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Catholic World News

Stories for February 2013

Released Monday, Feb. 4

Cardinal Mahony: ‘nothing in my own background’ prepared me to deal with abuse of minors CWN - February 4, 2013

A day after Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles announced that he had relieved his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all administrative and public duties, Cardinal Mahony described how he...

French legislature votes in favor of same-sex marriage CWN - February 4, 2013

In a 249-97 initial vote, France’s National Assembly has voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by homosexual couples. The vote follows a massive January 13 protest against the...

USCCB, 4 Protestant communities agree to recognize one another’s baptisms CWN - February 4, 2013

Representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Presbyterian Church-USA, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, the Reformed Church in America, and the United...

Putin: Church should have greater role in Russian life CWN - February 4, 2013

President Vladimir Putin has called for a greater role for Russian Orthodoxy “and other traditional religions” in Russian life. “While preserving the secular nature of our state, and not allowing...

Obama: Boy Scouts should permit homosexual scoutmasters CWN - February 4, 2013

In a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Barack Obama urged the Boy Scouts of America to permit homosexuals to serve as scoutmasters. “My attitude is ... that gays and lesbians should have access...

Most people still see marriage, family as ideals for life, Vatican official notes CWN - February 4, 2013

Although the family “seems to take a beating from the counter-culture,” the vast majority of people still recognize marriage and family as the ideal way of life, observed the president of the...

Jesus served the truth, not popularity, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - February 4, 2013

In his public ministry Jesus aimed “to testify to the truth,” rather than to win popular acclaim, Pope Benedict XVI said at his Angelus audience on Sunday, February 3. The Pope reflected on the...

German cardinal approves 'morning-after pill' for rape victims in Catholic hospitals CWN - February 4, 2013

A German cardinal has authorized the administration of the “morning-after pill” to rape victims in Catholic hospitals, in the wake of reports that two hospitals refused services to women who had...

'Nourish the flame' of consecrated life, Pope exhorts religious CWN - February 4, 2013

“Do not fall in with the prophets of doom who proclaim the end or the non-sense of consecrated life in the Church in our days,” Pope Benedict XVI urged religious men and women in his homily at a...

Romanian court orders demolition of skyscraper overshadowing cathedral CWN - February 4, 2013

A Romanian court has ordered the demolition of a 19-story building that loomed over the Catholic cathedral in Bucharest. Archbishop Ioan Robu had led protests against the construction of the...

US bishops' conference urges support for new federal gun-control policies CWN - February 4, 2013

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has sent out an “Action Alert” urging Catholics to contact their representatives in Congress and urge passage of gun-control legislation. The alert,...

2 Colombian priests killed in separate incidents CWN - February 4, 2013

For the 2nd time in barely over 2 weeks, a Catholic priest in Colombia has been killed by gunfire. Father Luis Alfredo Suarez Salazar was gunned down on February 2 on a street in Ocana, his...

Priest once found guilty of molesting given supervisory post in Newark archdiocese CWN - February 4, 2013

Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, has given a key archdiocesan assignment to a priest who was once convicted for molesting young boys. Father Michael Fugee, who was named to co-direct...

Archbishop Müller sees campaign to stir up contempt for the Church CWN - February 4, 2013

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said that a “concerted campaign” is underway in the Western world to stir up contempt for the Catholic Church. Archbishop...

Swiss bishop: SSPX priests cannot celebrate Mass in diocesan chapels CWN - February 4, 2013

The Bishop of Lausanne, Switzerland, has announced that priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) do not have permission to celebrate Mass in chapels within his diocese. Bishop Charles...

Released Tuesday, Feb. 5

Los Angeles public schools hired ex-priest despite archdiocese’s warning CWN - February 5, 2013

The Los Angeles Unified School District hired Joseph Pina, a priest who admitted abusing an adolescent female, as a community outreach coordinator in 2002, even though the Archdiocese of Los Angeles...

Catholic hospital apologizes for arguing that fetus is not a person CWN - February 5, 2013

Following a meeting with Colorado’s three bishops, a Catholic hospital group has apologized for arguing in a wrongful-death lawsuit that a fetus is not a person. “In the discussion with the...

New Archbishop of Canterbury affirms opposition to same-sex marriage CWN - February 5, 2013

Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, a father of six and onetime oil company executive who became an Anglican priest in 1992 and Bishop of Durham in 2011, was confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury on February 4....

Oregon investigates bakery for refusing to make wedding cake for lesbian couple CWN - February 5, 2013

The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating whether Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery near Portland, violated a non-discrimination law when its owner refused to bake a wedding cake for a...

US Catholic-Reformed dialogue turns to authority, episcopacy CWN - February 5, 2013

Following the signing of an agreement on the mutual recognition of baptism, participants in the Catholic-Reformed dialogue in the United States have begun to discuss the Church’s mission and...

Vatican official: legal protection for same-sex couples does not require marriage CWN - February 5, 2013

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has said that governments should find ways to protect the legitimate legal rights of unmarried couples without recognizing same-sex...

British Parliament approves same-sex marriage CWN - February 5, 2013

The British House of Commons has voted to give legal recognition to same-sex marriages. By a vote of 400- 175, the House of Commons approved the measure that had been enthusiastically championed...

Vatican art exhibit is a challenge to secularism, archbishop explains CWN - February 5, 2013

A new art exhibition opening at the Vatican on February 6 can be seen as a response to “a general feeling of fatigue and indifference that even affects our faith,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella told...

Outgoing Italian president has emotional meeting with Pontiff CWN - February 5, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI met on February 4 with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, prior to a concert celebrating the 84th anniversary of the Lateran Accords. The 20-minute private conversation...

Irish report finds heavy government involvement in Magdalene Laundries CWN - February 5, 2013

An official report has found that the Irish government was deeply involved in the Magdalene Laundries. After a scandal arose over reports that many women had experience abuse and mistreatment in...

Papal trip to Serbia for anniversary of Edict of Milan ruled out CWN - February 5, 2013

The apostolic nuncio in Serbia has ruled out the possibility of a visit by Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, for celebrations of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan. Archbishop Orlando Antonini...

Archbishop Chaput: new 'compromise' on HHS mandate still 'gravely flawed' CWN - February 5, 2013

A new proposal by the Obama administration to apply the HHS contraceptive mandate to religious institutions “remains unnecessary, coercive, and gravely flawed,” according to Archbishop Charles...

