the world's bishops to devise common plans for handling sex-abuse allegations, the ultimate responsibility will remain with diocesan bishops, a Vatican official...

China may again ordain bishops in defiance of Vatican CWN - May 17, 2011

The head of the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association has announced that Chinese officials plan to proceed with the appointment of new bishops, without approval from the...

Kentucky court dismisses suit by parish employee who was fired after reporting priest-abuser CWN - May 17, 2011

A Kentucky court has dismissed the lawsuit of the former accountant for a Catholic parish, who said that she had been fired because she reported that a priest who had been disciplined for sexual...

No plot against Pope during British visit, report concludes CWN - May 17, 2011

A British government investigation into the arrest of 6 men during Pope Benedict's visit to Great Britain last September was an honest mistake. There was never a plot against the Pontiff's life,...

Vietnamese authorities plan to raze Hanoi convent CWN - May 17, 2011

Government officials in Hanoi have announced plans to tear down a convent in Hanoi that has served for years as a refuge for women and children in need. The scheduled demolition of the convent,...

Iraqi Christian tortured and killed as campaign of intimidation continues CWN - May 17, 2011

A Christian man, the young father of three small children, was kidnapped, tortured, and beheaded, in the latest of a long series of violent assaults that have frightened the Christians remaining in...

Sicilian cardinal: no funerals for Mafia leaders CWN - May 17, 2011

Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples has announced that prominent Mafia leaders will no longer be allowed Catholic funerals if there is no evidence of their repentance. "If Mafiosi were repentant...

Vatican cardinals see flaws in international finance system CWN - May 17, 2011

"The international financial system seems to be trapped in a trap of egoism and selfishness," says Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Cardinal Rodriguez, the president...

Released Wednesday, May. 18

Scotland: bishop defends public funding of Catholic schools CWN - May 18, 2011

The Scottish Legal Action Group has called for an end to Scotland’s system of publicly-funded religious schools on the grounds that such schools foster sectarian violence--prompting a strong reply...

Christian protestors attacked in Egypt CWN - May 18, 2011

Coptic Christians in Cairo who were protesting recent attacks on churches were themselves attacked by a mob as riot police watched, according to press reports. The mob threw gasoline bombs and rocks...

Australian government rejects Shari'a law CWN - May 18, 2011

The Australian government has rejected a request by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to permit Muslims to fall under the Shari'a legal system. “There is no place for Shari'a law in...

Australian Catholic paper welcomes removal of Bishop Morris CWN - May 18, 2011

In a strongly-worded editorial, The Record--a Catholic weekly owned by the Archdiocese of Perth--has welcomed Pope Benedict’s decision to remove Bishop William Morris from the governance of the...

1944: Britain concerned about Pius XII’s defense of Jews CWN - May 18, 2011

Referring to Venerable Pius XII, Great Britain’s representative to the Holy See “feared [that] the Holy Father may make Radio appeal on behalf of Jews in Hungary and that in his appeal he may also...

US bishops praise, criticize administration decisions on Haiti CWN - May 18, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has praised the Obama administration’s decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti and criticized a decision to resume deportations...

Florida: controversy over Mass intention for repose of bin Laden’s soul CWN - May 18, 2011

A Florida parish priest has decided to accept a Mass intention for repose of Osama bin Laden’s soul, provoking controversy in his parish. “I think it's totally wrong, he doesn't belong in the...

Time: Vatican Instruction misses a key to the scandal CWN - May 18, 2011

Responding to the Vatican's Instruction on sex-abuse policy, Time magazine concludes that the document "addressed only half the scandal that has been rocking the Catholic Church." The...

Pope explains origin of intercessory prayer CWN - May 18, 2011

At his regular weekly public audience on May 18, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on prayers of intercession, using the biblical patriarch Abraham as a his model. In the first two talks in his series on...

Pope issues urgent call: pray for the Church in China CWN - May 18, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has called upon all the faithful to pray for the Church in China, as Catholics there prepare for a special day of prayer for Church unity. The Pope, who has designed May 24 as a...

Final John Jay report to US bishops: no single cause for abuse CWN - May 18, 2011

A final report on the sex-abuse scandal, prepared for the US bishops, has found no single factor responsible for clerical abuse. "The rise in abuse cases in the 1960s and 1970s was influenced by...

Cardinal Pell: still skeptical on climate change despite Vatican report CWN - May 18, 2011

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has voiced some skepticism about a report from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which called for action to curb global warming. "Climate change is...

Released Thursday, May. 19

Russia: prelates lament population decline CWN - May 19, 2011

Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant leaders from Russia and several adjacent nations gathered recently in Moscow to address the demographic crisis afflicting the region. Russia’s population has...

Leading Korean prelate rips nuclear energy CWN - May 19, 2011

The president of the Korean bishops’ conference has offered strong criticism of nuclear energy, calling it a “monster” and stating that it is a “lie” to call it a clean energy source. Nuclear...

