Stories for October 2013

Released Wednesday, Oct. 2

Bishops call for bipartisan budget deal

Amid a federal budget debate that has led to a government shutdown, three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for “wise bipartisan leadership and...

Report: mob burns Christian homes in Karachi; 300 flee

The day after a suicide bombing attack on an Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, left over 80 dead, a mob of 150 Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Karachi, burning at least 17 homes,...

‘Pro-choice’ former surgeon general to lead Catholic college’s school of public health

Regina Benjamin, who served as surgeon general of the United States from November 2009 until July 2013, has been named the NOLA.com/Times-Picayune Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences at Xavier...

Number of US seminarians on the rise

The number of graduate-level Catholic seminarians in the United States stands at 3,694 –an increase of 16% since 1995 and 10% since 2005, according to the Center for Applied Research in the...

Islamist militias attack another historic Christian town in Syria

Weeks after jihadist Syrian rebels attacked the Christian village of Ma’loula, Islamist militias have attacked the historic Syrian Christian town of Saidnaya, according to a Fides news agency...

2 priests murdered in Colombia

Father Bernardo Echeverry, 69, and Father Héctor Fabio Cabrera, 27, were murdered in their rectory in Roldanillo, a west-central Colombian city of 45,000, according to multiple media reports. A...

‘Unprecedented’ donations to Lourdes in response to flood damage

The famed Marian shrine of Lourdes has received “unprecedented” donations of 4.3 million euros ($5.8 million) to repair damage from a June flood, a local diocesan official told Agence...

Pope, Council of Cardinals discuss collegiality, Synod; today's talks turn to Roman Curia

During their first day of discussions on potential Church reforms, Pope Francis and the Council of Cardinals spoke about the ecclesiology of Vatican II and the role of the Synod of Bishops. In a...

The 'Church of sinners' remains holy, Pope tells audience

Continuing his series of weekly talks on the nature of the Church, Pope Francis assured his weekly audience on October 2 that the Church is holy although “we are a Church of sinners.” “How can a...

Irish priest resigns from hospital board over new abortion policy

A prominent Irish priest has resigned from the board of Dublin's Mater Misericordiae University hospital, following the hospital's announcement that it would allow abortions in compliance with...

Nigerian cardinal challenges Islamic leaders to condemn Boko Haram terrorism

Following new attacks on Christians by the Boko Haram terrorist group, in Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyeken of Abuja has called upon Islamic leaders to speak out against the violence. “Those...

Catholics in US less likely to divorce, study shows

The divorce rate among American Catholics is significantly lower than among other religious groups, a new study has found. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown...

New critique of CRS shows numerous grants to organizations supporting abortion, contraception

Continuing its strong critique of the US bishops’ overseas aid program, the American Life League (ALL) has published an open letter to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), challenging the group to...

Text of papal interview was inexact, Vatican journalist finds

A prominent Vatican journalist has cautioned that an interview with Pope Francis, published this week by the Italian daily La Repubblica, does not reproduce the Pope’s words exactly. Andrea...

Judge in Milwaukee archdiocesan bankruptcy case refuses to recuse himself

A federal judge involved in the bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has refused an appeal by lawyers for sex-abuse victims that he should recuse himself from the...

Released Thursday, Oct. 3

Curial cardinal challenges Korean bishops to ‘missionary bravery’

Visiting South Korea to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Diocese of Suwon’s creation, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples addressed the nation’s bishops and...

Leading Vatican diplomat speaks at UN on the family, development, and Syria

In an October 1 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States addressed representatives of UN member states as they discussed international...

Cardinal Pell calls for authentic healthcare for poor mothers, not contraception and abortion

L’Osservatore Romano has drawn attention to Cardinal George Pell’s recent address to MaterCare International, a Catholic medical organization devoted to the care of pregnant mothers in poorer...

Jewish historian, in Vatican newspaper, defends ‘Italian Schindler’ accused of Nazi collaboration

Anna Foa, a Jewish history professor at the Sapienza University of Rome, has come to the defense of Giovanni Palatucci (1909-45), an Italian layman previously hailed for saving 5,000 Jews during...

Agenda announced for fall US bishops’ meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda for its fall meeting, which will take place from November 11 to 14 at the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott Hotel. Among...

Orissa Christians convicted in 2008 murder of Hindu leader; bishops’ conference decries verdict

Seven Christians in Odisha, the eastern Indian state formerly known as Orissa, have been convicted on charges of murdering Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati in August 2008. The conviction came after...

