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Catholic World News

Stories for March 2013

Released Monday, Mar. 4

Scottish cardinal admits sexual misconduct CWN - March 4, 2013

A week after Pope Benedict accepted his resignation, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who had served as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh since 1985, admitted that “my sexual conduct has fallen below...

Cardinal Mahony defends response to abuse, says nuncio asked him to take part in conclave CWN - March 4, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, has again defended his response to abuse allegations. “People say, ‘Well, why didn’t you call the police?’ In...

Cardinal Sandri calls for greater role for women in Church, priestly formation CWN - March 4, 2013

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, who is often mentioned as papabile in news reports, is calling for a greater role for women in the life of the Church and in priestly formation. “The role of women in...

Archdiocese of Chicago: $40M deficit last fiscal year, at least $120M over past 4 years CWN - March 4, 2013

In his new archdiocesan newspaper column, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago stated that “for the fiscal year ending June 2012, the Pastoral Center Operations of the Archdiocese had cash operating...

Russian Orthodox patriarch pays tribute to Pope Benedict CWN - March 4, 2013

Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, who leads the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, paid tribute to Pope Benedict XVI upon his resignation. “In these days, which are special to you, I would...

Vatican spokesman emphasizes: Pope has not abandoned Church CWN - March 4, 2013

In his weekly editorial, the director of the Holy See Press Office emphasized that “the resignation of a Pope is not in any way abandonment.” “If Pope Wojtyla had given, with admirable courage...

Cardinals meet; no date yet set for conclave CWN - March 4, 2013

At their first meeting of the sede vacante period, the College of Cardinals discussed procedures for a papal election but did not set a date for the opening of the conclave. Meeting in the Synod...

Vatican press office explains history, duties of camerlengo CWN - March 4, 2013

In a March 4 briefing for reporters, the Vatican press office traced the history of the office of camerlengo of the Catholic Church, which dates back to the 12th century. The camerlengo heads the...

Pro-life activists win legal settlement in Rockford, Illinois CWN - March 4, 2013

The city of Rockford, Illinois, has settled a federal suit brought by pro-life activists, with an agreement to pay legal fees and to protect the rights of pro-life activists. City administrators...

Honduran cardinal: Church must be transparent, evangelization comes first CWN - March 4, 2013

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has said that the Church should continue to root out corruption and abuse “because it is written in the Gospels that the truth...

Bogus 'bishop' tries to gain access to cardinals' meeting CWN - March 4, 2013

An Italian man masquerading as a Catholic bishop tried to gain access to the Vatican’s Synod Hall, where the congregation of cardinals was meeting, on March 4. He was escorted out by the Swiss...

Cardinal Ouellet says that possibility of papacy 'makes me pray' CWN - March 4, 2013

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, suggested that other candidates are better suited to the papacy, but “I have to be ready.” The Canadian prelate, who is...

Church figures attacked, killed in Libya, Madagascar, Philippines CWN - March 4, 2013

In separate bulletins, the Fides news service has reported an armed assault on a Catholic priest in Libya, the murder of a French missionary nun in Madagascar, and the killing of a lay Catholic...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 5

Nigerian bishops denounce population control, declare ‘pastoral emergency’ in diocese CWN - March 5, 2013

At the conclusion of their recent meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s bishops denounced threats to human life. “The right to life is the first of all fundamental human rights,” the bishops stated....

Judge dismisses diocese’s suit against HHS mandate, chides government CWN - March 5, 2013

A US district court judge in Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Diocese of Dallas against the HHS mandate. Judge Jane Boyle, appointed to the bench by the second President Bush, ruled that...

Christian murdered in Somalia CWN - March 5, 2013

Ahmed Ali Jimale, a 42-year-old Christian, has been murdered in Somalia, according to a web site that reports on the persecution of Christians. The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab is suspected...

‘My brother, Cardinal Dolan’ CWN - March 5, 2013

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Bob Dolan describes his brother, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, as a man of genuine piety and joy. “When most people speak of Cardinal...

Journalist discusses decision to publish story on Scottish cardinal’s misdeeds CWN - March 5, 2013

Catherine Deveney, who writes for the Observer, recounted the events leading up to the newspaper’s decision to publish a story on Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s advances towards four clerics. “The...

Cardinals balk at setting date for conclave CWN - March 5, 2013

The College of Cardinals, meeting on March 5 for the 2nd day of the sede vacante period, declined to set a date for their conclave. The cardinals decided to ask the universal Church to devote...

Surrogate mother offered $10,000 to abort imperfect baby CWN - March 5, 2013

A Connecticut couple reportedly offered a surrogate mother $15,000 to abort a child who was diagnosed with serious genetic defects, in a case that exposes the seamier side of artificial...

Cardinals' telegram offers thanks to Benedict XVI CWN - March 5, 2013

The Vatican has released the text of a message sent by the College of Cardinals to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI. At their 1st congregation of the sede vacante period on March 4, the cardinals...

British peer sees celibacy as 'torture' CWN - March 5, 2013

A British peer has compared clerical celibacy with torture, in a public defense of the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien. Explaining her sympathy for the Scottish cardinal, Baroness Helena Kennedy...

Vatican briefs press on urns used for ballots in papal conclave CWN - March 5, 2013

Continuing a series of briefings for reporters on the procedures of a papal conclave, the Vatican press office on March 5 provided some background on the ceremonial urns that are used to collect the...

Nigerian cardinal downplays Curial intrigues, cardinals' rhetoric CWN - March 5, 2013

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has expressed some frustration at the speeches delivered by cardinals during the congregation meetings this week, and added that the Vatileaks scandal is...

Illicit Chinese Catholic bishops appointed to top political bodies CWN - March 5, 2013

Four Catholic bishops—none of them recognized by the Vatican—have been appointed members of China’s parliament, the People’s Congress, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference...

Shroud of Turin to be shown on Holy Saturday telecast CWN - March 5, 2013

Before his resignation took effect on February 28, Pope Benedict XVI authorized a television broadcast that will display the Shroud of Turin. On Holy Saturday, March 31, Archbishop Cesare...

US cardinal expects briefing on secret 'Vatileaks' report CWN - March 5, 2013

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley has said that he is confident the College of Cardinals will be briefed on a secret investigation into the “Vatileaks” scandal before they meet in conclave to select...

Sistine Chapel closed as preparations begin for conclave CWN - March 5, 2013

The Sistine Chapel was closed to tourists on Tuesday, March 5, as Vatican workers began preparing for a papal conclave. The Sistine Chapel, where the cardinal-electors will meet to vote for the...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 6

New Chaldean patriarch enthroned, pledges to 'update our liturgy' CWN - March 6, 2013

Amid heavy security, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako was solemnly enthroned in Baghdad as head of the Chaldean Catholic Church on March 6, five weeks after his election by a synod of Chaldean...

HHS mandate: court rules against Catholic business owners CWN - March 6, 2013

A US district judge in the District of Columbia has refused to halt the implementation of the HHS mandate against Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, two businesses owned by Francis and Philip...

Violence follows nun’s murder in Madagascar CWN - March 6, 2013

Days after the murder of an 82-year-old nun in Madagascar, a crowd of youths attempted to enter a jail in order to lynch her suspected murderers. Police fired on the crowd, killing one and...

‘Health Care Conscience Rights Act’ introduced in House CWN - March 6, 2013

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has welcomed the introduction of the Health Care...

CCHD grants $800,000 to promote immigration reform CWN - March 6, 2013

Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the US bishops’ subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), has announced that the anti-poverty agency has granted...

