Action Alert!

Stories for October 2012

Released Tuesday, Oct. 2

Preparing to leave summer residence, Pope thanks staff

Pope Benedict XVI has said his goodbyes to the staff of the apostolic palace in Castel Gandolfo, as he prepares to end his annual stay at the papal summer residence. “Everything in this world is...

Terror attack on Kenyan Catholic parish

One child was killed and 6 others badly injured when a grenade exploded at a Catholic church during Sunday-school classes. Residents suspect that the explosion at St. Polycarp’s church in Nairobi...

Cardinal sees papal pardon likely for ‘Vatileaks’ suspect

If Paolo Gabriele is convicted of stealing confidential Vatican documents, Pope Benedict XVI is likely to grant a pardon to his former valet, in the opinion of an influential Vatican...

US court dismisses one challenge to HHS contraceptive mandate

A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a St. Louis businessman who argued that the mandated coverage of contraceptives in the new federal health-care program violates his...

Pope told British cardinal not to accept seat in House of Lords

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI told him that he should not accept a seat in the House of Lords. In 2009, British...

Pope sees social networks as potential boon for evangelization

Pope Benedict XVI will focus on social networks in his annual message for the World Day of Communications, the Vatican has disclosed. The World Day of Communications is celebrated by the Church...

International problems reflect moral crisis, Vatican official tells UN

In an October 1 address to the UN General Assembly, the Vatican’s chief foreign-policy official has warned that the peacekeeping role of the UN is threatened by a worldwide “crisis of confidence” in...

Cardinal Burke’s influence seen on the rise at Vatican

In a profile of Cardinal Raymond Burke, David Gibson of the Religion News service says that the American prelate exercises an increasing influence over the Vatican’s perception of—and appointments...

Smithsonian Channel curbs hype on papyrus-fragment story

The Smithsonian Channel has pulled back from plans to promote a story about the papyrus fragment referring to a wife of Jesus, after a number of scholars expressed doubts about the authenticity of...

Cardinal Sarah calls upon Catholic Charities to foster Catholic identity

Speaking at Catholic Charities USA’s annual gathering, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum urged the agency to draw strength from its Catholic identity and take part in the new...

Bangladesh: Christians fearful following Muslim rampage against Buddhists

Following the posting on Facebook of a picture of a burnt copy of the Qur’an, a mob of more than 20,000 Muslims in Bangladesh burned 22 Buddhist temples, two Hindu temples, and over 100...

European bishops rue anti-Christian hostility

At the conclusion of its annual meeting, which took place in Switzerland, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) issued a statement mourning anti-Christian hostility in...

Vatican cardinal calls for return of ‘missionary boldness’

Recalling the example of nineteenth-century missionaries to Tibet whose “zeal and boldness” had to be restrained by their superiors, the prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of...

Pakistan: witnesses recant testimony supporting girl accused of blasphemy

Three witnesses whose testimony had supported Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian girl accused of burning pages of the Qur’an, have recanted. The three had told police that they had seen a...

New York Times: photo essay on ‘women as priests’

The New York Times has published a photo essay on “women as priests.” “I photographed priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement to alter my own deep-seated perception of...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 3

Christian publisher files suit against HHS mandate following denial of exemption

Tyndale House, the publisher of various Bible translations and the Left Behind series, has filed suit against the HHS mandate after the Department of Health and Human Services denied it a...

Another monastery vandalized in Israel

For the second time in three weeks, a church in the Holy Land has been vandalized with graffiti. A leading Israeli newspaper reported that “Jewish extremists” are suspected of carrying out the...

Archbishop Lori decries ‘aggressive and godless secularism,’ fears effects of same-sex marriage on Catholic schools

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore discussed the challenges the Church faces from the HHS mandate and efforts to change the definition of...

In "welcome" to new Catholic archbishop, Episcopal leader calls Catholic teaching on marriage 'oppression'

On the eve of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s installation in San Francisco, the Episcopal Church’s bishop of California has written a letter to his faithful attacking the stand of the Catholic...

‘We need death panels’

“We need death panels,” begins a recent New York Times op-ed by Steven Rattner, who served as “car czar” early in the Obama administration. “Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we...

Boston College professor calls upon theologians to be faithful to Magisterium

Writing for L’Osservatore Romano, a Boston College theology professor called upon his fellow theologians to be faithful to the Church’s teaching. “The work of theology, though not reducible to...

Shrine administrators block Philippine inquiry on ivory smuggling

In the Philippines, law-enforcement officials investigating the smuggling of ivory have complained that they were refused entry at a Catholic shrine, where a priest who is a focus of their...

French government proposes free abortions

The French government has set forth a proposal to provide full public funding for abortions. In France today, women pay about 80% of the cost of an abortion. The government said full state...

Doctors will face mounting pressure to ignore consciences, warns Bishop Vasa

Speaking to the Catholic Medical Association, Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California, has warned that many doctors in the US are “going to be forced to do something they may not want to...

European bishops warn of new threats to religious freedom

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) called attention to new restraints on religious freedom, during a seminar at the European Parliament. The COMECE...

Gabriele admits betrayal, but denies theft, in Vatican trial testimony

Paolo Gabriele, the former valet to Pope Benedict XVI, admitted that he had betrayed the Pontiff by taking confidential documents from the Vatican, but denied that he was guilty of theft, during...

Liturgy is foundation of personal prayer, Pope tells audience

At his public audience on October 3, Pope Benedict XVI said that a life of prayer means “dwelling habitually in the presence of God and knowing Him.” The Holy Father, who has been devoting his...

Pope asks prayers for Synod success

As he concluded his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, October 3, Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for the success of the Synod of Bishops, which will discuss the New...

EU protester climbs onto dome of St. Peter’s basilica

An Italian man climbed out onto the roof of St. Peter’s basilica and unfurled a banner protesting the European Union, forcing Vatican officials to seek help from Italian authorities to bring him...

Released Thursday, Oct. 4

New CDF prefect: post-Vatican II problems were not caused by Vatican II

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that “the problems that we had after the [Second Vatican] Council were not...

Islamist terrorists execute Christian students in Nigeria

Members of the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram entered a student residence near a northeastern Nigerian university, separated Christian from Muslim students, and executed 25 to 30...

Prelate pleads: don’t send weapons to Syria

The Greek Orthodox archbishop of Homs, who has fled to Aleppo, is pleading with Western nations not to arm either side of the Syrian conflict. “I took refuge here after the offensive on Homs,”...

US birth rate at all-time low

The birth rate for US women of childbearing age hit a record low in 2011, as did the teen birth rate, according to newly released statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. The birth rate...

New York Times editorial rips bishops on religious liberty

Praising a federal court decision that dismissed a challenge to the HHS mandate, a New York Times editorial blasted bishops and others who have raised concerns about the mandate’s threat to...

Agenda announced for US bishops’ fall meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda for its fall meeting, which will take place from November 12-15 in Baltimore. The bishops are scheduled to discuss...

Pope makes pilgrimage to Loreto shrine

Pope Benedict XVI made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto on October 4, a week before the opening of the Synod of Bishops. The Pope’s pilgrimage replicates a trip by Blessed John...

Vatican police report finding thousands of documents at Gabriele’s home

Vatican police reported finding thousands of documents and press clippings in the home of Paolo Gabriele as the trial of the former papal valet continued. Silvano Carli, a Vatican police...

Protester coaxed off dome of St. Peter’s, under arrest

An Italian man was placed under arrest after he was coaxed off the roof of St. Peter’s basilica, ending a dramatic protest against the European Union. Marcello De Finizio, who had escaped from a...

Cardinal’s innocence proven by paternity test

A DNA test has proven that Cardinal Franc Rode, the former prefect of the Congregation for Religious, cannot be the father of a German man who claimed to be the prelate’s son. The Slovenian...

Vatican investigating sex-abuse charge against Chilean bishop

The Vatican’s representative in Chile has confirmed public reports that Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes of Iquique is under investigation because of complaints of sexual abuse. Bishop Ordenes—who...

Filipino prelate explains why accused priest was still in ministry

A retired Filipino prelate has told reporters that he accepted a priest for ministry, after he was charged with sexual abuse in the US, under an agreement with the accused priest’s religious...

Russia weighs restrictions on building of mosques

Russian officials are barring the construction of Islamic mosques in regions where the population is composed primarily of ethnic Russians, the Forum 18 news service reports. The construction of...

Irish Catholic primate welcomes selection of new Anglican leader

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, has issued a statement welcoming the election of Richard Clarke as the new leaders of the (Anglican ) Church of Ireland. Cardinal Brady...