Pope, cardinals discuss 'substantial' overhaul of Roman Curia

The Council of Cardinals is discussing a thorough revision of Pastor Bonus, the apostolic constitution that defines the duties of the Roman Curia, the Vatican has disclosed. In their 2nd day of...

President Obama 'hugely impressed' with Pope Francis

US President Obama is "hugely impressed" with Pope Francis, he told a CNBC television interviewer. President Obama told John Harwood of CNBC that the Pontiff had showed remarkable humility in his...

Dublin Catholic hospital won't do abortions, religious nurse-tutor says

After a priest resigned from the governing board of a Catholic hospital in Dublin, citing the institution's announced willingness to comply with Ireland's new abortion law, a nurse-tutor has said...

Australian Church leaders promise major reforms for handling absue

An independent council created by the Australian Catholic bishops to study the handling of sex-abuse complaints has promised a full set of reforms, to be proposed to the Australian hierarchy early...

Apply the principles of Pacem in Terris today, Pope says

“Looking at our current situation, I wonder if we have learnt the lessons of Pacem in Terris” Pope Francis said in an October 3 address to a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark...

Catholic University hires Chinese human-rights champion

Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese human-rights activist, has been given a post at the Catholic University of America (CUA) as a distinguished visiting fellow. Announcing the Chinese activist’s...

Death of migrants is a 'disgrace,' Pope says, renewing plea for action

Horrified by the news that over 100 immigrants died when their ship caught fire in the Mediterranean Sea off the island of Lampedusa, Pope Francis said that the repeated tragedies involving...

Hans Küng says he is considering assisted suicide

The dissident theologian Hans Küng has revealed that he is considering assisted suicide. Küng, who at the age of 85 is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, writes in a forthcoming memoir that he...

Released Friday, Oct. 4

Papal almoner to be ‘extension of the Pope’s heart’

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, appointed Almoner of the Office of Papal Charities on August 3, has discussed his work in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano. The prelate recounted that Pope...

Assisi prelate recounts invitation to Pope Francis

As Pope Francis prepared to make his October 4 apostolic journey to Assisi, Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi - Nocera Umbra - Gualdo Tadino discussed his invitation to the Pope in a column...

Indonesia: Islamist militants prevent construction of parish

Protests by 200 Islamist militants have prevented the construction of a large parish church in Tangerang, an Indonesian city of 1.8 million. The Jakarta Globe reported that the 11,000...

Armenian church approves ‘collective canonization’ of genocide victims

At the conclusion of a recent synod, the Armenian Apostolic Church announced that it approved “in principle” the “collective canonization” of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, which took place...

Contemplative community opens 8th new convent in past 20 years

A London-based Benedictine contemplative community devoted to Eucharistic adoration has opened its eighth new convent since 1993. The Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre, also...

USCCB: pray, fast so that hearts may be open to life

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, October 4, for the following intention: “may each of us have the courage to open...

Strip away worldly attitudes, Pope exhorts the faithful

On an October 4 pilgrimage to Assisi, celebrating the feast of his namesake, Pope Francis challenged the faithful to strip away all worldly attitudes. “We are in grave danger,” the Pope said,...

Council of Cardinals sets dates for new meetings in December

The Council of Cardinals, which concluded a 3-day series of meetings with Pope Francis on October 4, will convene again in early December, the Vatican has announced. The Vatican’s spokesman,...

Catholic religious services suspended at some US military bases during government shutdown

The shutdown of the US federal government, due to a budgetary impasse in Congress, is threatening to make it impossible for Catholics to receive the sacraments on many military bases. The...

Vicar general resigns in St. Paul archdiocese over handling of abuse revelations

The vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, has resigned his post, following charges that he was aware of a priest’s involvement in child pornography but allowed the priest to...

Catholic bishop attends installation of Canada's openly gay Chaplain General

The bishop who heads Canada’s Catholic military ordinariate has defended his role at the installation of an openly homosexual Chaplain General for the Canadian armed forces, saying that it was “an...

Canonical lawsuit on Georgetown's Catholic identity filed with Vatican

Novelist William Peter Blatty, the author of The Exorcist, has filed a formal canonical suit asking the Vatican to protect the Catholic identity of Georgetown University, the National Catholic...

