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Catholic World News

Stories for October 2011

Released Monday, Oct. 3

Citing Obama administration actions, US bishops establish religious liberty committee CWN - October 3, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, citing recent actions taken by the Obama administration, has announced that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is forming an Ad Hoc...

Italian nun beatified CWN - October 3, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, traveled to the small northwestern Italian city of Ivrea to preside at the beatification of Sister Antonia Maria Verna (1773-1838)....

Vatican official: ‘no room for supporting the death penalty in today's world’ CWN - October 3, 2011

“There is no room for supporting the death penalty in today’s world,” according to Tommaso Di Ruzza, one of 13 officials who work under the president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for...

Facebook, other new media censor Christian viewpoints CWN - October 3, 2011

A report recently issued by the National Religious Broadcasters has found that Facebook, Apple iTunes, and other new media platforms censor Christian viewpoints, particularly about...

Christians who have fled Iran receive death threats CWN - October 3, 2011

Warned that they are watched by “acute eyes of the unknown soldiers,” 11 Protestants who have fled Iran have received e-mails offering them “the opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness from … the...

California forbids circumcision bans CWN - October 3, 2011

Citing parental rights, Governor Jerry Brown of California has signed into law a bill that prevents local governments from banning male circumcision. Earlier this year, a superior court judge,...

950th anniversary of world’s largest Romanesque church CWN - October 3, 2011

A special Mass was held on October 2 to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the dedication of Speyer Cathedral, the burial site of medieval holy Roman emperors and the largest extant Romanesque...

80th anniversary of Vatican Radio CWN - October 3, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, offered a special Mass on September 29 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Vatican Radio. In a book written for the occasion, Father...

Church may drop legal-marriage role: Australian archbishop CWN - October 3, 2011

The Catholic Church will cease witnessing legal marriages if the government insists on equal treatment for same-sex couples, an Australian archbishop has warned. “We might be back to the ghetto,”...

Guardian angels are 'ministers of God's concern,' Pope tells audience CWN - October 3, 2011

Guardian angels protect the faithful “from the day we are born until the moment we die,” Pope Benedict XVI reminded those in attendance at his Sunday audience on October 2. The Pope was calling...

Mexican lawmakers propose term limits for marriages CWN - October 3, 2011

Lawmakers in Mexico City have proposed requiring prenuptial agreements, which could include an estimate of how long the bridge and groom expect their marriage to last. The proposed...

US military chaplains authorized to witness same-sex marriages CWN - October 3, 2011

The US Department of Defense has announced that military chaplains will be authorized to witness same-sex marriages ed in states where the practice is legal. Chaplains are not obligated to...

Pope asks European bishops to promote New Evangelization CWN - October 3, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has urged European bishops to “identify new missionary paths to evangelization, especially in serving the new generations,” in a message to the Council of European Episcopal...

India: Church leaders denounce new plans to penalize large families CWN - October 3, 2011

The Catholic Council of India has denounced a proposal to penalize large families, saying that it “violates basic human rights and is clearly anti-constitutional.” The Catholic Council of India—a...

Polish bishop supports reported Eucharistic miracle CWN - October 3, 2011

Catholics in Poland flocked to a special Mass on October 2 to celebrate a reported Eucharistic miracle. In 2008, after a consecrated host was accidentally dropped to the floor, worshippers in the...

President of Catholic University decries forced contraceptive coverage CWN - October 3, 2011

In an op-ed column published in the Washington Post, John Garvey, the president of the Catholic University of America, protests the Obama administration's plan to require contraceptive coverage in...

Two Iraqi Christians killed; attacks continue CWN - October 3, 2011

Two more Iraqi Christians have been murdered in the northern city of Kirkuk, as the campaign of intimidation against the nation’s religious minority continues. Christians in Kirkuk expressed...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 4

Czech Republic: Church to receive $2.5B in compensation CWN - October 4, 2011

The government of the Czech Republic will pay the Catholic Church 47 billion korunas ($2.5 billion) over 17 years in compensation for property confiscated during the Communist era (1948-89),...

Catholic Charities: contraception mandate unconstitutional CWN - October 4, 2011

Catholic Charities USA has called for the repeal of a new mandate that requires private insurers to provide women with coverage for FDA-approved contraception and sterilization. Focusing on the...

Agreement in Mexican village where Protestants were threatened with crucifixion CWN - October 4, 2011

The Archdiocese of Puebla and Roca Fuerte, a Protestant organization, have agreed that Catholics and Protestants in the village of San Rafael Tlanalapan will respect one another’s religious liberty....

Vatican official: ecumenism is not political compromise CWN - October 4, 2011

Bishop Brian Farrell, a priest of the Legionaries of Christ who serves as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told Aid to the Church in Need that “ecumenism is not...

Sudan: bishop appeals for peace in Blue Nile State CWN - October 4, 2011

Conflict between the Sudanese government in Khartoum and local rebels has displaced half of the population of the Blue Nile State, which borders the newly independent state of South...

Africa: cardinal says family breakdown spurs rise in alcoholism CWN - October 4, 2011

Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi is attributing the rise of alcoholism among Kenyan youth to the breakdown in the family. The cardinal’s comments followed the deaths of over 30 people who drank...

Rosary violates Nebraska school's dress code CWN - October 4, 2011

A Nebraska elementary school has ruled that a 6th-grade girl will not be allowed to wear a Rosary around her neck, because the beads are identified as a gang symbol. Father Joseph Taphorn, the...

US bishops re-issue Faithful Citizenship voter guide CWN - October 4, 2011

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has re-released Faithful Citizenship, a voter guide prepared before the 2008 elections. The text of the guide is unchanged, although the 2011 edition...

Jailed for talking inside abortion clinic, Canadian woman continues pro-life work in prison CWN - October 4, 2011

A young Canadian woman, Mary Wagner, has spent months in jail for the "crime" of speaking to women in abortion clinics, encouraging them to let their babies live. Early this year Wagner was told...

While thousands of Christians flee Iraq, one Kurdish town's Christian population soars CWN - October 4, 2011

In the past decade hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled; the country’s Christian population, once estimated at 800,000, is now closer to 150,000. Yet one town, Ankawa, has seen its...

No Anglican ordinariate planned for South Africa CWN - October 4, 2011

The South African leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) has announced that there are no plans for a Catholic ordinariate in that country. In South Africa, said Anglican Bishop...

Vatican Museums host workshop on art restoration CWN - October 4, 2011

The Vatican Museums today hosted a workshop on the care and restoration of artworks, bringing together experts from around the world. The workshop included sessions on the restoration of ancient...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 5

Priests must be radically countercultural, says Vatican prefect CWN - October 5, 2011

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has called upon priests to be radically countercultural as they fight in the “Church’s real field of battle”: “the secret...

Vatican newspaper blasts change from ‘BC, AD’ to ‘BCE, CE’ CWN - October 5, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has published an op-ed piece blasting the British Broadcasting Corporation for abandoning the traditional BC and AD for BCE and CE. Comparing the change to calendars...

7 cardinals petition for St. Faustina to be named doctor of the Church CWN - October 5, 2011

Seven cardinals have signed a petition asking Pope Benedict to consider naming St. Faustina Kowalska a doctor of the Church. The petition was circulated at a five-day international conference on the...

European bishops issue statement on new evangelization CWN - October 5, 2011

At the conclusion of its annual meeting, which took place this year in Albania, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) issued a statement on the new evangelization. “The new...

Italian priest’s canonization follows Pennsylvania man’s healing CWN - October 5, 2011

The healing of a young Philadelphia man from a serious head injury was a miracle that took place through the intercession of Blessed Louis Guanella, according to the Congregation for the Causes of...

Canada: 3 parishes for sale for 95 cents CWN - October 5, 2011

A diocese in Ontario is offering to sell three closed parishes--all of them designated heritage sites--for one Canadian dollar (US $0.95). The number of parishes in the Diocese of London, in...

Scottish bishop warns government on 'serious chill' in relations with Church CWN - October 5, 2011

A Scottish bishop has warned the country's First Minister that the government risks a "serious chill" in relations with the Catholic Church, because of its support for same-sex marriage and for...

Papal reflections on Psalm 23 CWN - October 5, 2011

Continuing his weekly “School of Prayer” talks at his public audience on October 5, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the “radical act of confidence” in God that is made in Psalm 23. In those beloved...