Looking toward canonization of Bl. John XXIII

Greg Tobin, author of a biography of Blessed John XXIII, recalls the life of the beloved Pontiff who convened Vatican II, and assesses the odds of his canonization. Tobin reminds readers that...

HHS mandate reflects notion that state is the source of human rights

Political theorist Patrick Dineen makes the argument that the contraceptive mandate in President Obama’s health-care policy reflects an understanding of human rights that can be traced to the...

UN official: government must block 'retrogressive' efforts to restrict abortion access

The UN’s human-rights commissioner has argued that governments have a responsibility to prevent “retrogressive measures” regarding abortion—in other words, efforts to restrict legal abortion in...

Released Friday, Oct. 5

Pope makes pilgrimage to Loreto

Pope Benedict XVI completed a pilgrimage to Loreto on October 4, in preparation for next week’s opening of the Synod of Bishops. Arriving in Loreto by helicopter (to the surprise of some...

China imposes ‘re-education’ on all clergy, religious in Shanghai

Chinese officials are requiring all clerics and religious in the Shanghai diocese to undergo “re-education” programs, in a continuing crackdown on Catholics following the public resignation of...

UN council approves Russian resolution affirming family values

The UN’s council on human rights has approved a resolution stating that an acceptance of traditional moral principles is important to the promotion of peace and the protection of human rights around...

New San Francisco archbishop must accept homosexuals, says former Catholic Charities director

On the day that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was installed as the head of the San Francisco archdiocese, the former director of the archdiocesan office of Catholic Charities published an op-ed...

CDF prefect discusses talks with SSPX, LCWR

In the continuation of an interview with the National Catholic Register, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, speaks about two high-profile...

Bishop’s message is divisive, newspaper editorial argues

An Illinois newspaper editorial scolds Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield for his statement on the moral responsibilities of Catholic voters. The State Journal-Register disagrees with the...

Media have a history of accepting Scripture scams, notes Father Rutler

In his inimitable style, Father George William Rutler ponders the willingness of the mass media to accept outlandish new “discoveries” whenever they appear to contradict orthodox Christian belief....

Moscow patriarchate may allow Orthodox priests to run for office

Russian Orthodox priests will be given permission to run for office, the Moscow patriarchate has said. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church ruled that priests are permitted to seek...

Released Monday, Oct. 8

Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization: background

The Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is taking place in Rome from October 7-28. The Vatican has published two press bulletins offering a general background on the synod,...

USCCB committee publishes document on catechesis on the sacraments

In preparation for the Year of Faith, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has published a 38-page document entitled “Sacramental Catechesis:...

Plenary indulgences for Year of Faith

The Apostolic Penitentiary has published a decree announcing special plenary indulgences that Catholics may gain during the Year of Faith, which begins on October 11 and concludes on the Solemnity...

Papal valet sentenced to 18 months in ‘Vatileaks’ scandal; pardon possible

The Tribunal of the Vatican City State has sentenced Paolo Gabriele, Pope Benedict’s former valet, to 18 months in prison for stealing and leaking confidential documents. A Vatican tribunal...

Pope opens synod on new evangelization, declares 2 new doctors of the Church

Opening the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Benedict emphasized that “the Church exists to evangelize” and formally proclaimed St. John of Avila (1500-69) and St....

Pope invites faithful to pray the Rosary

Encouraging the faithful to “renew the prayer of the Rosary in the upcoming Year of Faith,” Pope Benedict XVI devoted his October 7 Sunday Angelus address to the Rosary. October 7 is the...

Following Egyptian president’s visit, gunmen attack Christian home

Hours after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi assured the Christians in the North Sinai city of Rafah that attacks on them “will not happen again,” gunmen opened fire on a Christian’s home. “What...

Irish bishop reportedly knew of priest's abuse, before and after parish transfer

The Irish Times reports that Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert moved a priest to a new parish assignment in the 1990s despite knowing that the priest had been guilty of sexual abuse. The priest abused...

Top Vatican sex-abuse prosecutor named auxiliary bishop of Malta

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who has been the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, has been named an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta. Msgr. Scicluna, a longtime official of the...

Atlanta archdiocese breaks ties with Komen Foundation

The Atlanta archdiocese has instructed its parishes and schools not to join in fundraising activities for the Komen for the Cure Foundation. A memo circulated among the institutions of the...

Former Irish president says American cardinal insulted her

Former Irish President Mary McAleese has said that Cardinal Bernard Law angrily rebuked her for supporting women’s ordination while she was visiting Boston in 1998. Cardinal Law—who at the time...

The intemperate rhetoric of Hans Küng

Carl Olson of Catholic World Report reflects on the amazing effrontery of Hans Küng, the dissident theologian who routinely compares Vatican prelates with Nazi and Soviet officials--all the while...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 9

Pope reflects on Gospel, confession of faith

A day after Pope Benedict inaugurated the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops with a solemn Mass and the declaration of two new doctors of the Church, the synod fathers...

Hong Kong cardinal discusses evangelization amid challenges

In a brief address to the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong discussed evangelization initiatives in Hong Kong and mainland China. The Holy Father is the president of the Synod...

In major synod address, Cardinal Wuerl rues secularism and poor catechesis, analyzes new evangelization

Poor catechesis and a “tsunami of secular influence” have led to a situation in which the need for the new evangelization of once-Christian societies is urgent, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington...

Leading prelates speak about mounting worldwide secularization

Addressing the afternoon session of the Synod of Bishops on October 8, the presidents of five continent-wide groups of episcopal conferences offered insight into the spread of secularization in...

Pioneers in adult stem-cell research win Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, two scientists whose work has centered around adult stem-cell research, which does not involve the destruction of...

Church attacked in Egypt; altar demolished

Accompanied by his sons and others, a prosecutor of the criminal court in Alexandria entered a Coptic Orthodox church, demolishing most of its altar. The Coptic Orthodox Church had recently...

Washington bishop emphasizes: same-sex marriage will threaten religious liberty

As voters in the State of Washington prepare for a referendum on same-sex marriage, Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima has written a pastoral letter urging Catholics to uphold marriage as the union of a...

Euthanasia rises 18% in Netherlands

The number of euthanasia cases in the Netherlands rose by 18% from 2010 to 2011. The 3,695 instances of euthanasia recorded in official statistics included 13 psychiatric patients and 49 persons...

Profile of Philadelphia’s new CEO for Catholic high schools

In August, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that an independent lay foundation would operate its 17 high schools and four special-education schools. The foundation’s new CEO, Samuel...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 10

At synod, prelates call for fidelity to Church teaching; US cardinal emphasizes Confession

On the third day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 32 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of...

14 surviving fathers of Vatican II to take part in Year of Faith opening ceremony

Speaking at an October 9 press conference, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization announced the details of the opening ceremony of the Year of Faith, which...

Vatican newspaper publishes foreword of Pope Benedict’s Infancy of Jesus

The Infancy of Jesus, the third book in Pope Benedict’s trilogy on Jesus Christ, will be released in Italian before Christmas and is being translated into 20 languages. “Here I have sought to...

Melkite patriarch calls for reconciliation in Syria

The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has issued a new call for reconciliation in Syria. “Reconciliation is the only way possible: otherwise Syria heads towards death,” said Patriarch...

Pew survey: fewer than half of Americans are now Protestant; 22% are Catholic

A new survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has found that only 48% of Americans now identify themselves as Protestant, while 22% are Catholics and nearly 20% are...

11% of never-married Catholics have considered priesthood or religious life

12% of never-married Catholic men have considered a priestly or religious vocation “at least a little seriously,” and 10% of never-married Catholic women have considered a religious vocation,...

Chilean bishop, focus of abuse probe, resigns

Bishop Marco Ordenes Fernandez of Iquique, Chile, has resigned, shortly after it became public that the Vatican was investigating sex-abuse charges against him. Bishop Ordenes admitted to a...

Pope, at audience, summarizes essential purpose of Vatican II

On October 10, the eve of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI broke from his series of weekly talks on prayer to devote his Wednesday public audience to...

Pope adds Arabic messages at weekly public audiences

Pope Benedict XVI has added Arabic to the list of languages used at his weekly public audience. Each Wednesday, after the Pope delivers a catechetical address at his midday audience, a brief...

Atlanta archdiocese joins suit against HHS mandate; still no Jesuit colleges among plaintiffs

The Atlanta archdiocese has joined in a lawsuit challenging the contraceptive mandate in the Obama administration’s health-care policy. “We are undertaking this action because the stakes are so...

