Stories for January 2012

Released Monday, Jan. 2

Planned Parenthood received $487M in federal funding; assets top $1B

Planned Parenthood of America’s net assets topped $1 billion in 2009-10, according to its newly released annual report. The largest abortion provider in the United States received $487.4 million in...

Vatican spokesman: educate toward justice and peace, not relativism

Echoing the theme of Pope Benedict’s message for the 45th World Day of Peace, the director of the Holy See Press Office devoted his weekly editorial to the education of youth in justice and...

India: 7-year-old girl sacrificed to gods

Police in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh have arrested two men on charges of kidnapping and sacrificing a seven-year-old girl to indigenous gods in October. Desiring to ensure a good...

Anglican Catholic ordinariate for US formally established

Pope Benedict XVI has formally established an ordinariate in the US for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church, and named a former Episcopalian bishop to lead it. The new ecclesiastical...

SNAP fights court-ordered disclosure of its own internal documents

In an odd reversal of roles, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is fighting against court-ordered disclosure of the group’s internal documents. David Clohessy, the director...

Pope delivers World Day of Peace message

As he celebrated Mass in the Vatican basilica on January 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, Pope Benedict XVI formally released his message for the 45th World Day of Peace, entitled "Educating...

Trust God, have confidence in new year, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI closed out the year 2011 by exhorting the faithful to trust in God, and overcome worries about passing problems. On December 31, the Holy Father presided at a Vespers service...

Jesus was born into family life, Pope reminds Spanish faithful

The feast of the Holy Family should be recognized as “a continuation of Christmas,” Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to Spanish families. The papal message, addressed to Cardinal Antonio Maria...

On 10th anniversary of Boston scandal, Cardinal O'Malley speaks of recovery

Ten years after the release of a sensational Boston Globe report that exposed the tolerance of sexual abuse within the Boston archdiocese, Cardinal Sean O’Malley said that his efforts to revive the...

Philadelphia's Archbishop Chaput will sell expensive residence

Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput plans to sell the mansion that has been home to the city’s archbishops since 1935. Since his installation in Philadelphia in September, Archbishop Chaput...

Showdown looms between Vatican, Peru's Catholic university

A papal representative has ended his visit to the Catholic Pontifical University of Peru, finding the school's leaders unwilling to accept any direction from the Vatican. Cardinal Peter Erdo of...

China confirms arrest of Christian dissident--after 20 months

China’s government has finally admitted the arrest of a Christian human-rights activist who was taken into custody in February 2009. The Beijing regime revealed that Gao Zhisheng is being held in...

Corporate interests, paramilitaries suspected in priest's slaying in Philippines

Although 2 men have been arrested for the October 17 murder of Father Fausto Tentorio in the Mindanao province of the Philippines, the people ultimately responsible for his death remain...

Welsh archbishop opposes 'presumed consent' policy for organ donation

Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, Wales, has issued a strong objection to a government proposal that would assume that everyone consented to being an organ donor. Archbishop Stack did not...

Irish archbishop cautions against 'caricature' of religious influence

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has urged the people of Ireland to avoid a “cynical caricature of faith” in discussions of the role that religion should play in public life. Acknowledging...

Christian groups lose bid for restraining order on Hawaii's civil-union law

A federal judge in Hawaii has refused to grant a temporary restraining order to Christian groups seeking to block a law that allows same-sex couples to register in civil unions. The church groups...

Jerzy Kluger, Jewish boyhood friend of John Paul II, dead at 90

Jerzy Kluger, a childhood friend of Blessed John Paul II, died in Rome on December 31 at he age of 90. The son of a Jewish leader in Wadowice, Poland, Kluger played with his young neighbor Karol...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 3

Itinerary announced for Pope’s apostolic journey to Mexico, Cuba

The episcopal conferences of Mexico and Cuba have announced the itinerary for Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to their nations. Pope Benedict will arrive in León, a central Mexican city of 1.4...

Nigerian prelate urges Christians: ignore terrorist ultimatum to leave area

Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja--Nigeria’s capital--is urging the nation’s Christians to ignore an ultimatum, reportedly issued the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram, to leave the...

Egypt: Christians’ homes burned over Facebook Muhammad images

Shouting “Allahu akbar” [Allah is greater], residents of Assuit, a southern Egyptian city, burned Christians’ homes after images deemed insulting to Muhammad appeared on a local Christian teenager’s...

Anti-Christian vandalism, attack in Karnataka

Three incidents of anti-Christian violence have taken place during the Christmas season in Mangalore, a city of nearly 500,000 in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. On Christmas Day, 15...

Cardinal assesses strengths, weaknesses of Africa

One of Africa’s leading cardinals has assessed the continent’s strong and weak points during 2011. Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa--appointed by Pope Benedict as one of the three...

Irish cardinal laments increase in suicide

Cardinal Seán Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, urged parents to take time to spend time with and listen to their children as he lamented the increase of suicide. “The ability to...

Pope calls for greater attention to last rites

The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick deserves greater attention, Pope Benedict XVI has said. In his message for the World Day of the Sick, the Pope reflects on the “sacraments of healing,”...

Las Vegas priest claims gambling addiction prompted thefts

A Catholic priest in Nevada who reportedly stole $650,000 from the Church has asked a judge for leniency in sentencing, explaining that he was addicted to gambling. Father Kevin McAuliffe entered...

Dutch politicians press bishops on abuse report

Political leaders in the Netherlands are pressing for the resignation of Catholic bishops after the release of a report showing widespread sexual abuse within the Church. The 1,100-page report,...

US troops face severe shortage of Catholic military chaplains

A shortage of Catholic chaplains has curtailed access to the sacraments for American troops deployed overseas. The number of Catholic chaplains in active-duty military service has dropped almost...

Boston Globe interviews Cardinal O'Malley, 10 years after breaking scandal story

A decade after publishing a shocking report on the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese, the Boston Globe has published an interview with Cardinal Sean O'Malley about the aftermath of...

Over 2.5 million saw Pope Benedict in 2011

More than 2.5 million people saw Pope Benedict XVI at papal audiences and liturgical ceremonies during the past year, the Vatican has disclosed. The statistics furnished by the Prefecture of the...

Italian Catholic newspaper endangered as government cuts subsidies

Avvenire, the daily newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, faces severe financial pressure because of a cut in government subsidies to the newspaper industry. Avvenire is one of 100...

Catholic university circulates ad for work with pro-abortion group

A Catholic university in New York circulated information about a job opening at an organization promoting legal abortion, the Cardinal Newman Society has learned. Fordham University Law School’s...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 4

Hungary’s constitution: pro-life, but no recognition for Islam, ‘smaller Catholic orders’

The new Hungarian constitution, which protects life from the moment of conception and bans same-sex marriage, will also have an impact upon religious freedom. Writing in The New York Times, Kim...

Taiwan’s bishops urge faithful to pray Liturgy of the Hours, study Catechism

The bishops of Taiwan issued a pastoral letter on January 1 to help the nation’s Catholics prepare for the upcoming Year of Faith. The bishops exhorted priests to offer Mass with care and urged...

Bishop D’Arcy examines Boston scandal

In an interview with the National Catholic Register Bishop John D’Arcy--a former Boston auxiliary bishop (1975-85) who served as Bishop of Fort Wayne - South Bend from 1985 to 2009--examined the...

Poll: Catholic Republicans no more likely to support Catholic candidates

A new Gallup poll has found that Catholic Republicans are no more likely than other Republicans to support the two Catholic presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In December...

Cardinal rues drug abuse, crimes of passion

Speaking at a New Year’s Day press conference, one of the Caribbean’s leading prelates called for peaceful May elections and lamented the rise of the drug culture in the Dominican Republic. “The...

Priest discusses missionary work in Algeria

Father David Carraro, a young missionary priest, discussed his recent experience as a missionary in Touggert, a city of over 100,000 built beside an oasis in the Sahara Desert. “There are no...

Los Angeles auxiliary bishop resigns, admits fathering children

Bishop Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary of the Los Angeles archdiocese, has resigned, after revealing that he is the father of two teenage children. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles announced the...

Spread joy of Christmas through the world, Pope urges faithful

The Christmas season is a time of joy for all Christians, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on January 4. The Holy Father closed his audience by reminding the faithful of their duty...

Canadian bishop sentenced to 15 months on child-porn charge

A Canadian bishop who pleaded guilty to child-pornography charges has been sentenced to a 15-month prison term. Because Bishop Raymond Lahey had already been in prison since last May, and the...

Detroit archdiocese has clear authority on 'RealCatholic' label , canonist notes

Catholics may differ on the wisdom of a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Detroit, saying that RealCatholicTV is not authorized to identify itself as a "Catholic" institution. But there is no...

