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Catholic World News

Stories for August 2013

Released Friday, Aug. 2

English bishop: same-sex marriage the ‘inevitable outcome’ of artificial contraception CWN - August 2, 2013

In a message to his diocese, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said that the recent legislative passage of same-sex marriage in England and Wales is “the inevitable outcome of a process that has been...

USCCB: pray, fast for deeper friendship with Christ CWN - August 2, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 2 for the following intention: “that we may become better friends with Jesus, and...

Leading Madagascar prelates strongly criticize Catholic Relief Services CWN - August 2, 2013

The archbishops of Madagascar’s two largest cities, joined by other local clergy, have offered strong criticism of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), according to two weekly briefings written by Steven...

Church spokesman: Muslim Brotherhood militias attacking Egypt’s Christians CWN - August 2, 2013

The spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt has told Vatican Radio that the nation’s Christians are living in a climate of fear because of continued protests by supporters of ousted President...

Nigerian Christian leader sees ‘open season’ on nation’s Christians CWN - August 2, 2013

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria said that “it is open season on Nigeria's Christians.” Ayo Oritsejafor, a Protestant...

Chilean cathedral, vandalized by abortion supporters, reopens CWN - August 2, 2013

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago, vandalized by abortion advocates during a July 25 Mass, has reopened. According to the Fides news agency, an estimated 5,000 people attended a Mass marking...

USCCB, CRS to offer webcast on effective political advocacy CWN - August 2, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services are offering a free webcast on August 7 entitled “Your Voice Makes a Difference: Tips & Tools for Effective...

Youth gang burns down Lutheran church in Germany CWN - August 2, 2013

A gang of youths has burned down a Lutheran church in a northern German city, according to local news stories compiled by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians, which...

Pope Francis sends personal greetings to world's Muslims CWN - August 2, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message to Islamic world, calling for mutual respect between Christians and Muslims. The Pope’s message, released by the Vatican on August 2, is timed for the Muslim...

Vatican asks Italian prosecutors to question Msgr. Scarano on money-laundering charges CWN - August 2, 2013

The Vatican has asked Italian prosecutors to question a jailed cleric about money-laundering charges. In an unusual request for help, the Vatican’s top prosecutor asked Italian authorities to...

Released Monday, Aug. 5

USCCB: leading Madagascar prelate praises Catholic Relief Services CWN - August 5, 2013

Archbishop Désiré Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar’s second-largest city, has expressed “strong support” of Catholic Relief Service, according to a statement issued by the United States...

World Youth Day statistics released CWN - August 5, 2013

3.7 million people attended events on July 28, the final day of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, which culminated in Pope Francis’s Sunday Mass at the waterfront of Copacabana, according to...

Vatican newspaper op-ed rues anti-Semitic gesture at rock music festival CWN - August 5, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has published an op-ed piece denouncing a recent anti-Semitic gesture at Rock Werchter, a music festival in Belgium. Ynetnews, the online news site of Israel’s most widely...

Senate confirms Hackett as US ambassador to the Holy See CWN - August 5, 2013

The United States Senate has unanimously confirmed Ken Hackett, who served as president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services for nearly two decades, as the new US ambassador to the Holy See,...

5 religious orders release files related to abuse in Los Angeles CWN - August 5, 2013

Six months after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released the personnel files of 87 archdiocesan clergy accused of sexual abuse, five religious orders have heeded a court order and released files on...

600th anniversary of baptism of Samogitia CWN - August 5, 2013

Pope Francis appointed Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdö as his special envoy to the solemn commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the baptism of Samogitia, a region in northwest Lithuania. The...

Syrian Orthodox patriarch vows to remain in Damascus CWN - August 5, 2013

Despite a recent suicide bombing that took place near its headquarters, the Syrian Orthodox patriarchate has no plans to leave Damascus, the Assyrian International News Agency reported. Citing...

Christian homes, churches attacked in Egypt CWN - August 5, 2013

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attacked several Christian homes and churches on August 1 in Delga, a village in Minya Governorate in north-central Egypt, the news site Aswat...

Consumer culture will test WYD participants, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - August 5, 2013

World Youth Day (WYD) was a “great gift for Brazil, for Latin America, and for the world,” Pope Francis told a midday audience at the Vatican on Sunday, August 4. While he spoke with enthusiasm...

Cardinal Turkson visits Japan for Hiroshima bombing anniversary CWN - August 5, 2013

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is visiting Japan this week, to participate in the "Ten Days of Peace" observances marking the anniversary of...

Archbishop Pozzo returns to Ecclesia Dei commission: a signal of new moves on SSPX? CWN - August 5, 2013

Archbishop Guido Pozzo has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which is charged with pastoral outreach to traditionalist Catholics. The...

Scottish bishop appalled by abuse reports at boarding school CWN - August 5, 2013

A Scottish bishop has issued a public apology for the abuse of students at a Catholic boarding school. Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen said that reports of abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey were...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 6

Vatican newspaper op-ed: Pope Francis has made Paul VI’s concerns his own CWN - August 6, 2013

On the eve of the 35th anniversary of Venerable Paul VI’s death, L’Osservatore Romano published an op-ed piece by a French Benedictine who finds “major poles of Montini’s pontificate echoed in the...

Cardinal, Jesuits express concern about plight of priests in Syria CWN - August 6, 2013

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, has joined the Jesuits of the Middle East in expressing concern about the fate of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian...

Nun who opposes HHS mandate among winners of pro-life award CWN - August 6, 2013

An attorney who helped found Women Affirming Life, a nun who chairs the board of a Catholic hospital system, and a diocesan pro-life leader are the 2013 winners of the People of Life Award, an honor...

Report: September 8 to be day of prayer, action for immigration reform CWN - August 6, 2013

NBC News is reporting that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has “suggested Sept. 8 as a day of action for Catholics to pray for – and speak up about – immigration.” “The United...

28 women to enter Nashville Dominicans CWN - August 6, 2013

28 young women will enter the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia on August 15, according to the Diocese of Nashville. On July 22, 11 sisters professed perpetual vows, and on July 25, 12 novices...

More than 1 million venerate relic of St. Andrew’s cross CWN - August 6, 2013

More than one million Christians in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have venerated a relic of St. Andrew’s cross since July 11, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. “People had to stand in...

Nigerian prelate lauds priests, laity for fidelity amid persecution CWN - August 6, 2013

Bishop Oliver Doeme of Maiduguri – the northeastern Nigerian city that has been a center of Boko Haram’s Islamist terrorist activity – praised his priests and laity for remaining faithful amid...

Pope's Mission Sunday message: faith must be shared CWN - August 6, 2013

In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis writes that faith in Christ “is a gift, not reserved for a few but offered with generosity.” “Everyone should be able to experience the joy...

Brazil to provide 'morning-after' pill for rape victims CWN - August 6, 2013

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has signed legislation that allows for the distribution of the “morning-after” pill through the national health system for use by rape victims. The new law,...

