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Catholic World News

Stories for April 2013

Released Tuesday, Apr. 2

Pope Francis: be transformed by the grace of the Easter sacraments CWN - April 2, 2013

In his Easter Monday Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis urged pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square to let the grace of the Easter sacraments change their lives. “The Baptism that makes us children of...

USCCB campaign: thank Sen. Rubio for support for immigration reform CWN - April 2, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign is urging those on its e-mail list to “thank Senator Rubio for his work with the Gang of Eight.” “Anti-immigrant...

Russian Orthodox Church urges Anglicans not to support female bishops, same-sex marriage CWN - April 2, 2013

Metropolitan Hilarion, the Russian Orthodox Church’s chief ecumenical officer, has urged the new Archbishop of Canterbury not to support female bishops or same-sex marriage. “We know that the...

Wire service retracts reports on Pope’s lung CWN - April 2, 2013

The Associated Press has corrected its earlier reports on an operation involving one of Pope Francis’s lungs. “In some stories from 2005 and March 2013 about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who became...

Oregon priest sentenced to 6 years for abuse committed in 2012 CWN - April 2, 2013

Father Angel Armando Perez, a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland, has received the mandatory minimum sentence of 75 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy...

Reuters speculates on reforms Pope Francis might undertake CWN - April 2, 2013

A speculative story from the Reuters news service, suggesting that Pope Francis will undertake serious reforms in Vatican institutions and especially in the Vatican bank, has appeared in many...

India: seminary rector beaten to death CWN - April 2, 2013

The rector of a Catholic seminary in India was murdered on Easter Monday by an unknown assailant. Father K. J. Thomas, rector of a seminary in Bangalore, was apparently killed around dawn. Police...

John Paul II was 'fearless,' Pope told anniversary celebration in Argentina CWN - April 2, 2013

Eight years after the death of Blessed John Paul II, Vatican Radio recalled the words of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, marking the same anniversary two years ago. Cardinal Bergoglio, the...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 3

Cardinal recounts details of Pope’s visit to St. Peter’s tomb CWN - April 3, 2013

Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica since 2006, has discussed details of Pope Francis’s April 1 visit to St. Peter’s tomb, which is located in the necropolis under the...

Australia launches inquiry into child sexual abuse; 5,000 expected to testify CWN - April 3, 2013

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held its first hearing on April 3. Although Prime Minister Julia Gillard formed the commission in the wake of...

Vatican message for autism awareness day CWN - April 3, 2013

Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, the president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, has issued a message on the occasion of World Autism Awareness Day. “Faced...

USCCB: lobby senators on behalf of assault-weapon ban, universal background checks CWN - April 3, 2013

The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Catholics to “contact your senators and urge them to support legislation that...

Profile of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre CWN - April 3, 2013

Founded around 1099, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem now has 28,000 members and provides crucial support to the Church in the Holy Land, according to a Catholic World Report...

Pope prays at John Paul II’s tomb, calls John XXIII’s secretary CWN - April 3, 2013

On the evening of April 2, after St. Peter’s Basilica was closed to visitors, Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, on the anniversary of his death....

Women, first witnesses to the Resurrection, show how to spread faith, Pope tells audience CWN - April 3, 2013

In his weekly public audience on April 3, Pope Francis spoke about the role of women as witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection and, more generally, witnesses to the faith. The New Testament refers to...

Vatican announces Pope's schedule for April, May CWN - April 3, 2013

The Vatican has released a schedule of liturgical events at which Pope Francis will preside in April and May. The Pope's schedule calls for regular Sunday Masses, primarily in St. Peter's Square or...

Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy after 8 years in jail CWN - April 3, 2013

A Pakistani Christian who has been imprisoned since 2005 on blasphemy charges has been acquitted of those charges by a court in Lahore. Younis Masih was acquitted after the appeals court reversed...

Released Thursday, Apr. 4

Vatican commission document on inspiration of Scripture nearing completion CWN - April 4, 2013

A long-expected Vatican document on the inspiration and truth of Sacred Scripture is nearing completion. When the Pontifical Biblical Commission holds its annual five-day meeting at the Domus...

Bishop speaks of terror in Central African Republic CWN - April 4, 2013

The Spanish missionary bishop of Bangassou, a city of 35,000 in the southern region of the Central African Republic, spoke with the Fides news agency about the disorder and terror in the nation,...

Uruguay’s senate votes in favor of same-sex marriage CWN - April 4, 2013

Less than a year after Uruguay legalized abortion, the country is poised to become the second Latin American nation to legalize same-sex marriage. By a 23-8 vote, Uruguay’s senate has approved...

Head of Coptic Orthodox Church to visit Pope Francis CWN - April 4, 2013

Pope Tawadros (Theodoros) II of Alexandria, who was elected head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in November, has announced that he will soon visit Pope Francis in Rome. The announcement followed an...

Nigerian prelate condemns attacks on Christian villages; thousands displaced CWN - April 4, 2013

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, has condemned attacks on three central Nigerian villages by predominantly Muslim Fulani farmers. The attacks, which...

Survey shows Pope's popularity among Americans CWN - April 4, 2013

Pope Francis enjoys broad popularity among American Catholics, a new Pew Research survey shows. A Pew telephone survey of 1,001 Americans found that 84% have a favorable opinion of the new...

Italy-Argentina soccer game suggested as tribute to Pope Francis CWN - April 4, 2013

Cesare Prandelli, the coach of Italy’s national soccer team, has suggested a “friendly” match with Argentina in honor of Pope Francis. "If we could arrange it, it would be nice to have an...

Italian priest charged with defrauding hospital CWN - April 4, 2013

An Italian priest has been arrested on fraud charges at a hospital where mounting deficits forced the Vatican to intervene. Police charge that Father Franco Decaminada took €4 million ($5.1...

Turkey's secularists worried by 'gigantic' new mosque CWN - April 4, 2013

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing forward with plans to build a gigantic mosque, despite public criticism. The giant mosque with its six minarets, perched on a hill...

'Topless jihad' planned against Tunisian clerics CWN - April 4, 2013

Femen, the Ukrainian feminist group, has announced a “topless jihad” in support of a Tunisian woman who has become the target of a fatwa after she posted a topless picture of herself on a Facebook...

Milwaukee archdiocese agrees to release sex-abuse documents CWN - April 4, 2013

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has agreed to release thousands of documents detailing the response of Church leaders to sex-abuse complaints. The archdiocese, which is in bankruptcy proceedings,...

Released Friday, Apr. 5

Catholic school enrollment continues to fall in US CWN - April 5, 2013

The number of students enrolled in Catholic primary and secondary schools in the United States has fallen by 1.5% in the past year to 2,001,740, according to data released by the National Catholic...

Pope Francis often heard confessions, will not ‘clericalize the laity,’ says priest CWN - April 5, 2013

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis emphasized a pastoral concern for the poor and the role of the laity, according to an Opus Dei priest in Buenos Aires who once directed Vatican...

Pakistan: mob burns shops, cars in Christian neighborhood CWN - April 5, 2013

A Muslim mob burned shops and cars and threw stones at a church in a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala, a city of 2.7 million in northeastern Pakistan that was the site of anti-Christian violence...

USCCB grants $3.1M to assist Church in Latin America CWN - April 5, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America has granted over $3.1 million to 132 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Three grants...

Archbishop, other Christian leaders to commemorate famed ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ CWN - April 5, 2013

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will join other Christian leaders in Birmingham on April 14 and 15 to commemorate the...

