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Catholic World News

Stories for November 2011

Released Wednesday, Nov. 2

Mindanao: 12 unsolved murders of priests CWN - November 2, 2011

Thirteen priests have been killed on Mindanao--the second-largest island of the Philippines--since 1970, and a dozen of those murders remain unsolved. Bishop José Cabantan of Malaybalay links the...

Congressional hearing on health care law, conscience protection CWN - November 2, 2011

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has thanked Rep. Joseph Pitts for scheduling a November 2 hearing entitled...

Leading AIDS researcher defends Pope Benedict, criticizes condoms CWN - November 2, 2011

Edward Green, the former director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard School of Health, has again defended Pope Benedict’s 2009 remarks on AIDS and condoms. While traveling to...

USCCB, CRS: lobby on behalf of foreign aid for the poor CWN - November 2, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are again urging Catholics to lobby their senators on behalf of foreign aid for the...

Scholar probes links between Thomism, environmentalism CWN - November 2, 2011

In a newly published interview, Christopher Thompson explores the links between Thomism, respect for the created order, and agriculture. “For centuries the Church advanced a philosophy of...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to hagiographer Montonati CWN - November 2, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to Angelo Montonati on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. The Italian journalist, who has written nearly 50 biographies of saints, recounted: ...

No Vatican plan to use laicized priests in parish ministry CWN - November 2, 2011

The Vatican has no plans to allow laicized priests to engage in some forms of public ministry, a senior Church official has told the National Catholic Reporter. Responding to a statement by...

Pope encourages prayers for deceased and for G-20 meeting CWN - November 2, 2011

At his public audience on November 2, Pope Benedict XVI said that remembrance of the souls in Purgatory is a healthy reminder that the promise of redemption eases our fear of death. Speaking on...

Illinois bishops decry Catholic governor’s participation in pro-choice award CWN - November 2, 2011

The Catholic bishops of Illinois have decried the news that Governor Pat Quinn will participate in a Pro-Choice Leadership Award ceremony. In a public statement, the bishops said that Quinn’s...

SSPX decries rumored rejection of Vatican statement CWN - November 2, 2011

Moving to subdue rumors, the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has issued a reminder that any authoritative response to a Vatican offer must come from the group’s leadership. The SSPX...

Orange diocese moves to revive bid to purchase Crystal Cathedral CWN - November 2, 2011

The Diocese of Orange, California, is seeking to stop the sale of the Crystal Cathedral to Chapman University. The diocese, which had made a $53.6 million offer to purchase the property, is...

Pope speaks on vocation to holiness, prayers for deceased CWN - November 2, 2011

At a midday audience on November 1, the feast of All Saints, Pope Benedict XVI reminded the faithful that all Christians are called to holiness, and everyone has a vocation to become a...

Some Jews irked by claim of support for Pope Pius XII CWN - November 2, 2011

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity drew protests when he told an American audience that many Jewish people support the cause for the beatification of Pope Pius...

Theologian rips cardinal’s claim she avoided meeting CWN - November 2, 2011

Sister Elizabeth Johnson, whose book Quest for the Living God has drawn a cautionary note from the US bishops’ conference, has assailed Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington for claiming that she...

Filipino priest flees legal charges in US CWN - November 2, 2011

A priest of the Worcester, Massachusetts diocese has apparently fled the country after being charged with child pornography and with stealing from his parish. Father Lowe Dongor failed to appear...

Brazil needs healthy secularism, Pope tells envoy CWN - November 2, 2011

As he welcomed a new ambassador from Brazil to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI said that a healthy secularism “must not consider religion as a mere individual sentiment, relegated to the private...

Pope’s November prayer intentions [CORRECTED] CWN - November 2, 2011

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for November 2011. The Pope’s general intention is “That the Eastern Catholic churches and their venerable traditions may be...

Pastor and converts under detention in India’s Muslim-majority Kashmir CWN - November 2, 2011

The pastor of a Protestant church in India’s Muslim-majority Kashmir province is under virtual house arrest, and seven Muslim converts to Christianity are also in police detention, following...

Survey finds Irish public exaggerates incidence of abuse CWN - November 2, 2011

The Irish public has a grossly exaggerated impression of the scope of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, a new survey has discovered. The Iona Institute poll found that 70% of the Irish public...

Released Thursday, Nov. 3

US bishops urge Senate not to repeal Defense of Marriage Act CWN - November 3, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging the US Senate to reject the Respect for Marriage Act--a measure that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which became...

Newspaper: HHS leadership overruled staff in denying funding to bishops’ agency CWN - November 3, 2011

In declining to renew a grant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services to aid victims of human trafficking, the leadership of the US Department of Health...

Catholics for Choice leader rips conscience provisions for Catholic institutions CWN - November 3, 2011

At Rep. Joseph Pitts’s November 2 hearing--entitled “Do New Health Law Mandates Threaten Conscience Rights and Access to Care?”--Republicans and Democrats clashed over conscience rights. The...

USCCB staff member retracts column linking Satan to origins of homosexuality CWN - November 3, 2011

Daniel Avila, an attorney who serves as policy advisor for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has retracted a...

Wisconsin bishops issue statement on concealed weapons in churches CWN - November 3, 2011

Following the passage of a state concealed-weapons law, the bishops of Wisconsin have issued a statement discouraging Catholics from bringing weapons into churches. “Whatever an individual parish...

New film on famed pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela CWN - November 3, 2011

In an interview with Catholic World Report, actor Martin Sheen discusses The Way, a new film set on the famed Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James)--the pilgrimage route to Santiago de...

Ireland to close embassy at the Vatican CWN - November 3, 2011

The Irish government has announced plans to close its embassy to the Holy See. Foreign minister Eamon Gilmore said that the decision was motivated by economic concerns, rather than by a serious...

Illinois governor dismisses bishops' criticism on 'pro-choice' award CWN - November 3, 2011

Shrugging off criticism from the state’s Catholic bishops, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said that he was proud to present the Pro-Choice Leadership Award, saying that it was “the proper, Christian...

Christ alone offers hope of victory over death, Pope says at Mass for deceased prelates CWN - November 3, 2011

On November 3, Pope Benedict XVI presided at an annual Mass for the bishops who have died in the past year, and remarked in his homily that only in Christ does the world find hope for triumph over...

Journalist comments on Vatican’s PR woes CWN - November 3, 2011

Charles Lewis, religion columnist for the National Post, comments on the Vatican’s often clumsy handling of public relations, and notes that not everything coming out of the Vatican should be seen...

Journalists ignore Margaret Sanger's eugenic theories CWN - November 3, 2011

When American presidential candidate Herman Cain denounced the eugenicist theories of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, liberal journalists rose to Sanger’s defense, claiming that...

Salvadoran prelate: global warming is today’s most pressing problem CWN - November 3, 2011

Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador argues that global warming is the most serious problem facing humanity today. The Salvadoran prelate said that his country should take part in...

Released Friday, Nov. 4

Holy See responds to Ireland’s decision to close embassy CWN - November 4, 2011

The Holy See Press Office has issued a statement responding to Ireland’s decision to close its embassy at the Vatican. “The Holy See takes note of the decision of Ireland to close its Embassy to...

CDF official addresses international conference on child abuse CWN - November 4, 2011

Recognizing that children are a gift from God is “the true basis of prevention of child abuse,” the promoter of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said at an international...

Orthodox-Catholic statement on ‘Arab Spring,’ Middle East Christians CWN - November 4, 2011

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, which met recently to discuss the laity, parishes, and regional structures of authority, has issued a statement on the plight of Middle...

Texas bishop on immigration, violence, battle for the 11-year-old’s soul CWN - November 4, 2011

Speaking recently at the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville discussed the changing dynamics of immigration, the satanic roots of the culture of...

Contraceptive linked to memory loss CWN - November 4, 2011

Researchers at the Arizona State University have linked the hormone in Depo Provera to memory loss. The birth-control shot can act as an abortifacient as well as a contraceptive. “What we found...

USCCB: lobby deficit ‘super committee’ on behalf of programs for the poor CWN - November 4, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development is urging Catholics to “tell the Deficit “Super Committee” and your members of Congress that...

Pope backs work of national reconciliation commission in Ivory Coast CWN - November 4, 2011

Meeting on November 4 with a new ambassador from Ivory Coast to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI applauded the African nation’s efforts to achieve reconciliation after a bloody civil war. Voicing...

