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Catholic World News

Stories for May 2013

Released Thursday, May. 2

Typical new priest: 32-year-old cradle Catholic who prays Rosary, takes part in Eucharistic adoration CWN - May 2, 2013

The typical member of the priestly ordination class of 2013 is a 32-year-old cradle Catholic who has three or more siblings and prayed the Rosary regularly before entering seminary, according to a...

15 nations named ‘egregious’ religious-freedom violators CWN - May 2, 2013

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal agency, is urging the State Department to designate or...

CDF prefect pays tribute to St. Pius V CWN - May 2, 2013

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, paid tribute to Pope St. Pius V (1566-72) on the saint’s feast day. St. Pius V sought “most of all...

Rhode Island legalizes same-sex marriage CWN - May 2, 2013

Rhode Island has become the tenth state to alter the definition of marriage to allow members of the same sex to wed. In a statement issued on the eve of the state senate vote legalizing same-sex...

‘How to see the new Pope in Rome’ CWN - May 2, 2013

The travel section of The New York Times recently offered practical advice on how to obtain tickets for a papal general...

Benedict XVI returns to Vatican, welcomed by Pope Francis CWN - May 2, 2013

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican on May 2, to take up residence in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery building. The former Pope, who has been staying at Castel Gandolfo since his...

New exposé at late-term abortion clinic CWN - May 2, 2013

A new undercover investigation by Live Action has produced a videotape in which an Arizona abortionist says that she would not attempt to save the life of a baby who survived a late-term...

US troops face penalties for ‘proselytization’ CWN - May 2, 2013

US armed forces personnel could face penalties for attempting to convert others to Christianity, the defense department has announced. "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the...

Relics of John Paul II in exhibit for World Youth Day CWN - May 2, 2013

Organizers of the World Youth Day (WYD) have arranged for relics of Blessed John Paul II to be on display during the celebration in Rio de Janeiro in July. A vial of blood from the late Pontiff...

Pope Francis speak on the Church that 'says Yes' CWN - May 2, 2013

In his homily at a Mass on May 2, Pope Francis said that a Church that “says Yes” is naturally more appealing than a Church that “says No.” Reflecting on the Acts of the Apostles, and the debate...

Supporters of lesbian teacher may boycott diocesan fund drive CWN - May 2, 2013

Supporters of a lesbian schoolteacher who was dismissed from her post at an Ohio Catholic school have threatened to organize a boycott of an annual appeal from the Diocese of Columbus. Backers of...

Vatican official's message highlights tensions for Church in Shanghai CWN - May 2, 2013

In a message of condolence on the death of Shanghai’s Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, the secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Evangelization has encouraged reconciliation and unity among China’s...

Obama administration to appeal court ruling on morning-after pill CWN - May 2, 2013

The Obama administration has announced plans to appeal a decision by a federal judge who ruled that the “morning-after” pill should be available for sale to all women regardless of age. The...

Annual Vatican message to Buddhists highlights shared reverence for life CWN - May 2, 2013

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released an annual message to the world’s Buddhists, emphasizing that Christians and Buddhists “have in common especially a shared profound...

Russia tightens scrutiny for religious bodies CWN - May 2, 2013

Government officials in Russia have carried out a rigorous “inspection” of religious groups, to ensure that they comply with official guidelines. The government inspections, which focus...

University president apologizes for blasphemous mockery of Pope CWN - May 2, 2013

In a belated response to a public uproar, the president of Carnegie-Mellon University has acknowledged that an obscene mockery of the Pope was “highly offensive.” President Jared Cohon said that...

Released Friday, May. 3

Baltimore: basilica illuminated in honor of death penalty repeal CWN - May 3, 2013

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore was illuminated overnight on May 2 in honor of the Maryland’s repeal of the death penalty. “This is a...

Malaysia’s ruling party displays anti-Christian billboards during election campaign CWN - May 3, 2013

Barisan Nasional, the political coalition that has governed Malaysia since its independence, has launched a billboard campaign with pictures of Christian churches. The billboards ask the majority...

Nigerian cardinal says nation threatened by ‘twin monsters’ CWN - May 3, 2013

Addressing the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels, Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja said that Nigeria was threatened by the “twin monsters of corruption and...

Islamist group tells Christian missionaries: leave Kashmir or ‘suffer the consequences’ CWN - May 3, 2013

A spokesman for the United Jihad Council, a militant Islamist organization, said that Christian missionaries must leave the northern Indian region of Kashmir or “suffer the consequences.” 97% of...

Bishops’ spokeswoman decries decision on morning-after pill CWN - May 3, 2013

A spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has issued a statement lamenting the approval of over-the-counter sales of the morning-after...

USCCB: pray, fast that the Supreme Court uphold Proposition 8 CWN - May 3, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on May 3 “for the justices of the US Supreme Court, that they would respect the...

Benedict XVI pleased with new residence CWN - May 3, 2013

“Benedict XVI is very happy to return to the Vatican,” the Vatican press office announced in a May 3 press release after the emeritus Pope moved into his new residence at the Mater Ecclesiae...

Embattled Newark priest resigns from active ministry CWN - May 3, 2013

Father Michael Fugee, whose continued contact with young children had provoked a storm of criticism for the Newark archdiocese, has resigned from priestly ministry. Father Fugee, who had once...

Irish bishops oppose bid to legalize abortion CWN - May 3, 2013

Ireland’s Catholic bishops have taken a strong stand in opposition to a bill that would legalize abortion in cases when the health of the mother was deemed at risk. The legislation, ironically...

Vatican police conduct riot drill CWN - May 3, 2013

Vatican police officers conducted a riot-control drill on May 2, practicing to control unruly demonstrations. Members of the Vatican gendarmerie, in full riot gear, were trained by instructors...

Four candidates move forward toward beatification CWN - May 3, 2013

The Vatican has cleared the way for the beatification of two people, and advanced two other candidates closer to beatification. Two decrees issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Pope meets Lebanese president, talks focus on Syrian conflict CWN - May 3, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 3 with President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon, for talks that centered on the violence in Syria, the impact of that conflict on Lebanon, and the plight of Christians in the...

German prelate's support for female deacons confuses the faithful, theologian says CWN - May 3, 2013

An influential Catholic theologian has said that the president of the German bishops’ conference risks confusing the faithful by suggesting the ordination of women as deacons. Father Manfred...

President of New York Catholic university resigns amid corruption charges CWN - May 3, 2013

The president of St. John's University in New York is stepping down after being accused of financial improprieties. Father Donald Harrington announced on May 3 that he would leave the presidency...

Released Monday, May. 6

Bomb explodes at dedication of Tanzanian church; nuncio, archbishop present CWN - May 6, 2013

One person was killed and dozens were injured when a bomb exploded at the dedication of a parish in Olasiti, a town of 12,000 in northern Tanzania. Archbishop Francisco Padilla, the apostolic...

Holy Land bishops’ official rues decision on security wall CWN - May 6, 2013

The chairman of the media committee of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land lamented a recent Israeli court decision that affirmed the government’s seizure of most of the land owned...

Madonna of Quintiliolo venerated at Vatican’s Day of Confraternities and Popular Piety CWN - May 6, 2013

At the Day of Confraternities and Popular Piety, held as part of the Vatican’s celebration of the Year of Faith, the image of the Madonna of Quintiliolo was given pride of place. Vatican Radio...

Beatification of Brazilian laywoman, daughter of a slave CWN - May 6, 2013

Francisca de Paula de Jesus (1808-95), also known as Nhá Chica, was beatified on May 4 in Baependi, a town of 18,000 in southeastern Brazil. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for...

Papal envoy calls for re-evangelization at 600th anniversary of Lithuanian cathedral CWN - May 6, 2013

Pope Francis named Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow as his special envoy to the six hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral basilica in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city....