Pope Francis confirms drive against sexual abuse CWN - April 5, 2013

Pope Francis underlined the importance of a drive to eliminate sexual abuse during an April 5 audience with Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the...

Prestigious Jesuit journal shifting focus to promote commentary, online access CWN - April 5, 2013

Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal that enjoys a special relationship with the Vatican, is undergoing its first-ever design change, shifting its emphasis to commentary rather than news...

Long Island parish removes lector after same-sex marriage CWN - April 5, 2013

A Catholic parish on Long Island has removed a man from his roles as lector and religious-education instructor after the local diocese was informed that the man had joined his homosexual partner in...

Miami officials say Mother Teresa's nuns lack proper license to serve poor CWN - April 5, 2013

The Missionaries of Charity have been cited by city officials in Miami for operating a soup kitchen without proper licenses. Mother Teresa’s nuns have not obtained the proper permits for their...

Jesuit school denies recognition to Knights of Columbus; gay students seek chaplain's removal CWN - April 5, 2013

Gonzaga University, a Jesuit-run institution in Spokane, Washington, has announced that the Knights of Columbus cannot be recognized as a student organization because the group admits only...

Italian court says in vitro process should be available to same-sex couples CWN - April 5, 2013

A panel of Italian judges has called for the country’s top court to rule on Italy’s law restricting artificial reproduction. The court in Milan argued that the 2003, which does not allow assisted...

Federal judge lifts all restrictions on 'morning-after' pill sales CWN - April 5, 2013

A US federal court has ruled that the government must allow over-the-counter sales of the “morning-after pill” to women of all ages. Judge Edward Korman charged that the federal government was...

Archbishop Tutu honored with Templeton Prize CWN - April 5, 2013

The retired Anglican Archbishop Demond Tutu of Cape Town, South Africa, has been awarded the Templeton Prize for “life-long work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which...

Released Monday, Apr. 8

US Army Reserve training: Catholicism, like Ku Klux Klan and Al-Qaeda, an example of ‘religious extremism’ CWN - April 8, 2013

A slide presentation used in training US Army Reserves in Pennsylvania has included Catholicism and evangelical Christianity on a list of 18 religious extremist organizations. Also included on the...

Pope Francis: salvation only in Jesus, not in fortune tellers, tarot cards CWN - April 8, 2013

In his weekday Mass homily on April 5, Pope Francis spoke of devotion to the name of Jesus and emphasized that salvation is found only in him. According to a L’Osservatore Romano summary of the...

Stones, bombs thrown at Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo CWN - April 8, 2013

Stones and gasoline bombs were thrown at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo as Christians and Muslims clashed following a funeral. One person was killed and over 80 were injured in the...

Hundreds of Christian families flee Aleppo as rebels advance CWN - April 8, 2013

As rebels in Syria seek to take control of Aleppo, the nation’s largest city, a Jordanian Islamic cleric has issued a fatwa (legal opinion) stating that it is permissible for rebel fighters to rape...

‘The Pope of the slum’: profile of slum parish in Buenos Aires CWN - April 8, 2013

John Allen has written a profile of the Parish of Virgin of Caacupé, located in a drug-infested slum in Buenos Aires. Parish ministries include two schools, a soup kitchen, radio station, newspaper,...

TEDx conference at Vatican to feature cardinal, Gloria Estefan, NBA player CWN - April 8, 2013

The Pontifical Council for Culture, led by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, is sponsoring a TEDx conference devoted to “Religious Freedom Today.” The diverse group of 18 speakers includes Cardinal...

Never underestimate God's patience and mercy, Pope tells faithful CWN - April 8, 2013

As he celebrated Mass in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran on the feast of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis assured the faithful: “God always waits for us, even when we have drawn away from...

Leader of Franciscan order named secretary of Congregation for Religious CWN - April 8, 2013

In his first major appointment to Roman Curia, Pope Francis has named Father José Rodriguez Carballo, the worldwide leader of the Franciscan order, as secretary of the Congregation for...

American-born bishop to head Lithuanian archdiocese CWN - April 8, 2013

An American-born priest has been named Archbishop of Vilnius in Lithuania. Archbishop-elect Gintaras Lunas Grusas was born in Washington, DC, raised in Los Angeles, studied at the Franciscan...

Supporters of same-sex marriage should not receive Communion: Detroit archbishop CWN - April 8, 2013

Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit has said that Catholic politicians who advocate legal recognition of same-sex marriage should not receive Communion. A Catholic who receives Communion while...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 9

Bulgaria: 3 days of prayer for end to suicides CWN - April 9, 2013

Following at least seven suicides in protest against poverty and corruption, President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria has declared three days of prayer “for an end to the suicides and for passing...

Colombian cardinal backs march for peace CWN - April 9, 2013

Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogota has expressed his support of a massive march for peace that is taking place in Colombia’s capital on April 9. “One of the serious problems we have had in...

USCCB offers praise for litigants challenging HHS mandate CWN - April 9, 2013

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has issued a statement praising those who have filed...

Northeast India: pastoral letter for the Year of Faith CWN - April 9, 2013

The bishops of 15 dioceses in northeastern India have issued a pastoral letter for the Year of Faith. In their letter, issued during a meeting that concluded on April 4, the bishops analyzed the...

Archbishop Chaput declares 3 priests unsuitable for ministry CWN - April 9, 2013

Following internal archdiocesan investigations, Archbishop Charles Chaput has declared three Philadelphia priests unsuitable for ministry. Msgr. Richard Powers, 77, has been permanently removed...

Coptic leader raps Egyptian president for failure to contain anti-Christian violence CWN - April 9, 2013

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has berated Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his government’s failure to protect the country’s Christian minority. The Coptic leader said that Morsi had...

Pope meets with UN secretary-general CWN - April 9, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 9 with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for a conversation that covered humanitarian emergencies and the world’s main trouble-spots. A statement released by the Vatican...

Contraceptive mandate goes into full effect August 1, Sebelius says CWN - April 9, 2013

With the allotted period for public comments coming to an end, the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has indicated that a mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in...

Vatican conference aims to advance public understanding of adult stem-cell research CWN - April 9, 2013

The Vatican has invited journalists to attend a conference on the medical use of adult stem cells, noting the importance of providing the public with adequate information about the latest...

Pope's condolences on death of Margaret Thatcher CWN - April 9, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to British Prime Minister David Cameron on the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the British government leader from 1979 to 1990. The Pope's...

Cardinal Tauran recounts excitement of announcing new Pontiff CWN - April 9, 2013

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who introduced Pope Francis to the world after his election on March 12, told an audience in Chicago that the experience was "like a plane takeoff, the beginning of an...

Avoid temptations to gossip, Pope suggests in homily CWN - April 9, 2013

If Christians can restrain themselves from gossip, “it will be a great step forward,” Pope Francis said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for Vatican workers on April 9. Speaking about the life...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 10

Korean prelate: North Korea’s threats a sign of desperation CWN - April 10, 2013

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea says that North Korea’s threat of nuclear war is a sign of desperation meant to extract foreign aid. “It is our presumption that they...

Pope Francis meets with German Lutheran leader CWN - April 10, 2013

Pope Francis has received Rev. Nikolaus Schneider, the president of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, in audience. During the meeting, Schneider expressed his concern about recent...