American Synod follow-up committee speaks on inter-religious dialogue CWN - November 4, 2011

The special council for the Synod of Bishops for America met in Rome last week, for discussions that centered on relations with other religions. A note released by the Synod of Bishops after the...

Pope Pius XII personally saved Jews from Holocaust, researcher believes CWN - November 4, 2011

An American Jewish researcher has uncovered evidence that Pope Pius XII went under cover on personal missions to save Jews from the Holocaust. Gary Krupp of the Pave the Way Foundation cites a...

New threats to peace in Ivory Coast CWN - November 4, 2011

A “climate of generalized insecurity” prevails in Ivory Coast, provoking worries of widespread new fighting there, Bishop Gaspard Beby Gneba of Man has informed the Fides news service. Violence...

Indian prelate complains of state’s indifference on anti-Christian violence CWN - November 4, 2011

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore has sent an angry protest to authorities in India’s Karnataka state after the vandalization of another Catholic church on November 2. Archbishop Moras wrote...

Columnist decries Irish government’s decision to close Vatican embassy CWN - November 4, 2011

Irish columnist David Quinn argues that the decision by his country’s government to close its embassy at the Holy See was “petty and immature.” The Irish government said that the embassy was...

Anglican prelate offers to drop sex-abuse complaint with Australian Catholic archdiocese CWN - November 4, 2011

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has offered to drop complaints of sexual abuse against Catholic clerics if the Adelaide archdiocese will help him to re-enter the Catholic Church. Archbishop...

Released Monday, Nov. 7

Publisher owned by German dioceses markets 2,500 erotic books CWN - November 7, 2011

Weltbild, a major German publishing house owned by the German bishops’ conference and various dioceses, has marketed some 2,500 erotic works. While Weltbild has denied that the works meet the legal...

Nigeria: gunmen attack parish, kill 2 women CWN - November 7, 2011

Gunmen attacked a Catholic parish in the north-central Nigerian state of Kaduna on November 3, killing two women and injuring a dozen. Protestors took to the street following the shooting and burned...

Archbishop Dolan: Jews, Catholics threatened by Islamist fanatics CWN - November 7, 2011

Addressing the Anti-Defamation League’s annual meeting, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York took stock of Jewish-Catholic relations and urged Jews and Catholics to work together to protect...

USCCB staff member who linked Satan, homosexuality’s origins resigns CWN - November 7, 2011

Following the publication of a column that linked Satan with the origins of same-sex attractions, Daniel Avila has resigned as policy advisor for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of...

Promiscuity declines among teenagers CWN - November 7, 2011

Today’s teenagers are less sexually active than those of a generation ago, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control. “From 1988 to 2006-2010, the percentage of...

Vatican spokesman welcomes ‘Baby 7 Billion’ CWN - November 7, 2011

In his weekly editorial, the director of the Holy See Press Office welcomed “Baby 7 Billion” into the world. “We want to tell you that you are unique and special, that you are a wonderful gift,...

Church must defend basic truths about man, Pope says CWN - November 7, 2011

Speaking on November 7 to a new ambassador from Germany to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI said that when the Church becomes involved in legislature affairs, the goal is “defending values which are...

Controversial Australian priest loses bid to postpone retirement again CWN - November 7, 2011

A controversial Australian priest has evidently lost his battle to obtain a second delay of his retirement from parish duty. Father Bob Maguire, who agreed in 2009 to step down in February 2012...

Australian Anglican prelate: no offer to drop abuse charge CWN - November 7, 2011

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has denied reports that he has offered to drop a sexual-abuse complaint against the Adelaide Catholic archdiocese. “I have withdrawn nothing,” said Archbishop...

Pope tells audience: Christians face death with hope CWN - November 7, 2011

Christians can face death with “invincible hope,” Pope Benedict XVI told a public audience on November 6. The ability to “live and die in hope” marks a dramatic difference between Christians and...

Austrian dissidents escalate conflict, challenge hierarchy CWN - November 7, 2011

Dissident Catholics in Austria have announced their intention to conduct liturgical ceremonies in which lay people act as priests, preaching and simulating the celebration of Mass. "Church law...

End religious violence in Nigeria, Pope pleads CWN - November 7, 2011

At the conclusion of his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 6, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his grief over the latest religious violence in Nigeria, and promised his prayers for the victims and...

Priesthood means service, Pope reminds students CWN - November 7, 2011

“To be a priest means to serve,” Pope Benedict XVI reminded students at the pontifical universities at a Mass on November 5. Presiding at the Vespers service that formally opened the academic...

Cardinal George backs off criticism of Illinois governor CWN - November 7, 2011

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has expressed misgivings about a statement in which he and the other Catholic bishops of Illinois criticized Governor Pat Quinn for participating in a Pro-Choice...

Mississippi governor backs 'personhood' drive; Catholic bishops stay neutral CWN - November 7, 2011

Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi has endorsed a “personhood” initiative, which would amend the state’s constitution to specify that human life begins at conception. In a heated contest...

Deceased Jesuit was computer pioneer, made the web possible CWN - November 7, 2011

Father Robert Busa, SJ, died in August, just short of his 98th birthday. Vatican Insider profiles the priest whose research in computer language paved the way for the arrival of word processing,...

Italian archbishop survives shooting attempt CWN - November 7, 2011

Archbishop Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Italy, survived an apparent assassination attempt on November 5. An unidentified man confronted the archbishop outside his office, shot and wounded the...

Hanoi archdiocese protests police raid on parish CWN - November 7, 2011

The Hanoi archdiocese has issued a protest against a violent police assault on a Redemptorist monastery and the associated parish. Hundreds of police officers and soldiers rushed into the...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 8

US bishops’ conference strongly criticizes CCHD critics CWN - November 8, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is offering unusually strong and public criticism of critics of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the USCCB’s controversial...

Islamic extremism on the rise, warns leading Pakistani bishop CWN - November 8, 2011

A year after the Christian woman Asia Bibi was sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, the president of Pakistan’s Episcopal Conference is warning that Islamic extremism in on the rise. “A year...

Sudanese bishops lament continued violence CWN - November 8, 2011

Meeting in common assembly, the bishops of two nations--newly independent South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan, which is largely Muslim--called upon the African Union to address the violence that...

Iran pressures jailed pastor to revert to Islam CWN - November 8, 2011

Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Protestant pastor sentenced to death for converting from Islam, is being pressured by prison authorities to revert to Islam, according to media reports. At a recent...

Bishop links protection of unborn, environment CWN - November 8, 2011

Addressing an interfaith conference on air pollution, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development linked respect for the life of the unborn with concern for...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to architect Portoghesi CWN - November 8, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to architect and scholar Paolo Portoghesi on his eightieth birthday. “Like many authentic artists, Portoghesi has never ceased fighting for his ideas, which...

Melkite bishop plans to ordain married men to priesthood in the US CWN - November 8, 2011

A Melkite Catholic bishop has announced plans to begin ordaining married men to the priesthood in the US, bringing an end to a longstanding agreement. Bishop Nicholas Samra, who was installed in...

Vatican newspaper sees Tintin as a Catholic hero CWN - November 8, 2011

L’Osservatore Romano has given a nod of approval to the new Steven Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin. Tintin, the comic-book detective, is “a knight without a stain,” the Vatican...

Franco resisted bid by Pope Paul VI to end Spanish government's role in nominating bishops CWN - November 8, 2011

Pope Paul VI tried to persuade General Francisco Franco to renounce the Spanish government’s privilege of nominating Catholic bishops, the Vatican newspaper reports. The Pontiff was unable to sway...

Vatican prelate decries liturgical abuses CWN - November 8, 2011

The retired prefect of the Congregation for Clergy denounced liturgical abuses as he presided at a Mass in St. Peter’s basilica for participants in a conference organized by the Una Voce Federation,...

British court: diocese can be held responsible for priest's abuse CWN - November 8, 2011

A British court has ruled that a Catholic diocese can be held responsible for the actions of priests, clearing the way for a sex-abuse victim to seek legal compensation from the diocese. The...

Irish politicians spar over motives for closing Vatican embassy CWN - November 8, 2011

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has heatedly denied the charge that his government is closing the Irish embassy at the Vatican for political reasons. Kenny insisted that the decision to close...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 9

Christians flee one of Nigeria’s state capitals CWN - November 9, 2011

Following attacks that left more than 100 dead, nearly all Christians have fled Damaturu, the capital of one of Nigeria’s 36 states. The Islamist organization Boko Haram (“Western education is a...