Scottish cardinal instructed by Vatican to leave country? CWN - May 6, 2013

A Scottish cardinal who resigned after being accused of sexual improprieties has reportedly been asked by the Vatican to leave the country. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was charged with improper...

Vatican cardinal questions decision to reform LCWR CWN - May 6, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for Religious has complained that his office was not notified about Vatican plans to require reforms in the American Leadership Conference of Women Religious...

Pope speaks on treasures of popular piety CWN - May 6, 2013

Popular piety is “a treasure possessed by the Church,” Pope Francis said as he presided at a Mass for Catholic confraternities gathered in Rome for their annual pilgrimage. Despite steady rain in...

Russian Patriarch hopes for continued ecumenical progress under Pope Francis CWN - May 6, 2013

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has said that he hopes to see continued improvements in relations between Moscow and the Vatican under Pope Francis, ‘and we have no indication that the incumbent...

Protect children from abuse, Pope insists CWN - May 6, 2013

Pope Francis spoke of the need to protect children from abuse during his midday audience on Sunday, May 5. Noting that Italy was observing is National Day of Children Victims of Violence, the...

Swiss president meets with Pope CWN - May 6, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 6 with Ueli Maurer, the president of the Swiss Confederation, who was at the Vatican to witness the swearing-in of new members of the Swiss Guard. A brief Vatican...

Pope visits St. Mary Major, speaks on Marian devotion CWN - May 6, 2013

Pope Francis formally “took possession” of the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major on Saturday, May 4. While there, the Holy Father prayed the Rosary and spoke about the role of the Virgin Mary in the...

Pope welcomes new members of Swiss Guard CWN - May 6, 2013

Speaking to 35 new members of the Swiss Guards, Pope Francis encouraged them to live “the time you spend in the 'Eternal City' in a spirit of genuine brotherhood, helping one another to live a good...

Released Tuesday, May. 7

Central African Republic: bishops rebuke new president, demand restitution of stolen property CWN - May 7, 2013

In a courageous letter to the new president of the Central African Republic, the nation’s leading prelate denounced the crimes of the president’s movement and demanded the restitution of stolen...

Leading sister defends LCWR against Vatican investigation CWN - May 7, 2013

Sister Mary Lou Wirtz, the president of the International Union of Superiors General, has defended the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the face of the Congregation for the...

Syria: ‘prayers mingled with tears’ at Easter CWN - May 7, 2013

Easter, which was celebrated on May 5 on the Julian calendar, was a time of continued weeping for Syria’s Christians, according to the Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, the nation’s largest city....

Bangladesh: prelate calls for peace following Islamist violence CWN - May 7, 2013

An estimated 200,000 supporters of a Bangladeshi Islamist group marched on Dhaka, the nation’s capital, on May 5, demanding the increasing Islamization of society, including the death penalty for...

Prelate emphasizes: same-sex marriage is ‘serious injustice’ CWN - May 7, 2013

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco decried same-sex marriage as a “serious injustice” after Rhode Island became the tenth state to legalize the practice. “The meaning of marriage...

Archbishop Chaput on the Gosnell trial CWN - May 7, 2013

Commenting on the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia told Vatican Radio that “after a while we begin to disrespect human life in ways that are just...

Vatican denies clear signs of discord on handling of LCWR CWN - May 7, 2013

Responding quickly to clear indications of discord between two leaders of the Roman Curia, the Vatican has released a statement flatly denying that any tension exists. The May 7 statement from...

Massachusetts bishop faces charges for drunk driving, leaving accident scene CWN - May 7, 2013

Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester entered a not-guilty plea on May 7 to charges of drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Bishop McManus was arrested in Rhode Island on Saturday...

Pope discouraging speculation on future of Vatican bank CWN - May 7, 2013

Pope Francis has signaled his desire to curb speculation about the future of the Vatican bank, according to an analysis in the Italian journal L’Espresso. Last week Archbishop Giovanni Becciu,...

Irish prime minister plans to defy bishops on abortion bill CWN - May 7, 2013

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny has indicated that he will not be swayed by the Catholic Church’s opposition to legislation that would allow for legal abortion. "As I explained to the...

Schedule set for Pope's July trip to Rio de Janeiro CWN - May 7, 2013

The Vatican has released the schedule for a July trip by Pope Francis to Rio de Janeiro to participate in World Youth Day (WYD) observances. Contrary to the expectations of many...

President of St. Luke's suspended after charges of sexual, financial impropriety CWN - May 7, 2013

The priest who has been serving as president of the most influential treatment center for troubled clerics has resigned, and has been suspended from public ministry, following charges of sexual and...

Gosnell trial points to need for penalties for killing babies who survive abortions CWN - May 7, 2013

Although the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell has been charged with deliberately killing infants who survived his late-term abortions, he will not face a jail term from that offense, because the...

Vatican mourns former Italian premier Andreotti CWN - May 7, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the widow of Guilio Andreotti, the former Italian prime minister and friend of several Popes, who died on May 6 at the age of 94. Andreotti, who...

Australian investigator claims ‘Catholic mafia’ stalled abuse probe CWN - May 7, 2013

An Australian police detective who has charged that a “Catholic mafia” conspired to cover up evidence of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has now reported that his office was ransacked. Inspector...

Christians should not whine, Pope tells congregation CWN - May 7, 2013

“A Christian who constantly complains fails to be a good Christian,” Pope Francis told the congregation at his daily Mass on May 7. “They become Mr. or Mrs. Whiner, no?” Reflecting on the jailing...

Released Wednesday, May. 8

Holy See, US sign agreement to combat money laundering, terrorism financing CWN - May 8, 2013

The Financial Intelligence Authority of the Holy See and Vatican City State has signed an agreement with the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to share information to...

Guatemalan bishop criticizes government following suspension of constitutional rights CWN - May 8, 2013

A Guatemalan bishop criticized the nation’s government after it suspended constitutional rights in four towns following violent protests against a Canadian-owned silver mine. Residents fear that the...

Allende praises Church’s efforts on behalf of human rights during Pinochet regime CWN - May 8, 2013

Isabel Allende, a leading Latin American novelist, has praised the efforts of the Church in Chile on behalf of human rights following the 1973 overthrow of President Salvador Allende, her father’s...

Orissa: 5 years after anti-Christian pogrom, little justice for victims CWN - May 8, 2013

Five years after an anti-Christian pogrom in the eastern Indian state of Orissa left 100 dead and over 50,000 homeless, justice has been denied to victims because of police inaction and the...

Tanzania: nuncio describes bomb attack during church dedication CWN - May 8, 2013

The apostolic nuncio to Tanzania has offered his eyewitness account of the May 5 bomb attack at the dedication of a parish in Olasiti, a town of 12,000 in northern Tanzania. “The Archbishop of...

Pope strongly supports call for reform in religious life CWN - May 8, 2013

Consecrated religious must maintain a spirit of deep loyalty to the Church, Pope Francis told a group of religious superiors on May 8. Speaking to the International Union of Superiors General...

Papal sympathy for Mexican accident victims CWN - May 8, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of sympathy to the victims of an explosion that killed 21 people and left many injured in Ecatepec, Mexico. In a telegram to Bishop Oscar Roberto Dominguez...

Still no word on kidnapped Orthodox prelates in Syria CWN - May 8, 2013

Church leaders in Syria have not been able to establish the whereabouts of two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped on April 22, or to understand the motive for the abductions. “We are groping in...

New Jersey pastor resigns after allowing youth ministry by Father Fugee CWN - May 8, 2013

The Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, has announced the resignation of a pastor who allowed a troubled priest of the neighboring Newark archdiocese to engage in youth ministry. Father Michael...

Italian Cardinal Scola decries blasphemy laws CWN - May 8, 2013

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan denounced “blasphemy laws” at a conference celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, which gave religious freedom to Christians. Real religious...

