Stories for May 2012

Released Wednesday, May. 2

Nigerian prelates lament weak response to Islamist terrorism

Following a recent terrorist attack on worshippers at a Mass in Kano, two leading Nigerian prelates criticized the government’s response to the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram. “At...

French Revolution martyr beatified

Father Pierre-Adrien Toulorge (1757-93), a Norbertine priest martyred during the French Revolution, was beatified on April 29 at the cathedral in Coutances, France. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of...

Episcopal Church may approve blessing of same-sex relationships

This July, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church will decide whether to approve “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” a rite for the blessing of homosexual...

Christian activist slain in Pakistan

Chaudhry Irshad Younas, a Pakistani Christian involved in politics, was murdered in Lahore on April 27. Local sources told the Fides news agency that Younas was “a leader ready to speak out...

Modern Family receives ‘Catholic Oscar’ award

Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA)--an organization of Catholics in the entertainment industry--has bestowed its television award on the controversial ABC comedy Modern Family. Two...

Australian priest removed after revealing secret marriage

An Australian priest has been removed from ministry after he revealed that he had secretly married last year. Father Kevin Lee defended himself by saying that many other priests were leading...

Announcement imminent about suspended Philadelphia priests?

A local television station has reported that the Philadelphia archdiocese will soon reveal the fate of 27 priests who were suspended from ministry last year after a grand jury report criticized the...

Egypt's Copts to choose new spiritual leader in September

The Coptic Orthodox Church will elect a successor to the late Pope Shenouda III in September, a spokesman has announced. Pope Shenouda, who had served a remarkable 40 years as leader of the...

Prayer and Scripture reading help guide the faithful through life, Pope tells audience

Continuing his series of weekly talks on prayer, Pope Benedict XVI spoke at his public audience on May 2 about the defense that St. Stephen offered before his martyrdom. When he was accused of...

Pope recalls beatification of John Paul II, one year later

At his regular public audience on May 2, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the beatification of his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, one year earlier. Acknowledging a group of Polish pilgrims in the...

Maureen Dowd taken to task for inaccuracies, illogic

In Catholic World Report, Carl Olson takes up the arduous task of pointing out all the errors of fact, logic, and syntax in a piece by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd excoriating the Vatican....

Police oust 'Occupy' protesters from San Francisco archdiocesan building-- again

Early in the morning of May 3, police raided a building owned by the San Francisco archdiocese and evicted “Occupy” protesters who had seized the building the previous day. For the 2nd time in a...

Italian bishops' daily seeks scrutiny of 'medical marijuana' drive

The Italian daily Avvenire, owned by the Italian bishops’ conference, has called critical attention to a bid to legalize the medical use of marijuana. A regional council in Tuscany approved a...

Myanmar bishops pleased with Aung San Suu Kyi decision to enter parliament

The Catholic bishops of Myanmar have said that the participation of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in the nation’s parliament is “a good sign for the future of the country.” A...

Pacem in Terris seen as important guide to recovery understanding of common good

At a May 2 press conference in Rome, members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences reported on the group’s 18th plenary session, which was dedicated to a discussion of the landmark 1963...

New calls for Cardinal Brady to resign over role in Irish sex-abuse investigation

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, is hearing new calls for his resignation after the airing of a BBC television program that probed his involvement in a 1975 investigation...

New statutes for Caritas International underline Vatican control

The Vatican has approved new statutes governing the work of Caritas International, after the Holy See intervened last year to reinforce the distinctly Catholic identity of the organization, which is...

Released Thursday, May. 3

Mormons surge, Catholics decline in US; half of Americans are nonadherents

The number of Mormons in the United States increased by nearly 50% between 2000 and 2010, while the number of “active members” of the Catholic Church declined by 5%, according to the latest...

Honduran cardinal welcomes new Caritas statutes

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the president of Caritas Internationalis, has welcomed the new statutes that will govern the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies. In...

140th anniversary of largest women’s religious institute

The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco, also known as the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, are commemorating the 140th anniversary of their foundation by St. Maria Mazzarello (1837-81). The...

Our Sunday Visitor turns 100

The most popular national Catholic newspaper in the United States is celebrating its centenary. Founder by the future Archbishop John Francis Noll, Our Sunday Visitor now has a circulation of...

Profile of Olympic skater who became nun

Vatican Radio has conducted an interview with Sister Catherine Holum, CFR, a former Olympic athlete who entered the religious life after participating in World Youth Day in Toronto. Competing at...

Over 100,000 adult baptisms in South Korea in 2011

A total of 134,562 people were baptized into the Catholic Church in South Korea in 2011—including over 100,000 adults--bringing the country’s Catholic population up to 5.3 million. Bishop...

Catholic vote now seen evenly split in US presidential race

American Catholics are evenly split in their preferences for the 2012 presidential race, according to a new Gallup poll. Catholics are seen by both major political parties as a key voting...

Pope tells medical faculty: restore role of faith in research

Pope Benedict XVI visited Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on May 3, to join in 50th-anniversary celebrations for the hospital’s teaching faculty. In his remarks there the Pontiff spoke of the urgent need to...

Rebel violence in Congo forcing thousands into flight

Thousands of families are leaving their homes in the Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo because of continuing rebel violence, a Catholic missionary reports. Father Loris Cattani...

Decisions due Friday on suspended Philadelphia priests

Confirming earlier media reports, the Philadelphia archdiocese has announced that on May 4, Archbishop Charles Chaput will reveal the results of investigations into sex-abuse charges against some of...

Columnist George Will celebrates 40th birthday of his Down-syndrome son

Veteran Washington Post columnist George Will reflects on the 40th birthday of his son Jon, who in handicapped with Down syndrome but blessed with serenity and an “underdeveloped entitlement...

Leading Irish politicians call for Cardinal Brady's resignation

Several leading Irish politicians have called for the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, after a BBC broadcast exposed new details about the future cardinal’s involvement in the...

Released Friday, May. 4

Catholics ‘fertile ground’ for conversion to Islam: senior Al-Qaeda official

A senior Al-Qaeda operative advised Osama bin Laden in January 2011 that Irish Catholics--and Catholics in general--are ripe for conversion to Islam, according to a letter released on the first...

Nepal to criminalize evangelization

The new Nepali constitution will make evangelization a crime punishable by imprisonment, a Nepali priest has told Vatican Radio. A Maoist insurgency helped transform the Hindu monarchy into a...

Victory for pro-family forces at UN

Despite intense efforts by pro-abortion and other organizations, the Holy See and a coalition of other states--including Russia and many African and Asian nations--were able to prevent “sexual...

Pope to visit Italian city in July

Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Sunday Mass in the city of 20,000 on July 15. Blessed John Paul II made a pastoral visit to Frascati,...

Faithful urged to prod Clinton on Sudan

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to encourage Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to promote peace between...

Overview of recent Vatican document on theology

L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay by Msgr. Paul McPartlan, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America, that offers an overview of the International Theological Commission’s...

One-fifth of US Catholics not linked to any parish

Roughly one-fifth of the Catholics in the US are not associated with a parish, a new study has found. While there are about 75 million Catholics in the US, “fewer than 60 million are associated...

Balance economic and spiritual needs of people, Pope urges national leaders

“Even without great material resources, it is possible to be happy,” Pope Benedict XVI told a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See. Meeting on May 4 with new envoys from Armenia, Ethiopia,...

Australian organization of women religious signals support for LCWR

An organization of Australian women religious has sent a message of support to their American counterpart, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which has been the target of a Vatican...

Pope will hear Beethoven's 9th performed at La Scala

Pope Benedict XVI will attend a performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony at La Scala opera house during his coming visit to Milan. The Holy Father will be in Milan for the World Encounter of...

Bishop Blaire, Rep. Ryan explain differing stands on federal budget

Bishop Stephen Blaire, who heads the US bishops’ justice-and-peace committee, has been critical of the federal budget proposal advanced by Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan, who is Catholic, has argued that his...