Egypt: ‘whitewash’ of army role in shooting of Coptic Christians CWN - November 9, 2011

Weeks before Egypt’s November 28 presidential election, the government-linked National Council for Human Rights has ruled that the military did not fire on Coptic Christian protestors in...

Burma: soldiers shoot at worshippers in church; pastor tortured CWN - November 9, 2011

Three weeks after military forces in Myanmar (Burma) disrupted Mass in a Kachin State village, shooting at worshippers and burning down the church, soldiers have attacked a Protestant church in the...

Mississippi voters reject personhood amendment CWN - November 9, 2011

By a 58%-42% margin, Mississippi voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have defined person to include “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the...

Vatican conference on adult stem-cell research CWN - November 9, 2011

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Stem for Life Foundation are hosting a three-day conference devoted to adult stem-cell research. Adult stem-cell research avoids “the ethical dilemma...

USCCB files freedom-of-information request over HHS grant denial CWN - November 9, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to discover why the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to renew a grant to...

Pope explains intricacies of Psalm 119 CWN - November 9, 2011

Pope Benedict devoted his November 9 public audience to a discussion of Psalm 119, the longest of the psalms. The central theme of the psalm is a meditation on the law of God, the Pope told his...

British Benedictines to surrender control of school after sex-abuse inquiry CWN - November 9, 2011

A Benedictine abbey will relinquish control of a noted school in London, as the result of an investigation into a history of sexual abuse there. Alex Carlile, who led an independent investigation...

Irish foreign minister: Pope not invited for 2012 visit CWN - November 9, 2011

A papal visit to Ireland in 2012 now seems unlikely, in light of a public statement by the country’s foreign minister that the government does not plan to extend an invitation to the...

Swiss study finds aging priesthood CWN - November 9, 2011

The average age of Swiss Catholic priests is over 65, and that number is still rising, a new study has found. Father Ettore Mainati, a theologian at the University of Lugano, tells Vatican...

Hindu leader suggests death penalty for conversion CWN - November 9, 2011

A prominent Hindu nationalist leader has called for the beheading of anyone who attempts to convert Hindus to another religion. Praveen Togadia, suggested the death penalty for religious...

Republicans are more active churchgoers, Gallup poll finds CWN - November 9, 2011

Republican voters are more likely than the general American population to attend church services regularly, according to a new Gallup Poll survey. Most Democrats, on the other hand, rarely or never...

Bandits prey on church institutions in Ivory Coast CWN - November 9, 2011

"In two and a half months, about 40 churches and religious men and women’s houses all over Abidjan have been attacked by armed bandits,” a spokesman for the Abidjan archdiocese has reported to the...

Korean priests protest 'greed' in national policies CWN - November 9, 2011

A group of Korean Catholic priests has announced a hunger strike to protest what they see as greed in national policies. The Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice began a week-long hunger...

Archbishop Chaput makes the case for natural law CWN - November 9, 2011

Speaking at the University of Pennsylvania, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia argued for the recognition of fundamental human rights enshrined in natural law. The American Founders...

Family strength is key to peace, Vatican delegate tells UNESCO CWN - November 9, 2011

Speaking at a UNESCO conference in Paris, a Vatican delegate argued that peace is best built by “small societies,” beginning with the family. Msgr. Francesco Follo, the permanent observer for the...

New York Times columnist shown wrong on multiple facts about population CWN - November 9, 2011

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has suggested that overpopulation is responsible for “poverty, carbon emissions, climate change, deforestation, civil wars, unplanned pregnancies, and...

Degenerating leg joints prompted Pope to use rolling platform CWN - November 9, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI opted to use a rolling platform during recent Vatican liturgical ceremonies because of a degenerative joint condition in his legs, according to the leading Vatican-watcher Andrea...

Released Thursday, Nov. 10

Japan’s bishops: close all of nation’s nuclear power plants CWN - November 10, 2011

Eight months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the bishops of Japan are calling for the closure of all of the nation’s 54 nuclear power plants. “In order to avoid tragedy, we must...

US religious freedom commission: Pakistan’s schools promote intolerance CWN - November 10, 2011

The US Commission on International Commission Religious Freedom has found that “in Pakistan, schools often serve as incubators of societal intolerance, especially toward religious minorities, with...

Maryland bishops issue statement on religious liberty CWN - November 10, 2011

The bishops of Maryland have issued a statement reviewing the history of religious freedom in Maryland and decrying recent attacks on what James Madison called “the most sacred of all...

Governor replaces ‘holiday tree’ with ‘Christmas tree’ CWN - November 10, 2011

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, an evangelical Christian, has changed the name of the “holiday tree” in the state capitol building back to “Christmas tree.” The tree had been called a Christmas...

Study finds 19% of ‘vegetative’ patients are aware CWN - November 10, 2011

A small study conducted by Canadian researchers has found that 19% of patients in a “vegetative state” can consistently demonstrate awareness. The researchers asked 16 patients in the United...

Caritas appeal for Thailand CWN - November 10, 2011

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued a $695,000 appeal on behalf of Thai flood victims. “This year’s strikingly heavy monsoon rain...

Israeli religious leaders visit Pope, pledge commitment to peace, access to shrines CWN - November 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 10 with the Council of Religious Leaders in Israel, and told them that “dialogue between different religions is becoming ever more important.” “This is pressing...

Judge will rule soon on Cardinal Bevilacqua's fitness to testify CWN - November 10, 2011

A Pennsylvania judge has indicated that she will soon decide whether or not retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia should testify in the case against four priests on sex-abuse...

L'Osservatore seminar points at media distortion of Church message CWN - November 10, 2011

At a seminar organized by L’Osservatore Romano to mark the newspaper’s 150th anniversary, experts were asked to discuss “incomprehension between the Catholic Church and the world’s media,...

Families-- not autonomous individuals-- are basic units of society, Pope writes CWN - November 10, 2011

The family “is not a private entity enclosed in itself,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a message to the 2nd National Family Congress in Ecuador. “By its vocation it makes a wonderful and decisive...

Euthanasia for Alzheimer's patient in Netherlands CWN - November 10, 2011

A 64-year-old woman has been put to death by her doctors in the Netherlands, without giving her explicit consent for the "mercy killing." The woman, whose name was not revealed, had suffered from...

Muslim students reject discrimination complaint against Catholic University of America CWN - November 10, 2011

Muslim students at the Catholic University of America have stated their opposition to a claim that the school discriminates against Muslims. John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington...

Florida jury orders $100 million award to a single abuse victim CWN - November 10, 2011

A Florida jury has awarded a stunning $100 million in damages to a victim of sexual abuse by a Miami priest. The jury called for $10 million in compensatory damages and $90 million in punitive...

Orange diocese raises bid for Crystal Cathedral CWN - November 10, 2011

The Diocese of Orange, California, has raised its bid for the Crystal Cathedral, offering $55.4 million for the property. The Orange diocese has moved to block the sale of the property to Chapman...

Dublin priests face salary cuts CWN - November 10, 2011

The Catholic priests of Dublin are facing a 9% drop in their salaries this year—after taking a 6% cut the previous year—because of declining church revenue. The basic salary for a priest in...

Secretary of State clamps down on public statements by Vatican bureaus CWN - November 10, 2011

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has announced that Vatican offices cannot issue public statements without clearance from the Secretariat of State, reports Sandro Magister of L’Espresso. The veteran...

Vatican weighing papal trip to Mexico, Cuba in 2012 CWN - November 10, 2011

The Vatican is actively considering a papal visit to Mexico and Cuba in 2012. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that papal nuncios in Mexico and...

Released Friday, Nov. 11

Catholic Social Services splits from Illinois diocese, will offer same-sex adoptions CWN - November 11, 2011

Pledging to adhere to state legislation requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois is separating from the...

Coptic Orthodox leader calls for large Christian turnout at elections CWN - November 11, 2011

The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church is calling for a large Christian turnout during the upcoming national elections. “Your participation in the 28 November elections will maintain a balance...

5,000-seat parish dedicated in Pakistan CWN - November 11, 2011

A 5,000-seat Catholic parish has been dedicated in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan. St. Peter’s Catholic Church includes a perpetual adoration chapel and is the largest parish in the nation, dwarfing...

Brooklyn Museum video to feature ants crawling over crucified Christ CWN - November 11, 2011

The Brooklyn Museum--New York City’s second-largest art museum--is hosting an exhibit that includes David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in My Belly,” a video that features ants crawling over a...