World's largest Marian statue unveiled in Bolivia CWN - February 5, 2013

The world’s largest Marian statue has been unveiled in Oruro, Bolivia. The 149-foot statue, which was unveiled at a ceremony attended by Bolivian Presiden Evo Morales, is even taller than the...

Released Wednesday, Feb. 6

Coptic pope criticizes Islamist influence on Egypt’s constitution CWN - February 6, 2013

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church has criticized Egypt’s new constitution, which declares that “principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.” “The constitution, the...

Judge rules against Obama administration, says diocese’s lawsuit against HHS mandate may proceed CWN - February 6, 2013

Ruling against the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss the case, a US district court judge has determined that the Diocese of Fort Worth’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate may proceed....

Vatican abuse prosecutor: media performed service in uncovering scandal CWN - February 6, 2013

Father Robert Oliver, a Boston priest who is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s new promoter of justice, said at a news conference that the American media performed a service in...

Leader of Knights of Malta reflects on order’s 900th anniversary CWN - February 6, 2013

Matthew Festing, the Englishman who has served as Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 2008, reflected on the state of the order, which will celebrate its 900th anniversary on...

Scientists develop ‘cell printer’ for embryonic stem cells CWN - February 6, 2013

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a “printer” for processing human embryonic stem cells. After the embryos were killed and the stem cells obtained, the stem cells were...

Boy Scouts postpone vote on homosexuality policy CWN - February 6, 2013

The leadership of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has postponed a decision on a proposed policy change that would have allowed ended a ban on openly homosexual members. The BSA executive board...

Quebec Catholic school appeals to top court on requirement to teach 'neutral' ethics course CWN - February 6, 2013

A Catholic high school in Montreal is appealing a Quebec court decision requiring the school to offer a state-sponsored ethics course that conflicts with some teachings of the Catholic...

Policy on same-sex partnerships could mute US bishops' support for immigration reform CWN - February 6, 2013

The US Catholic bishops, who have strongly supported immigration-reform efforts, may reconsider their stand because of the Obama administration's policy regarding the homosexual partners of...

Pope speaks on Creation, Original Sin at Wednesday audience CWN - February 6, 2013

Creation provides “the place in which to know God’s omnipotence and goodness,” Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience. Continuing a series of Wednesday talks on the Creed, the Pope...

CDF prefect intervening on behalf of rebellious Peruvian university? CWN - February 6, 2013

Faculty members at the school formerly known as the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) are claiming that the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has sided with...

Acceptance of same-sex marriage will cause trials for English Catholics, bishop warns CWN - February 6, 2013

The legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Britain will but “intolerable moral pressures” on Catholics, an English bishop has predicted. Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said that Catholics...

New Chaldean Patriarch addresses challenges facing Christians in Iraq CWN - February 6, 2013

In an interview with the AsiaNews service, the newly elected Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church said that it would be difficult to establish a secular government in a Muslim country today,...

Released Thursday, Feb. 7

Cardinal Bertone affirms: Church encourages love for art CWN - February 7, 2013

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, formally opened “Peter’s Journey,” an exhibition at Castel Sant’Angelo featuring paintings and sculptures from the fourth century to the...

USCCB spokeswoman signals dissatisfaction with administration’s HHS mandate ‘compromise’ CWN - February 7, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ director of communications has signaled dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s new “compromise” on the HHS mandate. “On February 1,...

Pontifical council’s conference opens with rock performance CWN - February 7, 2013

Members of the Pontifical Council for Culture have assembled for a conference devoted to “Emerging Youth Cultures.” The conference opened with a performance by The Sun, described in media...

Ecumenical organization calls for immigration reform CWN - February 7, 2013

Christian Churches Together in the USA, an ecumenical organization in which United States Conference of Catholic Bishops participates, issued a call for comprehensive immigration reform during a...

New Arkansas law permits concealed firearms in churches CWN - February 7, 2013

By lopsided margins of 85-8 in the state house and 28-4 in the state senate, the Arkansas legislature has passed a law allowing churches to permit the presence of concealed weapons. “In the...

HHS mandate ‘compromise’ still not acceptable: Cardinal Dolan CWN - February 7, 2013

The Obama administration’s latest “compromise” on the HHS contraceptive mandate does not resolve the objections raised by the Catholic hierarchy, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has announced. Speaking in...

Never lose confidence in youth, Pope insists CWN - February 7, 2013

“The Church has confidence in the young. She hopes in them and in their energy. She needs their vitality,” Pope Benedict XVI said during a February 7 audience with members of the Pontifical Council...

Vietnamese priest, human-rights advocate, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize CWN - February 7, 2013

An imprisoned Vietnamese Catholic priest has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by two members of the US Congress. Reps. Chris Smith and Zoe Lofgren nominated Father Nguyen Van Ly, together...

British bishops plan prayer campaign against human trafficking CWN - February 7, 2013

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have asked the faithful to make February 8 a special day of prayer for the victims of human trafficking. February 8 is the feast of St. Josephine...

Most British Catholic MPs voted for same-sex marriage CWN - February 7, 2013

A majority of the Catholic members of the British House of Commons voted in favor of a proposal to recognize same-sex marriage, despite the strong opposition of the Catholic hierarchy. Among the...

Papal praise for Communion and Liberation movement founders CWN - February 7, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to Don Luigi Guissani, the founder of the Communion and Liberation movement, during a February 7 audience with members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles...

Louisiana Governor Jindal rejects bishops' plea to halt execution CWN - February 7, 2013

Louisana Governor Bobby Jindal has declined a request from the state’s Catholic bishops to stop the execution of a convicted murderer on Ash Wednesday. Christopher Sepulvado, who was convicted in...

Released Friday, Feb. 8

Quebec: victims discuss abuse at Indian residential schools CWN - February 8, 2013

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is holding hearings in Quebec on the abuse that took place in the Indian residential school system. From 1884 to 1948, Canadian law compelled...

Egypt: children on trial for insulting Islam; family sentenced for conversion to Christianity CWN - February 8, 2013

Two Egyptian Christian children are on trial for insulting Islam. According to different versions of the allegations, they tore pages out of the Qur’an or urinated on them. “They are just small...

Judge rules against Cincinnati archdiocese in firing of Catholic school employee CWN - February 8, 2013

A senior US district court judge has ruled against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in a case involving the dismissal of an employee who became pregnant by artificial insemination. Christa Dias, a...

Humanitarian crisis continues in Mali CWN - February 8, 2013

Despite the recent departure of Islamic rebels from Timbuktu, “many tens of thousands of people” who have fled their homes since the northern Mali conflict began a year ago remain hesitant to return...

