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Catholic World News

Stories for December 2012

Released Monday, Dec. 3

3 churches burned down in Nigeria; 10 Christians brutally murdered CWN - December 3, 2012

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great), Islamist terrorists slit the throats of 10 Christians in Chibok, a city of 65,000 in northeastern Nigeria. Following the December 1 murders, the attackers...

Report: 9 Christians detained in China CWN - December 3, 2012

Nine Christians have been detained, and two have been sentenced to a labor camp, after they attempted to evangelize during a week-long period in late July and early August, according to a report...

Indian martyr beatified CWN - December 3, 2012

Devasahayam Pillai (1712-52), a convert from Hinduism who suffered martyrdom, has become the first Indian layman to be beatified. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the...

Poll: Catholics strongly support more literal Mass translation CWN - December 3, 2012

A survey of 1,047 Catholics conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University has found overwhelming support the more literal Mass translation that was...

In weekly editorial, Vatican spokesman discusses Advent hope CWN - December 3, 2012

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to Advent hope. Amid the world’s economic and political problems, “it is not always easy to recognize the light of hope...

Kansas City priests divided over Bishop Finn CWN - December 3, 2012

Nearly three months after Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City – St. Joseph was convicted on one count of failing to report suspected child abuse, one half of the priests in his diocese want him to...

Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies CWN - December 3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a motu proprio governing Catholic charities, emphasizing that charitable agencies should operate in conformity with the teachings of the Church. The motu proprio De...

Advent begins observance of salvation drama, Pope tells audience CWN - December 3, 2012

“The full history of salvation is a journey of love, mercy and benevolence,” Pope Benedict XVI said as he presided at the first Vespers of Advent on December 1 in St. Peter’s basilica. Speaking...

Vatican institutes new security procedures in reaction to 'Vatileaks' scandal CWN - December 3, 2012

The Vatican is tightening internal security procedures in the aftermath of the “Vatileaks” scandal. Beginning January 1, Vatican officials will carry an identity card, which will be swiped when...

Vatican tribunal closes 2nd 'Vatileaks' case CWN - December 3, 2012

Claudio Sciarpelletti, the 2nd man convicted in the “Vatileaks” case, has dropped his appeal, and a Vatican tribunal has formally announced his sentencing. Sciarpelletti, a computer expert at the...

Church's mission is to replace materialism with culture of love, Pope says CWN - December 3, 2012

Christians should “topple modern idols,” and replace the materialism and individualism that dominates society today with a culture of love, Pope Benedict XVI said in a December 3 address to the...

Australian bishops establish council to work with government abuse investigation CWN - December 3, 2012

The Australian Catholic bishops are setting up a special council to work with the government’s commission investigating sexual abuse. The new group will include bishops and their representatives,...

Theologian says China will have world's largest Christian population CWN - December 3, 2012

The controversial American theologian Harvey Cox has predicted that within 20 years, China will boast the world’s largest Christian population. Cox, the Harvard Divinity School professor whose...

Pope exhorts English seminarians to stir up new faith CWN - December 3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Venerable English College of Rome on December 3, as the institution—a training ground for seminarians from England and Wales—celebrates its 650th...

Cardinal George ‘responding well’ to chemotherapy CWN - December 3, 2012

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George reported on December 2 that his cancer treatment is progressing well. “So far, I’m responding well” to chemotherapy, said the cardinal, who disclosed in August...

Papal greetings for street entertainers CWN - December 3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI welcomed a group of circus performers, street musicians, and other entertainers to the Paul VI auditorium in a special event organized for “itinerant performers” on December 1....

Vatican report on Medjugorje due this month? CWN - December 3, 2012

A Vatican commission studying the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje will release its findings by the end of this year, a French magazine has reported. La Vie says that the Vatican commission,...

Prominent Episcopalian cleric enters Catholic Church CWN - December 3, 2012

The former rector of America’s largest Episcopalian church has become a Catholic. Rev. Larry Gipson, who was once rector of St. Martin’s church in Houston—where his parishioners included former...

Dropping birth rate seen as indicator of cultural decadence CWN - December 3, 2012

New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat argues that America’s falling birth rate is not only an enormous economic problem—since a smaller number of children will bear the massive debt that the...

Released Tuesday, Dec. 4

Bishop rues indifference to Congo crisis CWN - December 4, 2012

A prelate has lamented the lack of international attention given to the seizure of mineral-rich portions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the March 23 Movement, a rebel group founded...

USCCB blog features post by Cokie Roberts CWN - December 4, 2012

The blog of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops features a post by Cokie Roberts requesting contributions to the Retirement Fund for Religious. “Day after day these women work with...

Federal judge blocks California’s ban on therapy for youth with same-sex attractions CWN - December 4, 2012

In a ruling limited to three plaintiffs, a federal district court judge has temporarily blocked California’s ban on reparative therapy for youths with same-sex attractions. Referring to the First...

USCCB committee criticizes proposal to cut Palestinian aid CWN - December 4, 2012

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace is urging senators not to cut aid to Palestinians. “Recent reports have indicated...

Profile of Scottish composer of sacred music CWN - December 4, 2012

Catholic World Report has published a profile of James MacMillan, a 52-year-old Catholic composer who composed music for the Mass during Pope Benedict’s 2010 apostolic journey to...

National Catholic Reporter defies Vatican, calls for women's ordination CWN - December 4, 2012

The National Catholic Reporter has called for the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood, condemning the Church’s teaching on the issue as “unjust.” “Barring women from ordination to the...

Vatican conference to review Synod for the Americas CWN - December 4, 2012

Speaking at a December 4 press conference in Rome, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, said: “The valuable heritage of Christian faith, which is at the origin of the American 'New World' and inspires the life of...

Jesuit suspended after joining female 'priest' for liturgy CWN - December 4, 2012

An elderly Jesuit priest has been suspended from ministry in the Milwaukee archdiocese after he joined in a liturgical celebration with a woman who claims to be a Catholic priest. Father Bill...

Murder attempt on missionary in Pakistan CWN - December 4, 2012

A Protestant missionary is in critical condition in a hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, after an apparent murder attempt on December 3. Bargeeta Almby, a Swedish native, was shot in the chest at...

Released Wednesday, Dec. 5

Vatican prelate emphasizes Church’s closeness to the disabled CWN - December 5, 2012

The Church is close to”those who are suffering from various forms of limitations, physical or mental,” the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers said in a message for the...

English Catholics observe day of prayer for Middle East, North Africa CWN - December 5, 2012

Catholics in England and Wales observed a day of prayer on December 4, the feast of St. John Damascene, for peace in the Middle East and North Africa. “We’re obviously very conscious of the very...

Queen Elizabeth pays tribute to English seminary in Rome CWN - December 5, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II has paid tribute to relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the founding of the Venerable English College in Rome. “In...

Catholic college faculty donors overwhelmingly supported Obama CWN - December 5, 2012

Faculty and staff at 23 leading Catholic colleges and universities overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama, according to a study of federal election donations conducted by...

US Senate fails to ratify controversial UN disabilities treaty CWN - December 5, 2012

The United States Senate has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty opposed by several pro-life and homeschooling organizations....

USCCB, CRS issue ‘action alert’ to preserve foreign aid for the poor CWN - December 5, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact President Barack Obama and members of Congress in support of...