Ecuador: evangelical protest outside Catholic parish over veneration of images CWN - April 10, 2013

Eduardo Mora, an evangelical pastor, has led a sit-in protest against the veneration of images at the Church of San Francisco Church in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. After the protest began,...

At White House prayer breakfast, Biden praises Pope Francis CWN - April 10, 2013

In remarks delivered at the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast on April 5, Vice President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis. Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, delivered the...

USCCB weighs in on gun legislation CWN - April 10, 2013

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has weighed in on the Safe Communities, Safe...

Laos: pastors imprisoned for spreading Christianity CWN - April 10, 2013

Communist authorities in Laos have released three Protestant pastors who were arrested in February on charges of spreading Christianity. One pastor was reportedly tortured during interrogations, and...

Chinese prelate dead at 99 CWN - April 10, 2013

Bishop Thomas Qian Yurong of Xuzhou, a city of 8.6 million in eastern China, has died at the age of 99. Ordained to the priesthood in 1945, Bishop Qian received episcopal ordination without a...

Italian Cardinal Antonetti dead at 90 CWN - April 10, 2013

Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti, the retired president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, died on April 10 in Novara, Italy at the age of 90. Ordained to the priesthood in Novara...

Live as children of God, Pope tells audience CWN - April 10, 2013

All Christian faith is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus, “just like a house is built on its foundations,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on April 10. “If those give way, the whole...

Pope-emeritus Benedict in rapid physical decline? Vatican denies report CWN - April 10, 2013

The physical health of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI is rapidly deteriorating, according to a Spanish reporter. The Vatican has denied the report. Paloma Gomez Borrero of El Mundo said that Benedict...

Pope greets fellow members of Argentine soccer club CWN - April 10, 2013

At his regular weekly audience on April 10, Pope Francis greeted a delegation from the San Lorenzo Athletic Club of Buenos Aires, of which he remains a card-carrying member. "Ah, this is very...

France: Senate gives approval for same-sex marriage CWN - April 10, 2013

The French Senate has voted to recognize same-sex marriages. Despite massive public demonstrations against the legislation, the Senate approved a measure that would allow for same-sex marriage by...

Italian bishop describes surprise breakfast meeting with Pope CWN - April 10, 2013

An Italian bishop visiting the Vatican was taken by surprise when Pope Francis joined him for breakfast at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Bishop Francesco Cavina of Carpi was staying at the guest...

Canadian bishops encourage awareness of environmental issues CWN - April 10, 2013

The Canadian bishops’ conference has released a statement calling upon the faithful to develop an awareness of environmental problems. Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon, a member of the committee...

New European report on Vatican banking procedures due in December CWN - April 10, 2013

European banking examiners plan to issue a new report on Vatican financial procedures in December. Last year the “Moneyval” committee, which appraises banking systems for their compliance with...

Released Thursday, Apr. 11

Bishop speaks of starvation in Aleppo CWN - April 11, 2013

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, described the devastation wrought by war as rebels advance on the city. “One lives day by day,” says Bishop Antoine Audo, a native of...

Washington attorney general sues florist over refusal to provide flowers for same-sex wedding CWN - April 11, 2013

Bob Ferguson, the State of Washington’s attorney general, has announced that he is filing a consumer protection lawsuit against a florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex...

Vatican TEDx conference organizer explains decision to invite Gloria Estefan, NBA player CWN - April 11, 2013

Giovanna Abbiati, an organizer of the upcoming TEDx conference at the Vatican devoted to “Religious Freedom Today,” explained the decision to invite a diverse group of 18 speakers to the conference,...

‘What we want is the head of the friar’ CWN - April 11, 2013

The New Yorker has published a profile of Father Tomás González Castillo, a Franciscan friar who ministers to Guatemalan migrants in Mexico – much to the consternation of Los Zetas, Mexico’s most...

Sister pleads guilty to stealing $128K from New York parishes CWN - April 11, 2013

Sister Mary Anne Rapp, a member of the Buffalo-area province of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, has pleaded guilty to stealing $128,000 from two western New York...

Pope thanks American donors to Papal Foundation CWN - April 11, 2013

Greeting American members of the Papal Foundation at a private audience on April 11, Pope Francis called their attention to the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Pacem in Terris, by Pope John...

Medal of Honor awarded to Father Kapuan, Korean War chaplain CWN - April 11, 2013

The Washington Post profiled Father Emil Kapuan, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously today for his heroic service as a US Army chaplain during the Korean War. Father Kapuan is also a...

Vietnamese bishop is last named by Pope Benedict CWN - April 11, 2013

The Vietnamese bishops’ conference has welcomed its newest member, Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, who was ordained on April 5 as an auxiliary for the Xuan Loc diocese. The Vietnamese prelate is the...

Doctor admits not reading chart in case that sparked plea for change in Irish abortion law CWN - April 11, 2013

An Irish doctor has admitted that she never read “significant” notes about the medical condition of a pregnant woman whose death sparked calls for legalization of abortion in Ireland. At an...

Pope meets prime minister of Mozambique CWN - April 11, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 11 with Prime Minister Alberto Clementino Vaquina of Mozambique. A short statement released by the Vatican after the meeting indicated that their conversation had centered...

Released Friday, Apr. 12

Cardinal Dolan appoints new chairman of National Review Board CWN - April 12, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has named Francesco Cesareo, president of Assumption College, the new chairman of the National Review...

Vietnam: Christian leader dies in prison CWN - April 12, 2013

Hoang Van Ngai, an elder of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam, has died in prison in Dak Nong Province, which is located in the southern part of the Communist nation. While police claim that Ngai...

Vatican foundation announces ‘economy and society’ book prize winners CWN - April 12, 2013

Books written by professors who teach at universities in Spain and Italy are the first winners of the Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice Foundation’s “economy and society” book award. Ciudadania,...

Prelate discusses Kerry’s visit to Israel CWN - April 12, 2013

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem has discussed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit to Israel. “On one hand, I expect that the efforts of John Kerry will lead to...

50th anniversary of John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris CWN - April 12, 2013

April 11 was the fiftieth anniversary of Pacem in Terris, Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical on establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity, and liberty. “If any factor in society in any...

USCCB: fast, pray that the Supreme Court uphold the Defense of Marriage Act CWN - April 12, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on April 12 “for the justices of the Supreme Court, that they would respect the...

South African cardinal rejects 'homophobia' charge CWN - April 12, 2013

South African Cardinal Wilfred Napier has defended himself against charges of “homophobia” by saying “I don’t know any homosexuals.” Cardinal Napier drew critical media scrutiny in the days...

Church authenticates interpretation of Scripture, Pope reminds Biblical Commission CWN - April 12, 2013

The Word of God is “the soul of theology as well as the inspiration of all Christian existence,” Pope Francis told the members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in an April 12 private...

Gay lector seeks reinstatement in Long Island parish CWN - April 12, 2013

An openly homosexual man has petitioned the Rockville Center, New York diocese, asking to be reinstated as a lector and religious-education instructor in his parish. Nicholas Coppola, who was...

Pope visits Secretariat of State, speaks to entire staff CWN - April 12, 2013

Pope Francis visited the offices of the Vatican Secretariat of State on April 12, meeting with all the staff members. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Secretary of State, welcomed the Pope to the...

Bishop contradicts archbishop, says same-sex marriage supporters should receive Communion CWN - April 12, 2013

A retired auxiliary bishop in Detroit has told supporters of same-sex marriage that they should continue receiving Communion, directly contradicting a statement by Archbishop Allen...