British bank to close accounts of embassies, nunciature CWN - August 6, 2013

England’s largest bank, HSBC, has announced that it is closing the accounts of 40 foreign embassies and consulates, including the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio. HSBC, which has faced stiff fines for...

Boston priest on leave after arrest for soliciting prostitute CWN - August 6, 2013

A prominent priest of the Boston archdiocese has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested on charges of soliciting a prostitute. Msgr. Arthur Coyle was arrested on August 4 after...

Pope remains loyal member of Argentine soccer club CWN - August 6, 2013

The San Lorenzo soccer club of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has announced that its most famous member—Pope Francis— has maintained his membership despite his move to the Vatican. A longstanding...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 7

Al-Qaeda leader: US government, Coptic Orthodox leader conspired to oust Morsi CWN - August 7, 2013

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian who has led Al-Qaeda since the death of Osama bin Laden, said in a video that the United States and the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church were part of a conspiracy...

Christians handcuffed, burned to death in Nigerian church; prelate decries attacks CWN - August 7, 2013

The archbishop of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, has condemned recent terrorist attacks in Kano, a city of 3.4 million in the northern part of the nation. Two explosions, attributed to the...

64 lawsuits pending against HHS mandate CWN - August 7, 2013

Surveying the legal landscape surrounding the HHS mandate, the National Law Journal finds that “there are approximately 64 challenges to the contraceptive coverage requirement pending. Of those, 36...

Mexican prelate welcomes arrival of army, says region has hit ‘rock bottom’ CWN - August 7, 2013

The leading prelate in Michoacán said that the west-central Mexican state has hit “rock bottom” and has welcomed the arrival of military forces that are attempting to combat drug cartels, according...

Cardinal marks Hiroshima A-bomb anniversary CWN - August 7, 2013

Speaking at an interreligious gathering in Japan, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that “the first atom bomb of 6 August 1945 at Hiroshima is a frightful wound...

Mexican archdiocese investigates alleged Eucharistic miracle CWN - August 7, 2013

The Archdiocese of Guadalajara is investigated an alleged Eucharistic miracle, according to a report published by the National Catholic Register. Father Jose Dolores Castellanos Gudino says that...

Central African Republic in chaos, UN team finds CWN - August 7, 2013

A panel of UN observers has found that “the rule of law is almost non-existent” in the Central African Republic, the Fides news service reports. The UN team expressed grave concern about “reports...

Catholic hospital cannot comply with new Irish abortion law, says priest on governing board CWN - August 7, 2013

A priest who sits on the board of a Catholic hospital in Dublin has said that the institution cannot comply with Ireland’s new law allowing for legal abortion in some cases. Father Kevin Doran...

Coptic Patriarch named on 'kill list' CWN - August 7, 2013

The name of Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II was found on a list of Egyptian leaders targeted for assassination, the Fides news service reports. The list, which was found in a mosque in...

Honor St. Cajetan by helping others, Pope tells Argentines CWN - August 7, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a video message to Argentine participants in an annual celebration honoring St. Cajetan. In Buenos Aires, thousands of people take part in an annual celebration at the...

Abuse victim drops suit against Holy See; Vatican lawyer says case collapsed CWN - August 7, 2013

An Oregon man has dropped his attempt to hold the Holy See legally responsible for the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest. The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, had...

Catholic hospitals cannot deny privileges to abortionists, Wisconsin justice department says CWN - August 7, 2013

Hospitals that refuse to provide admitting privileges for abortionists will be “in active violation of federal law,” according to the justice department in the state of Wisconsin. Three Catholic...

Released Thursday, Aug. 8

Nearly half of world’s deacons serve in US CWN - August 8, 2013

The number of deacons in the United States continues to grow, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and released by the United States Conference of...

Archbishop Chaput: ‘deep immigration reform’ is long overdue CWN - August 8, 2013

In his weekly column, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia asked local Catholics to “pray about the immigration issue” and expressed the hope that “many of us will contact our federal...

In Labor Day statement, US bishops rue growing economic inequality CWN - August 8, 2013

Noting that “the economy still has not improved the standard of living for many people, especially for the poor and the working poor,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)...

Diocese to consider launching Chesterton canonization cause CWN - August 8, 2013

An English bishop will soon appoint a cleric to investigate the feasibility of beginning G. K. Chesterton’s cause for the canonization, according to an announcement at the recent American Chesterton...

US State Department creates office ‘to engage with’ world’s religious communities CWN - August 8, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the creation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, whose mission, he said, is “to engage more closely with faith communities around the...

Iran: 10-year jail sentence for convert to Christianity CWN - August 8, 2013

An Iranian court has sentenced Mostafa Bordbar, a Muslim convert to Christianity, to ten years in prison, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a British organization that defends the rights...

Bomb explodes at Catholic school in Indonesia CWN - August 8, 2013

A gasoline bomb exploded at a Catholic high school in Indonesia’s capital on August 6, according to a report from UCA News, an Asian Catholic news agency. No one was injured. “We should tighten...

Sri Lanka: troops kill protestors at church, threaten nun CWN - August 8, 2013

Troops in Sri Lanka beat and killed three protestors who sought refuge in a parish church, according to an AsiaNews report. An additional 45 suffered injuries. The violence took place in...

New papal document tightens safeguards against money-laundering CWN - August 8, 2013

Pope Francis has tightened safeguards against money-laundering at the Vatican, issuing a motu proprio that tightens internal regulations and establishes a new Financial Security Committee to...

Pope encourages seminarians to take preparation seriously CWN - August 8, 2013

Meeting with a group of seminarians from Brescia, Italy, Pope Francis told them that preparing for the priesthood “is a serious thing. It is like getting married.” The Pope met with a group of...

Maronite bishops urge neutrality for Lebanon CWN - August 8, 2013

The Maronite Catholic bishops have urged Lebanon to maintain neutrality in the face of current conflicts in their region, the Fides news service reports. The statement from the Maronite bishops...

Papal condolences for victims of explosion in Argentina CWN - August 8, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of sympathy for the victims of a gas explosion that destroyed an apartment block in Rosario, Argentina, killed at least 10 people and injuring dozens more. The...

Released Friday, Aug. 9

USCCB: pray, fast for those facing persecution CWN - August 9, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 9 for the following intention: “for the intercession of the saints to fortify and...

US bishops’ official defends safe-environment programs CWN - August 9, 2013

Linking the declining incidence of clerical sexual abuse to the implementation of parish safe-environment programs, the executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’...

Bishops’ spokeswoman: immigration reform a ‘preeminent moral issue’ CWN - August 9, 2013

Writing for the website of The Washington Post, the director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops described comprehensive immigration reform as a major moral issue...

Federal probe of Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayer funds CWN - August 9, 2013

The Government Accountability Office has confirmed media reports that it is investigating Planned Parenthood’s use of taxpayer funds, according to Fox News. The federal probe follows a Texas...

President Obama issues statement for end of Ramadan CWN - August 9, 2013

President Barack Obama has issued a statement commemorating Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. “During the past month, Muslims have honored their faith through prayer and...

Action urged on conscience-protection legislation CWN - August 9, 2013

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), which works closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on abortion-related legislation, is urging pro-life Americans to...

