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Catholic World News

Stories for March 2012

Released Friday, Mar. 2

US bishops: ‘we will not rest’ until conscience protection restored CWN - March 2, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement in response to the Senate’s decision to table the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. “The need to defend citizens’...

Pakistan: 2 Christians kidnapped, woman tortured CWN - March 2, 2012

Thirty residents of the village of Kot Meerath in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab brutally tortured Seema Bibi, a Christian woman, and paraded her through the streets because of her...

Telegraph exposé on sex-selective abortions CWN - March 2, 2012

Amid rising abortion rates in England and Wales, the Telegraph has secretly filmed abortionists agreeing to perform sex-selective abortions, which are illegal in the United Kingdom. Cynthia...

China bans ‘nasty’ slogans in enforcing 1-child policy CWN - March 2, 2012

China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission has directed officials not to use “nasty” slogans in enforcing the nation’s one-child policy, according to a Chinese media report....

Religious leaders urge renewed efforts for Mideast peace CWN - March 2, 2012

Nearly 30 Jewish, Muslim, Christian leaders in the US--including Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, and...

Catholic college sued over failure to provide distraught student single room CWN - March 2, 2012

Citing anti-discrimination and fair housing laws, a recent graduate of a Catholic college in Massachusetts has sued her alma mater. Lindsay Blankmeyer’s lawsuit states that she entered Stonehill...

Pro-lifers barred from midwifery in Scotland? CWN - March 2, 2012

David Quinn comments on the Scottish court ruling that midwives are required to supervise abortions, even in violation of their consciences. The decision, Quinn note, strikes at the heart of...

What if American Catholic hospitals close? CWN - March 2, 2012

If Catholic hospitals close their doors because of the Obama contraception mandate, could the public sector absorb the cost of substituting for those medical services? The Fiscal Times examines that...

Another 'VatiLeaks' story aims to unsettle Cardinal Bertone CWN - March 2, 2012

In the latest episode of the “VatiLeaks” scandal, an Italian newspaper has published confidential letters regarding an unsuccessful effort by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to take over Milan’s...

Sebelius: contraception will cut medical costs CWN - March 2, 2012

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has told a committee of the US House of Representatives that a mandate to cover contraceptive costs will not add to insurance premiums. “The...

SNAP leader ducked questions in damaging deposition CWN - March 2, 2012

The director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) repeatedly dodged questions during a January deposition by invoking a law that protects rape-crisis centers, although SNAP...

Biden: contraceptive mandate mishandled, but 'compromise' is right CWN - March 2, 2012

US Vice President Joseph Biden has conceded that the Obama administration “screwed up” in its handling of a mandate for contraceptive coverage, but insists that the “compromise” eventually offered...

2.2 billion people denied religious freedom, says Vatican envoy CWN - March 2, 2012

More than 2 billion people in the world are denied the protections of religious liberty, according the Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in Geneva. Speaking to the UN’s Human Rights...

White House tells US bishops: listen to liberal Catholics CWN - March 2, 2012

The Obama administration has made it clear that it will not back away from a mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in health-care plans, reports Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president...

Papal preacher will explore Eastern doctors of the Church in Lenten sermons CWN - March 2, 2012

In his annual Lenten sermons, the preacher of the pontifical household will draw on the insights of four doctors of the Eastern Church: Sts. Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazienzen, and Gregory Nyssen....

Obama mandate promises windfall for pharmaceutical companies CWN - March 2, 2012

Large pharmaceutical corporations have a keen interest in the current debate about mandated coverage of contraception in insurance programs, argues Peter Schweizer. The Obama mandate requires...

Commitment to truth is theme of Vatican Lenten Retreat CWN - March 2, 2012

As he preaches the Lenten Retreat for Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, has stressed the need for all Christians—and especially priests—to...

Traditionalist Anglican group removes Archbishop Hepworth from top post CWN - March 2, 2012

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has been removed from his position as head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). Archbishop Hepworth had announced his plans to retire from the TAC post...

Cuban bishops look forward to papal visit; exiles have misgivings CWN - March 2, 2012

Cuba’s Catholic bishops have issued a statement welcoming Pope Benedict XVI, who is scheduled to visit the island nation later this month. The Cuban bishops call on the faithful to prepare for...

Slain Pakistani Catholic praised on anniversary of his death CWN - March 2, 2012

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi paid homage to the slain Pakistani Catholic leader Shahbaz Bhatti on the anniversary of his death March 2. The archbishop told participants in a commemorative...

Released Monday, Mar. 5

USCCB: preventive war against Iran would raise serious moral questions CWN - March 5, 2012

Referring to Iran and quoting the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic...

Bishop Lori rips America editorial on HHS mandate CWN - March 5, 2012

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport has joined Cardinal Timothy Dolan in criticizing an America Magazine editorial on the Obama administration’s mandate that contraceptives, sterilization, and some...

Cardinal O’Brien: same-sex marriage a ‘grotesque subversion,’ a ‘great wrong’ CWN - March 5, 2012

Cardinal Keith O’Brien has issued a strong warning against same-sex marriage as the British government contemplates its legalization. “Civil partnerships have been in place for several years now,...

Quebec prelate welcomes social media for evangelization CWN - March 5, 2012

The Archbishop of Quebec has told Vatican Radio that he welcomes the use of social media as an opportunity for evangelization. “What I really enjoy in these new social media is to be in contact...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to architect Pugin CWN - March 5, 2012

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to the English architect Augustus Pugin on the two hundredth anniversary of his birth. A convert to Catholicism, Pugin was a key figure in the Gothic...

Vatican spokesman emphasizes value of silence CWN - March 5, 2012

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to the importance of silence. “The risk that the accumulation of messages is such as to dominate us and imprison us is...

Transfiguration shows Christ as the light from God CWN - March 5, 2012

Christ’s Transfiguration is a reminder that “God is light,” Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on Sunday, March 4. Speaking about the day’s Gospel, which retold the story of the...

Pope tells Roman parishioners: don't wait; evangelize CWN - March 5, 2012

On Sunday, March 4, Pope Benedict XVI made a visit to the parish of St. John the Baptist de la Salle in the Torrino section south of Rome. Welcomed on his arrival by the children of the parish,...

Vietnamese bishop plans to defy 'No Religion Zone' CWN - March 5, 2012

The Bishop of Kontum, Vietnam, has vowed to celebrate Holy Week in an area labeled by local authorities as a “No Religion Zone.” Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh made his announcement in a pastoral...

European demonstrations call for preservation of Sunday rest CWN - March 5, 2012

Activists in 12 different European countries joined in public demonstrations on March 4, calling for the preservation of Sunday as a day of rest. The European Sunday Alliance--an umbrella group...

Anti-Catholicism at Peru's rebellious pontifical university CWN - March 5, 2012

For years, officials at the Pontifical University of Peru (PUCP) have defied not only Vatican instructions but also the founding charter of the university itself. Now the Vatican has given the PUCP...

Lenten Retreat ends; Pope thanks preacher CWN - March 5, 2012

As the annual Lenten Retreat at the Vatican concluded on March 3, Pope Benedict XVI thanked Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, for leading the spiritual exercises. Pope...

Church demolished, hundreds killed by explosions in Brazzaville CWN - March 5, 2012

An explosion at an ammunition dump in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, destroyed a Catholic church and caused an unknown number of casualties on Sunday morning, March 4. Archbishop Anatole...

Vatican exhibit highlights work to preserve Scriptures CWN - March 5, 2012

During an evening reception in the Vatican on Thursday, March 1, the Vatican archivist and librarian, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, supported by the prefect of the Vatican Library, Msgr. Cesare Pasini,...

Santeria leaders upset that Pope will not meet with them during visit to Cuba CWN - March 5, 2012

Leaders of the Santeria sect are expressing distress that Pope Benedict XVI will not meet with them during his visit to Cuba later this month. Although the Santeria cult is highly popular in...

Saint's heart stolen from Irish Anglican cathedral CWN - March 5, 2012

An ancient relic, the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, has apparently been stolen from Christ Church cathedral in Dublin. The heart of the 12th-century Bishop of Dublin had been kept in a wooden...

Rome's seminarians vie for Clericus Cup soccer title CWN - March 5, 2012

The Clericus Cup, a soccer tournament among the seminaries and pontifical colleges of Rome, begins this week, with priests and seminarians from more than 70 different countries expected to take...

Santorum's faith grew deeper after entering Senate CWN - March 5, 2012

A New York Times profile of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum reveals that the Pennsylvania lawmaker became much more serious about his Catholic faith after entering the US Senate....

Released Tuesday, Mar. 6

Maronite patriarch: ‘Arab Spring’ is turning into winter CWN - March 6, 2012

The head of the Maronite Catholic Church has spoken with reporters about his fears that the “Arab Spring” is becoming a winter. “We are with the Arab Spring but we are not with this spring of...

Cardinal Cañizares calls for ‘moderation’ of concelebration in Latin Rite CWN - March 6, 2012

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said on March 5 that the “widening of the faculty to concelebrate needs to be moderated.” The Second Vatican...

USCCB urges Catholics to lobby for dramatic reduction in nuclear weapons CWN - March 6, 2012

The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Catholics to lobby for a dramatic reduction in nuclear weapons. “The...

Obama administration to end embryo adoption program CWN - March 6, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that it will discontinue its Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign. “Why would the Obama administration cut $2 million for adoption...

Immigration: bishop criticizes Secure Communities program CWN - March 6, 2012

Criticizing the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program, Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Baltimore said that an illegal immigrant should “not be detained until he/she has...