Pope again appeals for aid to Horn of Africa CWN - October 5, 2011

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on October 5, Pope Benedict XVI made another public appeal for international aid to the millions of people threatened with starvation in the...

Portrait of cardinal who survived the Gulag CWN - October 5, 2011

The Catholic Herald profiles the late Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, who survived Stalinist persecution and remained for decades a leading figure in the "Church of Silence" under the Soviet...

Irish priests' group hears call for radical change CWN - October 5, 2011

At its first annual meeting, the dissident Association of Catholic Priests heard a call for radical change in the Church, including the ordination of women and the promotion of a "healthy and...

Trial beguns for murder of bishop in Turkey CWN - October 5, 2011

In Turkey, the trial of the man accused of killing Bishop Luigi Padovese has just begun, 16 months after the murder. Murat Altun, who had been the bishop's driver, is accused of killing the...

Christians in detention for evangelization in south India CWN - October 5, 2011

Police in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state have imprisoned eight evangelists after Hindu fundamentalists accused them of attempting “forceful conversion.” The Evangelical Fellowship of India...

Pittsburgh's Bishop Zubik denies sex-abuse charge CWN - October 5, 2011

Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh has revealed that he faces a charge of sexual abuse--a charge that the bishop describes as "false, offensive, and outrageous." Bishop Zubik held a press...

Released Thursday, Oct. 6

Bishop calls for separation of religion, state in Pakistan CWN - October 6, 2011

Amid increasing calls in Pakistan for the release of Mumtaz Qadri--the convicted assassin of Salmaan Taseer, a politician who had spoken in defense of imprisoned Christian Asia Bibi--a prelate is...

Details emerge about Bishop Zubik’s accuser CWN - October 6, 2011

The man who has accused Bishop David Zubik of sexually abusing him in the 1980s has the same name, age, and residence as a man convicted of DUI, theft, burglary, and public drunkenness, according to...

Ohio removes pork from prison meals following Muslim’s lawsuit CWN - October 6, 2011

Following a lawsuit by a Muslim death-row inmate who alleged his religious freedom was being violated, Ohio officials have decided to remove pork from meals throughout the state prison system. A...

Caritas helps 1 million in Horn of Africa CWN - October 6, 2011

Caritas Internationalis--the confederation of Catholic relief and development agencies--has announced that its member agencies have invested $41 million and assisted one million people in East...

South Sudan: religious brothers minister as village becomes leper colony CWN - October 6, 2011

A village on the outskirts of South Sudan’s capital has become a colony for 350 lepers. There the Brothers of St. Martin de Porres--a local religious institute--minister to them. “It is a real...

Father Pavone to meet with Bishop Zurek on October 13 CWN - October 6, 2011

Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, will meet next week with Father Frank Pavone to discuss his leadership of Priest for Life. Bishop Zurek has announced that he has scheduled a private...

UK: Cameron calls for legalization of same-sex marriage; bishops split on civil partnerships CWN - October 6, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he supports efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. “Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us; that society is stronger when we make...

Over 10% of Irish priests join dissident group CWN - October 6, 2011

The Association of Catholic Priests, an Irish group organized to advocate radical change within the Church, now claims the backing of more than 10% of the priests in Ireland. At its inaugural...

Threat of new civil war in Sudan CWN - October 6, 2011

Rebel groups in three Sudanese provinces are reportedly forming an alliance against the government in Khartoum, raising the prospect of another bloody civil war in the African country, just months...

Vatican newspaper sees Steve Jobs as key cultural figure CWN - October 6, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has acknowledged the enormous influence of Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of Apple Computer, who died on October 5 at the age of 56. Jobs was not simply a computer...

Peoria diocese drops adoption, foster-care services to resolve conflict with state law CWN - October 6, 2011

The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, has dropped a legal challenge to a state law requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services. The Peoria office of Catholic...

Released Friday, Oct. 7

Pro-life victory in Mexican Supreme Court CWN - October 7, 2011

By the slimmest of margins, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled the two state amendments that protect human life from conception are constitutional. Seventeen of Mexico’s 32 states have passed...

Archdiocese: Catholic military chaplains will not witness same-sex weddings CWN - October 7, 2011

Reacting to the Obama administration’s decision to permit military chaplains to conduct same-sex marriages, a spokesman for the Archdiocese for the Military Services emphasized that Catholic...

World’s largest Marian procession taking place in Brazil CWN - October 7, 2011

On October 9, a procession in honor of Our Lady of Nazareth will take place in Belém, a city in northeastern Brazil. Two million people are expected to take part in the two-mile procession, making...

USCCB, CRS again urge Catholics to lobby on behalf of international poverty aid CWN - October 7, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have again called upon Catholics to contact President Obama and members of Congress on behalf of international...

‘Donation after cardiac death’ links organ donation, right-to-die movement CWN - October 7, 2011

For years, some Catholic ethicists have questioned the appropriateness of “brain death” as the defining factor in determining the moment of death. A “brain death” diagnosis can allow organ...

AP reporter becomes practicing Catholic after covering scandal CWN - October 7, 2011

In a recent interview with GetReligion, AP religion reporter Tom Breen discussed how an assignment to cover the clerical abuse scandal led him to become a practicing Catholic. “I was baptized a...

Maintain pressure for religious liberty, Pope asks Indonesian bishops CWN - October 7, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI asked the Catholic bishops of Indonesia to do “everything possible to ensure that the rights of minorities in your country are respected,” concentrating especially on religious...

American priests are happy, says adviser to US bishops CWN - October 7, 2011

Most American Catholic priests are fundamentally happy with their lives, according to a priest-psychologist who has played a leading role in advising the US bishops on their handling of the...

Religious freedom: main public focus for Church in coming years? CWN - October 7, 2011

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter predicts that the promotion and protection of religious freedom will be the top public-policy focus of the Catholic Church in the early 21st...

Ave Maria University granted official 'Catholic' status CWN - October 7, 2011

Ave Maria University has been officially recognized as a Catholic university by Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida. Established in 2003 by Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, Ave...

'Doctrinal Preamble' will be published if SSPX accepts it CWN - October 7, 2011

If the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) accepts the "Doctrinal Preamble" crafted by the Vatican, and becomes reconciled with the Holy See, the document will be made public, Vatican...

Judge approves competency test for Cardinal Bevilacqua CWN - October 7, 2011

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that medical experts should examine the retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilaqua, to determine whether he is competent to testify in the case against a former...

L'Osservatore Romano salutes Swedish poet, Nobel laureate CWN - October 7, 2011

The Vatican newspaper has published an appreciative critique of the poetry of Tomas Tranströmer, the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish poet's work can be classified...

US Supreme Court discusses all-male Catholic priesthood CWN - October 7, 2011

In argument before the Supreme Court on an anti-discrimination case, the solicitor general—representing the Obama administration—said that the government would uphold the right of the Catholic...

Irish network issues public apology to priest wrongly accused of rape CWN - October 7, 2011

Ireland's RTE broadcast network has issued an "unreserved apology" to a priest who was identified as a rapist in an RTE broadcast. Father Kevin Reynolds brought suit against RTE after the network...

Vatican highlights emergency relief efforts in Horn of Africa CWN - October 7, 2011

At an October 7 press conference, Vatican officials highlighted the work of Church agencies responding to a famine in the Horn of Africa. Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of the Pontifical...

Priest killed in Kenya; motive unclear CWN - October 7, 2011

A Catholic priest was killed by assailants in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 3. Father James Awuor Kisero was assaulted by several men and stabbed in the chest. The motive for the attack is not...

Leftist tilt in UN review of Ireland's record CWN - October 7, 2011

Columnist David Quinn notes that in assessing Ireland's policies, UN officials take a distinctly left-wing perspective, which is evident in their treatment of issues such as abortion and religious...

Hindus raise banner over site of destroyed Catholic church CWN - October 7, 2011

Religious fundamentalists raised a Hindu flag over the site where a ruined Catholic church is being rebuilt in the troubled Kandhamal district of India’s eastern Orissa state. On October 6, as...

Released Monday, Oct. 10

Egypt: police open fire on Coptic Christian protestors; dozens slain CWN - October 10, 2011

Military police in Cairo opened fire on Coptic Christian protestors, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. The Christians were protesting the recent burning of a church in southern Egypt. “Today...