Australian bishops call for Archbishop Sheen’s beatification CWN - May 19, 2011

The president and vice president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, joined by other Australian prelates, have lent their support to the beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen....

Bishop Tobin urges defeat of civil unions legislation in Rhode Island CWN - May 19, 2011

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence has called upon Rhode Island lawmakers to reject legislation that would grant legal recognition to same-sex civil unions. “The civil unions legislation itself is...

New York Times blasts new Vatican document on abuse CWN - May 19, 2011

The New York Times offered strong criticism of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s new circular letter on the sexual abuse of minors. “The Vatican’s long overdue guidelines for...

British priest discusses false abuse accusation CWN - May 19, 2011

A British parish priest falsely accused of sexual abuse has reflected on the experience in an interview with a local newspaper. Father Geoff Hilton, a former policeman who serves as a parish...

Chaplain defends drag show at Jesuit university CWN - May 19, 2011

The director of campus ministry at Seattle University, a Jesuit institution, defended a drag show that took place at the university and criticized the Cardinal Newman Society, which had taken note...

Abuse report met with critical reactions CWN - May 19, 2011

A final report on the “causes and context” of the clerical sex-abuse scandal, prepared by John Jay College and released on May 18 by the US bishops’ conference, has met with critical reactions--both...

Most Americans ready to accept homosexuality, study shows CWN - May 19, 2011

A majority of Americans now believe that homosexuality should be accepted, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Only 45% of those surveyed favored legal acceptance of same-sex...

Religious Facebook pages draw major traffic CWN - May 19, 2011

Facebook pages devoted to religious material are drawing millions of visitors, outdoing pages for pop-culture icons. The “Jesus Daily” page attracted well over 2 million visits in one week, an...

Jesuit nominated as chaplain for US House avoids praying in Jesus' name CWN - May 19, 2011

The Jesuit priest who has been nominated to become chaplain of the US House of Representatives has disclosed: “I never pray in the name of Jesus—except when I’m doing something Catholic—saying Mass,...

Pakistani Christians face threats since killing of Osama bin Laden CWN - May 19, 2011

Christians in Pakistan have faced a new wave of hostility, and often violence, since the death of Osama bin Laden. The parish priest in Abbotabad, where US forces shot and killed the terrorist...

Education will be Pope's theme for next World Day of Peace: CWN - May 19, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme for his message for next World Day of Peace: "Educating Young People in Justice and Peace." The World Day of Peace is observed on January 1. The Pope’s...

Released Friday, May. 20

Pope recommends spiritual direction to every Christian CWN - May 20, 2011

Addressing members of the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum 75 years after its foundation by the Order of Discalced Carmelites, Pope Benedict emphasized that Catholic spirituality must...

Reps. Ryan, Boehner welcome Archbishop Dolan's letter on budget CWN - May 20, 2011

Rep. Paul Ryan, a Catholic and head of the House Budget Committee, and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), have exchanged...

Malta: bishop says dissenting Catholics should not receive Communion CWN - May 20, 2011

Preaching less than two weeks before a nationwide referendum on the legalization of divorce, the head of one of Malta’s two dioceses said that dissenting Catholics should not receive Holy...

Despite violence, Iraqi Catholics remain faithful CWN - May 20, 2011

Iraqi Catholics have remained faithful despite persecution, according to a Chaldean Catholic prelate. “In all these years, I never heard of one single Christian who converted to Islam,”...

Faith grows amid persecution, says Orissa prelate CWN - May 20, 2011

Nearly three years after the anti-Christian pogrom that left 100 dead and over 50,000 homeless, the leading prelate in the eastern Indian state of Orissa told the Fides news agency that Hindu...

English bishops may transfer Ascension, Epiphany back to traditional days CWN - May 20, 2011

The bishops of England and Wales will decide at their November meeting whether to reverse a 2006 decision and transfer the celebration of the Epiphany and the Ascension from Sunday back to their...

Streaming TV coverage planned for Pope's call to shuttle astronauts CWN - May 20, 2011

The Vatican will offer live internet coverage when Pope Benedict XVI places a satellite-phone call to astronauts on the space shuttle on May 21. The Pope will call the crew of the shuttle...

Catholic-Islamic dialogue produces joint statement affirming common values CWN - May 20, 2011

A meeting of Catholic and Islamic scholars, jointly sponsored by the Holy See and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies in Jordan, has concluded with a statement that believers of both faiths...

Vatican vetoes keynote speaker for Caritas International assembly CWN - May 20, 2011

The Vatican has vetoed the proposed keynote speaker for the international assembly of Caritas International, the London Tablet reports. The move would underline the determination of the Holy See to...

Italy: former seminarian arrested, cited as pimp for accused priest CWN - May 20, 2011

The arrest of a former seminarian has opened a new window on the scandal surrounding an Italian priest who has been arrested on charges of sexual assault against young boys. Father Riccardo...