At weekly audience, Pope speaks about Holy Spirit CWN - May 8, 2013

At his regular weekly public audience on May 8, Pope Francis continued his series of talks on the Creed, focusing on the line: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.” The...

Evangelization requires building relationships with everyone, Pope says CWN - May 8, 2013

Pope Francis drew a sharp distinction between evangelization and proselytism in his homily at a weekday Mass on May 8. The Church told the congregation at the Domus Sanctae Marthae that the...

Priest killed in Colombia: 4th clerical murder victim this year CWN - May 8, 2013

A Catholic priest was murdered in Barranquilla, Colombia, on May 6: the 4th priest to be killed in that country already this year and the 19th since 2009. The body of Father José Antonio Bayona...

Released Friday, May. 10

Abuse scandal’s total cost: $2.62 billion since 2004 CWN - May 10, 2013

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses $112,966,427 in 2012, according to a report released on May 9 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Only 56% of those...

Delaware legalizes same-sex marriage CWN - May 10, 2013

Following a 23-18 vote in the state house and a 12-9 vote in the state senate, Delaware has become the eleventh state to alter the definition of marriage to allow members of the same sex to wed....

Background: World Communications Day CWN - May 10, 2013

On May 12, the Church will commemorate the 47th World Communications Day. As has been customary since 1986, the papal message for the day (“Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces...

Pope Francis does not administer Communion: new policy explained CWN - May 10, 2013

Pope Francis does not distribute Communion when he celebrates Mass in public. Now Sandro Magister of L’Espresso explains this new papal policy. In 2010, then-Cardinal Bergoglio remarked that some...

Cardinal sees no misunderstanding in media coverage of LCWR dispute CWN - May 10, 2013

Just days after the Vatican press office issued a statement criticizing the accuracy of “media commentary” on his public remarks, the prefect of the Congregation for Religious has said that he was...

German Church leaders deny disagreement over women deacons CWN - May 10, 2013

A spokesman for the German Catholic bishops has said that there are no disputes within the country’s hierarchy on proposals for allowing women to be deacons. Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the...

German cardinal shocked by physical decline of Benedict XVI CWN - May 10, 2013

A German cardinal has reportedly said that he was shocked by the sharp decline in the health of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI. Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne visited Benedict at Castel Gandolfo...

Australian detective says he can show Church officials impeded abuse probes CWN - May 10, 2013

A former Australian police detective has reported that Church officials warned suspected priests that they were the focus of criminal probes for sexual abuse, thereby undermining his...

Newark archbishop hires top criminal lawyer CWN - May 10, 2013

The Archdiocese of Newark, has retained a prominent criminal-defense lawyer, as New Jersey prosecutors continue to raise questions about the activity of a priest who was engaged in youth...

Vatican official denounces Mexican death cult CWN - May 10, 2013

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, has denounced the Mexican cult of Santa Muerte as “a blasphemy against religion.” Santa Muerte (“Saint Death”),...

Puerto Rican archbishop resists Vatican pressure for resignation CWN - May 10, 2013

Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has declined to discuss reports that the Vatican has sought his resignation, after the public release of a letter in which he defended...

Suffering will strengthen Egypt's Christians, Pope assures Coptic leader CWN - May 10, 2013

For the embattled Christians of Egypt, “the sharing of daily suffering can become an effective instrument of unity,” Pope Francis said on May 10, as he met with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros...

Despite removal from official duties, Cardinal Mahony still performing Confirmations CWN - May 10, 2013

Although he is no longer authorized to act as an official representative of the Los Angeles archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony has heightened his public profile, and continues to preside regularly...

Boston priests say they understand police policy at Marathon bombing site CWN - May 10, 2013

Two Catholic priests who were turned away from the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing have said that they understand the reasons why police refused to allow them access to wounded bombing...

Cardinal joins protest over Boston College commencement honor for Irish leader CWN - May 10, 2013

Responding to protests by a lay Catholic activist group in Massachusetts, Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley has denounced plans by Boston College to award an honorary degree to Irish prime minister...

Carnegie Mellon students face criminal charges for blasphemous display CWN - May 10, 2013

After an official review of a blasphemous anti-Catholic display on campus, officials at Carnegie Mellon University have filed criminal charges against two students. Jared Cohon, the president of...

Released Monday, May. 13

Lithuanian bishops warn: EU treaty could promote homosexuality, transgender ideology CWN - May 13, 2013

In a statement released May 9, the bishops of Lithuania urged the government not to sign a European treaty, the convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic...

20th-century Italian priest beatified CWN - May 13, 2013

An Italian priest who devoted his life to the pastoral care of the sick and disabled was beatified in Rome on May 11, the day before Pope Francis canonized the martyrs of Otranto, St. Laura Montoya,...

‘Jesus Christ is the source of hope for Europe,’ say bishops in Europe Day statement CWN - May 13, 2013

The presidency of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe issued a brief statement on Europe Day, which commemorates the Schuman Declaration (1950) that gave birth to the European...

Anglican-Catholic dialogue concludes meeting in Brazil CWN - May 13, 2013

The official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion—the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC)—has concluded the third meeting of its third phase. The...

USCCB, other Catholic organizations weigh in on farm bill, call for reduction in subsidies CWN - May 13, 2013

The chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have joined the leaders of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the National Catholic...

Pope canonizes 800 martyrs slain by 15th-century Islamic forces CWN - May 13, 2013

Pope Francis presided on May 13 at the canonization of 800 people who died for the faith in Otranto, Italy, in 1480. The "martyrs of Otranto"-- whose names are not known-- were beheaded by the...

Saudi court sentences Christians to flogging, jail terms for converting Muslim CWN - May 13, 2013

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced two Christians-- one Saudi, one Lebanese-- to be flogged and imprisoned for converting a Muslim to Christianity and helping a young woman escape the...

Prominent Legionary priest seeks release from vows to care for son CWN - May 13, 2013

A prominent priest of the Legion of Christ who revealed last year that he had fathered a child is now seeking dispensation from the priesthood, saying that he wants to care for his child. Father...

Pope strongly supports March for Life across Rome CWN - May 13, 2013

Pope Francis gave his strong support to a March for Life in Rome on May 12, and also to a campaign for an end to destructive research on human embryos. At his midday audience on Sunday the Pope...

Pope backs talks aimed at reconciliation in Colombia CWN - May 13, 2013

Pope Francis called for continued negotiations to bring about reconciliation after Colombia’s long struggle with rebel factions, as he met on May 13 with the country’s leader, President Juan Manuel...

World's Catholic population steady; up in Africa and Asia, down in Europe and Americas CWN - May 13, 2013

The world’s Catholic population rose by 1.5% in 2011—the last year for which accurate figures are available—according to the Vatican’s latest statistics. On May 13, Pope Francis received the...

Irish columnist says Cardinal O'Malley broke a deal on Kenny commencement speech CWN - May 13, 2013

Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s public statement denouncing Boston College for honoring Irish prime minister Enda Kenny was a violation of an informal agreement with the Irish government leader and the...

Abortionist Gosnell found guilty on 3 murder counts CWN - May 13, 2013

A Pennsylvania jury has convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell on three counts of 1st-degree murder. Gosnell, who had performed late-term abortions under appalling unsanitary conditions in a...

CORRECTION: British bishops would encourage Catholic spouse in royal family to raise children as Catholics CWN - May 13, 2013

Correcting a report that appeared in some Catholic news outlets (including CWN) last month, a spokesman for the Catholic bishops of Great Britain has said that Church leaders did not tell lawmakers...

Released Tuesday, May. 14

Cardinal: 2011 document’s call for ‘global authority’ does not mean world government CWN - May 14, 2013

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told Vatican Radio that the council’s controversial 2011 document, “Towards Reforming the International...

US bishops announce 2nd Fortnight for Freedom CWN - May 14, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that the second annual Fortnight for Freedom on behalf of religious liberty will take place from June 21 to July 4. “The...