Cardinal Wuerl receives Episcopal parish into Catholic Church CWN - October 10, 2011

At a Mass celebrated in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington received the rector and members of St. Luke’s...

Russia: local officials deny permit to complete Catholic parish CWN - October 10, 2011

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow decried the “deliberate discrimination against the Catholic population of Pskov” after officials there refused to renew a permit that would have allowed for the...

Birth dearth: over 60 million fewer children in developed world than in 1965 CWN - October 10, 2011

The National Marriage Project, joined by universities in five nations, has published The Sustainable Demographic Dividend--a report that links the strength of families and the economy. “A turning...

China: supporters of blind pro-life attorney beaten CWN - October 10, 2011

Within the past week, persons attempting to visit Chen Guangcheng--a blind attorney imprisoned for documenting forced late-term abortions--have been beaten and arrested by Chinese authorities....

Canadian bishops call for release of Iranian Christian convert CWN - October 10, 2011

Archbishop Brendan O’Brien of Kingston, chairman of the human rights committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called upon the government of Iran to respect the religious freedom...

Zenit editors resign en masse CWN - October 10, 2011

The editors of the Zenit news agency have resigned en masse, citing a disagreement with the Legionaries of Christ, who own the international Catholic news service. The editors of the English,...

Pakistani Christians oppose death penalty for governor's assassin CWN - October 10, 2011

Christian leaders in Pakistan are arguing against execution in the case of Mumtaz Qadri, who was convicted of killing Punjab's governor, Salman Taseer. Taseer was gunned down in January, shortly...

Pope condemns Mafia, lauds cloistered monks, on quick trip to Calabria CWN - October 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI condemned the “vicious criminality” of Italy’s notorious Ndrangeta mafia during a one-day visit to the southern Calabria region on October 9. As he celebrated Mass just outside...

US cabinet official: 'We are in a war' for abortion funding CWN - October 10, 2011

In a luncheon address to NARAL Pro-Choice America, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said that the Obama administration is fighting to ensure that abortion will be covered in...

Massachusetts diocese sues participants in vigil at closed parish CWN - October 10, 2011

The Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against the participants in a vigil at a parish that has been officially closed. Diocesan officials explained that they were taking...

Peru: archeologists unearth oldest church CWN - October 10, 2011

Archeologists in Peru believe that they have discovered the remains of the country’s first church. Guided by documents in a Spanish archive, researchers located what appear to be the stone...

Bring 'Occupy Wall Street' tactics to church, theologian suggests CWN - October 10, 2011

Tom Beaudoin, a Fordham theology professor and contributor to the America magazine site, suggests that dissident Catholics should mirror the tactics of the "Occupy Wall Street"...

Scottish archbishop rallies faithful against same-sex marriage CWN - October 10, 2011

In a message to all the parishes of Glasgow, Archbishop Mario Conti has encouraged Catholics to organize against legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Arguing that the government has embarked...

Australia's bishops begin ad limina visit: a time for appraisal CWN - October 10, 2011

Australia’s Catholic bishops are in Rome this week for their ad limina visit, Vatican Radio notes. The bishops’ meetings with Vatican officials will provide an opportunity to assess the problems...

Bolivia's president fuels Church-state tension, cardinal says CWN - October 10, 2011

Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval of Santa Cruz, Bolivia has warned that the country’s President Evo Morales might “cross the line into the ridiculous” in his bid to present himself as the hero of...

Editorial calls for bishops to discipline Catholic politicians who favor same-sex marriage CWN - October 10, 2011

In a Catholic World Report editorial, George Neumayr argues that American Catholic bishops are shirking their responsibility by allowing Catholic politicians to support same-sex marriage without...

Austrian priests' group renews defiance on Church teaching CWN - October 10, 2011

The dissident clergy of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative have announced that they will not back away from their “Call to Disobedience” against Church authority. Responding to a plea from...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 11

Syria: patriarch fears descent into civil war CWN - October 11, 2011

The head of the Syrian Catholic Church is expressing grave concern that international pressures to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad will plunge the country into civil war--with horrific...

Vatican spokesman explains Holy See’s role at UN CWN - October 11, 2011

In his weekly editorial, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi defended the Holy See’s role at the UN. “Sometimes we wonder why a religious authority like the Holy See takes part in the...

Catholic World Report, HPR to cease print publication CWN - October 11, 2011

Ignatius Press has announced that Catholic World Report and Homiletic & Pastoral Review will cease print publication at the close of the year. Both will maintain an online presence. Homiletic &...

Muslim mob attacks Christians in Pakistan CWN - October 11, 2011

Amid a conflict over disputed land, mob of 50 armed Muslims attacked Christians near the east-central Pakistani city of Khanewal, leaving one dead and 20 injured. “They arrived on motorcycles...

Bishop warns of growing Islamic extremism in Indonesia CWN - October 11, 2011

An Indonesian bishop has warned about the growing presence of extremist Islam in Indonesia--the nation with the greatest number of Muslims. “Increasingly it is being demanded that Church schools...

Moral theologian laments cloning’s ‘giant step forward’ CWN - October 11, 2011

E. Christian Brugger, a moral theologian who teaches at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, analyzes--and decries--the recent announcement that a cloned human embryo has been exploited...

Las Vegas diocesan official pleads guilty to theft from parish CWN - October 11, 2011

The former vicar general of the Las Vegas, Nevada archdiocese has pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud, admitting that he stole $650,000 from his parish. Msgr. Kevin McAuliffe faces a...

Zimbabwe's Mugabe unmoved by Archbishop of Canterbury's plea for Anglican leaders' security CWN - October 11, 2011

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lectured the Archbishop of Canterbury on Church history when the Anglican leader met with him on October 10 to discuss violence against Anglican clergy in the...

Former Maronite patriarch refuses to criticize successor's stand on Syria CWN - October 11, 2011

Former Maronite Catholic Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir has told reporters in Lebanon that he has no quarrel with his successor’s willingness to negotiate with Syria. Patriarch Bechara Rai (sometimes...

Top Iranian court orders new trial for Christian convert facing execution CWN - October 11, 2011

A Christian pastor who is facing the death penalty in Iran for forsaking Islam will receive a new trial as the result of an Iranian supreme court ruling. The top court found that a lower court...

No Christian churches remain in Afghanistan CWN - October 11, 2011

The US State Department reports that there is no Christian church open to the public in Afghanistan. There are also no Christian schools. The State Department has acknowledged that Afghanistan...

Australia's Copts seek expulsion of Egyptian ambassador CWN - October 11, 2011

Australian’s Coptic Christian leaders have called for the expulsion of Egypt’s ambassador, in the wake of a massacre of Copts in Cairo. Bishop Anba Suriel, who leads the community of about 70,000...

Popular contraceptive doubles HIV risk in Africa, Vatican newspaper notes CWN - October 11, 2011

International family-planning groups continue to distribute the contraceptive Depo-Provera in Africa, despite new evidence that the drug doubles women’s risks of contracting the HIV virus, the...

Caritas agency stages events to raise public awareness of relief work in Rome CWN - October 11, 2011

The local office of the Catholic relief agency Caritas is organizing a “week of solidarity” in Rome, calling attention to the agency’s work on behalf of the poor abroad. Msgr. Enrico Feroci, the...

Ireland bows to UN recommendations on contraception, same-sex unions, religious hiring CWN - October 11, 2011

The Irish government has accepted UN recommendations that it should make contraceptive information available to adolescents, consider changing the legal definition of the family, and question the...

Leftist bishop may seek Honduran presidency CWN - October 11, 2011

A Honduran bishop has indicated that he hopes to be a candidate for the country's presidency, after retiring from his pastoral duties. Bishop Luis Santos Villeda of Santa Rosa, who will reach the...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 12

Catholic spokesman: Egyptian government complicit in church burnings CWN - October 12, 2011

The spokesman for the Catholic Church has charged that Egyptian government officials have been complicit in the burning of churches. “The governor gave the green light for the fundamentalists to...

Patriarch Kirill lauds Putin for ‘enhancing Russia’s international authority’ CWN - October 12, 2011

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has lauded Vladimir Putin in a birthday greeting to the nation’s former president (2000-8), current prime minister (since 2008), and presidential...

HHS won’t renew trafficking-victim grant to US bishops’ agency CWN - October 12, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement has declined to renew a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) to...