English columnist sees Pope planning 'blend' of old and new liturgies CWN - May 20, 2011

William Oddie, the former editor of the Catholic Herald, argues that Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging the use of the traditional Latin Mass as part of a long-term plan to produce a new form for the...

New Chinese bishop ordained--with Vatican approval CWN - May 20, 2011

China has allowed the ordination of a new Catholic bishop with the approval of the Holy See. The installation of Bishop John Lu Peisen in the Yangzhou diocese follows a call by Pope Benedict XVI...

Roman public opinion rebels against statue depicting John Paul II CWN - May 20, 2011

A massive statue of Blessed John Paul II, unveiled on May 18 outside the busiest subway station in Rome, has drawn strongly negative public reactions. The modernistic sculpture by Oliviero...

Released Monday, May. 23

Cardinal Bertone emphasizes: Caritas must have a strong Christian identity CWN - May 23, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, told the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis that the Church’s consortium of relief and development agencies must have a vibrant...

Cardinal George lifts Father Pfleger’s suspension CWN - May 23, 2011

Father Michael Pfleger celebrated Sunday Mass at St. Sabina Parish after Cardinal Francis George lifted his suspension of the priest’s faculties. The cardinal had suspended Father Pfleger after the...

Iran: 11 Christians acquitted after communion-wine arrest CWN - May 23, 2011

An Iranian judge has acquitted 11 Iranian Protestants who were arrested on charges of alcohol use after drinking wine at a communion service. The court cited an article in the Iranian constitution...

Religious leaders urge 2-state solution for Middle East peace CWN - May 23, 2011

A group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders--including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick--wrote President Barack Obama on May 20 “to offer our united support for urgently needed strong, sustained US...

Lithuania: priest set on fire during Mass CWN - May 23, 2011

A 42-year-old man sprayed a Lithuanian priest with a flammable liquid during Mass and then lit a cigarette lighter. The attack took place in Jonava, a city of 35,000. Father Remigijus Kuprys, 46,...

70,000 attend beatification in Brazil CWN - May 23, 2011

Some 70,000 Brazilians, including President Dilma Rousseff, attended the May 22 beatification of Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes (1914-92), a nun who served the poorest of the poor. Cardinal Geraldo...

Europe's unity based on Christianity, Pope tells Bulgarian, Macedonian visitors CWN - May 23, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 23 with delegations from Bulgaria and Macedonia, and reminded them that the civilization of Europe is based on a common Christian heritage. The Pope met in separate...

Vatican suppresses Cistercian abbey in Rome CWN - May 23, 2011

The Vatican has suppressed a Cistercian abbey in Rome. The abbey of Santa Croce in Jerusalem, associated with the Roman basilica of the same name, was formally suppressed in March, by a decree...

Church now leads the way against abuse: Cardinal Wuerl CWN - May 23, 2011

In an op-ed column for the Washington Post, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington makes the provocative argument that the Catholic Church is ready to show the way in a drive to end child abuse in...

Vietnamese cardinal chides government on religious freedom CWN - May 23, 2011

The Vietnamese government is moving in the wrong direction on religious freedom, the Archbishop of Saigon warns. In a letter to the prime minister, Cardinal Jean Baptist Pham Minh Man said that a...

Papal support for Italy's March for Life CWN - May 23, 2011

“My thoughts go out to the large group of the Movimento per la Vita (the pro-life movement),” Pope Benedict XVI said at his Sunday Regina Caeli audience on May 22. The Pope praised the Italian...

Dutch priest served on board of pedophile organization CWN - May 23, 2011

From 2008 to 2010, a Dutch Salesian priest--identified in news reports as Father Van B.--served on the board of an organization that seeks to legalize pedophilia, according to a leading Dutch news...

Chinese Church, government officials wrestle for control of annual day of prayer CWN - May 23, 2011

Chinese government officials have set up security checkpoints around the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, discouraging Catholics from traveling there on May 24: the day established by Pope Benedict...

Egypt: Copts report many girls abducted, pressured to convert to Islam and marry CWN - May 23, 2011

Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt report that young girls are being abducted from their families, to be converted to Islam and married to young Muslim men. Once they convert to Islam—often...

India: man kills wife who was pregnant with a female child CWN - May 23, 2011

An Indian man beat his wife to death in the southern Andhra Pradesh state, after learning that she was pregnant with a female baby. Prakash Chari beat and strangled his wife Surekha, who was six...

Relativism imperils Christian humanism, Pope tells university community CWN - May 23, 2011

Christian humanism faces a “progressive deterioration” because of a “tendency to to reduce the human horizon to what can be measured, to eliminate the fundamental question of meaning from systematic...

Pope chats with astronauts on space station Endeavor CWN - May 23, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI placed a satellite call to astronauts aboard the space station Endeavor on May 21, and questioned them about the insights they gained from their “extraordinary observation...