Nuns’ CD has 3-month run as top classical album CWN - August 9, 2013

“Angels and Saints at Ephesus,” an album released by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, has remained at the top position on the Billboard traditional classical albums chart for 13...

Report: Ukrainian police foil plot to desecrate relic CWN - August 9, 2013

Ukrainian police have foiled a plot to desecrate a relic of St. Andrew’s cross while it was being venerated in Kiev, the nation’s capital, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. The...

14 priests killed in 2013 CWN - August 9, 2013

Fourteen Catholic priests around the world have been murdered in 2013, according to a report by La Stampa’s Vatican Insider. Four priests have been killed in Colombia, and two have been killed in...

Pope makes surprise visit to Vatican's 'blue-collar' workers CWN - August 9, 2013

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Vatican’s “industrial zone” on Friday, August 9, to meet individually with carpenter, machinists, printers, and other blue-collar workers on the Vatican...

Milwaukee archdiocese ordered to release documents on ties with judge in cemetery case CWN - August 9, 2013

A bankruptcy-court judge has ordered the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to provide documents showing any links between the archdiocesan cemeteries and a federal judge who recently ruled in favor of the...

Pope sends message of support, thanks to K of C convention CWN - August 9, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of support and encouragement to the Knights of Columbus, who are holding their annual convention in San Antonio, Texas this week. The Pope’s message expresses...

Pope Francis keeps personal staff small, makes decisions himself CWN - August 9, 2013

Pope Francis is carefully avoiding reliance on old veterans of the Roman Curia, as he weighs his options for reforms at the Vatican, writes Sandro Magister of L’Espresso. The Pope has collected a...

Released Monday, Aug. 12

Vatican cardinal, in Nagasaki, preaches on true peace CWN - August 12, 2013

Preaching at Nagasaki on the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb there, Cardinal Peter Turkson emphasized that true peace is a gift from God. Referring to the Beatitudes, the president...

Syrian Orthodox prelate criticizes congressman’s alleged remarks on kidnapped bishops CWN - August 12, 2013

An Iranian media report that a US congressman had said that two kidnapped Syrian bishops are being held in Turkey prompted criticism from a Syrian Orthodox Church official. The Al-Alam News...

Nigerian bishops warn against legalization of same-sex marriage CWN - August 12, 2013

The bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Ibadan, which is located in southwestern Nigeria, warned against attempts to legalize same-sex marriage. “We confirm that a family consists of a man,...

Smaller churches may drop coverage once health insurance changes take effect CWN - August 12, 2013

Leaders of the United Methodist Church [UMC] are expressing concern that many smaller churches will drop insurance coverage when additional changes to health insurance law take effect next year,...

Papal envoy, in El Salvador for jubilee year conclusion, prays for Romero canonization CWN - August 12, 2013

Pope Francis appointed Cuban Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino as his special envoy to the solemn conclusion of El Salvador’s national Eucharistic congress on August 11. The congress marked the...

Leading Russian Orthodox official calls for ‘economy of self-sufficiency,’ not growth CWN - August 12, 2013

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church questioned “market fundamentalism” and said that “it is necessary to transfer from [an] economy of growth to [an] economy of self-sufficiency,”...

Priest arrested in China CWN - August 12, 2013

An underground priest in Hebei, a province in northeastern China, was arrested on August 7, according to AsiaNews. The arrest of Father Song Wanjun, 39, by 10 policemen continues a local pattern...

Philippines: surge in Catholic population CWN - August 12, 2013

Catholic Church officials in the Philippines have observed an 8% jump in the country’s Catholic population. Statistics collected by the bishops’ conference show 76.18 million Catholics in the...

Yearning for Christ is innate, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - August 12, 2013

Christians are driven by a desire for see Jesus Christ, and to bring others with them, Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on Sunday, August 11. Every human person has an innate longing for...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 13

Monastery in Turkey suffers attacks CWN - August 13, 2013

Members of the staff of a Syrian Orthodox monastery were attacked on August 11 in Midyat, a city of 60,000 in southeastern Turkey, the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported. When a...

Syrian rebels destroy church CWN - August 13, 2013

Syrian rebels have destroyed a Greek Orthodox church in Al-Thawrah, a city of 70,000 in north-central Syria, the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported. “The Free Syrian Army...

Federal judge: zoning ordinance cannot be used against pro-life mobile pregnancy unit CWN - August 13, 2013

A US district court judge has halted enforcement of an Illinois city zoning ordinance that had been used to restrict the operations of Image Clear Ultrasound, a pro-life mobile pregnancy...

Attacks on Christian homes, stores in Egyptian town CWN - August 13, 2013

A mob of 4,000 looted Christian-owned businesses in Bani Ahmed, an Egyptian town near Cairo, and burned down homes, according to Worldwatch Monitor, a news site that reports on the persecution of...

Bishop blesses immigration-reform marchers CWN - August 13, 2013

Bishop Jaime Soto blessed immigration-reform marchers at a Sacramento parish on August 11. “Chanting ‘sí se puede!’ – ‘Yes we can!’ – with their fists and hands raised high, 1,000 people packed...

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church begins synod CWN - August 13, 2013

The bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church -- the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches in full communion with the Holy See -- have gathered in Kiev to begin a weeklong synod devoted to...

Bishop: Aleppo reduced to abject poverty, becoming ‘much more dangerous’ CWN - August 13, 2013

A Chaldean Catholic bishop told La Stampa’s Vatican Insider that Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, is becoming more dangerous and has been reduced to abject poverty. “Now it is much more dangerous to...

Vatican making progress toward financial transparency, says head of oversight agency CWN - August 13, 2013

The new head of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority has said that a papal document released last week to tighten standards for financial transactions is a “positive sign,” but cautioned...

Pope meets with Italian, Argentine soccer teams CWN - August 13, 2013

Meeting on August 13 with soccer players from Italy and Argentina, Pope Francis urged each player to “be an example of loyalty, respect, and altruism.” Reminding the players that they are role...

Peoria diocese pays $1.35 million to settle suit against Archbishop Myers CWN - August 13, 2013

The Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, has agreed to pay $1.35 million to resolve a sex-abuse lawsuit, in which the plaintiff charged that Archbishop John Myers allowed a priest to remain in ministry...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 14

USCCB: statement for 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington CWN - August 14, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church has issued a statement for the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,...

US prelate addresses Latin American, African bishops CWN - August 14, 2013

In recent weeks, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has spoken to meetings of the African and Latin American...

3 Catholic colleges appeal rulings on adjunct faculty unionization CWN - August 14, 2013

Three Catholic colleges--Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Manhattan College in New York, and St. Xavier College in Chicago--have appealed rulings from the National Labor Relations Board permitting...

Vatican releases text of meditation preached before conclave voting began CWN - August 14, 2013

The Vatican has published the full text of the meditation that Cardinal Prosper Grech, an 87-year-old biblical scholar, preached to the cardinal electors before they elected Pope...