CDF reportedly questioning dissident Irish priest

An Irish priest who was silenced earlier this year because of his dissent from Church teachings is now facing further questions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to the...

Colorado bishop's blunt remarks on duties of Catholic politicians, Catholic voters

A Colorado bishop has stated that Catholic politicians who support legal abortion or same-sex marriage—and perhaps Catholic voters who support them--should not receive Communion. Bishop Michael...

Archbishop of Canterbury addresses Synod

The worldwide leader of the Anglican communion emphasized the personal encounter with God as he addressed the Synod of Bishops on October 10. Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury,...

Vatican to take action on gay-community Masses in London?

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is preparing to take action to curb abuses at regularly scheduled Masses in London's Soho section, according to a German...

Nigerian archbishop among candidates for Nobel peace prize

Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, is among the leading candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Reuters news service reports. Archbishop Onaiyekan—who was named in August as the...

Vatican seeks more UN aid for refugees 'internally displaced' by civil wars

A Vatican representative had encouraged UN officials to “go the extra mile” to protect people who are driven from their homes by civil war. Speaking to a UN session on refugees, Archbishop...

Spokane diocese sues lawyers in bankruptcy case

The Diocese of Spokane, Washington, has filed a malpractice suit against the law firm that handled the diocese’s bankruptcy case. In seeking $12 million from the firm of Paine Hamblen Coffin...

Ex-priests support same-sex marriage in Washington

A group of 63 former Catholic priests has released a statement supporting a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. “We are uneasy with the aggressive efforts of Catholic bishops to...

Romney: no plans for legislative action against abortion

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told an Iowa newspaper that he has no plans to promote legislation to restrict abortion if he is elected in November. “There’s no legislation with...

Papal reflections highlight special L'Osservatore Romano edition on Vatican II

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has published a special edition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, including recollections of the Council by Pope Benedict XVI. The...

Released Thursday, Oct. 11

Vatican cardinal warns against syncretism in dialogue; Polish prelate speaks of Divine Mercy

On the fourth day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 16 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of...

Cardinal Pell denies 1960s abuse claim, notes factual errors in lawyer's charge

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has denied sex-abuse attorney Vivian Waller’s claim that he refused to listen to a third-grader’s 1969 claim that he had been abused by Christian Brother Robert...

Paraguay: impeached ex-bishop to run for office

Fernando Lugo, a former bishop who was laicized upon his election as Paraguay’s president in 2008 and impeached and removed from office by the nation’s legislature in June, has announced that he...

Sarajevo cardinal meets with EU leader to discuss anti-Catholicism in Bosnia

Cardinal Vinko Puljic met with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to discuss discrimination against Catholics in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the failure by local authorities to approve...

US bishops to consider document on preaching

During its annual fall meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will discuss whether to approve a document entitled “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily.” “The...

Catholic, Muslim leaders celebrate US interfaith dialogue

The leaders of the three regional official Catholic-Muslim dialogues in the United States gathered in Chicago from October 3-5 to celebrate past accomplishments and looked forward to future...

Pope launches Year of Faith, to combat 'spiritual desertification'

Formally opening the Year of Faith on October 11, with a Mass in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed that the goal of the special observance is “to revive in the whole Church that...

Legionaries' superior steps down

The superior general of the Legion of Christ has announced that he is stepping down from his post as head of the troubled religious order. Father Alvaro Corcuera explained, in a letter to members...

Pope's former valet will not appeal 'Vatileaks' conviction

Paolo Gabriele will not appeal his conviction by a Vatican tribunal. The deadline for appealing the tribunal’s decision passed on October 10. Cristiana Arru, the lawyer for the Pope’s former...

Australian police charge diocese impaired sex-abuse investigations

Police in the Australian state of Victoria have charged that Catholic leaders stymied their attempts to investigate sex-abuse complaints against priests. In a report to a parliamentary inquiry on...

Orthodox leader addresses Synod, cites progress since Vatican II

In an October 11 address to the Synod of Bishops, the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople said: "Our presence here signifies and seals our commitment to witness together to the Gospel...

Ontario education minister: Catholic schools shouldn't teach abortion is wrong

Ontario’s education minister has said that Catholic schools in the Canadian province should not be allowed to teach students that abortion is morally wrong. Laurel Broten said that arguments...

Jesuit university will continue contraceptive coverage

Reversing a policy announced earlier this year, a Jesuit university in Ohio has said that it will continue to provide coverage for contraception in its employees’ health-insurance plan. Father...

Biden-Ryan debate likely to touch on candidates' Catholic beliefs

The October 11 debate between American Vice President Joseph Biden and his Republican challenger, Rep. Paul Ryan, provides an unprecedented contrast between two Catholic candidates. Since both Biden...

Former New York archdiocesan official given 4.5-year sentence for embezzling $1 million

A former finance officer of the New York archdiocese has been sentenced to a 4.5-year prison term after pleading guilty to embezzlement. Anita Collins was sentenced after admitting that she had...

Released Friday, Oct. 12

Biden, Ryan discuss Catholic faith, abortion in VP debate

Towards the end of the debate between Vice President Joseph Biden and Republican candidate Paul Ryan, moderator Martha Raddatz asked: This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic...

Synod fathers address media bias, Islam, annulments

On the fifth day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 12 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of...

Special Mass for religious liberty on October 14; Rosary novena to begin that day

A special Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty, sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, will take place at the Basilica of the...

Prelate laments Taliban attack against teenage activist

Bishop Anthony Rufin of Islamabad-Rawalpindi condemned the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Muslim girl in the Swat Valley known for her activism. “God created man in his own...

In Red Mass homily, Cardinal George rues HHS mandate, abortion, same-sex marriage

In his recent Red Mass homily, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago told the assembled lawyers and judges that the HHS mandate, same-sex marriage, and abortion are three instances in which “the law...

Synod expert calls for renewed emphasis on possibility of hell, need for repentance

A US expert at the Synod of Bishops for the new evangelization has told the National Catholic Register that a renewed emphasis on the possibility of eternal damnation and the need for salvation will...

Few US Catholic are 'swing' voters, study finds

Taking a closer look at "the Catholic vote" in the US, the Pew Research Center discovers that, contrary to a widespread opinion, Catholic voters have generally been very consistent in their...

Mounting evidence that 'wife of Jesus' papyrus was forged

After an initial round of enthusiastic media coverage, stories about the discovery of a papyrus scroll mentioning the "wife of Jesus" have disappeared from the headlines, amid mounting evidence that...

US aid program sending Norplant contraceptive to Third World despite health concerns

The US Agency of International Development (AID) has announced plans to provide the the long-term Norplant contraceptive to women in developing countries. Norplant is not distributed in advanced...

Los Angeles archdiocese prepares to release accused priests' files

The Los Angeles archdiocese is preparing to release the personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse, after the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from clerics seeking to...

Aggiornamento means renewing tradition, not breaking with it, Pope says

The “aggiornamento” proclaimed by Blessed John XXIII at the opening of Vatican II “does not mean breaking with tradition,” Pope Benedict XVI said on October 12. “Rather it is an expression of that...

Pope recalls famous 'speech to the moon' by Blessed John XXIII

Speaking on October 11 to participants in a candlelight procession marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the famous “speech to the moon” that Blessed John XXIII had...

Another Pakistani teen faces blasphemy charges, death threats

Another Pakistani teenager faces death threats after being accused of blasphemy—in this case, by allegedly forwarding a text message. Ryan Brian Patus, who is 15, was forced to flee along with...

Bishops' conference leader welcomes Nobel Prize for European Union

The president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) has expressed delight at the news that the European Union will receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Cardinal...

Boston's Cardinal O'Malley promises daily tweets until November election

Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley has announced that he will send out "tweet" messages every day until Election Day, November 6. The cardinal's messages will touch on public issues, such as the...

New regime brings new fears for Egypt's Copts

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Samuel Tadros reports that Coptic Christians are under heavy pressure to leave Egypt, since the new political power of the Muslim Brotherhood has unleashed...

Filipino bishop: don't vote for proponents of copper mining

A Filipino bishop has instructed the faithful not to vote for political candidates who favor development of copper and gold mines in the Mindanao region. “Do not vote for those who favour...

Christians should learn from Muslims' desire to spread their faith

Father Samir, Khalil Samir, SJ, an expert participating in the discussions of the Synod for the New Evangelization, argues that Catholics should learn something from the willingness of Muslims to...