USCCB, CRS renew push for international anti-poverty aid CWN - November 11, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services are renewing their efforts to urge Catholics to lobby their senators on behalf of international anti-poverty assistance....

Federally-funded study links religious practice, optimism CWN - November 11, 2011

A study funded by the US National Institutes of Health has found that women who attend religious services regularly are 56% more likely to be optimistic and 22% less likely to be depressed than...

Dutch priest ordered to leave female companion CWN - November 11, 2011

A Dutch priest has been warned by the Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch that he must give up a female companion or risk dismissal from ministry. Father Jan Peijnenberg has reportedly lived with the...

Vatican sources deny crackdown on new statements CWN - November 11, 2011

Contradicting earlier published stories, the Catholic News Service reports that the Vatican Secretariat of State has not disowned a controversial statement by the Pontifical Council for Justice and...

Vatican confirms Massachusetts parish closings CWN - November 11, 2011

The Vatican has upheld a decision by the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts to close 3 parishes, rejecting a canonical appeal by parishioners. However, the Vatican decision said that the three...

Use Catholic thought to re-shape culture: Archbishop Chaput CWN - November 11, 2011

Speaking at Assumption College in Massachusetts, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia argued that Catholic universities should proudly support and advance the Church's distinctive scholarly...

Placenta is ideal stem-cell source, researcher tells Vatican conference CWN - November 11, 2011

As leading researchers gathered in Rome for a Vatican conference on the use of adult stem cells, one participant spoke about the use of stem cells taken from human placentas. Dr. Robert Hariri...

How Blessed John XXIII helped resolve the Cuban missile crisis CWN - November 11, 2011

At Crisis, Ronald Rychlak recalls that Pope John XXIII played an important role in reducing Cold War tensions during the Cuban missile crisis. With the US and USSR in a nuclear showdown,...

Church that housed the Council of Nicea is now a mosque CWN - November 11, 2011

The historic church where the Council of Nicea was held, which has been a museum for nearly a century, has been converted to a mosque. The Aghia Sophia in Nicea (not to be confused with the Hagia...

Ireland faces a battle over secularization CWN - November 11, 2011

Along with the customary prayers, Ireland's new President Michael Higgins invited a secular humanist to offer a meditation at his inauguration. Columnist David Quinn sees that gesture as another...

Released Monday, Nov. 14

Pope lauds Catholic volunteer work CWN - November 14, 2011

Addressing the Pontifical Council Cor Unum on the occasion of the European Year of Volunteering, Pope Benedict thanked “the millions of Catholic volunteers who contribute, regularly and generously,...

Bishop, USCCB oppose Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy CWN - November 14, 2011

Anthony Picarello, general counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has joined Bishop David Choby of Nashville and Vanderbilt University chaplain Father John Sims Baker in...

Catholic college sues HHS over contraception mandate CWN - November 14, 2011

Belmont Abbey College, a Benedictine college in western North Carolina, has sued the federal government in an effort to prevent the implementation of a mandate requiring private health insurance...

Priest sees bright future for Church in Vietnam CWN - November 14, 2011

The vice rector of the major seminary in Ho Chi Minh City has told the Fides news agency that the future of the Church in Vietnam appears bright. Young people, said Father Joseph Do Manh Hung,...

English bishops reach out to lapsed Catholics CWN - November 14, 2011

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has launched “Crossing the Threshold,” a campaign to reach out to lapsed Catholics. “We have something we're trying to market, and we’re...

Vatican spokesman on gratuitousness and the economic crisis CWN - November 14, 2011

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to gratuitousness and the economic crisis. “The Pope asks us to keep in mind the idea of ‘gratuitousness,’ of giving...

Irish archbishop: perception of widespread abuse is unjust to good priests CWN - November 14, 2011

The people of Ireland have been misled about the extent of sexual abuse by priests, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said. Speaking at a Mass for deceased priests, the archbishop referred...

Profile of nuns who specialize in corporate activism CWN - November 14, 2011

The New York Times gave front-page coverage to the corporate activism of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Specializing in shareholder resolutions, the religious congregation has worked...

Supreme Court will weigh constitutionality of Obamacare CWN - November 14, 2011

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the sweeping health-care reform program informally known as “Obamacare.” The Supreme Court announced on November 14...

Pope tells scientists: Never take one life to save another CWN - November 14, 2011

Speaking on November 12 to participants in a Vatican conference on adult stem-cell research, Pope Benedict XVI said: "The destruction of even one human life can never be justified in terms of the...

American hierarchy must revive love for Church, Archbishop Dolan tells USCCB CWN - November 14, 2011

In his first presidential address to the members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York said that the greatest challenge facing the American hierarchy...

Pope meets with leader of European Council CWN - November 14, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 12 with Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council. In a brief statement released after the meeting, the Vatican said that the conversation had...

Christians must use their talents, Pope tells audience CWN - November 14, 2011

The failure to use our talents is a serious rejection of God’s grace, Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on November 13. “God calls each one of us to life and gives us talents, at the...

Pope asks prayers for trip to Africa CWN - November 14, 2011

As he concluded a public audience on Sunday, November 13, Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for the success of his visit to Africa this coming weekend. The Holy Father will leave Rome on...

Phoenix diocese issues norms for Communion under both kinds CWN - November 14, 2011

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has issued new norms for the distribution of Communion under both species. In September, Bishop Olmsted had announced plans to curtail the widespread...

Pope will illuminate world's largest 'Christmas tree'--by iPad CWN - November 14, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will use an iPad to turn on the lights of the world’s largest “Christmas tree.” Residents of Gubbio, Italy, have arranged a series of lights on the hill overlooking their town,...

Austrian cardinal still hopes 'dialogue' will resolve challenge posed by rebel Catholics CWN - November 14, 2011

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has warned that dissident Catholics are challenging central truths of Church doctrine. But the Austrian cardinal is apparently not ready to take disciplinary...

Sex-abuse victims charge lawyers defrauded them CWN - November 14, 2011

Sex-abuse victims in the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, are suing their former lawyers, charging that they defrauded them in his handling of the case. A Kentucky court has refused to dismiss the...

Nun escapes prison term for embezzling $850,000 from Catholic college CWN - November 14, 2011

A New York judge has decided against a prison sentence for a nun who pleaded guilty to stealing $850,000 from a Catholic school where she was a finance official. Sister Marie Thornton admitted...

Opinion Roundup CWN - November 14, 2011

In some of the noteworthy opinion columns appearing over the weekend: Ross Douthat of the New York Times compared former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno to Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos....

Released Tuesday, Nov. 15

Archbishop Dolan 'a bit more at peace' after meeting with President Obama CWN - November 15, 2011

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), met with President Barack Obama at the White House on November 8. Archbishop...

Illinois: Catholic Charities ends adoption-services appeal, will 'focus on being more Catholic' CWN - November 15, 2011

Three Illinois bishops have announced that they are ending their legal appeal against legislation requiring equal treatment for same-sex couples in adoption and foster-care services. “It is with...

Austrian priest, martyred by Nazis, beatified CWN - November 15, 2011

Father Carl Lampert (1894-1944), who served as vicar general of the Diocese of Innsbruck before his internment at Dachau and Sachsenhausen and his eventual beheading, was beatified in Austria on...

Serbia: prelate cautions West on Kosovo recognition CWN - November 15, 2011

The decision of Western governments to recognize Kosovo’s independence from Serbia has harmed the Church’s reputation, according to Serbia’s leading Catholic prelate. Serbians, said Archbishop...

Action urged against pro-abortion Senate measures CWN - November 15, 2011

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, which works closely with the US bishops’ conference on pro-life issues, is urging Catholics to call upon their senators to reject four provisions...

Arab Christians emigrating to US CWN - November 15, 2011

The Associated Press notes that rising persecution has led many Iraqi and other Christians to flee the Middle East for the United States, leading to increased attendance at Maronite Catholic...

Pioneer firm abandons embryonic stem-cell research CWN - November 15, 2011

Geron Corporation, a pioneer in embryonic stem-cell research, has announced that it is abandoning that field. After years of touting the potential applications of embryonic stem-cell research,...

New papal nuncio see bright future for Church in US CWN - November 15, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI is “putting great hope in the Church in this country,” a new apostolic nuncio told the members of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In his first address to the...

Preview of papal visit to Africa CWN - November 15, 2011

At a November 15 press conference in Rome, Vatican officials outlined plans for the forthcoming visit to Africa by Pope Benedict XVI. The highlight of the papal trip will be the promulgation of...