USCCB, CRS to host online discussion on legislative priorities CWN - February 8, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have announced that they will host an online discussion devoted to social ministry and legislative priorities. The...

Italian Cardinal Cheli dead at 94 CWN - February 8, 2013

Cardinal Giovanni Cheli, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants, died on February 7 at the age of 94. The Italian prelate had worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State and...

Knights of Malta prepare for 900th anniversary celebration CWN - February 8, 2013

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta will celebrate its 900th anniversary on February 9 with a procession to the tomb of St. Peter and a Mass in the Vatican basilica. Members of the Knights of...

Irish politicians who support abortion should be denied Communion: Cardinal Burke CWN - February 8, 2013

Cardinal Raymond Burke has told an Irish audience that politicians who vote to approve legal abortion should not receive the Eucharist. In an interview with the Catholic Voice, the head of the...

German cardinal was misled on effects of 'morning-after pill,' top doctor charges CWN - February 8, 2013

Public comments by Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne were manipulated in stories that the German cardinal was approving the use of the “morning-after pill” in Catholic hospitals, according to the...

Papal greetings to celebration of 50th anniversary of Elysee Treaty CWN - February 8, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has sent his greetings to a conference organized by the French and German bishops’ conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, which marked the...

Released Monday, Feb. 11

Judge dismisses Illinois dioceses’ suit against HHS mandate CWN - February 11, 2013

A US district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Diocese of Joliet, the Diocese of Springfield, and four other Illinois Catholic entities against the HHS mandate. Judge John Darrah,...

Maronite patriarch travels to Syria, prays for peace CWN - February 11, 2013

For the first time since 1943, a patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church has traveled from Lebanon to Syria. Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï visited a church in Damascus on February 9 and prayed for...

USCCB, CRS: Israeli security wall threatens convents, Catholic school CWN - February 11, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are urging Catholics to sign a petition opposing the rerouting of the Israeli West Bank barrier through...

Pope Benedict announces resignation CWN - February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI will resign from his papal office, effective February 28 at 8:00 PM local time. "Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but...

Background: World Day of the Sick CWN - February 11, 2013

February 11 is the 21st World Day of the Sick, a commemoration that was instituted by Blessed John Paul II and that takes place on the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The title of Pope Benedict’s...

Pope to retire to monastery after resignation CWN - February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict plans to retire to a former cloistered monastery within the Vatican, the director of the Vatican press office has disclosed. Father Federico Lombardi told reporters that...

Released Tuesday, Feb. 12

Cardinal Dolan pays tribute to Pope’s ‘tender heart,’ ‘incisive mind’ CWN - February 12, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, paid tribute to Pope Benedict in a statement issued shortly after his resignation. “The Holy...

President Obama issues statement on Pope’s resignation CWN - February 12, 2013

President Barack Obama has issued a brief statement on Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. “On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His...

HHS mandate: court sides with Obama administration against Mennonite-owned firm CWN - February 12, 2013

Siding with the Obama administration, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has refused to issue an injunction against the HHS mandate in a lawsuit filed by Conestoga Wood...

Massive church built at ‘Lourdes of the East’ CWN - February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his special envoy to the solemn celebration of the 50th anniversary of the...

Attack on church in Indonesia CWN - February 12, 2013

Assailants have thrown Molotov cocktails at a Protestant church in Makassar, a city of 1.4 million in Indonesia. Islamic extremists are suspected in the attack, which caused little damage but...

New saints to be canonized May 12 CWN - February 12, 2013

At a consistory held on February 11, Pope Benedict XVI approved plans for the canonization of several new saints: Antonio Primaldo and his companions, martyred in 1480; Laura di Santa Caterina da...

Pope has a pacemaker—implanted long ago, not a factor in resignation CWN - February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has a pacemaker, the Vatican has disclosed. But the device was implanted well before he became Pontiff, is working well, and was not a factor in his decision to resign. Pope...

Papal ceremony for Ash Wednesday moved to Vatican basilica CWN - February 12, 2013

Vatican officials have moved Ash Wednesday services from their traditional location in the basilica of Santa Sabina to St. Peter’s basilica, expecting an unusually large congregation of the faithful...

Pope Benedict's encyclical on faith will not be completed CWN - February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI will not publish a 3rd encyclical in a series on the theological virtues, which had originally been scheduled for release early this year, the papal spokesman has...

Vatican cleared to resume credit-card, ATM transactions CWN - February 12, 2013

The Vatican Museums have resumed accepting credit-card transactions, and ATM machines in Vatican City are working again, after the Vatican reached an agreement with a Swiss firm to process the...

Released Wednesday, Feb. 13

Pope’s brother says Pontiff pondered resignation for several months CWN - February 13, 2013

Pope Benedict’s brother has told reporters that the Pontiff pondered over a period of several months his surprise decision to resign. “He has been thinking about it for several months,” said...

Pope Benedict invokes Mary as ‘Mediatrix of all graces’ CWN - February 13, 2013

February 11, 2013, will be remembered as the day on which Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign from the papacy. The day was also the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 21st World...

USCCB, CRS: contact members of Congress on behalf of anti-poverty programs, immigration reform CWN - February 13, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services are urging Catholics to contact their members of Congress to “reemphasiz[e] the Church's message that Congress has a...

Obama administration: deny asylum to homeschooling family CWN - February 13, 2013

Obama administration attorneys are urging a federal appellate court to deny asylum to a German couple who were prosecuted for homeschooling their children. According to the Home School Legal...

Florida judge permits 3 names on birth certificate CWN - February 13, 2013

Following a legal battle, a Miami-Dade county judge has agreed that three names should appear on a one-year-old girl’s birth certificate: both members of a lesbian couple and the sperm donor who...

Pope thanks the faithful for prayers, ask that they continue CWN - February 13, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI thanked the faithful for their prayers at his regular weekly audience on February 13, saying that he had felt the support of prayer “almost physically” in the past few days as he...

During Lent, learn to make God central to life, Pope urges faithful CWN - February 13, 2013

During Lent, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly audience on February 13, Christians should work to overcome “the temptation to place God in submission to oneself and one’s own interests, or to put...

New Vatican bank president within days? CWN - February 13, 2013

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), will have a new president within a few days, according to the director of the Vatican press office. Father Federico Lombardi said that...

Details emerging for Pope's resignation, election of successor CWN - February 13, 2013

At a briefing for reporters on February 13, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, provided some details on the emerging plans for the resignation and future life of...