Vatican cardinal calls for ‘evangelical radicalism’ in missionary work CWN - May 14, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples told 150 national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies that “it is necessary to review the methods of evangelization, to...

Islamists wish to topple government, Bangladesh’s leading prelate warns CWN - May 14, 2013

Islamists who recently marched on the nation’s capital wish to “topple the government” and “trigger chaos by means of violence,” the nation’s leading prelate told Aid to the Church in...

USCCB weighs in on 15 amendments to immigration legislation CWN - May 14, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Government Relations has announced its position on 15 proposed amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration...

Vatican bank to make public disclosures? CWN - May 14, 2013

The Vatican bank will make its balance sheets public this year. Ernst von Freyberg, the new president of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), told reporters on May 14 that the bank would...

Cardinal says Holy Spirit turned electors toward Cardinal Bergoglio CWN - May 14, 2013

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna told an English audience that special "signs" from the Holy Spirit guided the cardinal-electors to choose Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in the March 2013...

Russian Patriarch seeks official recognition for Orthodox in China CWN - May 14, 2013

During a visit to China, Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has been urging government officials to approve the Russian Orthodox Church as a “recognized religion.” The Beijing government...

Pope contrasts 'poverty as an ideology' with true Christian charity CWN - May 14, 2013

Pope Francis spoke of “poverty as an ideology,” and contrasted that ideology with genuine Christian charity, during his homily at daily Mass on May 14. The Holy Father cited the Gospel account of...

Pontificate dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima in ceremony at shrine CWN - May 14, 2013

At the request of Pope Francis, Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon dedicated this pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, in a ceremony on May 13—the feast of Our Lady of Fatima—at the Marian...

No union backing for lesbian teacher dismissed at Catholic school CWN - May 14, 2013

A lesbian teacher who lost her job at a Catholic school in Ohio after revealing her lesbian partnership will not be receiving support from the local teachers' union. Carla Hall, who is seeking...

US embassies push 'gay pride' celebrations in countries that outlaw homosexual acts CWN - May 14, 2013

US embassies abroad are preparing to celebrate Gay Pride Month in June, even in countries where homosexual behavior is outlawed. Author Robert Reilly notes that in many countries, the American...

Massachusetts bishop will escape trial for drunk driving; pleads guilty to lesser charge CWN - May 14, 2013

Drunk-driving charges against Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, will be dismissed, after the bishop pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, his lawyer has said. Bishop McManus agreed...

Vatican to host pavilion at Venice art festival CWN - May 14, 2013

The Vatican will host a pavilion at an art festival in Venice this year, with a display on the Genesis account of Creation. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for...

Released Wednesday, May. 15

Cardinal emphasizes importance of contemporary art as Holy See takes part in exhibition CWN - May 15, 2013

The head of a Vatican dicastery said at a May 14 press conference that his pontifical council “holds contemporary art at the heart of its interests.” The Holy See is joining six dozen other...

Cardinal Burke to deliver keynote address at Vatican conference for Gospel of life CWN - May 15, 2013

As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican is hosting a “Day Celebrating the Evangelium Vitae [Gospel of life]” on June 15 and 16. The day’s events, which include a pilgrimage to the tomb of St....

Papua New Guinea bishops speak out against death penalty CWN - May 15, 2013

Amid increasing violence, including the brutal murders of suspected sorcerers, Papua New Guinea is considering restoring the use of the death penalty, which is legal but has not been used since...

Prelate praises Buddhist spirituality in face of secularism CWN - May 15, 2013

In a message to Buddhists on the occasion of the 2,557th anniversary of Buddha’s birth, South Korea’s leading prelate paid tribute to Buddhism’s “spirituality of love and sharing.” “Our society...

Despite US efforts, famed Orthodox seminary remains closed in Turkey CWN - May 15, 2013

Halki seminary, opened by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1844 and closed by the Turkish government in 1971, remains closed despite calls by President Barack Obama, former Secretary...

Vatican confirms Cardinal O'Brien will leave Scotland CWN - May 15, 2013

The Vatican has confirmed that Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned in February from his post as Archbishop of Edinburgh, Scotland, will leave that country “for several months for the purpose of...

Vatican bank will make annual report available online CWN - May 15, 2013

The Vatican has confirmed that the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), will begin making a public disclosure of its accounts. By the end of this year, the Vatican said, the IOR...

Australian police official delayed action on abuse reports against Church CWN - May 15, 2013

Charges of sexual abuse by Catholic priests sat on the desk of a top-ranking Australian police official for months, a government investigating panel has been told. A regional police director said...

Pentecost prayer vigil planned for ecclesial movements CWN - May 15, 2013

The Vatican is organizing a prayer vigil on Saturday evening, May 18, for members of ecclesial movements, in preparation for Pentecost. The vigil will end with the Pentecost Sunday Mass celebrated...

Pope plans pilgrimage to Marian shrine in Sardinia CWN - May 15, 2013

Pope Francis remarked on May 15 that he hopes to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria, on the island of Sardinia, in September. As he greeted some of the groups present for his regular weekly...

Israeli authorities apologies after police manhandle Orthodox cleric CWN - May 15, 2013

Israel’s deputy foreign minister has issued an apology to the Coptic Orthodox Church after a Coptic priest was beaten by police during Holy Saturday observances at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre...

Pray daily for guidance of the Holy Spirit, Pope exhorts audience CWN - May 15, 2013

The truth “isn’t a possession,” Pope Francis told his weekly public audience on May 15. “It is an encounter with a Person.” “We are living in an age when we are rather skeptical regarding truth,”...

Bishop Finn not liable in child-porn lawsuit, Missouri judge rules CWN - May 15, 2013

A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that the Diocese of Kansas City (Missouri) and Bishop Robert Finn cannot be held liable in a civil lawsuit against a priest who had lewd photos of the...

Released Thursday, May. 16

Vatican cardinal reflects on contentious issues in relations with Jews CWN - May 16, 2013

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews, has fielded questions on important issues in Jewish-Catholic relations, including the relation...

Oregon researchers clone human embryos for sake of stem cells CWN - May 16, 2013

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University have succeeded in cloning human embryos in order to obtain their stem cells, according to press reports. The researchers removed nuclei from...

Ecumenical Patriarchate, European bishops to commemorate Edict of Milan CWN - May 16, 2013

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in conjunction with the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE), is commemorating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan by hosting...

Minnesota legalizes same-sex marriage CWN - May 16, 2013

Following votes of 75-39 in the state house and 37-30 in the state senate, Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota has signed legislation altering the definition of marriage to include same-sex...

USCCB: statement on Gosnell conviction CWN - May 16, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued a statement on the conviction of Kermit Gosnell, who had performed late-term abortions...

'Cult of money' produces injustice and misery, Pope warns CWN - May 16, 2013

“We have started down the path of a disposable culture,” Pope Francis said in a May 16 address to four new ambassadors to the Holy See. In his remarks to the new envoys, the Pope spoke about...

Pope praises apostolic zeal of St. Paul, contrasts it with "backseat Christians" CWN - May 16, 2013

St. Paul exhibited a “healthy madness” that made him an effective evangelist, Pope Francis said in his homily at a Mass on May 16. "Paul is a nuisance,” the Pope told the congregation at the...

Brazil approves same-sex marriage CWN - May 16, 2013

Brazil’s top legal body has ruled that marriage licenses cannot be denied to same-sex couples. The ruling by the National Council of Justice makes Brazil the 3rd nation in Latin America to allow...

Vatican envoy at UN urges action to end bloodshed in Syria CWN - May 16, 2013

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has underlined “the grave concern with which the Holy See has been following the unceasing spiral of violence by which Syria has been...