Zimbabwe: Christian leaders welcome cardinal’s remarks on same-sex marriage CWN - March 6, 2012

Christian leaders in Zimbabwe are praising Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s criticism of same-sex marriage. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Scottish prelate had called same-sex marriage a “grotesque...

Westminster Abbey choir to sing at St. Peter's basilica CWN - March 6, 2012

The Vatican has invited the Westminster Abbey choir to sing at St. Peter’s basilica in an unprecedented ecumenical gesture. The Westminster Abbey choir will join with the Sistine Chapel choir to...

Papal condolence after Polish train tragedy CWN - March 6, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence of Archbishop Jozef Michalik, the president of the Polish bishops’ conference, mourning a train accident that killed 15 people and caused dozens of...

Brazzaville residents, refugees mobilize to recover after devastating explosions CWN - March 6, 2012

"We are trying to slowly return to normality,” reported Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski, the apostolic nuncio in the Republic of Congo, after a devastating explosion in an ammunition depot in...

Wall Street Journal sees 'chilling' attack on Church freedom CWN - March 6, 2012

A stinging Wall Street Journal editorial has backed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York in his criticism of the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, describing the White House stand as a...

One year later, suspended Philadelphia priests await word on their futures CWN - March 6, 2012

One year after they were suspended from ministry in the wake of a scathing grand-jury report on the sex-abuse policies of the Philadelphia archdiocese, 21 priests are still uncertain about their...

Vatican representative reminds UN: rural women face special problems CWN - March 6, 2012

Speaking to a UN session on the status of women in New York on March 6, a Vatican representatives called special attention to the needs of women living in rural communities. Dianne Willman, an...

English bishops to join debate against same-sex marriage CWN - March 6, 2012

In a message that will be read on Sunday in 2,500 Catholic churches in England and Wales, the bishops of England and Wales will warn against the “profoundly radical step” of extending legal...

Vietnamese officials seize more Catholic parish land CWN - March 6, 2012

Vietnamese authorities have again seized land from a Redemptorist community near Hanoi. The Redemptorist parish has been the scene of frequent clashes between police and the faithful, who have...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 7

Syrian Christians fleeing to Lebanon CWN - March 7, 2012

Amid reports that 1,000 Syrians are now fleeing the country daily for Lebanon, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon described the Church’s response. “We have...

Germany: Christ’s sacred tunic to be displayed for veneration CWN - March 7, 2012

Christ’s sacred tunic, housed in a reliquary at the cathedral in Trier, will be displayed for public veneration from April 13 to May 13. Pope Benedict has named Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the...

Adoption: Virginia legislature defends religious liberty CWN - March 7, 2012

The Virginia legislature has passed a measure defending the rights of religious agencies not to place children for adoption with homosexual couples. Gov. Robert McDonnell has pledged that he will...

Pakistan: bishops’ conference laments plight of Christian, Hindu women CWN - March 7, 2012

The justice and peace commission of the Pakistani bishops’ conference has published a study documenting the plight of Christian and Hindu women in a predominantly Muslim society. Describing...

New ABC show called deeply offensive to Christians CWN - March 7, 2012

GCB, a new television series based on a book entitled Good Christian B------, has premiered on the ABC television network, prompting calls for boycotts. The show will air under the book’s offensive...

USCCB weighs in on 2012 Farm Bill CWN - March 7, 2012

Bishops Stephen Blaire and Richard Pates, the chairmen respectively of the Committee on Domestic Justice and the Committee on International Justice and Human Development of the United States...

Silence is crucial to prayer, Pope tells Wednesday audience CWN - March 7, 2012

Silence is essential to prayer, Pope Benedict XVI told his Wednesday public audience on March 7. Speaking to about 10,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father reflected on the...

Hackers' attack cripples Vatican web site CWN - March 7, 2012

The Vatican web site crashed on March 7, under a systematic attack by hackers allied with the “Anonymous” collaborative. Anonymous, a shadowy group that has created online havoc, singling out...

Irish visitation results to be made public soon CWN - March 7, 2012

The Vatican will soon release the reports prepared during an apostolic visitation of the Church in Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has disclosed. In the wake of the sex-abuse...

Pope renews term for president of Italian bishops' conference CWN - March 7, 2012

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa has been confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI to a second 5-year term as president of the Italian bishops’ conference. Cardinal Bagnasco was chosen by Pope Benedict in...

Pope welcomes Armenian prelates to Rome for Synod CWN - March 7, 2012

With the bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church gathering in Rome for a Synod meeting, Pope Benedict XVI offered his greetings and prayerful support for their assembly. During his regular...

'Big Government' threatens to quash Church influence CWN - March 7, 2012

In an incisive and sometimes acerbic essay, columnist Mark Steyn argues that mainstream Christian churches have irreparably damaged their own standing by adopting the attitudes of political...

White House shifts arguments in favor of Obama mandate CWN - March 7, 2012

The Obama administration has frequently shifted its arguments in favor of the contraceptive mandate, notes Joan Desmond of the National Catholic Register. At times the White House has claimed...

Vatican overturns parish closings in Cleveland diocese CWN - March 7, 2012

The Vatican has reversed a decision by Bishop Richard Lennon to close 13 parishes in the Cleveland diocese, according to a lawyer representing parishioners. The Congregation for the Clergy ruled...

Released Thursday, Mar. 8

Boko Haram threatens to eradicate Christianity in northern Nigeria CWN - March 8, 2012

A spokesman for the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has said that the group “will launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the...

USCCB weighs in on federal budget CWN - March 8, 2012

Bishops Stephen Blaire and Richard Pates, the chairmen respectively of the Committee on Domestic Justice and the Committee on International Justice and Human Development of the United States...

Diocese will no longer fund agency whose new director backs abortion CWN - March 8, 2012

The Diocese of Sacramento will no longer donate funds to Francis House Center, an agency that assists the homeless, because its new director, a Methodist minister, supports legalized abortion and...

Interview with new president of Catholic Relief Services CWN - March 8, 2012

In a brief interview with Forbes, Carolyn Woo, the new president of Catholic Relief Services, discussed the future of the agency. Asked to discuss her top priorities, Woo, who until recent served...

Round-the-clock Catholic chaplains at London Olympics CWN - March 8, 2012

Msgr. John Armitage, the chair of the Catholic 2012 Committee for the London Olympics, has told Vatican Radio that the Church will offer a round-the-clock chaplaincy service for officials and...

Vatican newspaper praises Where Do We Go Now? CWN - March 8, 2012

L’Osservatore Romano has published a positive review of Where Do We Go Now?, a 2011 Lebanese film in which Christian and Muslim women in a village attempt to prevent men from engaging in...

Former head of Vatican governatorate defends administration against Vatileaks charges CWN - March 8, 2012

The former president of the Vatican city-state governatorate has defended his administration against charges of cronyism and inefficiency. Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, who retired last October, told...

Vatican web site restored CWN - March 8, 2012

The Vatican's internet site was restored, and apparently fully functional, on March 8, less than 24 hours after a crippling attack by hackers. The 'Anonymous' collaborative claimed credit for...

US lists Vatican as vulnerable to money-laundering operations CWN - March 8, 2012

The US government has announced concern that the Vatican could be exploited by money-laundering operations. The State Department listed the Vatican among countries whose banking systems might be...

New Vatican document explores role of theology CWN - March 8, 2012

The International Theological Commission has released a document on the current state of Catholic theology. A Vatican statement released on March 8 in conjunction with the document summarizes...

Items from Vatican Museums collection on loan for Etruscan exhibition CWN - March 8, 2012

The Vatican Museums have provided nearly half of the material for a special exhibition on Etruscan culture, which will open in Asti, Italy on March 17. At a public presentation on the exhibition,...

Proponent of women's ordination loses teaching post at Jesuit university CWN - March 8, 2012

Boston College has declined to renew the teaching assignment of Father John Shea, after the priest wrote to Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley saying that he saw no reason why the Church should not...

If steroids are illegal, why not contraceptives? CWN - March 8, 2012

Anthony Esolen points out that steroids are tightly regulated, because the US government recognizes their damaging effects. He argues that there is a much stronger argument, medical and social, for...

New Hampshire House approves conscience policy for contraceptive coverage CWN - March 8, 2012

The lower house of New Hampshire’s legislature has passed a bill to protect the consciences of employers, stipulating that health-care plans need not include contraceptive coverage if that coverage...

See migration as an opportunity, urges Vatican envoy CWN - March 8, 2012

Migration should be recognized as an opportunity rather than a problem, for the Church and for host countries as well as for migrants themselves, argues Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s...

Released Friday, Mar. 9

Boko Haram threatens kidnapping campaign against Christian women CWN - March 9, 2012

The terrorist group that has threatened to eradicate Christianity in northern Nigeria has announced that it will kidnap Christian women to further its aims. “We are going to put into action new...

Netherlands considers expansion of assisted suicide CWN - March 9, 2012

The Dutch parliament is debating whether to legalize assisted suicide for those 70 and older who are “tired of living.” Current Dutch law, passed in 2002, permits persons of age 12 or older to...

Korean bishop rips government over naval base CWN - March 9, 2012

The president of the Korean bishops’ conference is strongly criticizing South Korea’s decision to proceed with the construction of a naval base on the island of Jeju over the objections of local...

Future Pope Pius XII backed Jewish homeland in Palestine CWN - March 9, 2012

Documents unearthed by the Pave the Way Foundation show that Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In 1917, the future Pope Pius XII met with Nahum Sokolow of the World...