An African Pontiff? Ghana's Cardinal Turkson says Church is ready CWN - February 13, 2013

Cardinal Peter Turkson, whose name is often mentioned among the likely candidates to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, has said that the Church is ready “and has forever been ready for a non-European...

Retired English cardinal: new Pope should downplay contraceptive ban CWN - February 13, 2013

The retired Archbishop of Westminster, England, has suggested that the next Pope should ease away from the Church’s teaching against contraception. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor—who will not...

Emotional tribute to Pope Benedict at final public Mass CWN - February 13, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI was greeted by thunderous applause from a packed congregation in St. Peter’s basilica on February 13, Ash Wednesday, as he presided at Mass in public for the final time before his...

Released Thursday, Feb. 14

Catholic Health Association: administration’s new HHS mandate ‘compromise’ is ‘substantial progress’ CWN - February 14, 2013

A week after Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated that the Obama administration’s most recent “compromise” on the HHS mandate fails to...

USCCB recommends special diocesan Masses in wake of Pope’s resignation CWN - February 14, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship has published “Liturgical Notes and Resource Materials for Use upon the Resignation of the Pope.” “It is...

House approves aid to rebuild churches devastated by Hurricane Sandy CWN - February 14, 2013

By a 354-72 vote, the House of Representatives has passed legislation permitting houses of worship devastated by Hurricane Sandy to receive aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The...

Spanish cardinal reflects on Pope’s resignation announcement CWN - February 14, 2013

In a brief interview, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló, a longtime Vatican diplomat who was appointed Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in 2011, reflected on Pope Benedict’s...

Archdiocese fires Catholic school administrator over support for same-sex marriage CWN - February 14, 2013

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has dismissed a Catholic school’s assistant principal after he refused to remove a blog post expressing support for same-sex marriage. “I unabashedly believe that...

More details on papal resignation, conclave CWN - February 14, 2013

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, held a briefing for reporters on February 14, providing more information about plans for the retirement of Pope Benedict and the...

German cardinal urged Pope to fire Secretary of State CWN - February 14, 2013

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne has revealed that he pleaded with Pope Benedict XVI to replace the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarciscio Bertone, but the Pontiff firmly...

St. Louis archdiocese settles lawsuit, rebel parish splits from Church CWN - February 14, 2013

After years of conflict the St. Louis archdiocese has settled a legal dispute with a rebellious parish. The archdiocese has agreed to drop a lawsuit seeking to regain control of St. Stanislaus...

Vatican, Italian culture ministry sign accord on preservation and use of historic walkway CWN - February 14, 2013

The Vatican has concluded an agreement with the Italian government on the use of the Passetto di Borgo, the covered walkway that runs from the Vatican to the Castel Sant’Angelo. The agreement,...

Pope offers Roman priests his recollections of Vatican II CWN - February 14, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI offered an extemporaneous recollection of his experiences at Vatican II, as he met on February 14 with the pastors of the Rome diocese. Greeted in the Paul VI auditorium by a...

Released Friday, Feb. 15

Myanmar’s bishops call for peace CWN - February 15, 2013

The bishops of Myanmar (Burma) are calling for peace in the yearlong conflict between military forces and ethnic Kachins who are seeking political autonomy. “As a Church, we walk with our...

Bishop Sample issues pastoral letter on sacred music CWN - February 15, 2013

Bishop Alexander Sample has issued a pastoral letter on sacred music in which he emphasizes the importance of Gregorian chant, the pipe organ, and the singing of the ordinary and propers of the...

Rhode Island high court: Legion of Christ must release documents related to widow’s will CWN - February 15, 2013

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has declined a request by the Legion of Christ to delay the release of documents related to the $60 million will of Gabrielle Mee. Calling the public’s right to...

Over 1 million US women use morning-after pill every year CWN - February 15, 2013

5.8 million American women used the morning-after pill between 2006 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 24% of users have taken it twice, and 17% have taken it...

Illinois senate approves same-sex marriage CWN - February 15, 2013

In a 34-21 vote, Illinois’ state senate has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. The state house has not yet voted on the measure, which Gov. Pat Quinn, a Catholic, strongly supports. “Today, we...

New president named for Vatican bank CWN - February 15, 2013

A German lawyer, Ernst von Freyberg, has been named the new president of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). A dedicated Catholic who is a member of the Knights of Malta...

Syrian rebel soldiers kidnap 2 priests CWN - February 15, 2013

Two Christian priests—one Armenian Catholic and the other Greek Orthodox—have been kidnapped by Syrian rebel soldiers. Armenian Catholic Archbishop Boutros Marayati of Aleppo told the Fides news...

French medical association opens door to euthanasia CWN - February 15, 2013

The French National Council (FNC) for doctors has given its support to euthanasia in extreme cases. Euthanasia is currently illegal in France, but the FNC said that existing law does not provide...

Orthodox leaders voice appreciation for Benedict XVI CWN - February 15, 2013

Most of the world’s Orthodox leaders have responded to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI with statements of praise for the outgoing Roman Pontiff—although a few prelates have issued sharply...

Vatican scrutinizing reported miracle, could lead to canonization of John Paul II CWN - February 15, 2013

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has asked a commission of medical experts to investigate a reported miracle that could lead to the canonization of Blessed John Paul II, according to Andrea...

Charity and faith cannot be separated, Pope says CWN - February 15, 2013

“Faith is a living reality that must be constantly discovered and deepened so that it might grow,” Pope Benedict XVI said as he met on February 15 with members of a European group formed to provide...

Released Monday, Feb. 18

Egypt: mob attacks church CWN - February 18, 2013

A mob of hundreds of Salafists surrounded a Coptic church on February 16, threw stones at it, and set it on fire. The attack took place in Sarsena, a village 60 miles southwest of Cairo. “The...

USCCB: conscience legislation needed to protect believers against new HHS ‘compromise’ CWN - February 18, 2013

The latest proposal offered by the Obama administration regarding the HHS mandate maintains a “coercive element,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the United States Conference of...

Military archbishop, USCCB object to benefits for same-sex domestic partners CWN - February 18, 2013

Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services has joined with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of...

Jesuits close Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown CWN - February 18, 2013

Three Jesuit provincials have announced that the Woodstock Theological Center will close on June 30. The center describes itself “an independent, Jesuit-sponsored, nonprofit institute located at...

Illinois bishops lament state senate passage of same-sex marriage CWN - February 18, 2013

The Catholic Conference of Illinois, the public policy voice of Illinois’ bishops, has issued a statement lamenting the state senate’s 34-21 vote in favor of the legalization of same-sex...