Bombing at beloved Spanish Marian shrine: no injuries

Anarchist groups are suspected of a bombing at a famous Marian shrine in Spain, the Catholic News Agency reports. A small explosive device was detonated at the basilica of Our Lady of Pilar in...

Released Monday, Oct. 7

Italian seminarian, martyred by Communists, beatified

Rolando Rivi (1931-45), a seminarian who was kidnapped, beaten for three days, and killed by Italian Communists, was beatified as a martyr at the sports stadium in the north-central Italian city of...

Satanists suspected in tabernacle desecration in India

A tabernacle at a Catholic church in Aluvi, a city of 25,000 in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, has been desecrated, according to multiple media reports. Satanists are suspected in the...

Vatican cardinal warns Korean laity against secularism, bureaucracy, some Confucian tendencies

At a meeting with Korean laity on October 5, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples expressed gratitude for the tremendous growth of the Church in South Korea over the...

Prelate: human traffickers responsible for Mediterranean refugee deaths

The prelate who oversees the Church in part of the Horn of Africa has told the Fides news agency that many of the refugees who are perishing in their Mediterranean voyages from Africa to Europe are...

Irish bishops issue message for ‘Day for Life’

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference on October 4 issued “Care for Life: It’s Worth It,” a brief statement for the Day for Life, which was commemorated in Irish parishes on October 6. “We can...

Poll: majority of Catholics who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage, women’s ordination

A majority of Catholics in the United States who attend Mass weekly support same-sex marriage and the ordination of women to the priesthood, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released...

Colorado bishops, in immigration pastoral letter, say employers ‘provide the chief incentive for illegality’

Making clear they were not endorsing any particular legislation, Colorado’s bishops have issued a pastoral letter on immigration. The seven “essential principles that should guide our public...

Former official calls for independent review of abuse polices in St. Paul archdiocese

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul, Minnesota has been asked by a former archdiocesan official to allow an independent review of Church files related to sex-abuse complaints. Jennifer...

Legion of Christ to hold general chapter, adopt new constitution, in January

The Legion of Christ will hold a general chapter beginning in January 2014 to elect new leaders and approve a new constitution for the religious order. Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, who was...

Pope's Angelus message: the power of prayer, the power of faith

Pope Francis stressed the power of simple faith during his midday audience on Sunday, October 6. “We all know people who are simple, humble, but with incredibly strong faith, who truly move...

Peruvian cardinal complains about publicity over removal of bishop on abuse charges

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru, has charged that publicity surrounding the removal of another Peruvian prelate is a “circus” orchestrated to discredit him. The cardinal complained that...

English archbishop, ARCIC leader, foresees wider permission for shared Communion

An English Catholic archbishop has suggested that the Vatican may be willing to allow wider latitude for sharing the Eucharist with members of other Christian denominations. Archbishop Bernard...

Lesotho's king and queen meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on October 7 with King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the Pope had spoken with his...

Don't be too busy to hear God's voice, Pope tells congregation at morning Mass

In his homily at a morning Mass on October 7, Pope Francis said that Christians should “let God write our lives,” rather than “do the writing ourselves.” Commenting on the Gospel story of the...

US House votes to ensure religious services on military bases

By a lopsided vote of 400 to 1, the US House of Representatives voted on October 7 to ensure that chaplains would be allowed to lead religious services on military bases, regardless of the temporary...

Vatican strikes commemorative medal for pontificate of Pope Francis

An official medal commissioned by the Vatican to commemorate the 1st year of the pontificate of Pope Francis will go on sale October 7. The medal, produced by the Italian State Mint and available...

New nuncio appointed to Dominican Republic, replacing prelate charged with abuse

Pope Francis has named a new apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, replacing a legate who was removed in August because of sex-abuse charges. Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, who has been...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 8

Myanmar prelate appeals for peace amid sectarian conflict

Amid Buddhist attacks on the nation’s Muslim minority, a leading prelate in Myanmar (formerly Burma) appealed for peace, the Fides news agency reported. “Buddha preached a message of compassion...

Chaldean patriarch tightens control over Church properties

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has forbidden the sale of Church properties without permission from “the high ecclesiastical...

Orthodox prelates commemorate Edict of Milan, lament persecution of Christians

Leaders of several Eastern Orthodox churches gathered in Nis, Serbia, on October 6 to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan. The city is the birthplace of Constantine, the...