Queens parishes continue to minister to Hurricane Sandy’s victims CWN - December 5, 2012

Over a month after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the Caribbean and the United States, electricity and heat have yet to be restored to nearly half of the homes in some parishes in New York City’s...

Pope speaks on living Advent in the Year of Faith CWN - December 5, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI devoted his weekly public audience on December 5 to the opening of St. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, saying that the Apostle’s words serve as an appropriate introduction to...

Religious freedom is top priority for Church leaders in Middle East CWN - December 5, 2012

Religious freedom is high on the agenda as Catholic patriarchs and bishops of the Middle East meet this week in Harissa, Lebanon, to discuss Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, the apostolic exhortation by...

Pope pleads for peace in Congo CWN - December 5, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI issued a plea for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo as he concluded his regular weekly audience on December 5. Referring to “the grave humanitarian crisis” that exists...

Report on Medjugorje is not imminent, Vatican says CWN - December 5, 2012

The Vatican has denied a report that a special commission investigating the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje will release its findings this month. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the...

New biography explains for beatification cause for Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere CWN - December 5, 2012

A new Italian biography of Julius Nyerere, the 1st president of Tanzania after independence, explains why the African leader is now a candidate for beatification, writes Andrea Tornielli of La...

Vatican creche supplied by southern Italian region CWN - December 5, 2012

The Basilicata region, at the southern end of Italy, has furnished the Christmas crèche that will be erected in St. Peter’s Square this year. The crèche includes 100 terra cotta figures, created...

Irish bishops rap government report on abortion law CWN - December 5, 2012

The Irish bishops’ conference has issued a statement criticizing a government commission’s report on the country’s abortion laws. The “expert group” report recommended considering a series of...

Delaware bankruptcy court blocks release of accused priests' personnel files CWN - December 5, 2012

A federal bankruptcy-court judge in Delaware has granted a motion by two ex-priests of the Wilmington diocese, blocking public release of their personnel files. Under the terms of a $77 million...

Released Thursday, Dec. 6

Prelate: US bishops will oppose immigration reform that does not offer path to citizenship CWN - December 6, 2012

Addressing a conference devoted to immigration policy and advocacy, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta said that the bishops of the United States will oppose immigration-reform proposals that do...

Judge rules that Archdiocese of New York’s lawsuit against HHS mandate may proceed CWN - December 6, 2012

A US district court judge has ruled that the Archdiocese of New York’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate may proceed. Other courts have dismissed similar lawsuits on the grounds that the Catholic...

Compulsory military service cripples Church in Eritrea CWN - December 6, 2012

Eritrea’s totalitarian regime – widely recognized as one of the most repressive in the world – is stifling the Church through compulsory military service laws, according to Aid to the Church in...

Nearly 100 priests, religious from mainland China study theology in Taiwan CWN - December 6, 2012

Nearly 100 priests and religious from the People’s Republic of China are studying theology at an institute in Taiwan. “Except for a handful who are priests in their 40s, the majority of the...

Abortion advocates push for over-the-counter morning-after pills for minors CWN - December 6, 2012

Representatives of 40 pro-abortion organizations will meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and urge her to permit the morning-after pill to be sold to minors over the...

Jazz great, Catholic convert Dave Brubeck dead at 91; composed Mass setting CWN - December 6, 2012

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, who converted to Catholicism after being asked in 1980 to compose a musical setting for the Mass, has died at the age of 91. In addition to the Mass, Brubeck -- best...

Pope, German leader discuss economic crisis CWN - December 6, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met on December 6 with Germany’s President Joachim Gauck. The Pope’s conversation with the German leader centered on the current global economic crisis, and especially the...

Egyptian prelate: Church will not urge boycott of constitutional referendum CWN - December 6, 2012

An Egyptian Catholic leader has sharply criticized the sweeping constitutional changes proposed by President Mohamed Morsi, but said that the Church will not tell the faithful to boycott a...

New British legislation will end ban on Catholics in royal family CWN - December 6, 2012

The British government will introduce legislation early next year to end the 300-year old policy that bars Catholics and spouses of Catholics from the throne. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg...

Released Friday, Dec. 7

US bishops announce prayer campaign for religious liberty, life, and marriage; encourage fast, abstinence on all Fridays CWN - December 7, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced a campaign of prayer and fasting for the “rebuilding of a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to growth of US ordinariate CWN - December 7, 2012

L’Osservatore Romano has published a brief article paying tribute to the growth of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the ecclesial structure established by Pope Benedict on January...

Leading Orthodox prelate dead at 91; appealed for peace in Syria CWN - December 7, 2012

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, honored as the third-ranking prelate within Eastern Orthodoxy after the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria, has died at the age of 91....

Christmas tree set up in St. Peter’s Square CWN - December 7, 2012

On the early hours of St. Nicholas’ Day, workers set up a Christmas tree next to the crèche in St. Peter’s Square. The tree, which comes from the south-central Italian province of Isernia, is 80...

Pontiff’s portrait artist pens fairy tale CWN - December 7, 2012

Natalia Tsarkova, Pope Benedict’s official portrait artist, has written her first work: a fairy tale entitled Il mistero di un piccolo stagno [The Mystery of a Little Pond], a book inspired by the...

New book offers reasoned defense of marriage CWN - December 7, 2012

Robert George, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sherif Girgis have coauthored What is Marriage? Man & Woman: A Defense, a new book widely praised for its reasoned defense of marriage. George is a...

Bankruptcy court rules Milwaukee parish assets not included in settlement CWN - December 7, 2012

A federal bankruptcy-court judge in Wisconsin has ruled that creditors of the Milwaukee archdiocese cannot tap into the assets of over 200 individual parishes. Rejecting an argument by lawyers...

Pope's personal secretary raised to archbishop, prefect of pontifical household CWN - December 7, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has raised his personal secretary, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, to the rank of archbishop, and made him the prefect of the pontifical household. The 56-year-old German prelate has...

New 'popemobiles' arrive CWN - December 7, 2012

The Vatican has received 2 new "popemobiles" to replace the vehicles now in use. The cars are made by Mercedes-Benz, customized for the Pope's use. The new model "popemobiles" are lower to the...

Cardinal pleads for international action to end fighting in Syria, Congo CWN - December 7, 2012

The president of Caritas International has issued a plea for international action to end the bloodshed in Syria, saying that the situation there reminds him of the Balkan crisis in the...

Pope's head-on response to critics of Church teachings CWN - December 7, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI provided direct answers to critics of Catholic teaching, both inside and outside the Church, in a December 7 address to members of the International Theological...

Vatican delegate prods OSCE on protecting religious freedom CWN - December 7, 2012

The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official stressed the importance of religious freedom at a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Dublin this...

Will same-sex-marriage debate revive Catholic influence in France? CWN - December 7, 2012

The debate on acceptance of same-sex marriage has brought new attention to the influence of the Catholic Church in France, writes Sandro Magister of L'Espresso. "No one would have bet on it. But...

Tamil refugees still face intimidation in Sri Lanka, bishop reports CWN - December 7, 2012

A Catholic bishop from Sri Lanka has asked Australian government officials to stop deportation of Tamil refugees, saying that they could still face violence if they attempt to return to their homes...