Biden inaccurate on HHS mandate, says US bishops' conference

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement rebutting Vice President Joseph Biden’s claim that Catholic institutions will not be required to subsidize contraception under...

An Italian historian recalls the forces in play at Vatican II

In his new book The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story, Italian historian Roberto de Mattei provides a thorough analysis of the people, places, and ideas that dominated the discussions of...

Released Monday, Oct. 15

Chad expels Italian-born bishop

The government of the African nation of Chad has expelled an Italian-born bishop who had served as a missionary there for 36 years. The expulsion of 67-year-old Bishop Michele Russo, who was...

At synod, criticism of state-controlled education, call for greater role for women in Church

On October 12--the sixth day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops--23 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the...

Report: hundreds of Christians arrested in Iran

Up to 400 evangelical Protestants have been arrested in the last two weeks in Iran, according to a news site that chronicles the persecution of Christians. “We have learned that at least 100, but...

Prelates report on growth of Church in Norway, anti-ecumenism in Romania, Islam and Freemasonry in Africa

On October 13, the conclusion of the first week of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 39 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the new evangelization. Patriarch...

Head of Pontifical Academy for Sciences says GMOs are step forward for evolution

The president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences—an advisory body that is not part of the Church’s teaching authority—told the Synod of Bishops for the new evangelization that...

Vatican preparing to replace Irish primate?

The Vatican will soon announce a replacement for Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, the Irish Independent reports. Cardinal Brady has been under pressure to resign because...

Beatification soon for Pope Paul VI, Vatican journalist reports

Pope Paul VI could be beatified before the end of 2013, according to the leading Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli. Theologians commissioned by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have...

Wealthy people must embrace 'logic of giving,' Pope tells Sunday audience

Commenting on the Gospel story of the rich young man, Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday audience that “it is very difficult but not impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” "God...

Natural rights precede the state, Vatican delegate tells international forum

The role of religion in public life is not to suggest specific policies but to remind society of “the objective moral norms at the basis of justice,” a Vatican delegate told an international...

Bring Christ's hope to an empty world , Pope encourages Synod participants

The word “Synod” means “shared journey,” Pope Benedict XVI reminded bishops at an October 13 luncheon for participants in the Synod of Bishops. Thus, he said, “during the Synod we and our...

Video on Islam's growth sparks debate at Synod

A controversy arose at the Synod of Bishops on October 13 when the participating bishops were shown a video that Vatican Radio described as a “fear-mongering presentation of statistics attempting to...

Weigel: What Paul Ryan should have said about abortion

On the National Review site, George Weigel outlines the argument that Rep. Paul Ryan could have made about abortion during the vice-presidential debate. Ryan should have stressed that his...

Spokane bishop explains suit against bankruptcy lawyers

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, has written to the faithful of his diocese explaining why he has filed a malpractice suit against the law firm that handled bankruptcy proceedings for the...

Facing prosecution, Colombian bishop steps down

A Colombian bishop who was sued for slander by one of his own priests and now faces possible prosecutor by civil authorities has submitted his resignation. Bishop Carlos Prada Sanmiguel of...

American Bible Society plans largest-ever Bible exhibit at Vatican

The American Bible Society (ABS), which sponsored an impressive special exhibit on the Bible at the Vatican during this year’s Eastertide, is planning an even larger exhibit for 2014. “It has...

Wounded Pakistani rights activist to receive medical treatment in England

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani human-rights activist who was shot in the head by would-be Taliban assassins, will travel to England for medical treatment. Yousafzai, who underwent...

No progress on solving murder of Italian missionary in Philippines

Police in the Philippines have made no progress toward solving the murder of Father Fausto Tentorio, an Italian PIME missionary who was killed in the Mindanao province nearly a full year ago. A...

Evidence disproves rumors that John Paul I was killed, postulator says

The postulator for the beatification cause of Pope John Paul I has reported that new evidence puts to rest the rumors that the “smiling Pope” was murdered. After Pope John Paul I was found dead...

Accounting for the bishops who resign under pressure

L’Espresso surveys the growing list of bishops who have been removed from office, sometimes against their will, under #401-2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Vatican has shown an increasing...

Seek roots of evangelization in Jerusalem, Patriarch suggests

“Any big event in the Church must go back to Jerusalem, start with Jerusalem,” the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem told the Synod of Bishops. Archbishop Faoud Twal, speaking to Vatican Radio...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 16

Adults have abandoned youth, says prelate; synod hears calls for ‘deworldification’ of Church, ‘multimedia liturgy’

On the ninth day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 42 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the new evangelization. In addition to the dominant theme of the...

Mob attacks parish in Pakistan

A Catholic parish in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, was attacked by a mob on October 11. The attackers smashed holy books, church windows and doors, and a priest’s car, according to a...

Archbishop Lori denounces ‘godless secularism,’ Catholic politicians who favor abortion

At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ special October 14 Mass and Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Archbishop...

In Peoria, Catholic Charities refocuses on corporal works of mercy

A year after Catholic agencies in Illinois were forced out of adoption and foster care services because of their refusal to place children with same-sex couples, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of...

Islam on the rise in Haiti

Islam has spread in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake, in part because of organized relief efforts and in part because of the return of Muslim émigrés, according to the Associated Press. “After the...

Jewish man recalls how Roman nuns hid him during World War II

In an article that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano on the anniversary of the Nazis’ 1943 deportation of the Jews of Rome, Roberto Piperno recalls taking refuge as a five-year-old boy at the...

Chinese bishop challenges Synod participants

“I am very saddened that you cannot hear any voice from the Chinese Church.” Those were the words of an aged Chinese prelate, in a message that was delivered to participants in the Synod of Bishops...

Pope supports agricultural cooperatives in World Food Day message

In his message for World Food Day, Pope Benedict XVI expressed the support of the Catholic Church for agricultural cooperatives. Cooperatives, the Holy Father wrote, can be “a real tool for...

Pope explains his confidence that Europe will recover faith

Europe will rediscover her Christian heritage, Pope Benedict XVI assured an interviewer, because “the search for God is profoundly inscribed into each human soul and cannot disappear.” Pope...

Talks end without accord between Milwaukee archdiocese, creditors in bankruptcy case

The Milwaukee archdiocese has failed to reach creditors—primarily sex-abuse victims—in a court-ordered mediation process. The archdiocese will now be forced back into federal bankruptcy...

Obama supporters seen influential on Al Smith dinner board

Jack Fowler of National Review believes that he has found a reason why President Barack Obama was invited to attend the annual Al Smith dinner. The dinner is sponsored by a foundation that raises...

Abortion advocates disrupt pro-life meeting in Quebec church

Rowdy pro-abortion activists burst into an Evangelical church in Quebec, shouting blasphemous slogans, to disrupt a meeting of pro-life meeting. Pro-lifers were forced to barricade the church...

Mission of theology is to strengthen faith, commission says

The International Theological Commission has issued a message for the Year of Faith, promising to make a pilgrimage to the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major to pray for the Pope’s initiative. The...

Father Pavone back in action

Father Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, has re-emerged into prominence in the pro-life movement, notes David Gibson of Religion News Service. After having been restricted by his...

Vatican official to head US archdiocese?

Pope Benedict XVI has selected Archbishop Joseph Tobin, the current secretary of the Congregation for Religious, to become the new Archbishop of Indianapolis, according to the Vatican Insider....

Vatican issues caution on equestrian orders

The Vatican Secretariat of State has issued a warning that the Holy See does not formally recognize any equestrian orders apart from the Knights of Malta, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, and the...

California sex therapist is former Catholic nun

The Guardian profiles a former nun who, in a scenario worthy of Walker Percy, has become a sex therapist in California, working to overcome the inhibitions of her Catholic...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 17

Pope to send delegation of 7 prelates, including Cardinal Dolan, to Damascus

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, announced that Pope Benedict will send an international delegation of seven prelates to strife-torn Syria next week. The delegation,...

Cardinal exhorts religious orders to be missionary again; Brazilian prelate calls for beauty in liturgy

On the tenth day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 31 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of...

‘The struggle for Poland’s soul’

The Reuters news agency has published an article highlighting Poland’s mounting secularism and political debates over homosexuality, in vitro fertilization, and taxpayer-financed healthcare and...

Several churches burned down in Tanzania’s capital

Tanzanian police have arrested 126 persons suspected of vandalizing and burning down several churches in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital. While BBC reported that five churches had been burned...