Christian population still dropping in Israel, Palestinian territories CWN - April 12, 2013

Christians make up only 1% of the population in the Palestinian territories today, down from 2% in 2000, the Fides news service reports. In the city of Jerusalem there are only about 5,000...

Bishop sees hope for new government in Somalia CWN - April 12, 2013

Returning to Somalia’s capital city after a 6-year absence, the country’s leading Catholic prelate has reported signs that a new national government may bring unity to the African country after...

Released Saturday, Apr. 13

Pope appoints panel of cardinals to weigh major reform of Roman Curia CWN - April 13, 2013

Pope Francis has appointed a commission of eight cardinals to advise him on a reform of the Roman Curia. In the first clear indication that he plans major changes in the administration of Vatican...

Released Monday, Apr. 15

Prelate says Syrian Christians face terrible choice: ‘die or leave’ CWN - April 15, 2013

Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Catholic archbishop of Damascus, has told the Fides news agency that Syria’s Christians “must choose between two bitter chalices: to die or leave.” Syrians,...

USCCB weighs in on Arms Trade Treaty CWN - April 15, 2013

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling upon the Obama administration “to expedite a thorough review” of the...

Italian priest beatified CWN - April 15, 2013

Father Luca Passi (1789-1866), an Italian priest who founded Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, was beatified on April 13 at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Blessed Passi was “a great...

Sudan orders leading priest to leave nation CWN - April 15, 2013

Sudanese authorities have ordered the secretary-general of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference and two religious brothers – one Egyptian, the other French – to leave the overwhelmingly Muslim...

Azerbaijan tightens religious controls CWN - April 15, 2013

President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan has tightened the nation’s control over religious institutions. Under a decree signed by the president, citizens of Azerbaijan are permitted to read or watch...

Cardinal receives Boy Scouts’ highest award CWN - April 15, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America has presented its Silver Buffalo Award to Cardinal William Keeler, who served as Bishop of Harrisburg from 1983 to 1989 and as Archbishop of Baltimore from 1989 to...

Vatican reaffirms need for reform in LCWR CWN - April 15, 2013

At an April 15 meeting with officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) reported that Pope Francis has...

Iraqi prelate hails martyrs of the Eastern churches CWN - April 15, 2013

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako paid tribute to all Christian martyrs during a pilgrimage to a shrine in Baghdad where more than 50 people were killed in an October 2010...

Fidelity requires sacrifices, Pope says in homily at basilica CWN - April 15, 2013

Celebrating Mass on April 14 at the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Pope Francis underlined in his homily the need for pastors to “let ourselves be carried by God’s will even where we...

Russian public wants visit by Pope Francis, poll finds CWN - April 15, 2013

A striking 71% of Russia's people hope for a visit by Pope Francis to their country, according to a new poll by the Lavada Center in Moscow. Only 9% of those surveyed voiced opposition to a papal...

Martyrdom of Christians continues today, Pope reminds Sunday audience CWN - April 15, 2013

“The age of martyrs is not yet over,” Pope Francis remarked in his homily during a Mass on April 15. In fact, the Pope said, “the Church has more martyrs now than during the first centuries.” He...

Spanish prime minister meets Pope, discusses economic crisis CWN - April 15, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 15 with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey of Spain, for a conversation that centered on that country’s economic difficulties. The economic crisis in Spain “has provoked...

Francis consecrates pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima CWN - April 15, 2013

Pope Francis has asked Cardinal José Policarpo of Lisbon to dedicate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima. Cardinal Policarpo confirmed the Pope’s request at a meeting of the Portuguese bishops’...

Orthodox prelate resigns after accusations of misconduct CWN - April 15, 2013

An American Orthodox bishop has resigned after being accused of sexual harassment. Bishop Matthias, the leader of the Orthodox Church in America for the Midwest, had been placed on administrative...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 16

Pope, Cardinal O’Malley, Cardinal Dolan issue statements on Boston Marathon bombings CWN - April 16, 2013

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston issued the following statement in response to the Boston Marathon bombings: The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow...

India: bishops mark Pacem in Terris anniversary, lament arms imports CWN - April 16, 2013

Recalling the fiftieth anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical on peace, a committee of Indian bishops called upon the nation to restrict its arms imports. “India – the largest importer of...

Egypt’s Coptic Christian leaders frustrated by ‘reconciliation meeting’ CWN - April 16, 2013

Following recent incidents of violence against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, Coptic leaders said that the government’s decision to host a “reconciliation meeting” rang hollow without the...

Bishop analyzes Islamist terrorist attacks in Somalia CWN - April 16, 2013

The recent terrorist attacks in Mogadishu that left 35 dead represent Al-Shabaab’s attempt to weaken Somalia’s new civil institutions, according to the city’s apostolic administrator. The...

USCCB, CRS, Catholic Charities react to President Obama’s budget proposal CWN - April 16, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) reacted to President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget proposal by calling for “robust funding” for international...

Archbishop Kurtz on Martin Luther King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ CWN - April 16, 2013

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined other Christian leaders in Birmingham on April 14 and 15 to commemorate the...

Victims' lawyers seek files from religious orders in Los Angeles abuse case CWN - April 16, 2013

Lawyers for sex-abuse victims, who successfully forced the Los Angeles archdiocese to release files on sex-abuse complaints earlier this year, are now seeking the same disclosure from religious...

Vatican reform could downgrade Secretariat of State, hints secretary of Pope's new commission CWN - April 16, 2013

The commission of cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to weigh Vatican reforms could trim the sweeping powers of the Secretariat of State, according to the Italian bishop who was named secretary of...

Benedict XVI celebrates 86th birthday CWN - April 16, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated his 86th birthday quietly on April 16 at Castel Gandolfo, accompanied by his older brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger. As he celebrated Mass at the Domus Sanctae...

Archbishop Chaput admits first months in Philadelphia have been difficult CWN - April 16, 2013

Archbishop Charles Chaput has acknowledged that his introduction to the Philadelphia archdiocese has been a rough one. "I haven't liked it at all," the archbishop told an awards dinner. Referring...

French cardinal: rush to approve same-sex marriage divides society, risks violence CWN - April 16, 2013

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris has warned that the French government is risking violent protests by pushing through a bill to legalize same-sex marriage despite public opposition. The rush...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 17

Pope Francis emphasizes that Second Vatican Council is the work of the Holy Spirit CWN - April 17, 2013

In a weekday Mass homily devoted to docility to the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis preached that the Second Vatican Council “was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit,” according to excerpts of the homily...

Philippine prelate: don’t vote for candidates who support abortion, divorce CWN - April 17, 2013

Emphasizing that the Church does not endorse political candidates, the vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said in a pastoral letter that Catholics should not vote...

Church, hotel to be part of new International Family Center in Nazareth CWN - April 17, 2013

During his 2009 apostolic journey to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict blessed the first stone of an International Family Center that would be built in Nazareth. “Let us pray that the Center will promote...

Vatican official reflects on social media and ‘cross-generational dialogue’ CWN - April 17, 2013

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications reflected on the need “for what you could almost call a cross-generational dialogue” about...

Church official: Pope has potential to ‘untie knots’ in negotiations between Holy See, Israel CWN - April 17, 2013

Father David Neuhaus, the Jesuit responsible for the pastoral care of Hebrew-speaking Catholics in the Holy Land, said after a meeting with Pope Francis that the Pontiff has the potential to “untie...