Vatican seeks resumption of talks with Egyptian Islamic institution CWN - May 23, 2011

Vatican officials have met with Egyptian foreign minister Nabil al-Arabi, and told him that they hope for a resumption of talks with the prestigious Islamic institution, the Al Azhar...

Vatican official presses for universal health coverage CWN - May 23, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care said that access to medical care is an important human right, as he spoke to the World Health Assembly in Geneva. Cardinal Zygmunt Zimowski...

Jesus makes God visible to man, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - May 23, 2011

At his Sunday audience on May 22, Pope Benedict XVI said that belief in God and belief in Jesus Christ are “not two separate acts but one single act of faith.” "The New Testament has put an end...

Released Tuesday, May. 24

Cardinal tells Caritas: Christian charity goes beyond mere philanthropy CWN - May 24, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum said that Caritas Internationalis must be an expression of the charitable mission of the Church, and not an organization that exists alongside the...

Salesians remove Dutch delegate following pedophilia comments CWN - May 24, 2011

Father Herman Spronck, the leading Salesian priest in the Netherlands, was removed from his position following the publication of comments in which he stated that “pedophile sex could be accepted,”...

Malaysia: Islamic leaders question non-Muslims’ rights CWN - May 24, 2011

Following rumors that Christian leaders are lobbying to have Malaysia declared a Christian state, Muslim leaders are questioning whether the government of the Islamic state has been too generous in...

Priest: Pakistan ‘in the hands of the Taliban’ CWN - May 24, 2011

A prominent Pakistani priest has told the Fides news agency that the popularity of the Taliban has grown following the death of Osama bin Laden. “Pakistan is now in the hands of the Taliban,”...

Cambodia: ‘bishop without a cathedral’ leads tiny flock CWN - May 24, 2011

Bishop Olivier Michel Marie Schmitthaeusler, a 40-year-old French missionary bishop who serves as apostolic vicar of Phnom Penh, discusses the challenges of leading a tiny Catholic community...

KC priest pleads not guilty to child porn charges; Bishop Finn apologizes CWN - May 24, 2011

Five months after officials of the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph found disturbing images on the computer of Father Shawn Ratigan, the priest has pled not guilty to child pornography charges....

Gallup: most Americans want abortion illegal under most circumstances CWN - May 24, 2011

In an annual survey of attitudes, the Gallup Poll has found that 72% of Americans believe that abortion should be legally restricted. The Gallup figures show that 49% of Americans label...

Church in China needs prayers, papal spokesman reiterates CWN - May 24, 2011

The Vatican’s chief spokesman has emphasized that Pope Benedict’s designation of May 24 as a special day of prayer for the Church in China should be understood not as a political move, but “for what...

Congo: bishop draws public attention to continued violence against civilians CWN - May 24, 2011

A Catholic bishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo has called attention to the continued bloodshed by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and thanked reporters who have brought the violence...

Catholic League offers detailed critique of John Jay report CWN - May 24, 2011

The president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has released an in-depth critique of the John Jay report on the clerical sex-abuse scandal. In his 24-page analysis, William...

New Vatican book offers catechesis on family CWN - May 24, 2011

The Vatican has released a new book on the family, in preparation for the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Milan beginning on May 30. The book, Family: Work and Celebration,...

Released Wednesday, May. 25

Condom campaigns not a solution to AIDS: Vatican newspaper CWN - May 25, 2011

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, a moral theologian says that campaigns to encourage condom use have increased, and not decreased, the risk of HIV infection. “The numerous campaigns that invite...

Egypt: mob prevents reopening of church CWN - May 25, 2011

Hurling stones at Coptic Christians, thousands of Muslims surrounded a Coptic church in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, to prevent its reopening. The church, built in 2004, was closed by state...

Vatican rules against New York diocese in parish closure CWN - May 25, 2011

Following an appeal from parishioners and heeding recent precedent, the Vatican has ruled that the Diocese of Syracuse should not deconsecrate a closed parish church but must instead maintain it as...

Honduran cardinal re-elected Caritas president CWN - May 25, 2011

Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras has been re-elected president of Caritas Internationalis, the international consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies. The cardinal...

Diocese opens chapel next to abortion clinic CWN - May 25, 2011

The Diocese of Fargo has announced that it is opening a chapel next to North Dakota’s only abortion clinic. Mass, followed by Eucharistic adoration, will be offered at the chapel one day each...

US Jewish-Catholic dialogue examines religious authority CWN - May 25, 2011

Representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the National Council of Synagogues met on May 17 to discuss “Sources of...

Symphony orchestra performs Gershwin, ‘West Side Story’ selections in parish CWN - May 25, 2011

The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra performed Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and selections from the musical West Side Story during a concert held...