Cardinals ask all Catholics to join in prayer for conclave CWN - March 6, 2013

The College of Cardinals will gather in St. Peter’s basilica at 5 pm on Wednesday to pray for the success of their coming conclave, and have asked the Catholic faithful throughout the world to join...

Cardinals close off interviews as confidential talks continue CWN - March 6, 2013

The College of Cardinals has decided to suspend all interviews during the days leading up to the papal conclave, as the cardinals seek to crack down on leaks of their confidential discussions....

Cardinal Dolan chosen as Notre Dame commencement speaker CWN - March 6, 2013

The University of Notre Dame has announced that its commencement speaker this year will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the US bishops’ conference. The choice of Cardinal...

Maronite prelate plans meeting of all Catholic, Orthodox patriarchs in Middle East CWN - March 6, 2013

The leader of the Maronite Catholic Church has announced plans for a meeting of “all Orthodox and Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East, to promote unity among Christians and deal with the problems...

Czech cardinal sees Catholic exodus, not Vatileaks, as top priority CWN - March 6, 2013

The top priority for the Church today is “people leaving the faith,” according to Cardinal Dominik Duka of Prague. “I don’t think ‘Vatileaks’ is at the top of the list,” the Czech cardinal told...

Cleveland's Bishop Lennon excommunicates rebel pastor CWN - March 6, 2013

Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, Ohio, has announced the excommunication of a priest who resisted the bishop’s decision to close his parish and has been leading unauthorized services in a...

Released Thursday, Mar. 7

Vatican diplomat challenges UN to do more to protect religious freedom CWN - March 7, 2013

Reacting to the publication of an annual United Nations report on religious freedom, a leading Holy See diplomat said that “effective protection of the human rights of persons belonging to religious...

South Korean archbishop calls for denuclearization CWN - March 7, 2013

As North Korea threatens a nuclear attack against the United States and South Korea inaugurates a new president, Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has called for the denuclearization of the...

Venezuelan cardinal who clashed with Chávez to offer Mass for deceased leader CWN - March 7, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas has called upon Venezuelans to pray for the repose of the soul of the late President Hugo Chávez and has announced that he will offer Mass for the repose of...

USCCB opposes ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity’ in domestic violence legislation CWN - March 7, 2013

The heads of four committees and one subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have announced that they “cannot support” the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of...

Arkansas outlaws most 2nd, 3rd-trimester abortions CWN - March 7, 2013

Overriding vetoes from Gov. Mike Beebe, the Arkansas legislature has enacted two laws that would ban most second- and third-trimester abortions. One bill prohibits abortions after 20 weeks except...

Conscience legislation facing major setback in US Congress? CWN - March 7, 2013

The Health Care Conscience Rights Act, which was introduced in the US House of Representatives with enthusiastic support from the US bishops’ conference, faces bleak prospects of approval, after a...

Activists ask Pakistan to drop death penalty from blasphemy law CWN - March 7, 2013

Human-rights activists in Pakistan are petitioning for the removal of the death penalty in the country’s law against blasphemy. The Asian Human Rights Commissions, with support from other...

New Chaldean patriarch says suffering, martyrdom can enrich Church in Iraq CWN - March 7, 2013

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako was formally enthroned on March 6 at Baghdad’s cathedral of St. Joseph, with Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki among those in attendance. In...

Cardinals continue talks, leaks unabated; no date for conclave CWN - March 7, 2013

The College of Cardinals held its 4th day of congregations on March 7, with all 115 of the cardinal-electors now present, but again declined to set a date for a papal conclave. Cardinal Kazimierz...

SNAP makes 'endorsements' for 3 papal candidates CWN - March 7, 2013

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has issued a list of three prelates the group regards as “promising” candidates for the papacy: Cardinals Luis Tagle of Manila and Christian...

Rome's mayor predicts enthronement of new Pope on March 17 CWN - March 7, 2013

Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno has predicted that a new Pope will be enthroned on March 17. Alemanno did not explain why he believed the papal enthronement would “probably” occur on that date. But...

Italian priest calls for gay Pope CWN - March 7, 2013

An outspoken Italian Catholic priest has called for the election of a homosexual Pope. “A homosexual Pope would be a magnificent thing,” Father Andrea Gallo said. Father Gallo has been prominent...

Vatican briefing on cardinals' residence during conclave CWN - March 7, 2013

In its latest briefing for reporters covering the sede vacante period, the Vatican press office has produced a detailed description of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (St. Martha House), where...

Massive computer storage offered for digitized Vatican Library collection CWN - March 7, 2013

The EMC Corporation is making 2.8 petabytes of computer storage space available for the digitized collection of the Vatican Library. Last year the Vatican Library and the Bodleian libraries at...

Swiss bishops approve 'morning-after pill' for rape victims CWN - March 7, 2013

The Catholic bishops of Switzerland have followed German, Spanish, and some US bishops in authorizing the administration of the “morning-after pill” to rape victims at Catholic hospitals. The...

Released Friday, Mar. 8

Vatican diplomat ‘adored’ Chávez, saved his life during 2002 coup CWN - March 8, 2013

A Syro-Malabar prelate in India has recounted how he saved Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s life during a failed 2002 military coup. “Chávez pleaded with me to save him,” recalls Archbishop...

As Islamists lose ground in Mali, Church may help broker peace CWN - March 8, 2013

Welcoming the French military presence that has broken Islamist rebels’ control of northern Mali, a Church official in the west African nation predicted that there may be a Catholic presence on the...

Court victory for Missouri company against HHS mandate CWN - March 8, 2013

A US district court judge in Missouri has temporarily prevented enforcement of the HHS mandate against Sioux Chief Manufacturing, a plumbing-supply company owned by a Catholic family. The judge...

US bishops, theologians to engage in dialogue on new evangelization and the university CWN - March 8, 2013

Three bishops who are members of the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Catholic Bishops will take part in a private dialogue with representatives of the Catholic Theological Society of...

USCCB: fast, take action on behalf of religious liberty CWN - March 8, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to offer their fasting and abstinence from meat on March 8 “for all people of faith who fight to preserve religious...

Conclave begins next Tuesday CWN - March 8, 2013

The conclave that will elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI will begin on Tuesday, March 12. Voting on Friday evening, March 8, the College of Cardinals chose to open the conclave next Tuesday....

Cardinals in congregation completing preparation for conclave CWN - March 8, 2013

At a briefing for reporters on March 8, the director of the Vatican press office confirmed that all cardinal-electors had arrived in Rome to participate in the daily conferences leading up to the...

Temporary flooring, electronic jammers installed in Sistine Chapel for conclave CWN - March 8, 2013

Vatican workers are preparing the Sistine Chapel for the papal conclave that will begin March 11 by installing electronic jamming devices and a temporary wooden floor. Determined to prevent leaks...

Libya: priest escapes gunman, Copts subjected to intimidation campaign CWN - March 8, 2013

A Catholic priest narrowly escaped assassination in the cathedral of Tripoli, Libya, on March 3. An unidentified gunman shot at the priest but missed, in the latest of a series of violent attacks...

Papal apartment will not be ready for new Pontiff CWN - March 8, 2013

When a new Pope is elected, he will not be able to move immediately into the papal apartment on the 3rd floor of the apostolic palace, a Vatican spokesman has revealed. The papal apartments were...

Poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage among US Catholics CWN - March 8, 2013

Support for same-sex marriage is rising among Americans who identify themselves as Catholics, a new Quinnipiac survey shows. According to the Quinnipiac poll, 54% of the Catholic respondents...