Male sperm counts drop; the Pill to blame? CWN - December 7, 2012

Men’s sperm counts have fallen dramatically since the 1990s, a major French study has found—prompting scientists to search for an explanation of the problem, which has major implications for human...

Don’t force Catholic viewers to pay for anti-Catholic cable-TV offerings CWN - December 7, 2012

Noting the prevalence of anti-Catholic propaganda in prime-time television shows, Father Val Peter, the former director of Boys Town, asks whether cable-television subscribers should be required to...

British columnist sees media assault on Catholicism CWN - December 7, 2012

Tim Stanley of London’s Daily Telegraph sees a pervasive hostility toward the Catholic Church in the work of the mainstream...

Contrary to rumor, Alfred Hitchcock died a devout Catholic CWN - December 7, 2012

Alfred Hitchcock grew estranged from the Catholic Church, and refused to have a priest visit him in his final days, according to a leading biographer of the noted film director. Not so, reports a...

Released Monday, Dec. 10

Holy See approves ordinariate jurisdiction in Canada CWN - December 10, 2012

The Holy See has approved the establishment of a Canadian deanery of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the ecclesial structure established by Pope Benedict on January 1 for Anglican...

Papal condolences upon death of Orthodox patriarch CWN - December 10, 2012

Pope Benedict has offered his condolences following the death of Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, the third-ranking prelate within Eastern Orthodoxy. “During his long life of...

Nuncio to Ivory Coast dies in car accident CWN - December 10, 2012

Archbishop Ambrose Madtha, the Holy See’s nuncio to the Ivory Coast, was killed in a head-on collision on December 8 while returning from an ordination. His driver was also killed. Born in India...

Archbishop: Court’s decision to hear marriage cases is ‘significant moment’ for nation CWN - December 10, 2012

The United States Supreme Court has decided to hear two cases involving the constitutionality of the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “The US Supreme Court's decision to...

Swiss Guards release Christmas CD CWN - December 10, 2012

The Swiss Guards, in conjunction with harpist Daniela Lorenz, have released a CD, “Weihnachten mit der Schweizergarde” [Christmas with the Swiss Guard]. “Most of them are German Christmas songs,...

Slovenian archdiocese commemorates 550th anniversary CWN - December 10, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as his special envoy to the closing...

In the silence of the Immaculate Conception, God's victory proclaimed, Pope says on feast CWN - December 10, 2012

On December 8, Pope Benedict XVI said that “the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary expresses the certainty of faith that the promises of God are realized; that his covenant does not...

Phoenix diocese denies bishop is headed for post in Roman Curia CWN - December 10, 2012

The Phoenix, Arizona diocese has denied an Italian newspaper story that Bishop Thomas Olmsted will soon be appointed to a post in the Roman Curia. Marco Tosati of La Stampa reported that Bishop...

Irish leader moving toward legal abortion CWN - December 10, 2012

Irish columnist David Quinn predicts that Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny will introduce a proposal to legalize abortion, and only a revolt within his political party will stop the proposal...

Beloved Jasna Gora icon undamaged by attack CWN - December 10, 2012

Poland’s most beloved Marian image, the “Black Madonna” of Jasna Gora, was undamaged by an attack on December 9. A man threw cans of paint at the famous image. But the icon, which is shielded by...

Quebec court rejects Catholic school's religious-freedom plea CWN - December 10, 2012

An appeals court in Quebec has ruled that a Catholic school is legally obliged to offer a state-sponsored ethics course that conflicts with the teachings of the Church. The Quebec court’s...

China revokes title of bishop who left Patriotic Association CWN - December 10, 2012

China’s government-controlled Catholic bishops’ conference has revoked its recognition for Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin as an auxiliary of the Shanghai diocese, in the latest in a series of punishments...

America needs New Evangelization, Pope says CWN - December 10, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called for “education to and promotion of a culture of life” in the Americas, as he spoke to participants in an international conference on Ecclesia in America, the apostolic...

Pope speaks on St. John the Baptist CWN - December 10, 2012

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, December 9, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the role of St. John the Baptist. "John--as the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, both of priestly families--is not only...

Court to schedule release of Los Angeles archdiocesan abuse files CWN - December 10, 2012

A California court was scheduled to hear final arguments on December 10 in a case involving the release of priests’ personnel files by the Los Angeles archdiocese. After years of litigation, the...

Released Tuesday, Dec. 11

State’s ‘choose life’ license plate declared unconstitutional CWN - December 11, 2012

A US district court judge has declared that the North Carolina legislature’s decision to issue “choose life” license plates is unconstitutional. Motorists would have been permitted to purchase the...

Diocese begins Serra anniversary celebrations with Panetta talk CWN - December 11, 2012

The Diocese of Monterey has launched a yearlong series of initiatives commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Junipero Serra (1713-84), who founded Franciscan missions throughout...

National collection will assist Hurricane Sandy victims CWN - December 11, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced that a collection will be taken up throughout the US to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Funds from the collection will also...

Vatican Museums bring Renaissance masterpieces to South Korea CWN - December 11, 2012

The Vatican Museums are sponsoring an exhibition of 70 Renaissance paintings at the Hangaram Design Museum in the Seoul Arts Center – allowing a largely Buddhist public a glimpse at the some of the...

‘Why did Vatican II ignore Communism?’ CWN - December 11, 2012

Journalist Edward Pentin examines why the Second Vatican Council failed to issue an explicit condemnation of Communism. “Today we must ask: were those who denounced the brutal oppression of...

USCCB, CRS to host webcast ‘celebrating advocacy efforts’ CWN - December 11, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have announced a December 17 webcast entitled “Celebrating Your Advocacy Efforts to Confront Global Poverty in...

African prelates more prominent in Vatican under Pope Benedict CWN - December 11, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has frequently praised the vigor of the Church in Africa, and indicated his special interest in the growth of the Church there. L'Espresso observes that Vatican appointments have...

Coptic leader declines to join in Egypt's 'national dialogue' CWN - December 11, 2012

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has declined an invitation from Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi to join in a "national dialogue," explaining that the Church is not a political...

Vatican post office issues annual commemorative Christmas envelope CWN - December 11, 2012

The Vatican post office has announced the release of an annual Christmas envelope, postmarked on Christmas Day and featuring a reproduction of a work from the Vatican Museums. Each year the...

Right-to-work law is 'unjust,' says retired Michigan bishop CWN - December 11, 2012

A retired Catholic bishop in Michigan has denounced a right-to-work bill passed by the state’s legislature as an “unjust law,” saying that it is “designed to break unions,” and claiming that the US...

Wisconsin bishop bars retreats by 2 women religious, cites 'New Age' influence CWN - December 11, 2012

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, has banned retreats and workshops led by two women religious, saying that they “may not share an authentic view of the Catholic Church’s approach to...

Vatican reaffirms support for Chinese bishop under house arrest CWN - December 11, 2012

Responding to reports that Chinese authorities have withdrawn their recognition for Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the Vatican has reaffirmed the exclusive right of the Holy See to appoint Catholic...

Los Angeles archdiocese ordered to release accused priests' files CWN - December 11, 2012

A California court has ordered the Los Angeles archdiocese to produce personnel files for priests accused of sexual abuse by December 27. Judge Emilie Elias said that she would review the...