Philadelphia: 3 suspended priests cleared, 5 found unfit for ministry

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has cleared 3 priests of sex-abuse charges and found 5 others unsuited for ministry, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced on May 4, as he explained the resolution of...

Cardinal Brady repeats that he will not resign

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, was reportedly conferring with advisers on May 4, weighing the calls for his resignation. Cardinal Brady denied reports that he had...

New York bishops recommend higher minimum wage

The Catholic bishops of New York have issued a call for a raise in the state's minimum wage. The bishops argued that the current minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, in inadequate to maintain an adequate...

Beatify Bhatti, John Allen suggests

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter offers an interesting suggestion as to how the Holy See could dramatize the plight of Christians who die for the faith: Here's the idea: Beatify...

Bankruptcy judge may release testimony of Milwaukee prelates

A judge in federal bankruptcy court has ordered the Milwaukee archdiocese to engage in “meaningful settlement negotiations” with creditors, including sex-abuse victims. Judge Susan Kelley said...

Released Monday, May. 7

Sebelius among Georgetown University’s commencement speakers

Georgetown University has announced that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be one of the 14 speakers at commencement ceremonies that will take place later this month....

Egyptian Christians face constant proselytism, discrimination

Discussing the situation of Christians in various Middle Eastern nations, Father Samir Khalil Samir describes the barrage of Muslim proselytism that Egyptian Christians regularly face. “The whole...

Missionary priest brutally slain in Mozambique

A Consolata missionary priest was brutally slain in his residence in Matola, a city of 750,000 in the southeastern African nation of Mozambique. Father Valentim Camale, 48, was beaten to death...

Nazis’ ‘life unworthy to be lived’ philosophy alive and well: Vatican paper

In 1920, jurist Karl Binding and psychiatrist Alfred Hoche published Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwertem Lebens [Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy to be Lived], a work that helped...

Papal spokesman discusses faith and reason in medical research

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to the importance of the union faith and reason in medical research--a union that was a theme of Pope Benedict’s May 3...

Italian cardinal says Church will not downplay opposition to same-sex marriage

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan has said that Catholic Church leaders will not and should not mute their opposition to same-sex marriage in Italy’s current debates. The idea that religious beliefs...

US-sponsored broadcast denounces 'lackey' Cuban cardinal

An editorial broadcast to Cuba by Radio Marti has denounced Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana for cooperating with the Castro regime. Radio Marti, which is sponsored and subsidized by the...

Dublin's Archbishop Martin wants new inquiry into abuse case involving Cardinal Brady

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has suggested an independent investigation into the handling of sex-abuse charges against Father Brendan Smyth, the serial molester whose case has roused calls...

Indonesia: authorities shut down 3 Christian churches

In the Indonesian province of Aceh, protests by Muslim militants have led to the closing of three Christians churches: two Catholic and one Protestant. Authorities in Aceh—where Islamic shari’a...

Reliance on God heightens man's freedom, Pope tells Sunday audience

At his midday public audience on Sunday, May 6, Pope Benedict XVI offered a meditation on Christ’s words: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” At Baptism “the Church grafts us...

Ensure orthodoxy in Catholic schools, Pope urges US bishops

Pope Benedict XVI spoke at length about the need to preserve the Catholic identity of Church schools, during a May 5 address to a group of visiting bishops from the US. The Pope told the American...

Albanian president visits Pontiff at Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 5 with Albania’s President Bamir Topi. Their discussion centered on relations between Albania and the Holy See, ecumenical affairs, and Albania’s hopes for entry into...

Pope encourages new Swiss Guards to grow closer to Christ and the Church

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 6 with newly pledged recruits to the Swiss Guard, and encouraged them to “take advantage of the time you spend in Rome to develop your friendship with Christ, to...

Biden signals support for same-sex marriage

US Vice President Joseph Biden surprised reporters when he said on May 6 that he would be “absolutely comfortable” with legal recognition of same-sex marriages. Biden—who is Catholic—said that he...

British archdiocese under fire in sex-abuse case

The Archdiocese of Birmingham, England has been set on the defensive by the revelation that archdiocesan officials were aware of a priest’s pedophile activities 25 years before he was convicted in...

Terrorist victims were martyrs, Nigerian bishop tells mourners

Bishop John Namanzah Niyiring of Kano, Nigeria, said that Catholics who were killed during a terrorist attack on April 29 should be recognized as martyrs. The bishop was speaking at the funeral...

Released Tuesday, May. 8

Kenya’s bishops urge pro-life vote, criticize secession call

While stating that “our role as Church is not to anoint or endorse any leader or political party,” the bishops of Kenya are asking the nation’s citizens “to vote for persons who respect life and are...

Investigative series on fugitives finds at least 32 priests have fled country

In April, Gary Marx and David Jackson of the Chicago Tribune were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism “for their exposure of a neglectful state justice system that...

Religious freedom leads agenda at US bishops’ meeting

A discussion of domestic and international threats to religious freedom will lead the agenda at the spring meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from June 13 to 16. As they...

Iowa: scholarship for gay student at Catholic school sparks controversy

Reversing course and citing diocesan policy, a Catholic school in Clinton, Iowa, will not permit a foundation representative to present a scholarship award to an openly gay student at the school’s...

Vatican cardinal likens human trafficking to slavery

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace hosted a conference on May 8 devoted to human trafficking. The conference, organized by Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark, focused on prevention, the...

Wales: Catholic schools ordered to give students a 'balanced' view on same-sex marriage

Catholic schools in Wales have been informed that they must provide their students with a “balanced” perspective on same-sex marriage. Welsh education minister Leighton Andrews told...

Massachusetts bishop asked not to attend commencement at Catholic college

Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, has agreed not to attend commencement exercises at a local Catholic college, after he roused controversy by opposing the school’s choice of a...

Calls for resignations at Pontifical Academy for Life

For the 2nd time in recent months, members of the Pontifical Academy for Life are calling for the resignation of the academy’s top leaders. Austrian theologian Josef Seifert, a member of the...

Diplomatic case of Chen Guangcheng puts US-China ties in proper perspective

Reflecting on the diplomatic tensions that arose in Beijing when pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng sought refuge at the American embassy, columnist William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal...

US students reach finals of Vatican soccer tourney

A team made up of young US priests and seminarians from the North American College in Rome has reached the finals of the “Clericus Cup” soccer tournament, the annual Vatican competition for clerical...

Treating human nature as meaningless

Anthony Esolen asks why it is that we all recognize what is proper to the nature of a dog, but educated modernists claim not to know what is proper to human nature. When we discard the meanings of...

Australian priest left parish voluntarily after disclosing secret marriage

An Australian priest left his parish voluntarily after revealing that he was secretly married, his bishop has disclosed. Bishop Anthony Fisher of Parramatta said that “no punitive action has been...

14,000 sign petition opposing Sebelius commencement speech at Georgetown

The Cardinal Newman Society has quickly collected more than 14,000 signatures on a petition opposing the appearance of Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), as a...

Released Wednesday, May. 9

US bishops: Ryan budget fails to meet ‘basic moral test’

A day after the House Budget Committee voted 21-9 to approve a budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) renewed its criticism of the plan and...

North Carolina voters approve marriage amendment

By a 61%-39% margin, voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment declaring that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or...

Historic California church vandalized

Shattering windows and spray-painting statues and other areas of the church, vandals have caused extensive damage to Holy Cross Parish in Santa Cruz. Founded in 1791, Mission Santa Cruz was one...

Kenyan cardinal: homosexuality, prostitution should not be legalized

Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi is urging lawmakers to reject a government-sponsored report recommending the legalization of homosexual relationships and prostitution. “If the two are allowed to...

Vatican Radio examines question of ‘brain death’

The recovery of Steven Thorpe--a young British man who recovered after four doctors declared him “brain dead”--has prompted Vatican Radio to examine the topic of brain death. “Cases like Thorpe’s...

‘Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb’ now available

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published the text of the Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the...