2.5 million attend youth pilgrimage in Argentina

An estimated 2.5 million Argentines made the annual 42-mile youth pilgrimage from Buenos Aires to the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján on October 5 and 6, according to L’Osservatore Romano. The...

Curial cardinal pays tribute to St. John of Ávila

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments paid tribute to St. John of Ávila (1499-1569) as a model priest and preacher,...

USCCB lauds Kerry actions on Arms Trade Treaty, Iran negotiations

Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, praised Secretary of State John Kerry for signing the...

French priest indicted in thefts of sacred vessels

A French priest has been indicted for the theft of 40 sacred vessels, some of which date to the seventeenth century, according to media reports. Bishop Maurice Le Bègue de Germiny has suspended...

Pope calls special meeting of Synod of Bishops to address family issues

Pope Francis has called an extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops to discuss the family. The Synod will convene in Rome in October 2104. The official theme for the assembly is: “The...

Vietnamese Catholics, police in standoff at Vinh diocese demonstration

An estimated 50,000 Vietnamese Catholics gathered for Mass at the Thuan Nghia parish in the Diocese of Vinh on October 6, and staged a peaceful protest asking for the release of two parishioners who...

Vatican schedules special Mass for Lampedusa accident victims

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, will preside at a Mass celebrated in the Vatican basilica for the victims of last week’s tragedy off the shore of...

Missing Jesuit reported alive, in captivity, in Syria

The Jesuit priest who has been missing in Syria since late July is alive and well, but is being held by a rebel group with ties to Al-Qaida, the AKI news service reports Father Paolo Dall’Oglio...

Pope to visit Middle East in 2014?

A Lebanese newspaper has reported that Pope Francis might visit that country next year, as part of a tour of the Middle East. The As Safir newspaper says that the Pope is planning a trip to...

Christians in Jerusalem protest desecration by Jewish extremists

Christians in Jerusalem staged an impromptu demonstration on October 8 to protest the desecration of Christian places of worship, the Fides news service reports. About 100 Christians walked...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 9

Pope Francis pays tribute to St. Notburga

Pope Francis has written a message to Bishop Manfred Scheuer of Innsbruck, Austria, commemorating the 700th anniversary of the death of St. Notburga (c. 1265-1313). The German-language message,...

Death toll from Pakistani church bombing rises to 126

The September 22 bombing of an Anglican church in Peshawar, a city of 3.6 million in northern Pakistan, has left 126 dead and 166 injured, the Fides news agency reported. “The attack was a...

Assyrian Christian leader welcomes Chaldean Catholic patriarch’s overture

Mar Dinkha IV, the head of the Assyrian Church of the East since 1976, has responded positively to an ecumenical overture by Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church...

Vatican newspaper welcomes Pius XII Twitter account

L’Osservatore Romano has published an article by Don Luigi Testa, an Italian Salesian priest, welcoming the appearance of a Twitter account that posts the words of Venerable Pius XII. The article...

Pope approves liturgical translations in 2 Mayan languages

Pope Francis has granted his approval to translations for the celebration of the sacraments in two indigenous Mayan languages, according to La Jornada, a Mexican daily newspaper. Tzeltal is...

USCCB action alert: end sequestration, raise debt ceiling, pass conscience-protection law

The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact their senators and representative...

Setback for Indiana diocese in IVF-dismissal case

A federal judge has ordered the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend to turn over some personnel records in a case involving a woman who was dismissed from her teaching post in a Catholic school after...

The Church is 'catholic,' universal but not uniform, Pope tells audience

Continuing his series of weekly talks on the nature of the Church, Pope Francis dedicated his public audience of October 9 to a discussion of what it means to say that the Church is...

Pope prays for Lampedusa victims and for peace in Middle East

At the conclusion of his regular weekly audience on October 9, Pope Francis expressed his solidarity with the bishops of Eritrea and Ethiopia, who are mourning the victims of tragedy at Lampedusa....

Papal encouragement for Argentina's President Kirchner after brain surgery

Pope Francis has sent a message of support to Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who has undergone surgery for a blood clot on her brain. In a telegram to the Argentine leader,...

Vatican adopts new financial-disclosures law

The Vatican city-state has adopted a new law that establishes “norms regarding transparency, supervision, and information in financial matters.” The new regulations, incorporated in legislation...