New book from Vatican publisher contains last public addresses of Pope Benedict XVI CWN - March 8, 2013

The Vatican publishing house has released a new book including the public remarks by Pope Benedict XVI between the day when he announced his decision to resign and the time when that resignation...

Released Monday, Mar. 11

Conclave: biblical scholar to preach meditation to cardinals before voting begins CWN - March 11, 2013

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Cardinal Prosper Grech, an 87-year-old biblical scholar whom Pope Benedict created a cardinal in 2012, will preach a meditation to the cardinal electors...

Over 100 homes burned in anti-Christian rampage in Pakistan CWN - March 11, 2013

A mob of 3,000 Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, after a Christian was arrested on charges of committing blasphemy against Muhammad. Over 100...

Court rules that Catholic-owned company may challenge HHS mandate CWN - March 11, 2013

A US district court judge in western Pennsylvania has ruled a lawsuit filed by the Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company against the HHS mandate may proceed. The for-profit company is owned by a Catholic...

Russian Orthodox patriarch lauds Chávez CWN - March 11, 2013

Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, who leads the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, has paid tribute to Hugo Chávez, the late Venezuelan president who clashed with the Catholic...

‘Generation Benedict’ honors Pope Emeritus CWN - March 11, 2013

During the season of Lent, “Generation Benedict,” an online initiative, is presenting 40 stories of young people whose lives have been influenced by the Pope Emeritus. “At a time when I was...

Vatican bank discussed as cardinals conclude pre-conclave meetings CWN - March 11, 2013

At their final meeting before the opening of the papal conclave tomorrow, the College of Cardinals heard a “brief report” on the Vatican bank. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the...

90 aides, support staff for conclave, sworn to secrecy CWN - March 11, 2013

About 90 aides and technical assistants will assist at the papal conclave, and have been sworn to secrecy, the Vatican has announced. All of the support personnel have been approved by the...

'Vatileaks' journalist refused credentials for conclave CWN - March 11, 2013

The Italian journalist who published a book of confidential papal documents has been refused press credentials to cover the papal conclave that opens March 12. Gianluigi Nuzzi rattled the Vatican...

Brothers who work for President Obama, Cardinal O'Malley CWN - March 11, 2013

The Washington Post profiles two brothers who serve as aides to an unlikely pair of prominent leaders: President Barack Obama and Cardinal Sean O'Malley. Tom Donilon is National Security Adviser...

Medal of Honor for Father Kapuan to be awarded April 11 CWN - March 11, 2013

Father Emil Kapaun, a US Army chaplain who died in a prison camp during the Korean War, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on April 11. The White House has formally confirmed the...

French cardinal: don't blame Church alone for sex abuse CWN - March 11, 2013

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris has insisted that sexual abuse of children is not a problem confined to the Church. Decrying the “fascination” with abuse by Catholic clerics, the French...

Cardinal-electors assigned to rooms in residence for conclave CWN - March 11, 2013

The 115 cardinal-electors who will participate in the conclave beginning March 12 have been assigned their rooms in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where they will stay during the...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 12

Hungary amends constitution; religious-freedom concerns CWN - March 12, 2013

Ignoring domestic protests and opposition from the European Union and the United States, the Hungarian parliament has voted to amend the nation’s constitution. The lengthy fourth amendment,...

China to maintain 1-child policy; signal of future change? CWN - March 12, 2013

The Chinese government has announced that it will maintain its family-planning policy but will merge its National Population and Family Planning Commission into its Ministry of Health--a move that...

Cardinal urges Congress to support Health Care Conscience Rights Act CWN - March 12, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has called upon members of the House of Representatives to support the Health Care Conscience...

Over diocese’s objections, Phoenix revises ‘human relations ordinance’ CWN - March 12, 2013

In a 5-3 vote, the Phoenix City Council has amended its human-relations ordinance to forbid places of public accommodation “to directly or indirectly display, circulate, publicize or mail any...

Mexican priest to lead ‘caravan of hope’ for immigration reform CWN - March 12, 2013

Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest, will lead an “Interfaith Caravan of Hope for Immigration Reform Beyond Borders.” The caravan will depart from San Diego on April 29 and arrive in...

Conclave has begun CWN - March 12, 2013

The conclave that will elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI has begun. The cardinal-electors filed into the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday afternoon, March 12, and each took a solemn vow to maintain...

Final preparations for conclave completed CWN - March 12, 2013

Final preparations for the papal conclave of March 2013 were completed on Tuesday morning. The 115 cardinal-electors who will choose the successor to Pope Benedict XVI moved into their rooms in...

Sydney archdiocese decries newspaper 'smear' of Cardinal Pell CWN - March 12, 2013

The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, has denounced as “utterly false and seriously defamatory” a news service report that claimed Cardinal George Pell was “tainted by sex abuse scandals.” The...

Marian cult in violent clash with police in Burundi CWN - March 12, 2013

In Burundi, at least 6 people were killed and 35 wounded in a violent confrontation between police and followers of a Marian cult. The violence broke out when police blocked a pilgrimage by...

Federal judge allows dismissed teacher's lawsuit to proceed against Indiana diocese CWN - March 12, 2013

A federal judge in Indiana has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the Diocese of Fort Wayne brought by a woman who was dismissed from her post as a teach in a Catholic school after she received in...

Gay sauna in Rome shares apartment building with Vatican officials CWN - March 12, 2013

Media outlets in Rome have aired a report that the Vatican has purchased a block of apartments in a building that also houses Rome’s largest gay sauna. Vatican has purchased 20 apartments in the...

Papabili produce heavy traffic on social media CWN - March 12, 2013

Several cardinals who have been identified as papabili have been hubs of social-media activity in the days leading up to the papal conclave. According to the ECCE/Customer firm, which specializes...

Maltese bishop: Pope Benedict resigned to ease successor's path to reform in Vatican CWN - March 12, 2013

Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor in sex-abuse cases, has suggested that Pope Benedict XVI resigned in order to give his successor a better chance to purge unreliable...

Ohio nun faces vote-fraud charge CWN - March 12, 2013

A Catholic nun in Ohio is facing charges of vote fraud. Sister Marguerite Kloos has reportedly agreed to plead guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. She...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 13

Pakistani bishops take part in sit-in to protest treatment of Christians CWN - March 13, 2013

Two Pakistani bishops, including the president of the nation’s episcopal conference, took part in a peaceful sit-in and candlelight vigil in Lahore, the nation’s second-largest city, following an...

New Coptic Catholic patriarch enthroned CWN - March 13, 2013

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak was enthroned as patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church on March 12 as his predecessor, Cardinal Antonios Naguib, was taking part in the Mass for the election of the...

Denver archbishop laments legalization of civil unions in Colorado CWN - March 13, 2013

Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver has issued a statement lamenting the passage of civil union legislation in Colorado. The state’s bishops had opposed the legislation, which grants marriage-like...

Reformed seminary challenges HHS mandate CWN - March 13, 2013

A leading Reformed seminary has filed suit against the HHS mandate, which requires most employers to offer insurance that covers drugs that can potentially induce abortions. “It is indisputable...

$10M settlement in Los Angeles abuse cases CWN - March 13, 2013

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $10 million to four men who alleged abuse by Michael Baker, a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who was ordained in 1974 and laicized in...

Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio elected Pope Francis CWN - March 13, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina has been elected Pope. The new Pontiff, who chose the name Pope Francis, is the first Latin American ever to become Roman Pontiff, and...

Pope-emeritus Benedict will not attend successor's installation CWN - March 13, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI does not plan to attend the installation of his successor, the Vatican announced on Wednesday morning. The announcement came before the afternoon news that a new Pope had...