Former archdiocesan accountant pleads guilty on embezzlement charges CWN - May 16, 2013

A former accountant for the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, has pleaded guilty to charges of embezzling $670,000 in archdiocesan funds. Scott Joseph Domeier, who worked for the archdiocese...

Kansas City diocese settles child-porn lawsuit claims for $600,000 CWN - May 16, 2013

The Diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from child-pornography charges against a priest of the diocese. The family of a young girl whose...

Pope hails Edict of Milan, welcomes Orthodox leader to celebration CWN - May 16, 2013

As the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visits Milan to celebrate the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting, hailing “the historic...

Released Friday, May. 17

Escalating violence in Nigeria; prominent Protestant pastor murdered CWN - May 17, 2013

Amid escalating violence committed by the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in three states. Shortly after the...

Syrian prelate: ‘tolls’ extracted by rebels have dramatically increased price of food CWN - May 17, 2013

A Syrian Catholic prelate has told the Fides news agency that “tolls” levied by rebels have increased the price of food “almost tenfold” in some areas of the country. “The militias of the Free...

Vatican envoy: consumerism, attitudes towards women help foster human trafficking CWN - May 17, 2013

Addressing a UN meeting on human trafficking, a leading Vatican diplomat called upon the international community to take “concrete actions on the ground” against human trafficking and to “address...

English bishops urge House of Commons not to approve same-sex marriage CWN - May 17, 2013

Archbishops Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Peter Smith of Southwark are urging members of the House of Commons not to alter the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples. “We urge...

Holy See diplomat condemns terrorism in Africa CWN - May 17, 2013

Addressing a recent United Nations Security Council discussion of terrorism in Africa, the Holy See’s leading representative at the UN recalled the recent terrorist attack on a Catholic church in...

Failure to repent sin is fundamental problem, Pope tells congregation CWN - May 17, 2013

“The problem is not that we are sinners,” Pope Francis told the congregation at his morning Mass on May 17. “The problem is not repenting of sin, not being ashamed of what we have done.” In his...

Dublin's archbishop, Irish prime minister clash on proposed abortion law CWN - May 17, 2013

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has protested that a proposed change in Ireland’s ban on abortion could lead to the death of unborn children who are capable of independent survival outside the...

Italian police arrest suspected 'Anonymous' hackers CWN - May 17, 2013

Italian police have arrested four suspected members of the internet hackers’ collaborative known as “Anonymous,” who are believed to be responsible for attacks on the internet sites of the Italian...

Cardinal Dolan not questioning governor's Catholic standing, spokesman says CWN - May 17, 2013

After New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan told a radio interviewer that he has talked directly with Governor Andrew Cuomo about the latter’s standing in the Church, a spokesman for the archdiocese...

Missionary work is a demand, not an option, for all Christians: Pope CWN - May 17, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 17 with directors of the Pontifical Missionary Works (POM), and urged them to “keep evangelization, the paradigm of every act of the Church, alive.” The Pope said that POM...

New Hampshire diocese settles case about priest's questions to boy in confessional CWN - May 17, 2013

The Manchester, New Hampshire diocese has agreed to pay $2,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a couple who charged that a priest had asked their son inappropriate questions during a sacramental...

Vatican conference focus on new sects, religious movements CWN - May 17, 2013

About 40 Church officials participated in a May 16 conference at the Vatican on the challenges posed by new sects. The conference participants, drawn from different Vatican offices and pontifical...

Pope's liturgical schedule for May-June-July CWN - May 17, 2013

The Vatican has released the public schedule of liturgical ceremonies at which Pope Francis will preside during the months of May, June, and July 2013. During the remaining days of May, the Pope...

American missionary priest in Kenya suspended in dispute over control of hospitals CWN - May 17, 2013

An American missionary priest in Kenya who became embroiled in a legal dispute over the ownership of hospitals has been suspended from the priesthood. The Maryknoll Society suspended Father...

Religious-freedom award to Indonesian leader draws protests CWN - May 17, 2013

Catholic leaders in Indonesia are protesting the decision of an American foundation to honor the country’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his contributions to inter-religious...

Released Monday, May. 20

Vatican official: current Code of Canon Law drafted during ‘naïve’ time CWN - May 20, 2013

The Vatican official who is helping oversee the revision of the chapter of the Code of Canon Law that deals with canonical penalties said in an interview that the current code was drafted during “a...

Kansas court rules that civil courts cannot interfere in annulment cases CWN - May 20, 2013

The Court of Appeals of the State of Kansas has ruled that civil courts cannot interfere in ecclesiastical annulment cases. A man filed suit against his ex-wife after he alleged she falsely...

UN food official lauds commitment of Pope Francis, Church to ending hunger CWN - May 20, 2013

The director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has praised the commitment of Pope Francis and the Church to ending hunger. “On a scale of 1 to 10, the Pope’s...

Ecumenical Patriarch: even amid persecution and attacks on family, the Church endures CWN - May 20, 2013

At a conference commemorating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, in which Emperor Constantine decreed the toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew...

USCCB, other Catholic organizations: contact senators about farm bill CWN - May 20, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and three other Catholic organizations are asking Catholics to urge their senators “to support a Farm Bill that feeds hungry people, promotes...

Holy Spirit makes Church always new, Pope says at Pentecost Mass CWN - May 20, 2013

“God always brings newness—and demands our complete trust,” Pope Francis said in his homily at a Pentecost Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square. More than 200,000 people attended the morning Mass,...

Pope answers questions on evangelization, poverty at Pentecost vigil CWN - May 20, 2013

Questioned about the keys to successful evangelization, Pope Francis suggested that ecclesial movements should focus on three words: Jesus, prayer, and witness. The Holy Father took questions...

Egypt's Copts again under attack, but ex-nuncio sees positive strides CWN - May 20, 2013

Egypt’s Christian minority suffered two more violent assaults during the past week, with bombings at Coptic Orthodox churches in two different towns. A mob of Muslim militants attacked the church...

Pope, Merkel discuss European affairs CWN - May 20, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 18 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for a discussion of European political, economic, and especially religious affairs. A brief Vatican statement released after the...

Catholic church bombed in Benghazi CWN - May 20, 2013

A Catholic church was bombed in Benghazi, Libya, on May 17. Exploding in the nave of the church shortly before midnight, the bomb shattered several windows in the church itself and the adjacent...

Australian archbishop admits predecessors covered up abuse CWN - May 20, 2013

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, has admitted that Church leaders in the past did not respond adequately to sex-abuse complaints. The archbishop told a formal inquiry that “the...

Italy's top politicians unite against 'homophobia' CWN - May 20, 2013

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano called for a “firm and constant commitment” to battling prejudice against homosexuals, as Italy observed “Anti-Homopobia Day” on May 17. His statement was echoed...

Jesuit superior steps in to head umbrella group for male religious superiors CWN - May 20, 2013

Father Adolfo Nicolas, the worldwide leader of the Jesuit order, has been named the president of the International Union of Superiors General (USIG), the umbrella group for representatives of men's...

Pope urges 'courageous' rather than 'courteous' prayer CWN - May 20, 2013

Pope Francis recommended “courageous prayer” rather than “prayers of courtesy” in his homily at daily Mass on May 20. Commenting on the day’s Gospel, and the remark of Jesus that some demons can...

Maronite leader raps Lebanese interference in Syrian conflict CWN - May 20, 2013

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai has criticized the political leaders of Lebanon in unusually blunt terms, and said that they should address their own nation’s problems rather than “interfere in the...

Croatian activists promote referendum to define marriage as male-female union CWN - May 20, 2013

Pro-family activists in Croatia have collected well over 200,000 signatures on a petition calling for a referendum to amend the country’s constitution and define marriage as a union between a man...

Community of St. John acknowledges lapses by founder CWN - May 20, 2013

The Community of St. John has acknowledged that its founder, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, had improper relations with women under his spiritual direction. Established by Father Philippe in...