Pope says constant prayers of the faithful give him confidence

Adding a personal touch to his series of weekly talks on prayers, Pope Benedict XVI told his public audience on May 9 that since his election as Pontiff, “I have always felt supported by the prayers...

Portuguese government eliminates 2 religious holidays

The government of Portugal has announced plans to eliminate 4 public holidays. The government chose the dates only after consultations with the Holy See. In a bid to provide some stimulation for...

US ordinariate receives first priest, parish

The American ordinariate for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church has received its first priest. Father Eric Bergman, a former Anglican cleric who has been serving in the Diocese of Scranton,...

Bishops of Sudan, South Sudan postpone meeting as tensions mount

The bishops of Sudan and South Sudan have indefinitely postponed a meeting of their episcopal conference because of the rising tensions between the two countries. Although South Sudan has won its...

President Obama announces support for same-sex marriage

US President Barack Obama has announced his support for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Speaking just 3 days after Vice President Joseph Biden said that he was “absolutely comfortable”...

Vatican moving quickly to find successor for Ireland's embattled Cardinal Brady?

The Vatican is likely to move quickly to appoint a coadjutor who will succeed Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, the Irish Catholic reports. Citing informed Vatican...

Legatus files suit to block contraceptive mandate

Legatus, the organization for American Catholic business executives, has filed suit against the Obama administration’s mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in health-care policies. The...

Released Thursday, May. 10

Cardinal Dolan laments Obama’s support for same-sex marriage

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement lamenting President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. “President Obama’s comments today in...

Vatican cardinal examines Pope’s teaching on environment

Pope Benedict’s teaching on ecology helps Catholics to avoid extremes in thinking about the environment, according to the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Nature is...

Papua New Guinea bishops lodge conscientious objection to condom distribution

Papua New Guinea’s bishops have announced their “conscientious objection” to an education ministry directive that requires high schools to distribute condoms to students. “We cannot be forced to...

Chaplain: some Swiss Guards have never previously been to Confession

The chaplain of the Swiss Guards has revealed that some Swiss Guards have not been practicing Catholics or made an individual confession before joining the corps. “Although they are all baptized,...

North Carolina bishops welcome passage of marriage amendment

North Carolina’s bishops have issued statements welcoming the passage of a marriage amendment to the state constitution. By a 61%-39% margin, voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional...

Lebanese priest who baptized Muslim is abducted, then released

A Lebanese priest who baptized a Muslim woman has been kidnapped and released. The daughter of a Shiite cleric “said she was physically and psychologically tortured by her father for converting...

Pope sees progress in Catholic-Jewish ties in Latin America

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 10 with a delegation from the Latin American Jewish Congress, and spoke about the progress in relations between the two faiths in the past 50 years. The Vatican II...

Imitate St. John of Avila, Pope encourages Spanish clerics

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 10 with students and faculty from the Pontifical Spanish College in Rome, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its current foundation. Remembering the many...

Eucharistic Congress could help heal Irish Church, archbishop believes

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin believes that the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Dublin in June, will be an important moment for the Church in Ireland, “a Church...

Pope formally proclaims sainthood of Hildegard of Bingen

Pope Benedict XVI has formally declared that Hildegard of Bingen is a canonized saint. Although she has been revered as a saint for centuries, and several Roman Pontiffs have referred to her by...

Vatican declares new martyrs; others advance toward beatification

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has released a series of decrees paving the way for the canonization of 39 candidates, including 37 martyrs, and testifying to the “heroic virtue” of 11...

Internal disputes escalate in Pontifical Academy for Life

An official of the Pontifical Academy for Life has fired back at the group’s critics, charging that “those people” have stymied the work of the dicastery by complaining about conferences that have...

Key Vatican official sees no doctrinal problem with SSPX reconciliation

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has said that there are no significant doctrinal problems barring the way to the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X...

Australian pro-lifer faces 8-month jail term for 'rescue' activities

An Australian pro-life activist has been sentenced to an 8-month prison term because of his “rescues” at abortion clinics. Graham Preston had been fined for attempting to block entrance to...

Pakistani Christians honor bishop who committed suicide to protest blasphemy laws

Christians in Faisalabad, Pakistan, gathered at the city’s cathedral for a memorial Mass honoring Bishop John Joseph, who took his own life in 1998 in a protest against the country’s blasphemy...

Released Friday, May. 11

Vatican officials offer differing views on dispute within Pontifical Academy for Life

In contrasting statements about dissent within the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL), a prominent Vatican cardinal found fault with PAL's internal critics, while the bishop who heads the dicastery...

US bishops laud North Carolina’s passage of marriage amendment

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement praising the voters of North Carolina for approving marriage amendment to their state constitution. The amendment,...

Anglican-Catholic dialogue discusses ‘right ethical teaching’

The members of ARCIC III--the third phase of dialogue of the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission--have concluded their most recent meeting in Hong Kong. ARCIC I, which lasted from...

Theologians blast US bishops on same-sex marriage

Three theologians who teach at Jesuit institutions--Paul Lakeland of Fairfield University, Daniel Maguire of Marquette University, and Frank Parella of Santa Clara University--blasted the United...

Michigan bishop ‘thrilled’ that predecessor is declared venerable

Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette said that he is “thrilled beyond words” that Pope Benedict has approved the decree of heroic virtue of his predecessor, the Slovenian-born Bishop Frederic Baraga...

Promiscuity declines among US high school students

The teen birth rate in the United States has reached its lowest point in seven decades, in part because of declining promiscuity among high schools students, according to a report issued by the...

Pope underlines urgency of evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI said that the need for evangelization is urgent today, “because after two millennia, a major part of the human family still does not acknowledge Christ, but also because the...

Legal action by Vassula Ryden shuts down critical web site

Vassula Ryden, a Swiss mystic who has claimed to receive personal messages from Jesus, has taken legal action to shut down a web site operated by one of her critics. Maria Laura Pio, who operated...

7 Legionary priests under investigation for abuse

Spokesmen for the Legion of Christ have acknowledged that 7 priests of the troubled religious order are under investigation by the Vatican on sex-abuse charges. Responding to an AP query, the...

Shake-up in leadership of Pontifical Irish College in Rome

The Pontifical Irish College in Rome has announced a shift in leadership, with 3 of the institution’s 4 top officials leaving. The change comes in the wake of an apostolic visitation that saw a need...

Pelosi says her faith 'compels' support for same-sex marriage

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says that her Catholic faith “compels me” to favor same-sex marriage. "My religion has, compels me--and I love it for it--to be against discrimination of any...

Anglican ordinariate to debut in June

An Anglican ordinariate for Australia will be inaugurated in June. Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, said that the Personal Ordinariate of...

Vatican newspaper explains 'equivalent canonization' of St. Hildegard of Bingen

L’Osservatore Romano has explained the process by which Pope Benedict XVI has declared St. Hildegard of Bingen to be a saint. The Pope’s May 10 announcement was a case of “equivalent...

Australian premier remains opposed to same-sex marriage

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has indicated that she will not support a bid for legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Responding to questions raised by reporters after US President...

Suicide at Pompei shrine

Pilgrims visiting the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompei, Italy, were shaken on May 10 when a man killed himself in the parking lot of the sanctuary. Arcangelo Arpino reportedly prayed at...

Vatican condemns Damascus bombing, pleads for peace in Syria

The Vatican issued a statement on May 11 condemning a bombing in Damascus that killed at least 55 people and wounded nearly 400. The statement, issued by Father Federico Lombardi of the Vatican...

Father Robert Barron, creator of 'Catholicism' documentary, to head Chicago seminary

Father Robert Barron, the noted evangelist and creator of the acclaimed Catholicism documentary series, has been named the rector of the Chicago archdiocesan seminary in Mundelein. A priest of...

Released Monday, May. 14

Bishop Fellay warns of potential internal split if SSPX reconciles with Holy See

The superior general of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) said in an interview that there may be a split within the society if it reconciles with the Holy See. “There are some discrepancies in the...