Released Thursday, Mar. 14

The future Pope Francis on apostolic courage and the danger of ‘spiritual worldliness’ CWN - March 14, 2013

In a 2007 interview, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires discussed the importance of apostolic courage, warned against the “clericalization of the laity,” and reflected on the Prophet...

The future Pope Francis on the Eucharist and Mary CWN - March 14, 2013

During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, which was devoted to the Holy Eucharist, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio reflected on the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Cardinal Bergoglio did...

The future Pope Francis on the relevance of St. Augustine CWN - March 14, 2013

In a preface to a 2009 book on St. Augustine, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires said that “it can be said in so many ways that the holy Bishop of Hippo is relevant. One can venture...

Pope John Paul’s example inspired Pope Francis to pray Rosary daily CWN - March 14, 2013

In a tribute to Pope John Paul II written after the Pontiff’s death in 2005, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires recounted how the Pope’s example inspired him to “recite the 15 mysteries...

The future Pope Francis: additional interviews and writings CWN - March 14, 2013

Over the past dozen years, magazines associated with the Communion and Liberation movement have on several occasions published remarks by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. In a 2009...

US, Canadian bishops welcome election of Pope Francis CWN - March 14, 2013

The presidents of the US and Canadian bishops’ conferences have issued statements welcoming the election of Pope Francis as Successor of St. Peter. “The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario...

Pope Francis visits Marian basilica, talks by phone with Benedict XVI CWN - March 14, 2013

On the morning after his election, Pope Francis quietly left the Vatican to pray at the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major. The newly elected Pontiff had spoken to his predecessor, Pope-emeritus...

Pope's public schedule for first days of pontificate CWN - March 14, 2013

The Vatican press office has released a schedule of public events for the newly elected Pope: A Mass on Thursday afternoon, March 14, in the Sistine Chapel, with the cardinals who had taken part in...

President Obama sends greetings to new Pontiff CWN - March 14, 2013

US President Barack Obama has sent his “warm wishes” to Pope Francis, and said that he looks forward to working with the newly elected Pontiff. “Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict...

American cardinals relieved after conclave CWN - March 14, 2013

Two American cardinals told reporters that they were relieved but not surprised that they were not chosen by this week’s papal conclave. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York had said before the...

Italian bishops' conference congratulates the wrong cardinal after conclave CWN - March 14, 2013

Officials of the Italian bishops’ conference were embarrassed on March 13 when they sent a congratulatory email message to Cardinal Angelo Scola, falsely believing that he had been elected as...

Police raid office of Cardinal Scola's friend hours before conclave CWN - March 14, 2013

Italian police raided the home and office of a close friend of Milan’s Cardinal Angelo Scola on March 12, just before the opening of a papal conclave that the cardinal entered as a leading candidate...

Jihadist rebels threaten government of Central African Republic CWN - March 14, 2013

Jihadist rebels in the Central African Republic are threatening Catholic institutions and creating a “situation very similar to that of Mali,” Bishop Juan José Aguirre Munos of Bangassou has warned...

Church cannot 'walk without the Cross,' Pope Francis says in first homily as Pontiff CWN - March 14, 2013

Celebrating Mass with the cardinals who had elected him, Pope Francis described the essence of the Church’s mission simply: “To walk, to build, to witness.” The new Pope celebrated the Mass Pro...

Released Friday, Mar. 15

Pope Francis asks Argentines to give to poor rather than travel to Rome for installation CWN - March 15, 2013

Pope Francis has asked the bishops, priests, religious, and laity of Argentina not to travel to Rome for his papal installation Mass on March 19. Instead, the Pontiff has asked them to show charity...

‘Rend your hearts’: Lenten message of the future Pope Francis CWN - March 15, 2013

In his most recent Lenten message to the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio repeatedly urged the faithful to rend their hearts. “Little by little we get used to hearing...

New attack on Coptic church in Benghazi CWN - March 15, 2013

A Coptic church in Benghazi has been attacked for the second time in a week. Assailants set fire to the church, which was empty at the time of the attack. The attack on the church follows the...

US prelate: Americans must help reverse tide of Catholic emigration from Iraq CWN - March 15, 2013

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said that Americans must stem the tide...

Father Fessio, George Weigel laud Pope as ‘old-school Jesuit’; ‘persecuted’ by fellow Jesuits in Argentina? CWN - March 15, 2013

Father Joseph Fessio, the Jesuit founder of Ignatius Press, said that he was “overjoyed” by the election of Pope Francis. “He is a great Jesuit, a traditional one,” Father Fessio said of the...

USCCB: fast for intention of pro-life workers CWN - March 15, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to offer their fasting and abstinence from meat on March 15 “for all who help to build a Culture of Life: that even in...

Never be discouraged, Pope Francis urges cardinals CWN - March 15, 2013

“Let us never give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day,” Pope Francis said as he met on March 15 with all the members of the College of Cardinals, in the...

Pope sends greetings to Rome's Jewish leader CWN - March 15, 2013

In a message to the Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the head of the Jewish community in Rome, Pope Francis said that he hopes to “contribute to the progress of the relations that have existed between Jews...

Vatican rejects charge that future Pope failed to oppose Argentine military government CWN - March 15, 2013

The Vatican has released a strong statement rejecting charges that Pope Francis failed to protect priests from the Argentine military government while he was serving as the Jesuit provincial in that...

Unprecedented ecumenical gesture: Patriarch of Constantinople will attend Pope's inauguration CWN - March 15, 2013

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has announced that he plans to attend the inaugural Mass of Pope Frances on March 19. The appearance by the Ecumenical Patriarch--the "first...

Islamic university hopes for dialogue with Vatican under Pope Francis CWN - March 15, 2013

Egypt’s Al Azhar University, the world’s leading institution of Sunni Muslim thought, is hoping for a resumption of dialogue with the Vatican as Pope Francis takes the helm. Representatives of Al...

Argentine cardinal suffers stroke, visited in hospital by Pope Francis CWN - March 15, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Maria Meija, an elderly Argentine cardinal who now lives in Rome, suffered a stroke on the day that his countryman, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected Pope. Pope Francis...

New study finds jump in number of Americans with no religious affiliation CWN - March 15, 2013

A new study by Berkeley sociologists has found that the number of Americans who report no religious affiliations is at an all-time high. The Berkeley researchers reported that 32% of respondents...

Philadelphia's Archbishop Chaput: girls can join CYO football teams CWN - March 15, 2013

The Philadelphia archdiocese has announced that girls will be allowed to compete in a football league organized by the Catholic Youth Organization next year. Archbishop Charles Chaput had...

'Cybersquatters' seize domain names linked to Pope Francis CWN - March 15, 2013

Since the election of Pope Francis, "cybersquatters" have snapped up domain names that resembled the new Pontiff's name. Within hours after the announcement of the new Pope's identity, internet...

Released Monday, Mar. 18

South African cardinal apologizes for remarks on pedophilia CWN - March 18, 2013

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban has apologized for describing pedophilia as an “illness” rather than a “criminal condition.” Cardinal Napier had told BBC that “from my experience,...

Michigan company gains court victory against HHS mandate CWN - March 18, 2013

A federal district court judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the HHS mandate against Domino’s Farms, a Michigan property-management company wholly owned by Tom...

Obama names delegation to Pope’s inaugural Mass CWN - March 18, 2013

President Barack Obama has announced that Vice President Joseph Biden will lead the US delegation to the Mass inaugurating Pope Francis’s Petrine ministry. Other members of the delegation are...