American seminarians defend championship in Roman soccer tourney CWN - May 20, 2013

A team of American seminarians has won the Clericus Cup, the annual soccer competition among Rome’s seminaries. The “North American Martyrs” took the championship for the 2nd consecutive year...

Veteran Italian demonstrator climbs out on dome of St. Peter's CWN - May 20, 2013

An Italian man climbed out onto the dome of St. Peter’s basilica on Monday, May 20, in a dangerous political demonstration. Marcello Di Finizio unfurled a banner protesting new European Union...

Vatican launches news 'app' for smartphones CWN - May 20, 2013

The Vatican has introduced a ‘app’ for smartphones, providing a free news feed. The new app, called Missio, provides news headlines from Fides, the news service sponsored by the Congregation for...

Released Tuesday, May. 21

Churches desecrated in Central African Republic; Christians flee to countryside CWN - May 21, 2013

In recent weeks, Islamist rebels who assumed power in the Central African Republic in March have kidnapped the rector of the cathedral in the nation’s capital as well as the archdiocesan...

In 2nd message on Edict of Milan, Pope Francis calls for recognition of religious freedom CWN - May 21, 2013

On May 15, Pope Francis sent a telegram to Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew traveled to the Italian city to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of...

Patriarch: Islamist regimes ‘even worse’ than authoritarian ones CWN - May 21, 2013

Questioning “the motive and the reasoning” behind support for regime change in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church said that Islamic fundamentalist regimes are...

Closure of convents preceded Benghazi parish bombing CWN - May 21, 2013

The forced closure of several convents in eastern Libya preceded the recent bombing a parish there, according to Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli. “In Cyrenaica [eastern...

South African bishops criticize police presence at private wedding CWN - May 21, 2013

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has criticized “the deployment of the police flying squad and other elements of the security forces” and “the use of an air-force base by a...

Reporters interpret papal blessing as an exorcism CWN - May 21, 2013

The Vatican was forced to deny that Pope Francis had performed an impromptu exorcism on Sunday, after reporters misinterpreted the Pontiff’s blessing of a sick man in St. Peter’s Square. After...

Boston pro-lifers demonstrate against honorary degree for Enda Kenny CWN - May 21, 2013

About 50 people demonstrated outside the grounds of Boston College on May 20 as the Jesuit institution conferred an honorary degree on Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. Boston’s Cardinal Sean...

Newark priest faces charges for violating court order CWN - May 21, 2013

Father Michael Fugee, the priest at the center of a scandal in the Newark, New Jersey archdiocese, faces a series of criminal charges for apparently violating a court order forbidding him from...

In the Church, power means service, Pope tells Tuesday congregation CWN - May 21, 2013

"The struggle for power in the Church nothing new," Pope Francis told his congregation at a Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 21, referring to the Gospel account of disputes among the apostles...

Papal prayers for Oklahoma tornado victims CWN - May 21, 2013

Pope Francis offered a prayer for tornado victims in Oklahoma at his morning Mass on Tuesday, May 21. “Let us pray for the victims and those who are missing, especially children, affected by the...

Vatican Museum celebrate restoration of Michelangelo's Pieta CWN - May 21, 2013

The Vatican Museums are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the completion of restoration work on Michelangelo’s Pieta. The Pieta, which stands in the nave of St. Peter’s basilica, was badly...

Suicide in Notre Dame cathedral in Paris CWN - May 21, 2013

A French man committed suicide inside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on May 21. Dominique Venner, a 78-year-old historian and activist with a long history of involvement in traditionalist and...

Released Wednesday, May. 22

USCCB questions Obama administration’s use of drones CWN - May 22, 2013

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has invoked just-war criteria to question the moral legitimacy of the Obama...

Crowd attacks Pakistani village; 1,500 Christians flee CWN - May 22, 2013

Residents of the Muslim village of Chak 30 attacked the Christian village of Chak 31 in the Pakistani province of Punjab after local Christians were accused of being disrespectful towards Islam....

Vermont legalizes assisted suicide CWN - May 22, 2013

Following votes of 75-65 in the state house and 17-13 in the state senate, Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize assisted suicide. Oregon and Washington legalized the practice by ballot...

Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop Coakley on Oklahoma tornado disaster CWN - May 22, 2013

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City expressed gratitude for prayers for the archdiocese and disaster victims following the tornadoes that ravaged parts of Oklahoma on May 19 and 20. “Our...

Conference at Vatican Museums recalls attack on Pietà CWN - May 22, 2013

The Vatican Museums hosted a conference on May 21 devoted to the 1972 attack on Michelangelo’s Pietà and the sculpture’s subsequent restoration. On May 21, 1972, a mentally disturbed man...

After settling child-porn complaint, Kansas City diocese hit with two more lawsuits CWN - May 22, 2013

Less than a week after the Diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, reached a $600,000 settlement with the family of a girl involved in a child-porn case against a local priest, two other lawsuits have...

Chicago Jesuit province makes record settlement in abuse lawsuit CWN - May 22, 2013

The Chicago province of the Society of Jesus has agreed to pay nearly $20 million to settle a lawsuit brought by men who were sexually abused by Donald McGuire, a former Jesuit who has been...

Holy Spirit powers evangelization, Pope explains at audience CWN - May 22, 2013

“Evangelization is the Church mission,” Pope Francis told his public audience on May 22. “Not just of a few, but my, your, our mission.” In a talk on the working of the Holy Spirit, the Pope said...

Vatican’s Financial Information Authority issues report, cites strides toward transparency CWN - May 22, 2013

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (FIA) has released its first annual report, documenting the effort to tighten controls on financial transactions and to guard against...

Never use faith as a barrier, Pope tells congregation CWN - May 22, 2013

In his homily at a daily Mass on Wednesday, May 22, Pope Francis warned against the impulse to exclude others, citing the words of Jesus that “he that is not against us is for us.” (Mk...

Pope urges Friday prayers for Church in China CWN - May 22, 2013

On May 22, Pope Francis reminded his weekly public audience that the coming Friday, May 24, would be the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan, the day set aside by Pope Benedict XVI for prayer for the...

Tunisia: feminist arrested for defacing mosque CWN - May 22, 2013

A young woman was arrested in Tunisia on May 19 after she spray-painted the name of a feminist group on the wall of a mosque. Amina Tyler was jailed when she wrote “Femen” on the exterior of a...

Pope praises Missionaries of Charity for making love concrete CWN - May 22, 2013

Pope Francis visited a home run by the Missionaries of Charity on Tuesday evening, offering “a heartfelt thank-you” to the sisters for their service to the poor. The Holy Father visited the Gift...

Released Thursday, May. 23

Mideast Christians pray for Syrian bishops’ release a month after abduction CWN - May 23, 2013

Christians gathered in the Jordanian capital of Amman to pray for the release of the Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, who were kidnapped one month ago by Syrian rebel...

Protestant pastor arrested in Iran CWN - May 23, 2013

Amid intensified persecution of Protestant churches in recent years, authorities in the Iranian capital of Tehran have arrested Rev. Robert Asserian, pastor of the Central Assemblies of God...

Court strikes down Arizona law against late-term abortions CWN - May 23, 2013

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an Arizona law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional. In August, the court had blocked enforcement of the law. “We...

For 2nd time, Missouri Benedictine nuns have top classical album CWN - May 23, 2013

“Angels and Saints at Ephesus,” a new album released by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, has debuted at the top position on the Billboard traditional classical albums chart. “Advent...

Interreligious dialogue center hosts conference on ‘image of the other’ CWN - May 23, 2013

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), an organization established by Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Spain and named after Saudi...

Protester climbs down from dome of St. Peter's CWN - May 23, 2013

The Italian man who climbed out onto the dome of St. Peter’s basilica on Monday to dramatize a political protest climbed down Wednesday night. Marcello Di Finizio, who was protesting European...