Archbishop Nienstedt: believers must strive against materialism CWN - March 9, 2012

Believers must strive heroically against materialism in order for the New Evangelization to take root, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis said in an interview with L’Osservatore...

1,000th anniversary of Camaldolese Benedictines CWN - March 9, 2012

Camaldolese Benedictines are commemorating the 1,000th anniversary of the foundation of their motherhouse in Camaldoli, Italy, where St. Romuald encouraged the vocation of some monks to live in...

Vatican envoy rebukes UN activism on 'gender ideology,' same-sex unions CWN - March 9, 2012

A Vatican envoy has protested a UN report that promotes legal acceptance of same-sex marriage and calls for governmental action to eliminate discrimination against homosexuals. Archbishop Silvano...

Confession spurs New Evangelization, Pope says CWN - March 9, 2012

The sacrament of Reconciliation is an important part of the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI argued in a March 9 address to 1,300 clerics participating in an annual course on the “internal...

Defend marriage, oppose same-sex unions, Pope urges US bishops CWN - March 9, 2012

Attacks on the institution of marriage—and in particular the drive for legal recognition of same-sex marriage—call for “a reasoned defense of marriage as a natural institution,” Pope Benedict XVI...

Vatican web technicians minimized damage from hackers' attack CWN - March 9, 2012

Vatican technicians managed to blunt the main force of an attack by hackers on the Holy See’s web site, a spokesman has reported. Although the attack by the ‘Anonymous’ hackers’ collaborative...

Pakistani police official rapes Christian girl; colleagues decline to take action CWN - March 9, 2012

While Pakistan’s government leaders observed International Women’s Day, a policeman in Punjab province raped a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint. Neither local police nor the hospital at which the girl...

Vietnamese Catholic activists face prison terms for human-right leafletting CWN - March 9, 2012

Two Catholic activists in Vietnam have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for distributing pamphlets written by the jailed human-rights activist, Father Nguyen Van Ly. Thuy Vo Thi Thu was...

Bishop puts Confirmation before First Communion, wins Pope’s praise CWN - March 9, 2012

Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, has earned special praise from Pope Benedict XVI for his decision to alter the usual sequence in which young Catholics receive the sacraments,...

Philadelphia archdiocese near decision on suspended priests CWN - March 9, 2012

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia had indicated that a review of the cases involving 21 priests who were suspended from ministry last year is “very near conclusion.” The archbishop said...

Will US bishops hold firm on mandate or seek compromise? CWN - March 9, 2012

David Gibson of Religion News Service provides background on the challenge facing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in its current confrontation with the Obama administration over the...

Filipino Cardinal Sanchez dead at 91 CWN - March 9, 2012

Cardinal Jose Sanchez, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, died on March 9 in Manila, just short of his 92nd birthday. Born in the Philippines and ordained to the priesthood in...

Spanish lawmakers reject bid to revise pact with Vatican CWN - March 9, 2012

Spanish parliamentarians have rejected an effort by leftist lawmakers to revise the government’s accord with the Holy See. Liberal groups had sought to change the agreement that provides for...

Released Monday, Mar. 12

Catholic parish bombed in Nigeria CWN - March 12, 2012

Suicide bombers attacked a Catholic parish in the central Nigerian city of Jos on March 11, killing at least ten people. Jos has been a center of activity of the Islamist terrorist organization Boko...

HHS mandate: USCCB decries unequal treatment of Amish, Catholics CWN - March 12, 2012

“The Amish are exempt from the entire health care reform law,” writes Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “So are members of...

Priest who denied Holy Communion to lesbian placed on leave CWN - March 12, 2012

Auxiliary Bishop Barry Knestout of Washington has told local priests that Father Marcel Guarnizo, who denied Holy Communion to a lesbian at her mother’s funeral Mass, “has been placed on...

Papal preacher focuses on St. Athanasius CWN - March 12, 2012

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the pontifical household, devoted the first of his four annual Lenten sermons to St. Athanasius. Pope Benedict and leaders of the Roman Curia attended...

Vatican spokesman recalls Japan’s tsunami, earthquake CWN - March 12, 2012

The director of the Holy See Press Office recalled the first anniversary of his weekly editorial to the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. “We all admired the courageous, dignified, and...

Jewish commentary on New Testament published CWN - March 12, 2012

The publication of The Jewish Annotated New Testament, published by Oxford University Press, is “the first time that Jewish scholars have annotated and written essays on the complete New Testament,”...

Chinese cardinal reflects on changes in Beijing's approach CWN - March 12, 2012

Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong recalls his childhood in mainland China in an interview with Vatican Insider. The archbishop--the 7th Chinese to be named a cardinal--notes that the Beijing...

Wrong to see Jesus as a political revolutionary, Pope says CWN - March 12, 2012

Any portrait of Jesus as a political revolutionary is inaccurate, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday public audience on March 11. Reflecting on the cleansing of the Temple, recounted in the day’s...

Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope pray Vespers together CWN - March 12, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI joined with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, for a Vespers service on March 10, the feast of St. Gregory the Great, at the ancient monastery of San Gregorio al...

Anonymous hackers now attack Vatican Radio CWN - March 12, 2012

The Anonymous internet hackers have launched a new attack on the Vatican, this time concentrating on the web site of Vatican Radio. Anonymous, a collaborative effort by radical hackers, had...

South African man, opponent of witchcraft, could be recognized as martyr CWN - March 12, 2012

A South African businessman who was killed in 1990 by proponents of witchcraft could be recognized as a martyr. Benedict Daswa was killed when he refused to participate when neighbors sought to...

New York bishops were assured same-sex marriage would not pass, cardinal discloses CWN - March 12, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has revealed that Republican leaders in the state legislature gave the Catholic bishops of New York assurances that a bill recognizing same-sex marriage would not...

Leading Cuban dissident speaks, one year after release from prison CWN - March 12, 2012

Catholic World Report carries an interview with Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, once the most prominent political dissident in Castro's Cuba. Dr. Biscet was released one year ago after spending more than...

World's Catholic population up 1.5% CWN - March 12, 2012

The world’s Catholic population grew by 15 million, or 1.3%, in 2010: the last year for which full statistics are available. There were nearly 1.2 billion Catholics in the world at that...

The moral hazards of organ transplants CWN - March 12, 2012

A Wall Street Journal article explores the difficult moral questions associated with the transplantation of human organs: a business that generates $20 billion in medical expenses each year. A...

Steyn appraises the Fluke furor CWN - March 12, 2012

In a powerful and witty column on the furor surrounding Sandra Fluke, Mark Steyn asks why taxpayers should be asked to subsidize a student's responsibility-free sexual activity. It’s that a...

Tony Blair bucks bishops, backs same-sex marriage CWN - March 12, 2012

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who entered the Catholic Church after retiring from public office, has broken with the Church by indicating that he “strongly supports” a bid for legal...

Suit charges widespread fraud by Planned Parenthood CWN - March 12, 2012

A former Planned Parenthood clinic director has testified that Planned Parenthood submitted up to 87,000 false claims for government reimbursement. Abby Johnson, who converted to the pro-life...

Bid for same-sex marriage drains support for Scottish nationalism CWN - March 12, 2012

The Scottish National Party (SNP) will lose support for its goal of independence by backing same-sex marriage, the Catholic bishops of Scotland have predicted. A new political survey finds that...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 13

Hundreds of thousands of Christians ordered to leave Sudan CWN - March 13, 2012

The government of Sudan, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation, has stripped between 500,000 and 700,000 Christians of their citizenship and ordered them to leave for the new nation of South Sudan,...

Nigeria: prelate urges calm following bombing of church CWN - March 13, 2012

Amid reports that Christian youth were killing Muslims in retaliation for a terrorist attack on a central Nigerian parish, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos appealed for calm. “The young people...

Cuban prelate: charity at heart of Pope Benedict’s visit CWN - March 13, 2012

Charity--along with devotion to Our Lady of Charity, patroness of Cuba--is at the heart of Pope Benedict’s upcoming visit to the island nation, according to Archbishop Dionisio Guillermo García...

Worldwide surge in priestly vocations continues CWN - March 13, 2012

The worldwide surge in the number of seminarians that began during the papacy of Blessed John Paul II (1978-2005) is continuing under Pope Benedict. According to the newly released Annuario...

Anglican leader pays tribute to English Benedictines CWN - March 13, 2012

Speaking at the famed Abbey of Monte Cassino, the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to the legacy of English Benedictines and traced their success as missionaries to their apostolic poverty and...

Peoria Catholic Charities: new organization emerges after same-sex adoption law CWN - March 13, 2012

Following the passage of Illinois legislation that compelled adoption and foster-care agencies to place children with homosexual couples or close their doors, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of...

Cuba's government TV to broadcast address by Cardinal Ortega CWN - March 13, 2012

Cuba’s government-controlled television will broadcast an address by Havana’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino on March 13, in preparation for a visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI later this...

Former financial officer for Philadelphia archdiocese arrested CWN - March 13, 2012

The former chief financial officer of the Philadelphia archdiocese has been placed under arrest and will face charges for allegedly embezzling over $1 million in Church funds. Anita Guzzardi was...

Most Americans oppose forced contraceptive coverage CWN - March 13, 2012

A solid majority of Americans believe that religious institutions should have the right to exclude contraceptive coverage from their health-care plans, according to a new CBS/New York Times...

Abortions reportedly done at Spanish Catholic hospitals CWN - March 13, 2012

Citing the testimony of Spanish doctors and pro-life activists, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that abortions and sterilizations are apparently taking place at Catholic hospitals in...