Some US military chaplains barred from celebrating Mass

The Archdiocese for the Military Services in the US estimates that 50 priests were prevented from celebrating Mass on military bases on Sunday, October 6, because of a policy barring civilian...

Most Americans excited, supportive of Pope after interview: Cardinal Dolan

Following a meeting with Pope Francis, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told a Vatican Radio audience that most of the people he encounters in New York are excited by the new Pontiff, and “there seems to be...

Study finds substandard care for woman whose death prompted change in Ireland's abortion law

A new inquiry into the tragedy that sparked calls to legalize abortion in Ireland has found that doctors failed to provide routine care for a woman who died of complications from pregnancy. The...

Catholic Relief Services seen as a virtual arm of the US government

Surveying the dispute over Catholic Relief Services (CRS)—an organization that has been criticized by pro-life groups for alliances with abortion advocates, but strongly defended by the US...

Knights of Malta open new camp for Syrian refugees; existing facilities overburdened

Responding to the continued flood of families fleeing from Syria, the Knights of Malta have opened a new refugee camp in southeast Turkey, the AsiaNews service reports. The Knights of Malta found...

St. Paul archdiocese did not disclose porn found on priest's computer

Officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, were aware of pornographic files discovered on the computer of a priest, but took no action for several years, Minnesota Public Radio has...

Vatican disapproves of policy allowing divorced/remarried Catholics to receive Communion in German archdiocese

The Vatican has asked the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, to revise guidelines that would allow for Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist. The policy inaugurated by...

Released Thursday, Oct. 10

Pakistani prelate: Western military actions help foster persecution of Christians

A leading Pakistani prelate linked the actions of NATO forces in Afghanistan to the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. “The problem is the increasing intolerance and the perception, in...

Report: 63 Christian leaders in Vietnamese prison camps

63 pastors and other Christian leaders, most of them members of ethnic minorities, are being detained in prison camps in Vietnam, according to International Christian Concern, a US organization that...

Turkish officials may return ancient monastery’s land

The Assembly of Foundations, a Turkish governmental body, has approved the return of lands belonging to Mor Gabriel Monastery, a Syriac Orthodox monastery found in 397, the Istanbul-based Hürriyet...

Curial cardinal pays tribute to Communion and Liberation founder

The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops paid tribute to Msgr. Luigi Giussani (1922-2005), the founder of the Communion and Liberation movement, in a speech marking the release of Vita di don...

Vatican newspaper review lauds Gravity

L’Osservatore Romano has published a positive review of the new science fiction film Gravity. “George Clooney is one of the few certainties we have remaining on the big screen,” wrote Emilio...

Study finds that 34% of Catholics in US are Hispanic

A study commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has found that 34% of Catholics in the United States are...

Pennsylvania dioceses file new lawsuits against HHS mandate

The Diocese of Erie, the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and related charities have filed new lawsuits to block enforcement of the HHS mandate, which goes into effect for religious charities on January...

European bishops discuss continent’s secularization

The heads of bishops’ conferences of 33 European nations met in Slovakia from October 3 to 6 to discuss the continent’s secularization. The discussion of secularization, according to a communiqué...

Australian doctor faces disciplinary action for refusing to do sex-selection abortion

An Australian doctor may lose his medical license for refusing to perform a sex-selection abortion. Dr. Mark Hobart declined to perform an abortion on a healthy young woman, 19 weeks pregnant,...

Vatican official in money-laundering probe claims he fears assassination

The suspended Vatican official who now faces trial on money-laundering charges has told an Italian newspaper that he fears his life is in danger. "I am certain that I will die by poisoning," said...

German bishop charged with giving false testimony

A German bishop who has been under fire for heavy spending now could face prosecution for allegedly giving false testimony. Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, whose spending on a new...

USCCB: pray, fast for conscience rights

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, October 11, “that everyone may recognize the importance of laws upholding...

Anglican leader extols practice of Confession

The Archbishop of Canterbury has endorsed Confession, saying that the sacrament is “enormously powerful.” Speaking to an ecumenical audience about divisions among Christians, the leader of the...

Colombia: guerillas force priests to leave rural areas

A Catholic bishop in Colombia has revealed that rebels have forced priests to leave rural areas of his diocese, the Fides news service reports. Bishop Luis Alberto Parra Mora of Mocoa-Sibundoy...

Pope meets with Croatian president

Pope Francis met on October 10 with Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic, for a conversation that centered on Church-state relation. The Pope also spoke with Josipovic about Croatia’s entry into the...