Miami archdiocese sets prayer vigil to protest convict's execution CWN - December 11, 2012

The Archdiocese of Miami has organized a prayer vigil for December 11, as prison officials in Florida prepare to execute a convicted killer, Manuel Pardo, Jr. “Recourse to the death penalty is...

Most US Catholic colleges no longer require theology courses CWN - December 11, 2012

Most of Catholic colleges in the US no longer require students to study theology, the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has found. A survey conducted by Kimberly Shankman of Benedictine College for...

Philippines: Cardinal Tagle leads prayer vigil for defeat of family-planning legislation CWN - December 11, 2012

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has asked the faithful of the Philippines to join in a December 11 vigil of prayer for the defeat of sweeping family-planning legislation. The cardinal...

English bishops rap government's bid to legalize same-sex marriage CWN - December 11, 2012

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has issued a clear statement of opposition to the government’s plan to recognize same-sex marriage. “We strongly oppose such a Bill,” the...

Released Wednesday, Dec. 12

Christian population of England, Wales falls to 59% CWN - December 12, 2012

The percentage of residents of England and Wales who identify themselves as Christians fell from 72% in 2001 to 59% in 2011, according to census statistics released on December 11. The same...

Anglican bishops lament synod’s failure to approve women bishops CWN - December 12, 2012

The bishops of the Church of England have issued a statement lamenting the failure of the Church’s general synod to approve women bishops. The proposal won the required two-thirds approval from...

North Carolina bishops rue judge’s decision on ‘choose life’ license plates CWN - December 12, 2012

The bishops of North Carolina have issued a statement lamenting a federal judge’s decision on “choose life” license plates. “The State’s offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of...

Archbishop Lori: US bishops must work with Latin American bishops to re-evangelize Americas CWN - December 12, 2012

In Rome for a conference commemorating the 15th anniversary Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said that prelates must work...

Leading archeologist discusses evidence for biblical flood CWN - December 12, 2012

Robert Ballard, a leading underwater archeologist who discovered the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, says he has found evidence in the Black Sea for the flood described by the Book of Genesis. ABC...

‘How December 25 Became Christmas’ CWN - December 12, 2012

Writing for the website of the Biblical Archaeology Society, Andrew McGowan, president of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, discounts the theory that Christmas is celebrated on...

Pope makes Twitter debut CWN - December 12, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI made his much-anticipated Twitter debut on December 12, with a first entry welcoming the hundreds of thousands of internet users who were already following his Twitter account...

God's presence gives meaning to human history, Pope tells audience CWN - December 12, 2012

“What illuminates and gives full meaning to the history of the world and man begins to shine in the cave of Bethlehem,” Pope Benedict XVI told his public audience on December 12. The Pontiff...

Cardinal George: no signs of remaining cancer after chemotherapy CWN - December 12, 2012

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has revealed that doctors have found no signs of cancer in his body after a round of chemotherapy. Cardinal George, who is attempting a 2nd comeback from...

Mark Shea pans new book, The Testament of Mary CWN - December 12, 2012

In Catholic World Report, Mark Shea reports that an execrable new book from Ireland, The Testament of Mary, by Colm Tóibín, is the “latest piece of Catholic-hating detritus to wash up on our shores...

Vatican astronomer rejects Mayan prophecy of world's end CWN - December 12, 2012

An ancient Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21 is “not even worth discussing,” according to the head of the Vatican Observatory. Father José Funes wrote in L’Osservatore...

Vatican official reaffirms support for Chinese bishop CWN - December 12, 2012

China’s reported decision to revoke the title of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin is an “abuse of power,” the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization told the AsiaNews service. Archbishop Savio...

Over Church objections, family-planning bill advances in Filipino legislature CWN - December 12, 2012

The lower house of the Filipino legislature has approved a sweeping new family-planning bill, over the energetic opposition of the Catholic bishops’ conference. The Reproductive Health bill,...

Italian Catholic weekly decries Berlusconi comeback attempt CWN - December 12, 2012

The Italian Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana has decried the comeback plans of Silvio Berlusconi, describing the the country’s former prime minister as a “dinosaur” who would “throw the country...

Released Thursday, Dec. 13

Papal legate urges Asia’s bishops to emphasize evangelization CWN - December 13, 2012

Noting that the past four decades have been “grace-filled years of evangelization in Asia,” the papal legate to the meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) called upon the...

FBI: 67 hate crimes against Catholics in 2011 CWN - December 13, 2012

67 hate crimes were committed against Catholics in the US in 2011, according to a report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The report, which lists crimes motivated by the victim’s...

Egypt: bishops’ spokesman warns of possibility of Islamist ‘fascist dictatorship’ CWN - December 13, 2012

The spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Bishops' Conference is calling upon the European Union to press the nation’s current government to respect human rights. “The European Union must make it...

Canadian cardinal rues Latin American immigrants’ loss of faith CWN - December 13, 2012

In Rome for a conference commemorating the 15th anniversary Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto rued the loss of faith among the...

Bollywood-style movie about Jesus to be shown on Indian TV CWN - December 13, 2012

Christaayan, the first Hindi-language film about Jesus, will appear on Indian television. 80% of the actors, including the actor who portrays Jesus, are non-Christian, though the film is directed by...

USCCB, CRS officials urge: call Congress on behalf of foreign aid for the poor CWN - December 13, 2012

Warning that “the window of opportunity to protect poverty-focused international assistance from steep cuts during fiscal cliff negotiations is closing,” officials of the United States Conference of...

Education must respond to changes in ways of learning, Pope tells new ambassadors CWN - December 13, 2012

During a December 13 meeting with 6 new ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI spoke on the importance of education, saying that recent changes in the way young people learn have caused...

Syrian Christians in valley besieged by Islamic militia CWN - December 13, 2012

About 150,000 Christians are living in fear in western Syria, in a valley that has been subjected to steady artillery fire by Islamic rebels, the Fides news service reports. The rebels have been...

Australian bishops appoint lay commission to coordinate response to sex-abuse scandal CWN - December 13, 2012

The Catholic hierarchy in Australia has set up a Truth, Justice, and Healing Commission to coordinate its response to a government commission investigating sexual abuse of children. The...

French government plans crackdown on radical Muslims, militant Catholics CWN - December 13, 2012

The French government has announced a plan to combat religious groups that are judged “potentially violent,” including both militant Muslims and traditionalist Catholics. Interior Minister Manuel...

Baptist scholar raps Newsweek for essay questioning Christmas narrative CWN - December 13, 2012

R. Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has criticized Newsweek magazine for publishing an essay that questions the Christian belief in the...

British weekly notices growing popularity of traditional Catholicism CWN - December 13, 2012

The Economist notices the rising popularity of the Latin Mass among the faithful in England, and remarks that the congregations seem disproportionately young. A magazine rarely sympathetic toward...

Released Friday, Dec. 14

Taizé youth to make pilgrimage to Rome, pray with Pope CWN - December 14, 2012

Over 30,000 youth associated with Taizé, the French ecumenical monastic community, will make a pilgrimage to Rome from December 28 to January 2 and take part in a prayer vigil with Pope...

Cardinal pays tribute to missionaries who brought faith to Uganda CWN - December 14, 2012

The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has traveled to northwestern Uganda to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of missionary work in what is now the Diocese of...