Supreme Court: World Vision may fire non-Christian employees CWN - October 12, 2011

In a victory for religious liberty, the US Supreme Court has let stand a federal appellate ruling that recognized the right of World Vision--a Christian relief organization--to fire employees who no...

Pakistan: 12-year-old Christian girl kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam CWN - October 12, 2011

A 12-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was kidnapped on Christmas Eve, repeatedly raped by a gang of Islamic militants, and forced to convert to Islam and marry a Muslim. When “Anna” escaped...

Action urged on Protect Life Act CWN - October 12, 2011

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA)--which works closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on abortion-related legislation--is urging pro-life Americans to...

God's help is often unexpected and overwhelming, Pope tells Wednesday audience CWN - October 12, 2011

At his weekly public audience on October 12, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on how “God works marvels in the history of mankind.” The Pope’s talk at the Wednesday audience was on Psalm 126, which...

Italian influence wanes in Vatican's powerful Congregation for Bishops CWN - October 12, 2011

Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister of L'Espresso calls attention to the fact that Italian prelates are no longer counted among the leaders of one of the most important offices in the Vatican. Many...

Pope's appeal for Christians of Egypt CWN - October 12, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI issued an appeal for peace in Egypt during his weekly public audience on October 12, asking "the faithful to pray that that society might enjoy true peace, based on justice and...

No inter-religious prayer planned for Assisi event CWN - October 12, 2011

Inter-religious prayer is not on the agenda for an October 27 meeting in Assisi, the Vatican has revealed. “The emphasis this time is on pilgrimage and not on prayer,” Cardinal Peter Turkson,...

Somali grateful for emergency aid, still needs stability, reports Catholic leader CWN - October 12, 2011

The top Catholic prelate in Somalia has expressed thanks for the worldwide response to provide relief for the victims of famine in the Horn of Africa—while adding that Somalia’s chaotic political...

Released Thursday, Oct. 13

20 Catholic leaders call for repeal of HHS contraception mandate CWN - October 13, 2011

Twenty Catholic leaders--including the presidents of Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, the National Catholic Educational Association, the University of Notre Dame, Catholic...

Vatican spokesman: German bishops didn’t snub Pope CWN - October 13, 2011

The director of the Holy See Press Office has dismissed some Catholic bloggers’ claims that a number of German bishops deliberately snubbed Pope Benedict XVI, refusing to shake his hand, during the...

India: police issue warrant for US Protestant evangelist’s arrest CWN - October 13, 2011

Authorities in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala have issued a warrant for the detention and deportation of Rev. William A. Lee, a Protestant evangelist from Tennessee. Lee has allegedly...

Pennsylvania bishops: school choice a ‘defining social justice issue’ CWN - October 13, 2011

Following a statement in which the bishops of Pennsylvania called school choice “a defining social justice issue of our society,” the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has lent its support to...

US bishops visit Baghdad CWN - October 13, 2011

At the invitation of the Iraqi bishops, two US bishops--Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of Catholic Relief Services, and Bishop George Murry, secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic...

Conference to highlight ‘New Evangelizers for the New Evangelization’ CWN - October 13, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization is organizing “New Evangelizers for the New Evangelization,” a conference that will take place on October 15 in preparation for the 2012...

Pope signals support of Honduran leader's reconciliation efforts CWN - October 13, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI received President Porfirio Lobo Sosa of Honduras on October 13, and signaled support for the Central American leader’s work to bring political stability to his nation after a...

Renovation may uncover missing cornerstone at St. Patrick's cathedral in New York CWN - October 13, 2011

A major renovation effort at St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York could have an unusual byproduct, the New York Times reports. The work might lead to the rediscovery of the building’s original...

Belgian prelate: divorced Catholics should not teach religion CWN - October 13, 2011

Archbishop André-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has indicated that Catholics who are divorced and remarried should not teach religion or serve as principals in Catholic schools. The archbishop made...

Released Friday, Oct. 14

Bishops urge European governments to defend Egypt’s Christians CWN - October 14, 2011

The president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe is urging European government to “to take a stance in defense of all those who, as Christians, are subjected to attacks because of...

Canadian PM: Catholic should be allowed to be monarch CWN - October 14, 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper supports proposed reforms that would permit a Catholic to become king or queen of the United Kingdom, spokesman Andrew MacDougall said. The monarch of the United...

Father Pavone a no-show for meeting with his bishop CWN - October 14, 2011

Father Frank Pavone failed to show up for an October 13 meeting with Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo. A canon lawyer representing Priests for Life, the organization that Father Pavone heads,...

USCCB spokesman: anti-trafficking grant recipients lack experience CWN - October 14, 2011

The director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is charging that the new recipients of a federal grant to assist victims of human trafficking lack...

Catholic school principal may lose job over 40 Days for Life CWN - October 14, 2011

The board of directors of Christ the King School, a K-8 Catholic school in Winnipeg, may fire the school’s principal after he offered community-service credit to seventh and eighth graders who...

Protect Life Act passes in House CWN - October 14, 2011

By a 251-172 margin, the US House of Representatives has passed the Respect Life Act, which would remove the possibility of abortion funding from healthcare legislation approved last year and would...

English monk missing after jumping bail; faces child-abuse charges CWN - October 14, 2011

A Benedictine monk who is wanted in England to face child-abuse charges has disappeared, prompting prosecutors to seek an international warrant for his arrest. Father Laurence Soper, the former...

Pope reflects on duties of public servants CWN - October 14, 2011

Civil government has an “almost sacred character,” and must be “exercised with great dignity and a lively sense of responsibility,” Pope Benedict XVI told a meeting of Italian officials on October...

Accord reached on Orthodox church at 9/11 site CWN - October 14, 2011

In New York, the Port Authority has struck a deal with the Greek Orthodox Church to rebuild a church that was destroyed when the World Trade Center towers collapsed in the terrorist attack on...

Bishop Finn indicted for failure to report priest's child-porn discovery CWN - October 14, 2011

A Missouri Catholic bishop faces criminal charges for his failure to inform police about child pornography discovered on a priest’s computer. Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City has become the...

Anglican synod in London votes: a setback for women bishops CWN - October 14, 2011

Anglicans of the London diocese voted against a proposal for the acceptance of women as bishops. While both bishops and lay representatives at the London synod voted for the proposals, a bare...

Irish essayist sees 'venomous' attack on Church CWN - October 14, 2011

Writing in the Irish Times, John Waters deplores the "venomous" media criticism of Catholic priests. "Carefully nurtured public prejudice ensures that, when condemning a church figure, it’s...

Pakistani assassin's lawyer, former judge, ruled against pardon for Christian woman in blasphemy case CWN - October 14, 2011

A Pakistani lawyer who is now defending the confessed killer of Governor Salman Taseer is a former judge who ruled against a presidential pardon for a Christian woman accused of...

Released Monday, Oct. 17

Malawi: bishops’ headquarters destroyed CWN - October 17, 2011

Amid a campaign of arson attacks against critics of Malawi’s government, the headquarters of the episcopal conference has been destroyed in a fire. In August, Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza, the...

Italian missionary murdered in Philippines CWN - October 17, 2011

An Italian missionary priest was shot and killed in the Philippines on October 17. Father Fausto Tentorio is the third Italian member of his institute, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign...

Vatican spokesman discusses value of silence CWN - October 17, 2011

In his weekly editorial, the director of the Holy See Press Office highlighted the value of silence, both for the new evangelization and for the fruitful reception of the word of God. “Silence...

Congo’s bishops call for peaceful elections CWN - October 17, 2011

As the Democratic Republic of the Congo--the site of the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II--prepares for November 28 elections, the nations’ bishops are calling for calm. “The bishops...

‘Big Porn, Inc.’ CWN - October 17, 2011

In a recent interview, Australian pro-life feminist Melinda Tankard Reist discussed the findings in her new book, Big Porn Inc. “The internet has been a massive boon for the porn industry,...

Canadian bishops urge Egyptian government to respect Christians’ rights CWN - October 17, 2011

Archbishop Brendan O’Brien of Kingston (Ontario), chairman of the Canadian bishops’ human rights committee, has called upon the Egyptian government to “undertake all necessary measures to ensure...

Pope challenges Christians in marketplace: find economic logic beyond profit CWN - October 17, 2011

The enormous social and economic changes of the past 120 years have not changed the “inner richness” of Rerum Novarum, the ground-breaking social encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Pope Benedict XVI said...