Christians forced to leave Syrian village

Members of the Syrian Liberation Army--one of the rebel groups battling the Assad regime--have expelled all Christians from a village in Hama province, according to local Christian...

Record crowd attends Canada’s March for Life

A record crowd of 19,500 gathered in Ottawa on May 10 to attend Canada’s annual March for Life. Most attendees were under 30 years of age. “Who is our neighbor?” preached Archbishop Terence...

450th anniversary of reestablishment of Prague archbishopric

The Archdiocese of Prague commemorated the 450th anniversary of the reestablishment of its archbishopric during a solemn Mass on May 12, the anniversary of the dedication of St. Vitus Cathedral....

Iowa diocese reaches ‘compromise’ on scholarship award for gay student

The Diocese of Davenport has reached a “compromise” that will permit a representative of a foundation founded by a gay activist to present a scholarship award to an openly gay student at a Catholic...

Vatican spokesman: editorial on human trafficking

In the wake of a conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to human trafficking. “The...

Vatican was informed of Argentine human-rights violations in 1970s

An Argentine newspaper has charged that the Vatican was informed about the plight of the desaparecidos, the thousands of people who “disappeared” under the military junta that came to power in 1976....

In Tuscany, Pope speaks of solidarity

During a May 13 visit to the Italian region of Tuscany, Pope Benedict XVI said that during the current economic crisis, Christians should “show concrete signs of solidarity with those in need,...

Pope salutes maestro's commitment to reviving sacred music

After hearing a concert of sacred music on Friday evening, May 12, Pope Benedict XVI praised the conductor, Riccardo Muti, for his efforts to increase appreciation for “this rich repertory which...

Body of Italian mobster exhumed, no clues on girl's disappearance

Italian police investigators exhumed the remains of a notorious organized-crime leader, Enrico De Pedis, hoping to obtain some new clues regarding the unsolved disappearance of the daughter of a...

Lawyer says Philadelphia archdiocesan leaders lied to him

A lawyer who represented the Philadelphia archdiocese has testified that senior Church officials lied to him about the presence of a list of priests who had been accused of sexual abuse. In the...

Released Tuesday, May. 15

Worldwide Rosary campaign for Year of Faith

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Mission Societies will launch a worldwide Rosary campaign for the Year of Faith, which commences on October 11 and concludes on...

Canadian bishops issue letter on religious freedom, speak of conscientious objection

The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral letter on religious liberty. The letter, dated April 2012, was released on May 14. Lamenting threats to...

Vatican reshapes African nation’s hierarchy

Three years after a Vatican investigation led to the early resignation of two of the Central African Republic’s leading prelates, Pope Benedict named new bishops for four of the nation’s nine...

Leading Congo bishop urges US Congress to remember human toll of conflict minerals

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which directed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue regulations requiring public companies to...

Replacement named for Australian bishop removed by Vatican

In May 2011, Bishop William Morris was removed from the leadership of the Diocese of Toowoomba after repeated Vatican requests for his resignation. The Australian prelate had encouraged widespread...

Orissa: conversion of Hindu persecutor of Christians

Niladri Kanhar, a Hindu village leader involved in the killing of Christians in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, converted to Christianity after an evangelical pastor prayed for the healing of...

British public affirms Queen's role as religious leader

Nearly three-quarters of British subjects still believe that Queen Elizabeth and her successors should retain the title of “Defender of the Faith,” a new survey shows. A ComRes survey of 2,591...

Vatican confirms schedule for Pope's June visit to Milan

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a June trip by Pope Benedict XVI to Milan, where he will participate in the 7th World Meeting of Families. The Pope will fly from Rome to Milan on...

Benetton settles Vatican lawsuit over manipulated image of Pope

The Benetton Group has issued an apology to the Holy See for using the image of Pope Benedict XVI in a provocative ad campaign, and is making a donation to a Catholic charity as a goodwill...

Bishop Fellay in Rome as deal with SSPX appears close

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) was in Rome this past weekend for talks with the Ecclesia Dei commission, in what may have been the final steps toward a reconciliation...

Ireland's Cardinal Brady trims public schedule; replacement may come soon

Cardinal Sean Brady, the Primate of All Ireland, has adamantly insisted that he will not bow to calls for his resignation. But Michael Kelly, writing in Catholic World Report, notes that the...

Two US governors sign bills to boost religious freedom

Two US governors have signed new legislation protecting the conscience rights of their citizens. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brower signed a bill that allows employers to exclude abortion and...

Vatican bank briefs ambassadors on new financial rules

Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See have been given a tour of the Vatican bank, the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), as part of a public-relations campaign designed to bolster confidence that...

US team captures Vatican soccer tourney

A team of US priests and seminarians from the Pontifical North American College has captured the annual “Clericus Cup,” the soccer tournament among Rome’s pontifical universities and...

Caritas groups discuss Arab immigration into Europe

A conference of Caritas relief organizations from the Mediterranean region meets in Cagliari, Italy this week to discuss the problems facing immigrants from the Middle East and northern...

Noted Legionary priest reveals he fathered a child

One of the best-known members of the Legion of Christ has admitted that he fathered a child. Father Thomas Williams, who has gained international prominence as a teacher, author, and television...

Released Wednesday, May. 16

USCCB attorneys foresee legal action against ‘unjust and unlawful’ HHS mandate

Attorneys for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reiterated that the HHS mandate “accommodation” offered to some religious employers is morally objectionable. Responding to...

Washington archdiocese criticizes Georgetown over Sebelius invitation

The Archdiocese of Washington has issued a statement criticizing Georgetown University for selecting Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the speaker at the commencement ceremony...

Radical Muslims fomenting conflict in Lebanon

The director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon is warning that radical Islamic organizations are fanning the flames of conflict in Lebanon as well as in Syria. “The conflict is...

USCCB renews call for nuclear arms reduction

An official of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by representatives of arms control groups and the Union of Concerned Scientists, met with a deputy national security advisor...

Franciscan University drops student insurance in response to HHS mandate

Franciscan University of Steubenville has announced that it will no longer offer a student insurance plan because of the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate. “The Obama Administration...

Vatican prelate reflects on Year of Faith

Writing for L’Osservatore Romano, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization said that the forthcoming Year of Faith “is aimed primarily at the whole Church, so that in the...

CDF discusses reconciliation with SSPX

The Vatican has confirmed that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) met on May 16, 2012 to discuss a proposed reconciliation between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Holy...

Pope's new Wednesday lecture series: St. Paul on prayer

At his weekly public audience on May 16, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he had completed his series of talks on prayer in the Acts of the Apostles, and would now begin a new series on prayer in...

Don't let work conflict with family, Pope cautions audience

"Work should not be an obstacle to the family, but should rather sustain and unite it,” Pope Benedict XVI said at his general public audience on May 16. As he ended his weekly audience the Pope...

Philadelphia court hears evidence archdiocese wanted abuse claims concealed

As the trial of Msgr. William Lynn continues in Philadelphia, the court heard testimony that a former archdiocesan official instructed Msgr. Lynn to conceal evidence of previous complaints against...

Kenyan bishop files new lawsuit against Irish TV network for false charges

A Kenyan Catholic bishop has filed a lawsuit against the Irish RTE television network, saying that he was defamed by the same program that inaccurately accused an Irish priest of rape. Bishop...

Former gangster says mob kidnapped daughter of Vatican employee

An admitted Italian gangster has said that the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee was killed in 1983 because a criminal gang was irate over the loss of funds deposited in the Vatican...

Canadian bishop laicized after child-porn conviction

Raymond Lahey, the former Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has been laicized, the diocese has revealed. Lahey petitioned the Vatican to remove him from the clerical state after he was arrested...

Released Friday, May. 18

Vatican cardinal examines relations between the Church and Jews

In a lengthy address delivered on May 16 at the Angelicum, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and of the Commission of the Holy See for Religious...