Franciscan martyrs beatified in Prague

Fourteen Franciscans who were martyred in Prague in 1611 were beatified there on October 13. “The profanation of the sacred place and the killing of 14 persons dedicated (to God) tragically...

Vatican cardinal denies rumors of 'Vatileaks' involvement

The archpriest of St. Peter’s basilica has angrily denied that he had any involvement in the “Vatileaks” scandal. During his trial for theft of confidential papal documents, Paolo Gabriele...

Too many Catholics confused about fundamental beliefs, Pope says

"Christians today often do not even know the central core of their Catholic faith,” Pope Benedict XVI observed at his regular public audience on October 17. At his regular weekly audience, the...

Cardinal Turkson apologizes for video, denies anti-Islam bias

Cardinal Peter Turkson has apologized for screening a video about the growth of Islam in Europe for participants at the Synod of Bishops. The YouTube video, “Muslim Demographics,” which called...

Russian prelate discusses 'new evangelization' in Synod address, papal audience

The leading ecumenical official of the Moscow Patriarchate spoke about the “new evangelization” in Russia during an October 16 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk...

Pope will recall all Vatican diplomats to discuss Year of Faith

Pope Benedict XVI plans to call all the Vatican's diplomatic representatives to Rome in June 2013 for an in-depth discussion of their response to the Year of Faith. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,...

Pakistani court again delays ruling on girl's blasphemy charge

A Pakistani court has postponed a ruling on the blasphemy charges against Rimsha Masih, the young girl who was accused of blasphemy. The High Court in Islamabad announced that it would rule...

Lutheran leader raps Catholic archbishop's opposition to same-sex marriage

A Lutheran bishop has chastised a Catholic prelate for organizing public opposition to a bid for legal approval of same-sex marriage. “I recognize your authority in formulating positions for your...

Key state contests in US elections

George Marlin writes for The Catholic Thing about state elections that have special significance for Catholics: state-senate contests in New York, a bid to legalize physician-assisted suicide in...

Charter-school movement offers possibilities for Catholic-school survival

Writing in City Journal, Sean Kennedy remarks that Catholic schools face serious economic challenges, but could survive and even prosper by taking advantage of the new public support for charter...

Editorial rues breakdown of talks toward bankruptcy settlement in Milwaukee archdiocese case

An editorial in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel argues that the failure of negotiations between the Milwaukee archdiocese and sex-abuse victims, and the consequent return to bankruptcy court, serves...

Released Thursday, Oct. 18

Prelates speak about Islam as synod discussion concludes; Cardinal Pell rues decline of fasting

On the eleventh day of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 25 synod fathers spoke on various aspects of the synod’s theme, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission...

Christian village attacked in Nigeria; 30 dead

Muslim nomads have attacked a Christian village in central Nigeria, killing 30. The October 14 attack took place in Benue State, which is located in southeastern...

Cardinal Wuerl, in major address, summarizes synod discussion

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the relator-general of the Synod of Bishops for the new evangelization, has delivered the relatio post disceptationem (report after the discussion) on the synod’s eleventh...

US bishops to consider document on bishops and the digital age

At their November 12-15 meeting in Baltimore, members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will consider whether to approve “Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities for the Exercise...

Nuncio sees increased freedom in Egypt following Arab Spring

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the Holy See’s apostolic nuncio in Egypt and former president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has painted a relatively positive view of life in...

Diocese of Phoenix releases names of priests accused of abuse

The Diocese of Phoenix has released the names of 29 clergy accused of the sexual abuse of minors. Among the most well-known names on the list are Donald McGuire, the former Jesuit, and Dale...

Confirmed: Archbishop Tobin to leave Vatican, head Indianapolis archdiocese

Archbishop Joseph Tobin, the secretary of the Congregation for Religious, has been named the Archbishop of Indianapolis, confirming reports that had circulated earlier this week. The appointment...

Hispanic Catholic voters favor Obama; Evangelicals less enthusiastic

Hispanic voters lean heavily toward President Barack Obama in this year’s US presidential race, a new survey by the Pew Forum shows. Hispanic Catholics favor Obama by an overwhelming 73- 19%....

Legislators approve legal abortion in Uruguay, Buenos Aires

Lawmakers have approved legal abortion in Uruguay, and cleared the way for abortion under some circumstances in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Buenos Aires, a proposal to allow abortion...

Nigerian archbishop calls for end to Christian-Muslim fighting

The religious violence that has plagued Nigeria in recent months is offensive to both Christian and Islamic beliefs, the president of the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference said in a nationwide...

Syrian bishop mourns ‘devastated’ city

Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria, described the city as “devastated—much of it in ruins” in an address to the British Parliament. The Chaldean Catholic bishop said that he has decided to...

Another US court rules against Defense of Marriage Act

For the 2nd time, a federal appeals court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, setting the stage for an inevitable test of the landmark legislation at the US Supreme...

Were controversial Vatican officials eased out to new assignments?

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter examines the recent appointments of two Vatican officials to new posts outside Rome, asking whether disagreements within the Vatican leadership might...

Released Friday, Oct. 19

Obama, Romney trade jokes at Al Smith Dinner

President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney traded jokes at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York. The event raised $5 million for local Catholic charities. “Earlier...

Vatican cardinal: in financial mismanagement cases, call authorities only as last resort

As the members of Synod of Bishops gathered in working groups to draft the synod’s propositions, 18 synod fathers who had not made speeches during the course of the synod submitted written...

Nigerian bishop: attack on Christian village was land grab

An attack by Muslim nomads on a Nigerian Christian village was an attempt to take the villagers’ land, according to the local bishop. The attack, which took place on October 14, left over 30...

Ghana bishop concerned about government takeover of schools

The prelate who serves as episcopal chairman for education of Ghana’s National Catholic Secretariat has expressed concern about a state takeover of the management of Catholic mission schools. The...

Under Islamist pressure, 9 churches closed in Indonesia

Authorities in Banda Aceh, a city of 175,000 on Sumatra, have shut down nine Protestant house churches and six Buddhist temples. “Aceh is a special territory that enforces Sharia,” said Deputy...

Religious freedom rallies to take place in 130 cities nationwide Saturday

Stand Up for Religious Freedom, an organization that opposes the HHS mandate, is holding rallies in defense of religious freedom in over 130 cities nationwide on October 20. Previous rallies in...

USCCB, CRS to host online discussion on Congo conflict

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services will be hosting an online discussion devoted to peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “In the...

Background: World Mission Sunday

On October 21, the Church around the world will commemorate World Mission Sunday. The theme of Pope Benedict’s message for the day is “Called to radiate the Word of truth.” “This year the...

Synod sparks enthusiasm among participants

Participants in this month’s Synod of Bishops are feeling “great satisfaction and great hope” with the proceedings, spokesmen told reporters at an October 18 briefing. Archbishop Sviatoslav...

Boston TV journalist sees assisted-suicide proposal as 'deeply flawed'

In a Boston Globe column, veteran Boston TV news anchor Liz Walker argues strongly against Proposition 2, the referendum item that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts. The...

Church abuse procedures assailed at Australian inquiry

A police official denounced Catholic Church leader for failing to report sexual abuse by clerics, as a parliamentary inquiry on abuse opened in Australin. Graham Ashton, the deputy police...

Kazakh authorities raid Protestant churches

Masked police officers in Kazakhstan have raided two Protestant churches in recent days, seizing books that were classified as “extremist” and taking blood samples from parishioners, the Forum 18...

Abuse victims' lawyers aim at parish assets in Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy case

Lawyers for sex-abuse victims are taking aim at parish assets in a continuing struggle for compensation from the Milwaukee archdiocese. With the archdiocese in bankruptcy, creditors are arguing...

Cardinal raps media coverage of 'Vatileaks' scandal

Cardinal Camillo Ruini criticized press coverage of the “Vatileaks” scandal during an October 18 interview on Italy’s RAI radio network. “Very little happened in the way that newspapers presented...

Released Monday, Oct. 22

Synod fathers meet in groups: proposals for worldwide mission, women lectors

As the second week of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops drew to a close, a dozen working groups of synod fathers presented their reports on various aspects of the...

Syrian bishop: ‘all the churches desecrated’ in Homs

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, told an audience at Parliament in London that the city is in “chaos.” Christians “have fled their homes because of the threat of...

Cardinal Dolan: remarks at Al Smith dinner

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has released the full text of his remarks at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, at which President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney traded jokes. Cardinal...