Report: Vatican slowed Cardinal Mahony’s effort to discipline abusive priest CWN - February 18, 2013

Vatican officials were slow to respond to a request from Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to discipline a priest who had been accused of sexual abuse, the Los Angeles Times reports. Cardinal...

Jailbreak conspiracy by Guatemalan bishop’s killer? CWN - February 18, 2013

A Guatemalan military officer who was convicted in 2006 for the killing of a Catholic bishop was taken into custody on Friday evening, February 15, outside the prison where he is serving a 20-year...

Documents show Legion leaders aware of Maciel’s double life CWN - February 18, 2013

Internal documents of the Legion of Christ, made public on orders from a Rhode Island court, show that leaders of the religious order were aware in 2006 that the group’s founder, Father Marcial...

Experts praise Pope Benedict's handling of sex-abuse reforms CWN - February 18, 2013

Two Vatican experts on sex-abuse policies have agreed, in separate interviews, that Pope Benedict XVI deserves credit for an energetic response to the scandal within the Church. Bishop Charles...

Pope renews terms of cardinals supervising Vatican bank CWN - February 18, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has renewed the terms of 4 of the 5 cardinals on the committee that supervises the work of the Vatican Bank, of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR). Rumors of sweeping...

Cardinal Dolan scoffs at idea he may be 1st American Pope CWN - February 18, 2013

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has abruptly dismissed speculation that he could be the first American elected as Roman Pontiff. Speaking to reporters after he celebrated Sunday Mass at St....

German journalist says Pope’s health deteriorating quickly CWN - February 18, 2013

Peter Seewald, a German journalist who has collaborated with Pope Benedict XVI on book-length interviews, has said that the Pontiff’s health is worsening rapidly. Seewald told the German magazine...

Preacher for Lenten Retreat rated high among papabili CWN - February 18, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is preaching this week’s Lenten Retreat at the Vatican, is among the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI. His performance during the week-long spiritual...

Italian prime minister visits Pope to express thanks CWN - February 18, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI met on Saturday, February 16, with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who had requested an opportunity for a farewell visit before the Pontiff’s resignation takes effect. In...

Huge crowd for Pope’s Sunday audience CWN - February 18, 2013

An enormous crowd, estimated at 150,000, flocked to St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, February 17, for the midday audience by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope voiced his thanks for the show of support and...

Pope, Curia leaders begin week-long retreat CWN - February 18, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia began their annual Lenten Retreat on Sunday evening, February 17. The spiritual exercises, held in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the...

Released Tuesday, Feb. 19

Pope, Curia reflect on prayer and the Psalms during Lenten retreat CWN - February 19, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is leading the annual Lenten retreat for the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia, is devoting the retreat’s 17 meditations to prayer and the Psalms. The title of the...

Following apostolic visitation, Pope names cardinal head of religious community CWN - February 19, 2013

Pope Benedict has named Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as his pontifical delegate to govern the Congregation of the Sons of the...

Vatican prelate emphasizes importance of family stability, criticizes welfare state CWN - February 19, 2013

Speaking at an event organized by the Holy See’s mission at the United Nations, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family emphasized the importance of the intact family for the good of...

Netanyahu pays tribute to Pope CWN - February 19, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has paid tribute to Pope Benedict in a letter publicized ten days before the Pope’s resignation takes effect. “In the name of the people of Israel, I...

Zanzibar: priest murdered as violence against Church continues CWN - February 19, 2013

Gunmen murdered a priest in Zanzibar on February 17 as he was entering the cathedral to celebrate Sunday Mass. Before Father Evarist Mushi “could even alight from the car, two men on a motorbike...

South African prelate urges Pope to keep writing CWN - February 19, 2013

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the president of Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference reflected on Pope Benedict’s resignation. “It speaks of his absolute honesty: his intellectual...

Chinese diocese emphasizes Confession during Lent CWN - February 19, 2013

The Diocese of Wenzhou, headquartered in a city of three million on the eastern coast of China, held a two-day Lenten retreat at its cathedral beginning on Ash Wednesday. On February 15, 11...

Australia: most victims of abuse by Catholic, Anglican clergy are adolescent males CWN - February 19, 2013

Most victims of clergy sexual abuse in Australia are adolescent males, according to a recent study by Patrick Parkinson, a law professor at the University of Sydney. “Of 370 victims of abuse in...

Cardinal Sarah in Jordan to assess Syrian refugee crisis CWN - February 19, 2013

Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has traveled to Jordan to assess the humanitarian response to a flood of refugees from Syria. Cardinal Sarah will...

Italian prelate hopes Cardinal Mahony will stay home from conclave CWN - February 19, 2013

A prominent Italian cardinal has suggested that Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, should voluntarily relinquish his right to participate in the election of the next...

Cardinal Turkson: African culture protects against homosexuality CWN - February 19, 2013

In an interview with CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Cardinal Peter Turkson said that Africa has been spared from the worst pains of the sex-abuse scandal because of the cultural forces...

SSPX facing deadline before papal resignation CWN - February 19, 2013

The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has been asked to respond by February 22 to a Vatican proposal that could lead to reconciliation. Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for...

Pope qualifies for pension after retirement CWN - February 19, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI qualifies for a pension of €2,500 (about $3,500) monthly once his resignation goes into effect. The Holy See provides for all the material needs of a Roman Pontiff, so the Pope...

Released Wednesday, Feb. 20

Pope’s Lenten retreat: cardinal reflects on liturgy, history CWN - February 20, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is leading the annual Lenten retreat for the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia, preached on the afternoon of February 18 on God’s revelation in the...

African bishops denounce corruption, call for good governance CWN - February 20, 2013

Lamenting the “scourge of corruption,” the Symposium of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has issued a pastoral letter entitled “Governance, Common Good and Democratic...

Libya arrests 4 foreign Christians on proselytism charges CWN - February 20, 2013

Four foreign Christians have been arrested in Libya on proselytism charges and face the prospect of the death penalty. The four--who include a Swedish-American with a US passport, as well as...

Book offers evidence that Pius XII saved Jews; documentary in planning stage CWN - February 20, 2013

Gordon Thomas’s The Pope’s Jews--forthcoming in England and released recently in the US--offers new evidence that Venerable Pius XII sought to save Jews from the Holocaust. Gordon Thomas “has...