Switzerland may change national anthem to avoid references to God CWN - August 14, 2013

The Swiss Public Welfare Society, a leading national non-profit organization, has announced a competition to write a new Swiss national anthem without references to God, according to European media...

Nearly 2 million chemical abortions in US via RU-486 since its approval CWN - August 14, 2013

An estimated 1,982,000 women in the United States have taken mifepristone (RU-486) to induce abortions in the 13 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved its use, according to a...

Filipino bishop says economic policies only benefit the rich CWN - August 14, 2013

A Filipino bishop has criticized government economic policies, saying that they have increased disparities in wealth and aggravated the “unbridgeable gap between the rich and poor.” Bishop...

Archbishop Sartain, as Vatican delegate, tells LCWR he comes as a friend CWN - August 14, 2013

Archbishop James Sartain of Seattle, the Vatican-appointed delegate supervising the reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), told members of the group that he was “also here as...

Italy, Vatican say reports of priest's death in Syria remain unconfirmed CWN - August 14, 2013

Both the Vatican and the Italian foreign ministry have discounted new reports that an Italian Jesuit, Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, has been killed in Syria. Father Dall'Oglio has been missing since...

'Muhammad' was 2nd-most popular name for British boys in 2012 CWN - August 14, 2013

The name 'Muhammad' was the 2nd most popular name for boys born in Great Britain in 2012, the Office for National Statistics reports. Over 7,000 babies were named Muhammed-- although there were...

Pope to visit Castel Gandalfo for feast of the Assumption CWN - August 14, 2013

Pope Francis will visit Castel Gandalfo on August 15, to celebrate the feast of the Assumption there. Although the Pope has chosen to remain in Rome during the summer, rather than staying at the...

In Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy case, creditors charge judge biased by parents' burial in Catholic cemetery CWN - August 14, 2013

Creditors of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee are asking a federal judge to remove himself from the archdiocesan bankruptcy case, claiming that he has a conflict of interest because several of his...

Rhode Island bishop regrets failure to stop same-sex marriage CWN - August 14, 2013

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said that he was “profoundly disappointed” by the state legislature’s decision to recognize same-sex marriage, and said the vote represented a...

Excommunicated Archbishop Milingo continues to build schismatic movement in Africa CWN - August 14, 2013

Excommunicated Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo now claims 300,000 followers for his “Reformed Catholic Churches” in Africa, a schismatic movement that has encouraged priests to marry. Although the...

Violence escalating against Christian churches in Egypt CWN - August 14, 2013

Islamic zealots attacked 23 Christian churches in Cairo and surrounding regions on August 14, as violence spread after the Egyptian police cleared out camps of protesters supporting the ousted Morsi...

Former Italian government minister files suit against member of Vatican reform panel CWN - August 14, 2013

A former Italian government minister has filed suit against a member of the committee appointed by Pope Francis to supervise Vatican financial reforms. Giulio Tremonti, who served as economy...

Man faces charges for anti-Islam graffiti written on palace of Avignon papacy CWN - August 14, 2013

An Italian man faces criminal charges in France after he was arrested for scrawling anti-Muslim graffiti on the papal palace in Avignon, the ANSA news service reports. Francesco Cattaneo could...

Released Friday, Aug. 16

USCCB: pray, fast for struggling marriages CWN - August 16, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 16 for the following intention: “for husbands and wives experiencing...

Egypt: 2nd day of attacks on churches CWN - August 16, 2013

By the end of a second day of attacks on Christian institutions, homes, and businesses in Egypt, Islamists had burned down over 50 churches, a Coptic Orthodox bishop told CNN. The Muslim...

Iowa’s bishops call for immigration reform CWN - August 16, 2013

Noting that “Catholics may disagree within the limits of justice on the specific approach to reforming the immigration system,” Iowa’s four diocesan bishops have issued a statement calling for...

USCCB official: ‘immigrants are us’ CWN - August 16, 2013

In an op-ed piece that appeared on the website of The Washington Post, the director of policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Department of Migration and Refugee Services said...

US judge rules that pastor may be sued for opposition to homosexuality in Uganda CWN - August 16, 2013

Citing the Alien Tort Statute, which became law in 1789, a US district judge has ruled that a Ugandan umbrella LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) organization may sue an...

Gay activist group vandalizes Lejeune Foundation office CWN - August 16, 2013

Members of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), a gay activist organization whose 1989 protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York included the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament, have...

California enacts transgender student legislation CWN - August 16, 2013

Students in California public schools who identify themselves as transgendered will be permitted to participate in opposite-sex sport teams and use opposite-sex facilities under a bill signed into...

Pope pleads for peace in Egypt CWN - August 16, 2013

Pope Francis prayed for peace in Egypt during his midday audience on August 15, the feast of the Assumption. After celebrating Mass at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope held a public audience at the...

Mary offers hope in times of trouble, Pope says CWN - August 16, 2013

In his homily at a Mass for the feast of the Assumption, Pope Francis said that the Virgin Mary gives hope to the faithful in times of trouble. At the Mass that he offered in the town square of...

LCWR speaker says ‘God is the power of the future’ CWN - August 16, 2013

In a keynote address at the convention of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), Sister Ilia Delio said that to understand faith, “we have to think in terms of cosmology.” Sister...

Vatican representative calls for religious freedom in Vietnam CWN - August 16, 2013

The Vatican’s non-resident representative in Vietnam called for “the promotion of true freedom of religion and conscience” during a 3-day visit there, the AsiaNews service reports. Archbishop...

Reinstated Irish bishop given new assignment CWN - August 16, 2013

An auxiliary bishop of Dublin whose resignation was refused by the Vatican has been appointed the vicar for clergy in the archdiocese. Bishop Eamonn Walsh had not had a formal assignment since he...

Jailed Vatican cleric had ties to sect with possible Mafia links CWN - August 16, 2013

Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, the suspended Vatican accountant who now faces money-laundering charges, was once associated with a prayer group with suspected Mafia ties, the Catholic News Agency...

Released Monday, Aug. 19

Egypt: at least 60 churches attacked in 4 days of violence CWN - August 19, 2013

Following four days of violence against Christian institutions in Egypt, “nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged,” the Associated...

Survey: only 13% of Catholics think IVF is morally wrong CWN - August 19, 2013

Only 13% of Catholics--and 12% of Americans--believe that in vitro fertilization is morally wrong, according to a new Pew Research survey. 33% of Americans judge the procedure morally acceptable,...

CCHD placing increasing emphasis on prison-sentence guidelines CWN - August 19, 2013

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)--the US bishops’ controversial anti-poverty program--is placing increasing emphasis upon reforming prison-sentence guidelines, according to a...

USCCB blog criticizes income inequality, Austrian School of economics CWN - August 19, 2013

Writing for the blog of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a priest who serves as a labor union official linked “rampant” income inequality to the Austrian School of...

US lawmakers call upon Romania to return seized churches CWN - August 19, 2013

A group of 20 US lawmakers is urging the Romanian government to return churches seized after World War II, according to a report in the National Catholic Register. Following Soviet occupation,...