British ambassador praises Vatican bank’s steps to address money laundering

Following a briefing at the Vatican bank--the Institute of Religious Works (IOR)--Ambassador Nigel Baker praised the Holy See’s efforts to conform to international financial norms against money...

‘Healing stone’ for abuse victims to be unveiled at International Eucharistic Congress

A granite “healing stone,” evocative of Celtic crosses and the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb, will be unveiled at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June in commemoration of the...

New members named to National Review Board

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has named an attorney, a corporate executive, and a college president to the National Review Board....

Background: World Communications Day

On May 20, the Church will commemorate the 46th World Communications Day. As has been customary since 1986, Pope Benedict released his message for the day (“Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization”...

Australian prelate cautions against defensive approach, calls for energetic evangelization

An Australian archbishop has called for “a more missionary Church,” saying that the task of evangelization is “the Church’s greatest challenge in these times.” As he was installed as the head of...

Noted author announces canonical lawsuit against Georgetown

A prominent Georgetown University alumnus has announced plans for a canonical lawsuit in a bid to restore the school’s Catholic identity. William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist, is...

Pope lauds US bishops' work for immigration reform

Pope Benedict XVI saluted “the longstanding commitment of the American bishops to immigration reform” as he spoke on May 18 to the final group of bishops from the US completing their ad limina...

Roman university announces chair for study of Pope Paul VI

Rome’s Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta (LUMSA) has announced the establishment of a faculty chair for Pope Paul VI. At a May 18 press conference announcing the new post, Cardinal Giovanni...

Austrian cardinal says disciplinary action possible against dissident priests

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has indicated that he may take action against the dissident Austrian priests who have issued a “Call to Disobedience.” “We might take disciplinary...

Film portrait of Virgin Mary shows total acceptance of God's will, Pope says

On May 18, Pope Benedict XVI attended a screening of the new film Mary of Nazareth, directed by Giacomo Campiotti. After watching the movie, Pope Benedict commented that it shows the personal...

Bishops of South Sudan plead for international pressure on Khartoum to stop warfare

The Catholic and Anglican bishops of South Sudan have united in an appeal for peace, pleading with international leaders to show a “more balanced” approach to the border conflict with...

Vatican Secretary of State to attend soccer finals

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will take a break from his duties as the Vatican Secretary of State to attend the Italian Cup soccer final on May 20. The contest, to be held in Rome’s Olympic Stadium,...

Few priests attend meeting to support Cardinal Brady

Only 20 priests attended a May 18 meeting called by the Archdiocese of Armagh, Ireland, in support of embattled Cardinal Sean Brady. The archdiocese had asked nearly 150 priests to join in a...

Ex-priest convicted of seeking to arrange murder of his sex-abuse accuser

A Texas court has convicted a former Catholic priest of attempting the arrange the murder of a young man who accused him of sexual assault. John Fiala could face a life sentence after being found...

Turkish Muslims want to pray in Hagia Sophia

Muslim activists in Turkey are restore the use of the Hagia Sophia as an Islamic place of prayer. The Young People of Anatolia, a religious group, have petitioned the government for permission to...

Serbian Orthodox will not invite Pope to major ecumenical celebration

The Serbian Orthodox Church has decided not to extend an invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to attend celebrations marking the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, which will take place in Nis in...

Released Monday, May. 21

Archbishops Lori, Chaput to preach during bishops' religious liberty campaign

The US bishops’ Fortnight for Freedom campaign will begin on June 21 with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore and conclude on July 4 with Mass at the Basilica of the National...

Sebelius invokes JFK speech during Georgetown commencement address

Addressing the commencement ceremony of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius invoked President John F. Kennedy’s famed speech to the Greater...

Typical new priest: 31-year-old cradle Catholic who comes from large family, prays Rosary

The typical member of the ordination class of 2012 is a 31-year-old cradle Catholic who prayed the Rosary and took part in Eucharistic adoration before entering seminary, according to a survey of...

Catholic Relief Services lauds new Obama initiative for Africa

Catholic Relief Services has issued a statement applauding President Barack Obama’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a $3-billion public-private partnership designed to lift 50 million...

Papal delegate names new leadership for Regnum Christi

Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, the pontifical delegate for the Legionaries of Christ, has appointed new leadership for Regnum Christi, the apostolic movement associated with the Legionaries. Dr....

Christian neighborhood attacked in Indonesia

Dozens of Indonesian Christians have had to flee their neighborhood after homes and motorbikes were burned in Ambon, the site of violence between Christians and Muslims a dozen years ago....

43 Catholic groups file legal challenge to HHS mandate

Warning that "fundamental rights hang in the balance," 43 Catholic dioceses and apostolates have filed lawsuits arguing that the mandated coverage of contraception in health-care plans is...

Ascension is promise of human immortality, Pope tells Sunday audience

At his midday public audience on Sunday, May 20, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the Ascension, recognizing that the feast of the Ascension is observed on Sunday in many dioceses. The Ascension,...

Pope removes Sicilian bishop from diocesan leadership

Bishop Francis Micciche of Trapani has been removed from office by Pope Benedict XVI, after an investigation triggered by reports of financial irregularities in the Sicilian diocese. The Vatican...

Toronto parochial school hosts visit by Miss Universe contestants

A Catholic elementary school in Toronto is under criticism for hosting a publicity event before last week's Miss Universe Canada pageant. St. John Vianney school welcomed the 62 contestants in...

Spanish city council wants bishop removed for criticism of homosexuality

A Spanish Catholic bishop has been barred from speaking at official public events because of his criticism of homosexuality. The city council of Alaca, Spain, announced that Bishop Antonio Reig...

Philadelphia archdiocese removes 2 more priests

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which announced the removal of 5 priests from ministry earlier this month, has now declared 2 other priests unfit for pastoral duty. The 2 priests, Msgr. George...

Pope condemns Italian school bombing, prays for earthquake victims

At the conclusion of his Sunday audience on May 20, Pope Benedict XVI condemned the "brutal violence" of a bombing at a school in Brindisi, Italy. The Pope asked for prayers for the 16-year-old...

Solidarity requires individual involvement, not state programs, Pope says

Pope Benedict XVI defined solidarity as "a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone," during a May 19 audience with members of Catholic charitable groups. Because...

Pontiff encourages Italian pro-life movement

“Your Movement has always been committed to defending human life, according to the teachings of the Church," said Benedict XVI in a brief address to the thousands of members of the Italian pro-life...

Bishops in Philippines ask officials to halt Lady Gaga concert tour

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are asking government officials to cancel concerts by Lady Gaga. Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said that the American pop singer would "promote...

Supporters of Orthodox patriarch organize Moscow motorcade

About 300 cars drove through Moscow on May 20 in a public demonstration of support for the Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill, who has come under heavy public criticism. The motorists waved...

Leaks of papal documents are 'criminal,' Vatican charges

The Vatican has denounced the publication of secret papal documents as "a criminal act," after an Italian journalist launched a new book full of leaked correspondence. Gianluigi Nuzzi, who helped...

Philippines to recognize Islamic law in Mindanao province?

The government of the Philippines is apparently prepared to recognize the authority of shari'a law in the southern Mindanao province. Government representatives have signed a joint declaration...

Pray for China, Pope asks faithful

Pope Benedict XVI asked for special prayers for the Catholics of China during his public audience on May 20. The Pope remarked that on May 24--dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Help of...

Released Tuesday, May. 22

Cardinal: ‘binding doctrinal content’ not major part of breach between Holy See, SSPX

The Second Vatican Council’s declarations on non-Christian religions and religious freedom do not contain “binding doctrinal content,” Cardinal Walter Brandmuller said at a press conference on May...

Traditional Anglican Communion suspends Hepworth

The Traditional Anglican Communion has suspended Archbishop John Hepworth, the Anglican prelate whose desire for full communion with the Holy See helped occasion Pope Benedict’s 2009 apostolic...

'Artist' claims to make popsicles from Precious Blood

An artist and designer who lives in Brooklyn made 100 popsicles out of wine that he claims had been “inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the...