Boko Haram orders Christians to leave northern Nigeria

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has ordered all Christians to leave northern Nigeria, setting a 3-day deadline. The January 2 statement from Boko Haram threatened further acts of violence...

Released Thursday, Jan. 5

Prelate emphasizes: ‘Nigeria cannot be divided according to religion’

Following demands by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram that Christians leave northern Nigeria, Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, the nation’s capital, is emphasizing that “Nigeria cannot be...

El Salvador prelate recalls 20th anniversary of peace agreement

Twenty years after a peace agreement ended the conflict between El Salvador’s government and leftist rebels, the nation’s leading prelate expressed gratitude that the peace has endured but also...

Cardinal urges Vietnamese to testify to late prelate’s holiness

The cardinal archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City is urging Catholics who knew Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002) to testify to his holiness when a Vatican delegation for his...

Settlement between Pennsylvania diocese, Muslim ex-employee

After filing a religious-discrimination lawsuit in federal court, Omayma Arafa, a Muslim employee who was fired from her part-time parish job in 2009, and the Diocese of Allentown have agreed to a...

Judge fines attorneys for anti-Catholic slurs, orders arrest of one

Less than a month after a Minnesota attorney filed a court document laden with anti-Catholic slurs, the judge who bore the brunt of her comments has ordered her arrested. Referring to Judge Nancy...

Dioceses recovering from bankruptcy

The National Catholic Register examines how four dioceses--Tucson, Davenport (Iowa), Spokane, and Portland (Oregon)--have fared in the years following their decision to file for bankruptcy. “When...

Tulsa Catholic Charities declines government funds

The office of Catholic Charities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has decided to forego government grants, in order to maintain its independence and protect its ability to deliver services fully in keeping with...

Hot topics for US bishops on ad limina visits

The bishops of the US are currently making their ad limina visits to Rome, in groups arranged by metropolitan province. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter lists the topics that the bishops...

New head for top Vatican tribunal

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a new head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, one of the Vatican’s three top tribunals. Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who has been serving as secretary for the...

Vatican unveils plans for Year of Faith

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has prepared a set of recommendations for pastoral work during the coming Year of Faith. The new document, prepared by the CDF with...

Released Friday, Jan. 6

Nigeria: gunmen storm church, kill 6

Gunmen stormed a Protestant church in Gombe, a city of 280,000 in northeastern Nigeria, killing six. “I was leading the congregation in prayers,” said John Jauro, the pastor. “Our eyes were...

Bishop: why maintain schools that are ‘Catholic in name only’?

In a New Year’s Day pastoral letter, an English bishop asked the faithful to “join me in grappling with the two-fold task of planning how our diocese’s parishes and schools adapt” to new...

Caritas urges humanitarian aid for North Korea

Caritas Korea, the Church’s charitable agency in South Korea, is urging the international community not to forget the dire humanitarian needs of North Korea. According to the World Food Programme,...

Archdiocese criticized for implementing Courage

Gay activists in Connecticut and elsewhere are criticizing the Archdiocese of Hartford for its decision to start a chapter of Courage, an apostolate that helps those with same-sex attractions to...

Author reports high rate of falsely accused priests

In an interview with Catholic World Report, Dave Pierre, the author of Catholic Priests Falsely Accused, offers evidence for a media double standard surrounding coverage of abuse cases and states...

Abuse victim recounts meeting with Pope

A woman assaulted by a Boston priest when she was 15 has described how the words of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and the compassion of Pope Benedict during a 2008 meeting in Washington have strengthened...

Pope names 22 new cardinals

Pope Benedict XVI has named 22 new cardinals, including two prelates from the US. At his Angelus audience on January 6, the Pope announced that a consistory will be held on February 18, and...

A bishop needs a 'restless heart,' Pope says in ordaining two prelates

A Catholic bishop should be “a man of restless heart,” Pope Benedict XVI said on January 6, as he ordained two priests as archbishops. As the Vatican observed the feast of the Epiphany, the...

American priest attributes healing to intercession of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos

The inexplicable healing of a paralyzed priest in Baltimore could, if confirmed by the Vatican, provide the miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Father John...

New York Times column on St. Joan of Arc

The New York Times features an op-ed column on St. Joan of Arc, remarking on the enduring interest in a saint whose life story defies ordinary categorization. Although author Kathryn Harrison...

Cardinal O'Malley continues reflections on sex-abuse scandal

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley once again spoke at length on the impact of the sex-abuse scandal in an interview with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Cardinal O’Malley’s interview...

Experts reflect on the Pope's choice of new cardinals

Commenting on Pope Benedict’s selection of 22 new members for the College of Cardinals, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter notes that the Pontiff has increased the strength—already...

Philadelphia archdiocese will close 48 Catholic schools

The Philadelphia archdiocese plans to close 48 Catholic schools, as part of a sweeping program designed to restore economic stability to an endangered parochial-school system. Four Catholic high...

Released Monday, Jan. 9

Nigeria: war of words between Protestant, Muslim leaders

Terrified that the Islamist group Boko Haram will continue its recent spate of attacks on Christians, some indigenous Christians in the northern part of the nation are preparing to heed the...

Philippines: 3 million Catholics in procession despite terrorist threats

Three million Filipinos took part in an annual procession in Manila in honor of the Black Nazarene--a 17th-century statue of Christ--despite a warning by the nation’s president that terrorists might...

Gaza Christians trapped between Israeli blockade, Muslim society

Bishops from Europe and the United States who are visiting Gaza are finding a small Catholic community trapped between an Israeli blockade and an overwhelmingly Muslim culture. Gaza’s sole parish,...

Vatican spokesman explains why Pope will visit Mexico

In his weekly opinion column, the director of the Vatican press office explained why Pope Benedict will travel to Mexico and Cuba in March. “There’s not much need to call attention to the Cuban...

New biblical translation a bestseller in Norway

The first Norwegian translation of the Bible in three decades has remain on top of the bestseller list almost every week since its publication in October. The translation, intended to “read like a...

Honduras: priest claims torture by police

Father Marco Aurelio Lorenzo, a priest in western Honduras, alleges that police tortured him and his two brothers as they were resting on the side of the road on a visit to their parents. “They...

Pope baptizes children, speaks of parents' duties as educators

Pope Benedict XVI baptized 16 infants on January 8, the feast of the Baptism of Christ, and reminded their parents and godparents of their duties to promote the children’s faith. In his homily...

Pakistan: death threats for defenders of Christian woman jailed for blasphemy

A lawyer for Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman who faces a death sentence after a highly questionable blasphemy conviction, faces death threats from Islamic militants. Human-rights activists are...

Cardinal George apologizes for comparing gay activists to Ku Klux Klan

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has issued a public apology for a statement in which he compared gay-rights activists to the Ku Klux Klan. “I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have...

Bishop Lahey seeks laicization after child-porn sentencing

Archbishop Martin Currie of St. John’s, Newfoundland, has written to the Catholics of the region, revealing that Bishop Raymond Lahey is seeking to be laicized after his conviction on...

Nigerian cardinal vows: Christians will not flee

Despite the threats of violence by Boko Haram, Christians will not leave northern Nigeria, vows Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos. “The Nigerian Church is strong and vital, it will not...

Five former US envoys to Holy See endorse Romney candidacy

Five former US ambassadors to the Vatican have joined in a public statement of endorsement for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former ambassadors are Thomas Melady, Raymond...

Columnist rips Santorum's critics for breach of decency

Commenting on vicious personal attacks that have been loosed at presidential candidate Rick Santorum, columnist Mark Steyn, remarks: “The Left's much-vaunted powers of empathy routinely fail when...

Another Vatican PR blunder: cardinals' bios from Wikipedia

In another embarrassing public-relations gaffe, when Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals, the Vatican released short biographies of the prelates that had been taken verbatim from Wikipedia...

6th former Anglican bishop joins English ordinariate

Former Anglican Bishop Robert Mercer has been received into the Catholic Church in England’s new Anglican ordinariate. Born in Zimbabwe, Robert Mercer was Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland from...

Pope Benedict's 'State of the World' address [Summary/Analysis]

In his annual speech to the Vatican diplomatic corps—the papal “State of the World” address—Pope Benedict XVI laid heavy emphasis on the continuing economic crisis, the uncertainties facing young...

Cleveland diocese reports $19 million saved by parish closings

In a report on diocesan finances, Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland said the sale of closed parishes has produced over $19 million in income, putting the diocese on a stronger financial footing....

Released Tuesday, Jan. 10

Prelate: Nigeria sitting on powder keg

The Islamist terrorist organization that is targeting Christians in northern Nigeria has led Africa’s most populous nation to the brink of a situation more dangerous than the Nigeria Civil War...