Papal condolence for Italian terror victim CWN - March 13, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence to the family of an Italian man who was killed by terrorists in Nigeria. The papal message came in a telegram to Archbishop Enrico Masseroni of...

Archbishop of Canterbury will address October Synod meeting CWN - March 13, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams to address the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will discuss the New Evangelization. After a joint...

Irish cardinal meets with abuse victims CWN - March 13, 2012

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh met with victims of sexual abuse on March 12, offering his sympathy and apologizing for the failures of Church leaders. Cardinal Brady met with the group along with...

Bishop sees slender hope for talks with White House on HHS mandate CWN - March 13, 2012

The chairman of the US bishops’ committee on religious freedom still holds out hopes for negotiations with the White House on the contraceptive mandate, but indicates that the talks have reached an...

British government will argue against right to wear crucifix at work CWN - March 13, 2012

The British government is prepared to argue against the right of employees to wear a crucifix while at work. In a case pending before the European Court of Human Rights, two women have argued...

Revive discussion of the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, suggests Arkes CWN - March 13, 2012

Hadley Arkes argues that the appearance of an article in a bioethics journal justifying infanticide demonstrates the need to revive the public discussion of the Born-Alive Infants’ Protection Act....

Released Wednesday, Mar. 14

Syria: nuncio calls upon Assad to end civilian killings CWN - March 14, 2012

The apostolic nuncio to Syria is calling upon President Bashar al-Assad to put a stop to the killing of civilians. An estimated 8,000 have been killed since protests began last year. “Killing of...

Pennsylvania bishops declare day of fasting for religious liberty CWN - March 14, 2012

The bishops of Pennsylvania have declared March 30 to be a day of prayer, fasting, and abstinence for religious liberty. “The assault by the federal government on constitutionally guaranteed...

USCCB calls for Good Friday prayer, advocacy for the hungry CWN - March 14, 2012

As its First Fridays for Food Security initiative concludes, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Catholics to pray, fast, and lobby on behalf of the hungry on Good...

Following lawsuit, university recognizes Christian pro-life group CWN - March 14, 2012

After a lawsuit was filed in federal court, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro changed course and granted official recognition to Make Up Your Own Mind, a Christian pro-life organization...

Study: suicide rates higher in Protestant nations than Catholic ones CWN - March 14, 2012

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick in England found that the suicide rate is 74% higher in nations where 85% or more of the population is Protestant than in nations where...

Vatican newspaper: praise for the Free Hugs Campaign CWN - March 14, 2012

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Cristian Martini Grimaldi praises the Free Hugs Campaign, an initiative in which strangers are encouraged to give one another hugs. The campaign, writes Grimaldi,...

Marian devotion means learning to pray, Pope tells audience CWN - March 14, 2012

At his weekly public audience on March 14, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the Virgin Mary strengthened the apostles because “she shared the most precious of things: the living memory of Jesus in...

Vatican newspaper underlines Pope's caution on liturgies of Neocatechumenal Way CWN - March 14, 2012

In a January 20 address to members of the Neocatechumenal Way, Pope Benedict XVI offered “a liturgical theology valid and useful for the Way and for the whole Church,” notes a reflection in...

Many British oppose government's stand on crucifix case, Vatican newspaper notes CWN - March 14, 2012

In a notice on the pending case before the European Court of Human Rights, regarding two British women who were told they could not wear a cross while at work, L’Osservatore Romano observes that...

Poll shows majority oppose same-sex marriage in Scotland CWN - March 14, 2012

Most of Scotland’s people oppose a bid to legalize same-sex marriage, a new survey shows. The poll of 1,004 Scottish adults, conducted by Opinion Research Business, found that 53% of respondents...

Another Pakistani Christian woman charged with blasphemy CWN - March 14, 2012

A Pakistani Christian woman has been arrested and charged with blasphemy—on the same day that human-rights activists delivered a petition to the UN on behalf of another Pakistani Christian woman who...

Pope welcomes 'Benedictine torch' CWN - March 14, 2012

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on March 14, Pope Benedict XVI received a delegation from Norcia, Italy, carrying the “Benedictine torch” that has been circulating around the...

Vanderbilt Law seen violating a principle on which it is founded CWN - March 14, 2012

Vanderbilt Law School has ruled that the Christian Legal Society cannot restrict membership to students who adhere to a statement of faith. The school announced that it will not allow campus...

Eucharistic Congress will bring renewal to Irish Church, archbishop believes CWN - March 14, 2012

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reported that “there is a real sense of renewal in the Church in Ireland” as the nation awaits the opening of the International Eucharistic Congress, which will...

Papal visit should 'revive a sleeping faith,' says Cuban cardinal CWN - March 14, 2012

In an address that was televised nationwide by Cuba’s government-run television, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana said that a visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI later this month will “revive...

Father Guarnizo defends himself, denies archdiocesan explanation for disciplinary action CWN - March 14, 2012

Father Marcel Guarnizo, who was removed from ministry in the Washington archdiocese after a confrontation with a lesbian activist, has issued a statement strongly defending his actions. Father...

Released Thursday, Mar. 15

US bishops decry ‘illegal and unjust’ HHS mandate, call for prayer and penance CWN - March 15, 2012

Decrying the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate as “a mandate to act against our teachings” and “a violation of personal civil rights,” the Administrative Committee of...

Vatican preparing new document on right to water CWN - March 15, 2012

Flaminia Giovanelli, the undersecretary of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has told Vatican Radio that the council is preparing a new document on the right to water. “The right to...

Palestinian Authority: Baptist church is illegitimate CWN - March 15, 2012

The Palestinian Authority has declared the First Baptist Church in Bethlehem to be illegitimate. “They said that our legitimacy as a church from a governmental point of view is not approved,”...

Australian bishop, Maryland governor to address dissident gay Catholic group CWN - March 15, 2012

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Catholic layman who signed into law a measure that legalized same-sex marriage in Maryland, and Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a retired Australian bishop who has been criticized...

California bishop laments effects of climate change CWN - March 15, 2012

Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose has asked parishioners in his diocese to renew the St. Francis Pledge on Earth Day. “By taking this pledge,” he noted, “we agree to pray to reflect on our...

US bishops appeal for Middle East peace CWN - March 15, 2012

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an appeal for peace in the Middle East. “With Pope Benedict we share a special bond with our brother...

Work moves slowly forward on massive cleaning project in St. Peter's Square CWN - March 15, 2012

Vatican workers are making steady progress on a massive restoration project: cleaning the marble columns of the famous Bernini colonnade around St. Peter’s Square. Begun in 2009, the work is...

Married couple chosen by Pope to write Good Friday meditations CWN - March 15, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen an Italian married couple to write the meditations to be used at the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in the Roman Coliseum. Danilo and Anna Maria Zanzucchi, the...

Church in Quebec faces lawsuit on forced adoptions CWN - March 15, 2012

A Canadian attorney is bringing a class-action lawsuit against the Catholic Church in Quebec, charging that Church officials placed undue pressure on single mothers to offer their children for...

Syrian Christians fear for their future CWN - March 15, 2012

In Syria a political conflict is “heading into the unknown,” reports a Catholic prelate there, and Christians are fearful of the future. "The suffering which we live is great,” Maronite Catholic...

Why President Obama is prepared to sacrifice Catholic support CWN - March 15, 2012

Why has President Obama pushing for the contraceptive mandate, even to the point of risking the wrath of the Catholic hierarchy during an election year? Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for...

Pope's doctoral dissertation published as part of 16-volume series CWN - March 15, 2012

The University of Regensburg has published The People and the House of God in Doctrine of the Church, a doctoral thesis on the work of St. Augustine that was presented in 1953 by the young Father...

Court ruling favors rebellious St. Louis parish CWN - March 15, 2012

A Missouri judge has ruled against a bid by the St. Louis archdiocese to regain control over the rebellious parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka. In a ruling released more than a year after a lengthy...

Released Friday, Mar. 16

Cuba: police remove protestors who occupied parish CWN - March 16, 2012

At the request of the Archdiocese of Havana, police have removed 13 protestors who occupied a parish in central Havana. The protestors had demanded that Pope Benedict present their grievances to the...

Argentina: bishops blast court decision allowing abortion in case of rape CWN - March 16, 2012

The bishops of Argentina have denounced a Supreme Court decision that has legalized abortion in cases of rape. “Abortion is the killing of an innocent life, and no grounds or reason can justify...

Rwandan bishop acquitted of genocide dies; approved Kibeho apparitions CWN - March 16, 2012

A Rwandan bishop who was arrested on genocide charges in 1999 and acquitted the following year has died at the age of 69. During the genocide trial, L’Osservatore Romano defended Bishop Augustin...

Chile: bishop, religious urge government not to suppress protestors CWN - March 16, 2012

The Confederation of Religious in Chile has joined Bishop Luigi Infanti della Mora in urging the government not to suppress protestors in the southern region of Aysén. The protestors are demanding...

Papal condolences for bus crash victims CWN - March 16, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has offered his condolences after a bus crash in Switzerland claimed the lives of 28 people, 22 of them Belgian schoolchildren. “Having learned of the tragic coach accident in...

Catholic layman, business owner files suit against HHS mandate CWN - March 16, 2012

A Catholic layman has become the first private business owner to file suit against the HHS mandate that forces employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization, and...

Vatican says No to deal with traditionalists CWN - March 16, 2012

The Vatican has informed leaders of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that doctrinal differences prevent the regularization of the traditionalist group. The Vatican announced on March 16 that...