Pope thanks Knights of Columbus for support, public witness

Pope Francis thanked the Knights of Columbus for “the unfailing support which your order has always given to the works of the Holy See,” during a meeting with K of C leader on October 10. The...

Released Friday, Oct. 11

Pakistan: faith growing stronger, not weaker, following terrorist attack on church

The September 22 bombing of an Anglican church in Peshawar, a city of 3.6 million in northern Pakistan, has strengthened the faith of the nation’s Christians, according to a prominent Pakistani...

Japanese prelate: don’t scrap constitutional rejection of war

Japan’s leading prelate is opposing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revise the nation’s 1947 constitution to allow for a greater military role. Article 9 of the post-World War II...

Report: tear gas used against Christian demonstrators in Egypt

Hundreds of Coptic Christians took part in a candlelight vigil to commemorate the second anniversary of the Maspero demonstrations, according to multiple media reports. In 2011, members of the...

Pope Francis invited to address European Parliament

At the conclusion of an essay published in L’Osservatore Romano, European Parliament President Martin Schulz invited Pope Francis to address the 766-member body. The piece was published on...

Vatican newspaper lauds Alice Munro, winner of Nobel Prize in Literature

L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay lauding the work of Alice Munro, the 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Paying tribute to the Canadian short-story writer’s “immense...

Polish bishops apologize for clerical abuse, criticize media

The Polish bishops’ conference has apologized for the sexual abuse of children by clergy, according to multiple media reports. “The pedophilia problem is appearing in schools, sports clubs and...

Prelates in Africa, India express support for Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services has published expressions of support from Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai (Bombay) and prelates and other Church officials in five African nations. The publication of...

Meeting with Rome's Jewish community, Pope calls for vigilance against anti-Semitism, racism

Pope Francis met on October 11 with representatives of the Jewish community in Rome, led by Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, to mark the 70th anniversary of the date when Nazis rounded up the Jews of...

Pope declares new saint, advances several causes

Pope Francis has declared the Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) a saint, extending her cult to the universal Church. The Pope added St. Angela to the list of saints on a recommendation from...

Canonist: German archdiocese has no authority to change rules for receiving Communion

If the Archdiocese of Frieburg, Germany, has adopted a new policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, it is an apparent violation of Church norms, points out canon lawyer...

Vatican coin pulled from circulation; 'Jesus' was misspelled

The Vatican has abruptly stopped the circulation of new commemorative medals, after discovering that the name of Jesus was misspelled. The medals, minted to commemorate the 1st year of the...

Papal almoner delivers aid, solidarity to Lampedusa

The papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, has reported to Pope Francis after a trip to Lampedusa, to comfort victims of the latest tragedy off the shore of the Italian island. The presence...

German bishops, Pope to confer on spending dispute in Limburg diocese

The president of the German Catholic bishops’ conference has said that he will discuss the crisis in the Limburg diocese with Pope Francis during a meeting in Rome next week. Archbishop Robert...

Secretary tried to persuade Benedict XVI not to resign

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the longtime personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, has disclosed that he tried to dissuade the Pope from resigning. In an interview with the German weekly Bunte, the...

Don't be naive, the devil exists, Pope tells congregation

Pope Francis stated emphatically that the Devil’s existence is a reality, in his homily at a daily Mass on October 11. The Pope observed that some priests, when they preach about Gospel accounts...

Hungary's constitution bucks EU trends on life, marriage, family, faith

The constitution of Hungary stands in sharp contrast to the current policies of the European Union, notes Italian journalist Alessandra Nucci in an article for Catholic World Report. Among the...

Released Monday, Oct. 14

522 martyrs beatified in Spain

522 martyrs who were killed during the persecution of the Church in Spain in the 1930s were beatified on October 13. The beatification took place in Tarragona, a city of 130,000 in the...

India: repeated attacks on Christians in Karnataka

he southwestern Indian state of Karnataka has been the site of 27 attacks on Christians since July, according to an AsiaNews report. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian...

Prelate rejects call for Kurdish region in Syria

A Syrian Catholic prelate has told that Fides news agency that he opposes a proposal to make northeastern Syria an autonomous Kurdish region. “The only ones who want to create a Kurdish...