Austrian artist criticized for image of crucified hen CWN - August 19, 2013

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, which documents anti-Christian hostility in Europe, reports that an Austrian artist is facing criticism for a new work that...

Ukrainian Catholics mark 1025th anniversary of baptism of Kievan Rus’ CWN - August 19, 2013

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church solemnly commemorated the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus’, the medieval Slavic state that helped give birth to modern Russia and Ukraine, on...

Pope says Jesus asks us to choose: to be served or to serve CWN - August 19, 2013

Christians face a moral choice, Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on August 18: “to have oneself served or to serve; to obey one’s own ego or to obey God.” The Pope made his remark in the...

Vatican reform will decentralize Church decision-making, predicts Indian cardinal CWN - August 19, 2013

Reforms at the Vatican should give the Roman Curia a more international face, but should not concentrate on meeting geographical quotas, according to one of the eight cardinals appointed by Pope...

New Zealand recognizes same-sex marriages CWN - August 19, 2013

New Zealand has become the 14th country to offer legal recognition to same-sex marriage. Homosexual marriages were formally recognized for the first time in New Zealand on August 19, as a new...

Cardinal Bertone sends Pope's greetings to Rimini conference CWN - August 19, 2013

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has conveyed the greetings of Pope Francis to the 34th annual Rimini meeting, organized by the Communion and Liberation movement. In his...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 20

Pakistan: Muslim cleric who accused Christian girl of blasphemy is set free CWN - August 20, 2013

A Pakistani court has acquitted Khalid Jadoon Chishti, a Muslim cleric, of blasphemy charges. In 2012, Chishti accused Rimsha Masih, a mentally handicapped Christian girl, of desecrating the...

Korean prelate calls Mary ‘mother of liberation’ from Japan, ‘mother of reconciliation’ today CWN - August 20, 2013

Calling the Blessed Virgin Mary the “mother of liberation,” South Korea’s leading prelate has attributed Korea’s freedom from Japan in 1945 to her intercession, according to the Fides news...

Bishops: India should not take part in arms race CWN - August 20, 2013

Recalling that 50 years have passed since Blessed John XXIII issued Pacem in Terris, his encyclical on peace, the Office for Justice, Peace and Development of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of...

NJ bans reparative therapy; Gov. Christie’s office emphasizes disagreement with Catholic teaching CWN - August 20, 2013

Following California’s lead, New Jersey has enacted a ban on reparative therapy for youths with same-sex attractions. After signing the bill, the office of Gov. Chris Christie, a Catholic, issued...

Coptic Catholic patriarch, bishops praise Egypt’s army, police in wake of violence CWN - August 20, 2013

The head of the Coptic Catholic Church has praised police and military action against Muslim Brotherhood protestors, who support ousted President Mohamed Morsi. In an August 19 statement,...

Group calls for mass protest in Malaysia over Catholic use of ‘Allah’ CWN - August 20, 2013

Perkasa, a militant ethnic Malay and Muslim organization, has called upon Muslims to protest “in great numbers” if Malaysia’s leading prelate testifies in favor of Catholics’ right to use the word...

Archbishop Myers, in letter to priests, denounces media coverage of abuse settlement CWN - August 20, 2013

In a letter to priests, Archbishop John Myers of Newark strongly denounced recent media coverage of a settlement in which the plaintiff charged that the prelate allowed a priest to remain in...

Canonization date for Popes John XXIII, John Paul II to be announced September 30 CWN - August 20, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has declined to reveal the date for the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Questioned about the canonizations during an...

Egyptian bishop confined to his home as Islamic zealots mass outside CWN - August 20, 2013

The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Luxor, Egypt, has told the Fides news service that Christians in the area are afraid to leave their homes, and running out of food, as Islamic militants continue to...

Papal greetings to Hungary on feast of St. Stephen CWN - August 20, 2013

As Hungary celebrated the feast of St. Stephen on August 20, Pope Francis sent greetings to the country’s leader, President Janos Ader. “I ask God that the Hungarian people might find within...

LCWR leaders announce 'honest sharing of views' with Vatican delegate, but no plans for reform CWN - August 20, 2013

At the conclusion of a 4-day annual assembly, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) issued a cautious statement expressing hopes that a Vatican mandate for reform of the group could...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 21

Vatican cardinal laments violence against Egypt’s Christians CWN - August 21, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has told Vatican Radio that “the destruction of Christian churches” in Egypt is “unacceptable.” “The revival of the country must take...

Commission: Boko Haram has attacked 50 churches since 2012 CWN - August 21, 2013

The Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram has “bombed, burned, or attacked” 50 churches in Nigeria since January 2012, according to a new factsheet published by the US Commission on...

Chinese Protestant leader abducted, beaten CWN - August 21, 2013

The leader of a large Protestant church in Linfen, a city of 4.3 million in east-central China, was abducted and beaten on August 13 before being thrown into a cornfield, according to China Aid, an...

5 years after mass violence, Orissa Christians live in fear CWN - August 21, 2013

Police have increased their presence in the Kandhamal district as the fifth anniversary of a brutal anti-Christian persecution approaches. The violence, which left 100 dead and 50,000 homeless,...

Kentucky sisters, monks refuse land for natural gas pipeline CWN - August 21, 2013

Two Kentucky religious communities--the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani and the Sisters of Loretto--have vowed not to give up some of their land for a proposed natural gas pipeline, according to the...

Archdiocese of Philadelphia to sell nursing homes, may outsource cemetery management CWN - August 21, 2013

In an effort to address its operating deficit, which stood at $39.2 million in 2011-12, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced that it will put up for sale six nursing homes and one assisted...

Ireland consecrated to Immaculate Heart of Mary CWN - August 21, 2013

Following a decision by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Ireland was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Knock Shrine on August 15. The Mayo News reported that the consecration...

Did mystical experience prompt resignation of Benedict XVI? CWN - August 21, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigned because he was persuaded it was God’s will, an unidentified source told the Zenit news agency. The source, who had met recently with the Pope-emeritus, said that...

Pope will consecrate world to Immaculate Heart of Mary CWN - August 21, 2013

Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at a Vatican ceremony on October 13. The “Marian Day” ceremony, organized by the Pontifical Council for the New...

Future Irish primate says he will not deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians CWN - August 21, 2013

The future Primate of All Ireland has indicated that he would not deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support legal abortion. Archbishop Eamon Martin, who was installed in April as...

Pentagon plans special bonus for same-sex marriages CWN - August 21, 2013

The US Department of Defense has announced plans to offer special marriage benefits to same-sex couples—exceeding the benefits currently offered to heterosexual couples. The Pentagon has said...

Released Thursday, Aug. 22

Prominent Coptic-American criticizes media coverage of Egypt CWN - August 22, 2013

The president of the US Copts Association criticized American media coverage of Egypt. Michael Meunier told Vatican Radio that former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was not democratically...

Egyptian bishop whose home was surrounded by militants says situation is improving CWN - August 22, 2013

A Coptic Catholic bishop whose home was surrounded by Islamist militants chanting “death to Christians” told the Fides news agency that the situation in his area is improving. “The security...