Jesus is always our advocate, Pope tells audience CWN - April 17, 2013

At his weekly public audience on April 17, Pope Francis exhorted the faithful to keep in mind that Jesus “always defends us,” and even “defends us from ourselves.” “He always forgives us. He is...

Italian cardinal raps politicians' failure to form new government CWN - April 17, 2013

The president of the Italian bishops' conference has scolded the nation's political leaders for their failure to resolve a stalemate that has blocked the formation of a new...

Rio: authorities clearing slums for security before World Youth Day CWN - April 17, 2013

Brazilian officials are taking steps to tighten security around Rio de Janeiro as they prepare for three major interneational events: the World Youth Day celebrations in July, the World Cup...

Papal prayers for earthquake victims in Iran, Pakistan CWN - April 17, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the people of Iran and Pakistan who are suffering after a violent earthquake on the border between the two countries. "I lift my prayers to God...

Saudi king sends personal message to Pope Francis CWN - April 17, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 17 with the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the Holy See, Saleh Mohammad al Ghamdi. The Vatican disclosed that the Saudi envoy was acting as "bearer of a message from King...

Soccer superstar Messi sends Pope his jersey CWN - April 17, 2013

Pope Francis received a soccer jersey from the Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. The jersey, with the insignia of Messi's Barcelona club as well as the player's name and number 10, was presented...

SSPX no closer to reconciliation with Holy See, superior acknowledges CWN - April 17, 2013

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior of the Society of St. Pius X (SPPX), has acknowledged that the traditionalist group has made no major progress toward reconciliation with the Holy See, despite...

Released Thursday, Apr. 18

Nigerian cardinal, other bishops differ over amnesty negotiations with Boko Haram CWN - April 18, 2013

Nigeria’s leading prelate has welcomed a government proposal to explore amnesty negotiations with Boko Haram, but made clear that he supports amnesty only if members of the militant Islamist...

Priest pleads for international assistance as Syrian refugees overwhelm Lebanon CWN - April 18, 2013

The number of refugees who have fled Syria for Lebanon has surged to 1.2 million and threatens to overwhelm Lebanese institutions, according to the president of Caritas Lebanon. “Please listen to...

Violence against Christians in India following allegations of proselytizing children CWN - April 18, 2013

Armed with stones and sticks, a group of men in Srinagar, a largely Muslim city of 1.3 million in northern India, attacked and attempted to set fire to a Christian children’s home. The men beat...

Vocations on the rise in England, Wales CWN - April 18, 2013

Vocations to the priesthood and religious life continue to rise in England and Wales. Thirty men and 23 women entered religious life in 2012, the highest number of new religious since 1996. In...

As elections approach, Chaldean Church emphasizes: politics is responsibility of laity CWN - April 18, 2013

Only three of the 447 contested seats in upcoming local Iraqi elections have been reserved for Christians, who make up 3% of the nation’s population. Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, head of the...

Archbishop Gomez welcomes introduction of Senate immigration legislation CWN - April 18, 2013

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has welcomed the introduction of comprehensive immigration...

Papal support for Argentine mothers' group formed to protest 'Dirty War' disappearances CWN - April 18, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of support to the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the group of women formed in 1977 to protest the disappearance of political dissidents during the Argentine...

Pope rules against special bonus for Vatican employees CWN - April 18, 2013

In a break with tradition, Pope Francis has decided not to issue a special bonus to Vatican employees at the beginning of his pontificate. It has been customary for Vatican workers to receive a...

Pope prays for Texas blast victims CWN - April 18, 2013

Pope Francis has asked the faithful to join him in prayer for the victims of a fertilizer-plant explosition in Texas. The Pope posted on his Twitter account: "Please join me in praying for the...

Faith is not theoretical, but a personal relationship with Jesus, Pope says CWN - April 18, 2013

Faith in Christ means belief in a real person, not a theoretical being, Pope Francis said in his homily at an April 18 Mass for Italian police serving around the Vatican. The Pope contrasted the...

Pope apologizes for missing meeting of Argentine bishops' conference CWN - April 18, 2013

In a message to the bishops of Argentina, who are meeting in Pilar this week, Pope Francis joked that “recent commitments” made it impossible for him to attend the gathering. The Pope, a former...

Cardinal Wuerl supports college chaplain against homosexual critics CWN - April 18, 2013

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, has signaled his full support for a priest who had been the object of protests by homosexual activists. Celebrating Mass at George Washington University,...

Ohio nun pleads guilty to vote fraud CWN - April 18, 2013

An Ohio nun has escaped jail time after pleading guilty to voter fraud. Sister Marguerite Kloos admitted to forging her name on an absentee ballot that was sent to a recently deceased member of...

Director of Vatican press office receives Communicator of the Year award CWN - April 18, 2013

A German financial firm has named the director of the Vatican press office as recipient of its "Communicator of the Year" award. The Allianz Group honored Father Federico Lombardi, saying that he...

Priest's accused killer says bad homilies provoked crime CWN - April 18, 2013

An Italian man who faces murder charges after beating a Catholic priest to death says that he was provoked by the priest’s bad sermons. Antonio Incandela told police that he could not tolerate...

Released Friday, Apr. 19

New Zealand becomes 12th nation to legalize same-sex marriage CWN - April 19, 2013

Following a 77-44 legislative vote, New Zealand has become the twelfth nation to redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. The law goes into effect in August. “We find it bizarre that what...

In 2010, future Pope Francis suggested opening Vatican's World War II archives CWN - April 19, 2013

A dialogue that took place in 2010 between the future Pope Francis and the rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary has been released in English with the title On Heaven and Earth: Pope...

President Obama, Cardinal O’Malley address interfaith prayer service at Boston cathedral CWN - April 19, 2013

President Barack Obama and other political leaders joined Cardinal Seán O’Malley and Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders in speaking an interfaith prayer service at Boston’s...

Vatican newspaper analyzes Pope’s episcopal lineage CWN - April 19, 2013

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Benedictine historian Father Mariano Dell’Omo compares the episcopal lineage of Pope Francis to that of other recent popes. “Pope Francis shares with the...

USCCB: pray, fast for conscience-protection legislation CWN - April 19, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on April 19 “for the approval of laws which will protect health care professionals...

Tensions rise in French parliament as final vote on same-sex marriage approaches CWN - April 19, 2013

In France, a parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage was cut off when a lawmaker accused supporters of the measure of “murdering children.” The resulting uproar prompted the speaker to end the...

Boy Scout leadership to recommend allowing gay members CWN - April 19, 2013

The leaders of the Boy Scouts of America will recommend dropping a ban on openly homosexual members, a spokesman for the organization has announced. The national board of the Boy Scouts will meet...

Sister of kidnapped Jesuit charges Pope Francis failed to protect him from military CWN - April 19, 2013

The sister of a Jesuit priest who was kidnapped by Argentina's military dictatorship in 1976 has charged that Father Jorge Bergoglio--who was then the Jesuit provincial in Argentina, and is now Pope...

Pope meets with president of Ecuador CWN - April 19, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 19 with President Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador. The Pope’s conversation with the South American leader centered on the need for solidarity with the poor, respect...

Vatican Museums announce weekly concert series CWN - April 19, 2013

The Vatican Museums have announced a series of musical performances, to be held on Friday evenings from May 3 through the end of October. The concerts will be held in different rooms within the...