Cuba: 90% of major city’s churches damaged by Hurricane Sandy CWN - December 14, 2012

Seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged Cuba, hundreds of thousands of residents remain homeless, according to Bishop Luis del Castillo Estrada, a Uruguayan Jesuit bishop who has served as a...

Cardinal Dolan praises judge’s HHS mandate ruling, chides New York Times CWN - December 14, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has welcome a US district court judge’s ruling that the Archdiocese of New York’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate may proceed. “Of course, there is still a long...

UN committee reprimands Russia for law against promoting homosexuality CWN - December 14, 2012

The UN Human Rights Committee has reprimanded Russia because one of its provinces has enforced a regional law against promoting homosexuality among minors. Later this month, Russia’s national...

Catholic development agencies angry at inaction during UN climate talks CWN - December 14, 2012

An alliance of 16 Catholic development agencies has issued a statement blasting the international community for inaction during recent climate-change talks in Doha, Qatar. The alliance, CIDSE...

Light from Bethlehem cannot be dimmed, Pope says as Vatican lights Christmas tree CWN - December 14, 2012

The light that came into the world with the birth of Christ “shows no sign of dimming through the passing of the centuries and the millennia,” Pope Benedict XVI said as the Vatican prepared for the...

Only an 'eccentric' society lacks respect for elderly: Archbishop of Canterbury CWN - December 14, 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury denounced the “eccentric idea” that elderly people cannot contribute to society, in his final address to the House of Lords. Dr. Rowan Wiliams, who is stepping down...

Cardinal Zen decries Chinese action against Bishop Ma CWN - December 14, 2012

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong and leading critic of Chinese restrictions on religious freedom, has denounced the Beijing regime for revoking its recognition of Bishop Thaddeus...

Egypt’s Christian leaders encourage voters to join in constitutional referendum CWN - December 14, 2012

Egypt’s Christian leaders have encouraged their followers to participate in a constitutional referendum, without giving them instructions on how to vote. “Every citizen has the freedom to vote,”...

Gov. Jindal endorses over-the-counter contraceptive sales CWN - December 14, 2012

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a conservative Catholic who is often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate, has endorsed over-the-counter sales of contraceptive pills. In a...

Pope Paul VI moving closer to beatification? CWN - December 14, 2012

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has voted to declare the “heroic virtue” of Pope Paul VI, according to an Italian report. Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa--who has compiled an admirable...

Papal preacher: continuity is key to understanding Vatican II CWN - December 14, 2012

In the 2nd in his series of Advent Sermons, the preacher of the pontifical household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, spoke about the proper interpretation of the teachings of Vatican II. Reflecting...

Respect for human nature is key to peace, Pope writes in annual message CWN - December 14, 2012

"Peace is not a dream or something utopian; it is possible,” Pope Benedict XVI insists in his message for the 46th World Day of Peace. The World Day of Peace is celebrated on January 1. The...

Released Monday, Dec. 17

Pope Benedict, Cardinal Dolan: grief, prayer after school shooting CWN - December 17, 2012

Expressing “heartfelt grief” following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, Pope Benedict offered prayers and condolences in a December 15 telegram sent to the administrator of...

Mourners flock to Connecticut parish for public, private prayer; evacuation follows threat CWN - December 17, 2012

Catholics and non-Catholics alike flocked to St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, Connecticut, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Upon hearing news of the shooting, Msgr. Robert...

Vatican spokesman rues media ‘intimidation’ on same-sex marriage, coverage of Pope’s message CWN - December 17, 2012

Lamenting Italian media coverage of Pope Benedict’s treatment of marriage in his message for the World Day of Peace, the director of the Holy See Press Office called upon “everyone to read the...

Vatican cardinal challenges seminarians to be chaste men of prayer, evangelizers CWN - December 17, 2012

The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in northern Uganda to mark the centenary of the region’s evangelization, called upon seminarians to be chaste men of prayer who...

Pope’s Christmas card features Bassano painting CWN - December 17, 2012

Continuing a tradition begun by Pope Paul VI in 1963, Pope Benedict is sending Christmas cards to the members of the Roman Curia. The card’s greeting -- Veritas de terra orta est! -- is taken...

Cardinals on 'Vatileaks' commission meet with Pope to discuss impact CWN - December 17, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met on December 17 with the 3 cardinals who composed a commission investigating the “Vatileaks” scandal. Although the Vatican issued no statement about the meeting, Italian...

Vatican accord with Taiwan on Catholic education CWN - December 17, 2012

The Vatican has concluded an agreement with Taiwan regarding the governance of Catholic universities and the recognition of titles and degrees from Catholic univerities. A Vatican announcement of...

Palestinian leader thanks Pope for diplomatic efforts CWN - December 17, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met on December 17 with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who expressed gratitude for the Vatican’s public stand in favor of a Palestinian representation at the...

Bombings in Kirkuk rattle Iraqi Christians CWN - December 17, 2012

A terrorist bombing in Kirkuk, Iraq, shook the Chaldean Catholic cathedral in which the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches was celebrating Mass on December 16. Nine people...

Young pro-life speaker makes waves in Canada CWN - December 17, 2012

David Warren writes for The Catholic Thing about a young Canadian girl with a remarkable gift for pro-life...

Cardinal joins calls for new gun-control laws CWN - December 17, 2012

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has called for tighter restrictions on firearms ownership in the wake of the Newtown school massacre. The cardinal referred to the killing of 20 schoolchildren as...

Anglican cleric declines appointment as bishop over female-bishops dispute CWN - December 17, 2012

An Anglican cleric has declined appointment as a bishop because of opposition to his stance against the ordination of women as bishops. Father Philip North, who had been named to become Bishop of...

Prepare for Christ’s coming by honesty, care for others: Pope CWN - December 17, 2012

“Justice and charity are not opposed,” Pope Benedict XVI told his public audience on Sunday, December 16. “Both are necessary and complement each other.” The Pope offered a short meditation on...

Pope visits Roman parish, preaches on Advent joy CWN - December 17, 2012

During a pastoral visit to a parish in Rome on December 16, Pope Benedict XVI said that the Advent season should be a time of joyous anticipation, since “awaiting the arrival of a loved one always...

Pope to athletes: be honest, humble, and drug-free models CWN - December 17, 2012

At a December 17 audience with Italian athletes who had participated in the 2012 Olympic Games, Pope Benedict XVI made the provocative observation that humility is “the secret of victory.” The...

Vocational calls come from unexpected directions, Pope says in annual message CWN - December 17, 2012

“The love of God sometimes follows paths one could never have imagined,” Pope Benedict XVI writes in his message for the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations; “but it always reaches those who are...

Vatican Radio cites seasonal alarm at thinning of reindeer population CWN - December 17, 2012

As Christmas approaches, and young people hear stories of Santa Claus and his reindeer, Vatican Radio reports that the world’s reindeer population is dropping at an alarming rate. In Canada...

Pope's book reviewed by Esolen, McCloskey CWN - December 17, 2012

Two prominent Catholic writers offer insightful reviews of Pope Benedict's new book on the infancy narratives: Anthony Esolen for the Wall Street Journal and Father C. John McCloskey for the...