Paraguay’s bishops condemn murders, call for calm CWN - August 22, 2013

The bishops of Paraguay have condemned the kidnapping and murder of five security guards, a crime reportedly committed by the Paraguayan People’s Army, a leftist guerilla organization. “The...

Nuncio: Syrians want international political intervention CWN - August 22, 2013

Following reports of chemical weapon use in Syria’s internal conflict, the apostolic nuncio said that Syrians are pleading for the international community to intervene. “These pictures...

Cardinal Wuerl emphasizes: defenders of marriage are not bigots CWN - August 22, 2013

In a recent blog post, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington decried attempts to characterize those who recognize marriage as the union of a man and a woman as bigots. “If someone describes...

Courts rule that First Amendment does not bar clerical abuse suits CWN - August 22, 2013

In separate decisions, a federal district judge and a Connecticut court have rejected dioceses’ arguments that the First Amendment bars lawsuits against clerical sexual abuse, according to the...

Jesuit university launches master’s degree in yoga studies CWN - August 22, 2013

A Jesuit university has launched a master’s program in yoga studies, according to the online publication of the Cardinal Newman Society. “By remaining deliberately ambiguous and non-dogmatic...

Pope Benedict changed phrase in Baptism ceremony CWN - August 22, 2013

Before his resignation took effect, Pope Benedict XVI made a small but important change in the text of the ceremony for Baptism. The outgoing Pope said that rather than a newly baptized person...

Pope wants action against human trafficking: a growing concern in Italy CWN - August 22, 2013

Pope Francis has called for action to combat the growing problem of human trafficking and slavery. The Pope has announced plans for a meeting to be held November 2 and 3, at which he will ask...

Malaysia: court setback for Christians on use of “Allah” CWN - August 22, 2013

A Malaysian court has agreed to hear an appeal against a previous decision allowing Christians to use the word “Allah” in reference to God. The Court of Appeal will hear the appeal—which is...

Student’s letter prompts a personal phone call from Pope Francis CWN - August 22, 2013

An engineering student who had written a letter to Pope Francis was stunned when he received a reply in the form of a personal phone call from the Pope. Stefano Cabizza, a student at Padua...

Papal encyclical is Italian bestseller CWN - August 22, 2013

Lumen Fidei, the first encyclical of Pope Francis, has jumped to the best-seller list in Italy, selling more than 200,000 copies since its publication on July 5. The official Vatican publisher,...

Former Ratzinger students will hold annual meeting without Pope-emeritus Benedict CWN - August 22, 2013

The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis-- the annual seminar for former students of Pope-emeritus Benedict—will gather next week at the summer papal residence in Castel Gandolfo. But their old professor will...

USCCB: pray, fast for women pressured to abort CWN - August 22, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 23 for the following intention: “for any woman who has been pressured to...

Released Friday, Aug. 23

India: convent destroyed, convert kidnapped, Christian woman beaten CWN - August 23, 2013

The Fides news agency has reported on three recent incidents of violence against Christians in India. In the eastern state of Jharkand, Hindu extremists attacked a Jesuit mission and destroyed a...

Church desecrated in Central African Republic CWN - August 23, 2013

Members of Seleka, the Islamist rebel movement that seized power in the Central African Republic in March, desecrated a church, looted a rectory and convent, and burned down huts used for religious...

New York Times highlights US bishops’ immigration-reform campaign CWN - August 23, 2013

The New York Times reported that “Catholic bishops and priests from major dioceses across the country will preach a coordinated message next month backing changes in immigration policy, with some...

Court: Christians cannot refuse to photograph same-sex ceremonies CWN - August 23, 2013

In a 5-0 decision, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld a lower court determination that it is illegal for a photography business owned by Christians to refuse to photograph a same-sex wedding...

Jesuit in Egypt laments Western support for Muslim Brotherhood CWN - August 23, 2013

Father Henri Boulad, an 82-year-old Jesuit who ministers in Egypt, denounced Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement associated with ousted President Mohamed Morsi. “The poor...

US government criticized for ‘lagging commitment to religious freedom’ CWN - August 23, 2013

Two leading religious-freedom advocates criticized the Bush and Obama administrations for their “unwise failure to act” in defense of religious freedom. Robert George, the Princeton University...

South Korea: Church officials angered by actions of nation’s intelligence agency CWN - August 23, 2013

Church officials in South Korea criticized the National Intelligence Service for its reported illegal interference in last year’s presidential election, according to AsiaNews. “We're seeing...

40 WYD pilgrims seeking asylum in Brazil CWN - August 23, 2013

The UN’s High Commission for Refugees has disclosed that about 40 people who traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day celebrations in July have subsequent applied for asylum there. The...

Japanese bishops oppose move to amend anti-war article in constitution CWN - August 23, 2013

The Catholic bishops of Japan have stated their opposition to proposals to alter Article 9 of the country’s constitution, which renounces warfare and forbids the development of a war-fighting...

Secular foundation grants $2.3 million to National Catholic Reporter to provide publicity for women religious CWN - August 23, 2013

The Conrad Hilton Foundation has awarded a $2.3 million grant to the National Catholic Reporter to establish as “global sisters’ net,” providing “greater voice to countless Catholic sisters around...

Disgraced cardinal stalled investigation of abuse in Scotland CWN - August 23, 2013

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who retired in February after reports of homosexual misconduct, derailed plans for an independent investigation of sex-abuse problems in the Catholic Church in Scotland,...

Washington state attorney general: hospitals must perform abortions CWN - August 23, 2013

The attorney general of the state of Washington has announced that any hospital in the state that receives public funds must perform abortions. Bob Ferguson based his ruling on the text of a 1991...

American brother in Kenya reburied after thieves desecrate grave CWN - August 23, 2013

The body of an American-born Catholic religious will be reburied in the Archdiocese of Nyeri, Kenya, after thieves desecrated his grave. The grave robbers had exhumed and then abandoned the body...

Released Monday, Aug. 26

Western countries foster Mideast conflicts, says Maronite patriarch CWN - August 26, 2013

The leader of the Maronite Catholic Church has told Vatican Radio that “outside countries, especially in the West but also elsewhere, are helping to foment” conflicts in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria,...

Pontifical academies to examine human trafficking CWN - August 26, 2013

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations will meet to discuss the scourge of human trafficking and...

Indonesian president decries attacks on Christians, other religious minorities CWN - August 26, 2013

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population, has lamented attacks on Christians and other religious minorities, according to a Fides news agency...

Bolivia’s bishops call for prison reform following violence CWN - August 26, 2013

Violence among inmates at a prison near Bolivia’s largest city claimed the lives of 29, including the life of a child, according to a Reuters report. Following the incident, Bolivia’s episcopal...

Monastery attacked in Egypt CWN - August 26, 2013

The spokesman for Egypt’s Catholic bishops has told the Fides news agency that a Coptic Orthodox monastery near Minya, a city of 250,000 in the north-central part of the nation, has been attacked by...