Bishop raps British court ruling on diocesan liability for priest's misconduct CWN - November 15, 2011

A British bishop has criticized a court decision allowing for a diocese to be held liable for sexual abuse by a priest. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth acknowledged that a bishop should be...

Nigerian terror sect seen tied to Al Qaida CWN - November 15, 2011

A Nigerian prelate is not surprised by reports that the Boko Haram sect has ties to Al Qaida. A Nigerian newspaper, The Vanguard, revealed that Boko Haram members were trained in building...

Bishop Finn strikes deal with prosecutor to avoid new indictment CWN - November 15, 2011

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, Missouri, has reached an agreement with a local prosecutor that allows the bishop to escape a 2nd indictment on criminal charges of failing to report evidence of...

Obama alienating Catholic voters, columnist warns CWN - November 15, 2011

President Barack Obama risks alienating a crucial bloc of Catholic voters, writes Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. Gerson focuses particularly on the decision by the Department of Health...

Russian Patriarch, in Lebanon, pledges support for Christians in Middle East CWN - November 15, 2011

During a visit to Lebanon, where he met on November 14 with President Michel Suleiman, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill expressed his keen concern about the dangers facing the Christian minority in...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 16

Cardinal announces establishment of US Anglican ordinariate CWN - November 16, 2011

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will establish an ordinariate for American Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Two Anglican...

Protestant leaders flee Pakistan amid blasphemy charges CWN - November 16, 2011

Fearing for their lives, two Pentecostal leaders who have been active in interreligious dialogue have fled Pakistan after they were accused of blasphemy. “It is a very sad story and a symbol of...

Texas bishops: no ‘disproportionate cuts’ to anti-poverty programs CWN - November 16, 2011

The bishops of Texas are urging a Texas congressman who serves on the deficit “super committee” not to make “disproportionate cuts” to anti-poverty programs. “Poverty has grown to unprecedented...

Canadian bishops urge action against Islamist sect CWN - November 16, 2011

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is urging the Nigerian government to take steps to protect civilians from Boko Haram (“Western education is a sin”), the Islamist sect that is...

Caritas laments human-rights situation in Colombia CWN - November 16, 2011

A working group of Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, is calling upon the Colombian government to address human rights concerns in the northern part of the...

Vatican newspaper emphasizes primacy of prayer over action CWN - November 16, 2011

In an op-ed column published in L’Osservatore Romano, Ferdinando Cancelli, who teaches at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, emphasized the primacy of prayer over action....

Vatican denounces 'manipulative' use of Pope's image in Benetton ad campaign CWN - November 16, 2011

The Vatican has lodged a protest against a new Benetton ad campaign that features a doctored photo of Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian Islamic leader. Benetton—a company with a history of...

Pope concludes talks on Psalms, urges praying the Liturgy of the Hours CWN - November 16, 2011

On November 16, Pope Benedict XVI concluded a series of weekly talks on the Psalms, which he had described as a "school of prayer." At his Wednesday public audience, the Pope spoke on Psalm 110,...

Vatican official touts 'Robin Hood tax' on financial transactions CWN - November 16, 2011

The chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences stressed the dangers of man-made climate change, and called for a tax on international financial transactions, in an address to a Caritas...

Irish hierarchy resisting Vatican pressure for diocesan realignments? CWN - November 16, 2011

The Vatican is considering a reconfiguration of Irish dioceses, while the Irish hierarchy is resisting major changes, according to the Irish Catholic newspaper. The Irish Catholic reports that...

Public protest by Christian group forces changes in Indian film CWN - November 16, 2011

Protests by a Mumbai-based Catholic group have forced Indian movie producers to remove objectionable scenes from a film that is scheduled to be released on November 18. Following protests by the...

Coptic leader heads to US for medical tests CWN - November 16, 2011

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, is traveling to the US for medical tests and treatment. Having been selected to head the Coptic Church in November 1971, Pope Shenouda...

US bishops emphasize outreach to women after abortion CWN - November 16, 2011

The US bishops’ conference plans to expand Project Rachel, a program that reaches out to women who have had abortions. “Project Rachel Ministry is at the heart of the Church’s mission at this...

Released Thursday, Nov. 17

Community of the Beatitudes: founder guilty of sexual abuse CWN - November 17, 2011

Father Henry Donneaud, the pontifical delegate who governs the Community of the Beatitudes, has announced that the community’s founder, Deacon Gérard (Ephraim) Croissant, sexually abused sisters in...

Sant’Egidio’s Riccardi named Italian cabinet minister CWN - November 17, 2011

Andrea Riccardi, the founder of one of the leading new ecclesial movements, has been named Italy’s minister for international cooperation and integration policies. Riccardi founded the Community...

Benetton removes Pope’s image from ad campaign CWN - November 17, 2011

“Sorry that the use of the image had so hurt the sensibilities of the faithful,” Benetton has removed from an advertising campaign a doctored photo of Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian Islamic...

GAO: Obama administration illegally promoted abortion in Kenya CWN - November 17, 2011

A probe by the General Accounting Office has found that the Obama administration violated federal law in granting funds to an abortion-promoting organization in Kenya. “The Obama Administration...

Pakistan: Christians face discrimination in prison CWN - November 17, 2011

Christians in Pakstani prisons are “disadvantaged in the distribution of food, clothing and medicines, as well as in their ability to practice their religion,” according to Faisalabad Catholic...

Nun to head Liberian commission on election violence CWN - November 17, 2011

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, has named Franciscan Sister Mary Laurene Browne the head of a commission that will investigate recent election...

New abuse charges against retired Dutch bishop CWN - November 17, 2011

Dutch police have resumed their investigation of a retired Catholic bishop on sex-abuse charges, after receiving "alarming" new reports from authorities in Ireland. Bishop Cornelius Schilder has...

Pope's visit will set pastoral priorities for Africa CWN - November 17, 2011

Preparations are nearly complete for a weekend visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Benin, where he will release the apostolic exhortation concluding the work of the 2nd African Synod. The new papal...

Children suffer amid continued violence in Somalia CWN - November 17, 2011

Children continue to suffer as casualties of violence in Somalia, where warring tribes still vie for influence in a country that has lacked an effective central government for near 20 years. UN...

Pro-lifers decry Girl Scouts ties with feminist groups CWN - November 17, 2011

The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) was an enthusiastic participant in a recent Girls Scouts convention in Houston, brushing aside protests by pro-life groups about the...

Belarus claims model status for Orthodox-Catholic collaboration CWN - November 17, 2011

President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus boasted that his country offers a model for ecumenical cooperation, as he met with Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian...

Icon prominently placed on Russian spacecraft during TV broadcast CWN - November 17, 2011

An icon of the Mother of God was prominently displayed on a Russian spacecraft during a recent television broadcast from the International Space Station. The display of a religious image, during a...

Cardinal Schönborn again hosts Medjugorje 'seers' in Vienna cathedral CWN - November 17, 2011

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn celebrated Mass at Vienna’s cathedral of St. Stephen on November 17, as part of a televised event that included testimony from a Medjugorje “seer,” who promised an...

Indian nun brutally murdered; coal-mining interests suspected CWN - November 17, 2011

A Catholic nun who had worked for 20 years among impoverished among the poor in India’s mineral-rich Jharkhand state has been brutally murdered, after a series of clashes with powerful coal-mining...

Spanish opposition leader may move to reverse same-sex marriage law CWN - November 17, 2011

The leader of Spain's opposition party--who is favored to win general elections--may move to reverse the legal approval of same-sex marriage and the decriminalization of abortion. Mariano Rajoy...

Released Friday, Nov. 18

California diocese will buy Crystal Cathedral CWN - November 18, 2011

Following a ruling by a bankruptcy court judge, the Diocese of Orange will purchase Crystal Cathedral--a 3,000-seat church built under the pastorate of Protestant televangelist Robert Schuller in...

Hanoi: gang attack on Protestants; sewage plant on Church-owned land CWN - November 18, 2011

A gang of men attacked an unregistered Baptist prayer meeting near Hanoi on November 13, smashing a cross and beating the pastor to the point of unconsciousness. Collaboration between the gang and...

Canadian bishops, pro-life advocates welcome report on palliative care CWN - November 18, 2011

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition have welcomed the publication of “Not to be Forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians,” a report by a...

Protestant pastor murdered in Pakistan CWN - November 18, 2011

Three Muslim men have gunned down Jameel Sawan, a Protestant pastor, in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. “The murder may be motivated by religious hatred, but there is also the track of a...