Building churches to focus on ourselves CWN - May 25, 2011

Earlier this month Cardinal Raymond Burke criticized the tendency to focus “exaggerated attention on the human aspect of the sacred liturgy.” In the National Catholic Register, Tim Drake comments on...

Pope sends sympathies to US tornado victims CWN - May 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has sent his sympathies to the victims of a devastating tornado in Missouri. In a telegram to Bishop James Johnston of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, whose diocese includes...

Immigration causes slight population increase in Italy CWN - May 25, 2011

Italy has seen a slight increase in its population, reversing a downward demographic trend. However, the increase is entirely due to immigrants. Italy’s population rose by 286,114 in 2010,...

Boston archdiocese reaches settlement in nuns' lawsuit over pension fund CWN - May 25, 2011

The Boston archdiocese has reached an agreement with the Daughters of St. Paul, settling a lawsuit brought by the religious order to resolve a dispute over the archdiocesan pension fund for lay...

Jacob's struggle illustrates the problem of prayer, Pope tells audience CWN - May 25, 2011

At his weekly public audience on May 25, Pope Benedict XVI recounted the story of Jacob’s struggle with the unknown at the ford of Jabbok, and likened that experience to the Christian’s life of...

Vatican official in Korea for inter-religious talks CWN - May 25, 2011

The head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue is in South Korea this week for meetings with leaders of the local Buddhist, Confucian, and Protestant communities, and talks with...

San Francisco archdiocese studying steep drop in sacramental marriages CWN - May 25, 2011

The Archdiocese of San Francisco, California, is conducting a special study of its marriage-preparation program, looking for an explanation of a steep decline in the number of Catholic...

Archdiocese of Hanoi protests convent demolition CWN - May 25, 2011

Archbishop Peter Nguyen Van Nhon has sent urgent letters to Hanoi government officials, protesting the scheduled destruction of a Carmelite convent. Early this month, city officials announced...

Parties seen as cause of Vatican move against Cistercian community in Rome CWN - May 25, 2011

The Cistercian community in Rome that has been suppressed by the Vatican order had a reputation for hosting lavish parties, according to an Agence France Presse report. The abbey of Santa Croce...

Maronite Patriarch chides Lebanese politicians for impasse CWN - May 25, 2011

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Beshara Rai has scolded Lebanese political leaders for their failure to resolve a 4-month deadlock in the formation of a national-unity government. The Maronite...

Released Thursday, May. 26

Cardinal Turkson: Caritas is ‘part and parcel of evangelization’ CWN - May 26, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has challenged Caritas Internationalis--the Church’s confederation of charitable and development agencies--to recognize its role in the...

Sudan: humanitarian disaster in Abyei CWN - May 26, 2011

The attack on the central Sudanese region of Abyei by forces from the north is leading to a humanitarian disaster that puts thousands of lives at risk, according to leading local Church...

EWTN host, Clinton administration official named to National Review Board CWN - May 26, 2011

An EWTN radio host, an official who oversaw the work of 16 agencies in the Clinton administration, and a pediatrician who has written on child sexual abuse have been named to the National Review...

San Francisco archbishop opposes circumcision ban CWN - May 26, 2011

Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has announced his opposition to a proposed ban on circumcision in the city. The proposed ban has qualified as a ballot initiative for the November...

Church works for reconciliation in strife-torn Ivory Coast CWN - May 26, 2011

An estimated 3,000 people were killed and at least one million displaced in the recent post-election violence in Ivory Coast, according to the Fides news ageny. Laurent Gbagbo lost the November...

Jesuit sworn in as House chaplain CWN - May 26, 2011

Father Patrick Conroy has been sworn in as the new chaplain of the House of Representatives. “Father Pat Conroy comes with a healthy respect for what we do,” said House Minority Leader Nancy...

Libyan exodus straining resources at refugee camp in Tunisia CWN - May 26, 2011

A refugee camp in Tunisia, which has recently absorbed 3,500 people fleeing from the fighting in Libya, has been struck by violence, a Catholic priest on the scene reports. The Chouca camp now...

Renowned conductor backs Pope's effort to revive sacred-music tradition CWN - May 26, 2011

The music director of the Chicago Symphony has thrown his support behind the drive by Pope Benedict XVI to revive the tradition of sacred music. ''The Pope is right when he says it is necessary...

Shortage of priestly vocations suggests problems in community: Cardinal Pell CWN - May 26, 2011

As he ordained 5 men to the priesthood, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia reflected that when a Catholic community does not produce priestly vocations, something is amiss. “Some Catholic...

John Jay study ducked conclusion on homosexual influence, columnist charges CWN - May 26, 2011

Citing the work of Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, columnist Louie Verrecchio charges that the John Jay report on the sex-abuse scandal in America is seriously flawed by a politically-correct...

Italian cardinal: statue of John Paul II may be moved CWN - May 26, 2011

The Vatican gave its approval for a statue of Blessed John Paul II based on a preliminary sketch, not the controversial final product, an Italian cardinal has revealed. Cardinal Gianfranco...