Church in Tunisia declares day of prayer, fasting for peace CWN - August 26, 2013

Taking note of “the painful and unstable events that are taking place in several Arab countries, the Middle East and Africa,” Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi of Tunis declared August 25 a special day...

USCCB committee urges Kerry to support religious freedom in Egypt CWN - August 26, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has urged Secretary of State John Kerry to “to work with the international community to...

Hawaii bishop, in impassioned letter, urges prayer, action to prevent same-sex marriage CWN - August 26, 2013

Warning that the potential legalization of same-sex marriage could harm religious liberty and lead to the eventual legalization of polygamy and incest, Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu strongly urged...

Secretary to Benedict XVI says ‘mystical experience’ story is false CWN - August 26, 2013

Archbishop Georg Ganswein has flatly denied a widely circulated report that Pope Benedict XVI resigned after a mystical experience that convinced him God wanted him to step down. The report,...

Pope pleads for peace in Syria amid threats of Western intervention CWN - August 26, 2013

Pope Francis has renewed his call for peace in Syria, urging international leaders to “find a solution to a war that sows destruction and death.” At his Sunday audience on August 25 the Pope...

Jesus excludes no one, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - August 26, 2013

“Jesus does not exclude anyone,” Pope Francis told his Sunday audience on August 26. The Pope was commenting on the day’s Gospel, with the injunction from Jesus: “Strive to enter through the...

Pope adds bishop to staff of top Vatican tribunal CWN - August 26, 2013

Pope Francis has named Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca as adjunct secretary of the Apostolic Signatura. Bishop Sciacca, a 58-year old Italian, had been the secretary of the Governorate of the Vatican...

Vatican journalist charges a member of papal reform committee could be tied to Vatileaks CWN - August 26, 2013

An influential Vatican journalist has written that a member of the 8-member committee appointed by Pope Francis in July to help reforms in the Vatican’s economic activities may have been involved in...

Priest from Argentine slums brings residents' gifts to Pope CWN - August 26, 2013

A priest who serves in the slums of Buenos Aires visited Pope Francis this past weekend, carrying a heavy suitcase full of notes and gifts from residents to their former archbishop. Father José...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 27

Report: Jesuit kidnapped in Syria was meeting with rebel forces CWN - August 27, 2013

Before he was kidnapped, Father Paolo Dall’Oglio traveled to Ar-Raqqah, a north-central Syrian city of 220,000, to smooth tensions between rival rebel groups, according to a report from the Fides...

Myanmar prelate decries attacks on Muslims CWN - August 27, 2013

Joined by an advocate for persecuted Christians, a leading prelate in Myanmar (Burma) decried attacks on Muslims in the predominantly Buddhist society, according to a Fides news agency...

USCCB, CRS send memo to bishops on Egypt CWN - August 27, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace and the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services have sent a memorandum on...

Quebec contemplates ban on religious garb, crucifixes for doctors, teachers CWN - August 27, 2013

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has lent support to a “Charter of Quebec Values” that would ban the wearing of religious garb and crucifixes by public employees. The plan would “prohibit people...

Bishop warns: Western intervention in Syria could lead to ‘world war’ CWN - August 27, 2013

A Chaldean Catholic bishop in Syria has warned that Western intervention could lead to a world war, according to a report from the Assyrian International News Agency. “If there is an armed...

Hong Kong cardinal: Pope should take tough line with China CWN - August 27, 2013

Cardinal Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, who served as bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 until his retirement in 2009, has told the Reuters news agency that Pope Francis should take a tough line with...

Russian Orthodox spokesman rips US approach to Syria, warns Christians will suffer CWN - August 27, 2013

A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has blasted the United States for a “completely one-sided” approach to Syria, and warned against American intervention in that country’s civil...

Chaldean Patriarch asks help for Christians to stay in Iraq CWN - August 27, 2013

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Raphael Luis Sako I is urging Christians not to leave Iraq, and asking Catholics to help families in need, the AsiaNews service reports. In northern Iraq, battered by...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 28

Pope Francis to visit refugee center in Rome CWN - August 28, 2013

Pope Francis will visit Centro Astalli, a Jesuit center for refugees in Rome, according to L’Osservatore Romano. Father Giovanni La Manna, SJ, director of the center and country director for...

Cardinal Wuerl recalls famed March on Washington CWN - August 28, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has published a reflection by Cardinal Donald Wuerl on the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, at which the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.,...

Egypt’s Christians come to defense of Grand Imam of Al-Azhar CWN - August 28, 2013

The Council of Christian Churches in Egypt has come to the defense of Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar and president of al-Azhar University, the world’s leading center of Sunni Muslim...

5 years after persecution, Orissa prelate emphasizes: ‘blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians’ CWN - August 28, 2013

Five years after a brutal anti-Christian persecution in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, the region’s leading prelate said that “Tertullian's observation, ‘the blood of martyrs is the seed of...

Utah parish repeatedly vandalized CWN - August 28, 2013

For the past two years, a parish near Salt Lake City has suffered repeated vandalism that has ranged from theft to urination in chalices, according to Catholic News Service. In the most recent...

Nashville Dominicans expand to Scotland CWN - August 28, 2013

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen has welcomed the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, popularly known as the Nashville Dominicans, to his diocese. The congregation’s charism includes devotion to...

Angered by statue, 20,000 protestors march on Indian parish CWN - August 28, 2013

In the eastern Indian state of Jharkand, 20,000 members of a tribe marched to a parish to protest against a statue of the Virgin Mary in tribal garb, according to a UCA News report. Police...

Syrian Patriarch says US strike would be 'criminal' CWN - August 28, 2013

Speaking from Damascus, the leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has told the AsiaNews service that an American-led assault on Syria would be “a criminal act, which will only reap more...

Iraqi prelate foresees 'disaster' if US strikes Syria CWN - August 28, 2013

An American military assault on Syria would be a “disaster,” the leader of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church has told the Fides news service. The destructive results of Western intervention would...

Pope to meet Jordan's King Abdullah for talks on Middle East CWN - August 28, 2013

Pope Francis will meet on August 29 with King Abdullah of Jordan to discuss the escalating crisis in Syria and the Middle East. The Pope and the Jordanian leader are also expected to speak more...

Vatican studying reported miracle attributed to Father McGivney, founder of Knights of Columbus CWN - August 28, 2013

The Vatican is investigating a reported miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, the National Catholic Register reports. The...

Pope tells young Italians: 'go against the tide' CWN - August 28, 2013

Pope Francis met on August 28 with a group of young people from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio, and encouraged them to pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful. The Pope told the...

Released Thursday, Aug. 29

Cardinal laments gang rape, India’s moral decline CWN - August 29, 2013

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai (Bombay) condemned the recent gang rape of a photojournalist. Rape, he told AsiaNews, “is the worst thing a woman can undergo. Rape is physical and psychological...

US should do more to protect Coptic, Syrian Christians, says religious freedom commission chair CWN - August 29, 2013

The chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom called upon the Obama administration to use its leverage to help protect Christians in Egypt and Syria. “I think we need to...