Missionary beaten in Pakistan; hundreds of Christians remain homeless CWN - March 18, 2013

Naeem Bhadhar, a Presbyterian pastor and missionary, was several beaten by Muslim extremists after he tried to organize a protest in Kalaswala, a village 85 miles from Lahore, Pakistan’s...

Archbishop Chaput: Pope Francis’s election is ‘huge benefit for the Church’ CWN - March 18, 2013

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia sees the election of Pope Francis as “a great gift, a huge benefit for the Church, and also a candid recognition of the new Catholic reality worldwide. I...

Pope renews Curia appointments—for now CWN - March 18, 2013

Pope Francis has "provisionally" renewed the appointments of leaders in the Roman Curia, the Vatican announced on March 16. The authority of all top officials in the Curia lapses when the Holy...

Pope tells journalists: I want a Church of and for the poor CWN - March 18, 2013

“Oh, how I wish for a Church that is poor and for the poor!” Pope Francis said at a March 16 meeting with journalists. The new Pope spoke to over 6,000 journalists and media representatives in...

Cardinal Bergoglio 'completely innocent' of 'dirty war' accusations, says top Argentine judge CWN - March 18, 2013

The president of Argentina’s highest court has said that Pope Francis is “completely innocent” of any charges of having collaborated with the military dictatorship that ruled his country during the...

At 1st Angelus audience, Pope speaks on God's infinite mercy CWN - March 18, 2013

At his first Angelus audience, Pope Francis assured the faithful crowded into St. Peter’s Square that “the Lord never tires of forgiving us.” The new Pope offered a brief reflection on the day’s...

'All welcome' for Pope's inaugural Mass CWN - March 18, 2013

At a briefing for reporters on March 18, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, outlined the ceremonies that will take place on March 19, at the Inaugural Mass of Pope...

After visit to Roman parish, Pope mixes with crowd outside Vatican CWN - March 18, 2013

Pope Francis visited a parish in Rome on the first Sunday of his pontificate, and later rattled his security detail by wading into a crowd to greet the public. The Pope celebrated Mass at the...

Walesa avoids criminal charges for criticism of gay-rights activists CWN - March 18, 2013

Poland’s former president, Lech Walesa, will not face criminal charges for criticizing militant homosexuals, prosecutors have announced. Gay-rights activists called for criminal charges after...

Argentine president visits Pope, asks intervention on Falklands CWN - March 18, 2013

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner met on March 18 with Pope Francis, with whom she had often clashed while he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Fernandez reportedly asked the...

Zimbabwe's Mugabe, denounced by country's bishops, plans to attend Pope's inaugural Mass CWN - March 18, 2013

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, whose authoritarian government has been denounced by his country’s Catholic bishops and ostracized by the European Union, has arrived in Rome to attend the inaugural Mass...

Sistine Chapel re-opened to public CWN - March 18, 2013

The Sistine Chapel, which was closed on March 5 in preparation for the papal conclave there, was re-opened to the public on March 18. The Sistine Chapel, where the cardinal-electors gathered to...

How did cardinals choose Pope Francis? First accounts leak from conclave CWN - March 18, 2013

According to the first accounts to emerge about the March 2013 papal conclave, the cardinals chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio after it became clear that other candidates--notably including the...

Freak accident causes multiple fatalities at Mexican religious procession CWN - March 18, 2013

A freak accident killed more than a dozen people and injured 150 others during a religious procession in Tlaxcala, Mexico, on March 16. The deaths were caused by an explosion that occurred when a...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 19

Head of Ukranian Catholic Church pays tribute to Pope Francis as his mentor CWN - March 19, 2013

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has paid tribute to Pope Francis as his mentor. The major archbishop was consecrated a Ukrainian Greek...

Pakistan: Christian girl rescued from forced conversion, marriage CWN - March 19, 2013

A Pakistani court has annulled the forced marriage of a 14-year-old Christian girl to her Muslim abductor. Rafia Mansha was kidnapped in December and forced to convert to Islam. Another Christian...

Philippine high court suspends reproductive health law CWN - March 19, 2013

The Philippine Supreme Court has suspended the implementation of the nation’s controversial reproductive health law for four months. The high court stated it has done so in order “to fully assess...

North Dakota bans abortions for genetic defects and after heartbeat is detected CWN - March 19, 2013

North Dakota’s legislature has passed bills banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected or for reason of genetic defect. “It takes you back to Hitler, and we know where that went,” said...

Cuba declares Good Friday a holiday CWN - March 19, 2013

For the second year in a row, Cuba has declared Good Friday a national holiday. “The leadership of the country has approved a pause in work activities on Friday, March 29,” a Communist newspaper...

Pope Francis: Homily at Inaugural Mass (full text) CWN - March 19, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the...

World Youth Day appearance by Pope Francis confirmed, says Brazilian cardinal CWN - March 19, 2013

Pope Francis will travel to Rio de Janeiro in July for World Youth Day, the president of the Brazilian bishops' conference has confirmed. Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis said that he had spoken...

Pope Francis celebrates inaugural Mass to begin pontificate CWN - March 19, 2013

Pope Francis formally began his pontificate on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, with an inaugural Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s Square. Hundreds of thousands of people crowded into St. Peter’s...

Boko Haram has destroyed 50 Catholic churches in one Nigerian state, priest reports CWN - March 19, 2013

The Boko Haram terrorist group has destroyed 50 of the 52 Catholic churches in Nigeria’s Borno state, according to a priest there. Father Jerome Ituah said that despite the terrorist attacks,...

Vatican explains coat of arms of Pope Francis CWN - March 19, 2013

The Vatican press office has provided a briefing on the coat of arms adopted by Pope Francis, which is modeled closely on his episcopal coat of arms. A bright blue shield bears the inscription...

Before inaugural Mass, Pope speaks by phone to crowd in Buenos Aires CWN - March 19, 2013

Pope Francis made an unexpected phone call to his native Argentina early on Tuesday morning, to speak to thousands of people who had gathered in the main square of Buenos Aires to watch the...

In US Congress, most Catholic-college graduates support abortion funding CWN - March 19, 2013

Among the 92 members of the US Congress who attended Catholic colleges, a majority have voted for abortion funding, the Cardinal Newman Society has found. In Congress as a whole, 52 of the...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 20

Cardinal Dolan: joy, prayers as Pope begins Petrine ministry CWN - March 20, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offers prayers and congratulations to Pope Francis upon the inauguration of his Petrine ministry. “On the...

Orthodox church in Cyprus will mortgage assets to help bail out country CWN - March 20, 2013

The head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus has announced that the church will mortgage its assets and invest in bonds in an effort to pave the way for an international bailout of the...

Court rules that HHS mandate trumps state conscience-protection law CWN - March 20, 2013

A federal district court judge has ruled that a Missouri conscience-protection measure is invalid because it conflicts with the HHS mandate. Missouri’s legislature, overriding the governor’s...

Obama sends letter to Pope Francis CWN - March 20, 2013

The White House has announced that President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Pope Francis. A White House spokesman declined to disclose its...

Christian-owned stores attacked in Egypt CWN - March 20, 2013

A crowd of up to 2,000 Muslim residents of a southern Egyptian village attacked Christian-owned stores following rumors that a young Muslim woman was kidnapped and forced to convert to...

Leading pro-life congressman reflects on election of Pope Francis CWN - March 20, 2013

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), a leading pro-life congressman since his election to the House of Representatives in 1981, described the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis as “an awe-inspiring event, but most...

Pope affirms commitment to ecumenism CWN - March 20, 2013

At a March 20 audience for representatives of non-Catholic religions who had attended his inaugural Mass the previous day, Pope Francis underlined the commitment of the Catholic Church to ecumenical...