Seek to understand the Trinity, says papal preacher CWN - March 16, 2012

Studying the works of the Church Fathers is useful “to rediscover the vital unity between faith as it is professed and faith as it is lived,” the preacher to the pontifical household said in the 2nd...

New Vatican web site hosts doctrinal statements CWN - March 16, 2012

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has set up a new web site, to provide access to important Vatican doctrinal statements. The new web site provides a thorough list of the...

Catholic, Orthodox leaders reach accord on reconciliation between Poland and Russia CWN - March 16, 2012

Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Russian have reached agreement on a joint statement calling for reconciliation between the people of Russia and Poland: a historic agreement on...

Vatican not planning to investigate source of leaked documents? CWN - March 16, 2012

Marco Tosatti of Vatican Insider reports that the Vatican has not yet begun a serious investigation into the source(s) of leaked documents, and no real investigation is planned. Archbishop...

Dukakis lauds deceased Cardinal Cushing for accepting legal contraceptives CWN - March 16, 2012

Former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who was the Democratic party’s presidential candidate in 1988, tells the New York Times that Cardinal Richard Cushing, then the Archbishop of Boston,...

Catholic bishops prodded Komen to drop Planned Parenthood support CWN - March 16, 2012

A Reuters report claims that Catholic bishops “pressured” the Komen Foundation to end its support for Planned Parenthood. In fact, the Reuters story shows that several Catholic bishops had ended...

Nigerian archbishop prods government to find terrorists' sponsors CWN - March 16, 2012

Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, has voiced concerns about reports that the country’s government is prepared to negotiate with the Boko Haram terrorist group. "I do not know what...

Released Monday, Mar. 19

Coptic Orthodox patriarch dead at 88 CWN - March 19, 2012

Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, who has led the Coptic Orthodox Church since 1971, died on March 17 at the age of 88. The Coptic Orthodox Church, which ceased to be in full communion with the...

Sostituto blasts Vatican leakers, discusses investigation CWN - March 19, 2012

The Vatican’s sostituto--the deputy secretary of state who supervises the flow of paperwork within the Roman Curia--said that those who have leaked Vatican documents to the media are guilty of...

USCCB: prayer campaign for religious liberty CWN - March 19, 2012

Following up on its recent call for prayer and penance on behalf of religious liberty, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued “Prayer for Religious Liberty” prayer cards. The...

Syria: nuncio welcomes humanitarian initiative CWN - March 19, 2012

The apostolic nuncio in Syria has welcomed the news that the Syrian government, United Nations, and Islamic Organization for Economic Cooperation will be conducting a joint humanitarian mission in...

Land purchased for possible Southern regional seminary CWN - March 19, 2012

Boiling Springs, North Carolina--a town of 4,700 that is home to a Southern Baptist university--will soon be the site of a Poor Clare monastery and may one day be the location of a Southern regional...

Interview with married couple who will write Good Friday meditations CWN - March 19, 2012

Vatican Radio has interviewed Danilo and Annamaria Zanzucchi, the spouses whom Pope Benedict has asked to write the meditations for the Way of the Cross in the Colosseum on Good Friday. Danilo is...

Italian premier and Pope share feast day CWN - March 19, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti exchanged greetings on March 19, as each celebrated a feast day. The Pope congratulated Monti on the Italian leader’s 69th birthday....

Pope's schedule for Cuba has political implications CWN - March 19, 2012

During his visit to Cuba later this month, Pope Benedict XVI will meet privately with the Fidel Castro if the longtime Cuban leader is available, Vatican officials say. But the Pontiff will not meet...

Lent is 'journey with Jesus across the desert,' Pope tells audience CWN - March 19, 2012

The season of Lent is like “a journey with Jesus across the desert,” Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday audience on March 18. The Pontiff encouraged the faithful to spend the remaining days of Lent...

Obama administration sketches details of contraceptive mandate CWN - March 19, 2012

The Obama administration has released some more details about the mandate for contraceptive coverage in health-care plans. A March 16 announcement from the Department of Health and Human...

Lawyer-client privilege bars release of some documents, Philadelphia archdiocese says CWN - March 19, 2012

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has refused to release some documents for the sex-abuse trial of a former archdiocesan official, saying that the documents are protected by the lawyer-client...

Diocese approves exorcism prayers at abortion clinic CWN - March 19, 2012

The Cincinnati archdiocese has given permission for priests to say prayers of exorcism at an abortion clinic. Priests involved in 40 Days for Life will say the prayers for “exorcism of locality”...

Nigerian Anglican prelate raps outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury CWN - March 19, 2012

The leader of the Anglican communion in Nigeria has sharply criticized Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who announced last week that he will step down at the end of this...

Leading US bank closes Vatican bank’s account CWN - March 19, 2012

JP Morgan Chase, one of America’s leading banks, has closed down an account held by the Vatican bank at its Italian branch office in Milan. Neither the American bank nor the Vatican bank...

Why don’t radical Catholics just leave? CWN - March 19, 2012

Religion reporter Terry Mattingly raises a question that has often been asked by orthodox Catholics: When radical Catholics find themselves thoroughly at odds with Church doctrine, why don’t they...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 20

Cardinal Tauran laments ‘right-wing’ ignorance of Islam CWN - March 20, 2012

Speaking with Al Jazeera, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue lamented mutual ignorance between Christians and Muslims. “We succeeded in avoiding the clash of...

Violence-torn Mexico to greet Pope CWN - March 20, 2012

When Pope Benedict arrives in Mexico later this week, he will encounter a society torn by violence. “Vicious narcotraficking gangs are vying for control of key points in the Western Hemisphere's...

Jordanian prince urges Arab Christians not to emigrate CWN - March 20, 2012

A member of the Jordanian royal family has urged Arab Christians to stay in their native lands. “The Arab Christians are Arabs and are the pioneers of thought and Arab revival,” said Prince...

Holy See, archbishop condemn French school shooting CWN - March 20, 2012

The murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse is “ignoble and shameful” and “arouses deep indignation and bewilderment and the most resolute condemnation,” said Father...

Vatican spokesman: Cubans feel they are ‘on the verge of a new age’ CWN - March 20, 2012

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his most recent weekly editorial to Pope Benedict’s upcoming apostolic journey to Mexico and Cuba. “The many reasons for the Pope’s journey...

Dutch report: boys castrated in Catholic psychiatric institutes in 1950s CWN - March 20, 2012

At least ten minors were castrated in Catholic psychiatric institutes in the Netherlands in the 1950s in an attempt to counter homosexual tendencies, according to a Dutch newspaper report. Some were...

Copts face uncertain future after leader's death CWN - March 20, 2012

Pope Shenouda III, who died on March 17 at the age of 88, played a defining role in the recent history of the Coptic Orthodox Church—not only because of his remarkably long tenure (40 years) as the...

'Courtyard of the Gentiles' to meet in Sicily, discuss law and Mafia CWN - March 20, 2012

The Vatican will continue its “Courtyard of the Gentiles” initiative, designed to promote encounters between Christianity and secular culture, with a meeting in Palermo, Italy on March 29-30. The...

Vatican officials meet European banking investigators CWN - March 20, 2012

Vatican officials have continued their drive to secure accreditation from European banking authorities, meeting last week with representatives of MoneyVal, the arm of the European Council that...

Beatification cause advances for Father Walter Ciszek, missionary who endured Soviet gulags CWN - March 20, 2012

The Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, has completed a preliminary investigation for the beatification of Father Walter Ciszek, the Jesuit missionary who spent more than 20 years in Soviet labor...

String of bombings in Iraq; Baghdad church among targets CWN - March 20, 2012

A Syrian Orthodox church in Baghdad was among the targets as Iraqi terrorists set up more than 20 bombs on March 20, marking the 9th anniversary of the US military offensive against the regime of...

Santorum believes in sin, Post profile alerts readers CWN - March 20, 2012

Continuing to call attention to the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the Washington Post carries a confused article that quotes from a speech Santorum gave 3...

New archbishops for Baltimore, Montreal CWN - March 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has named new archbishops for two important sees in North America, choosing Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to become Archbishop of Baltimore; and Bishop Christian...

Walesa backs Cuban democracy activists' plea for meeting with Pontiff CWN - March 20, 2012

Former Polish President Lech Walesa has asked Pope Benedict XVI to meet with political opponents of the Castro regime during his visit to Cuba later this month. Walesa, the leader of the...

Sydney archdiocese awards grant for adult stem-cell research CWN - March 20, 2012

The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, has made a grant of $100,000 to researchers working with adult stem cells. The grant, issued to two researchers at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, will go to...

Plenary indulgence available at opening of English shrine for extraordinary form CWN - March 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that a plenary indulgence can be obtained by those who attend the re-opening of church in Shrewsbury, England, that will be dedicated to the extraordinary form of the...

Cause moves forward for beatification of Vietnamese prelate CWN - March 20, 2012

A Vatican delegation will visit Vietnam next week to collect testimony regarding the cause for beatification of the late Cardinal Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. The Vietnamese prelate, who...

Vatican report gives blunt assessment of Church crisis in Ireland CWN - March 20, 2012

The Vatican has released a comprehensive report on the struggles of the Catholic Church in Ireland, concentrating on the response to the sex-abuse scandal but also addressing the issue of widespread...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 21

Report documents anti-Christian discrimination in Europe CWN - March 21, 2012

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has released a report documenting incidents of anti-Christian discrimination in Europe in 2011. “Studies suggest...

Egypt: town officials expel Christian family CWN - March 21, 2012

Officials in Amriya, Egypt, have expelled all members of a Christian family from their homes after one members of the family was accused of having an affair with a Muslim woman. After their...