Israeli, Palestinian reactions to Pope’s ‘State of the World’ address

Both Israeli and Palestinian diplomats are praising Pope Benedict’s January 9 address to the diplomatic corps. During the address, the Pope expressed satisfaction that Israeli and Palestinian...

Recent persecution of Christians in Laos

In Laos--a Communist nation where 67% of the population is Buddhist, and only 2% are Christian--authorities in some villages of Savannakhet Province, which is located in the south-central part of...

Vatican newspaper defends papal diplomacy

Stating that “the Holy See is in the world to recall the reality of Christ, who transformed human destiny from corruption to immortality,” the editor of L‘Osservatore Romano has defended Pope...

Pope Pius XII: ‘Be proud to be a Jew’

Writing for Inside the Vatican, William Doino, Jr., documents Venerable Pius XII’s efforts to assist Jewish refugees detained on the island of Rhodes. “And now, my Jewish friend, go with the...

Illinois bishops call for immigration reform, urge support for families

The bishops of Illinois have called upon Catholics to “provide hope and support to immigrant families and to advocate for comprehensive reform of our nation’s immigration laws.” “The fact that...

February consistory will follow newly revised ritual

The Vatican has announced a series of changes in the ritual that will be carried out when Pope Benedict XVI raises 22 prelates to the College of Cardinals on February 18. At the February...

Vatican receives report on investigation of US women's religious orders

The Vatican has received the final report from an apostolic visitation of women’s religious orders in the US. Mother Mary Clare Millea, who was assigned by the Vatican to carry out the apostolic...

Sex-selection abortion tilts population figures against females worldwide

An eye-opening study by Nicholas Eberstadt shows that sex-selection abortion has begun to tip the demographic balance against girls—not just in India and China, where the practice is already...

Vatican Museums set new high for visitors in 2011

The Vatican Museums set a record in 2011, exceeding 5 million visitors for the first time. The total number of visitors at the Vatican Museums last year was 5,078,004, reported director Antonio...

Mass migration creates new chances to evangelize, writes Vatican official

The worldwide phenomenon of migration “opens unique opportunities for evangelization,” writes the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants in an article that appears in an Italian...

Monk's arrest in Greece exposes contest for world's Orthodox leadership

The head of a famous Orthodox monastery in Greece has been arrested, in a complex case that reflects a contest for power between the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of...

Former Episcopalian Bishop Pope, twice a convert, dead at 81

Clarence Pope, a former Episcopalian bishop who converted to Catholicism, died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 9 at the age of 81 after a long illness. After retiring in 1994 from his post...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 11

Egyptian diplomat urges Christians not to fear election of Islamist parties

Commenting on Pope Benedict’s January 9 address to the diplomatic corps, Egypt’s ambassador to the Holy See traced Muslim-Christian tensions in Egypt to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the...

2 Christian leaders arrested in Orissa

Over three years after an anti-Christian pogrom in the eastern Indian province of Orissa left dozens dead and 50,000 homeless, two Christian leaders have been arrested. Police arrested Baliguda...

National K-12 sex-ed standards proposed

Four organizations, including the National Education Association’s Health Information Network, have published “National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, Grades K-12,” a...

Bishops’ conference resettles 27% of refugees to US

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services resettled 27% of the 57,000 refugees who came to the United States in 2011. The six leading countries of origin of...

Thriving young religious community in Ukraine

A recently-formed Ukrainian religious community has attracted two dozen young vocations, according to the community’s founder. “After years of oppression, the people are glad to be able to live...

Federal court upholds law requiring ultrasound before abortion

A federal appellate court has lifted an injunction that prevented the implementation of Texas’s sonogram law. Under the legislation, passed in 2011, abortionists are required to offer mothers the...

Gun battle outside Iraqi archbishop's residence

A terrorist attack was thwarted by police and private security guards outside the residence of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, on January 11. The armed men assaulted the...

Pope speaks on Christ's prayer at the Last Supper

“The Eucharist is the supreme prayer of Jesus and of his Church,” Pope Benedict XVI told the 4,000 people who attended his weekly general audience in the Paul VI auditorium on January 11....

Czech Republic to offer compensation for Church property seized by Communist government

The Czech government has finalized an agreement that will result in compensation of about $2.5 billion to the Catholic Church for properties that had been confiscated by the nation’s Communist...

Irish seminary to separate students from university community

Students at the Irish national seminary at Maynooth will be separated from other students on the sprawling campus, in a move to preserve the distinctive quality of the seminary as a training ground...

Larger plot involved in death of missionary in Philippines?

Catholics in the Mindanao province of the Philippines remain suspicious that powerful political figures were involved in the October 17 killing of Father Fausto Tentorio. Police have charged one...

Italian archbishop to take #2 post at Congregation for Bishops

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the apostolic nuncio in Brazil, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to become the secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. Archbishop Baldisseri replaces...

Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople rebukes Moscow on interference in Greece

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople has issued a statement expressing concern about the arrest of a prominent monk from a monastery on Mount Athos, but decried the intervention of the...

Crocodile makes an appearance at papal audience

Pope Benedict XVI, who routinely greets special guests after each public audience on Wednesday, was introduced to a very unusual visitor on January 11: a Cuban crocodile. The crocodile, a member...

Commentator: Did Cardinal Mahony cover up evidence of bishop's paternity?

Shortly after Archbishop José Gomez was installed in the Los Angeles last March, rumors began to circulate that an auxiliary of the archdiocese, Bishop Gabino Zavala, was facing special scrutiny in...

Supreme Court upholds 'ministerial exception' in landmark victory for religious freedom

In a landmark January 11 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that religious bodies should set their own standards for hiring ministers, free from government interference. The unanimous decision...

German bishop a likely choice to head CDF?

Bishop Gerhard Müller of Regensburg, Germany, met with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience on January 11, amid rumors that he may be named the next prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine...

Released Thursday, Jan. 12

Christian Egyptian business leader to face trial for defaming Islam

Naguib Sawiris, a prominent Egyptian business leader and a Coptic Christian, will face trial for insulting religion because he tweeted images of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse wearing Muslim garb....

Gunmen kill 4 Nigerian Christians

Gunmen on the outskirts of Potiskum, a northeastern Nigerian city of 200,000, have killed four Christians who were fleeing the area in the wake of previous attacks. The Islamist terrorist group Boko...

US bishops welcome Supreme Court decision on ministerial exception

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has welcomed the Supreme Court’s unanimous landmark decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment...

Pakistani Catholic welcomes Pope’s tribute to Bhatti as crisis deepens

Peter Jacob, director of the Pakistani bishops’ justice and peace commission, has welcomed Pope Benedict’s tribute to Shabaz Bhatti in his recent address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the...

Caritas: 250,000 Somalis at risk of famine

A quarter million Somalis are at risk of famine, while an additional four million live in a situation of food insecurity, according to a report prepared by Caritas Somalia, the Church’s charitable...

Hundreds of Miami Catholics to attend Pope’s Masses in Cuba

Describing the Archdiocese of Miami as “almost like another archdiocese of Cuba’’ because of the number of Cuban-Americans there, Archbishop Thomas Wenski says that “several hundred” Miami Catholics...

Philadelphia archdiocese will hear appeals on school closings

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has established an appeals process for reconsideration of decisions on closing schools. Two committees will hear appeals: one for the 4 high schools slated for...

Belgian bishops will require abusive priests to pay victims

Belgian Catholic Church leaders have announced that priests who are guilty of abusing children will be required to pay damages to their victims. While encouraging victims to seek judgments from...

Support families, encourage youth, Pope urges Italian government officials

In an annual address to local officials of Rome and the surrounding Lazio region, Pope Benedict XVI said that government policies should reflect and promote a new, stronger sense of...

Haitians still suffering from aftermath of 2010 earthquake

Two years after a devastating earthquake, Haiti is still slowly recovering, reports the apostolic nuncio in that country, Archbishop Bernardino Auza. Speaking with the Fides news service, the...

Venezuelan bishops ready to de-escalate conflict with Chavez?

The Venezuelan bishops’ conference has elected a new president, Archbishop Diego Rafael Padron Sanchez of Cumana, who is regarded as a friend of the country’s controversial President Hugo...

Sharp increase in use of US canon-law tribunals

Church tribunals in the US have seen a sharp rise in the number of canonical suits brought by American Catholics. Although exact figures are not available, because canonical courts keep their...

US religious leaders issue warning on impact of same-sex marriage

Four Catholic bishops are among the 39 American religious leaders who have joined in a public statement cautioning against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. “Altering the civil...

New apostolic nuncio reflects on challenges in Ireland

Archbishop Charles Brown, the newly installed apostolic nuncio in Dublin, reflects on the challenges facing him in a conversation with the Irish Times. The American-born archbishop reminds his...