58 members of Parliament oppose government's bid to recognize same-sex marriage CWN - December 17, 2012

A group of 58 members of the British Parliament, representing both major political parties, have joined in an open letter opposing a government plan to offer legal recognition to same-sex...

Released Tuesday, Dec. 18

World population: 32% Christian, 23% Muslim CWN - December 18, 2012

The world population is 32% Christian, 23% Muslim, 15% Hindu, 7% Buddhist, and 0.2% Jewish, according to a new demographic study from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public...

Egypt: some Christians not permitted to cast ballots CWN - December 18, 2012

Christian voters were not permitted to cast ballots in some polling places during the December 15 constitutional referendum, the Associated Press and BBC reported. Egypt’s ruling Muslim...

California bishop to apologize to Native American tribe CWN - December 18, 2012

Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey will travel to the historic Old Mission San Juan Bautista on December 22 to offer a Mass of reconciliation and apologize to members of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band...

USCCB: ‘action alert’ on fiscal cliff CWN - December 18, 2012

The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent out an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact members of Congress about the...

‘The decline of evangelical America’ CWN - December 18, 2012

Writing in The New York Times, a 30-year-old evangelical pastor reflects upon the decline of evangelical Protestantism in the United States. “While America’s population grows by roughly two...

Vatican newspaper: elementary school shooting and the culture of death CWN - December 18, 2012

Blessed John Paul II’s words on the “culture of death” were no exaggeration, Father Robert Imbelli writes in a L’Osservatore Romano column devoted to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in...

Vatican working to increase financial transparency, reduce spending CWN - December 18, 2012

The Vatican has made “an increasing commitment to transparency and accuracy” in all financial dealings, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in a December 18 address on the work of the Prefecture for...

Vatican official visits Iraqi mosque; Kurdish leader proclaims Christmas holiday CWN - December 18, 2012

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, visited a mosque in Kirkuk on December 16, in a gesturing promoting inter-religious accord in the Iraqi city....

Turkish bishops' spokesman denies saying Turkey is innocent of Armenian genocide CWN - December 18, 2012

The spokesman for the Catholic bishops’ conference of Turkey has emphatically denied that he suggested Vatican archives would show that Turkey was innocent of genocide against the Armenian...

Vandal arrested after sledgehammer attacks on Louisiana churches CWN - December 18, 2012

A Louisiana man was arrested on December 16 after he reportedly destroyed statues in two neighboring Catholic parishes, smashing them with a sledgehammer. The man, who is also accused of damaging...

Released Wednesday, Dec. 19

Prelates lament Irish government’s decision to draft legislation allowing some abortions CWN - December 19, 2012

The Irish government has announced that it will draft legislation allowing abortion when the mother’s life is deemed at risk, including when a mother threatens suicide. “The government is...

Notre Dame announces pastoral plan for gay, transgendered students, including student organization CWN - December 19, 2012

The University of Notre Dame has announced a pastoral plan “for the support, holistic development and formation of students who identify as GLBTQ [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered,...

Archbishop Chaput discusses school shooting, presidential election, HHS mandate CWN - December 19, 2012

In a radio interview that took place on the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia advised priests, as well as friends of the victims’ families,...

In wake of Connecticut shooting, Canadian bishops’ conference president rues violent culture CWN - December 19, 2012

In a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops offered “heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies” in the wake of the Sandy Hook...

USCCB, CRS video: ‘cuts cost lives’ CWN - December 19, 2012

In a four-minute YouTube video, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services argue that budget cuts to federal programs that offer assistance to the poor throughout...

Patriarch of Iraq's ancient Chaldean Church resigns; Pope calls Synod to choose successor CWN - December 19, 2012

Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, has resigned at the age of 85. Pope Benedict XVI has called a Synod of the Chaldean bishops to choose his successor, and...

Green Bay, Norwich dioceses battle city officials over service to poor CWN - December 19, 2012

City official in Green Bay, Wisconsin, have moved to shut down a homeless shelter operated by the Catholic Church, saying that the St. John the Evangelist Shelter has regularly exceeded its legal...

CDF prefect prods English Catholics to embrace Anglican ordinariate CWN - December 19, 2012

In an interview with England’s Catholic Herald, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that the Catholics of Britain should “wholeheartedly” welcome former Anglicans...

Louisiana bishops take issue with Gov. Jindal on contraceptive sales CWN - December 19, 2012

The Archdiocese of New Orleans has issued a public rebuke to Governor Bobby Jindal, who has announced his support for over-the-counter contraceptive sales. “The Archdiocese of New Orleans...

Robert Bork, focus of bitter Supreme Court nomination battle, dead at 85 CWN - December 19, 2012

Robert Bork, the noted jurist, author, and Catholic convert, died on December 19 at the age of 85. Bork’s nomination in 1987 for a seat on the US Supreme Court provoked a series of vicious...

Weigel reviews the state of debate on the HHS mandate CWN - December 19, 2012

In National Review, George Weigel reviews what is at stake in the political battle over the contraceptive mandate, where the argument stands today both in Congress and in the courts, and the choices...

Filipino bishops vow to continue fight after Reproductive Health bill passes CWN - December 19, 2012

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have promised that they will not give up their fight to prevent enactment of a sweeping Reproductive Health bill that has now won approval in both houses of...

Indian priest faces human-trafficking charge CWN - December 19, 2012

The Catholic bishops of India’s Kerela state have suspended a priest who faces criminal charges for human trafficking. Father Jaison Kollannur, who served on the Kerela bishops’ youth commission,...

Good News begins with the Annunciation, Pope tells audience CWN - December 19, 2012

At his weekly public audience on December 19, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the Annunciation, saying that the angel’s greeting to the Virgin Mary “marks the beginning of the Gospel, the Good...

Released Thursday, Dec. 20

Appeals court directs Obama administration to rewrite HHS mandate CWN - December 20, 2012

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Obama administration must rewrite its controversial HHS mandate, which in its current form will compel many religious...

USCCB committee fears ‘unjustified and unwise’ military action against Iran CWN - December 20, 2012

In a letter to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called for “immediate...

EU body approves taxes on commercial Church-affiliated institutions in Italy CWN - December 20, 2012

The European Commission, which functions as the executive cabinet of the European Union, has approved Italy’s decision to tax Church-affiliated institutions that engage in profit-making...

England: new guidelines for Christian-Muslim marriages CWN - December 20, 2012

The Christian-Muslim Forum, an organization co-chaired by Auxiliary Bishop Paul Hendricks of Southwark, has published guidelines on Christian-Muslim marriages. According to the Christian-Muslim...

California archdiocese emphasizes: January 1 is holy day of obligation CWN - December 20, 2012

The Archdiocese of San Francisco, which regularly had dispensed Catholics from the obligation of attending Mass on January 1 when it occurred on any day besides Sunday, has announced that the day is...

Pope's op-ed on Christmas published in Financial Times CWN - December 20, 2012

“The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life,” writes Pope Benedict XVI in an op-ed column that appears in the December 20 issue of London’s...

Now 'Venerable,' Paul VI moves closer to beatification CWN - December 20, 2012

Pope Paul VI has moved closer to beatification, as Pope Benedict XVI approved a decree proclaiming the “heroic virtue” of the Pontiff who closed Vatican II and wrote the landmark encyclical Humanae...