Honduran bishops call for transparent elections

A peaceful and fair November presidential election will help correct Honduras’s image as a “violent and ungovernable country,” the nation’s bishops said in an October 9 message. “We have watched...

German cathedral marks 750th anniversary

The Diocese of Munster commemorated the 750th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone Xanten Cathedral with a solemn Mass on October 13. The church is located in a town of 20,000 in...

Pope Francis sees maternity as key to women's role

Speaking on Saturday, October 12, to participants in a Vatican symposium on the role of women, Pope Francis warned against two extremes: seeing motherhood only as a task on one hand, or, on the...

Malaysian court rules Christians cannot use 'Allah' to refer to God

An appeals court in Malaysia has ruled that Christians cannot use the word “Allah.” Reversing a lower court’s ruling from 2009, the Court of Appeals said that the word “Allah” can only be used by...

New secretary for Congregation for Bishops

Pope Francis has named a Brazilian cleric, Msgr. Ilson de Jesus Montanari, to become secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. He will also be raised to the status of an...

Rome diocese denies church funeral for Nazi war criminal

The Rome diocese has denied a church funeral for Erich Priebke, a convicted Nazi war criminal who died last week at the age of 100. Priebke had been living under house arrest, having been...

Massachusetts pastor removed; more than $200,000 missing from parish

The pastor of a Catholic parish in Northboro, Massachusetts, has been removed after the Worcester diocese discovered more than $200,000 missing from parish accounts. Worcester’ Bishop Robert...

Top officials named from Synod on the family

Pope Francis has appointed two of the top officials for the next year’s extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops. Cardinal Peter Erdo of Budapest, Hungary, will be the relator general of the...

Arrested for solicitation, Ohio priest reveals he is HIV-positive

A Cleveland priest who is HIV-positive faces criminal charges after he was arrested for allegedly soliciting a man for sex. Father James McGonegal was taken into custody after he reportedly...

Vatican warns against ticket-scalping for papal audiences, beatifications

In a pre-emptive step to discourage fraudulent sales of “tickets” to papal audiences and ceremonies, the Vatican has announced that all such events are free to the public, and tickets are not...

Evangelize by offering hope, Pope suggests

By their lives Christians should testify to “God’s mercy and tenderness toward every creature,” Pope Francis said in an October 14 address to the members of the Pontifical Council for New...

German bishop, under fire for overspending, in Rome to meet with Pontiff

A German bishop who is under pressure to resign because of heavy spending has flown to Rome to confer with Pope Francis. Last week Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg was charged with...

New York convent fire probed as 'hate crime'

Police in New York are investigating a suspicious fire at a Catholic convent, viewing as a possible “hate crime.” The fire in the convent of St. Joseph Hill Academy on Staten Island appeared to...

Irish lawmaker removed from post as extraordinary minister after pro-abortion vote

An Irish lawmaker has been removed from his post as an extraordinary minister of Communion because of his support for legal abortion. Derek Keating, a member of parliament from Dublin, told the...

Pope Francis consecrates world to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at an October 13 Mass in St. Peter’s Square, in the climactic ceremony of a Marian Day celebration. Repeating an act of...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 15

Leading Malaysian prelate: ‘Allah’ will continue to be used in Bible, liturgies

Malaysia’s leading prelate told the Fides news agency that Catholics will continue to use the word “Allah” to refer to God in the liturgy. Catholics in Malaysia have referred to God as “Allah”...

Libya asks some religious to leave country; prelate deplores situation

There is a “very strong contrast” between the situation of the Church in Libya and in the region’s other nations, according to a statement from the Conference of Bishops of the Region of North...

Ecuador’s president threatens to resign if abortion bill passes

Describing himself as a “leftist, humanist, and Catholic,” President Rafael Correa of Ecuador threatened to resign if the nation’s legislature legalizes abortion. “They can do whatever they...

Chaldean patriarch invites Catholics in diaspora to return home to Iraq

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has invited Catholics who have left Iraq to return home. “If you come back, we can utilize your skills and knowledge,” Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako said...

Berlin discussion of God and freedom is next ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’ initiative

Appearing at a Vatican press conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, discussed the next initiative of the Courtyard of the Gentiles, a forum for...

USCCB official part of ‘faithful filibuster’

Kathy Saile, director of domestic social development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined officials of Bread for the World, Sojourners, and the National Association of...

Pro-marriage organization files suit against IRS

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which supports legislative efforts to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, has filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service over the...