Scholar: Pius XI wept when he learned of Stalin’s starvation of Ukraine CWN - November 18, 2011

Father Athanasius McVay, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest in Canada, and Lubomyr Luciuk, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, have coauthored the newly published book The Holy See...

Procedural victory for supporters of California marriage amendment CWN - November 18, 2011

Three years after California voters approved Proposition 8--a measure that recognized marriage as a union of a man and a woman--and one year after a US district court judge declared the measure...

Arriving in Benin, Pope urges African blend of tradition, modernity CWN - November 18, 2011

Arriving on November 18 in Benin, where he will release an apostolic exhortation on the pastoral needs of the Church in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said that he hoped the document would “fall into the...

Pope sees hope in 'youthful' African culture CWN - November 18, 2011

“There’s a freshness, a ‘Yes’ to life, in Africa, a youthfulness that’s full of enthusiasm and hope,” Pope Benedict XVI told journalists accompanying him on his November 18 flight to...

Violence against Christians was orchestrated in advance, Indian leaders testify CWN - November 18, 2011

Two key government officials in the troubled Kandhamal district of India’s eastern Orissa state have acknowledged that the anti-Christian violence in the region during 2007 was orchestrated in...

New Italian prime minister meets Pope CWN - November 18, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met briefly with Italy’s newly installed Prime Minister Mario Monti on November 18, before setting off on a trip to Africa. Monti traveled to Leonardo da Vinci airport on Friday...

Was Shakespeare a Catholic? Vatican newspaper says Yes CWN - November 18, 2011

The Vatican newspaper has entered into a lively literary debate, saying that the works of William Shakespeare show that the author was a Catholic. L’Osservatore Romano reviewed a new film,...

Judge rules Cardinal Bevilacqua should give videotaped deposition CWN - November 18, 2011

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua should testify in the trial of his former assistant, Msgr. William Lynn. But Judge Teresa Sarmina said that the elderly...

Illinois bishops ask for meeting with Governor Quinn CWN - November 18, 2011

The Catholic bishops of Illinois have requested a meeting with Governor Pat Quinn, to discuss his public stand on abortion and same-sex unions. Governor Quinn has made public a letter from the...

Research shows damage done by same-sex adoptions CWN - November 18, 2011

Psychiatrist Rick Fitzgibbons explains why same-sex adoption is misguided, saying that advocates of the practice "are ignoring the rights of children and important social and psychological...

Obama-administration apologist admits problem with Catholic voters CWN - November 18, 2011

Time columnist Amy Sullivan concedes that the Obama administration has a problem with Catholic voters, but argues that it was bad staff work--not a decision from the White House--that caused the...

Released Monday, Nov. 21

Egypt: hundreds of Copts attacked CWN - November 21, 2011

As hundreds of Coptic Christians marched in Cairo to protest recent violence by Egyptian security forces, assailants threw bottles and stones at the marchers and clashed with them. Agence France...

Bishops urge Congress, Obama to give higher priority to religious freedom CWN - November 21, 2011

Testifying on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops before a US House subcommittee, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces urged Congress and the Obama administration “to place a...

Boston: cardinal stands by editor who printed column on homosexuality CWN - November 21, 2011

Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has issued a statement of support for Antonio Enrique, the father of 11 who edits his archdiocesan newspaper. Some priests have joined gay activists in calling for...

US religious freedom commission granted 4-week reprieve CWN - November 21, 2011

The United States Senate has granted four weeks of additional funding to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a non-partisan body that documents religious-freedom violations around...

Bishop recalls Communist persecution of Romanian Catholic Church CWN - November 21, 2011

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Florentin Crihalmeanu of Cluj-Gherla--who was ordained a priest at 31 and a consecrated a bishop by Blessed John Paul II at 37--recalled...

Companies pledge not to discriminate against same-sex marriage opponents CWN - November 21, 2011

Following cancellations of seminars offered by a consultant who, outside of his professional duties, vocally opposes same-sex marriage, Bank of America and Cisco have pledged that they will not...

Cardinal Law replaced in Vatican ceremonial post CWN - November 21, 2011

Cardinal Bernard Law, the American prelate most closely identified with the sex-abuse scandal, has been removed from a ceremonial post at the Vatican. On November 21, the Vatican press office...

International Theological Commission to meet next week CWN - November 21, 2011

The International Theological Commission will gather in Rome next week for its annual plenary meeting, to discuss 3 main topics: theological methodology, monotheism, and Catholic social...

Pope Benedict in Africa: the theme is hope CWN - November 21, 2011

“Do not deprive your peoples of hope!” Pope Benedict XVI exhorted a group of African political leaders on November 19, the 2nd day of his weekend visit to Benin. That message reflected the theme...

Pope's apostolic exhortation offers a guide to reconciliation in Africa CWN - November 21, 2011

“Be the salt of the African earth,” Pope Benedict XVI challenged Catholics as he formally released his apostolic exhortation, Africae Munus, summarizing the key insights of the 2nd African...

New York archdiocesan official support bid for higher wages for city work CWN - November 21, 2011

The Archdiocese of New York has given a nod to a plan that would raise wage rates for workers on city-backed projects. Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the local director of Catholic Charities, spoke on...

Official disrupts Mass, insults priest at besieged Hanoi parish CWN - November 21, 2011

A Vietnamese public official disrupted a Mass, hurling insults and threats at the priest, in the latest confrontation at a parish in Hanoi. The official burst into the Trai Ha parish church,...

India honors slain nun; 7 arrested in case CWN - November 21, 2011

Police in India’s Jharkhand state have arrested 7 people in connection with the brutal murder of Sister Valsa John, while hundreds joined in memorial services for a bold nun who had defended the...

Franciscan leader leery of move to make Bethlehem a UNESCO heritage site CWN - November 21, 2011

The head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has concerns about a Palestinian proposal to UNESCO to make Bethlehem a World Heritage Site. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa explained that...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 22

Pakistan: ‘Jesus Christ’ among words banned in text messages CWN - November 22, 2011

Pakistan’s bishops are protesting a decision by the nation’s telecommunications authority to include “Jesus Christ” in a list of 160 words banned in text messages. “The Catholic Church of...

Study: US bishops’ lobbying expenses exceeded $26M CWN - November 22, 2011

19% of the 212 religious advocacy groups in Washington are Catholic, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of the groups classified as Catholic--including...

India: Protestant pastor arrested for ‘forced conversion’ of Muslims CWN - November 22, 2011

Police in largely Muslim Jammu and Kashmir, India’s northernmost state, arrested Protestant pastor C.M. Khanna on November 19 on charges of fomenting religious enmity and converting Muslims through...

Situation worsening for Christians in Baghdad CWN - November 22, 2011

The Dominican superior in Baghdad has told Aid to the Church in Need that the situation has worsened for Christians in recent weeks amid fears that extremists are infiltrating churches. “The next...

Fundamentalist college has major Catholic art collection CWN - November 22, 2011

Religion News Service has drawn attention to the major sacred art collection at Bob Jones University, the fundamentalist college in South Carolina that lifted its ban on interracial dating only in...

New Jersey bishops issue statement on poverty CWN - November 22, 2011

The bishops of New Jersey have issued a statement urging “all people of good will to address the critical needs of the poor who live among us.” “The Church’s concern for the poor is inspired by...

San Francisco archdiocese wins legal battle on property tax CWN - November 22, 2011

The Archdiocese of San Francisco has won a legal battle to avoid taxes on the transfer of parish properties. The archdiocese had filed suit in April 2010 against city assessor Phil Ting, who had...

Gay Episcopal bishop to preach at San Francisco Catholic parish CWN - November 22, 2011

A notoriously 'gay-friendly' parish in San Francisco has invited an openly homosexual Episcopalian cleric to lead an Advent Vespers service. Most Holy Redeemer parish asked Bishop Otis Charles, a...

Vatican conferences on health care, martyrs CWN - November 22, 2011

At two separate press conferences held in Rome on November 22, Vatican officials briefed reporters on two upcoming events: a symposium on health care and the gospel of life, and a meeting of the...

Vatican instructions on liturgical music, architecture coming soon CWN - November 22, 2011

The Vatican will soon unveil a “liturgical art and sacred music commission,” and issue new guidelines for the construction of churches and the renewal of liturgical music, according to Andrea...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 23

German bishops to sell publisher that marketed erotic books CWN - November 23, 2011

The German bishops have decided to sell Weltbild, a major publishing house owned by 12 dioceses, amid revelations that the $2.15-billion firm had marketed some 2,500 erotic works. “We can’t make...