Taiwanese president hopeful on continued ties with Holy See CWN - March 20, 2013

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, returning home after a visit to the Vatican where he met with Pope Francis, told reporters that he has "great hopes for our ties with the Vatican in the...

Pope Francis calls Pope-emeritus Benedict with feast-day greetings CWN - March 20, 2013

Pope Francis placed a phone call to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on March 19, to send his greetings on the feast of the former Pontiff's patron saint, the Vatican has confirmed. The phone...

Joliet diocesan archives show priestly abuse was covered up CWN - March 20, 2013

Confidential records from the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, show that for years the diocese maintained files on priests who had been accused of sexual abuse, but kept information about the complaints...

Serious reforms needed in Roman Curia, Cardinal Dolan says CWN - March 20, 2013

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan has confirmed that he and other cardinals are convinced that serious reforms are needed in the Roman Curia. Cardinal Dolan told a radio audience that among other...

Illicit Chinese bishop ordains priests on day of Pope's inaugural Mass CWN - March 20, 2013

A Chinese bishop who was ordained without authorization from the Holy See--and is therefore subject to excommunication-- ordained two priests on March 19, the same date as the inaugural Mass...

Green Bay diocese settles abuse lawsuit CWN - March 20, 2013

The Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has reached a settlement to end a sex-abuse lawsuit, agreeing to pay $700,000 to two brothers who were molested by the same priest in the 1970s. The...

Islamic cleric calls for death of girl who posted topless picture CWN - March 20, 2013

An Islamic cleric in Tunisia has issued a fatwa against a young feminist who posted a topless picture of herself on a Facebook page. The 19-year-old woman posted a photo that showed the words “my...

Pope invites Rome's poor to Holy Thursday Mass CWN - March 20, 2013

Pope Francis is making a special effort to include the poor of Rome in the congregation for the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. The Pope has made 3,000 ticket to the Mass available to...

Syria's Christians in peril, Melkite Catholic leader warns Pontiff CWN - March 20, 2013

Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory II Laham of Antioch has written to Pope Francis, warning him that Christians in the Middle East, and especially in Syria, face immediate dangers. "Interfaith...

Pope Francis is avid soccer fan CWN - March 20, 2013

Pope Francis is an avid and very knowledgeable soccer fan, the head of the Pontiff’s favorite team told Vatican Radio. The Pope is a card-carrying member of the Atletico San Lorenzo club, said...

Released Thursday, Mar. 21

USCCB: HHS mandate remains ‘unprecedented’ violation of religious liberty CWN - March 21, 2013

In a 24-page response to the Obama administration’s most recent “accommodation” on the HHS mandate, the general counsel and associate general counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic...

New Archbishop of Canterbury lauds Catholic social teaching, pays tribute to St. Benedict CWN - March 21, 2013

On the eve of his enthronement as Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby described Catholic social teaching as “one of the greatest treasures that the churches globally have to...

Holy Land bishops’ commission writes Obama on plight of Palestinian Christians CWN - March 21, 2013

The justice and peace commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land has urged President Barack Obama to remember the plight of Palestinian Christians during his trip to...

USCCB criticizes Ryan budget plan, urges maintenance of funding for anti-poverty programs CWN - March 21, 2013

In a letter of members of Congress, the chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said they were “profoundly concerned that the allocation for non-defense...

Future Pope frequently offered Mass at chapel near bus stop CWN - March 21, 2013

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio often celebrated Mass at a small chapel near a Buenos Aires bus stop “even though he had a private [chapel] which was much more comfortable,” according to a...

Washington Post examines future Pope’s record on abuse cases CWN - March 21, 2013

Although “nobody has presented evidence that [Cardinal Jorge Mario] Bergoglio was directly involved covering up sex abuse,” the future Pontiff “declined to meet” with clergy sex abuse victims and...

Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at prison in Rome CWN - March 21, 2013

Pope Francis has made the surprise decision to celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday in a juvenile detention center in Rome, rather than in St. Peter’s basilica. The Pope will celebrate the Mass of the...

Palestinian prelate laments inaction on peace process CWN - March 21, 2013

Archbishop Michel Sabbah, the retired Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, has expressed frustration that although many important people visit the Holy Land and voice their support for peace, the...

Pope sends greetings to new Archbishop of Canterbury CWN - March 21, 2013

Pope Francis has sent his greetings to Dr. Justin Welby, who was enthroned on March 21 as Archbishop of Canterbury and worldwide leader of the Anglican communion. The Pope began his message by...

Cardinal Ouellet sees plans for change under Pope Francis CWN - March 21, 2013

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, told a Canadian interviewer that he has “very concrete” directions from Pope Francis, and looks forward to carrying them...

Kidnapped Jesuit says future Pope France was blameless in his Argentine detention CWN - March 21, 2013

One of two Jesuits who were kidnapped and held for 5 months by Argentina’s military regime has issued a new statement making it clear that he does not believe the future Pope Francis was responsible...

Book of future Pope's conversations with rabbi to be published in English in May CWN - March 21, 2013

A book of conversations between then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka will be published in English in May by Image. Entitled On Heaven and Earth, the book provides of the...

Pope invites fellow Argentines to impromptu party CWN - March 21, 2013

About 50 natives of Argentina met with Pope Francis in an unplanned gathering on Wednesday afternoon at the Pontiff’s temporary residence in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Pope issued invitations...

South Dakota bishop raps Catholic health-care network for accepting HHS mandate CWN - March 21, 2013

Bishop Paul Swain of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has rebuked a Catholic health-care system for its decision to comply with the federal government’s mandate to provide contraceptive coverage. The...

Islamic rebels target churches, prelates in Central African Republic CWN - March 21, 2013

A bishop in the Central African Republic has said that he is a target of Islamic rebels. “They have a list of people to hit,” said Bishop Juan José Aguirre Muños of Bangassou, speaking of the...

Released Friday, Mar. 22

Nobel Peace Prize winner defends Pope’s actions during ‘dirty war’ CWN - March 22, 2013

An Argentine pacifist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980 has come to the defense of Pope Francis’s actions between 1976 and 1983, when the military ruled the nation. “The Pope had nothing to...

Federal appeals court rules that monks may sell caskets CWN - March 22, 2013

Citing a state law that threatens violators with major fines and imprisonment, the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors ordered the Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey in 2010 to...

Russian Orthodox patriarch gives book, icon to Pope Francis CWN - March 22, 2013

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has given Pope Francis an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a copy of his book, Freedom and Responsibility. Metropolitan Hilarion, the...

Report: Guardini a favorite author of Pope Francis CWN - March 22, 2013

La Nación, a leading Argentine newspaper, is reporting that “the book that perhaps excites the new Pontiff the most is The Lord, by the famous theologian and historian Romano Guardini.” Before...

Archbishop of Canterbury’s inaugural homily CWN - March 22, 2013

In his sermon inaugurating his ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby praised Pope Francis, St. Benedict, and his own predecessor, Thomas Cramner, who worked to make the...

USCCB: fast for March for Marriage CWN - March 22, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to offer their fasting and abstinence from meat on March 22 “for all who will march in the March for Marriage on Tuesday,...

Pope Francis backs Benedict’s stand against relativism CWN - March 22, 2013

In his first major statement on the world’s political affairs, Pope Francis strongly backed a fundamental theme of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, warning against a “tyranny of relativism, which...

Chaldean prelate invites Pope to visit Iraq CWN - March 22, 2013

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has invited Pope Francis to visit Iraq, and reports that the Pontiff responded positively to the idea. “The Pontiff said he looks forward to...