$175M restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral CWN - March 21, 2012

The Archdiocese of New York has announced that St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be undergoing a $175-million restoration, $45 million of which has already been raised. “The goal at the end of the day...

Boston archdiocese criticized for lay employees’ high salaries CWN - March 21, 2012

Amid parish closures and dramatic cuts in the number of chancery staff, the number of lay employees of the Archdiocese of Boston who earned more than $150,000 a year increased from five in 2006 to...

USCCB urges pastors to promote prayer campaign for religious liberty CWN - March 21, 2012

In a March 20 memorandum, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged pastors, diocesan officials, and state Catholic conferences to “mobilize Catholics … as quickly as possible” to take...

Montana priest faces child pornography charges CWN - March 21, 2012

A priest of the Diocese of Helena faces felony sexual abuse charges for possessing pornographic images of boys. Father Rudolph Bullman, pastor of Risen Christ Parish in Kalispell, reportedly told...

Islamic forces target Christians in Syria CWN - March 21, 2012

Islamic extremists are engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Christians in the Syrian city of Homs, local sources tell the Fides news service. Militants with links to Al Qaida have reportedly driven...

Chinese police destroy tombstone of 'underground' priest CWN - March 21, 2012

Chinese police have smashed the tombstone of an “underground” Catholic priest, explaining that the decease priest should not be identified on the tombstone as “Father” Joseph Shi Liming. Police...

Castro critics vow presence at Pope's public appearances in Cuba CWN - March 21, 2012

The Women in White, a prominent group opposing the Castro regime, has announced plans to have representatives at all public appearances by Pope Benedict XVI during the Pontiff’s visit to Cuba on...

Irish columnist: Catholic theology causes abuse CWN - March 21, 2012

An Irish political columnist has made the charge that Catholic theology causes sexual abuse. “Clerical sexual abuse is inevitable given the meaning system that is taught by the Catholic Church...

Controversy awaits on Pope's trip to Mexico, Cuba CWN - March 21, 2012

As Pope Benedict XVI prepares for an international voyage that will take him to Mexico and Cuba from March 23 to 29, the Vatican has released some statistics about the Church in each country....

Released Thursday, Mar. 22

At least 1,000 missionaries slain since 1980 CWN - March 22, 2012

At least 1,000 Catholic missionaries and pastoral workers were killed between 1980 and 2011, according to the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. At least 115 were...

Dutch bishops react to report of castrations; commentator offers context CWN - March 22, 2012

Reacting to reports that ten boys were castrated in Dutch Catholic psychiatric institutes in the 1950s, Eric van den Berg, who runs the Catholic internet portal katholiek.nl, notes that electroshock...

Beatification causes for Boys Town, Maryknoll founders CWN - March 22, 2012

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha has opened the cause for beatification of Irish-born Father Edward Flanagan (1886-1948), who cared for 6,000 youth during his lifetime and founded Boys Town. “For...

North Carolina bishops criticize Obama statement on marriage amendment CWN - March 22, 2012

Less than two months before North Carolina residents will vote on a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, President Barack Obama blasted the...

Austria: pastor bars homosexual from parish council CWN - March 22, 2012

The parish priest of a small parish in the Archdiocese of Vienna has refused to allow an openly homosexual 26-year-old to serve on the parish council. Florian Stangl, who is disabled, lives in a...

Rallies for religious freedom to take place across nation on Friday CWN - March 22, 2012

Rallies for religious freedom are scheduled to take place March 23 at noon at over 100 cities around the country. The rallies, coordinated by Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League and Monica...

Papal visit won't strengthen Cuban government, Cardinal Bertone assures CWN - March 22, 2012

A visit to Cuba by Pope Benedict XVI will not strengthen the Castro regime, according to the Vatican Secretary of State. In fact the papal trip will fuel the movement toward democracy, Cardinal...

Alabama joins EWTN lawsuit against Obamacare CWN - March 22, 2012

The attorney general of Alabama has joined in a lawsuit filed by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) to stop the Obama contraception mandate. Attorney General Luther Strange said that...

Tracing history of US government promotion of contraception CWN - March 22, 2012

Russell Shaw provides a brief history of the federal government's involvement in promoting contraception in the US and abroad. The process began in the 1950s, under President Dwight Eisenhower. But...

Irish probe police inaction on abuse complaints in Cloyne diocese CWN - March 22, 2012

Irish government officials are investigating complaints that police (garda) officials failed to respond to reports of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne. An independent report on the Cloyne...

New Montreal archbishop puts focus on faith, not controversy CWN - March 22, 2012

Newly appointed Archbishop Christian Lépine avoided being drawn into hot political debates as he was introduced to the media in Montreal, concentrating instead on fundamental matters of...

Indian archbishop: Not involved in negotiations with Italians’ kidnappers CWN - March 22, 2012

A Catholic archbishop in India’s Orissa state has denied reports that Church leaders are negotiating for the release of Italians being held by Maoist rebels. "With whom would we negotiate? We do...

Russian Orthodox should admit cooperation with Stalin, says Ukrainian Catholic leader CWN - March 22, 2012

Ecumenical relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being stymied because the Moscow patriarchate will not admit its culpability for...

Church mediates gang truce in El Salvador CWN - March 22, 2012

Bishop Fabio Colindres Abarca, who heads the military ordinariate for El Salvador, has announced a truce between rival drug-trafficking gangs, which has proposed a welcome drop in the rate of...

Vatican hosting meeting to plan World Youth Day CWN - March 22, 2012

The Pontifical Council for the Laity is organizing a meeting to discuss the experiences of World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations and to plan for the next WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. The...

Released Friday, Mar. 23

US bishops to back federal government in immigration dispute with Arizona CWN - March 23, 2012

In a letter urging the speaker of the House of Representatives to work for the speedy passage of immigration reform legislation, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop José Gomez of Los...

European court issues mixed ruling on same-sex marriage CWN - March 23, 2012

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that European nations which define marriage as the union of a man and a woman are not guilty of discrimination. “The European Convention on Human...

Nuncio backs UN plan for Syria CWN - March 23, 2012

The apostolic nuncio to Syria has express his “full support” for a unanimous UN Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis. The resolution calls for a cease fire, negotiations between the...

US attempts to push contraception agenda through UN women’s commission CWN - March 23, 2012

The United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women has been the scene of recent attempts by the United States delegation to incorporate its views on “safe, effective, affordable and acceptable...

Prelate emphasizes US bishops’ support for human rights in Cuba CWN - March 23, 2012

On the eve of Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to Cuba, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has emphasized that the US bishops...

Iowa bishops call for day of prayer, fasting for religious liberty CWN - March 23, 2012

The bishops of Iowa have joined the bishops of Pennsylvania in declaring March 30 a day of prayer, fasting, and abstinence for religious liberty. Noting that the HHS contraceptive mandate...

Pope begins 23rd foreign trip, to Mexico and Cuba CWN - March 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI left Rome on March 23, to begin the 23rd foreign trip of his pontificate, his 2nd visit as Pope to Latin America. He will be in Mexico from March 23 to 26, then travel to Cuba,...

US Catholics grown more skeptical of Obama on religious-freedom issue CWN - March 23, 2012

A new survey shows a “noticeable shift” in the opinions of American Catholics regarding the Obama administration’s position on religious freedom. Apparently as a result of the clash between the...

Another Iraqi Christian murdered; exodus continues CWN - March 23, 2012

The murder of a Christian man in Mosul has continued a reign of terror against the religious minority in the Iraqi city, where militant Sunni Muslims hope to establish Islamic law. Salman Dawoud...

Pope comments on failure of Marxism in Cuba, scourge of drug traffic in Mexico CWN - March 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI denounced Mexico’s drug violence, and said that Marxism is no longer a viable governing system in Cuba, during an exchange with reporters who accompanied him on his flight from...

Pope sends greetings to Obama, other national leaders CWN - March 23, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI promised his prayers to the people of the US, as he passed above American soil during his flight from Rome to Mexico on March 23. Following his usual practice, the Pope sent...

How gay activists seek to intimidate opponents CWN - March 23, 2012

Austin Ruse describes the vicious personal attacks that were visited upon him by homosexual activists after he took a public stand against gay-rights activism. The same treatment, he points out, is...

China admits transplanting organs from condemned prisoners CWN - March 23, 2012

A Chinese official has announced that the government will cease transplanting organs from prisoners who are condemned to execution. The announcement was significant because the Beijing regime had...

Syrian refugees flood camps in Lebanon CWN - March 23, 2012

About 20,000 refugees from Syria have already entered Lebanon, creating a “humanitarian emergency,” with many thousands more expected to follow. Father Simon Faddoul, the president of Caritas...

Ex-priest's guilty plea creates complications in Philadelphia abuse trial CWN - March 23, 2012

A laicized Catholic priest has entered a guilty plea on sex-abuse charges just before his trial was about to begin in Philadelphia, thereby placing pressure on his co-defendants. Edward Avery...

President Carter says he clashed with 'fundamentalist' Pope John Paul II CWN - March 23, 2012

Former US President Jimmy Carter has disclosed that he had angry exchanges with Pope John Paul II about liberation theology and about the ordination of women. The former president said that he...

America magazine decries US bishops' stand on religious freedom CWN - March 23, 2012

An editorial in the Jesuit magazine America has scolded the US bishops for their continued opposition to President Obama’s contraceptive mandate. Rapping the US Conference of Catholic Bishops...

European bishops' group supports European Union policies CWN - March 23, 2012

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has been elected the new president of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE). COMECE is an umbrella organization serving the...