Bethlehem's population swells as pilgrims arrive for Christmas celebration CWN - December 20, 2012

Thousands of Christian pilgrims are gathering in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, as the city enjoys a respite from years of political struggle. Reservations for Christmas pilgrimages to the...

Massachusetts priest who fled child-porn charges returns to face court CWN - December 20, 2012

A Filipino-born priest of the Worcester, Massachusetts diocese, who fled to his native land after he was indicted on child-pornography charges, has returned to face prosecution. Father Lowe...

Cardinal Dolan pays homage to slain Newtown teacher CWN - December 20, 2012

At the funeral for a schoolteacher who was killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said that her “life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a...

Irish leader says allowing some abortion promotes 'culture of life' CWN - December 20, 2012

Boldly borrowing the language of Catholic Pontiffs, Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny has said that legislation introduced by his government to allow abortion in some cases will...

Danish study: 1 of 6 babies shows signs of life after late-term abortion CWN - December 20, 2012

A Danish survey has found that as many as one-sixth of babies show some signs of life after late-term abortions. At Aaarhus University Hospital, of the 70 babies destroyed by late-term abortions...

Vatican nears approval for 'dot-Catholic' domain name in Chinese CWN - December 20, 2012

The Vatican is close to securing a top-level domain name, “.catholic,” written in Chinese characters, which could be used to identify internet sites qualifying for the Holy See’s approval. ICANN,...

Boston archdiocese declines to rent space for independent Catholic school CWN - December 20, 2012

The Archdiocese of Boston has declined a bid by backers of an independent Catholic school to rent space in an empty parish school building. The archdiocese turned down an application by the...

US court rules bankrupt diocese can continue paying accused priests CWN - December 20, 2012

A federal judge in Delaware has ruled that the Wilmington diocese can continue payments to priests who have been removed from ministry because of sex-abuse allegations, despite a bankruptcy-court...

All joy comes through Jesus, Pope tells young Italians CWN - December 20, 2012

At a December 20 audience with young members of Italy’s Catholic Action, Pope Benedict XVI said that God is a source of joy, a guide in love, and a maker of peace. "There are many people who...

American Protestant pastor imprisoned in Iran CWN - December 20, 2012

The Iranian government has jailed a Protestant minister who is a US citizen. Rev. Saeed Abedini, who was born in Iran but now lives in the US with his wife and 2 children, was arrested while he...

Released Friday, Dec. 21

Egypt: mob of 50,000 Muslims intimidated Christians before referendum CWN - December 21, 2012

An estimated 50,000 Muslims took to the streets of Asyut, a central Egyptian city of 400,000, to intimidate Christians on the eve of Egypt’s constitutional referendum, according to the Associated...

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem issues Christmas message CWN - December 21, 2012

In his Christmas message, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem reviewed the year’s developments in interreligious and ecumenical relations as well as local political developments. “Interreligious...

Record ‘retweets’ for Pontiff; comparison with Bieber statistics provokes criticism CWN - December 21, 2012

The Vatican newspaper has reported that Pope Benedict is “exceeding pop stars like Justin Bieber in the percentage and number of retweets of his messages.” “More than 1.2 million followers of the...

US bishops: preserve child tax credit, charitable deduction, unemployment compensation CWN - December 21, 2012

Reflecting on “the moral and human dimensions of how to reduce unsustainable federal deficits,” the bishops who chair two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged members...

USCCB, Orthodox diocese laud changes to children’s online privacy regulations CWN - December 21, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America have issued a joint statement supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s changes to the...

Pope critiques 'gender ideology' in year-end address to Roman Curia CWN - December 21, 2012

“The Church represents the memory of what it means to be human in the face of a civilization of forgetfulness,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his address to the Roman Curia on December 21. In his...

Columnist argues US drone warfare is immoral CWN - December 21, 2012

Writing in England’s Catholic Herald, American Catholic columnist Mark Shea argues that the drone strikes carried out by the US military cannot be justified. Not only do the drones claim too many...

The world looks to Christ as source of joy: papal preacher CWN - December 21, 2012

In his 3rd and final Advent Sermon for 2012, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the pontifical household, said that the birth and infancy of Jesus are marked by “a rush of calm and...

US bishops back gun control, health-care access in response to Newtown shootings CWN - December 21, 2012

In a public statement responding to the Newtown massacre, the chairmen of three committees of the US bishops’ conference have joined in a call for tighter restrictions on legal gun ownership,...

FBI recorded 68 anti-Catholic ‘hate crimes’ in 2011 CWN - December 21, 2012

The FBI crime report for 2011 listed 68 anti-Catholic “hate crimes” in the US. The FBI statistics included over 6,000 incidents that were classified as hate crimes. Nearly half (47%) were...

Death threats against Irish archbishop in abortion-law debate CWN - December 21, 2012

Irish police are investigating death threats against Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The archbishop reported that after he voiced opposition to the legalization of abortion he received a...

Business journal editorial: Save Little Sisters of the Poor from HHS mandate CWN - December 21, 2012

An editorial in the Investors’ Business Daily calls attention to the Little Sisters of the Poor, whose work will become impossible in the US if the HHS mandate goes into full effect without a broad...

Gun control not the only approach to preventing mass murder, columnist argues CWN - December 21, 2012

In the wake of the Newtown massacre, many politicians are calling for more restrictions on gun ownership. Charles Krauthammer writes that he has no objection--except that gun-control laws won’t...

Released Saturday, Dec. 22

Pope issues pardon to former valet convicted on 'Vatileaks' charges CWN - December 22, 2012

(This news story was originally posted December 22, and is re-posted today for the benefit of readers accustomed to the CWN weekday news service.) Pope Benedict XVI has pardoned Paolo Gabriele,...

Released Monday, Dec. 24

Syria: Christians fear for the future CWN - December 24, 2012

As Syrian rebels’ “ranks are becoming dominated by Islamists,” the Christians who have not fled the country are increasingly fearful for the future, the Associated Press reports. One woman who...

Former spokesman for Canadian bishops arrested on child-porn charges CWN - December 24, 2012

Deacon William Kokesch, a former director of communication services of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been arrested on charges of making child pornography. Kokesch and another...

‘Comatose since Christmas 1969: a tale of unconditional love and miracles’ CWN - December 24, 2012

Edwarda O’Bara, who lived in a comatose state for nearly 43 years, died recently at her home in Florida at the age of 59. O’Bara, who fell into a diabetic coma at the age of 16, was surrounded by...

Newtown and the Holy Innocents: the darkness at Christmas time CWN - December 24, 2012

Columnist Mark Steyn compares the Newtown school massacre with the slaughter of the Innocents in Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth. Evil is always present, he observes, whether or not we...

Christmas trees welcome pilgrims to Jerusalem, irking some Orthodox Jews CWN - December 24, 2012

City officials in Jerusalem have ordered display of a Christmas tree at Jaffa Gate, the most conspicuous entrance to the historic Old City, as a gesture to welcome Christian pilgrims arriving for...

European Parliament: secular holiday cards ignore Christmas CWN - December 24, 2012

Christians have complained that the official greeting cards issued by the European Parliament include no religious messages or symptoms and no direct references to Christmas. One representative of...

Old Testament meets New at Visitation, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - December 24, 2012

The Visitation—the Virgin Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth—represents “the encounter of the Old Testament with the New Testament,” Pope Benedict XVI told his Sunday Angelus audience on December...