Rallies for religious freedom scheduled for June 8

On March 23, over 63,000 people took part in rallies for religious freedom in 145 cities. A new round of rallies has been scheduled in 126 cities on June...

US Franciscan statement on climate change

The largest province of Franciscan (OFM) friars in the United States has issued a statement on climate change. “As we reflect on the signs of the times, we may realize that the edifice of the...

Activist nun has taken part in hundreds of demonstrations

The Chicago Tribune has profiled Sister Kathleen Desautels, a 74-year-old peace activist who works for the 8th Day Center for Justice. Desautels, who has taken part in hundreds of demonstrations,...

Leader of Legionaries knew for years that priest had fathered child

The leader of the Legion of Christ knew in 2005 that a prominent Legionary priest had fathered a child, but kept the affair secret until recently. Father Alvaro Corcuera, the general director of...

Jerusalem Patriarch sees continuing 'hemorrhage' of Christians leaving Holy Land

“The exit of Christians from the Holy Land can be described as a real human hemorrhage,” according to the Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem. In an interview with the Zenit news agency...

Italian teen abducted for sex exploitation, says Rome's former exorcist

The former official exorcist of the Diocese of Rome has advanced the theory that Emanuela Orlandi, whose disappearance in 1983 has never been explained, was abducted for sexual...

Italians oppose same-sex marriage, adoption

Italian public opinion remains firmly opposed to same-sex marriage, a new survey shows. Only 43.9% of respondents said that they would support homosexual marriage. The result was a disappointment...

Chinese authorities discourage pilgrimages to Marian shrine

Chinese government officials are discouraging pilgrims from participating in a May 24 pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan. But while citing “security reasons” to keep Catholics away, the...

Green Bay diocese found guilty of fraud in abuse case

A Wisconsin court has found the Diocese of Green Bay guilty of fraud in a sex-abuse case, and awarded $700,000 in damages to two abuse victims. The jury said that diocesan officials committed...

Glendon explains vital importance of suits against contraceptive mandate

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Mary Ann Glendon--the Harvard law professor and former US ambassador to the Vatican--explains that in their lawsuits against the Obama administration, aimed to block...

Vatican unveils final plans for Milan meeting of families

At a May 22 press conference in Rome, Vatican officials outlined final plans for the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Milan from May 30 to June 3. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli,...

Released Wednesday, May. 23

Egypt: Christians convicted, Muslims acquitted for 2011 violence

A dozen Christians have been sentenced to life imprisonment for their role in violence that took place in the north-central Egyptian city of Minya in April 2011. Eight Muslims were acquitted. The...

Alabama: Methodist bishop seeks forgiveness for priest’s 1921 murder

In 1921, the rector of the cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama, was murdered by a Methodist minister who was outraged by the marriage of his daughter to a Puerto Rican. The minister, Edwin Stephenson,...

California Franciscans’ abuse files released

In what the Associated Press describes as “the largest release of a religious order's files to date,” over 8,000 pages of testimony and internal files have been made public related to abuse...

USCCB urges laity to lobby senators on farm bill

The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging lay Catholics to contact their senators over the Memorial Day recess and...

New York parish holds prayer vigil for LCWR following Vatican’s doctrinal assessment

A parish in Syracuse, New York. has hosted a prayer vigil in support of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concluded that “the...

Human Rights Watch calls upon Vietnam to release Catholic activists

Human Rights Watch is calling upon the government of Vietnam to release four Catholic student activists who allegedly distributed pro-democracy leaflets and counseled women not to have...

USCCB, CRS officials hosting webcast on preventing ‘drastic cuts’ to budget

Officials of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services are hosting an online discussion on May 23 at 1:00 Eastern time to help Catholics “prevent drastic cuts in...

Network newscasts ignored Catholic lawsuits against HHS mandate

America’s 3 largest television network virtually ignored the lawsuits brought by 43 Catholic institutions against the contraceptive mandate, notes Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center. Only...

Gallup poll finds dramatic drop in 'pro-choice' Americans

A new Gallup poll finds support for legal abortion at its lowest ebb in America since 2000. Only 41% of Americans call themselves “pro-choice,” Gallup reports. That figure represents a dramatic...

In Green Bay case, sex-abuse victims forego punitive-damage award

Two brothers who won a sex-abuse lawsuit against the Green Bay diocese have decided not to press for punitive damages. Todd and Troy Merryfield were awarded $700,000 in compensation after a...

Cardinal Wuerl makes case against HHS mandate in Washington Post op-ed

The Washington Post has published an op-ed piece by Cardinal Donald Wuerl explaining that lawsuit that the Archdiocese of Washington (among other Catholic institutions) has filed against the HHS...

Vatican insiders battle over revival of Gregorian chant

The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship has plans for a drive to revitalize the use of Gregorian chant, reports Sandro Magister of L’Espresso. But those plans may encounter some opposition...

Irish Church prepares for first married deacons

The Catholic Church in Ireland will see the first married deacons ordained in June. While the Church elsewhere in the Western world began reviving the permanent diaconate in the years after...

Defense argues Philadelphia official was following orders from archdiocesan superiors

In the trial of Msgr. William Lynn—the former Philadelphia archdiocesan official who is charged with endangering children—the defense has brought forth witnesses to testify that Msgr. Lynn was...

Pope speaks on understanding God's fatherly love

Continuing his series of weekly talks on prayer in the epistles of St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to his public audience on March 23 about the Apostle’s words on “the Holy Spirit, who enables us...

Church of England ready to ordain women as bishops?

The Church of England has taken a crucial step toward the ordination of women as bishops, according to a report in the London Daily Telegraph. The bishops of the Church of England gave their...

British government facility refuses to host conference on defense of traditional marriage

The English organizers of a conference dedicated to the defense of traditional marriage have been abruptly informed that they cannot hold their event in a government-owned facility. Christian...

Vatican official calls for universal health-care coverage

Speaking May 23 to a meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the Vatican’s representative called for universal access to affordable health-care coverage. Archbishop Zygmunt Zimoski, the...

Released Thursday, May. 24

California bishop questions strategy against HHS mandate

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has expressed concern about the strategy of filing lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate. “I do think...

Italian bishops issue abuse norms

Prodded by a 2011 Vatican document, the Italian bishops’ conference has issued guidelines on the clerical abuse of minors. 135 allegations were reported to Italian bishops between 2000 and 2012,...

Mounting persecution of Church in Inner Mongolia

Chinese authorities have stepped up their persecution of the Church in Inner Mongolia, the Chinese region that borders the independent nation of Mongolia. Local Catholics report that Father...

Editorials blast Cuban dissidents’ criticisms of cardinal

In separate editorials, two Catholic magazines associated with the Archdiocese of Havana ripped Cuban dissidents and exiles who have criticized Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino for not being more...

Critical moment for Church in Australia, says institute’s dean

The dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne says that “Catholicism in Australia is in much the same state as Catholicism in America,” with “many suburban parishes...

President of Vatican Bank removed from office

The president of the Vatican Bank has been removed from his office by a unanimous vote of the board of directors. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who took over the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) in...

English hierarchy slow to accept Anglican ordinariate?

This Saturday, May 26, a group of 17 former Anglican priests will be ordained as deacons in the Catholic Church, to serve—eventually as priests--in the new Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. But...

Accused cleric takes stand in Philadelphia abuse case

The principal defendant has taken the witness stand in a criminal case testing the responsibility for handling sex-abuse cases in the Philadelphia archdiocese. Msgr. William Lynn, who was the...

Chaplain barred from celebrating Mass in South Carolina jail

A Catholic chaplain has been told that he cannot celebrate Mass in a South Carolina jail. Msgr. Ed Lofton, who had been celebrating Mass at Charleston County jail for 15 years, was blocked from...

Europe's 'rich soil' becoming 'inhospitable desert' for faith, Pope warns Italian bishops

Pope Benedict XVI urged the Italian hierarchy to embrace the “new evangelization” as he addressed the 64th plenary assembly of the Italian bishops’ conference on May 24. Speaking in unusually...