Pope, Salvadoran president discuss Archbishop Romero CWN - May 23, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 23 with El Salvador’s President Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, for a conversation that highlighted the role of the slain Archbishop Oscar Romero in the life of the Central...

Pope confirms Cardinal Vallini as vicar for Rome CWN - May 23, 2013

Pope Francis has formally confirmed Cardinal Agostino Vallini as his vicar for the Rome diocese. Cardinal Vallini was named as vicar general of Rome by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. As with all...

Lateran University announces new chair to honor late Cardinal Gantin CWN - May 23, 2013

The Pontifical Lateran University has announced the establishment of a chair honoring the late Cardinal Bernardin Gantin. Cardinal Gantin, a native of Benin, was the first African-born cardinal...

Released Friday, May. 24

Bishops: Nigeria ‘totters on the brink’ CWN - May 24, 2013

Nigeria, the world’s seventh most populous nation, “now almost totters on the brink” of disaster, the nation’s bishops warned in a statement entitled “To Rescue Nigeria from Collapse.” “What...

Texas passes law permitting Nativity scenes in schools CWN - May 24, 2013

By margins of 145-2 in the state house and 29-0 in the state senate, Texas has passed legislation permitting public schools to display “a menorah or a Christmas image such as a nativity scene or...

Biden, Cardinal McCarrick pay tribute to Notre Dame’s Father Hesburgh CWN - May 24, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden joined Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and political figures from both parties in paying tribute to Father Theodore Hesburgh, who served as the president of the University of...

Archbishop Gomez welcomes committee passage of immigration-reform measure CWN - May 24, 2013

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the chairman of the Committee on Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 13-5 vote in favor of...

Philadelphia: day of prayer, penance following Gosnell conviction CWN - May 24, 2013

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has declared May 24 to be a special day of prayer and penance “as a Christian response to the Kermit Gosnell trial and conviction.” “The recent trial and...

USCCB: pray, fast for conversion of abortion supporters CWN - May 24, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on May 24 “for the conversion of all who support abortion, that Christ’s love may...

Christian Brothers in US pay $16.5 million to settle abuse claims CWN - May 24, 2013

The Christian Brothers in the US have agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle the claims of plaintiffs in sex-abuse cases. The Christian Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011,...

French priest, active Mason, removed from parish CWN - May 24, 2013

A French priest has been removed from ministry after he refused to end his active involvement with a Masonic lodge. Father Pascal Vesin was asked by Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy to quit his...

Pope urges recognizing 'light of hope' in eyes of refugees CWN - May 24, 2013

Human trafficking is “an ignoble activity, a disgrace to our society that calls itself civilized,” Pope Francis said in a May 24 address to the Pontifical Council of Migrants, which is holding its...

Avoid careerism, Pope counsels Italian bishops CWN - May 24, 2013

The litmus test of pastoral ministry is the willingness give one’s life entirely to God, Pope Francis told the Italian bishops, gathered in Rome for their 65th assembly on May 24. The Pope led...

Under house arrest, Chinese bishop uses social media to encourage pilgrimage CWN - May 24, 2013

Imprisoned Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai used social media to lead the faithful in prayer on May 24 as Chinese Catholics observed the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan on May 24. Bishop Ma, who is...

Israeli-Palestinian problem at base troubles in Middle East, says Jerusalem Patriarch CWN - May 24, 2013

"There is no doubt that the Palestinian problem is the focus of all conflict in the Middle East for the last one hundred years. This is the truth that we cannot circumvent,” said Latin-rite...

Released Monday, May. 27

Priest slain by Mafia beatified in Sicily CWN - May 27, 2013

Father Giuseppi (Pino) Puglisi, who was born in 1937 and slain by the Mafia in 1993, was beatified as a martyr on May 25 in Palermo, Sicily’s capital. Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, the archbishop...

Bishop responds to Boy Scouts’ decision on admission of homosexual members CWN - May 27, 2013

Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, the episcopal liaison of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, has responded to the Boy Scouts of...

Fewer problematic commencement speakers at Catholic colleges CWN - May 27, 2013

Six Catholic colleges this year honored supporters of abortion and other actions at odds with Catholic teaching – down from 24 colleges in 2006, 14 in 2011, and 11 in 2012, according to the Cardinal...

Christians fined, imprisoned in Uzbekistan CWN - May 27, 2013

In Uzbekistan – a largely Muslim central Asian nation known for its repression of religious freedom – a Christian woman has been convicted of the crime of “illegal production, storage, importation...

Russian Patriarch tells European leader: same-sex marriage is sinful CWN - May 27, 2013

In a meeting with the secretary general of the Council of Europe, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized that same-sex marriage is sinful. “If people choose such lifestyle, this is...

Don't set barriers to the sacraments, Pope warns faithful CWN - May 27, 2013

Pope Francis warned against setting barriers before people who want to approach God, in his homily at a daily Mass on May 25. “There is always a temptation to try and take possession of the...

Rethink economic systems; place man at the center: Pope Francis CWN - May 27, 2013

Pope Francis repeated his argument that a current world crisis “is not only economic and financial but is rooted in an anthropological and ethical crisis,” as he spoke with members of the Centisimus...

Vicar general of Newark archdiocese removed after controversy CWN - May 27, 2013

The vicar general of the Newark, New Jersey archdiocese has resigned in the wake of a scandal over a priest’s violation of a court order barring him from ministry with young people. Msgr. John...

Anglican leaders prepare new drive to approve women bishops CWN - May 27, 2013

The Church of England has unveiled plans to introduce its first female bishops in 2015. After a proposal for the ordination of women as bishops failed to gain approval last year, leaders of the...

Proper perspective aids understanding, Pope says during parish visit CWN - May 27, 2013

Pope Francis visited the parish of Sts. Elizabeth and Zechariah, on the outskirts of Rome, on Sunday, May 26. During his visit the Pope administered First Communion to young members of the...

Released Tuesday, May. 28

Holy See diplomat strongly denounces intolerance against Christians in Europe CWN - May 28, 2013

The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who represented the Holy See at a recent OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) conference devoted to tolerance,...

German cardinal calls for more children, mothers at home to address demographic crisis CWN - May 28, 2013

Recalling that mothers who stayed at home in Communist East Germany were called demented, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne said in a newspaper interview that “it would be better for society to...

India: Catholic leaders welcome new government in Karnataka CWN - May 28, 2013

Catholic leaders in Karnataka, the southwestern Indian state that has seen widespread anti-Christian persecution, have welcomed the defeat of the Hindu extremist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in...

Irish bishops’ conference praises US immigration-reform measure CWN - May 28, 2013

The chairman of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Emigrants has welcomed the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s recent vote in favor of immigration legislation. The bill, said Bishop John Kirby,...

Pontifical council: conference on happiness and the economy CWN - May 28, 2013

The British and Costa Rican embassies to the Holy See, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Culture, are hosting a conference on May 28 entitled, “Well-Being of Society: Happiness as a...

New tour for ‘nuns on the bus’ CWN - May 28, 2013

Network – the lobbying group whose president addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2012 after stating she was hesitant to call herself pro-life – is launching its second “nuns on the bus”...

New York archdiocese already paying contraceptive benefits for some union employees CWN - May 28, 2013

A New York Times report has drawn attention to contraceptive coverage in the health-care benefits of some unionized employees in the New York archdiocese. But a Church spokesman has insisted that...

Another massive rally in Paris against same-sex marriage CWN - May 28, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Paris on May 26 to protest the country’s new law allowing legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The massive protest was the latest in a series of...

Confirmed: Pope Francis to complete encyclical begun by Benedict XVI CWN - May 28, 2013

Pope Francis plans to complete the encyclical on faith that was begun by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican has confirmed. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told...

Vatican, Israel near agreement on pact after 20 years of negotiations CWN - May 28, 2013

A long-awaited agreement between the Vatican and Israel, establishing the legal and economic status of Church institutions in the Holy Land, may finally be near completion. Israeli sources...