Lourdes flooded; 450 pilgrims evacuated

Flash flooding at Lourdes temporarily closed the famed Marian shrine and caused “serious damage” there, according to an Agence France-Presse report. 450 pilgrims were evacuated from area...

USCCB laments federal court’s DOMA ruling

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage has called a federal court’s decision to strike down the key provision of the...

Blessed John Paul II’s feast day added to US liturgical calendar

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has approved a request by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to add Blessed John Paul II’s feast day to the US...

New poll says US Catholics prefer ‘social justice’ emphasis over pro-life cause

Most American Catholics believe that Church leaders should promote “social justice” concerns in public policy, rather than concentrating on abortion, according to a new opinion survey. The...

Leftists can be pro-life too, columnist argues

As political director for the Huffington Post in Great Britain, and a regular contributor to Al Jazeera, Mehdi Hasan is not ordinarily associated with conservative causes. In fact he embraces...

Cardinal Arinze sees Vatican II as marked by optimism, not confusion

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who was the world’s youngest Catholic bishop during the closing session of Vatican II, is now the youngest of the Council fathers who met with Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate...

A delicate topic for the Synod: converting Muslims

At this month’s Synod for the New Evangelization, several bishops have raised the question of bringing Muslims to accept Christianity. Although the subject is delicate, because of Islamic laws...

Priests kidnapped in Congo

Three Catholic priests were kidnapped by armed men in Congo on October 20. Fathers Wasukudi Anselm, Jean Ndulani, and Edmond Kisughu were abducted by armed men who raided their monastery near...

Outgoing Anglican leader pushes for acceptance of female bishops

Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has called for acceptance of women as bishops in the Anglican communion. Writing in The Church Times, Dr. Williams—who has announced that he is...

Pope Benedict commends scholars for ‘Ratzinger Prize’ awards

Two scholars—an American theologian and a French historian—were honored at the Vatican on October 22 as the recipients of this years Ratzinger Prizes for excellence in the study of...

Papal condolence after Beirut bombing

Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to condolence to the people of Lebanon following a bombing in Beirut that killed 8 people and left many wounded. In a message to Patriarch Bechara Rai of the...

Pope canonizes 7 new saints, including 2 from North America

Pope Benedict XVI presided at the canonization of 7 new saints—including St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marianne Cope—at a Mass celebrated for a congregation of 80,000 people in St. Peter’s Square on...

Timing uncertain for special Vatican mission to Syria

Although Pope Benedict XVI has appointed several prelates for a special mission to Syria, the timing of that mission has not yet been fixed, the Vatican has announced. Father Federico Lombardi,...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 23

Bomb attack on Christian section of Damascus

A car bomb exploded in the Christian quarter of Damascus, killing 10. The area has largely escaped the violence that has engulfed Syria over the past year. “The bomb exploded as people were...

Uruguay’s bishops: pro-abortion legislators are automatically excommunicated

The secretary of Uruguay’s episcopal conference says that lawmakers who recently voted to legalize abortion are automatically excommunicated. “Automatic excommunication is for those who...

Tufts Christian group loses recognition: religious tenets ‘discriminatory’

Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) has lost its official recognition because it requires its leaders to adhere to certain religious tenets—a stance that has been deemed discriminatory. The...

Diocese dissociates itself from Episcopal Church

The Diocese of South Carolina, which comprises 70 Episcopal congregations in eastern South Carolina, has dissociated itself from the Episcopal Church. “For many years the diocese of South...

Nearly 20,000 attend religious freedom rallies

Over 18,000 people attended rallies on behalf of religious freedom nationwide on October 20, according to a preliminary tally conducted by Stand Up for Religious Freedom. Previous rallies in...

Father Rutler on Pope Pius XII

“An impressive number of works have been published recently” to present an accurate picture of Pope Pius XII’s actions during World War II, Father George Rutler observes. “To them I can only add...

Vancouver archdiocese plans massive outreach to lapsed Catholics

The Vancouver archdiocese is planning an ambitious campaign to draw lapsed Catholics back to the Church, planning to air thousands of television ads during the month of December. The Vancouver...

Vatican II brought dramatic changes: Cardinal Danneels

Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the retired Archbishop of Brussels, emphasized the unique approach of Vatican II during a lecture in London. “Even though it is true that Vatican II is fully rooted...

Clean-up begins after massive flooding at Lourdes shrine

Workers at the famous Marian shrine at Lourdes have begun a laborious clean-up process after severe flooding. The waters that had washed through the shrines—ruining carpets and leaving a thick...

Priests are worst abusers, ex-cleric tells Australian inquiry

A former Catholic priest has told an Australian parliamentary inquiry that Catholic clerics are more likely than any other ministers to engage in sexual abuse of children. Des Cahill told a...

Trial of 2nd 'Vatileaks' suspect will be November 5

The trial of Claudio Sciarpelletti, the 2nd suspect in the “Vatileaks” scandal, will take place on November 5, the Vatican has announced. Sciarpelletti, a computer expert who worked at the...

Vatican tribunal publishes verdict against Vatileaks' convict Gabriele

The Vatican has published the full verdict of a Vatican tribunal that found Paolo Gabriele guilty of aggravated thefit in the “Vatileaks” scandal. The tribunal found that Gabriele, the former...

Cardinal Bertone explains postponement of Vatican delegation's visit to Syria

A visit to Syria by a delegation of prelates appointed by Pope Benedict XVI will probably not take place until after the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has...

Nuncio celebrates Mass at ancient Iraqi monastery, meets Shi’ite leader

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the apostolic nuncio in Iraq, celebrated Mass at an ancient monastery near the city of Najaf, and met with the influential Shi’ite leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. At...

Congo: Church seeks help to find kidnapped priests

Church officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have appealed to the public for prayers, and to the government for police action to secure the release of three priests who were kidnapped on...

Ireland's Catholic population grows, but percentage declines

Ireland’s Catholic population has reached its highest recorded level, but the percentage of Catholics in the country’s population has declined, the latest census figures show. The absolute number...

Cardinal's diary yields memories of talks with Blessed John XXIII

The influential Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica has published the diaries of Cardinal Roberto Tucci from the days of Vatican II, including his memories of conversations with Blessed John...

It's not just the economy, stupid

For The Catholic Thing, Hadley Arkes reflects on the poverty of debate on important moral issues during this year’s American presidential campaign. In his famous speech at Cooper Union, Abraham...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 24

North Dakota politician rips bishop, quotes leaked letter

A North Dakota politician who was trounced in the 2008 gubernatorial election blasted Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck, stating that the prelate “engages in partisan politics and damages the bounds of...

Attack on church in Indonesia

Unknown attackers attempted to burn down a Pentecostal church in Poso, a city of 40,000 on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. No one was injured in the attack, which partially damaged the church...

Holy See, Taiwan commemorate 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations

The Holy See and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have marked the seventieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Msgr. Paul Russell, the Holy See’s chargé d’affaires, said...

Alleged son of Legion founder Maciel jailed on extortion charges

Jose Raul Gonzalez Lara, an alleged son of Legion of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel (1920-2008), has been jailed in Mexico on aggravated extortion charges following a criminal complaint filed...

Bishop Flores sees ‘neo-secular hegemony’ reminiscent of Roman Empire

In a lecture delivered at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville discussed “The Church and the State and the Shifting Dynamics of Public Secularity.” “Caesar, in...

Dialogue with Oriental Orthodox focuses on ministry to immigrants

The annual US dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox churches took place on October 15 and 16 in White Plains, NY. The Oriental Orthodox churches, which are distinct from the...

Pope Benedict names 6 new cardinals in surprise announcement

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will create six new cardinals in a consistory that will be held on November 24. The Pope's announcement, issued at his regular general audience on October...

Faith answers 'unrelenting questions' that secular culture ignores, Pope says

“What is faith?” Pope Benedict XVI asked that rhetorical question at the beginning of a short discourse at his public audience on October 24. At his regular weekly audience the Pope continued his...

Synod narrows focus to 57 propositions

After two weeks of discussions, the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization has identified 57 propositions which will be the basis for further discussion. During the first phase of the Synod...

Catholic prelates protest plans to extend Israeli security wall

Catholic leaders in the Holy Land have expressed firm opposition to a plan to extend an Israeli security wall through the Cremisan Valley, near Jerusalem. The proposed wall would separate the...

Bishop Williamson ousted from SSPX

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has expelled Bishop Richard Williamson, citing the outspoken prelate’s persistent refusal to obey his superiors in the traditionalist society. Bishop...