Vatican conference probes dangers of 'outsourcing' labor CWN - May 26, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace hosted a one-day conference on “Industry and Outsourcing,” calling attention to the economic difficulties that arise when corporations contract workers...

German cardinal rejects 'nonsense' request for Confirmation in extraordinary form CWN - May 26, 2011

A German cardinal has said that it is "nonsense" for Catholics to seek Confirmation in the traditional rite. Cardinal Karl Lehmann on Mainz, the former president of the German bishops'...

Caritas International chooses new leader CWN - May 26, 2011

Caritas International has elected a new leader. Michel Roy, the director of a French charity, will become the secretary-general of the international consortium of Catholic relief agencies. Roy,...

Archbishop Sheen's cause presented to Pope Benedict: a former colleague CWN - May 26, 2011

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, has presented Pope Benedict XVI with a 2-volume positio, summarizing the case for beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. As he accepted the documents,...

New Major Archbishop elected for Syro-Malabar Catholic Church CWN - May 26, 2011

India’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has elected a new leader. Bishop George Alencherry of Thuckalay, the secretary of the Syro-Malabar Synod, was elected on May 26 as Major Archbishop of...

Filipino politician says he will risk excommunication--which is not threatened CWN - May 26, 2011

A prominent Catholic politician in the Philippines has said that he ready to risk excommunication in order to promote an aggressive family-planning bill that the nation’s bishops have adamantly...

Irish bishop sees visit by Queen Elizabeth as a watershed CWN - May 26, 2011

The visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland last week demonstrated that the historic struggle between England and Ireland “was never primarily a religious or confessional conflict but one caused by...

Illinois Catholic Charities forced out of adoption, foster-care services CWN - May 26, 2011

Catholic Charities of Illinois has been forced to shut down its adoption and foster-care services because of new state policies that require equal treatment for same-sex couples. Foster-care...

Cardinal Tauran lauds Korean standards for religious tolerance CWN - May 26, 2011

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran praised South Korea as a model of inter-religious tolerance, during a courtesy visit to the nation’s President Lee Myung-bak on May 26. Cardinal Tauran, the president...

Released Friday, May. 27

Worldwide Eucharistic adoration in honor of Pope’s ordination anniversary CWN - May 27, 2011

The Congregation for the Clergy has asked dioceses worldwide to offer 60 hours of Eucharistic adoration around June 29, the 60th anniversary of Pope Benedict’s ordination to the priesthood. The...

Pakistan: Christian tombs desecrated, woman gang raped CWN - May 27, 2011

Plowing over tombs with a tractor, Muslim landowners in a town near Pakistan’s third-largest city desecrated a Christian cemetery. The attack took place in Chak Jhumra, which is located near...

Vietnam: Christian activists face prospect of death penalty CWN - May 27, 2011

Three Mennonites who advocated on behalf of farmers whose land was sold by Communist officials have been charged with attempting to overthrow the government. If convicted, the three, who have been...

New Caritas leader outlines priorities CWN - May 27, 2011

Michel Roy, the newly elected secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis--the confederation of Catholic relief and development agencies--discussed his four priorities in an interview with Vatican...

Botswana prelate: Condoms not a solution to AIDS CWN - May 27, 2011

“Common sense” chastity, and not government-promoted “condom sense,“ is the solution to the AIDS epidemic, Botswana’s leading prelate said in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need. “It is...

Holocaust museum to feature priest’s research into Nazi mass graves CWN - May 27, 2011

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will be making public the research of Father Patrick Desbois, a French priest who has documented 600 Nazi mass graves in Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and...

Historian: Pope’s new book advances Jewish-Christian dialogue CWN - May 27, 2011

Giorgio Israel, a professor of the history of science at the Sapienza University of Rome, has lauded Pope Benedict’s new book in an essay written for the Vatican newspaper. The second volume of...

Pope tells Caritas leaders: work with the Church CWN - May 27, 2011

Speaking on May 27 to the general assembly of Caritas International, Pope Benedict XVI underlined the fact that Caritas “differs from other social agencies in that it is ecclesial; it shares in the...

Italy should recognize Church contributions, Pope says CWN - May 27, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI led the bishops of Italy in the Rosary, and entrusted the nation to the care of the Virgin Mary, during a May 26 ceremony in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major. The Pope...

Illinois diocese drops adoption, foster-care services CWN - May 27, 2011

The Diocese of Rockford has announced that it will close is adoption and foster-care services because of new state laws that require equal treatment for same-sex couples. Diocesan officials said...

FRC study amasses evidence of how intact families strengthen society CWN - May 27, 2011

A from the Family Research Council has compiled an impressive collection of evidence demonstrating that stable marriages play an enormous role in forming a healthy society. The data show that...