Pelosi: Catholics ‘have this conscience thing’ CWN - November 23, 2011

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic renowned for her support of legalized abortion, has criticized efforts by the US bishops and others in support of conscience-protection legislation for...

ACLU fears Obama will 'backtrack' on mandatory contraception, sterilization coverage CWN - November 23, 2011

The policy counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office is expressing concern that President Barack Obama will grant a wider religious exemption to a mandate that...

English bishops to replace Mass reading, offer special prayer for Queen’s jubilee CWN - November 23, 2011

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is asking parishes to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee by replacing the first reading at Mass next Trinity Sunday and by...

New Jersey: monument to abuse victims smashed CWN - November 23, 2011

In 2004, a New Jersey parish made headlines when it dedicated a memorial in the shape of a millstone to victims of clerical abuse. That memorial has been destroyed with a sledgehammer; a suspect has...

‘Teaching Good Sex’ CWN - November 23, 2011

The New York Times offers an explicit and deeply disturbing look at sex education at a Philadelphia school. The Times also reviews the history of sex education in American schools: Sex education...

Pope impressed by African sense of joy, a source of hope CWN - November 23, 2011

At his weekly public audience on November 23, Pope Benedict XVI said that the key theme of his weekend visit to Africa had been “the hope that must drive the development of the continent.” With...

Stasi said to have kept files on future Pontiff CWN - November 23, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI was reportedly under observation for years by the notorious secret-police agency of East Germany, the Stasi. Attempts to reconstruct the shredded records of the Stasi have...

Spanish hierarchy sees hope in new government CWN - November 23, 2011

The president of the Spanish bishops’ conference sees “a new political era in Spain,” with the election that brought Mariano Rajoy to power as the nation’s prime minister. Speaking at a plenary...

Irish network suspends program that libeled priest CWN - November 23, 2011

The Irish television network RTE has suspended an investigative program that wrongfully accused a Catholic priest of rape. The “Prime Time Investigates” program was forced to apologize for the...

Weigel welcomes proposal to cut down number of Irish dioceses CWN - November 23, 2011

Columnist George Weigel welcomes reports that the Vatican is planning to pare the Irish hierarchy by cutting down the number of dioceses in the country. "That there are 26 dioceses in Ireland is...

Another Irish bishop steps down CWN - November 23, 2011

The Vatican has announced the resignation of another Irish bishop, leaving 7 of the country’s 26 dioceses without an active bishop. Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Derry announced that he was stepping...

Maronite leader again warns against Islamic uprisings CWN - November 23, 2011

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has renewed his warnings that the “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Middle East could lead to the emergence of more militant Islamic regimes. While welcoming...

Released Thursday, Nov. 24

CWN closed for Thanksgiving CWN - November 24, 2011

Following our usual policy-- and a wonderful American tradition-- CWN will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25, so that our staff can fully enjoy the Thanksgiving...

Released Friday, Nov. 25

American priest to become papal nuncio in Ireland? CWN - November 25, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI will soon name an American priest--his former aide at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--as apostolic nuncio to Ireland, according to reports in that...

Human nature always asks the question about God, Pope says CWN - November 25, 2011

Speaking on November 25 to the members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Church must meet the challenge of proclaiming God’s existence to an increasingly...

Look into causes of poverty, Pope urges Caritas CWN - November 25, 2011

The duties of Christian charity cannot be delegated, Pope Benedict XVI said on November in an address to leaders of the Italian Caritas agency, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. "A work...

Vatican opens special exhibit on Gaudi, Sagrada Familia CWN - November 25, 2011

The Vatican has unveiled an exhibit on the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona and the spirituality of its achitect, Antonio Gaudi. As he opened the exhibit—which will be on display in the...

Philippines: groups prod government on inquiry into priest's killing CWN - November 25, 2011

More than 50 civic and religious organizations in the province of Mindanao have appealed to President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines to accelerate a probe into the murder of a Catholic missionary...

Detailed rules binding Legionaries' conduct are invalid, cardinal says CWN - November 25, 2011

The papal representative supervising a reform of the Legionaries of Christ has indicated that many of the rules governing the conduct of members will be eliminated. Cardinal Velasio De Paolis...

Pakistan rescinds ban on texting 'Jesus Christ' CWN - November 25, 2011

Authorities in Pakistan have rescinded a ban on the use of the name "Jesus Christ" in text messages, in a victory for a Christian government adviser. Pakistan had included the name of Jesus...

Will advocates of embryonic stem-cell research admit their errors? CWN - November 25, 2011

For several years, scientists and scientific publications have touted embryonic stem-cell test as the most promising field in medical research. Now, with the announcement that the Geron Corporation...

Released Monday, Nov. 28

Archdiocese finds ‘no substance’ to rape allegation; Anglican traditionalist denounces inquiry CWN - November 28, 2011

An investigation conducted by an attorney under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Adelaide has found that Msgr. Ian Dempsey, a former chief chaplain of the Australian Royal Navy and archdiocesan...

8 churches destroyed in Nigeria CWN - November 28, 2011

Members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram have destroyed eight churches in an attack on the northeastern Nigerian town of Geidam. At least four policemen were killed in the...

USCCB criticizes Pew report on $26.7M advocacy effort; Pew responds CWN - November 28, 2011

The director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has criticized a report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that found that the USCCB devoted...

Egyptian bishop condemns government crackdown CWN - November 28, 2011

A Coptic Catholic prelate has condemned the latest government crackdown on demonstrators. “The authorities have no right to shoot peaceful people,“ said Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza. “The...

Archbishop Nichols: remember the neediest in addressing debt crisis CWN - November 28, 2011

In tackling the United Kingdom’s debt crisis, members of Parliament should be mindful that “the effects of economic austerity and cutbacks are already being felt disproportionally by the most...

Algerian prelate speaks of ministry in a Muslim state CWN - November 28, 2011

Algeria’s leading prelate discusses at length the challenges of ministering in an overwhelmingly Muslim state where conversion is punished by fine or imprisonment. Only 4,000 of the nation’s 34.8...

Lebanese premier visits Pontiff CWN - November 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 28 with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, for a discussion of the Middle East and especially “the delicate situation in Syria.” After the meeting, the...

Confirmed: CDF official to become nuncio in Ireland CWN - November 28, 2011

Confirming stories that had circulated late last week, the Vatican has announced the appointment of Msgr. Charles Brown as the next apostolic nuncio to Ireland. The American priest will assume...

German lawyer wants Pope cited on seatbelt charge CWN - November 28, 2011

A German lawyer--who evidently has a good deal of time on his hands--has filed a complaint against Pope Benedict XVI for failing to use a seatbelt when he rode in the Popemobile during his September...

Monk wanted by police visited Vatican bank to withdraw funds CWN - November 28, 2011

A Benedictine monk who is the subject of an international arrest warrant apparently returned to Rome recently to draw funds out of his account at the Vatican bank. Father Laurence Soper, the...

Advent is time to restore eternal perspective, Pope says CWN - November 28, 2011

The season of Advent is “a timely reminder to us that life has not only an earthly dimension, but is projected beyond,” Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on Sunday, November 27....

Pope reflects of music's path to transcendence CWN - November 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI attended a musical concert on Saturday evening, November 26. Following a performance of works by Falla, Albeniz, Rueda, Strauss, and Rimsky-Korsakov, by the Orchestra of Asturias,...

European bank experts visit Vatican, evaluate new financial procedures CWN - November 28, 2011

European banking experts were in Rome last week for meetings with Vatican officials, as part of the process by which the Holy See is seeking approval as a full partner in European banking...

Pontifical Council drafting new document on marriage preparation CWN - November 28, 2011

The Pontifical Council for the Family is preparing a new document on preparation for marriage, which will remind engaged couples that they should not live together before exchanging vows. At a...

Cost cuts, 'green' approach for Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square CWN - November 28, 2011

Vatican officials are planning a scaled-back financial outlay and a more environmentally-friendly approach for the Nativity scene that will appear in St. Peter's Square this year. The creche will...

Pope urges action on environment--including action to defend life CWN - November 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI called for effective action on climate change during his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 28. He repeated his message of concern for the environment on Monday in a meeting with...

Human suffering can be understood in the eyes of faith, Pope says CWN - November 28, 2011

In an address to 500 participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Health Care, Pope Benedict XVI said that Christians must “defend and promote life, whatever its state and...