Released Monday, Apr. 22

Venezuela’s bishops appeal for calm amid presidential vote audit CWN - April 22, 2013

The bishops of Venezuela are appealing for calm after the head of the National Electoral Council announced an audit of the recent presidential election vote. According to initial results, Nicolás...

Deploring rape, Holy See diplomat says abortion ‘only visits further violence’ on women CWN - April 22, 2013

As the United Nations Security Council discussed sexual violence in armed conflict, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations repeatedly deplored rape and said that a subsequent...

Chaldean patriarch sees improvement in situation of Iraq’s Christians CWN - April 22, 2013

As Iraqis participated in the first elections since the United States withdrew its troops, the leader of the Chaldean Catholic Church told Vatican Radio that he has observed an improvement in the...

USCCB committee chair expresses ‘deep disappointment’ at failure of gun legislation CWN - April 22, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has expressed “deep disappointment in the Senate’s failure to support reasonable...

Rise in Taliban attacks worries Pakistan’s Christians CWN - April 22, 2013

Pakistan’s Christians are deeply concerned about a surge of Taliban attacks ahead of the upcoming Pakistani presidential election, according to a Dominican priest. The attacks include the April...

Archbishop Gomez: ‘immigration reform is the civil rights test of our generation’ CWN - April 22, 2013

Writing in his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles called immigration reform “the civil rights test of our generation.” “It’s true that many immigrants crossed our...

Be pastors, not functionaries, Pope charges newly ordained priests CWN - April 22, 2013

“You are pastors, not functionaries,” Pope Francis told a group of 10 men after ordaining them to the priesthood on Sunday, April 21. In his homily for the ordination Mass, the Pope urged the...

Archdiocese in Philippines plans to instruct voters on favored candidates CWN - April 22, 2013

A Catholic archdiocese in the Philippines plans to inform voters about the political candidates favored by the archdiocese in the country’s May 13 elections. “The people are asking to be told,”...

No Irish government minister at installation of future Catholic primate CWN - April 22, 2013

Archbishop Eamon Martin was installed on April 21 as the coadjutor of the Armagh archdiocese, with the right of succession. He will succeed Cardinal Sean Brady as the successor to St. Patrick and...

Pope urges prayers for priestly, religious vocations CWN - April 22, 2013

Pope Francis observed the annual day of prayer for vocations on April 21 by challenging young people to respond if they hear a calling. At his Angelus audience the Pope addressed his challenge to...

Beware 'social climbers' who exploit Church, Pope says CWN - April 22, 2013

Pope Francis warned against people who use religion for their own personal gain, as he celebrated Mass on April 22 at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Commenting on the day's Gospel, in which Jesus...

Beatification cause of Archbishop Romero 'unblocked,' archbishop reports CWN - April 22, 2013

The path toward beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero has been “unblocked,” according to the postulator for the cause of the slain Salvadoran prelate. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia reported that...

Vatican's former chief liturgist supports legal recognition of same-sex unions CWN - April 22, 2013

Archbishop Piero Marini, the president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, has voiced his support for legal recognition of same-sex unions. “It is necessary to...

Canonization this year for John Paul II? CWN - April 22, 2013

A panel of doctors has confirmed that there is no medical explanation for a healing attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, according to Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. If theologians...

Pope drops bonuses for cardinals on Vatican bank's board CWN - April 22, 2013

Pope Francis has canceled a special financial bonus paid to the cardinals who supervise the Vatican bank, the ANSA news service reports. Following an announcement last week that the Vatican would...

Israeli settlers occupy, then leave, Catholic hermitage CWN - April 22, 2013

Jewish settlers briefly occupied a hermitage on land owned by the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, before moving away after protests by local Christians and Muslims. The Jewish settlers...

Papal congratulations for re-elected Italian president CWN - April 22, 2013

Pope Francis has written to congratulate Giorgio Napolitano on his re-election to the Italian presidency. After Napolitano was chosen to serve a new term, ending a long stalemate in the Italian...

Protestant fragmentation, Orthodox disagreement slow ecumenical progress, says Vatican cardinal CWN - April 22, 2013

The Vatican has reached agreement with the Lutheran World Federation on a joint statement to be released for the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s theses, the president of the Pontifical Council...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 23

Syrian rebels kidnap 2 prelates CWN - April 23, 2013

Syrian rebels have kidnapped two prominent Orthodox prelates while they were traveling outside Aleppo, the nation’s largest city. The abductions, which took place April 22, highlighted the...

Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Gomez: now is the time for immigration reform CWN - April 23, 2013

At a teleconference hosted by staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), three prelates spoke in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. “Now is the time to address...

Victory for Catholic-owned company against HHS mandate CWN - April 23, 2013

A US district court judge in western Pennsylvania has granted a preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of the HHS mandate against the Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company. The for-profit company...

Boko Haram: Nigerian prelate laments flow of weapons after 185 killed CWN - April 23, 2013

Church officials in Nigeria lamented the flow of weapons into Nigeria following the death of at least 185 people, many of them civilians, during a gun battle between Nigerian forces and members of...

Indian bishops demand speedy investigation following murder of seminary rector CWN - April 23, 2013

Following the murder of the rector of St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, the 15 bishops who serve on the seminary board are demanding that “the government of Karnataka and the...

Faithful urged to contact representatives on behalf of conscience-protection legislation CWN - April 23, 2013

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), which works closely with the US bishops’ conference on pro-life issues, is calling for a renewed effort to lobby members of the House of...

British lawmakers assured: Catholic royals not required to raise children as Catholics CWN - April 23, 2013

Catholic Church officials in Great Britain have reportedly assured lawmakers that Catholics who marry into the royal family would not be expected to raise their children in the Catholic...

Cardinal Mahony pegged as 'obstructionist' in bishops' efforts to address sex-abuse scandal CWN - April 23, 2013

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, fought against an extensive study of sex-abuse problems in American dioceses, newly released documents show. Cardinal Mahony strongly...

Jesus is found only through the Church, Pope says CWN - April 23, 2013

Pope Francis said that “it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church,” in his homily at a Mass on April 23. For his name day on the feast of St. George, the Pope (who was born Jorge...

Cardinal Pell: 8-cardinal panel will only advise Pope CWN - April 23, 2013

The panel of 8 cardinals assembled by Pope Francis to advise him on Vatican administration will only provide suggestions, not set policies, emphasized one member of the new panel. "We are not a...

French lawmakers give final approval to same-sex marriage, but public resistance mounts CWN - April 23, 2013

French lawmakers formally approved same-sex marriage on April 23, but the debate on the issue, which has provoked massive demonstrations across the country, seems unlikely to end soon. The...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 24

Judge rules against SNAP, Call to Action in upholding Missouri law against disturbing worship CWN - April 24, 2013

A federal district court judge has upheld the constitutionality of the Missouri House of Worship Protection Act, a 2012 law declaring that “a person commits the crime of disrupting a house of...

Priest who was martyred by Calvinists is beatified CWN - April 24, 2013

Father Nicolò Rusca (1563-1618), a priest who was tortured and killed at the instigation of Calvinists, was beatified on April 21 in Sondrio, the northern Italian city of 20,000 where he served for...

Syria: Aleppo priest advises Christians to leave CWN - April 24, 2013

Following the kidnapping and (reported) release of two Orthodox prelates, a parish priest in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, discussed his ministry there. “Car bombs have been found near churches,”...