Released Monday, Mar. 26

Over 50,000 rally for religious freedom in US CWN - March 26, 2012

Over 50,000 Americans participated in rallies for religious freedom in over 140 cities, according to Stand Up for Religious Freedom Co-Director Monica Migliorino Miller. “The only real...

Chinese officials detain bishop, compel him to attend ‘learning classes’ CWN - March 26, 2012

Chinese government officials have detained a bishop and his chancellor and are compelling them to attend “learning classes.” The Holy See recognizes the ministry of Coadjutor Bishop Peter Shao...

Russian patriarch blasts punk rock band’s cathedral action CWN - March 26, 2012

Uttering blasphemies and wearing masks and provocative attire, a feminist punk-rock band danced in front of the pulpit of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, prompting a strong...

New York bishops oppose ‘chemical digestion’ bill CWN - March 26, 2012

The New York State Catholic Conference has announced its opposition to a bill that would legalize alkaline hydrolysis, the chemical digestion of a corpse in a heated mixture of water and...

EWTN Radio grows to nearly 200 affiliates CWN - March 26, 2012

The EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary and has grown to 187 affiliates, including stations in 19 of the top 35 radio markets. “From the time John...

Caritas appeal for Burkina Faso CWN - March 26, 2012

The Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies has launched a $2.3-million appeal for Burkina Faso. Nearly two million people face the prospect of famine in the sub-Saharan...

Vatican cancels conference on stem-cell research; embryo researchers had been on agenda CWN - March 26, 2012

The Vatican has cancelled plans for a conference on stem-cell research, at which proponents of embryo research were scheduled to speak. The conference, organized by the Pontifical Academy for...

Canadian judge gives jail term, tongue-lashing to pro-life activist CWN - March 26, 2012

A Canadian judge unleashed a harangue on a pro-life activist as he sentenced her to an added prison term for refusing to stay away from abortion clinics. Mr. Justice S. Ford Clements refused to...

Pope energizes Mexican Catholics with call to revival of faith CWN - March 26, 2012

“I come as a pilgrim of faith, of hope, and of love,” Pope Benedict XVI announced when he landed in Mexico on Friday afternoon, March 24, to begin a weekend visit. The Holy Father flew into Leon,...

Cardinal Bertone lauds Christian activism, raps class warfare CWN - March 26, 2012

The Church and the state have a shared duty, “each according to its specific mission, in protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of each person,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State told an...

Papal visit highlights debate on Church role in Cuba CWN - March 26, 2012

As Cuba awaits the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI, who begins a pastoral visit there on March 26, a lively debate is taking place about the political implications of the papal visit. Opponents of...

Cardinal Brady repeats that he will not resign CWN - March 26, 2012

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, has again brushed aside suggestions that he might resign, after the release of a Vatican report critical of the Irish hierarchy’s handling of the...

Obamacare is constitutional, contraceptive mandate is not, bishop argues CWN - March 26, 2012

A Catholic bishop voiced his opinion that the “Obamacare” health reform as a whole is constitutional, but the contraceptive mandate for religious institutions is not, in a speech at Catholic...

Proper understanding of Vatican II is key to Church's future, Pope says CWN - March 26, 2012

Vatican II “was a genuine sign of God for our time,” Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to French Catholics participating in a weekend symposium at Lourdes to mark the 50th anniversary of the...

Archbishop warns against attempts to 'redefine nature' by accepting same-sex marriage CWN - March 26, 2012

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow, Scotland has warned against the bid to “redefine nature” and “recreate society” The drive for acceptance of gay marriage, the archbishop said, is based upon a...

Vietnam bars Vatican delegation research for late cardinal's beatification cause CWN - March 26, 2012

The Vietnamese government has refused to grant entry visas to members of a Vatican delegation investigating the cause for beatification of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. Vietnamese...

Trial opens in Pennsylvania sex-abuse scandal CWN - March 26, 2012

The trial of a Philadelphia priest charged with endangering children by covering up evidence of sexual abuse opens in Pennsylvania on March 26. Msgr. William Lynn, who was secretary for clergy in...

Arriving in Cuba, Pope issues clear call for change CWN - March 26, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI offered a prescription for change in Cuba as he arrived on Monday afternoon, March 26, to begin a 3-day visit there. The Pope—who had said last week that Marxism has failed in...

European Church leaders protest Saudi fatwa for destruction of churches CWN - March 26, 2012

Church leaders in Europe have decried the announcement by Saudi Arabia’s top Islamic leader for the destruction of all Christian churches on the Arabian peninsula. Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh...

Irish columnist laments bishops' unwillingness to challenge politicians CWN - March 26, 2012

Irish essayist David Quinn argues that the Catholic bishops of Ireland constitute the least assertive Catholic hierarchy of the English-speaking world. The Irish bishops, Quinn says, show “a...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 27

Judge: federal grants to USCCB for human-trafficking victims are unconstitutional CWN - March 27, 2012

Siding with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a federal judge has declared that grants made to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to assist human-trafficking victims...

Vatican approves blessing for child in womb CWN - March 27, 2012

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has granted a request by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to approve a Rite for the Blessing of a Child in...

Are Islamists targeting Christians in Homs? Catholic groups dispute cause of exodus CWN - March 27, 2012

A week after the Fides news agency quoted Syrian Orthodox sources as saying that Islamist forces were engaged in ethnic cleansing against Christians in Homs, local Jesuits have told Fides that...

Burma: army ransacks church, burns Bibles CWN - March 27, 2012

Soldiers in Myanmar (Burma) have recently disrupted an evangelical conference, burned Bibles, and ransacked a Protestant church in Chin State in the western part of the nation. “These incidents...

Thieves repeatedly target English cathedral CWN - March 27, 2012

Staff at the Catholic cathedral in Norwich, England, have installed seven cameras following three thefts of lead over the past year. Thieves have stolen some of the cathedral’s piping as well as...

US bishops grant $3.5M to Church in Caribbean CWN - March 27, 2012

The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced that it is granting $3.5 million to assist the Church in four Caribbean nations....

German SSPX leader optimistic on reaching agreement with Vatican CWN - March 27, 2012

The German district superior of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) sees “good reason for hope” that the traditionalist group can ultimately reach an accord with the Vatican, despite a setback earlier...

Russian Orthodox spokesman raps British government stand on wearing crucifix at work CWN - March 27, 2012

The chief public-policy spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has denounced the British government’s decision to defend employers who bar their workers from wearing crucifixes. Metropolitan...

Key accuser in Philadelphia abuse case has criminal record CWN - March 27, 2012

A key witness for the prosecution in the sex-abuse trial of Philadelphia priests has a long history of criminal conduct including fabricated charges of crime, notes The Media Report. The man who...

World Youth Day theme: 'Rejoice in the Lord Always' CWN - March 27, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme for the 27th observance of World Youth Day (WYD), which will take place at the diocesan level on Palm Sunday, March 27. The theme, taken from St. Paul’s...

Cuban police detained activists before Pope's arrival CWN - March 27, 2012

Cuban police detained more than 100 anti-Castro activists just before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI this week, thus adding fuel to the debate about the Church’s relations with the Cuban...

Abortionists feel immune from legal requirements CWN - March 27, 2012

Investigative reports in Great Britain have shown evidence that many abortion clinics routinely falsify records, notes Michael Cook of MercatorNet. There is also evidence that the clinics fail to...

Republicans fail to advance 'social issues' CWN - March 27, 2012

Commenting on Jeffrey Bell’s new book The Case for Polarized Politics, Hadley Arkes remarks that the Republican Party in the US, which has generally commanded the support of voters devoted to the...

Anglican groups decline to endorse document on union despite differences CWN - March 27, 2012

Most of the dioceses of the Church of England have voted against a proposed “Anglican Covenant,” which was intended to explain the basis for continued union among Anglican groups that disagree on...

Pope plans full liturgical schedule for Holy Week, Easter CWN - March 27, 2012

The Vatican has released the full schedule of liturgical events at which Pope Benedict XVI will preside during Holy Week and Easter. Although he will be approaching his 85th birthday, and will...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 28

Pope speaks with Raul Castro, will meet Fidel CWN - March 28, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met at length with Cuban President Raul Castro on March 27 as he neared the conclusion of his visit to the island nation. On Wednesday, March 28, he will meet with Fidel Castro...

Supreme Court hearing raises prospect that Obamacare may be overturned CWN - March 28, 2012

Supreme Court justices rigorously questioned the constitutional basis for the Obama health-care reforms during a March 27 hearing, prompting analysts to believe that the High Court might overturn...

Vanderbilt's discrimination policy drives Catholic group off campus CWN - March 28, 2012

A Catholic student group has decided to move off the Vanderbilt University campus after the school ruled that campus groups cannot restrict membership on the basis of religious beliefs. Father...

Catholic commentator regrets Pope's decision not to meet anti-Castro leaders CWN - March 28, 2012

Unable to join a group traveling to Cuba during the papal visit because the Castro regime denied him a visa, Robert Royal of the Faith and Reason Institute comments from a distance on the debate...

Pope designates Holy Thursday collection for Syrian refugees CWN - March 28, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that money collected during the Holy Thursday Mass in the basilica of St. John Lateran will be used to support Syrian refugees. The Pope’s decision is “a very...

New tensions on border of Sudan, South Sudan CWN - March 28, 2012

Tensions are rising on the border that separates Sudan from newly independent South Sudan, after the Khartoum government sent bombers to the border, where ground troops of the two nations have...