Some churches change bylaws following Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage rulings CWN - August 29, 2013

Concerned about potential discrimination lawsuits, some Christian churches--especially those that rent facilities to the public--are amending their bylaws following the Supreme Court’s recent...

USCCB staff criticizes ‘flawed anthropology of sexual orientation’ CWN - August 29, 2013

The staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage is publishing a seven-part series of blog posts in the wake of recent Supreme...

Gay activists protest outside Russian Orthodox cathedral in San Francisco CWN - August 29, 2013

Angered by a recent Russian ban on the distribution of pro-homosexuality information to minors, 25 gay activists staged a protest outside an Orthodox cathedral in San Francisco on August 25,...

Gang attacks Anglican cathedral in Nigeria CWN - August 29, 2013

Armed with knives, clubs, and chains, a group of 30 Muslims attacked an Anglican cathedral in Nigeria, according to Morning Star News, a US-based website that reports on the persecution of...

Philippine cardinal leads huge protest against corruption CWN - August 29, 2013

An estimated 100,000 Filipinos, led by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, took part in an August 26 protest against government corruption, according to the Philippine bishops’ news agency. “I...

Pope, Jordanian king agree: negotiation 'the only option' for Syria CWN - August 29, 2013

Pope Francis met on August 29 with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and the two agreed that negotiation is “the only option” that will resolve the continuing conflict in Syria. In a joint statement,...

Imitate 'restless soul' of St. Augustine, Pope encourages religious CWN - August 29, 2013

Meeting on August 28 with members of the Augustinian religious order, Pope Francis spoke of the “restlessness of the spiritual quest” exemplified by St. Augustine. The Holy Father celebrated Mass...

Syrian monastery continues all-night prayer vigils for peace CWN - August 29, 2013

At the monastery of St. James in Qarah, Syria, an ecumenical community is engaged in perpetual adoration of the Eucharist, praying for peace, the Fides news service reports. Father Daniel Maes,...

Dubuque archdiocese reaches $5.2 million settlement with abuse victims CWN - August 29, 2013

The Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, has reached a $5.2 million settlement with victims of sexual abuse. “I am sorry on so many levels,” Archbishop Michael Jackels said as he announced the...

Dominican Republic recognizes 1st non-Catholic religious wedding CWN - August 29, 2013

For the first time, the Dominican Republic has recognized the validity of a religious wedding ceremony that was not conducted in a Catholic church. Under a new law allowing for non-Catholic...

Released Friday, Aug. 30

Papal praise for Korean ‘month of martyrs’ CWN - August 30, 2013

Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, has proclaimed September a “month of martyrs” to help educate the faithful about their forebears who gave their lives for their...

Nigerian cardinal, Muslim cleric emphasize that religions must work for peace CWN - August 30, 2013

Speaking at an interfaith youth seminar at Abuja National Mosque, Nigeria’s leading prelate emphasized that religious believers must work for peace, the Catholic News Service of Nigeria reported....

New Mexico bishops react to issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples CWN - August 30, 2013

New Mexico’s bishops have responded to a decision by some county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. New Mexico marriage law neither explicitly prohibits nor explicitly permits...

USCCB: pray, fast for no religious discrimination in disaster relief CWN - August 30, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 30 for the following intention: “for those who provide aid in times of...

Victory for law firm as court grants injunction against HHS mandate CWN - August 30, 2013

A US district court judge has issued an injunction barring enforcement of the HHS mandate against Willis Brothers, a Kalamazoo law firm. The brothers, one Catholic and one Protestant, “are devout...

Pope Francis calls rape victim CWN - August 30, 2013

Pope Francis telephoned an Argentine rape victim on August 25 and spoke with her for 30 minutes about “faith and trust,” according to a report that appeared in The National Catholic...

Catholic Relief Services ended contract with firm linked to family of American Life League leader CWN - August 30, 2013

In 2012, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), wrote a letter to the bishops of the United States informing them that CRS would be terminating its...

New Vatican Secretary of State to be named August 31? CWN - August 30, 2013

The appointment of a new Vatican Secretary of State is imminent, according to multiple Italian media reports. Archbishop Pietro Parolin is regarded as the Pope’s most likely choice for the key...

US bishops decry economic inequalities in Labor Day statement CWN - August 30, 2013

In their annual Labor Day Statement, the US bishops have linked persistent unemployment in America with economic inequalities. “The only way to reduce the widening gap between the affluent and...

Ave Maria University files 2nd lawsuit to block HHS mandate CWN - August 30, 2013

Ave Maria University has filed a new lawsuit to block enforcement of the HHS mandate, which would require to Catholic institution to include contraceptive coverage in employees’ health-insurance...

German police seize children from homeschooling family CWN - August 30, 2013

Police and social workers raided the home of a homeschooling family in Darnstadt, Germany, on August 29, forcibly removing four children from their parents. A German court had given the state...

New Scottish archbishop expected to cooperate with sex-abuse investigation CWN - August 30, 2013

Archbishop-elect Leo Cushley is expected to allow an independent review of sex-abuse policies after he is installed as head of the Edinburgh, Scotland archdiocese in September. The incoming...

Vatican charities asked to comply with new rules governing transactions, documentation CWN - August 30, 2013

The Italian journal L'Espresso notes that tough new policies regarding financial transactions at the Vatican, put in place to ensure compliance with laws against money-laundering, are now being...

New secretary named to Vatican city-state governorate CWN - August 30, 2013

Pope Francis has named Father Fernando Vergez Alzaga, the current head of the Vatican telecommunications office, to become secretary of the Vatican governorate. Father Alzaga, a Spanish-born...

US bishops urge Kerry to work for Syrian ceasefire CWN - August 30, 2013

The chairman of the US bishops' foreign-policy committee has urged Secretary of State John Kerry to work for a ceasefire in Syria and the beginning of negotiations to resolve that country's civil...

German-speaking prelates comment on possible US military intervention in Syria CWN - August 30, 2013

An Austrian cardinal has spoken out against the prospect of US military intervention in Syria, while a German prelate said that some international response is needed to the use of chemical weapons....

Jerusalem patriarch offers detailed argument against US strike on Syria CWN - August 30, 2013

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has decried calls for American military strikes against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. Archbishop Fouad Twal...

Pope lauds deceased Cardinal Martini's work for peace and justice CWN - August 30, 2013

Pope Francis paid tribute to the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini during an August 30 meeting with members of a foundation dedicated to the memory of the deceased Archbishop of Milan. The Pope...

Hagia Sophia to become a mosque again? CWN - August 30, 2013

Rumors are circulating in Turkey that the renowned Hagia Sophia will be converted into a mosque, the AsiaNews service reports. The Hagia Sophia—once the cathedral of St. Sophia in Istanbul—was...

Zambia's Cardinal Mazombwe dead at 81 CWN - August 30, 2013

Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, the former Archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, died on August 29 at the age of 81. The first Catholic prelate in Zambia’s history to enter the College of Cardinals,...

Released Saturday, Aug. 31

Pope Francis appoints new Secretary of State CWN - August 31, 2013

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, as his new Secretary of State. While accepting the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who is 78, the...

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