Vatican conference on AIDS revives debate on condom distribution CWN - May 27, 2011

A Vatican conference on AIDS prevention has renewed public attention to the Church’s stand against the distribution of condoms as an AIDS-prevention strategy. Dr. Michel Sidibe, the director of...

French journalist sees 'revolution' in Vatican's new policy for Caritas CWN - May 27, 2011

The Vatican’s assertion of control over the policies of Caritas International should be recognized as a “palace revolution,” writes Jean-Marie Guénois of Le Figaro. By insisting that the agency must...

British Catholic journalist: Obama pandered to Irish audience CWN - May 27, 2011

In a critique of two recent speeches delivered by US President Barack Obama--one in London, one in Dublin--William Oddie of the Catholic Herald concludes that the president's address to the British...

Probing tensions between home-school families, diocesan officials CWN - May 27, 2011

Our Sunday Visitor takes a candid look at the tensions that often arise between home-schooling families and Catholic diocesan officials. The brief story acknowledges that some home-schoolers look...

Synod council affirms need for interfaith dialogue in Middle East CWN - May 27, 2011

The special council following up on the work of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East met in Rome this week, and issued a statement reiterating that “the coexistence of religions is essential for...

Daughters of St. Paul remove leaders who sued Boston archdiocese CWN - May 27, 2011

The worldwide superior of the Daughters of St. Paul replaced the leaders of the American province after the religious order filed a lawsuit against the Boston archdiocese over the handling of...

Cardinal Zen praises Chinese heroes of Tiananmen Square CWN - May 27, 2011

At a Mass celebrated in Hong Kong in memory of the young Chinese activists who died in the Tienanmen Square massacre of 1989, Cardinal Joseph Zen spoke of the “students’ noble ideals,” and voiced...

Casual attitudes toward sex lead to celebrity scandals: Irish columnist CWN - May 27, 2011

Irish Catholic columnist David Quinn looks at recent reports of powerful men who have been charged with cheating on their wives, and argues that modern society is especially vulnerable to such...

Pope Benedict's crackdown CWN - May 27, 2011

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter perceives a "quiet revolution" in the management style of the Vatican under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. He points to the Vatican's assertion of...

Released Monday, May. 30

Malta: voters approve legalization of divorce CWN - May 30, 2011

Nearly 53% of voters in Malta--one of the world’s few officially Catholic nations--voted in favor of the legalization of divorce in a May 29 referendum. “Even though the result is not what I...

Algerian Christian sentenced to prison after sharing faith with neighbor CWN - May 30, 2011

Siagh Krimo, an Algerian Christian, was sentenced to five years in prison on May 25 after he shared his faith with a neighbor. Krimo was sentenced under the nation’s blasphemy law, which prohibits...

Worsening humanitarian situation in Abyei CWN - May 30, 2011

Tens of thousands of lives are now at risk following the attack on the central Sudanese region of Abyei by forces from the north, according to the head of the local diocese. “The humanitarian...

Pakistan: Christian girls kidnapped, forced to marry, convert to Islam CWN - May 30, 2011

Two Christian girls--Rebecca Masih and Saima Masih--were forced to marry and convert to Islam after they were kidnapped by a wealthy businessman on May 24. The kidnapping took place in the...

Muslim-Catholic dialogue on Bible, Qur’an interpretation CWN - May 30, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and three Muslim organizations devoted their recent semiannual West Coast dialogue to “Principles of Interpretation of Scripture with a Special Focus...

Mexico: priest kidnapped, murdered CWN - May 30, 2011

Father Salvador Ruiz Enciso, a Mexican parish priest, has been kidnapped and murdered. “We condemn the brutal manner in which he was killed and we have confidence in the authorities that those...

Another Christian murdered in Iraq CWN - May 30, 2011

Another Iraqi Christian has been murdered, as targeted killings of the religious minority continue. Arkan Jihad Yacob, a 62-year-old businessman and father of 4 children, was gunned down in...

At Liszt concert, Pope remarks on composer's faith CWN - May 30, 2011

On May 28, Pope Benedict XVI attended a concert organized in his honor by President Pal Schmitt of Hungary. The concert celebrated two occasions: Hungary’s assumption of the rotating presidency of...

Marian devotion essential to Catholic faith, Pope says CWN - May 30, 2011

“Catholicisim could not exist without a Marian character,” Pope Benedict XVI told a visiting German delegation on May 28. The Pope added that he had realized at an early age that “being Catholic...

Anglican-Catholic theological talks resumed CWN - May 30, 2011

A new round of talks between Catholic and Anglican theologians concluded its first session in Italy last week. The first session of the new Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission,...

Evangelism is constant mission of the Church, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - May 30, 2011

At his midday audience on Sunday, May 29, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the Church’s mission to evangelize the world, and contrasted that effort with worldly attempts to gain power. “While the...