Vocations program seeks to counter decline in military chaplains CWN - April 24, 2013

Since 2001, the number of priests who serve as military chaplains has fallen from 400 to fewer than 260. “We are a country at war, and the need for military chaplains is very grave,” said...

‘Even violent drug cartels fear God’ CWN - April 24, 2013

The New York Times has published a lengthy profile of Father Robert Coogan, a Brooklyn-born priest who serves as a prison chaplain in Saltillo, a northeastern Mexican city of 725,000 that is...

Syrian prelates remain in captivity; news of release was inaccurate CWN - April 24, 2013

Contrary to early reports, two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Syria on April 22 have not been released. "Archbishop Ibrahim and Metropolitan Boulos al-Yaziji until last night were still...

Vatican newspaper raps 'divisive' French push to legalize same-sex marriage CWN - April 24, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has criticized French President Francois Hollande for pushing forward with legal recognition of same-sex marriage despite popular protests. The French government “did not pay...

Irish secularization began long before Vatican II, says Dublin's archbishop CWN - April 24, 2013

“The Catholic Church in Ireland had for far too long felt that it was safely ensconced in a ‘Catholic country,’” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told a New York audience in an April 24 lecture....

We will be judged on our care for others, Pope tells audience CWN - April 24, 2013

At the Last Judgment, Pope Francis told his general audience on April 24, “we will be judged by God on charity: on how we have loved our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and neediest of...

Pope against warns against bureaucratic approach to Church CWN - April 24, 2013

The Catholic Church is not an organization, but a love story, Pope Francis told the congregation as he celebrated Mass on Wednesday, April 24. In his homily the Pope repeated the warning, which...

Feminist protest disrupts archbishop's talk in Brussels CWN - April 24, 2013

Four bare-breasted feminist demonstrators interrupted a lecture by Archbishop André-Marie Leonard of Brussels on April 23, and soaked the prelate with water. The topless protesters, members of...

Scottish court rules midwives are not required to cooperate in abortions CWN - April 24, 2013

An appeals court in Edinburgh, Scotland, has ruled that two Catholic midwives have the right to refuse involvement in abortions. Health-care officials in Glasgow had ruled last year that the two...

Released Thursday, Apr. 25

Vatican initiatives for Year of Faith highlight confirmands, confraternities CWN - April 25, 2013

The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization has announced the details of two upcoming initiatives for the Year of Faith. The Day of Confirmands will take place April 27-28. “Already...

USCCB offers criticism, praise for Obama budget proposal; will work to change, not repeal health-care law CWN - April 25, 2013

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the...

Syrian bishop: money, not religion, is motivating force behind kidnappings CWN - April 25, 2013

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has told the Fides news agency that money, rather than religion, is motivating those who have kidnapped Christians. The Greek...

Holy See diplomat emphasizes inclusion of poor in devising anti-poverty programs CWN - April 25, 2013

The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations has told a UN working group that the poor should be included in designing anti-poverty programs. “The eradication of poverty must be...

Organic food company files suit against HHS mandate CWN - April 25, 2013

Eden Foods, which describes itself as “the oldest natural and organic food company in North America and the largest independent manufacturer of dry grocery organic foods,” has filed suit against the...

No new foreign travel on 2013 schedule for Pope Francis CWN - April 25, 2013

A July visit to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day (WYD) will probably be the only foreign trip by Pope Francis in 2013, the Vatican has announced. At an April 25 briefing, the director of the...

Confirmed: Kidnapped Syrian bishops still in custody CWN - April 25, 2013

Two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Syria on April 22 remain in custody, Church officials have confirmed. Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos...

Audit report raps leaders of Irish diocese on sex-abuse handling CWN - April 25, 2013

An audit of sex-abuse complaints in Irish dioceses has criticized officials in the Diocese of Clogher for their failure to take action against known abusers. The National Board for Safekeeping...

Vatican denies document being prepared on Communion for divorced, remarried Catholics CWN - April 25, 2013

A Vatican dicastery has taken the unusual step of issuing a public denial that it is preparing a document on the reception of Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. The Pontifical...

Health concerns prompted early resignation, French bishop explains CWN - April 25, 2013

As the Vatican announced the early resignation of a French archbishop, the prelate reminded his flock of health problems that have troubled him for several years. On April 25 the Vatican...

US foreign policy should promote religious freedom, says former State Dept. official CWN - April 25, 2013

The kidnapping of Orthodox bishops in Syria, and the possible involvement of rebels supported by the US government, have spurred new calls for an emphasis on religious freedom in American foreign...

US military blocking Southern Baptist web site? CWN - April 25, 2013

Access to the web site of the Southern Baptist Convention has been blocked on US military bases, because of an official judgment that the site carries "hostile content," Fox News has reported. It...

Orthodox bishop, accused of abuse, sent to monastery CWN - April 25, 2013

A Serbian Orthodox bishop who was accused of sexual abuse of children has been removed from his post and sent to live in a monastery. Bishop Vasilije Kacavenda of Zvornik, who had been living in...

Released Friday, Apr. 26

US religious freedom commission urges administration to promote religious freedom in Syria CWN - April 26, 2013

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has issued a report that recounts violations of religious freedom in the strife-torn nation. The report also calls upon...

Holy See diplomat laments population control measures against immigrants CWN - April 26, 2013

Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations’ Commission on Population and Development, a leading Holy See diplomat decried population control measures aimed at immigrants. “We cannot fail to...

Pontifical academy discusses human evolution CWN - April 26, 2013

A working group of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences met from April 19-21 to discuss the evolution of man. “In this first transcendent origin of the human being we should in fact admit the...

Philippine bishops to reconsecrate nation to Immaculate Heart of Mary CWN - April 26, 2013

The bishops of the Philippines will reconsecrate the nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 8. The bishops’ conference has directed “all our dioceses and parishes, schools and other...

Prelate praises protests against same-sex marriage in France CWN - April 26, 2013

French citizens in Jerusalem who are protesting the legalization of same-sex marriage in their native land have received praise from a local prelate. Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem...

President Obama praises Planned Parenthood, lashes out at pro-lifers CWN - April 26, 2013

In an address to a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, US President Barack Obama charged that pro-life activists are engaged in "an assault on women's rights." Hailing Planned Parenthood's work, Obama...

Pope meets with head of Madagascar's government CWN - April 26, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 26 with Andry Nirina Rajoelina, the president of the transitional government of Madagascar. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the...

Colombian legislators reject same-sex marriage CWN - April 26, 2013

Colombian lawmakers rejected a bid for legal recognition of same-sex marriage, with an overwhelming 51- 17 vote in the nation's Senate. The decisive defeat came after several hours of debate. The...

Australian government weighs heavy subsidy for 'abortion pill' RU-486 CWN - April 26, 2013

Health officials in Australia have recommended a heavy government subsidy for the abortifacient drug RU-486. Ignoring evidence regarding the health risks caused by the “abortion pill,” the...

Egypt's top Muslim leader to visit Coptic Pope CWN - April 26, 2013

Sheik Ahmed el Tayyeb, the head of Egypt's influential Al Azhar university, will visit Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II this weekend, to convey his greetings to Egypt's Christians as they celebrate...

Missionary priest killed in Haiti CWN - April 26, 2013

A Catholic priest from Canada was killed in Port au Prince, Haiti, on April 24. Father Richard Joyal, a missionary of the Society of Mary, was fatally shot in the back as he left a bank,...