Pope Benedict uses rolling platform to save energy at Vatican liturgy CWN - October 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI was pulled down the aisle of St. Peter’s basilica on a rolling platform before he celebrated Mass on Sunday, October 16. The platform—the same device that was used by Pope John...

Australian Anglican primate sees 'two sides to the story' in Hepworth accusations CWN - October 17, 2011

Australia’s Anglican primate has lent his support to the Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who faces criticism for his handling of sex-abuse allegations brought forward by the head of...

Pope Benedict proclaims a 'Year of Faith' CWN - October 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special “Year of Faith,” dedicated to rousing a “new impetus to the mission of the whole Church to lead men out of the desert in which they often find themselves,...

Vatican: no comment on indictment of Bishop Finn CWN - October 17, 2011

The Vatican has “no intention” of becoming involved in the case of Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn, who has been indicted for his alleged failure to report a priest’s possession of child...

'New Evangelization' is natural outgrowth of Church mission, Pope says CWN - October 17, 2011

At his midday public audience on Sunday, October 16, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the importance of the “new evangelization,” especially during the coming Year of Faith. The Holy Father told the...

Mongolian president meets with Pontiff CWN - October 17, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on October 17 with President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj of Mongolia. The brief conversation between the Pope and the visiting Asian leader revolved around the “good relations...

Anti-Catholic politics behind Obama decision to cut funds for bishops' program? CWN - October 17, 2011

A decision by the Obama administration to terminate federal funding for a program run by the US bishops’ conference seems to reflect “abortion politics,” Church officials observe. The Department...

Vatican police block backers of women's ordination CWN - October 17, 2011

Vatican police detained a small group of demonstrators calling for the ordination of women in St. Peter’s Square, turning the group away from the Vatican basilica on October 17. The protest was...

Food should not be subject to speculation for profit, Pope says CWN - October 17, 2011

In a message for World Food Day, Pope Benedict XVI calls particular attention to the famine in the Horn of Africa, and renews his call for policies that will ensure "that every person--today, and...

Vatican condemns demonstrators' vandalism of church in Rome CWN - October 17, 2011

The Vatican issued a statement denouncing the mob violence that broke out in Rome over the weekend, and especially the acts of vandalism at a Catholic church. Father Federico Lombardi, the...

Scottish man sentenced to prison for anti-Catholic 'hate crime' CWN - October 17, 2011

A Scottish man has been sentenced to an 8-month prison term for sending out anti-Catholic messages over the internet. As part of a campaign to eliminate sectarian animosities from the internet, a...

Founder of breakaway Immaculate Heart Community dead at 95 CWN - October 17, 2011

The founder of the Immaculate Heart Community, a women's religious order that formally broke away from Rome in the 1960s, has died at the age of 95. Anita Caspary, whose public disputes with...

Irish iPhone 'app' promotes priestly vocations CWN - October 17, 2011

An Irish bishop has introduced a new iPhone application designed to encourage vocations to the priesthood. Bishop Donal McKeown, an auxiliary of the Down and Connnor diocese, presided at the...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 18

Coptic Catholic patriarch mourns demonstrators, expresses confidence in regime CWN - October 18, 2011

The head of the Coptic Catholic Church has paid tribute to the dozens of Coptic Christians recently slain by security forces during a peaceful protest. “With wounded hearts, we…express our deep...

Vatican Radio pays tribute to ‘devout Catholic’ Cherie Blair CWN - October 18, 2011

In an interview devoted largely to Cherie Blair’s charitable works, Vatican Radio characterized the wife of the former British prime minister as a “devout Catholic” and neglected to refer to her...

Justice Dept.: school should have permitted teacher to make Mecca pilgrimage CWN - October 18, 2011

The United States Department of Justice has announced that a suburban Chicago school district must pay $75,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by a Muslim teacher. On September...

Evangelizing Aborigines at heart of mission: Australian prelate CWN - October 18, 2011

“The heart of the Church’s mission in Australia” is the proclamation of the Gospel to aboriginal peoples, according to an Australian prelate. “We need a new evangelization and new vitality and...

Archbishop Dolan welcomes Obama’s remarks on Egypt’s Christians CWN - October 18, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York has praised President Barack Obama for expressing concern about the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt. “Thank you for your recent expression of concern...

US bishops’ conference releases new CCHD video CWN - October 18, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the release of a new video to promote the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the controversial anti-poverty program....

Newspaper scrutinizes financial affairs of Priests for Life CWN - October 18, 2011

An Amarillo, Texas newspaper account raises questions about the financial affairs of Priests for Life. The story in the Amarillo Globe-News carries a somewhat misleading headline, insofar as it...

Pro-life news agency barred from Canadian bishops' meeting CWN - October 18, 2011

A reporter for the LifeSite News service was barred from attending a meeting of the Canadian bishops’ conference, in apparent retaliation for the outlet’s critical treatment of an anti-poverty...

A new hearing for distributists? CWN - October 18, 2011

Distributism--an economic theory promoted by Catholic thinkers like Chesterton and Belloc in the early 20th century--is enjoying a new hearing, thanks to the British Anglican theologian Phillip...

Susan Sarandon rapped for calling Pope Benedict a Nazi CWN - October 18, 2011

Actress Susan Sarandon has come under heavy criticism for referring to Pope Benedict XVI as a Nazi. Her public statement was denounced by both the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and...

Unorthodox Australian priest resisting retirement CWN - October 18, 2011

A controversial Australian priest has apparently stepped up the pressure to remain in active ministry, two years after he promised to resign. Father Bob Maguire--a popular priest of the Melbourne...

Illinois lawmaker pushes legislation to restore Catholic Charities adoption services CWN - October 18, 2011

An Illinois state legislator has introduced legislation that would allow Catholic Charities to continue provide adoption services, despite a court ruling that the state government properly withdrew...

Australian bishops speak with Vatican officials about colleague's removal CWN - October 18, 2011

During their ad limina visits to Rome this month, the Catholic bishops of Australia spoke with Vatican officials about the removal of Bishop William Morris from the Toowoomba diocese. Bishop...

No inter-religious prayer at Assisi peace pilgrimage CWN - October 18, 2011

More than 200 representatives of various religious faiths, from 50 different countries, will participate in the pilgrimage for peace at Assisi on October 27. However, there will be no...

Reforms coming for Regnum Christi CWN - October 18, 2011

The Vatican is planning a thorough reform of Regnum Christi, the lay arm of the Legion of Christ. Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, who is acting as the Pope’s delegate in supervising reform within the...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 19

Senate may kill US religious freedom commission CWN - October 19, 2011

The existence of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom--a non-partisan body that documents religious-freedom violations around the world--is at risk. “USCIRF’s mandate...

Sharia imminent in Sudan CWN - October 19, 2011

The president of overwhelmingly Muslim Sudan has announced that the nation will soon adopt sharia law. “98% of the people are Muslims, and the new constitution will reflect this,” said President...

US bishops may add Blessed John Paul II feast day to liturgical calendar CWN - October 19, 2011

At their November 16-18 meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will decide whether to add the memorials of Blessed Marianne Cope (January 23) and Blessed John Paul II (October 22)...

Mexican cardinal urges action against corruption CWN - October 19, 2011

A leading Mexican prelate has expressed support for a local governor’s anti-corruption plan. “I think it is a necessity, a matter of urgency, it is important to fight corruption,” said Cardinal...

Guatemala: archbishop announces march for peace CWN - October 19, 2011

Guatemala’s leading prelate has announced that a march for peace will take place on October 22, the liturgical memorial of Blessed John Paul II. Some 40,000 people are expected to take...

Priests for Life tax returns show heavy management, fundraising costs CWN - October 19, 2011

Priests for Life spent less than 63% of its revenues between 2006 and 2008 on its programs, according to a CWN analysis of tax returns available from the group. Between 2006 and 2008, Priests for...

Pope reflects on the Psalm sung at the Last Supper CWN - October 19, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI continued his “School of Prayer” at his weekly public audience on October 19, with a commentary on Psalm 136, stressing the unchanging power of God’s love and the healthy human...

Leader of Courage speaks on challenge of homosexuality for Catholics CWN - October 19, 2011

At a conference organized by Courage, the ministry for faithful Catholics struggling to live the virtue of chastity despite a same-sex attraction, Matthew Rarey of the National Catholic Register...