Priest murdered in Venezuela CWN - February 20, 2013

A 44-year-old Venezuela was fatally shot in the head, the victim of an apparent carjacking attempt. Father José Ramón Mendoza Vásquez died trying to save the lives of family members who were in the...

Pope to change rules, allow early conclave? CWN - February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI will change the rules governing a papal conclave to allow an earlier election of his successor, according to Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. The Vatican has confirmed that the...

Orthodox patriarch opposes plan to make Hagia Sophia a mosque CWN - February 20, 2013

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has staked out his opposition to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Once the patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia was...

Catholic named to head new Canadian office for religious freedom CWN - February 20, 2013

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has established a new office within the department of Foreign Affairs to promote religious freedom around the world. The first director of the new office...

Irish premier offers government's apology to Magdalen Laundry victims CWN - February 20, 2013

Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny has issued a formal apology on behalf of the government to the women who were confined in the Magdalene Laundries. Reports of abuse at the...

Pregnant Texas teen wins injunction against parents' efforts to force abortion CWN - February 20, 2013

A pregnant teenager in Texas has won a court injunction barring her parents from forcing her to have an abortion. The 16-year-old girl, who has not been identified publically, will be allowed to...

New poll finds young American Catholics disaffected CWN - February 20, 2013

A majority of young American Catholics believe that the Church’s teaching on sexuality are “out of date,” and find Mass attendance an onerous obligation, according to a new survey by the Barna...

Cardinal Bertone reportedly overrules CDF prefect, confirms action against Peruvian university CWN - February 20, 2013

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has reportedly overruled objections by Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and...

Another grim report on Pope's medical condition CWN - February 20, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has experienced dangerous spikes in his blood pressure and has been advised by his doctor to avoid air travel, according to a report by veteran Vatican journalist Marco...

Pope's essays in Communio collected in new book CWN - February 20, 2013

The American editors of Communio have published a book containing 14 essays on anthropological themes by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. The essays were published in the...

Released Thursday, Feb. 21

Pope’s Lenten retreat: cardinal calls TV the ‘great Moloch within our homes’ CWN - February 21, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is leading the annual Lenten retreat for the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia, preached on February 20 on Psalms 131 and 39. Reflecting on the image of the...

Sudan detains dozens of Christians as persecution continues CWN - February 21, 2013

Sudanese authorities have detained over 55 Christians in the past two weeks, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a group that monitors the persecution of Christians. The arrests follow a...

USCCB calls for greater efforts to protect religious minorities in Asia CWN - February 21, 2013

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has lent his support to HR 301, a bill that would establish the position of...

Pakistan: Christian murdered following religious discussion CWN - February 21, 2013

A Pakistani Muslim has murdered a Christian, according to the Fides news agency. Sohail Akhtar, the Muslim, shot Roshan Masih, a Hindu convert to Christianity, after Masih defended his Christian...

Leading Canadian prelate: in resignation, Pope still teaching us CWN - February 21, 2013

In his act of resignation, Pope Benedict XVI continued to be the teacher he has been throughout his lifetime, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops told Vatican Radio. The...

Italian paper says cardinals discovered homosexual network within Vatican CWN - February 21, 2013

The Vatican has refused to comment on Italian press reports that an internal report on the “Vatileaks” scandal might have influenced the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign. The daily La...

Father Rosica, Canadian TV priest, joins Vatican press office for conclave coverage CWN - February 21, 2013

A prominent Canadian priest has joined the Vatican press office to help provide news bulletins for the English-speaking world during the busy weeks leading up to the papal conclave and installation...

Papal spokesman comments on date for conclave, talks with SSPX CWN - February 21, 2013

The Vatican has confirmed once again that the Pope may issue a motu proprio allowing for a papal conclave to begin soon after he steps down, but rejected reports that the status of the Society of...

Pope's schedule for final week before resignation CWN - February 21, 2013

The Vatican has announced more detailed plans for the final activities of Pope Benedict XVI before his resignation takes effect on February 28. At a February 21 briefing for reporters, Father...

Vatican appeasement allows Beijing to control Chinese Church, Cardinal Zen charges CWN - February 21, 2013

Cardinal Joseph Zen has charged that the Vatican has followed “a policy of appeasement and compromise” in China, allowing government officials to exert control over the Church there. The bishops...

German bishops to allow 'morning-after pill' in rape cases CWN - February 21, 2013

Germany’s bishops have ruled that Catholic hospitals should provide the “morning-after pill” to rape victims, on the grounds that the pill does not cause abortions. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of...

Ailing Indonesian cardinal will not attend conclave CWN - February 21, 2013

An Indonesian prelate has become the first cardinal to announce that he will not be able to attend the conclave the elects a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja,...

Released Friday, Feb. 22

Lebanon: Christian population on the rise CWN - February 22, 2013

The percentage of Christians in Lebanon will rise in the decades ahead because of Muslim emigration and a fall in Muslim birthrates, according to a report published by the Lebanese Information...

Cardinal Dolan gives deposition in Milwaukee abuse case CWN - February 22, 2013

Attorneys representing hundreds of alleged victims of sexual abuse committed by Milwaukee priests deposed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York for three hours on February 20. Cardinal Dolan served as...

Spanish government: adopted children from Morocco must be raised as Muslims CWN - February 22, 2013

The governments of Spain and Morocco have agreed that Moroccan children adopted by Spanish families must be raised as Muslims. “The agreement obliges the Spanish government to establish a...

Pontifical academy examines ‘faith and human life’ CWN - February 22, 2013

Approximately 120 members of the Pontifical Academy of Life are gathering in Rome for the academy’s nineteenth annual general assembly. The assembly, which takes place on February 22, is devoted...

Pope’s Lenten retreat: reflections on sin, absence of God CWN - February 22, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is leading the annual Lenten retreat for the Pope and leaders of the Roman Curia, devoted his meditations on February 21 to sin and the absence of God. Describing...

Roman Lutheran leader pays tribute to Pope CWN - February 22, 2013

Commenting on three ecumenical gestures, the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran community of Rome has paid tribute to Pope Benedict XVI. One gesture “which greatly moved me,” recalls Jens-Martin...

Australian cardinal encourages Vatican to address gay-network report CWN - February 22, 2013

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has encouraged Vatican press spokesmen find “some constructive way” to address reports in the Italian media about a homosexual network inside the...

Cardinal Zen: Vatican officials stymied Pope's policy on Chinese Church CWN - February 22, 2013

Clarifying public remarks in which he charged that Vatican appeasement has helped the Chinese government strengthen its control over the Catholic Church, Cardinal Joseph Zen has said that Pope...