Released Friday, Jan. 13

Pakistan: government demolishes Catholic buildings

Without warning, the government of the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab has demolished a Catholic nursing home, girls’ school, convent, and chapel, leading to the destruction of Bibles,...

Judge: Methodist ministry violated law in refusing same-sex ceremony

A New Jersey administrative law judge has ruled that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association--a ministry associated with the United Methodist Church--violated the state’s anti-discrimination law...

Bishops call for peace in Holy Land

Representing their episcopal conferences, nine bishops from the US, Canada, and Europe have called for peace in the Holy Land. “While the faith we see in the Christians of the Holy Land is an...

Proposed football stadium could damage basilica, warns pastor

Father John Bauer, pastor of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, has warned that the proposed construction of a professional football stadium 300 feet from the basilica’s property line could...

Background: Pope’s message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

On January 15, the Church will observe the 98th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a commemoration instituted by St. Pius X. Issued in September, Pope Benedict’s message for the day is entitled...

Times profile of school associated with Opus Dei

The New York Times has profiled The Heights School, a Washington-area school affiliated with Opus Dei. “Conservative Catholics are drawn to The Heights for its single-sex community, in which the...

L'Osservatore highlights soaring food prices of 2011

The Vatican newspaper has called attention to a damaging rise in food prices worldwide during 2011. The price of food soared by 35% during the year, despite a significant decrease in December,...

German priest pleads guilty to 280 abuse charges

A German priest has pleaded guilty to 280 charges of molesting young boys. The priest, who has not been identified in public, has been suspended from ministry and faces further ecclesiastical...

Congo: bishops say November presidential vote was unfair

The Catholics bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo have charged that November presidential elections in that country were marred by “treachery, lies, and terror,” and demanded that election...

Catholic organizer explains work with Muslims at UN

Austin Ruse, the president of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, explains why, and how, he has worked effectively with representatives of Islamic nations during political battles at the...

Appreciation for Norman Rockwell's vision

Anthony Esolen explains why he loves the paintings of Norman Rockwell, and the vision of a way of life that they...

Pope explains the meaning of 'justice' and 'peace'

On January 13, Pope Benedict XVI held his annual private audience with members of the Italian police force that serves at the Vatican. "Defending public order, especially in an area so heavily...

Livestock show coming to St. Peter's Square

Tourists and pilgrims visiting Rome on January 17 should be prepared for an unusual sight in St. Peter's Square. The Italian Association of Livestock Farmers will be holding a show of farm animals:...

Italian foreign minister promises vigorous defense of Christian religious rights

“Defending human rights is not just an ethical commitment: it also responds to our security needs,” wrote Italy’s foreign minister in an article that appeared in Avvenire, the Italian daily owned by...

Tulsa's Bishop Slattery sees 'prophetic' (non-governmental) role for Catholic Charities

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, speaks about his decision to decline government funding for the local office of Catholic Charities, in a discussion with the National Catholic...

Vatican acceptance coming for Neocatechumenal liturgy?

On January 20, Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to hold an audience with members of the Neocatechumenal Way. Sandro Magister of L'Espresso writes that the date could bring a final resolution of...

Italian bishop suggests registration of civil unions, not same-sex marriage

An Italian bishop has recommended that the government agree to register the civil unions of same-sex couples, but stop short of recognizing these unions as marriages. "When two people, even if...

Bishop rebukes Jesuit university for inviting pro-abortion speaker

Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania has released a public statement rebuking the Jesuit-administered University of Scranton for inviting a pro-abortion activist to speak. Bishop...

Russian Orthodox prelate suggests Christians organize political parties

The chief political spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has suggested the creation of Christian political parties, prompting concerns among observers who note that the creation of political...

Activists decry Israeli court decision extending bar to Palestinian citizenship

A decision by Israel’s highest court, preventing Palestinians from gaining Israeli citizenship by marrying an Israeli spouse, has drawn criticism from human-rights activists. The court’s ruling,...

Released Monday, Jan. 16

India: sharia court convicts priest, Protestant pastor on forced-conversion charges

The deputy grand mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, a largely Muslim Indian state, has announced that a sharia court has convicted an 80-year-old Dutch missionary priest and a Protestant pastor of...

Vatican spokesman laments religious persecution, cites ‘Islamic extremism’

The director of the Holy See Press Office has used his weekly message to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. “The recent annual report of the international evangelical...

Venezuelan bishops call for year of national reconciliation

Exhorting Venezuelans not to look upon one another as enemies, the bishops of Venezuela are calling for a year of national reconciliation ahead of October elections. The bishops also lamented the...

Agnostic assesses Vatican dialogue at Assisi

One of the agnostics who took part in the day of reflection, dialogue, and prayer in Assisi in October suggested that the Vatican recognize that “non-believers are usually somewhere between the two...

Ecumenical group presents Latin audio New Testament to Pope

An ecumenical association that offers recordings of the New Testament in over 600 languages presented its Latin recording of the New Testament to Pope Benedict during his January 11 general...

Pope’s 2013 prayer intentions announced

The Vatican has announced Pope Benedict’s general and mission prayer intentions for 2013. The practice of proposing specific monthly prayer intentions to the faithful arose in response to the...

New Italian prime minister visits Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI met on January 14 with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who was introduced at the Vatican for the first time since he took office in November 2011. A brief Vatican statement...

Police thwart 'Occupy' protest in St. Peter's Square

Protesters trying to set up tents in St. Peter's Square clashed with police at the Vatican on January 14. About 50 protesters were eventually removed by police as they tried to set up tents in...

Vatican city-state tribunal opens judicial year

The judicial tribunal of the Vatican city-state opened its 83rd term on January 14, with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State. Nicola Picadi, the...

Texas bishop sues priest, charges financial mismanagement

In a highly unusual move, the outgoing Bishop of El Paso, Texas, has filed a lawsuit against one of his priests, charging him with misuse of parish funds. Bishop Armando Ochoa charged that Father...

Homosexual Anglican cleric, denied post as bishop, may sue Church of England

A prominent Anglican cleric is weighing a lawsuit against the Church of England, claiming that he has been unfairly been denied appointment as a bishop because he is homosexual. Dr. Jeffrey John,...

Belgian police raid 3 dioceses, take documents on abuse complaints

Belgian police raided the offices of three Catholic dioceses on January 16, as they continued their aggressive investigation of sex-abuse complaints. Officials in the dioceses of Brussels,...

Pope speaks on migrants' hopes, priests' role in helping young men discern vocations

While millions of people are involved in the worldwide tide of migration, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday audience on January 15 that “they are not just numbers!” “They are men, women, and...

Former diplomat weighs US stand on religious freedom

The former director of the US State Department’s office for religious freedom spoke about the challenges to religious liberty in the US itself, as well as the foreign-policy initiatives of the Obama...

L'Osservatore rips Standard and Poor's on downgrading European debt

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano criticized the credit-rating agency Standard and Poor’s for its decision to downgrade the bonds of nine European countries last week. The decision from...

Murders, forced conversions, lynchings: Pakistan's sorry religious-freedom record

At least 161 people were indicted last year under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, and 9 people accused of blasphemy were lynched. A Muslim legal scholar estimates that 95% of all blasphemy charges are...

Top Vatican journalist sees 3 likely contenders to head CDF

Vatican-watching journalist Andrea Tornielli reports that Pope Benedict XVI will wait until April before naming a successor to Cardinal William Levada, who will step down as prefect of the...

Pope Benedict to meet Fidel Castro during March visit?

Pope Benedict XVI could plan a personal meeting with the ailing Fidel Castro during his visit to Cuba in March, Vatican Insider reports. Although a face-to-face meeting is not listed on the...

Irish government sets up expert panel to consider change in abortion law

The Irish government has set up an “expert group” to study the nation’s abortion law, in response to a 2010 decision by the European Court of Human Rights that the Irish law fails to provide...

Irish public opposes decision to close Vatican embassy

The Irish public overwhelmingly opposes the government’s move to close down its embassy at the Holy See, the Irish Examiner reports. In the days after foreign minister Eamon Gilmore announced the...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 17

India: 2011 the worst year for persecution of Christians

The year 2011 was the worst on record for the persecution of Christians in India, according to a report released by the Catholic Secular Forum, a lay organization. The report documents three to five...

Iran: imprisoned Protestant pastor again refuses to revert to Islam

Yousef Nadarkhani, an Iranian Protestant pastor sentenced to death for apostasy, has again rejected an opportunity to be released from prison by reverting to Islam. Nadarkhani, whose execution was...

Pakistan: bishops call for greater legal protection for Christians, Hindus

Describing Pakistan as a “democratic country [whose] legal structure resembles a theocratic state,” the justice and peace commission of the Pakistani bishops’ conference is urging the Federal...