Small faith communities should serve larger Church & society, Pope tells Indian bishops CWN - May 30, 2011

In a May 30 address to Catholic bishops from India, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the growth of small Christian communities in that country, but added that the prayer of these small groups is “born of...

New Evangelization needed to answer crisis of secularism, Pope says CWN - May 30, 2011

Meeting on May 30 with the staff of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI said that their work is needed in response to "the crisis we are living through." "The...

Vatican was patient before removing Australian bishop, Cardinal Pell says CWN - May 30, 2011

Australia’s leading Catholic prelate has said that it was “a tragedy” that the Vatican was forced to remove Bishop William Morris from office, but says that the move was necessary because the...

Poland remembers the "Primate of the Millennium" CWN - May 30, 2011

Catholics in Poland celebrated the memory of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski on May 28, the 30th anniversary of the death of the iron-willed cardinal who had led the resistance to Communism. In Warsaw...

Inventor of The Pill foresees a brave new world CWN - May 30, 2011

Carl Djerassi, the man sometimes identified as “the father of the birth-control pill,” spoke with the Daily Mail about how sexual behavior has changed, and about the changes he expects in the...

Cardinal Scola declining appointment to Milan? CWN - May 30, 2011

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice has indicated that he does not wish to be considered as a replacement for the outgoing Archbishop of Milan, according to a report in the Italian daily La...

Shakespeare was probably Catholic, says Archbishop of Canterbury CWN - May 30, 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that he thinks William Shakespeare was probably a Catholic. In a conversation about Shakespeare's life and works, Dr. Rowan Williams said that the available...

Historian says Red Cross, Vatican, Allies all aided some Nazi escapes after World War II CWN - May 30, 2011

The Vatican, the International Red Cross, and government officials in the US and other Western nations all helped Nazi leaders escape from Germany and avoid prosecution after World War II, according...

Italian journalist: papal liturgies do not follow Pope's own lead on sacred music CWN - May 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has called repeatedly for a restoration of the great Catholic tradition in sacred music. But Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister of L'Espresso charges that the commitment to beautiful...

Released Tuesday, May. 31

Vietnamese bishops: Church should be able to run schools CWN - May 31, 2011

The bishops of Vietnam have asked the government to “open the door to the religious people of good will who aspire to be involved in school education.” “The Catholic Church can offer the...

Alabama: schismatic monastery reconciles with Church CWN - May 31, 2011

A schismatic Alabama monastery founded in 1984 has been reconciled with the Diocese of Birmingham and the Holy See. “It is somewhat unique as an effort at reconciliation,” said Bishop Robert...

Spanish indictments for 1989 El Salvador murders of Jesuits CWN - May 31, 2011

Operating under the Spanish legal principle of universal jurisdiction for heinous crimes, a judge in Spain has indicted two former El Salvadoran defense ministers and some 20 soldiers for the 1989...

Hundreds of converts in Chinese diocese CWN - May 31, 2011

A northeastern Chinese diocese reports that 243 adults received the sacraments of Christian initiation in its cathedral on May 28. The average age of the converts is 32. The conversions in the...

Caritas: Protect domestic workers CWN - May 31, 2011

Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of Catholic relief and development agencies, is calling upon the International Labor Conference to adopt measures that protect domestic workers, especially...

Belgian bishops to compensate abuse victims CWN - May 31, 2011

Heeding the recommendations of a parliamentary commission, Belgian bishops and religious superiors have agreed to offer compensation to abuse victims. “The bishops and religious leaders are...

Washington Post profiles Father Ernesto Cardenal CWN - May 31, 2011

The Washington Post has published a lengthy profile of Father Ernesto Cardenal, the poet and former Nicaraguan culture minister who defied Pope John Paul’s order to resign from his position in the...

Respect traditions of sacred music, Pope urges CWN - May 31, 2011

Liturgical music should combine respect for tradition with steady development of the forms, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, which is celebrating its...

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for June 2011 CWN - May 31, 2011

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for June 2011. The Pontiff's general prayer intention is: "That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true...

Malta's vote to legalize divorce brings mixed reactions CWN - May 31, 2011

In the aftermath of a referendum vote to legalize divorce, Catholic political leaders in Malta promised to move forward to strengthen existing marriages, and to resist any attempt to inaugurate...

Editorial raps 'incomplete' report on sex-abuse scandal CWN - May 31, 2011

An editorial in the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal criticized the John Jay report on the sex-abuse scandal in the American Catholic Church, saying that the report is “incomplete” because it does...

Solicitation in confession may be more widespread than believed, canonist says CWN - May 31, 2011

Noted canon-law professor Edward Peters reminds readers of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review that when a priest hearing confessions encourages penitents to sin, he commits not only a sin but also a...

Cutting social programs may help the poor CWN - May 31, 2011

Commenting on the American Catholic scholars who have criticized Republican lawmakers for failing to help the poor, Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute acknowledges that all Christians have...

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