Chinese pilgrimage draws 3,000 despite government pressures

Despite government effort, more than 3,000 Chinese Catholics joined in a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan on May 24: the day set aside by Pope Benedict XVI for prayer for the Church...

Bulgarian, Macedonian leaders met with Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 24 with President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of Macedonia. The two political leaders were making a traditional visit to Rome for the...

Released Friday, May. 25

Cardinal Zen: persecution of Church in China worsening, becoming more subtle

The persecution of the Church in China is becoming “more real and concrete,” Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, said in a recent interview. “They are employing...

Cardinal, State Department official discuss plight of women migrants

The United States Embassy to the Holy See has sponsored a panel discussion on the plight of women migrants. Participants in the May 24 event included Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the...

Ave Maria University drops student health insurance in response to HHS mandate

Ave Maria University has announced that it will no longer offer a student insurance plan because of the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate. “Recently our insurance carrier notified the...

American Legion Auxiliary: Girls State participants not allowed to attend Sunday Mass

Participants in Florida’s American Legion Auxiliary Girls State--which describes itself as “a nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country”--are...

India: corpses of aborted girls are fed to dogs

The remains of female abortion victims are being fed to dogs in one Indian city in order to hide evidence that illegal sex-selection abortions are taking place, according to Indian press...

Pope's valet the source of leaked documents?

Vatican police have arrested the Pope's valet, reporting that he was discovered in possession of confidential documents, and are holding him for questioning. The director of the Vatican press...

Government grants dwarf private donations to Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international relief and development agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, received nearly $350 million more in revenue from the US...

Search begins for new president of Vatican Bank

The board of directors of the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), is “looking ahead to the search for a new and distinguished president who can assist the IOR to regain effective...

Plenary indulgence for participation in World Meeting of Families

Pope Benedict XVI has granted a plenary indulgence for those who participate in the World Meeting of Families, under the usual conditions. The 7th World Meeting of Families will take place in...

Archbishop Lori: the battle goes beyond the HHS mandate

In a speech delivered at the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who chairs the US bishops’ committee on religious freedom, explained the importance of...

Dublin archbishop declines to back Cardinal Brady

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has again refused to counter calls for the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh. Asked if he supported Cardinal Brady, whose resignation has been...

Czech prime minister visits Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 25 with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic. According to a Vatican statement released after the visit, the Pope spoke with Necas about his visit to the...

Vietnamese Catholic activists sentenced to prison terms

Four young Vietnamese Catholic activists have been sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 18 to 42 months, for “propaganda against the state.” As thousands of supporters waited outside the...

US voters doubt Catholic bishops would close down hospitals, schools

Most American voters doubt that Catholic bishops would shut down schools, hospitals, and charitable institutions in response to the federal government’s contraceptive mandate, a new Rasmussen poll...

New appointments to Curia may alter Italian influence

Sandro Magister of L’Espresso notes that a number of influential officials in the Roman Curia, including a disproportionate number of Italian prelates—are likely to be replaced in coming weeks....

Vatican Museums to open new rooms, hallways

Several rooms and hallways in the Vatican Museums that have been off limits to ordinary visitors will soon be open for private tours. Dark Rome, an Irish-owned tour group, has arranged to provide...

South Carolina jail policy reversed; Mass will be allowed

A South Carolina sheriff has announced that he will allow a prison chaplain to bring sacramental wine into the jail, reversing a policy that had prohibited the celebration of Mass. Charleston...

Released Monday, May. 28

2 saints to be proclaimed Doctors of the Church in October

During his Regina Coeli address on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Benedict announced that he will proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen doctors of the Church on October 7, at the beginning...

Pope contrasts unity of Pentecost, division of Babel

Preaching at St. Peter’s Basilica on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Benedict contrasted Pentecost, “the feast of human unity, understanding and sharing,” with Babel. Babel, said the Pope, is the...

Vatican confirms papal valet’s arrest for illegal possession of documents

The director of the Holy See Press Office issued a statement on May 26 confirming that Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s valet, has been arrested for “illegal possession of Vatican documents found in his...

Memo explains reasons for firing of Vatican Bank president

One of Italy’s leading newspapers has published a memorandum listing the reasons why Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was fired from his position as president of the Vatican Bank, formally known as the...

Bishop Blaire clarifies remarks on HHS mandate, says he ‘stands solidly’ with other bishops

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton has clarified recent remarks in which he expressed concern about the strategy of filing lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate. “I do think there are...

Cardinal Wuerl defends lawsuits: ‘I don't want the president to define me’

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington defended the lawsuits filed by the Archdiocese of Washington and 42 other Catholic institutions against the Obama administration’s...

Nuncio calls for prayer, fasting for peace in Syria

Amid conflicting reports about the killing of more than 100 Syrians in Houla, the apostolic nuncio to Syria called upon Christians and Muslims alike to pray and fast for peace. While most press...

Vatican spokesman: we must choose Christ’s army or the devil’s

Citing St. Ignatius of Loyola and recalling recent remarks made by Pope Benedict on the Church militant, the director of the Holy See Press Office said in his weekly editorial that “we must choose...

Sri Lanka: government minister charges that bishop fuels religious tensions

A member of the ruling cabinet in Sri Lanka has accused a Catholic bishop of encouraging hostility toward Muslims, drawing a sharp response from the bishop’s defenders. More than 5,000...

Pope's valet now cooperating with wider investigation into Vatican leaks

Paolo Gabriele, the valet to Pope Benedict XVI who was arrested on May 25 for holding confidential papal documents, has promised to cooperate with a larger investigation into the source of leaked...

Inspire social institutions with Gospel message, Pope says

The modern world is insecure and fragmented, and needs the inspiration of the Gospel message, the Pope said as he met on May 28 with members of Italy’s Renewal in the Holy Spirit Association, which...

Pope voices support for Iraqi Christian communities

Pope Benedict XVI voiced his “solidarity with the Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East” in a message to the leader of the Assyrian Church of the East. The Pope’s message...

Italian earthquake victims receive donation from Pope

Pope Benedict XVI has made a contribution of €100,000 ($125,000) to support victims of a recent earthquake in Italy. Cor Unum, the papal charity, announced that the Pope’s donation would be...

Costa Rican president meets with Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI met on May 28 with Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla Miranda, for a discussion that centered on relations between the Central American country and the Holy See. A Vatican...

Ontario Catholic schools oppose requirement for gay-straight alliances

Catholic schools in Ontario are opposing legislation that would require schools to allow students to form “gay-straight alliances.” Education minister Laurel Broten has put forward a proposal...

Released Tuesday, May. 29

Egyptian prelate airs concerns about Muslim Brotherhood victory

The Coptic Catholic bishop of Giza has expressed concerns for the future of Christians in Egypt if the Muslim Brotherhood emerges victorious in the nation’s elections. “The Muslim Brothers say...

Rioters sets fire to churches in Zanzibar

Rioters in Zanzibar City, the capital of the overwhelmingly Muslim Tanzanian region of Zanzibar, set fire to two Protestant churches on the night of May 26. Police said that the incidents were...

British doctors who refuse to carry out sex-change surgery may be barred from practice

British physicians who refuse to prescribe birth control to unmarried women or who refuse to carry out “gender reassignment” surgery would be guilty of discrimination and thus could be barred from...

Leading Ukrainian prelate recounts priestly vocation under Communist persecution

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has recounted how his priestly vocation developed in the midst of Soviet persecution. “I grew up in a completely atheistic society where all forms...

France: stones thrown at faithful during Mass

Four youths of “Maghreb origin”—that is, from northwestern Africa – entered a parish in Caracassonne, the famed walled city in southern France, during evening Mass on May 26 and threw small stones...

Union president: Church’s doctrines ‘not connected to my faith’

The president of the Service Employees International Union said in a recent newspaper interview that “I think of my Church as the Church of the people and not as the institutional hierarchy that has...