Pro-life victory: judge dismisses federal prosecution of sidewalk counselor

Suspecting collusion between the federal government and an abortion clinic, a federal judge has dismissed Attorney General Eric Holder’s prosecution of Mary Susan Pine, a Florida sidewalk counselor,...

Kansas City: former chancery employee alleges homosexual harassment

A former assistant archivist has filed a sexual harassment suit against the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph, alleging that he was dismissed because he complained about an atmosphere of...

SSPX offers 2nd response to Vatican on 'Doctrinal Preamble'

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has reportedly submitted a second response to the Doctrinal Preamble that was drafted for the group’s affirmation. Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli of La...

Canadian acts quickly on gay divorce, slowly on religious persecution

Writing in the National Post, Charles Lewis observes that the Canadian government moved swiftly to provide for legal divorce of homosexuals who had come to Canada to marry. But while responding...

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins Wednesday

The Vatican press office has issued an alert that the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will begin on Wednesday, January 18. The annual observance traditionally spans from January 18 to 25. The...

Did a Kuwaiti prince embrace Christianity? Video prompts dispute

A Christian television station broadcasting in the Arabic world has aired a statement by a man identified as a Kuwaiti prince, proclaiming his faith in Jesus Christ. The videotaped statement...

Scottish midwives demand conscience-clause exemption from abortion duty

Two midwives in Scotland have brought legal action against the country’s largest health board, charging that they have been coerced to cooperate in abortions, in violation of their conscience...

First Things editor raps Wall Street Journal editorial on child tax credits

A Wall Street Journal editorial on January 9 derided presidential candidate Rich Santorum for his suggestion that the federal government should triple the tax credit for children. “This is social...

Vatican official says Beijing should release imprisoned clerics to improve its own image

Arguing that China should release the Catholic bishops and priests who are now imprisoned, the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization said that the move should be “good for China’s...

Catholic bishop pleads for peace in northern Nigeria

A Catholic bishop in northern Nigeria has urged the faithful to remain confident, and to pray for the future of their country, as violent attacks by the Boko Haram movement shake the region. In a...

Catholic Charities honors DC mayor who favored abortion, same-sex marriage

Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington have bestowed the “Keep the Dream Alive” Award on Anthony Williams, who served as mayor of Washington from 1999 to...

Italian Catholic, Jewish officials discuss respect for human life

Italian Church leaders engaged in a Day for Dialogue between Catholics and Jews on January 17, in an effort promoted by the Italian bishops’ conference. The Italian bishops and the Italian...

NPR headline takes 'cheap shot' at Catholic Church

The headline on a National Public Radio report asked a leading question: "Catholic Church Still Hiding Sexual Predators?" But the report itself provided absolutely no evidence that the question...

Does Texas 'informed consent' law signal a successful new strategy against abortion?

Legal scholar Hadley Arkes believes that the groundwork for a powerful challenge to legal abortion has been laid, in a judicial decision affirming the "informed consent" law in Texas. Judge Edith...

The case against Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies may be tasty, and earnest little girls who sell them door-to-door may be hard to resist, but a portion of the profits are used to promote a left-wing agenda, reports Cathy Cleaver...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 18

Nigeria: Christmas church bombing suspect arrested, escapes

Kabiru Sokoto, the man suspected of planning the Christmas Day attack on a Nigerian parish that left 38 dead, was arrested in the governor’s compound in Borno State, which is located in northeastern...

Massachusetts court overturns decision ordering abortion, sterilization

A Massachusetts appeals court has struck down a lower court decision ordering a pregnant 32-year-old schizophrenic woman to undergo an abortion and sterilization. Judge Christina Harms of the...

Pakistan: 2,000 protest government’s demolition of Church buildings

Two thousand Pakistani Christians, including Auxiliary Bishop Sebastian Shah of Lahore, priests, and Protestant leaders, protested the Punjabi government’s decision to confiscate Church land and...

English ordinariate commemorates 1st year

Amid Solemn Evensong, a Eucharistic procession, and Benediction, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham commemorated the first anniversary of its establishment on January 15. The...

Prelate takes stock of Pope’s ecumenical thought

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, discusses some of the highlights of Pope Benedict’s thought on ecumenism....

Background: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William O’Connell of...

Croatian bishops encourage 'Yes' vote on EU membership

The Catholic bishops of Croatia are urging the faithful to vote in favor of entry into the European Union. “We invite all Croatian citizens and faithful to push all their fears and resignations...

Sudan: priests kidnapped, tensions grow

The kidnapping of two Catholic priests--a crime with distinct political overtones--has increased fears for the Christian religious minority in Sudan. Father Joseph Makwey and Father Sylvester...

Chaplain on doomed liner protected the Eucharist, helped other passengers

The Catholic chaplain on the ill-fated cruise ship Costa Concordia rushed to protect the Blessed Sacrament when the ship ran onto a reef. Father Rafeali Mallena consumed the Blessed Sacrament...

Are England's Catholic bishops stalling the Anglican ordinariate?

William Oddie of London's Catholic Herald questions whether the Catholic bishops of England are deliberately discouraging the growth of the new Anglican-Catholic ordinariate. This is, Oddie notes, a...

Christian unity would spur New Evangelization, Pope notes

During his regular weekly public audience on January 18, Pope Benedict XVI centered his remarks on the opening of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Pope placed the annual week of...

Pope tells lawyers: be guided by truth

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on January 18, Pope Benedict XVI reminded a group of lawyers that they have a moral obligation to serve the truth. As usual, as he closed...

Esolen on judicial activism and corruption of a democratic society

Reflecting on debates among Republican presidential candidates, and the questions posed by media personalities during those debates, Anthony Esolen remarks that American voters are expected to make...

Minnesota: archbishop battles clergy dissent on marriage amendment

With Catholic Church leaders in Minnesota enthusiastically supporting a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would safeguard marriage, Archbishop John Nienstedt has warned his priests...

Swedish politician wants crackdown on home schooling

An influential Swedish politician has asked the country’s government to crack down on home-schooling families. Lotta Edholm of the Liberal Party wrote in the Aftonbladet newspaper that the...

Released Thursday, Jan. 19

New Italian prime minister pays tribute to Pope, Europe’s Christian roots

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who assumed office in November, said that the Church’s Magisterium and the Christian roots of Europe are indispensable in facing the continent’s economic...

Tunisia: prelate fears new protests

A year after “Arab Spring” protests led to the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled Tunisia since 1989, the nation’s leading prelate warns of the prospect of more protests in upcoming...

Colorado bishops urge opposition to civil unions

The bishops of Colorado are urging Catholics to contact their state legislators in opposition to civil unions legislation. “It does little good to protect marriage in our state constitution, on...

Catechetical texts translated into Hebrew

L’Osservatore Romano reports that the first three volumes of the Catechism (presumably the first three parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church) have been translated into Hebrew. Father David...

Bishop: ‘we must continue to fight’ for federal immigration reform

Addressing a Catholic conference on immigration, Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City urged Catholics to advocate for immigration reform at the federal level. “Different laws, particularly...

New York: newly ordained priest suspended for fathering child

Auxiliary Bishop Dominick Lagonegro of New York has announced that Father Casmir Mung’aho, a Tanzanian-born archdiocesan priest ordained in 2011, has been suspended for fathering a child who was...

Philippines: police investigate priest's mysterious death

Police in the Philippines are investigating the death of an Australian missionary priest whose body was found floating in a river. Father Douglas Rowe had been inspecting a plot of land for his...

Pope sees religious freedom eroding in US

Pope Benedict XVI issued a solemn warning about the erosion of religious freedom in the United States, in a January 19 address to visiting American bishops. The Holy Father told the American...

Sudan: kidnapped priests are alive; negotiations begin for their release

Two Catholic priests who were kidnapped on January 15 in Sudan are alive and well, and the Archdiocese of Khartoum is negotiating for their release. Church sources in Sudan have confirmed that...

The lucrative business of abortion

A moderately busy abortionist can bring in revenues of nearly $500,000 a year, a few calculations show. The same arithmetic--based on average pricing--suggests that Planned Parenthood generates...

Suspended Orthodox archbishop faces abuse trial in Canada

An Orthodox prelate who was suspended from ministry in 2010 will have to stand trial on sex-abuse charges. Following a court hearing in Winnipeg determined that the evidence against Archbishop...

Nigerian archbishop fears new attacks on Christians in north

Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has reported that telephone text messages currently circulating in the north of the country warn “of plans by some Muslim groups to massacre Christians...

Italian politicians eye church properties for tax revenues

Italian politicians are pressing for the Catholic Church to begin paying property on some real-estate properties. The Church already pays taxes on purely commercial investment properties, but...

Finnish ecumenical delegates meet with Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI met on January 19 with an ecumenical delegation from Finland, and spoke about the need for a common Christian witness in a secularized world. A shared Christian apostolate, the...