Vatican schedules worldwide hour of Eucharistic adoration for Sunday, June 2 CWN - May 28, 2013

Pope Francis will lead a worldwide hour of Eucharistic adoration on Sunday, June 2, the Vatican has announced. On that date, cathedrals all across the world will hold an hour of Eucharistic...

Support for rebels will prolong suffering in Syria, says Catholic patriarch CWN - May 28, 2013

"The future of Syria cannot be built on destruction,” said Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, lamenting the failure of the European Union to renew a ban on the arming of Syrian...

Con man sentenced for bilking Ohio priest CWN - May 28, 2013

An Ohio man has been sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty to obtaining over $100,000 by fraud from a local priest. Brian Gaster admitted that he had duped a parish priest, telling...

New leaders, new statutes for Legionaries by year's end? CWN - May 28, 2013

The Legion of Christ will have new superiors, and a new constitution for the religious order will be in place, by the end of this year, according to Vatican Insider. In a private audience with...

Released Wednesday, May. 29

Vatican diplomat: over 100,000 Christians killed each year because of their faith CWN - May 29, 2013

The Holy See’s chief diplomat at UN offices in Geneva has told the UN Human Rights Council that over 100,000 Christians are killed each year because of their faith. “The serious violations of the...

Cardinal Pell testifies before parliamentary inquiry on abuse CWN - May 29, 2013

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has testified before a Victorian parliamentary inquiry about how he dealt with clerical sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Melbourne (1996-2001). Melbourne is...

Philippine bishops call for truth commission to examine election results CWN - May 29, 2013

Three Philippine bishops, including the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, have called for the creation of a truth commission to examine the veracity of the May...

Italian government official: anti-Christian laws in 15 European nations CWN - May 29, 2013

Addressing a recent OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) conference devoted to tolerance, an Italian institute that monitors religious liberty issues said that 15 European...

National Review Board chair disputes John Jay report, links homosexuality to clerical abuse CWN - May 29, 2013

The chairman of the National Review Board, a lay body that advises the US bishops in combating clerical sexual abuse, has disputed a 2011 John Jay College of Criminal Justice study that found no...

Women now primary earners in 40% of American households CWN - May 29, 2013

Women provide the main source of income for 40% of all American households, a new Pew Research study has found. The number of women providing the primary source of support for their families has...

Pope opens new series of weekly talks, on the nature of the Church CWN - May 29, 2013

The Catholic Church is “a mystery that we all live and in which we all take part,” Pope Francis said at his weekly public audience on May 29. Beginning a new series of weekly talks, on the nature...

Continued warfare could 'melt down' Syria, Vatican envoy tells UN CWN - May 29, 2013

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in Geneva has warned that the continuing war in Syria endangers the future of that country. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told a meeting of the UN Human...

Avoid temptations toward triumphalism, Pope urges CWN - May 29, 2013

Pope Francis cautioned against triumphalism in his homily at daily Mass on May 29. Commenting on the reaction of St. Peter when Jesus predicts his suffering and death, the Pope said that St....

Belgian court: evidence seized in illegal search cannot be used against Cardinal Danneels CWN - May 29, 2013

Belgium’s highest court has ruled that documents taken from the home and office of Cardinal Godfried Danneels in a surprise June 2010 raid cannot be used in court. Police searched the home of the...

Pope's prayer intentions for June 2013 CWN - May 29, 2013

The Vatican has disclosed the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for June 2013. The Pope’s general intention is: “That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among...

Released Thursday, May. 30

Colombian cardinal backs peace deal CWN - May 30, 2013

Colombia’s leading prelate has expressed support for a land-reform agreement negotiated during peace talks aimed at ending the decades-long conflict between the nation’s government and rebels. 1%...

Pakistani bishops’ conference: end anti-Christian approach in schools CWN - May 30, 2013

The Pakistani bishops’ justice and peace commission has called upon Pakistan’s new prime minister to remove false and discriminatory statements against Christianity and other non-Muslim religions...

For 1st time, Israeli university declares Christmas a holiday CWN - May 30, 2013

The University of Haifa has become the first Israeli university to declare Christmas Day a holiday for students. The university’s faculty senate also voted to make two other days university...

Jesuit to head US bishops’ doctrine office CWN - May 30, 2013

Father Peter French Ryan, a Jesuit who serves as professor of moral theology and director of spiritual formation at Kenrick-Gennon Seminary in St. Louis, has been named executive director of the...

Florida bishops urge governor to commute death sentences CWN - May 30, 2013

The bishops of Florida have urged Gov. Rick Scott to commute the death sentences of three men scheduled to be executed. “The crimes of these men involved great evil,” the bishops said in an open...

Pope explains decision not to live in papal apartments CWN - May 30, 2013

In a letter to a friend in Argentina, Pope Francis has said that he chose to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, rather than in the papal apartments, so that he could have a more normal life. The...

Father Andrew Greeley, outspoken sociologist and novelist, dead at 85 CWN - May 30, 2013

Father Andrew Greeley, a prolific and controversial priest and author of nearly 100 books, died in Chicago on May 30 at the age of 85 after a long illness. A sociologist who taught at the...

Pope to call meeting of Christian, Jewish, Muslim leaders? CWN - May 30, 2013

Pope Francis spoke with Israeli President Shimon Peres about the possibility of a meeting that would bring together leaders of the world’s three great monotheistic religions to join in a call for...

Israel set to demolish Palestinian homes for new development in East Jerusalem CWN - May 30, 2013

The government of Israel has authorized the construction of 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem, and begun the demolition of Palestinian properties in the area. The development of new homes for...

Pope Francis leads Corpus Christi procession through streets of Rome CWN - May 30, 2013

Pope Francis led the Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Rome on May 30, after celebrating Mass at the basilica of St. John Lateran and telling the congregation that the Eucharist...

Released Friday, May. 31

Vatican will not publish full text of Pope’s weekday Mass homilies CWN - May 31, 2013

In response to requests for the full texts of Pope Francis’s weekday Mass homilies, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi explained why Vatican Radio and L’Osservatore Romano are publishing...

Vatican bank president praises institute’s soundness CWN - May 31, 2013

In a lengthy interview with Vatican Radio, the new head of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), popularly known as the Vatican bank, praised the institute’s financial and ethical soundness and...

1st Catholic university inaugurated in Jordan CWN - May 31, 2013

Four years after Pope Benedict blessed its cornerstone during his apostolic journey to the Holy Land, the first Catholic university in Jordan held its inauguration ceremony. The American...

Late-term abortions touted at major women’s health conference CWN - May 31, 2013

Late-term abortion was defended by speakers at Women Deliver, the self-described “largest meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women.” The conference, which...

USCCB: pray, fast for engaged couples CWN - May 31, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on May 31 “for engaged couples, that their time of preparation for marriage may be...

Hamas pressing for Islamicization of Gaza, bishop reports CWN - May 31, 2013

“There are obvious signs of Islamicization everywhere” in the Gaza Strip, warns Bishop William Shomali, the vicar general of the Latin-rite patriarchate of Jerusalem. Hamas, which controls Gaza,...

Pope heard confessions during parish visit CWN - May 31, 2013

Pope Francis heard several confessions during his visit to a parish on the outskirts of Rome last weekend, notes Sandro Magister of L'Espresso. The Pope heard the confessions of parishioners...

Pope, UN leader discuss peace efforts, humanitarian needs CWN - May 31, 2013

Pope Francis met on May 31 with Vuk Jeremic, the president of the 67th session of the UN’s General Assembly. During the meeting, the Vatican reported, the discussion centered on the UN’s efforts...

SNAP leaders sought to squelch publicity on support for doctor in child-porn case CWN - May 31, 2013

The founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) wrote a letter in favor of a Louisiana psychologist who was facing charges for child pornography, and urged SNAP...

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