Cardinals to be briefed on full 'Vatileaks' report? CWN - February 22, 2013

The commission of 3 cardinals who investigated the “Vatileaks” scandal will be asked by Pope Benedict XVI to share their findings with the full College of Cardinals, an Italian journalist...

Vatican official mentioned in story on Vatican corruption is given new assignment CWN - February 22, 2013

An influential official at the Vatican Secretariat of State has received a new assignment abroad, just days after his name was mentioned in a report alleging factionalism and corruption at the...

Vatican spokesman briefs reporters on papal interregnum CWN - February 22, 2013

At a February 22 briefing for reporters, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, explained the canonical implications of Pope Benedict’s resignation, and the governance...

Pope makes minor changes in ritual for new Pontiff CWN - February 22, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has made some changes in the ceremony for the formal installation of his successor. The changes in ritual, which were approved by the Pope on February 18, do not affect the...

Vatican establishes diplomatic ties with South Sudan CWN - February 22, 2013

The Holy See has reached an agreement with the newly independent Republic of South Sudan to establish formal diplomatic relations. The Vatican, which was quick to extend recognition to the...

USCCB asks Catholics to call Congressmen, call for action on religious freedom CWN - February 22, 2013

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued an “action alert” asking Catholics to call their representatives in Congress to enact a “conscience clause” protecting those who are morally...

Released Monday, Feb. 25

Vatican decries efforts to influence conclave, ‘profoundly unjust’ media coverage CWN - February 25, 2013

The Vatican Secretariat of State has released a strongly worded statement denouncing efforts to influence the upcoming papal conclave, especially through the secular media. The February 23...

Egypt schedules elections on Coptic Easter Sunday CWN - February 25, 2013

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has scheduled the second round of parliamentary elections on May 5, the date on which Coptic Christians will celebrate Easter. The first round of elections is...

Virginia legislature passes bill protecting religious freedom of student organizations CWN - February 25, 2013

By votes of 80-19 and 21-18, the Virginia house and senate have passed legislation that “permits, to the extent allowed by law, religious or political student organizations at public institutions of...

London Oratory schola sings Gregorian chant, polyphony at St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - February 25, 2013

At the 10:30 Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica that preceded Pope Benedict’s final Sunday Angelus address, the schola cantorum of the London Oratory School joined the basilica’s own choir in chanting the...

Daily Rosary in St. Peter’s Square for Pope Benedict’s intentions CWN - February 25, 2013

Vatican Radio has drawn attention to “A Moment with Mary,” an initiative of the online Catholic network Aleteia. During the Year of Faith, those associated with the initiative have gathered...

USCCB official: ‘How to reduce abortions’ CWN - February 25, 2013

Writing for The Washington Post, an official of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities rued the “bait and switch” surrounding discussions on abortion...

Pope changes rules for papal election, allows for earlier conclave CWN - February 25, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has amended the canon law governing a papal election, allowing the College of Cardinals to begin a conclave without the usual 15-day waiting period. With a motu proprio signed...

Scottish cardinal resigns after misconduct charges CWN - February 25, 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh, Scotland, has resigned, shortly after being accused of homosexual misconduct. In a statement released on February 25, Cardinal O’Brien said that he was...

Huge crowd for Pope Benedict's final Angelus audience CWN - February 25, 2013

“We will always be close in prayer,” Pope Benedict XVI assured an overflow crowd in St. Peter’s Square on February 24 at the final Angelus audience of his pontificate. More than 200,000 people...

Pope thanks Curia as Lenten Retreat concludes CWN - February 25, 2013

As the annual Lenten Retreat concluded at the Vatican on February 23, Pope Benedict XVI offered his thanks to the members of the Roman Curia who have assisted him during his pontificate, and gave a...

Italy's President Napolitano bids Pope farewell CWN - February 25, 2013

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano met with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience on Saturday, February 23. The Italian political leader had requested the meeting, so that he could wish the...

'Vatileaks' report will remain secret CWN - February 25, 2013

The Vatican has announced that an in-depth report on the “Vatileaks” scandal, which was submitted in confidence to Pope Benedict XVI, will remain secret, with only the new Pope given access to the...

Cardinal Jullien Ries, eminent religious historian, dead at 92 CWN - February 25, 2013

Cardinal Julien Ries, who was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2012 in recognition of his work as a religious historian, died on February 23 at the age of...

'Unflappable' Cardinal Mahony not swayed by protests, plans to join conclave CWN - February 25, 2013

The former US ambassador to the Holy See has hinted that Cardinal Roger Mahony should not participate in the conclave that elects a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. “Just like everyone else,...

Pope Benedict has removed many unsuitable bishops, nuncio reveals CWN - February 25, 2013

A Vatican diplomat has given Pope Benedict XVI credit for a “cleansing of the episcopate,” saying that the Pope has removed many bishops from office during the course of his pontificate....

Father Kapaun--US Army chaplain, candidate for beatification-- to receive Medal of Honor CWN - February 25, 2013

A US Army chaplain who died during the Korean War will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Father Emil Kapaun, who is also a candidate for beatification, will be awarded the nation’s...

Released Tuesday, Feb. 26

Cardinal Bertone asks contemplative religious to pray for conclave CWN - February 26, 2013

Beseeching prayers for the upcoming conclave, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has written a letter to the superiors of contemplative monasteries and convents. “I write...

Ecumenical Patriarch pays tribute to Pope Benedict CWN - February 26, 2013

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has issued a statement paying tribute to Pope Benedict XVI and his commitment to Christian unity. “It is with regret that we have learned of...

Melkite patriarch pleads for peace in Syria, asks Pope to launch diplomatic initiative CWN - February 26, 2013

Following explosions in Damascus that killed 53 and injured 235, the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has urged the international community to stop sending arms to Syria. “We make a...

Cardinal Mahony reflects on being scapegoated, prays for ‘those in the media who constantly malign me’ CWN - February 26, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony reflected on love of enemies in a February 25 blog post. “My daily prayer list includes both loved ones/friends, as well as those who dislike or even hate me,” he wrote....

Germany: ruling against infant circumcision overturned CWN - February 26, 2013

Seven months after a German court banned infant circumcision, prosecutors have dismissed charges against a rabbi who had circumcised a baby boy with parental consent. Following the court ruling,...

Malawi bishops lament plight of poor CWN - February 26, 2013

Malawi’s bishops expressed gratitude for the end to a strike by more than 100,000 government employees but rued the plight of the nation’s poor. Annual per capita income in the southeastern...