Irish group rallies support to reopen embassy at Vatican

An Irish group is effectively putting pressure on the country’s legislators to reopen the Irish embassy at the Holy See. The group, Ireland Stand Up, drew one-third of the members of the Irish...

Irish politician sees no place for religious schools

An Irish Labor Party leader told the Irish Catholic that “religious ethos has no place in the educational system of a modern republic.” The claim by Aodhan O Riordain matched efforts by the Labor...

Released Friday, Jan. 20

‘Constant fear and repression’ for Egypt’s Christians

Nearly a year after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s Christians are living under an atmosphere of “constant fear and repression,” according to Michael Mounir, a Coptic political...

43.8 million abortions worldwide; rate highest in eastern Europe

A study conducted by the World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute has found that 43.8 million surgical abortions take place annually, with the highest abortion rates occurring in...

US bishops welcome Pope’s remarks on religious liberty

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed Pope Benedict’s comments on religious liberty in his January 19 address to a group of US bishops. “The bishops are thankful and...

South African prelate warns against bill on state secrets

A South African prelate is urging Catholics to oppose the Protection of State Information Bill, which is under consideration in the nation’s legislature. “The Bill comprehensively protects the...

Columnist analyzes celebration of abortion

Writing for The American Spectator, George Neumayr examines the willingness of some to celebrate abortion as a laudable act. “You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart,” says...

Jewish-Catholic dialogue examines religion textbooks

The latest round of dialogue between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Council of Synagogues examined the presentation of Judaism in Catholic religious education...

Egyptian Church spokesman argues against death penalty for Mubarak

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt has argued against the imposition of the death penalty for former President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak, who was deposed last year, is being held...

Asian bishops discuss response to abuse

At a recent closed-door meeting, the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences addressed the problem of sexual abuse and the response of the Catholic hierarchy, acknowledging “a considerably serious...

Obama administration denies 'conscience clause' exemption on contraceptive coverage

Brushing aside concerns about religious liberty and respect for individual consciences, the Obama administration has announced that Church-related institutions will be required to provide...

Pope tells Roman seminarians: thirst for sanctity

“Priestly life requires an ever-increasing thirst for sanctity, a clear sensus Ecclesiae and an openness to fraternity without exclusion or bias,” Pope Benedict XVI said on January 20 at a meeting...

Pope to visit Lebanon in September?

Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Lebanon in September, according to the Roman news agency I Media. The Vatican has not confirmed the report. Vatican officials reportedly have indicated that the...

SNAP continues to fight disclosure

Leaders of an organization representing sex-abuse victims claim that their group is fighting for its life, in the face of a court order requiring disclosure of its internal documents. SNAP—the...

Vatican gives approval to celebrations of Neocatechumenal Way

The Vatican has given formal approval to the special celebrations that characterize the work of the Neocatechumenal Way. At a January 20 meeting with over 7,000 members of the Neocatechumenal...

Released Monday, Jan. 23

Obama affirms commitment to ‘fundamental constitutional right’ to abortion

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Barack Obama issued a brief statement affirming his support of the 1973 decision. “As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember...

Bishops concerned about religious freedom in Ecuador

Bishops in Ecuador are expressing concerns about the implications of a draft law on religious freedom and religious equality. The law raises questions about whether priests and religious could...

Archbishop Dolan urges Catholics: lobby on behalf of religious liberty

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Catholics to “let your elected leaders know that you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you...

Sudan: abductors demand large ransom for priests’ release

The kidnappers of two Sudanese priests are demanding the exorbitant ransom of 500,000 Sudanese pounds ($185,000) for their release. Per capita GDP in the north African nation stands at only...

Cardinal Wuerl laments push toward ‘monolithic’ secularism

Commenting on Pope Benedict’s address to US bishops on religious liberty, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washingotn lamented the push towards a “monolithic secularism” in the United States. While...

Vatican spokesman discusses relation between ecumenism, evangelization

Quoting recent remarks by Pope Benedict, the director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to the relationship between ecumenism and the new evangelization. “The new...

Vatican newspaper argues against opera funding cuts, praises J. Edgar

Citing a recent economic study, an op-ed piece published in L’Osservatore Romano urges governments not to cut public funding for opera companies. Giuseppe Pennisi, president of the...

Catholic Healthcare West drops ties with Church

One of the nation’s largest health-care systems has severed its formal ties with the Catholic Church. Catholic Healthcare West, a corporation that oversees 40 hospitals in California, Arizona,...

Dissident Austrian priests plan to take 'Call to Disobedience' international

A dissident Austrian priest hopes to encourage an international movement of clerics who defy the authority of the Church. Msgr. Helmut Schüller, the head of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, said...

Welsh Christian leaders join in opposition to 'presumed consent' for organ donation

Christian leaders in Wales have united in a call for the government to reconsider plans to presume that all individuals have consented to be organ donors unless they have specifically stated...

Egypt's Christians rattled by Islamists' election victories

A sweeping victory by Islamic groups in Egyptian legislative elections has caused concern—but not surprise—among the country’s minority Christians. “The victory of Islamist parties scares...

Most Bulgarian Orthodox bishops had ties with Communist regime

All but 4 of Bulgaria’s 15 Orthodox bishops cooperated with the country’s secret police under the Communist regime, newly released archive documents show. Patriarch Maxim, the 97-year-old prelate...

SNAP worked with plaintiffs' lawyers against Church, court documents show

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has cooperated with plaintiffs’ lawyers in publicity campaigns against the Catholic Church, charges The Media Report. In a Missouri case,...

OSCE makes religious freedom a high priority

The protection of human freedoms, including religious freedom, is an essential factor in European security, argues the president of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe...

Liberal Catholic scholars rap Gingrich, Santorum

In an attack obviously aimed at two Republican presidential candidates, a group of liberal Catholic scholars has charged that conservative Catholic politicians are rousing racial...

Approval for Neocatechumenal Way does not include changes in Mass

The Vatican’s formal approval for the Neocatechumenal Way does not extend to changes that members of the movement have made in celebrating Mass, Vatican officials have confirmed. As CWN reported...

Politicians, bishops rally tens of thousands at March for Life

Tens of thousands of pro-life activists braved raw, rainy weather in Washington, DC on January 23 to participate in the 39th annual March for Life. “It's consistently one of the largest protests...

Church tribunals must 'think with the Church,' Pope says

The proper application of canon law entails “a search for the truth about law and justice in the Church,” said Pope Benedict XVI on January 21, as he spoke with officials of the Roman Rota as the...

Lambs blessed on feast of St. Agnes

Fulfilling an ancient Roman tradition for the feast of St. Agnes, on January 21, Pope Benedict XVI blessed two lambs whose wool will be used to make the pallium, the liturgical vestment that...

Church unity requires conversion for all, Pope says

The quest for unity among all Christians “will be realistic if change first comes about within us,” Pope Benedict XVI told a midday audience on Sunday, January 22. Reminding his listeners that...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 24

Nigeria: bishop describes Islamist terrorist attack

Bishop John Namanzah Niyiring has offered an account of the recent attack on Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest city, by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. Nearly 200 lost their lives in the...

Mexico: gunmen storm chapel, kill 7

Gunmen entered a chapel near Atoyac de Álvarez, a city of 60,000 in southwestern Mexico, killing seven and injuring five. The attack occurred on the evening of January 21 as the faithful were taking...

March for Life: homilies of Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Dolan

During the eve and early morning of the March for Life in Washington, over 20,000 pilgrims attended the National Prayer Vigil for Life, held at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate...

Indonesia: radical Muslim groups surround house church

At least 70 members of two radical Muslim groups--the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum and the Islamic Reform Movement--surrounded a home where a Protestant service was taking place. Police who...

Cardinal Mahony blasts HHS contraception mandate

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has blasted the Obama administration for announcing that Church-related institutions will be required to provide...

Vatican newspaper critiques new book by Italian historian

L’Osservatore Romano has published a strongly negative review of La Chiesa Contro [The Church Against], a new book by Sergio and Beda Romano that blames the Church for hindering Italy from attaining...

Another abortion for the 'religious right'

Columnist Dana Milbank announces that the “religious right” no longer holds sway over the American political system. The argument itself is unremarkable. What is noteworthy is that Milbank...

Abortion safer than childbirth? Study's results do not support claim

A new study claims to demonstrate that abortion is safer than childbirth. The study obviously concentrates solely on the medical risks for the mother, since an abortion always destroys the unborn...

Vatican news site boasts rising traffic

The Vatican’s news web site, which provides links to all the news services of the Holy See, is generating between 8,000 and 10,000 “hits” a day. For purposes of comparison, the Catholic Culture...