Romanian court finds Orthodox patriarch guilty of collaboration with Communist regime

Romania’s top court has upheld the conviction of the country’s Orthodox Patriarch Pimen on charges of having served as a secret-service informant during the Communist era. Patriarch Pimen, who is...

Cardinal George fears successors will be imprisoned, martyred

The problems created by secular materialism in the US will not be solved by the November elections, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has warned. Secularism is a “much larger issue” than any...

Study finds Catholic-school graduates have best economic prospects

A study by economists with the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve Bank has found that Catholic schools improve the career income prospects of their students more than public or private...

Media outlets seek court papers on widow's grants to Legionaries

Several media organizations have joined in a plea for a Rhode Island judge to release documents related to a lawsuit challenging the donation of $60 million to the Legion of Christ by an elderly...

Synod fathers send solidarity message to Chinese bishop

The Synod of Bishops has sent a message of solidarity to a Chinese prelate who was unable to participate in the October Synod sessions. The Synod approved a message to Bishop Luca Ly Jingegn of...

Released Thursday, Oct. 25

Interviews with 3 newly-named cardinals

Vatican Radio has interviewed three of the prelates who will be created cardinals during a November 24 consistory. “I see it purely as God’s grace, certainly not as any reward for any good...

Cardinal Burke, at synod, rues anti-law culture in society and Church

In a written submission to the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, criticized the “antinomianism embedded in civil society,” which...

Pittsburgh diocese to launch $125M campaign

The Diocese of Pittsburgh will launch a $125-million fundraising campaign in 2013, one of the largest US diocesan fundraising campaigns in recent years. The campaign will seek to raise funds for...

More abortion workers leaving industry

Over the past five years, at least 70 abortion workers have left the industry, 30 of them influenced by Abby Johnson and her new organization, And Then There Were None. Johnson, the former...

Olive trees at Gethsemane are among world’s oldest

A study conducted by the National Research Council of Italy Trees and Timber Institute has dated three of the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane to 1092, 1166, and 1198. Another five olive...

How 15 sedevacantist nuns in Spokane returned to Church

Writing for Catholic World Report, Jim Graves recounts how 15 nuns left the sedevacantist Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen in 2007, returned to the Church, and formed the Sisters of Mary,...

Uruguay's bishops clarify: pro-abortion lawmakers not excommunicated

The Catholic bishops of Uruguay have backed away from a statement that Catholic legislators were subject to excommunication if they voted in favor of legal abortion. Bishop Heriberto Bodeant...

Orthodox priest kidnapped, slain in Syria

An Orthodox priest who had been kidnapped near Damascus on October 19 has been found dead, the Fides news service reports. Father Fadi Jamil Haddad was seized by armed men, who demanded a ransom...

Cardinal prods China to answer Pope's letter on Church-state relations

Chinese authorities have never responded to a 2007 letter in which Pope Benedict XVI commented on the problems of the Church in that country, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization notes...

Sentence formal, Gabriele begins 18-month prison sentence

A guilty verdict against Paolo Gabriele has become final, as neither prosecution nor defense has filed an appeal, the Vatican announced on October 25. Gabriele, who had been under house arrest...

IVF researchers produce human embryos from 3 donors

Researchers in the US and England are reporting initial success in experiments in which they produced human embryos from three adult donors. The experiments, reported in Nature magazine, used in...

Pope meets with President of Cyprus

Pope Benedict XVI met on October 25 with President Demetris Christofias of Cyprus. Their conversation revolved around issues of human rights and religious freedom, according to a brief Vatican...

Irish priest, falsely accused of abuse, dismayed by lack of support from Church authorities

An Irish priest who was falsely accused of abuse tells the Irish Catholic that the experience was “my worst nightmare.” Father Oliver Brennan, who was suspended in August 2010 and only cleared...

The one-sided argument on Canon 915

Writing in First Things, canon lawyer Edward Peters explains the legal argument in favor of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians, under the provisions of Canon 915. Crucial to a proper...

Released Friday, Oct. 26

Cardinal-designate reveals he was informed of appointment only 1 day before announcement

Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis (Isaac) Thottunkal, the head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church since 2007, has revealed that he learned he would be named a cardinal on October 23, only one day...

Bishop: Nigerians suffer more from military than from Boko Haram

A Nigerian prelate has told Vatican Radio that “ordinary people are saying we are actually suffering more from the military than from Boko Haram,” the Islamist terrorist organization. Media...

Victory in federal court for monks threatened with prison for selling caskets

The Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals has handed a legal victory to a Louisiana Benedictine abbey whose monks were threatened with imprisonment for selling caskets without a license. Citing a...

Maine bishop: Catholics cannot justify voting for a candidate who opposes Church teaching

Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, who also serves as apostolic administrator of his former Diocese of Portland (Maine), has issued a statement on the upcoming election, in which Maine voters will...

Bishop Paprocki: do we love God more than we love candidates who promote serious sins?

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield (Illinois) has defended and explained his recent statement that “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and...

Archbishop Chaput: Democratic Party’s abortion position ‘has gotten worse, and worse, and worse’

Catholic voters must “stand united” on the issue of abortion, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said in a recent interview. Abortion “is a big issue today, and I think what it requires of...

Synod issues clarion call to the New Evangelization

In a beautiful “message to the People of God,” the Synod of Bishops has challenged all Catholics to take up the task of the New Evangelization. In a summary of the Final Message approved by the...

French lawmakers approve government-funded abortions for all

The French National Assembly has approved a proposal to provide full public funding for abortion. The lower house of the French parliament passed legislation that would offer full insurance...

Jacques Barzun, who saw Western culture in decline, dead at 104

Jacques Barzun, a noted American cultural critic, died at his home in Texas late on October 24, at the advanced aged of 104. Barzun, who had a long and influential career as a historian and...

Ex-nun, aspiring to priesthood, claims she will lead a reformed Church

Carl Olson of Catholic World Report remarks on the astonishing arrogance of a former nun who announces: "So I've said I'm not leaving Catholicism, I'm just going to lead it in a different...

Silenced Irish dissident priest airs complaints in BBC broadcast

A dissident Irish cleric has revealed that he considered leaving the priesthood when he faced disciplinary action from the Vatican. Father Brian D’Arcy, who was silenced earlier this year by the...

Austrian bishops, in pastoral letter, suggest limits of dissent

Responding to pressure from Rome, the bishops of Austria have released a lengthy pastoral letter calling for unity in the Church. The bishops’ 15-page letter, entitled Jahr des Glaubens (“Year of...

Islamic extremists have driven all Christians from northern Mali

Christians have been systematically driven out of northern Mali by Islamic extremists, a missionary priest report. "In the north of Mali, all Christians were forced to flee," Father Laurent...

Art is a 'language of parables,' Pope says

On Thursday evening, October 25, Pope Benedict XVI attended a screening of a new Polish documentary film on the Vatican Museums. After the showing, the Pope commented on the film and on the Church’s...

Released Monday, Oct. 29

Nigeria: over 100 wounded in attack on Catholic parish

At least eight people were killed and 100 wounded in a suicide bombing attack on a parish in Kaduna, a city of over 750,000 in north-central Nigeria. The attack was similar to previous attacks...

Prelate proposes posthumous removal of BBC star’s papal knighthood; Vatican spokesman responds

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has called for the removal of the papal knighthood bestowed upon Jimmy Savile in 1990. Saville (1926-2011), an English disc jockey and media personality,...

Missionaries of Charity superior emphasizes that order exists to evangelize

The aim of the Missionaries of Charity’s apostolate is “to bring souls to God and God to souls,” the order’s superior general emphasized during an October 26 intervention at the Synod of...

San Antonio archbishop proposes consecration of the world to the Holy Spirit

Speaking briefly at the Synod of Bishops, the archbishop of San Antonio has proposed the consecration of the world to the Holy Spirit. “We live in a world of great promise but also of great need,...

Bishop Ricken: voting for candidate who favors intrinsic evils ‘could put your own soul in jeopardy’

Calling the 2012 election “a turning point in our country’s history,” Bishop David Ricken urged Catholics of the Diocese of Green Bay to remember “the set of non-negotiables” as they cast their...

Knights of Columbus, FOCUS leaders offer comments at synod

Two American auditors at the Synod of Bishops, Carl Anderson and Curtis Martin, offered interventions during the synod’s proceedings on October 26. “The Christian family is essentially...

Pope summarizes key themes of Synod

"The new evangelization applies to the whole of Church life,” Pope Benedict XVI said as he presided at a Mass closing the 13th ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops on October 28. In his...