Korean bishops suggest beatification for prelate jailed by North Korean regime CWN - April 26, 2013

The Catholic bishops of South Korea have asked the Vatican to open a cause for the beatification of Bishop Francis Hong Yong-ho of Pyongyang. But the suggestion will encounter complications...

German court says Catholic who renounced faith has no right to job at Catholic charity CWN - April 26, 2013

A German court has ruled against a man who had claimed that he had a right to work for a Catholic charity even after he legally renounced his Catholic faith. The plaintiff in the case had been...

Released Monday, Apr. 29

Israeli court upholds seizure of convent land for security wall CWN - April 29, 2013

An Israeli court has affirmed the government’s decision to confiscate most of the land owned by a Salesian convent as the Israeli West Bank barrier through the Cremisan Valley, which is located near...

Increasing calls for Islamization in Bangladesh, including death penalty for blasphemy CWN - April 29, 2013

A Bangladeshi Islamist group is threatening a massive May 5 march on Dhaka, the nation’s capital, unless the government agrees to 13 demands, including the death penalty for blasphemy and the...

4 people stabbed during Mass at New Mexico parish CWN - April 29, 2013

A man rushed at the church choir during the final hymn at Mass at a large parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After stabbing four people, including the choir director and the flutist, the man was...

Film on Pope Francis secures $25M in backing CWN - April 29, 2013

Christian Peschken, a convert to Catholicism who once served as chairman of the Social Awareness Committee of the Producers Guild of America, has secured $25 million in financial backing for a film...

Cardinal Dolan laments kidnapping of Syrian prelates CWN - April 29, 2013

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement lamenting the abduction of the Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo. “The kidnappings...

Soccer star recounts audience with Pope CWN - April 29, 2013

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Argentine soccer star Javier Zanetti discussed an hour-long meeting that Pope Francis had with him, his wife, and his three children on April 25. “He...

Death of key Chinese bishop points to struggle over successor CWN - April 29, 2013

Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai, one of the key figures in the struggle for control of the Catholic Church in China, died on April 17 at the age of 96 after a long struggle with cancer. In...

Newark priest, once convicted of molesting, still worked with children, newspaper reports CWN - April 29, 2013

A New Jersey priest who was once convicted of molesting a young boy has been given pastoral assignments in which he had access to children, according to a report by the Newark Star-Ledger. If...

Pope confirms 44, urges them to 'swim against the tide' CWN - April 29, 2013

Pope Francis encouraged young people to “swim against the tide,” as he confirmed 44 young Catholics in an April 28 ceremony in St. Peter’s basilica. In his homily at the Confirmation Mass, the...

Benedict XVI to return to Vatican on May 1 CWN - April 29, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI will return to the Vatican on Wednesday, May 1, reports Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. The retired Pontiff has been staying at the papal summer residence in Castel...

Video exposes DC abortionist promising a live baby would not survive after abortion attempt CWN - April 29, 2013

In a new exposé of the American abortion industry, the pro-life group Live Action has released video footage in which an abortionists in Washington, DC, says that he would do his best to assure the...

German bishops open to discussion of female deacons, Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics CWN - April 29, 2013

The president of the German Catholic bishops’ conference has expressed a willingness to discuss the ordination of women as deacons. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg said that the question...

Acknowledge sins, frequent Confession, Pope tells congregation CWN - April 29, 2013

Pope Frances underlined the importance of sacramental Confession in his homily at a weekday Mass on April 29. The Pope told his congregation that in Argentina, there is a term for “the...

Syrian bishops still in captivity; Christian homes shelled in Aleppo CWN - April 29, 2013

A week after they were kidnapped, two Syrian Orthodox prelates remained in captivity on April 29, with Church leaders unable to identify the kidnappers or their motives. Meanwhile a Christian...

Vatican still investigating charges against Scottish cardinal CWN - April 29, 2013

The Vatican is still investigating charges of sexual misconduct that were lodged against Cardinal Keith O’Brien, and will not appoint any new bishops in Scotland until that investigation is...

Vatican Museums discovery: 1st European representation of Native Americans? CWN - April 29, 2013

Experts at the Vatican Museums believe that they have discovered the earliest representation of Native Americans by a European artist. During restoration work in the Borgia apartments, experts...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 30

Bolivia’s president accuses bishops of cooperating in jewel heists from churches CWN - April 30, 2013

President Evo Morales of Bolivia, a socialist who has often clashed with the Church’s hierarchy, has accused the nation’s bishops of cooperating in a rash of thefts of jewels from churches. Six...

European bishops to discuss relations with Islam CWN - April 30, 2013

Representatives from 20 of the member nations of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) will gather in London from May 1-3 to discuss relations with Islam. The theme of the...

Toronto cardinal warns of dangers of gambling CWN - April 30, 2013

As Toronto city council members debate whether to approve a major new casino, Cardinal Thomas Collins has issued a pastoral letter warning of the “grievous suffering experienced by individuals and...

Cardinal Dolan receives award from evangelical organization CWN - April 30, 2013

The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview has given its Wilberforce Award to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York for his efforts to oppose the HHS mandate. “Thanks be to God, evangelicals...

Prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May CWN - April 30, 2013

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2013. The Pope’s general intention is “that administrators of justice may act always with integrity and right...

Archdiocese of St. Louis promotes door-to-door evangelization CWN - April 30, 2013

The Archdiocese of St. Louis recently hosted a conference devoted to door-to-door evangelization. “We’ve been tricked into thinking faith is a private matter,” said Kenneth Livengood, a...

Pope talks with Israeli president, accepts invitation for visit to Holy Land CWN - April 30, 2013

Pope Francis met on April 30 with Israel’s President Shimon Peres, for talks that centered on the prospects for peace in the Middle East. During the meeting, Peres invited the Pontiff to visit...

Conservative Catholic named as spokeswoman for USCCB president, Cardinal Dolan CWN - April 30, 2013

Kim Daniels, a prominent conservative Catholic activist, has been hired as spokeswoman for the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Daniels has been...

Philadelphia cleric wrongly convicted in landmark abuse case, says secular reporter CWN - April 30, 2013

The historic 2012 conviction of a Philadelphia archdiocesan official for endangering children was based on the testimony of a thoroughly untrustworthy witness, and driven by prosecutors determined...

Benedict XVI returning to Vatican on May 2 CWN - April 30, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI will move into his new residence at the Vatican on May 2, rather than May 1, the Vatican has announced. Correcting earlier reports about the retired Pope's plans,...

Archbishop explains, defends Church stand against same-sex marriage CWN - April 30, 2013

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco provided a strong defense of Church teaching on marriage in an interview with USA Today. “To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex...

Newark archdiocese still stands by accused priest CWN - April 30, 2013

Amid increasingly angry protests, the Archdiocese of Newark is defending a priest who has engaged in youth ministry in apparent violation of an agreement with prosecutors. Father Michael Fugee,...

Miami archdiocese urges immigrants to become citizens CWN - April 30, 2013

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is urging undocumented immigrants in the Miami region to become US citizens. The archbishop told a news conference that an estimated 300,000 people in the region...

Vatican, Argentina jointly issue stamps to celebrate election of Pope Francis CWN - April 30, 2013

The Vatican and the government of Argentina, in an unusual joint venture, have produced a series of stamps to celebrate the election of the first Argentine Pontiff. The 4-stamp series, featuring...

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