Latin American prelates appeal for peace, call for sober lifestyle CWN - February 26, 2013

In recent days: El Salvador’s leading prelate, Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, expressed confidence that the nation would not tolerate election violence; an official of the Colombian...

A new title for Benedict XVI, and other details CWN - February 26, 2013

When his resignation takes effect, Pope Benedict XVI will be known as “Pope emeritus,” the Vatican has announced. At a February 26 briefing, the director of the Vatican press office, Father...

Vatican prelate promotes Good Friday appeal for Church in Holy Land CWN - February 26, 2013

In an annual appeal for the Church in the Holy Land, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches referred to the Catholic Church in that region as “the silent witness and living...

Vatican envoy warns UN on inventing ‘new human rights’ CWN - February 26, 2013

The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official has questioned the UN’s approach to human rights, in a speech at UN headquarters in Geneva. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for...

Released Wednesday, Feb. 27

Puerto Rico: major march in defense of marriage; high court nixes gay adoptions CWN - February 27, 2013

In a 5-4 decision, Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court has upheld a law banning adoptions by homosexual couples. Referring to a woman who wished to adopt the child of her lesbian partner, the court ruled...

USCCB bishops, other Christian leaders: protect the poor during budget negotiations CWN - February 27, 2013

Three heads of committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined with other Catholic, Orthodox, mainline Protestant, and evangelical leaders in signing “A Pastoral Letter about...

Cardinal Sandri: Saints Cyril and Methodius offer ‘dynamic vision of catholicity’ CWN - February 27, 2013

The prefect for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has paid tribute to Saints Cyril and Methodius, the apostles of the Slavs. The saints were “authentic precursors of ecumenism, for they...

Papal prayer intentions for 2014 published CWN - February 27, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has published the monthly papal prayer intentions for 2014. According to the newspaper, Pope Benedict entrusted the intentions to the Apostleship of Prayer on February 1,...

ICEL director pays tribute to Pope Benedict’s impact on the liturgy CWN - February 27, 2013

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy has paid tribute to Pope Benedict’s teaching and decisions about the sacred...

Pope Benedict bids an emotional farewell at final weekly audience CWN - February 27, 2013

In an emotional address at the last weekly public audience of his pontificate, Benedict XVI promised the faithful that he would continue to serve the Church through prayer after his...

Bishops resign in England, Ireland; administrator named for Edinburgh CWN - February 27, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignations of two bishops from England and Ireland on February 27, the penultimate day of his pontificate. In both cases the prelates cited health reasons for their...

In Bavaria, Italian president praises Pope Benedict CWN - February 27, 2013

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who is visiting Bavaria, took a moment on February 27 to praise the German region’s native son, Pope Benedict XVI. The Italian president said that the Pope...

Cardinal Wuerl says conclave should not choose an American CWN - February 27, 2013

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, thinks it would be “unwise” for the College of Cardinals to choose an American as successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Speaking from Rome, where he was on hand...

Released Thursday, Feb. 28

USCCB offers principles for addressing climate change CWN - February 28, 2013

Responding to a request by the congressman and senator who chair a new Bicameral Climate Change Task Force, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has...

Washington Post ombudsman, reporter compare supporters of traditional marriage to racists CWN - February 28, 2013

The belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is a stance akin to racism, according to the ombudsman of The Washington Post. “Because our profession lives and dies on the First...

Tanzania: bishop urges government to take action against Islamists CWN - February 28, 2013

Following the murder of a diocesan priest, a Tanzanian bishop has called upon the government to take action against anti-Christian propaganda spread by Muslim fundamentalists. “The ideology that...

Following complaint to state commission, festival ends discount for Mass attendance CWN - February 28, 2013

The Mexican Fiesta, held annually in Milwaukee at a park owned by the city, has agreed to end its practice of offering an $8 discount to persons who attend a Mass held at the park. The decision...

Pakistan: police refuse to investigate brutal attack on disabled Christian CWN - February 28, 2013

Police in Faisalabad, Pakistan’s third-largest city, are refusing to investigate the stabbing of Khalid Masih, a disabled Christian. Masih was also shot in the kneecaps. The attack on Masih...

Pope Benedict pledges support for his successor CWN - February 28, 2013

At a farewell meeting with members of the College of Cardinals on February 28, Pope Benedict XVI reflected: “In these eight years we have faithfully lived beautiful moments of radiant light along...

Wiretaps on some Vatican employees in investigation into leaks? CWN - February 28, 2013

The Vatican press office has denied reports that a “massive” surveillance operation was conducted as part of the investigation into the “Vatileaks” scandal, but left open the possibility that some...

Scottish archbishop acknowledges 'distressing times' for Edinburgh archdiocese CWN - February 28, 2013

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who was named on February 27 as the apostolic administrator of the Edinburgh archdiocese, has acknowledged that the Scottish Church is facing unusual problems after the...

Cardinal Dolan describes an ideal papal candidate CWN - February 28, 2013

In choosing a new Pope, “you look for a man who reminds you of Jesus,” said New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan. In an interview with CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Cardinal Dolan said that...

Pope Benedict’s resignation is official CWN - February 28, 2013

The pontificate of Benedict XVI has come to an end. At 8 pm Rome time, the Pope’s resignation officially took effect and the Holy See became vacant. The Pope left Rome at 5 pm, having taking...

California diocese asks teachers to affirm Church teaching CWN - February 28, 2013

The Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, is asking teachers at Catholic schools to affirm their support for Church teaching, explicitly including the teaching on controversial issues such as abortion,...

Cardinal Pell: Vatican governance needs new Pope's attention CWN - February 28, 2013

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, has said that the Church needs a new Pope “who can lead the Church and pull it together a bit.” While professing his admiration for Pope Benedict XVI,...

Prayer intentions of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI for March 2012 CWN - February 28, 2013

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for March 2012--although in March he will no longer be the Roman Pontiff. Pope Benedict's general intention is: "That respect...

French Cardinal Honoré dead at 92 CWN - February 28, 2013

Cardinal Jean Marcel Honoré, the retired Archbishop of Tours, France, died on February 28 at the age of 92. Ordained for the Rennes archdiocese in 1942, Father Honoré was a seminary instructor...

Vatican post office commemorates papal resignation with special stamp CWN - February 28, 2013

The Vatican post office has announced the release of a special cancellation stamp to commemorate the end of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The Vatican post office routinely releases...

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