Synod offers concrete suggestions for New Evangelization

In a final list of 58 propositions submitted to Pope Benedict XVI, the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization said that the Church must combat challenges including “at times outright religious...

Pope explains choices of new cardinals, shifts some duties within Roman Curia

In brief remarks delivered to the final session of the Synod of Bishops on October 27, Pope Benedict XVI explained his surprise decision to appoint 6 new members to the College of Cardinals. The...

Vatican willing to wait for response from SSPX

The Vatican has indicated that it has not yet received a formal response from the Society of St. Pius X to an offer of reconciliation, and is willing to wait. The Ecclesia Dei commission, which...

Papal message underlines migrants' hope for better future

In his annual message for the World Day of Migrants, Pope Benedict XVI writes that the Church affirms the right of people to migrate, “there is a need to reaffirm the right not to emigrate: that is,...

In a time of trouble, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox choose a new pope

Leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church cast ballots on October 29 to choose a new leader, replacing Pope Shenouda III, who died in March after leading the Egyptian church for nearly 40 years. Over...

Ted Kennedy's widow opposes assisted-suicide initiative in Massachusetts

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of longtime Senator Ted Kennedy, has taken a strong stand in opposition to “Proposition 2,” a statewide ballot initiative that would legalize physician-assisted...

Bishop in Philippines rebukes priests for simony

A leading prelate in the Philippines has warned his priest against the practice of simony: offering spiritual goods for sale. “My dear brother priests, the sacraments are not to be celebrated in...

Oklahoma bishop switches to ad orientem celebration of Mass in cathedral

The National Catholic Reporter calls attention to the decision of Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to celebrate Mass ad orientem in the city's cathedral. This summer Bishop Slattery...

Anglican prelates eschew communion with colleagues

Three conservative Anglican prelates—two from Nigeria and one from the US—have delined to share communion with their liberal colleagues at a conference in New Zealand. Archbishop Ikechi Nwosu of...

Eye-opening errors in a New York Times column on abortion debate

Writing for National Review, Wesley Smith calls attention to the stunning ignorance displayed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in a piece in which Friedman argued that a "pro-life"...

Irish agencies counseling women to lie about abortions?

Counselors at government-run agencies have offered Irish women misleading, illegal, and even dangerous advice regarding abortion, the Irish Independent has revealed. An investigation by the...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 30

Vatican cardinal opens door to Lutheran ordinariates

The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said in an interview that the Vatican would entertain a hypothetical proposal by Lutherans to establish ecclesial structures...

In new ad, Biden emphasizes he is a ‘practicing Catholic’

In a new campaign advertisement, Vice President Joe Biden emphasized that he is a practicing Catholic and said that President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiatives have advanced Catholic social...

Catholic Relief Services insists on its fidelity to Church teaching

The US bishops’ relief and development agency has responded to a recent “coordinated series of attacks, condemning aspects of our work, our partners, professional associations, and even some of our...

Brooklyn bishop rues failure to teach the faith, says Catholic vote for Obama ‘stretches the imagination’

In the latest in a series of diocesan newspaper columns on the upcoming election, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn lamented the Obama-Biden campaign’s emphasis on abortion and...

Alaska bishop: both Biden, Ryan hold views that are ‘inconsistent’ with Church teaching

Both Vice President Joe Biden and candidate Paul Ryan hold views that are “inconsistent” with Catholic teaching, Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau said in a column that appeared in the city’s daily...

Baltimore priest preaches on his support for same-sex marriage

A priest who has served as pastor the same Baltimore parish since 1973 has preached in favor of same-sex marriage, gaining a standing ovation from his parishioners. “I will continue to stand in...

Sistine Chapel frescoes are safe for 500 anniversary, museum director assures

Michelangelo’s famous frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel are not being damaged by tourist traffic, the director of the Vatican Museums has assured readers of L’Osservatore Romano. In...

Vatican newspaper gives blanket coverage to latest James Bond movie

The Vatican newspaper has devoted a series of complimentary articles to the latest James Bond movie. L’Osservatore Romano gives a positive review to Skyfall, saying that the latest incarnation of...

Venice celebrates 100th anniversary of birth of Pope John Paul I

The Church in Venice celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pope John Paul I with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Francesco Moraglia at St. Mark’s basilica on October 30, followed by a...

Appeals court upholds rulings in Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy case

A federal appeals court has upheld key rulings in the bankruptcy case of the Milwaukee archdiocese, allowing two sex-abuse victims to pursue their claims against the archdiocese, while dismissing...

Hurricane Sandy as a reminder of human mortality

Walter Russell Mead remarks that Hurricane Sandy, which disrupted the lives of millions of Americans this week, is “a reminder of what the world really is like.” While affluent people can usually...

Kenyan conference challenges aid agencies' focus on contraception

A series of speakers challenged Western relief agencies for their fixation on family-planning efforts, during a conference on bioethics and fertility held at Strathmore University in Nairobi,...

Polish archbishop warns against Halloween excesses, 'world of darkness'

Archbishop Andrzej Dziega of Szczecin-Kamien, Poland, has warned his flock about “the real possibility of spiritual damage” from macabre Halloween celebrations. In a letter that he asked priests...

British schoolgirls given contraceptive implants without parents' knowledge

British schools have given contraceptive injections and implants to more than 900 girls under the legal age of consent, the London Daily Mail reports. Confidentiality rules prohibit school nurses...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 31

Ireland: diocesan priestly vocations at record low

Only 12 men began studies for the priesthood this autumn in Ireland’s 26 dioceses—a record low. “On average, just 50% of men who enter Irish seminaries go on to be ordained,” observes Michael...

Holy Land prelate rues extension of Israel’s security wall

A Latin-rite prelate in the Holy Land is warning that Israeli plans to extend its security wall will provide severe economic harm to 58 families in a predominantly Christian village. “If Israel...

Arkansas bishop: right to life, religious liberty, immigration most important issues

Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock said in a recent homily that “some of the moral and social issues to keep in mind this year are, in descending order of what I consider to be their importance...

Indiana priest discusses work as exorcist

A priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has discussed his work as an exorcist. “The exorcist is trained to be a skeptic,” said Father Vincent Lambert, who initially makes referrals to a...

Kmiec: Obama ‘promotes social justice as if he were a Catholic’

Douglas Kmiec, the former law professor and pro-life theorist whose support for Barack Obama in 2008 shocked many of his fellow Catholics, lauded the president in a recent Los Angeles Times...

Man cheated 91-year-old priest out of $500,000

A Buffalo man has admitted cheating a priest out of over $500,000 between 2001 and July 2012. The priest, now 91, had invested well over the years, according to the district attorney. Richard...

Faith is never a purely private matter, Pope tells audience

Christian faith is never an entirely private matter, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on October 31. "Certainly, the act of faith is an eminently personal act,” the Holy Father...

Pope prays for American hurricane victims

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on October 31, Pope Benedict XVI voiced his sympathy and promised his prayers to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Noting the “devastation” that...

Vatican looks to pare administrative expenses

Vatican officials are conducting a thorough spending review, looking for ways to cut administrative spending in order to ensure a balanced budget. The Vatican is looking for ways to pare office...

November consistory forces postponement of Asian bishops' meeting

When he made the surprise announcement that he would elevate new cardinals at a consistory on November 24, Pope Benedict XVI upset plans for a meeting of Asian bishops. The Federation of Asian...

Beijing will not respond to Pope's call to dialogue, Chinese bishops say

Chinese bishops think it unlikely that government officials there will ever respond to the letter written by Pope Benedict XVI to the Church in China in 2007. Last week Cardinal Fernando Filoni,...

German Catholic bishops invited to join in celebrating 500th anniversary of Reformation

Catholic bishops in Germany are weighing an appropriate response to an invitation to join in celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which will be held in 2017. Bishop...

Antigonish diocese settles sex-abuse cases, closing painful chapter

The Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, will make the final payment in a settlement with sex-abuse victims this week, marking the end to a bleak period in the history of the Canadian diocese. The...

Chad: students ask government to relent on bishop's expulsion

A Catholic students’ organization in Chad is calling upon the country’s government to reverse the expulsion of Bishop Michael Russo. The government of Chad ordered Bishop Russo to leave the...

Survey of Italian pilgrims at Padua shrine produces surprising results

A thorough survey of pilgrims visiting the shrine of St. Anthony of Padua has yielded some interesting and unexpected results. The pilgrims at Padua are markedly younger and better educated than...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.