Slovenia: referendum vote overturns same-sex unions CWN - March 28, 2012

Voters in Slovenia have rejected a bid to allow legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. In a national referendum, 55% of voters rejected a proposed new Family Code that would have provided...

Prosecutors enter evidence of cover-up in Philadelphia sex-abuse trial CWN - March 28, 2012

At the felony trial of a former Philadelphia archdiocesan official, prosecutors have introduced evidence that Msgr. William Lynn deceived parishioners who expressed concerns about the behavior of a...

Cuba must change, Pope says in final homily CWN - March 28, 2012

“Cuba and the world need change,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for a congregation of nearly 1 million people in Havana on March 28, the final day of his visit to...

Pakistani girl begs court to stop forced conversion and marriage CWN - March 28, 2012

A 19-year-old Pakistani woman has appealed to the country’s Supreme Court for help, saying that she has been kidnapped, pressured into marriage, and is being forced to convert to Islam. Rinkel...

Modern society losing sense of family life, Cardinal Scola warns CWN - March 28, 2012

Modern European society is “facing the crucial challenge of whether or not to recognize the family as a social entity,” wrote Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in an op-ed essay for the Italian...

Castro's daughter doubts real reform is possible in Cuba CWN - March 28, 2012

As Pope Benedict XVI met with Fidel Castro in Havana, the estranged daughter of the longtime Cuban dictator told an Italian newspaper that her father’s tenure was “a tragedy for Cuba.” Alina...

Bishop Finn seeks dismissal of criminal charges in abuse case CWN - March 28, 2012

Lawyers for Kansas City’s Bishop Robert Finn have asked a Missouri court to dismiss a criminal charge against him, arguing that the bishop was not required by law to report evidence of sexual abuse...

Cuban-Americans cheer US archbishop's call for an end to Marxist rule CWN - March 28, 2012

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami drew a lengthy ovation from a congregation in Havana’s cathedral as he issued a call for an end to Marxist rule in Cuba. The American prelate had traveled to...

Australian bishop looks to Asia to relieve shortage of priests CWN - March 28, 2012

An Australian Catholic bishop has said that his diocese is looking to Asia—the Philippines in particular—for help to relieve a shortage of priests. Bishop Greg O’Kelly of Port Pirie said that...

Released Thursday, Mar. 29

Arizona immigration law threatens religious liberty, USCCB argues in court brief CWN - March 29, 2012

As previously announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop José Gomez, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the federal...

Illicit Chinese bishop ordains priests; Maryknoll priest concelebrates CWN - March 29, 2012

A Chinese bishop whose ministry is not recognized by the Holy See has ordained four men to the priesthood. Three foreign priests--a Maryknoll priest from the US and two Korean Benedictine...

Caritas to launch global campaign against poverty CWN - March 29, 2012

The leader of Caritas Internationalis--the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies--said in an interview that Caritas will launch a global campaign against poverty in October...

Philippine bishops encourage observance of Earth Hour CWN - March 29, 2012

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is encouraging Filipinos to observe Earth Hour, an initiative in which individuals and organizations pledge to switch off their lights for one...

North Carolina bishops issue statement on immigration CWN - March 29, 2012

Bishops Michael Burbidge of Raleigh and Peter Jugis of Charlotte have issued a statement on immigration. The statement, as delivered by the Raleigh diocese’s vicar general before a state...

Former pontifical council staff member questions new document on water rights CWN - March 29, 2012

A layman who formerly worked as a policy analyst for the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace has raised questions about the pontifical council’s new document on water rights--and by implication,...

Iraqi prelate asks faithful to put aside fears CWN - March 29, 2012

An Iraqi archbishop is encouraging his people to set aside their fears and celebrate Easter joyfully in spite of the violence that surrounds them. Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said that...

Japanese Church fights against legal executions CWN - March 29, 2012

Japanese Catholic bishops are urging their nation’s government to abolish the death penalty, in the aftermath of the first legal executions since 2010. After the hanging of three prisoners who...

Bishop Fellay asks prayers for SSPX-Vatican talks CWN - March 29, 2012

The head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is exhorting members of the traditionalist group to “redouble their fervor in prayer” during Holy Week, as a deadline approaches for the SSPX to respond...

Fidel Castro questions Pope on changes in liturgy CWN - March 29, 2012

During his March 29 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, Fidel Castro questioned the Pope about reforms in the Latin liturgy, and asked for books that would help him understand changes in the Church, the...

Pope lauds freedom, raps US embargo, before leaving Cuba CWN - March 29, 2012

“Cuba, look to the faith of your elders,” Pope Benedict XVI said as he prepared to leave the island nation on March 28. At an airport ceremony Wednesday evening before his departure for Rome, the...

Does individualism reflect a failure to understand the Trinity? CWN - March 29, 2012

Anthony Esolen reminds readers of The Catholic Thing that the doctrine of the Trinity is an essential element of Christian belief. “The danger of monotheism without the Trinity,” he writes, “is...

Hunger Games explores dignity of life under tyranny CWN - March 29, 2012

Moving quickly from blockbuster novel to film sensation, The Hunger Games paints a violent but compelling picture of the struggle for human freedom under a brutal and tyrannical government, writes...

Vatican announces excommunication of rebel bishops from Ukrainian Catholic Church CWN - March 29, 2012

The Vatican has announced the excommunication of four Ukrainian clerics who have sought recognition as leaders of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church.” In a March 29 announcement, the...

Released Friday, Mar. 30

Cuba releases hundreds detained during Pope’s visit CWN - March 30, 2012

The Cuban government has released hundreds of dissidents temporarily detained during Pope Benedict’s apostolic journey to the Communist nation. Lamenting the “violently repressive tactics...

Cardinal Dolan tells Bill O’Reilly: ‘We can’t back down from this fight’ CWN - March 30, 2012

Commenting on the Department of Health and Human Services’ ’ contraception mandate, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York told popular cable television host Bill O’Reilly that members of the Obama...

Vatican message for World Autism Day CWN - March 30, 2012

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers has issued a message for World Autism Day, which is commemorated on April 2. Entitled “An Appeal for...

Quebec bishops decry euthanasia recommendation CWN - March 30, 2012

Calling for a greater emphasis on palliative care, the bishops of Quebec have issued a statement decrying a commission’s recommendation that euthanasia be legalized in the province. “Changing the...

Controversial UN document may uphold 'reproductive rights' for children CWN - March 30, 2012

In April, the UN Commission on Population and Development will begin a final round of negotiations on a document that could state that children as young as ten have rights to “sexual and...

California court upholds statute of limitations in abuse cases CWN - March 30, 2012

In a 5-2 decision, California’s State Supreme Court has upheld the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. The ruling came after six brothers, alleging that they were abused in the 1970s...

Article examines Ukrainian Easter egg tradition CWN - March 30, 2012

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s magazine explores the Ukrainian tradition of pysanky, or decorated Easter eggs, noting that during the Communist era, the decoration of eggs--banned by...

Bishop nixes Catholic campus address by Ted Kennedy’s widow CWN - March 30, 2012

Anna Maria College, a small Catholic institution outside Worcester, Massachusetts, has rescinded an invitation to Victoria Kennedy to be the school’s commencement speaker, at the prompting of Bishop...

Australian bishops rally forces against same-sex marriage CWN - March 30, 2012

In a letter that will be sent to 80,000 Catholics, a group of six Australian bishops led by Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart are asking the faithful to contact their political representatives and...

Irish census: Catholic majority remains strong, but family breakdown soars CWN - March 30, 2012

Ireland remains an overwhelmingly Catholic nation, new census figures prove. But the statistics show an alarming rise in family breakdown. The census figures, released March 30, show that 84% of...

Tiny Catholic parish struggles to survive in Afghanistan CWN - March 30, 2012

A tiny Catholic community in Kabul, Afghanistan lives as a “catacomb Church,” as described by the lone priest, and Mass attendance is dropping because of security concerns. Father Giuseppe...

Pope Benedict's Prayer Intentions for April 2012 CWN - March 30, 2012

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for April 2012. The Pope's general intention is: "That many young people may hear the call of Christ and follow Him in the...

Italian bishops forbid scattering of ashes after cremation CWN - March 30, 2012

In new guidelines for funerals and burials, the Italian bishops’ conference has said that the scattering of ashes of the deceased is not allowed. The revised funeral rites, released on March 31,...

Jewish-Catholic commission agrees: economic crisis reflects moral crisis CWN - March 30, 2012

A joint Catholic-Jewish commission has released a statement on the current financial crisis, concluded that “at its roots lies a crisis of moral values.” A bilateral commission, co-sponsored by...

6th Anglican bishop joins Catholic ordinariate CWN - March 30, 2012

A 6th Anglican prelate—Robert Mercer—has been ordained into the priesthood in the Catholic Church. Father Mercer will serve in the ordinariate of Our Lady of Walshingham, which was established...

A hostile takeover in the Vatican's institute of sacred music? CWN - March 30, 2012

The Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, long a bastion of the Church’s musical tradition, is being taken over by new leadership that will ignore that tradition, complains Sandro Magister of...

Arab Spring was captured by opportunists, says Patriarch of Jerusalem CWN - March 30, 2012

Latin-rite Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem believes that at its inception, the political ferment that came to be known as the Arab Spring “was a healthy sincere movement.” But over time the...

Final Lenten Sermon explores faith, reason, and mysticism CWN - March 30, 2012

In the last of his Lenten Sermons for 2012, the preacher to the pontifical household showed how the thought of St. Gregory of Nyssa applies to contemporary religious experience. Preaching in the...

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