All institutions should be accountable on sex abuse, Pope argues CWN - November 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI renewed his condemnation of sexual abuse in an address to visiting American bishops. The Pontiff added that while the Church “is rightly held to exacting standards in this regard,...

Sri Lanka: police charge Missionaries of Charity with adoption profiteering CWN - November 28, 2011

A superior of the Missionaries of Charity has been arrested in Sri Lanka, and charged with selling children to adoptive parents. Sister Mary Eliza was jailed after a police raid on a home for...

Retired Philadelphia cardinal testifies in case against former aides CWN - November 28, 2011

Retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia gave testimony for the criminal trial of his former subordinates on November 28, after a judge ruled that the ailing prelate was competent to act...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 29

China: bishop to be ordained with Vatican and state approval CWN - November 29, 2011

With the approval of the Holy See and Communist officials, Father Peter Luo Xuegang will be ordained coadjutor bishop of Yibin, a city of 4.5 million in south-central China. The priest will be...

Catholic, Muslim scholars discusses faith, reason CWN - November 29, 2011

The Catholic-Muslim Forum, a dialogue between Muslim and Catholic scholars formed in the wake of Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address, has held its second session in Jordan. Scholars and religious...

Syria expels Italian Jesuit who sought interfaith harmony CWN - November 29, 2011

The Syrian government has ordered Father Paolo dall’Oglio, a Jesuit who has sought to build harmony between Christians and Muslims, to leave the nation. “I've been here 30 years, I have worked at...

UK: lawsuit alleges Muslim airport employees systematically harass Christians CWN - November 29, 2011

Nohad Halawi, a Christian woman who worked at Heathrow Airport for 13 years until she was fired in July, alleges she lost her job after complaining of frequent harassment by some of her Muslim...

Anglican traditionalist leader files complaint with police following rape investigation CWN - November 29, 2011

Archbishop John Hepworth, the onetime Catholic priest who is now primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, has asked police to investigate whether Msgr. Ian Dempsey, former chief chaplain of...

Vatican newspaper sees reinvigorated atheism CWN - November 29, 2011

In recent years, atheism become less of a “pragmatic space of irreligiousness and indifference” and more of an active intellectual force, according to an essay published in L’Osservatore Romano....

Pope's book is an advance in Biblical scholarship, says rector of Lateran University CWN - November 29, 2011

In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI takes “a methodological step forward” in Biblical scholarship, showing that exegesis can “see itself once again as a theological discipline,”...

HHS decision on bishops' program will harm victims of human trafficking: former director CWN - November 29, 2011

When the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to halt funding for a program on human trafficking run by the bishops’ conference, many Catholic leaders charged that the decision was...

New Orleans archbishop says priest may serve on civil-service commission CWN - November 29, 2011

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has announced that a priest can sit on a civil service commission without violating a canonical ban on priests holding public office. Archbishop Gregory Aymond said...

Bishops fail to support priests, charge Irish clerics CWN - November 29, 2011

An organization of Irish priests has questioned whether bishops have contributed to a climate of hostility toward the clergy. The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) suggested that media...

Mary as the model for priests' Advent spirituality CWN - November 29, 2011

The Virgin Mary provides the model for priestly spirituality during Advent, said the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza recalled how the Blessed Mother “received the...

SSPX seeks amendments to Doctrinal Preamble, Bishop Fellay discloses CWN - November 29, 2011

The head of the Society of St. Pius X has confirmed that the traditionalist group will not accept the “Doctrinal Preamble” offered by the Vatican, and will seek modifications in the...

Dutch reporters claim documents show Church new of abuse in 1950s CWN - November 29, 2011

Journalists in the Netherlands are reporting that Catholic Church officials acknowledged problems with child abuse in documents dating from as early as 1954. The documents that have been...

Australian House speaker, an Anglican priest, faces tough choice on entering Catholic Church CWN - November 29, 2011

The speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives may be forced to choose between his political career and the Catholic priesthood. In addition to his parliamentary duties, Peter Slipper is an...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 30

Tight security at Chinese bishop’s ordination; excommunicated prelate takes part CWN - November 30, 2011

Amid security scans and police dogs, Father Peter Luo Xuegang was ordained coadjutor bishop of Yibin, a city of 4.5 million in south-central China, on November 30. The Diocese of Yibin has seven...

Number of US seminarians on the rise CWN - November 30, 2011

The number of seminarians in the United States has risen to 3,608--the highest number since the early 1990s--with some seminaries experiencing their highest enrollment in decades. In Minnesota,...

Cardinal calls for ‘urgent action’ at Durban climate talks CWN - November 30, 2011

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has called upon the international community to take “urgent action” at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban. “Our climate is changing,” said...

US Forest Service to decide fate of ‘Big Mountain Jesus’ CWN - November 30, 2011

In early 2012, the United States Forest Service will decide the fate of “Big Mountain Jesus,” a statue erected by the Knights of Columbus over 50 years ago in honor of soldiers killed in World War...

USCCB donated over $9.3M to Church in Africa, Latin America CWN - November 30, 2011

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has donated over $7 million to the Church in Latin America and $2.3 million to the Church in Africa in 2011, including recent grants of over $2.7...

Fordham law students organize birth control clinic CWN - November 30, 2011

Law Students for Reproductive Justice, a Fordham University student organization, has organized an off-campus birth control clinic because “our Catholic university prohibits the actual prescription...

Missionary missing in Peru CWN - November 30, 2011

Father Alfonso Asencios Zuluoga, a Vincentian missionary in remote northeastern Peru, has been missing since November 23. The priest was last seen walking on a rural jungle road after a landslide...

Complaint against Catholic U. for single-sex dorms is dismissed CWN - November 30, 2011

The District of Colombia has dismissed a sex-discrimination case against the Catholic University of America (CUA), brought by an activist who objected to the school’s return to single-sex...

Millions of Russians flock to venerate Marian relic CWN - November 30, 2011

More than 1 million people flocked to Moscow’s Russian Orthodox cathedral—causing massive traffic snarls in the Russian capital—to venerate a reputed relic of the Virgin Mary. The “Belt of the...

Irish government forms panel to review abortion law CWN - November 30, 2011

The Irish government will create a blue-ribbon committee to review the country’s laws regarding abortion, in response to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights questioning Ireland’s ban on...

Pope opens series of talks on Christ's prayers CWN - November 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI began a new series of weekly meditations, on the prayer life of Jesus Christ, at his regular Wednesday audience of November 30. The Pope recently completed a series of talks on...

Papal backing for efforts to end capital punishment CWN - November 30, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged efforts to eliminate the death penalty during his regular weekly public audience on November 30. At the conclusion of his prepared remarks, the Pope recognized some...

Catholics, Orthodox must pursue new evangelization together, Pope tells Patriarch CWN - November 30, 2011

In a message of greeting to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Pope Benedict XVI said that Catholics and Orthodox must work together to bear witness to the Gospel in increasingly...

Vatican diplomatic influence seen in decline CWN - November 30, 2011

Ireland is the first nation to announce that it is closing its embassy at the Vatican, but may not be the last, observes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Recognized for centuries as...

Irish cardinal settles lawsuit in sex-abuse case CWN - November 30, 2011

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, has reached an out-of-court settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by a sex-abuse victim. Brendan Boland, who was molested by Father Brendan...

Africa inspired by papal visit, reports Cardinal Arinze CWN - November 30, 2011

During his trip to Benin earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued a challenge to Africans to take control of their own future. “They have the strength to do it,” a prominent African prelate told...

Colombian bishops denounce rebel killing of hostages CWN - November 30, 2011

The Catholic bishops of Colombia have issued a statement condemning the execution of 4 people who had been held for over a decade by the country’s leading rebel group. The four hostages, who had...

Vatican chuckling over seatbelt charge against Pontiff CWN - November 30, 2011

Vatican officials are amused, rather than concerned, by a German lawyer’s complaint about the failure of Pope Benedict to wear a seatbelt while riding in his Popemobile. “It continues continues...

Vatican newspaper reprints Ratzinger essay on divorce, remarriage, and Communion CWN - November 30, 2011

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has reprinted an essay on marriage and divorce, written by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1998, in response to public statements by the president of the...

Irish sex-abuse audit confirms past errors, sees 'marked improvement' recently CWN - November 30, 2011

An independent audit of the handling of sex-abuse complaints in six Irish dioceses has found that Church officials regularly overlooked the rights of victims in order to protect priests. But the...

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