Father Pavone joins in March for Life with bishop's approval

Father Frank Pavone, the president of Priests for Life, participated in the March for Life in Washington, DC, on January 23, with the approval of his bishop. Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo,...

Leaving Georgetown, professor cites absence of Catholic identity

A prominent conservative professor has announced that he is leaving Georgetown University to accept a post at Notre Dame, saying that his decision is motivated in part by the failure of Georgetown’s...

Vatican: no news on papal visit to Lebanon

The Vatican has declined to confirm reports that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Lebanon in September. Asked for comment on a report that the Pope would travel to Lebanon for the release of his...

Has Obama finally lost liberal Catholics' sympathies?

Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn observes that President Barack Obama has finally managed to alienate some of the liberal Catholics who have supported him consistently in the past....

Australian euthanasia advocate faces medical investigation

An Australian doctor who has been a leading proponent of physician-assisted suicide is under investigation after the death of a woman under his case. The Medical Board of Australia is questioning...

Accused priest was carrying out Philadelphia archdiocesan policy, lawyers argue

Lawyers representing a former official of the Philadelphia archdiocese have argued that prosecutors are attempting to blame their client for the failures of the entire archdiocese. Msgr. William...

Silence is key to communication, Pope writes

Silence is a key to effective communication is a word overwhelmed by information, argues Pope Benedict XVI. In his message for the annual World Day for Social Communications, the Holy Father...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 25

‘There is no hatred in our hearts,’ says Orissa nun who suffered rape

Sister Neena Barwa, a nun who was raped during the 2008 persecution of Christians in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, has told the Fides news agency that suffering has led Christians to grow in...

Increased discrimination against Bosnian nuns

The provincial superior of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King in Bosnia and Herzegovina is reporting increased hostility towards nuns. Sister Ivanka Mihaljevic told Aid to the Church in Need...

Survey: half of Americans would ban most abortions

A survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus has found that 51% of Americans would ban the vast majority of abortions. 11% said...

Pakistan: Catholic woman, kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, escapes

A young Pakistani Catholic woman, kidnapped and forced to marry her abductor and convert to Islam, has escaped after a decade and returned to her family. When Nadia Babi was abducted at the age...

Maryland governor renews push for same-sex marriage

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Catholic, has renewed his efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Same-sex marriage legislation passed in the state senate last year but failed in the state...

USCCB spokeswoman contrasts HHS treatment of Amish, Catholics

In requiring Catholic agencies to provide insurance that covers contraception and sterilization, the Department of Health and Human Services has created an anti-Catholic double standard, according...

Pope explains Christ's priestly prayer

At his weekly public audience on January 25, Pope Benedict XVI discussed the priestly prayer of Christ at the Last Supper. To understand that prayer fully, the Pope said, one must recognize that...

Show the evangelical zeal of the early Church, Pope urges faithful

The Church today must “retrieve the apostolic zeal of the early Christian communities,” Pope Benedict XVI proclaims in his message for World Mission Sunday. The Church will observe World Mission...

Israeli security wall causing problems for Bethlehem's Catholic university

Bethlehem University, the only Catholic university in the Holy Land, is losing both students and faculty members because of the Israeli “security wall” that divides the West Bank from Israeli...

Russian Orthodox Church backs crackdown on illegal immigration

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has voiced his support for a call by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for a crackdown on illegal immigration. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the...

Acquittal would not end danger for Pakistani woman condemned for blasphemy

As a Pakistani Christian woman awaits a court date for her appeal of a blasphemy charge, her supporters fear that even if her conviction is overturned, her life will remain in danger because of...

Apostolic nuncio reported corruption in Vatican contracts

The Holy See’s diplomatic representative in the US was forced out of the Vatican after complaining of “corruption” in Vatican contracts, according to Italian news reports. Archbishop Carlo Maria...

Released Thursday, Jan. 26

New church attacks in northern Nigeria; thousands of Christians flee

Bombs exploded at two churches, including a Catholic parish, in Bauchi State in northern Nigeria on January 22. The Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is suspected of conducting the attacks....

Mexico: police, military desecrate prison chapel

Joined by other diocesan leaders, Bishop José Raúl Vera López of Saltillo, a northeastern Mexican city of 725,000, has expressed his outrage at the desecration of a chapel during a raid on a prison...

Archbishop Dolan ‘terribly let down’ by Obama’s HHS decision

Four days after criticizing the Obama administration’s contraceptive-coverage mandate as an unprecedented attack on religious liberty, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York discussed how he felt...

Leader of US ordinariate discusses challenges

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Father Jeffrey Steenson discussed the challenges he faces as the leader of the recently established Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The...

Bishop compares public schools to Nazi, fascist education systems

Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg has attracted criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and others for comparing the monolithic nature of the public education system to the education systems of...

CRS, Catholic Charities, Washington Post object to HHS mandate

Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA, and—unexpectedly— The Washington Post have all objected to the Obama administration’s decision that Church-related institutions will be...

Church unity will come 'in God's time, not ours,' Pope says

At an ecumenical service closing the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI called for both patience and perseverance in ecumenical work. Presiding at a Vespers service on...

Prayer is central to priest's effectiveness, Pope says

At a January 26 meeting with students and faculty from three regional Italian seminaries, Pope Benedict XVI underlined the central importance of prayer in the life of a parish priest. The Pope...

Vatican ratifies international treaties on crime, terrorism

The Holy See has formally ratified three international accords aimed against organized crime, drug trafficking, and the financing of terrorism. In a January 26 announcement from Rome, Archbishop...

Vatican responds to corruption charges

The Vatican has responded angrily to an Italian television report about alleged corruption inside the Vatican, charging that the broadcast used “questionable journalistic methods” and presented a...

Young Americans lean pro-life, but may accept same-sex marriage

Survey data show that young Americans are leaning more heavily against abortion. But the polls show that the same young respondents are more likely than their parents to accept same-sex marriage....

Accused priest's lawyer charges Philadelphia archdiocese making him a scapegoat

The lawyer for a Philadelphia priest facing criminal charges in connection with sex-abuse complaints has charged that the Philadelphia archdiocese is using his client as a scapegoat for the...

Egypt's Copts have delicate dealings with military, Islamic leaders

Traditionally, Egypt’s Coptic Christians invite the country’s political leaders to attend the Christmas Mass celebrated by their Pope Shenouda. But this year that tradition gave rise to some...

Charismatic priest competes with Pentecostal sects in Brazil

A talented and photogenic priest, active in the charismatic renewal, has gained enormous popularity among Catholics in Brazil. Father Marcelo Rossi, who is as famous for his singing as for his...

Peruvian bishops' conference chooses non-confrontational leadership

Peru’s Catholic bishops have chosen Archbishop Salvador Piñeiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho as president of their episcopal conference. The vote was a setback for Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of...

Spanish government will revive restrictions on abortion

Spain’s newly installed government, under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, plans to replace some legal restrictions on abortion. Justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon argues that Spain’s abortion...

Austrian bishops consult with Vatican on priests' rebellion

Austrian Catholic Church leaders were in Rome this week, for talks with Vatican officials about the “Call to Disobedience” promoted by dissident priests. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn led the...

New Jersey governor wants statewide referendum on same-sex marriage

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has vowed to veto any legislation calling for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Rather than attempting to press legislators for a change in the legal...

Released Friday, Jan. 27

Vatican cardinal calls for tax on financial transactions

As EU leaders prepare to meet for the first time this year, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for the adoption of a financial transaction tax (FTT) to support...

Ethnic violence flares in South Sudan

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, is warning that thousands of people are fleeing their homes in the wake of violence between two ethnic groups...

Bishops rip HHS mandate; Bishop Zubik: ‘to hell with you’

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Virginia are among the bishops urging Catholics to...

Pakistan: missionary priest detained

Bishop Andrew Francis of Multan, a city of 2.6 million in east-central Pakistan, is calling upon authorities to release Father Christi Silva, a Sri Lankan missionary priest who has ministered in the...

Bishop blasts secularist intolerance, calls for ‘assertive action’ to defend Church

Noting that “American Catholics have in recent decades become remarkably passive even in the face of relentless hostility from the media, the entertainment industry, and now from some politicians,”...

Trial date set for Bishop Finn

Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph will go on trial on September 24 on charges of failing to report suspected child sexual abuse committed by Father Shawn Ratigan, who...

Obama rule likely to be overturned by court, says legal scholar

Ed Whelan of the Ethics & Public Policy Center offers a quick legal analysis of the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate, and explains why he believes it will be challenged successfully in...

Sri Lanka's bishops oppose bid to legalize abortion

The Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka have announced that they are “categorically” opposed to a bid to legalize abortion. The country’s government has proposed making abortion legal in what it...