Migrants need help of 'new evangelization' to counter secularizing trend, Pope writes CWN - October 19, 2011

The Vatican has released the message of Pope Benedict XVI for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2012, entitled “Migrations and the New Evangelization.” The World Day of Migrants and...

Pope dedicates Australian pilgrimage center in Rome CWN - October 19, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI traveled across Rome on October 19 to participate in ceremonies dedicating a new house of pilgrimage for Australians. The "Domus Australia," which will be open to all guests but...

New apostolic nuncio to the US CWN - October 19, 2011

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a veteran Vatican diplomat, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI as apostolic nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Vigano, who had been the secretary of the...

European court bars patents on human embryos CWN - October 19, 2011

The European Court of Justice has ruled that patents cannot be granted for medical research that involves the destruction of human embryos. The unanimous decision in the case of Oliver Brüstle v....

Cardinal Zen fears government takeover of Hong Kong's Catholic schools CWN - October 19, 2011

Cardinal Joseph Zen has embarked on a 3-day fast to protest legislation that he sees as a bid by the Chinese government to seize control of Catholic schools in Hong Kong. Reacting to a court...

Released Thursday, Oct. 20

Angola: bishop speaks of witchcraft’s challenge CWN - October 20, 2011

An Angolan bishop has told the Fides news agency that witchcraft is one of the major challenges he faces in his ministry. “Among our pastoral challenges there is the material and spiritual...

Archbishop Nienstedt calls for marriage-amendment committee in every parish CWN - October 20, 2011

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis has asked every pastor in the archdiocese to form a committee to garner support for the state marriage amendment that will appear on the ballot...

Muslims free to convert in part of Indonesia CWN - October 20, 2011

On the overwhelmingly Catholic island of Flores--an island of 1.8 million that forms part of Indonesia--Muslims are free to convert, according to a bishop who ministers there. “In Flores, the...

Archbishop Dolan welcomes appointment of new nuncio CWN - October 20, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has welcomed the appointment of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò as apostolic nuncio to the United...

Canadian bishops elect new president CWN - October 20, 2011

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has announced that Archbishop Richard Smith has been elected as the new CCCB president. Pope Benedict appointed him Archbishop of Edmonton in...

‘10 policies for renewing family life’ CWN - October 20, 2011

The authors of The Sustainable Demographic Dividend-- a recently published report that found there are over 60 million fewer children in the developed world today than there were in 1965--suggest...

Pope praises new English translation of the Mass CWN - October 20, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI said that the new English-language translation of the Mass could “enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God,” during an October 20 meeting with visiting bishops from...

Vatican message to Hindus stresses religious freedom CWN - October 20, 2011

An annual Vatican message to the world’s Hindus emphasizes the importance of religious freedom—perhaps reflecting concern in Rome about the continued violence against the Christian minority in...

Bishop Finn ignores calls for resignation CWN - October 20, 2011

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City has brushed aside calls for his resignation, saying that he will continue to fulfill his pastoral duties while defending himself against a misdemeanor indictment...

LA Times profiles biotech firm in research partnership with Vatican CWN - October 20, 2011

The Los Angeles Times profiles NeoStem, the California biotech-research company that has entered into a business partnership with the Vatican in its exploration of stem cells taken from adult...

Former Zenit publisher clarifies Legionary role CWN - October 20, 2011

Father Thomas Williams, the former publisher for the Zenit news agency, clarifies relations between Zenit and the Legion of Christ in an interview with the Catholic News Agency. Father Williams,...

Hungarian cardinal named to investigate Peruvian Catholic university CWN - October 20, 2011

Cardinal Peter Erdo of Budapest, Hungary, has been named by the Vatican to conduct an apostolic visitation of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. The status of the university as a...

Cardinal Zen answers rumors on major-donor ties CWN - October 20, 2011

Cardinal Joseph Zen has vigorously defended himself against media reports that he received large sums of money from a powerful Hong Kong business leader. Cardinal Zen acknowledged that he has...

Released Friday, Oct. 21

Burma: soldiers shoot at worshippers during Mass, burn churches CWN - October 21, 2011

Military forces in Myanmar (Burma) disrupted Mass in Namsan-yang, a village of Kachin State on October 16, shooting at worshippers, beating one, and detaining five for forced labor. After releasing...

European rabbis urge Pope to suspend SSPX talks following Williamson remarks CWN - October 21, 2011

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis has called upon Pope Benedict XVI to suspend talks aimed at restoring full communion between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Holy...

UK: bishops lament poor care for elderly in nursing homes CWN - October 21, 2011

Following the publication of a UK government report that found that 14% of nursing home fail to give their patients adequate food and water, the bishops of England and Wales called for “a culture of...

Cairo eyewitness account: ‘we’ll kill any Christian we get our hands on’ CWN - October 21, 2011

A former Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal recounts what she saw on October 9, the day Egyptian police opened fire on Coptic Christian protestors. Yasmine El Rashidi recounts:...

Background: World Mission Sunday CWN - October 21, 2011

On October 23, the Church around the world will commemorate World Mission Sunday. The theme of Pope Benedict’s message for the day is “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn....

Demographer: world population may decline in 100 years CWN - October 21, 2011

A professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield writes that “in a century there may well be fewer people in the world than there are today.” While the United Nations Population...

Australian bishops declare a Year of Grace CWN - October 21, 2011

The Catholic bishops of Australia have proclaimed a Year of Grace for the Church in that country, to begin on Pentecost 2012. Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, the president of the Australian...

Vatican hopes for peace in Libya after Qaddafi's death CWN - October 21, 2011

Reacting to the death of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the Holy See has asked “that the Libyan people might be spared further violence due to a spirit of revenge,” and confirming relations with the...

Vatican paper analyzes protests against financial system CWN - October 21, 2011

The "Occupy Wall Street" protest, and similar demonstrations that have occurred in cities around the Western world, reflect the fears and frustrations of young people, suggests an analysis in...

Catholic colleges on defensive against contraceptive ideology CWN - October 21, 2011

Patrick J. Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, writes in the Washington Times about the drive by proponents of abortion and contraception--fully supported by the Obama...

Pope lays out basis for Vatican foreign policy CWN - October 21, 2011

In an October 21 meeting with a new ambassador from the Netherlands to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Vatican’s foreign policy is conducted neither on confessional nor on pragmatic...

Convicted killer wrote to archbishop before execution CWN - October 21, 2011

Shortly before his execution, a convicted killer in Florida wrote to Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, thanking the prelate for his efforts to halt the execution. The letter from Manuel Valle...

Coptic leader discourages international probe of anti-Christian violence in Egypt CWN - October 21, 2011

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt has discouraged calls for an international probe into the massacre of Christians in Cairo. Pope Shenouda III said that intervention by outside...

Released Monday, Oct. 24

Sharia to be basis of Libyan law; men to be permitted 4 wives CWN - October 24, 2011

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the leader of Libya’s transitional government, has announced that sharia will be the “basic source” of law in post-Qadaffi Libya. “We are an Islamic country,” Abdul-Jalil...

Prelate optimistic about Tunisian democracy CWN - October 24, 2011

Tunisia’s sole bishop has expressed optimism about the nation’s first free elections since it became independent from France in 1956. The nation was ruled by two strongmen -- Habib Bourguiba and...

Vatican spokesman: Catechism a work of ‘truly remarkable courage’ CWN - October 24, 2011

Devoting his weekly commentary to the upcoming Year of Faith, the director of the Holy See Press Office emphasized the Pope’s role in guiding the application of the Second Vatican Council. “The...

Caritas appeals for Central America, Pakistan following floods CWN - October 24, 2011

Caritas Internationalis, the confederation of Catholic relief and development agencies, has issued appeals on behalf of victims of flooding in Central America and Pakistan. 130,000 have been...

India: Catholic schools vandalized CWN - October 24, 2011

Two Catholic schools have been vandalized in Mangalore, a port city in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. The vandals threw stones, bottles, and bricks at St Theresa’s School and broke...

Los Angeles: archdiocese’s gay, lesbian ministry celebrates 25 years CWN - October 24, 2011

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Ministry with Gay & Lesbian Catholics commemorated its 25th anniversary with a special Mass on October 22. “I feel that the Church might actually be going through...

Pope reflects on role of Christians in military CWN - October 24, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on October 22 with the participants in a conference for military chaplains, and encouraged them "to foster appropriate and well organized pastoral care" for military forces and...