Hong Kong prelate wants vote for all, support for family life CWN - December 24, 2012

In a Christmas message, Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong has repeated his plea to let all of the people of Hong Kong participate in votes to elect the political leaders of the territory. Cardinal...

Boston priest named Vatican's top sex-abuse prosecutor; victims' groups complain CWN - December 24, 2012

A Boston priest has been named the Vatican’s top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases. Father Robert Oliver, who has been an assistant for canonical affairs in the Boston archdiocese, will become the...

Pope Benedict's homily at Midnight Mass (full text) CWN - December 24, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Again and again the beauty of this Gospel touches our hearts: a beauty that is the splendour of truth. Again and again it astonishes us that God makes himself a child...

Released Tuesday, Dec. 25

Pope Benedict's Christmas Day Message Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) -- full text CWN - December 25, 2012

“Veritas de terra orta est!” – “Truth has sprung out of the earth” (Ps 85:12). Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, a happy Christmas to you and your families! In this...

Released Wednesday, Dec. 26

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem’s homily at Midnight Mass (full text) CWN - December 26, 2012

“I greet you all from the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a few steps away from the grotto where the Blessed Virgin brought forth her admirable Son into the world,” Patriarch Fouad Twal...

Irish cardinal urges Catholics to speak out on behalf of right to life CWN - December 26, 2012

Days after the Irish government announced it would draft legislation allowing some abortions, Cardinal Seán Brady said in his Christmas message that “there is no more important value than upholding...

Christmas message from Newtown, Connecticut priest CWN - December 26, 2012

Less than two weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 20 children and six staff members dead, the pastor of the parish where eight of the children were members reflected on the...

Pope prays for peace in Syria, Holy Land; religious freedom in China CWN - December 26, 2012

In his Urbi et Orbi message, Pope Benedict XVI made special appeals for peace in Syria, the Holy Land, and Africa, and for religious freedom in China. The Pope delivered his traditional message...

Netanyahu claims Israel's Christian population is growing CWN - December 26, 2012

Israel’s Christian communities are “strong, growing, and wholly integrated into the life of the country,” claimed the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Christmas message....

Vatican Museums to install new vacuum systems to clean dust from visitors CWN - December 26, 2012

The Vatican Museums will install new high-tech systems to remove dust from visitors’ clothing, the director has announced. Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museums, said that special...

Released Thursday, Dec. 27

Supreme Court justice refuses to block HHS morning-after pill mandate CWN - December 27, 2012

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has refused to block enforcement of that part of the HHS mandate which requires employers to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill. In...

Nigeria: 2 churches attacked during Christmas services; 12 dead CWN - December 27, 2012

Two Protestant churches in Nigeria suffered terrorist attacks during Christmas services. Gunmen attacked a Baptist church in the northeastern city of Maiduguri on Christmas Eve. Then, during a...

Climate change threatens Central American farmers, warns Catholic Relief Services CWN - December 27, 2012

In a recent study, “Tortillas on the Roaster,” Catholic Relief Services warned that climate change threatens farmers in Mexico and Central America. “The report highlights that there is no quick...

New nuncio in Dublin explains his optimism about the faith in Ireland CWN - December 27, 2012

Archbishop Charles Brown, the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland, discusses the first year of his new assignment in an interview with the Irish Catholic. The archbishop—who was appointed by Pope...

Released Friday, Dec. 28

Report documents recent persecution of Pakistan’s religious minorities CWN - December 28, 2012

Five Christian churches, three Hindu temples, and one mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community were attacked in Pakistan in 2012, according to a report prepared by the Pakistani Bishops Conference’s...

Campaign against Sunday shopping in Italy CWN - December 28, 2012

“The powerful Catholic Church”--and more specifically, “the powerful Italian Bishops Conference”--is supporting a signature-gathering campaign in support of reimposing limits Sunday shopping, The...

Temple built in 750 B.C. found in Israel CWN - December 28, 2012

Archeologists have discovered the ruins of a temple built in 750 B.C. at Tel Motza, a site west of Jerusalem. “The finds recently discovered at Tel Motza provide rare archaeological evidence for...

Vatican newspaper backs Monti's bid to form new Italian government CWN - December 28, 2012

The Vatican newspaper has given what appears to be a clear signal of support for Mario Monti in his effort to form a new coalition government for Italy. L’Osservatore Romano said that Monti’s...

Vatican releases Pope's prayer intentions for January CWN - December 28, 2012

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for January 2013. The Pope’s general intention is: “That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the...

Released Monday, Dec. 31

12 priests, other pastoral workers killed in 2012 CWN - December 31, 2012

Ten priests, one sister, and one lay pastoral worker were murdered in 2012, according to the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Six were killed in Latin America, four...

Background: Papal message for January 1, the World Day of Peace CWN - December 31, 2012

On January 1, the Church will commemorate the 46th World Day of Peace. Pope Benedict’s message for the day is entitled “Blessed Are the Peacemakers.” In his message for the 1st World Day of...

USCCB, CRS welcome defeat of Paul foreign-aid amendment CWN - December 31, 2012

The Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have welcomed the defeat of legislation offered...

Hobby Lobby will defy mandate, risk fines; federal court blocks enforcement in separate case CWN - December 31, 2012

The Hobby Lobby stores will defy a federal mandate requiring coverage of the morning-after pill in employees’ health-insurance policies, risking fines of over $1 million a day beginning on January...

Protesters occupy nuncio's office in Paris CWN - December 31, 2012

Protesters occupied the offices of the apostolic nuncio in Paris on December 31, to protest the decision by Church officials to evict squatters from a church in Lille. Undocumented immigrants,...

James Hitchcock introduces new history of Catholic Church CWN - December 31, 2012

Catholic World Report has posted the full introduction to the landmark new book by James Hitchcock: History of the Catholic Church: From the Apostolic Age to the Third...

Pope to parents: see children as a gift to be guarded CWN - December 31, 2012

At his midday audience on Sunday, December 30—the feast of the Holy Family—Pope Benedict XVI reminded parents that they are “neither the friends nor masters of their children’s lives, but the...

Vatican newspaper's political endorsement roils Italian campaign CWN - December 31, 2012

Political opponents of Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti have derided L’Osservatore Romano for an editorial endorsement of Monti’s re-election effort. Critics pointed out that the Vatican...

A glimpse at the Pope's personal charities CWN - December 31, 2012

The Vatican prelate who handles the Pope’s personal charities has offered a glimpse of his work in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano. Archbishop Guido Pozzo, the Almoner of His Holiness,...

Russian Orthodox Church backs ban on US adoptions CWN - December 31, 2012

The Russian Orthodox Church has thrown its support behind a government proposal to bar adoption of Russian children by US couples. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the chief foreign-affairs...

Michigan law, requiring licensing, could close abortion clinics CWN - December 31, 2012

A new state law in Michigan, which requires abortion clinics to obtain licenses as certified surgical facilities, could force the closing of some clinics. The law, which takes effect March 31,...

With solemn Vespers, Te Deum, Pope closes calendar year CWN - December 31, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI presided at the final liturgical ceremony of 2012, the Solemn Vespers for the Feast of Mary the Mother of God, at St. Peter’s basilica on December 31. The Vespers...

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