Defend Tradition in ecumenical work, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI underlined the urgent need to address “a profound crisis of faith,” and drew a distinction between true and false ecumenism, in a January 27 address to members of the Congregation...

Vatican message for World Leprosy Day

Leprosy has not yet been eradicated, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care has pointed out, and more work is needed to wipe out the disease. In a message for the 59th World...

Vatican 'corruption' story reveals much about new nuncio in US

An awkward dispute over the allegations of corruption and cronyism in Vatican business dealings have revealed several things about the new apostolic nuncio in Washington, observes John Allen of the...

More progress toward Vatican-Israel accord

“Substantive progress” was reported in the latest round of negotiations between the Holy See and Israel toward the development of a long-overdue diplomatic accord. The latest talks, held at the...

Preserve memories of the Holocaust, says Vatican spokesman

“We can not and must not forget” the horror of the Holocaust, Father Federico Lombardi said in a Vatican Radio editorial on January 27. In his editorial, timed for the 67th anniversary of the...

Nigeria: Christians flee Boko Haram threat; archbishop wants government action

With thousands of Christians leaving their homes in northern Nigeria to escape threatened violence, the Archbishop of Abuja has called upon the government to initiate talks with the Boko Haram...

African famine kills 100-200 children a day

Famine claims the lives of 100-200 children every day in the Horn of Africa, the Fides news service reports. Humanitarian agencies estimate that at least 35,000 children under the age of 5 died...

Philadelphia archdiocese ordered: prepare for trial in sex-abuse case

Although the Philadelphia archdiocese is not a defendant in the sex-abuse case, a Pennsylvania judge has ordered the archdiocese to prepare for a trial in March. The case against Msgr. William...

Released Monday, Jan. 30

Thousands attack Christian homes, shops in Egyptian village

A crowd of 3,000 Muslims burned and looted some Christian homes and shops in an Egyptian village after a rumor spread that a Coptic Christian man had a photograph of a Muslim village girl on his...

Bishops speak out against HHS mandate

Requesting prayer and action from the lay faithful, bishops nationwide continued to speak out against the Obama administration’s mandate that requires religious agencies to offer contraceptive and...

Indonesia: Christians demand president protect religious freedom

A week after members of radical Muslim groups disrupted a Protestant service in Bogor, 200 Christians from the churches protested outside the home of the nation’s president, Susilo Bambang...

Bishop discusses missionary work in Uganda

An Italian missionary bishop discusses his work among people whose “only concern is survival--to continue living day to day--and most of the time they are starving.” “They drink blood because the...

Catholic youth pray for peace in Holy Land

Young people from 2,500 cities pledged to spend some time in prayer or Eucharistic adoration on January 29 for the intention of peace in the Holy Land. The initiative was promoted by associations of...

Irish bishop faces 'hate speech' complaint for homily

An Irish bishop has been charged with inciting hatred in a homily, in the first clear use of “hate crime” laws to suppress the preaching of the Gospel. Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe faces a...

Pope meets with curial leaders: to discuss internal conflicts and leaks?

Pope Benedict XVI held a special meeting on January 28 with heads of the offices of the Roman Curia. The Vatican did not disclose the reason for the meeting, but informed sources suggested that the...

Iraqi Christians in worse position since US intervention, says US military archbishop

The US military intervention in Iraq has made life more difficult for the country’s Catholics, according to the archbishop who oversees America’s Catholic military chaplains. Archbishop Timothy...

Pope contrasts divine, human approaches to authority

Pope Benedict XVI contrasted God’s authority with man-made authority, during a midday public audience on Sunday, January 29. Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading, which recounted how Jesus...

Vatican, PLO closer to diplomatic accord

Vatican officials met on January 28 with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to continue negotiations toward a diplomatic accord. The meeting, held at the offices of...

Cardinal Bevilacqua ruled competent to testify in Philadelphia case

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled for the 2nd time that retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua is competent to give testimony in the trial of a former aide. Defense lawyers for Msgr. William Lynn have...

Pope praises Italy's former President Scalfaro, dead at 93

Upon the death of former Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Pope Benedict XVI praised the deceased leader as “an illustrious Catholic statesman.” In a telegram to Marianna Scalfaro, the...

Separate thefts of $2 million from New York, Philadelphia archdioceses charged

In two unrelated developments within days, employees of both the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and New York have each been charged with taking about $1 million from the Church. In Philadelphia,...

Bishop Bruskewitz reflects on controversy, support, in 20 years in Nebraska

In a revealing interview with the National Catholic Register, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz reveals that he received an outpouring of support in 1996 when he announced the excommunication of members of...

Relations with Vatican improved, but no 'summit' meeting likely: Russian Patriarch

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has said that although relations between the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican are improving, he does not anticipate a face-to-face meeting with Pope Benedict XVI...

Why the state should not re-define marriage

In a short but penetrating essay for The Public Discourse, Patrick Lee explains that laws defining marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman are not discriminatory: A law is unjust...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 31

Poland: Catholic station denied space on digital TV

Poland’s bishops have lamented a decision by the National Broadcasting Council to deny Trwam, a popular Catholic television station, the opportunity to broadcast on digital TV. “The exclusion of...

Indian bishops to discuss ‘population explosion,’ persecution of Christians

When India’s bishops meet in Bangalore during the first week in February, they will discuss “the role of the Church for a better India.” While India has only 18.6 million Catholics--fewer than half...

UN leader demands African nations respect ‘gay rights’

Addressing over 30 African leaders at an African Union summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded that they respect “gay rights.” “Let me mention one form of discrimination that has been...

France: diocese appeals order to remove name from baptismal record

A French diocese has appealed a ruling by a judge in Normandy that it must remove Rene LeBouvier’s name from baptismal records. An estimated 1,000 French citizens seek “de-baptism” every...

Gay adoptions: ‘Catholic Social Services’ becomes ‘Christian Social Services’

On February 1, Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois, which for over six decades had been affiliated with the Diocese of Belleville, will become Christian Social Services of Illinois so as...

Will Catholic subculture become Catholic ghetto?

In a Catholic World Report op-ed piece, Russell Shaw wonders whether the growing orthodox Catholic subculture--components of which he identifies as homeschooling, EWTN, and faithful Catholic...

Saudis arrest, plan to deport Ethiopian Christians

The government of Saudi Arabia plans to deport 35 Ethiopian Christians who were arrested in a raid on a prayer meeting in Jeddah. The Christians were charged with “illicit mingling”—a term that...

Beatification of Hildegard Burjan

Vatican Radio has aired a special tribute to Blessed Hildegard Burjan, an Austrian wife, mother, legislator, and social activist who was beatified in Vienna on January 30. Born into a Jewish...

Hindu mob attacks Jesuit school in Karnataka

Hindu zealots attacked a Catholic school in Karnataka, India, on January 27. An angry Hindu mob burst into classrooms at St. Joseph College, disrupting schoolwork, and beat students. The attack...

New Patriarch of Venice appointed

Pope Benedict XVI has named a new Patriarch of Venice: Francesco Moraglia, who has been heading the Italian diocese of La Spezia. A native of Genoa, Archbishop Moraglia was ordained there in...

US bishops continue to speak out against contraceptive mandate

More than 100 American bishops have denounced the Obama administration's decision to require coverage of contraceptives in all health-care plans, with no exemption for Catholic...

Sudan: kidnapped priests released

Two Catholic priests who were kidnapped in Sudan on January 15 have been set free. Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum was expecting the arrival of Fathers Joseph Makwey and Sylvester Mogga...

Vatican rebuts new charge of financial mismanagement

An Italian newspaper report, claiming that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has been caught up in a fraudulent financial scheme, is inaccurate, the Vatican has announced. The daily...

Irish Labor party proposal would screen Catholic candidates for public office

Ireland’s Labor Party is considering a policy proposal that would call for screening of candidates for senior government office to ensure that they do no “show inappropriate deference to the...

Komen foundation drops affiliations with Planned Parenthood

Responding to pressure from pro-life activists, the Komen for the Cure foundation, a leading force in the battle against breast cancer, has announced that it will end its funding for Planned...

Archbishop opposes deportation of illegal immigrants convicted of crime

Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has staked out his opposition to a US government program that the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. “We cannot...

Coptic leader's health deteriorating

Pope Shenouda III, the leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, is in declining health and may be close to death. The Egyptian prelate, who is 88 years old, suffers from diabetes and kidney...

Washington Post ombudsman defends coverage of March for Life

Responding to complaints from pro-life activists, the ombudsman for the Washington Post has examined the paper’s coverage of the March for Life, and found it generally good: It was evenhanded,...

Bishops plan fight against alcohol abuse in India's Kerela state

Catholic Church leaders in India’s state of Kerela are weighing a new campaign against excessive alcohol consumption, taking note of an alarming surge in alcoholism. Kerela, the state with...

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