Papal praise for Bruckner's music, born of faith CWN - October 24, 2011

At a Vatican concert on October 22, the Bavarian State Opera orchestra played Anton Bruckner’s 9th Symphony, under the direction of Kent Nagao. The concert also included Bruckner’s Te Deum. At...

CCHD declares former grant recipient ineligible because of condom-distribution program CWN - October 24, 2011

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program sponsored by the US bishops’ conference, will no longer support a New York group after pro-life activists demonstrated...

Pope names officers for 2012 Synod on New Evangelization CWN - October 24, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has named the officers for the 13th general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will convene in October 2012 to discuss the New Evangelization. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of...

Pope canonizes three new saints CWN - October 24, 2011

Three new saints were canonized on October 23: St. Guido Maria Conforti (1865- 1931), an Italian archbishop; St. Luigi Guanella (1842- 1915), an Italian priest; and St. Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro...

Pope Benedict notes first feast of Blessed John Paul II, looks forward to Assisi CWN - October 24, 2011

During his midday audience on Sunday, October 23, Pope Benedict XVI reminded the crowd in St. Peter’s Square that the previous day had marked the first celebration of the feast day of Blessed John...

Rome: Masses for reparation after demonstrators desecrate statue CWN - October 24, 2011

Two Masses of reparation were celebrated in Rome this past weekend, in response to the desecration of a statue of the Virgin Mary and other religious symbols during the recent riots in...

Former British MP: Why don't Christians qualify for foreign-policy protection? CWN - October 24, 2011

A prominent British Catholic politician has rapped the country's foreign-policy establishment for failing to advance the religious liberty of Christians. “David Cameron’s government have...

Vatican issues call for world financial authority [News/Analysis] CWN - October 24, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for the creation of a worldwide financial authority to help create “a free, stable world economic and financial system at the service of the...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 25

Philippines: 20,000 march on behalf of slain missionary; army involved in killing? CWN - October 25, 2011

More than 20,000 people took to the streets in three Philippine cities on October 24 to demand a thorough investigation into the recent murder of Father Fausto Tentorio, an Italian...

Islamists claim victory in Tunisia CWN - October 25, 2011

The Renaissance Party (Ennahda) -- Tunisia’s major Islamic party -- has claimed victory in the nation’s first democratic election since its 1956 independence from France. The party supported Iran’s...

Putin welcomes precious Marian relic to Russia CWN - October 25, 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin joined with Russian Orthodox clergy in welcoming the Holy Belt of the Theotokos to St. Petersburg. The relic will be venerated in different Russian cities over the next...

Guatemala: prelate leads thousands in march, Mass for peace CWN - October 25, 2011

Guatemala’s leading prelate led over 20,000 people in a march for peace on October 22, the liturgical memorial of Blessed John Paul II. An estimated 17 people are killed in Guatemala every...

Indonesian bishops’ official: priests should steer clear of politics CWN - October 25, 2011

An official of the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference is emphasizing that politics is the realm of the laity, not of the clergy. “Lay people should not get bishops or priests into practical...

Muslim nations in demographic free fall, claims author CWN - October 25, 2011

Asia Times writer David Goldman believes that Muslim nations, like Western nations, are experiencing a birth dearth. “The average young Tunisian woman -- like her Iranian or Turkish counterpart --...

Ousted Australian bishop rips colleagues' support for Vatican decision CWN - October 25, 2011

Bishop William Morris, who was removed in May from his post as head of Australia’s Toowoomba diocese, has released a statement insisting that he did not resign. Bishop Morris reacted angrily to a...

Help migrants preserve the faith, Pope urges CWN - October 25, 2011

At a press conference in Rome on October 25, the Pontifical Council for Migrants introduced Pope Benedict’s message for the 2012 World Day of Migrants. The papal message is entitled “Migrations and...

Spanish Catholic hospital reportedly continues scheduling abortions CWN - October 25, 2011

A Catholic hospital in Barcelona, Spain, has continued to perform abortions, despite orders from Cardinal Luis Martinez Sistach, the LifeSite News service reports. A Barcelona priest reports that...

Vatican's economic analysis seen half-right, half-wrong CWN - October 25, 2011

Writing for Crisis magazine, Jeffrey Tucker argues that the new Vatican document on the world's financial system was accurate in its diagnosis of a fundamental problem: the unfettered growth of...

Vatican orders inquiry into reported abuse at English Benedictine schools CWN - October 25, 2011

The Vatican has ordered an investigation of the schools run by the Benedictines of Ealing Abbey. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called for the inquiry because of reports of sexual...

New survey finds US Catholics distant from Church teachings, sacraments CWN - October 25, 2011

A new survey of American Catholics finds that most are comfortable with their faith, but not with the teachings of the Church. An overwhelming 86% of those surveyed said that “you can disagree...

Maronite Patriarch warns of 'Arab Winter' CWN - October 25, 2011

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai fears that the current wave of unrest in the Middle East could cause new difficulties for the Christian minority in the region. Pointing to the example of...

Contraceptive policies have failed, analyst notes CWN - October 25, 2011

After years of public advocacy for contraceptives, the rate of unplanned pregnancies continues to rise in the Western world, notes Tom O’Gorman for Ireland’s Iona Institute. The continued calls for...

Ukrainian Catholics, Orthodox will join in delivering Vatican Christmas tree CWN - October 25, 2011

In a noteworthy ecumenical gesture, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will join with their Catholic counterparts in delivering a Christmas tree to the Vatican. Each year, the giant...

Why Malthus was wrong about population growth CWN - October 25, 2011

Sometime within the next week, the world's population will hit the 7-billion mark. Many commentators find that prospect frightening. William McGurn, writing for the Wall Street Journal, argues that...

Chinese bishop punished for refusing to join in illicit episcopal ordination CWN - October 25, 2011

A Chinese Catholic bishop has been disciplined for his refusal to participate in the July 14 ordination of a new bishop—a ceremony for which the Vatican had not given its approval. Bishop Paul...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 26

Assisi pilgrimage preview CWN - October 26, 2011

As his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for the success of the inter-religious pilgrimage to Assisi that will take place on October 27. Using the...

At expanded weekly audience, Pope speaks of Christ's Kingdom of peace CWN - October 26, 2011

The Kingdom of God is a realm of peace, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly audience on October 26. The papal audience took an unusual format, incorporating a prayerful reading of the Scriptures as...

Papal prayers for Turkish earthquake victims CWN - October 26, 2011

At the conclusion of his public audience on October 26, Pope Benedict XVI issued an appeal for help for the victims of an earthquake in Turkey. “I invite you to join me in prayer for the people...

Scottish bishops warn government on same-sex marriage CWN - October 26, 2011

Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley has met with Scottish government leaders to explain the concerns of the Catholic Church about a proposal to approve same-sex marriage. Church leaders in...

Israeli prelate challenges Catholics to visit, support Christians in Holy Land CWN - October 26, 2011

A Melkite Catholic archbishop has urged Canadian Catholics to visit the Holy Land and show their support for Christians there. Speaking to an audience in Ontario, Archbishop Elias Chacour of...

Exodus of Legionaries continues; reforms seen uncertain CWN - October 26, 2011

The ranks of the Legionaries of Christ have been severely thinned by the scandal within the order, and members continue to leave as they see diminishing hope for a thorough reform, an AP story...

Policy focus should be on family, Irish primate argues CWN - October 26, 2011

Government policies should always support marriage and family, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told an audience at the Iona Institute. “The state cannot but be a supporter of that love and...

Pakistani advocate says public focus harms cause for Asia Bibi CWN - October 26, 2011

A leading public advocate for Christians in Pakistan has asked for a blackout on news coverage of the controversy surrounding Asia Bibi, the Christian woman who faces the death penalty on blasphemy...

Egyptian government does not respond to Coptic pleas CWN - October 26, 2011

Coptic Christian leaders have been unable to persuade Egyptian government leaders to strengthen protection for the country’s Christian minority. Coptic Pope Shenouda III has met with military...

Filipino guest worker faces Saudi blasphemy charges CWN - October 26, 2011

A Filipino guest worker has been arrested on blasphemy charges in Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old man was taken into custody after a supervisor at his workplace reported that the Filipino Catholic...

Heavy rain complicates relief effort in famine-stricken Somalia CWN - October 26, 2011

After a long drought, the belated arrival of rain in Somalia is only complicating efforts to save 4 million people from starvation, the Caritas relief agency reports. Although the rain itself is...