Complaints against Cardinal O'Brien followed his statements against same-sex marriage CWN - March 22, 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned in February and later admitted to sexual misconduct, conducted a long-term affair with another priest, the Scottish Herald has reported. The cleric who was...

LA parish asks Bishop Curry not to perform Confirmation ceremony CWN - March 22, 2013

Some parishes in the Los Angeles archdiocese have made a request that Bishop Thomas Curry not preside at a scheduled Confirmation ceremony. Bishop Curry resigned from his post as regional bishop...

Catholic Charities USA, Notre Dame announce joint effort to study poverty programs CWN - March 22, 2013

Catholic Charities USA has formed a partnership with the University of Notre Dame to study approaches to reducing poverty in the US. The joint effort will establish a “domestic poverty lab,” in...

Pope celebrates Mass for Vatican’s blue-collar workers CWN - March 22, 2013

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Friday morning, March 22, for Vatican gardeners and trash collectors. After the Mass, the Pope greeted each of the Vatican employees personally. He then took a...

California diocese delays requirement for Catholic school personnel to affirm Church teachings CWN - March 22, 2013

The Diocese of Santa Rosa, California, has delayed implementation of a policy that would require all Catholic-school teachers to affirm Church teachings on matters such as abortion, contraception,...

Released Monday, Mar. 25

Nobel Peace Prize winner again defends Pope Francis CWN - March 25, 2013

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, an Argentine human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980, has again come to the defense of Pope Francis for his actions during the years when the nation was...

Judge rules against Franciscan University, Michigan Catholic Conference in HHS mandate case CWN - March 25, 2013

A US district court judge has dismissed a challenge to the HHS mandate brought by Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Michigan Catholic Conference. Judge Algenon Marbley, a Clinton...

Pope Francis gives Russian patriarch’s gift to Pope Emeritus Benedict CWN - March 25, 2013

Three days after Pope Francis received a Marian icon as a gift from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Pope gave the icon as a gift to Pope Emeritus...

Cardinal Mahony: Pope needs to make new curial appointments ‘very soon’ CWN - March 25, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who served as Archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, writes that “the really difficult work” now awaits Pope Francis. Pope Francis “has several key and meaningful...

USCCB action alert urges public comments on HHS mandate CWN - March 25, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Catholics to make public comments on the Obama administration’s new “accommodation” on the HHS mandate. Comments are due to the Department...

Pope Francis and creation: 3 reflections CWN - March 25, 2013

Eduardo Rojas-Briales of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Father Drew Christiansen of America, and Dan Misleh of Catholic Climate Covenant reflected on Pope Francis’s emphasis on creation...

Pope Francis, Benedict XVI embrace at Castel Gandolfo CWN - March 25, 2013

Pope Francis traveled to Castel Gandolfo on Saturday, March 23, for an unprecedented friendly meeting between an acting Pontiff and his living predecessor. Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI met the...

Another massive rally in Paris against same-sex marriage CWN - March 25, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of French citizens rallied in Paris on Sunday, March 24, to protest a government plan for recognition of same-sex marriage. Legislation allowing for homosexual unions passed...

Pope urges Jesuits to maintain loyalty CWN - March 25, 2013

Pope Francis has asked his fellow Jesuits to remain faithful to the vision of the founding vision of their order. In a March 16 letter to Father Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, which was made public by...

Pope's Palm Sunday message: Find joy in the Cross CWN - March 25, 2013

Celebrating Mass on Palm Sunday for a huge congregation estimated at 250,000 people in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis exhorted the faithful: “Never give way to discouragement!” In his homily...

Syrian Catholic prelate warns West against arming rebels CWN - March 25, 2013

Peace cannot be achieved in Syria by arming the rebel movement, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antonie Audo of Aleppo has warned. While the US and the European Union are actively supporting the rebels...

Ugandan priest suspended after citing widespread violations of priestly celibacy CWN - March 25, 2013

A popular Catholic priest in Uganda has been suspended from ministry after he released an open letter charging that many priests in the African country are sexually active, and called for a...

Salvadoran Catholics rekindle hope for Archbishop Romero's beatification CWN - March 25, 2013

Hundreds of Catholics gathered in San Salvador, crowding the city's cathedral to overflowing, to mark the March 24 anniversary of the killing of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Archbishop Romero was...

Prominent Italian Muslim convert renounces Catholic faith CWN - March 25, 2013

Magdi Allam, a prominent Italian journalist who converted from Islam to Christianity, has announced that he is leaving the Catholic Church because Catholic leaders have not been strong enough in...

Pope highlights God's patience with sinful people CWN - March 25, 2013

In his homily at a March 25 Mass for Vatican employees, Pope Francis suggested that during Holy Week the faithful should reflect on the enormous patience of God, in light of our own...

Papal message to Rome's Jewish community for Passover CWN - March 25, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message to Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the head of the Jewish community of Rome, which is beginning its observance of Passover: A few days on from our meeting, and with...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 26

Pope Francis’ Via Crucis at the Colosseum: full text of meditations CWN - March 26, 2013

The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has released the meditations for the Way of the Cross at which Pope Francis will preside. The Way of the Cross will take place on...

Future Pope Francis emphasized self-accusation of faults by religious CWN - March 26, 2013

Editrice Missionaria Italiana has published the Italian edition of two works by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Umiltà, la strada verso Dio [Humility, the Way to God] and Guarire...

Amid persecution, Church in Libya offers ‘silent testimony’ of worship, charity CWN - March 26, 2013

Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro, the Maltese Franciscan who serves as apostolic vicar of Benghazi, has told Aid to the Church in Need that the Church in Libya is maintaining its “silent testimony” of...

Archbishop Gomez: Pope Francis may weigh in on immigration reform CWN - March 26, 2013

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who joined 14 other religious leaders in a recent meeting with President Barack Obama on immigration reform, has told the Fides news agency that Pope Francis...

Pope Francis, accompanied by secretary, stops to pray at cemetery, church CWN - March 26, 2013

Following his Palm Sunday Mass, Pope Francis prayed at the Teutonic Cemetery and the adjacent Church of Our Lady of Mercy, L’Osservatore Romano has reported. Pope Francis stopped to pray in the...

Orthodox Patriarch foresees reunion of Christian East and West CWN - March 26, 2013

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has told reporters that he sees a possibility for reunion between the Orthodox and Roman churches, even if it “will probably not happen during my...

Pope in no hurry to move into apostolic palace CWN - March 26, 2013

Pope Francis has no immediate plans to move into the papal apartments on the 3rd floor of the apostolic palace, the director of the Vatican press office has disclosed. Since his election, Pope...

No media coverage for Pope’s Holy Thursday Mass CWN - March 26, 2013

Pope Francis has indicated that he wants the Holy Thursday Mass that he will celebrate at a juvenile detention center in Rome to be a quiet, simple celebration. The media will not be invited. The...

Archbishop hopes violence in Central African Republic will not become sectarian CWN - March 26, 2013

Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui in the Central African Republic has called upon the country’s new leadership to ensure safety for all residents and to curb violence against...

Russian Orthodox spokesman: Pope should not encourage Ukrainian Catholics CWN - March 26, 2013

The chief ecumenical-affairs officer for the Russian Orthodox Church has voiced his hope that Pope Francis will not encourage the growth of the Eastern-rite Ukrainian Catholic...

Jerusalem’s Christian leaders call for prayers, pilgrimages CWN - March 26, 2013

The leaders of the Christian churches of Jerusalem have issued an invitation to all the world’s Christians to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and “walk with the living stones of this land,...