Key Vatican official comments on 'Vatileaks' scandal

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who directs the flow of Vatican paperwork in his capacity as sostituto or deputy Secretary of State, commented on the leaks of confidential papal documents, and on the...

North Korea's brutal prisons threaten political dissidents, religious believers

Writing for Catholic World Report, Brian O'Neel reports on the kwalliso system in North Korea: the system of prison camps that house an estimated 200,000 people under brutal conditions. Any...

Turkish premier: 'I see abortion as murder'

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has provoked a firestorm of criticism by saying: “I see abortion as murder.” “What’s the difference between killing a baby inside a mother’s womb and...

Pope expresses sorrow, Vatican condemns massacre in Syria

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his sorrow at the news of a massacre in the Syrian town of Houla, and a Vatican statement noted that international leaders have “expressed unanimous condemnation of...

Vatican releases, explains guidelines on testing reported apparitions

The Vatican has officially released a document providing guidelines for bishops in judging reports of apparitions. The guidelines were issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...

Planned Parenthood clinic found encouraging sex-selection abortion

An undercover video recorded by pro-life activists has shown a counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic apparently encouraging a young woman to have a sex-selection abortion. Live Action, a...

Abortion rate rises, repeat abortions common, English statistics show

Abortion rates rose in England and Wales last year, with a total of 189,931 abortions performed. That figure is only slightly (0.2%) higher than the 2010 number, but 7.7% above the rate 10 years...

Toronto's Cardinal Collins joins opponents of required 'gay-straight alliances' in schools

The Archbishop of Toronto has joined Catholic-school administrators in Ontario in opposing a proposed new law that would require all school principals to allow students to form anti-bullying clubs...

Russians believe Orthodox Church needs protection, poll finds

Nearly half of all Russians believe that the Orthodox Church is under attack, according to a new poll. In a survey by the Vtsiom Center, 46% of respondents said that the Orthodox Church needs...

McGurn on the HHS-mandate lawsuit, Notre Dame's involvement, and Obama's problem with Catholic voters

Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn applauds the decision by the University of Notre Dame to join in the lawsuit against the HHS contraceptive mandate. McGurn points out that with Notre...

Pakistani Protestant denounced for blasphemy after citing Qur'an in sermon on violence

A Protestant minister in Pakistan is being denounced for blasphemy after he quoted from the Qur’an in a sermon on inter-religious violence. Rev. Irfan Gill received death threats, and a local...

Released Wednesday, May. 30

Vatican spokesman denies rumors in ‘Vatileaks’ scandal

The director of the Holy See Press Office has denied reports that additional arrests have been made in the “Vatileaks” scandal and that cardinals are under investigation. “It is a great test for...

Bolivian cardinal denounces lynchings, gang violence

Following the lynching of a police officer who was the victim of mistaken identity, Bolivia’s leading prelate decried vigilantism and gang violence. “It is really scary to know when someone is...

Chinese bishop says ‘spring has arrived’

Amid deepening persecution of the Church in parts of China, a prelate in southeastern China says that “spring has arrived” in the city of Shaoguan, the site of Father Matteo Ricci’s first Jesuit...

CAFOD: poor should be at center of ‘green economy’

As the international community prepares for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, CAFOD--the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales--is calling for the world’s...

Syria: priest devotes himself to prayer, fasting where ‘hell is unleashing’

Two months after Christians fled al-Qusayr, a city of 30,000 in west-central Syria, a priest who prefers anonymity is devoting himself to constant prayer and fasting there for the sake of peace and...

Geologists: Jesus crucified in 33

Writing in the International Geology Review, three scientists who have examined seismic data say that they believe that the date of Jesus’ crucifixion was Friday, April 3, in the year...

Nashville Dominican to lead US bishops’ education office

A member of one of the most flourishing orders of active religious in the United States has been named executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the United States Conference of...

Pope seeks to calm 'Vatileaks' furor

In his first public comments on the “Vatileaks” scandal, Pope Benedict XVI said that the release of confidential papal documents has “brought sadness to my heart.” But the Holy Father said that his...

Chinese government refuses episcopal honors for deceased 'underground' bishop

The late Bishop Francis Li Yi of Shanxi cannot be buried with episcopal honors, Chinese officials have told local Catholics. A leader of the “underground” Catholic Church, Bishop Li Yi died on...

Muslim Brotherhood candidate for Egypt’s presidency hints at Coptic deputy

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for the Egyptian president has promised that the country’s Christians would have full legal rights under his leadership. “There could be a Copt deputy...

Consolation in prayer comes from union with Christ, Pope explains at audience

At his weekly public audience on May 30, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the consolation that the faithful experience in prayer, saying that it is “a concrete experience of God’s ‘Yes’ to...

Africa has enough problems without terrorism: Nigerian archbishop

Africa has enough difficulties confronting poverty and disease, Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, told a gathering of African religious leaders. “We cannot afford to add terrorism to our...

Released Thursday, May. 31

World Meeting of Families opens in Milan

Cardinals Ennio Antonelli, Angelo Scola, and Gianfranco Ravasi addressed families from 150 nations at the Seventh World Meeting of Families, which began in Milan on May 30 and will culminate with...

Prelate welcomes war-crimes sentence for Charles Taylor

Sierra Leone’s leading prelate welcomed an international court’s decision to sentence former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 50 years in prison for war crimes committed in Sierra Leone during...

Syria: Christians fear kidnappings in retaliation for Houla massacre

Syrian Christians from the Homs area, fearful of being targeted in the wake of the Houla massacre, are fleeing for Lebanon, according to the Fides news agency. Even if they have not chosen sides...

Bolivian bishops denounce legislation on same-sex unions

Bolivia’s bishops have denounced legislation that would legalize same-sex unions in the South American nation. “We express our rejection because we consider the bill a serious threat to the...

Vatican conference examines peacebuilding practices

Church leaders from conflict zones attended a conference in Rome on May 29-30 devoted to “New Challenges for Catholic Peacebuilding.” The conference was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for...

Vatican Radio highlights ‘Mothers Prayers’ initiative

As the Seventh World Meeting of Families begins in Milan, Vatican Radio has drawn attention to “Mothers Prayers,” an initiative founded by Veronica Williams, an English Catholic, in 1995....

Utah bishop criticizes Maureen Dowd column

Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City has criticized a recent Maureen Dowd column on the bishops’ reaction to the HHS mandate. “In an effort to make a case against the Church’s objection to the...

Another Planned Parenthood clinic caught assisting sex-selection abortion

For the 2nd time this week, Live Action has released a videotape showing a Planned Parenthood counselor encouraging a woman to procure a sex-selection abortion. The new Live Action video was made...

Pope's prayer intentions for June 2012

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for June 2012. The Pope’s general intention is: “That believers may recognize in the Eucharist the living presence of the Risen...

New York Catholics divided on bishops' lawsuit against HHS mandate

Only 51% of the Catholics in New York approve of the lawsuit filed by 43 Catholic dioceses and other institutions against the contraceptive mandate, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. The survey...

Milwaukee archdiocese paid abusive priests to accelerate laicization

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee offered “a handful” of priests cash payouts to persuade them to leave the priesthood after they were implicated in sexual abuse. The payments of up to $20,000 were...

Boston archdiocese drops restrictions on parish property sale after ACLU objects

The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to go forward with the sale of a parish property without legal guarantees that the property will not be used to house clinics or laboratories engaging in...

Vatican seeking truth behind document leaks, papal spokesman says

The Vatican is moving forward expeditiously with an investigation into the leaks of confidential documents, the director of the Vatican press office told reporters during a May 30...

Obama has pushed Catholic voters too far, columnist argues

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger sees irony in the possibility that a Mormon (Mitt Romney) might be elected President because Catholic voters turn against Barack Obama, driven by the...

Journalist behind 'Vatileaks' remains mum on sources

The Italian journalist who released a full book of leaked papal correspondence, precipitating a furor at the Vatican, has defended the motives of his sources, but refused to identify the individuals...

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