Abortion advocates in North Carolina take aim at crisis-pregnancy centers CWN - October 26, 2011

Abortion advocates in North Carolina have complained that pregnancy-help centers give misleading information to women about abortion alternatives. The report from the NARAL Pro-Choice North...

Milwaukee archdiocese discloses shortage in pension funds CWN - October 26, 2011

In bankruptcy-court filings, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has disclosed that its pension funds for priests and lay employees are underfunded. Archdiocesan officials said that the shortage of...

2.7-ton bell stolen from San Francisco cathedral CWN - October 26, 2011

A massive bell—viewed as a historic artifact because it had survived earthquake and fire for over a century--has been stolen from St. Mary’s cathedral in San Francisco. The 5,330-pound bell had...

Support, criticism for Bishop Finn CWN - October 26, 2011

The leader of a neighboring archdiocese has come to the defense of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, while a former member of the US bishops’ National Review board has suggested that other American...

Released Thursday, Oct. 27

Assisi III: Terrorism is 'antithesis of religion,' Pope says CWN - October 27, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI led hundreds of participants in an inter-religious pilgrimage for peace on October 27, marking the 25th anniversary of the first such event organized by Blessed John Paul II. In...

Islamic rule coming in Tunisia? CWN - October 27, 2011

Elections in Tunisia have resulted in a resounding victory for the nation's leading Islamic party. Robert Reilly surveys the latest result of the "Arab Spring" uprisings, and weighs the prospects...

Catholic University of America charged with bias against Muslim students CWN - October 27, 2011

A local activist has lodged a complaint against the Catholic University of America, claiming that Muslim students are the victims of illegal discrimination because the school does not set aside...

US envoy joins in Assisi pilgrimage CWN - October 27, 2011

The Obama administration sent the US ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, to participate in the October 27 pilgrimage for peace in Assisi. “We have found where nations...

Cardinal Pell raps arrogance of climate-change crusade CWN - October 27, 2011

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has warned that the crusade to stop global warming will extract a heavy price, imposing costs especially on those who are most vulnerable. Speaking in...

Bishop warns Congress: religious freedom eroding CWN - October 27, 2011

The American Catholic bishops are gravely troubled by assaults of religious liberty, a spokesman for the US bishops’ conference has told a Congressional committee. Speaking on October 26 to a...

New immigrants, guest workers alter face of Church in Holy Land CWN - October 27, 2011

While many Arab Christians leave Israel each year, the ranks of Catholics in the Holy Land are being filled by new immigrants. Guest workers from the Philippines and India, along with refugees from...

Australian priest may win another stay of retirement CWN - October 27, 2011

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, has hinted that he might be prepared to extend the pastoral assignment of a controversial priest who has resisted retirement. Father Bob Maguire, a...

SSPX protests 'scandal' of Assisi pilgrimage CWN - October 27, 2011

Leaders of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) have asked members to offer prayers of reparation for the "great scandal" of the peace pilgrimage to Assisi organized by Pope Benedict...

Stolen San Francisco cathedral bell recovered CWN - October 27, 2011

The historic bell from San Francisco's Catholic cathedral, which was reported missing last Sunday, has been discovered intact near a salvage yard. Responding to a telephone tip, police found the...

Vatican 'global finance' document praised for analysis on sound money CWN - October 27, 2011

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Father Robert Sirico, the head of the Acton Institute, salutes the new document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace for its analysis of the...

Massachusetts town bars Rosary rally on public property CWN - October 27, 2011

Officials in a small Massachusetts town refused permission for residents to organize a Rosary vigil on the town common. Selectmen in Upton said that they declined a request from a local resident,...

Released Friday, Oct. 28

Assisi III: what other speakers said CWN - October 28, 2011

Several speakers joined Pope Benedict in addressing the hundreds of participants at the inter-religious pilgrimage for peace on October 27. “We have entered a century in which ideologies would...

Libya: prelate says sharia can be ‘positive contribution’ CWN - October 28, 2011

Reacting to the announcement by the leader of Libya’s transitional government that sharia will be the “basic source” of law in post-Qadaffi Libya, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli said that sharia can...

Cardinal Wuerl dedicates new seminary CWN - October 28, 2011

In response to an increasing number of priestly vocations, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington has dedicated a new seminary for college and pre-theology seminarians. “Just as Jesus on the cross...

Tunisian priest foresees moderate sharia, urges trust in new leadership CWN - October 28, 2011

The national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Tunisia is urging the nation’s tiny Christian minority to have confidence in the nation’s new leadership. The Renaissance Party...

India: federal government to investigate priest’s death CWN - October 28, 2011

India’s leading investigative agency--the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)--has announced that it will investigate the 2009 death of Father James Mukalel, a 39-year-old priest found dead on a...

USCCB: broadcasters should disclose religious programming CWN - October 28, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called upon the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to require broadcasters to disclose the amount of their religious...

Pope thanks Assisi participants for 'vivid expression' of work for peace CWN - October 28, 2011

On the day after leading an inter-religious pilgrimage to Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI received with participants in a private audience at the Vatican, thanking them for their involvement. Such an...

Marriage to Catholic no longer a bar to British royalty CWN - October 28, 2011

The nations of the British Commonwealth have agreed to alter the rules of royal succession, allowing for a monarch to marry a Roman Catholic. The new rules provide that the oldest child of the...

How 'sola scriptura' is at odds with the Bible message CWN - October 28, 2011

In an instructive essay that looks forward to the October 31 celebration of Reformation Day, Francis Beckwith—who became a leading Evangelical scholar before returning to his boyhood Catholic...

Peruvian Catholic university defies Vatican; showdown likely CWN - October 28, 2011

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru has refused to accept directions from an apostolic visitor, making it more likely that the Vatican will strip the institution of its official “Catholic”...

Bishops' committee repeats caution on Elizabeth Johnson book CWN - October 28, 2011

The US bishops’ conference has repeated its criticism of a book by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, saying that it is “seriously inadequate as a presentation of the Catholic understanding of God." The...

California diocese loses bid to purchase Crystal Cathedral CWN - October 28, 2011

The Diocese of Orange, California, has fallen short in a bid to purchase the Crystal Cathedral. The massive structure and surrounding campus in Garden Grove, California, established by the...

Legionaries begin payments to Maciel abuse victims CWN - October 28, 2011

The Legionaries of Christ have begun making financial payments to victims of sexual abuse by the order’s founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel. The payments of $20,000 or more to several...

Philadelphia abortion-clinic employees plead guilty to murder CWN - October 28, 2011

Two workers at a Philadelphia abortion clinic have entered guilty pleas on murder charges, in the first concrete results of a case involving multiple charges against an abortionist. The guilty...

Dissident Irish priests seek a 'groundswell' of support for radical change CWN - October 28, 2011

Leaders of the dissident Association of Catholic Priests are hoping to "stimulate a groundswell" of support for their program of radical change in the Church. The group, which claims the support of...

Released Monday, Oct. 31

Egypt: Christian student murdered for refusing to remove crucifix CWN - October 31, 2011

Ayman Nabil Labib, a 17-year-old Coptic Christian student, was murdered by Muslim classmates after refusing to remove a crucifix he was wearing, the Assyrian International News Agency is...

US bishops urge Senate to renew US religious freedom commission CWN - October 31, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging the Senate to reauthorize the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which will cease to exist on November 18 without...

Nun has refused to meet with doctrine committee, Cardinal Wuerl reveals CWN - October 31, 2011

The chairman of the US bishops’ doctrine committee has revealed that Sister Elizabeth Johnson has not responded to three invitations to discuss her book, Quest for the Living God. The nine bishops...

Ukrainian Church laments nation’s justice system CWN - October 31, 2011

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church--the largest of the 21 Eastern Catholic churches in communion with the Holy See--is decrying the Ukrainian prison system as “a repressive apparatus for revenge so...

Maryknoll marks 100th anniversary CWN - October 31, 2011

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers celebrated their 100th anniversary at an October 30 Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was the principal celebrant, and...

Fears of ‘unchecked Islamic persecution’ in Iraq CWN - October 31, 2011

A year after the massacre at the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad left 58 dead, an Assyrian news agency is expressing concern about the future of Iraq’s Christian community. “For Assyrians...

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