Holy See backs UN ban on arms transfers to oppressive governments CWN - March 26, 2013

The Vatican’s representative at the UN has called for adoption of an international tready that would ban the transfer of arms to countries where human-rights violations are taking...

Syrian refugees in Jordan now number 500,000 CWN - March 26, 2013

The number of refugees from Syria entering Jordan has reached 500,000, the head of Caritas Jordan reports. The agency says that between 1,000 and 2,000 Syrian refugees continue to cross the border...

New Orleans archbishop dismayed by crimes inside churches CWN - March 26, 2013

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans has expressed dismay and disbelief at a spate of crimes taking place inside churches. The archbishop said that he was “blown away” by reports that a woman...

Cardinal Dolan meets with Vice President Biden after Sunday Mass CWN - March 26, 2013

Vice President Joseph Biden attended Mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral in New York on Palm Sunday, and had coffee afterward with Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Neither the cardinal nor the vice-president...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 27

In weekday Mass homily, Pope Francis emphasizes forgiveness CWN - March 27, 2013

Pope Francis concelebrated Mass on March 26 with 40 priests who had returned to their rooms in Domus Sanctae Marthae after vacating them for the conclave. In his homily, the Pope emphasized...

Pope Francis’ Holy Thursday Mass: most youth at prison are foreign Muslims CWN - March 27, 2013

The Casal del Marmo juvenile prison, where Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, has a population that is mostly foreign-born and Muslim. “Only eight of our residents are...

Cuban cardinal: before conclave, Pope Francis challenged Church not to be narcissistic CWN - March 27, 2013

During the general congregations that preceded his election as Pope, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio challenged his brother cardinals to look outward rather than succumb to narcissism, according to a...

Archbishop Cordileone speaks at March for Marriage; message from Vatican prelate CWN - March 27, 2013

As the Supreme Court heard the first of two cases on the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the National Organization for Marriage held a March for...

Kentucky passes religious-freedom act CWN - March 27, 2013

Overriding Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto by overwhelming margins, the Kentucky house and senate have passed religious-freedom legislation. The Catholic Conference of Kentucky supported the...

Enter Christ's way of thinking during Holy Week, Pope urges public audience CWN - March 27, 2013

“Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others,” Pope Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square at the first weekly public audience of his...

Papal plea for peace in Central African Republic CWN - March 27, 2013

At the conclusion of his Wednesday public audience on March 27, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace in the Central African Republic. “I call for an immediate halt to the violence and looting,...

Pope Francis will 'take possession' of Lateran basilica on April 7 CWN - March 27, 2013

Pope Francis will formally "take possession" of the basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, the 2nd Sunday of Easter and the feast of Divine Mercy, the Vatican has announced. The Lateran...

New evidence confirms age of Shroud of Turin CWN - March 27, 2013

New experiments conducted at the University of Padua have confirmed that the Shroud of Turin dates back to the time of Christ. Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement,...

Connecticut priest to plead guilty on meth-sale charge CWN - March 27, 2013

A suspended Catholic priest in Connecticut will enter a guilty plea on charges that he ran a methamphetamine-sales operation. Kevin Wallin, a former pastor and chancery official in the Bridgeport...

Rome's public-transit lines salute Pope Francis, noted bus rider CWN - March 27, 2013

Taking advantage of the new Pope’s reputation as a regular patron of city buses in Buenos Aires, the city busy system of Rome, ATAC, has printed up tickets featuring an image of Pope...

Vatican cardinal hospitalized with heart ailment CWN - March 27, 2013

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, has been listed in "stable" condition after he was hospitalized when he collapsed during the Palm Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope...

Released Thursday, Mar. 28

Pakistan: neighborhood devastated by anti-Christian violence being rebuilt CWN - March 28, 2013

With assistance from the provincial government, hundreds of Christians made homeless by an anti-Christian rampage in Lahore are returning to their neighborhood. “The incident of Joseph Colony,...

State court upholds constitutionality of school vouchers CWN - March 28, 2013

The Indiana Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a school voucher program that assisted parents in sending their children in the schools of their choice. “This has...

Slight changes to Pope Francis’s coat of arms CWN - March 28, 2013

The Vatican’s web site has posted a new version of Pope Francis’s coat of arms. The star, which represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, now has eight points instead of five; Cardinal Andrea...

Court dismisses EWTN’s lawsuit against HHS mandate CWN - March 28, 2013

A federal district judge has dismissed EWTN’s lawsuit against the HHS mandate. Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, who was appointed to the bench by the first President Bush, sided with ETWN and...

USCCB again urges public comments on HHS mandate CWN - March 28, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has again urged Catholics to make public comments on the Obama administration’s latest version of the HHS mandate. “Please file your comments with...

Pope Francis: Homily at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass (full text) CWN - March 28, 2013

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, this morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself,...

Priests fulfill themselves by serving others, Pope tells clergy of Rome CWN - March 28, 2013

Pope Francis encouraged the pastors of Rome to be “shepherds who have the smell of their sheep” as he celebrated the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, March 28. The Pope told the priests of his Rome...

Vatican proclaims 65 new 20th-century martyrs CWN - March 28, 2013

The Vatican has issued a series of proclamations proclaimed 65 new martyrs, all from the 20th century. In a series of decrees issued on March 27 with the approval of Pope Francis, the...

Pope appoints successor in Buenos Aires archdiocese CWN - March 28, 2013

Pope Francis has appointed his successor as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bishop Mario Aurelio Poli, who had been serving as Bishop of Santa Rosa, was named to succeed the Pope in the...

Pope washes feet of prisoners—male and female—at Holy Thursday liturgy CWN - March 28, 2013

“I do this with all my heart,” Pope Francis said as he washed the feet of a dozen young prisoners at Rome’s Casal del Marmo detention center. “It is the example set by Our Lord,” the Pope said,...

Released Friday, Mar. 29

USCCB: offer Good Friday fast, abstinence for strength to live Catholic faith in daily life CWN - March 29, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to offer their fasting and abstinence from meat on March 29 “for the strength to stand with Christ and conduct our...

Federal court: sectarian prayers at city council meetings are constitutional CWN - March 29, 2013

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sometimes described as one of the nation’s most politically liberal appellate courts, has upheld the constitutionality of sectarian prayers at city council...

Indonesian prelate rues violence against Christians CWN - March 29, 2013

An Indonesian prelate has lamented an increase in violence, especially violence against Christians, in the largely Muslim nation. Archbishop Johannes Pujasumarta of Semarang, a city of 1.5...

Archbishop Gomez on immigration, Pope Francis, abuse scandal CWN - March 29, 2013

In a Good Friday interview with ABC News, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles renewed his call for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the United States. “We have to give them the...

Good Friday news roundup: pilgrims in Jerusalem, crucifixions in Philippines CWN - March 29, 2013

As is customary on Good Friday, the leading wire services devoted attention to Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem and reenactments of the Crucifixion in a northern Philippine village. “Hundreds of...

Good Friday at St. Peter's Basilica: full text of Father Cantalamessa's homily CWN - March 29, 2013

Pope Francis presided at the solemn Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at St. Peter's Basilica on Good Friday. As is customary, the Preacher to the Papal Household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa,...

Released Saturday, Mar. 30

Pope Francis at the Via Crucis: full text of remarks CWN - March 30, 2013

"Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for having taken part in these moments of deep prayer. I also thank those who have accompanied us through the media, especially the sick and elderly. I do not...

Released Sunday, Mar. 31

Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - March 31, 2013

"Dear brothers and sisters, in the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to...

Pope Francis: Easter Message Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World) CWN - March 31, 2013

"Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter! Happy Easter! What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house...

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