Report: vandalism at parish where Pope Benedict was baptized

St. Oswald’s Church in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria – the parish where Pope Benedict XVI was baptized and offered his first Mass – was vandalized with spray paint during September, according to the...

New Vatican Secretary of State undergoes surgery, misses handover ceremony

Archbishop Pietro Parolin was absent from the October 15 ceremony inaugurating his term as the Vatican's new Secretary of State, having been hospitalized for surgery. The Vatican said that...

Cardinal Bertone steps down after 7 years as Secretary of State

Pope Francis praised Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone for his “attitude of unconditional faithfulness and absolute loyalty to Peter,” as the Italian prelate stepped down from his position as Vatican...

Vatican commissions independent study of APSA's financial dealings

The Vatican has asked independent investigators to examine the books of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), the agency that supervises the Vatican’s personnel,...

Vatican gains control of 'dot-Catholic' internet domain

The Vatican has won control of the “_.catholic” internet domain. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which sets the protocol for internet addresses, has approved a...

SSPX leader denounces Vatican II, Novus Ordo liturgy

The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has denounced Vatican II, described the post-conciliar liturgy as “evil,” and said that he is grateful the group never reached an...

Belarus: priest faces treason charge, government offers no details

A Catholic priest who was arrested in Belarus on May 31 is being charged with treason, but government officials have not explained the charges or provided supporting evidence, the Forum 18 news...

Chaplain files suit against US policy barring civilian chaplains from military bases during shutdown

A Catholic priest has filed suit in US federal court against a government policy that prevents him from celebrating Mass on a military base during the federal shutdown. Father Ray Leonard, who...

Secretary-general of Vatican Governorate raised to rank of bishop

Pope Francis has indicated that Father Fernando Vergez Alzaga, the newly appointed secretary-general of the Vatican City Governorate, will have the rank of a bishop. When the Pope named Father...

Vatican council sponsoring relay race in St. Peter's Square

The Pontifical Council for Culture has announced plans to sponsor a variety of sports events, including a relay-race in St. Peter’s Square on October 20 and the Vatican’s own cricket team. The...

Convicted war criminal's funeral, scheduled at SSPX chapel in Rome, is not held

After the Rome diocese refused to allow a church funeral for Erich Priebke, a funeral for the convicted Nazi war criminal was held in a chapel of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 16

Southern Africa’s bishops denounce corruption

The bishops of Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland have issued a joint pastoral letter on corruption. “It has been reported that almost half of the citizens in our countries of Southern Africa...

California governor vetoes bill on sexual-abuse lawsuits

Governor Jerry Brown of California has vetoed a bill that would have lifted the statute of limitations in certain sexual-abuse cases, permitting alleged victims to sue private nonprofit employers...

Bishop welcomes US military raid in Somalia

The prelate who governs the Church in Djibouti and Somalia welcomed a recent US military raid in Somalia. During the unsuccessful raid, US Navy Seals attempted to capture a militant associated...

Virginia bishops, in newspaper op-ed, call for immigration reform

Writing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia’s bishops sought to persuade a broader public about the need for immigration reform. “Unlike the model that welcomed our parents, grandparents or...

Prelate: poverty must join abortion at top of Church’s ‘political agenda’

Writing in America Magazine, Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco argued that the Church in the United States “must elevate the issue of poverty to the very top of its political agenda,...

Ukrainian parish desecrated

A parish has been desecrated in Manykivtsi, a village in western Ukraine. Vandals poured oil over the altar and stole the tabernacle after ripping it out of the wall, according to a report...

Pakistan: 3 Christians charged with blasphemy

Three Christians, one of them a Protestant pastor, have been accused of blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, according to multiple media reports. The pastor, Adnan Masih, is...

The apostolic Church is a river flowing through history, Pope tells audience

Continuing his series of talks on the nature of the Church, Pope Francis told his October 16 public audience that the Church is apostolic because “she is based on the preachings and prayer of the...

35th anniversary of election of John Paul II

Marking the 35th anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis told his October 16 public audience: “I entrust all present, and your loved ones, to the heavenly intercession of...

Hunger cannot be accepted as routine, Pope says in World Food Day message

In a message for World Food Day, Pope Francis has said that “hunger and malnutrition can never be considered a fact of life.” In his message the Pope deplored “a growing tendency toward...

Released Thursday, Oct. 17

President Obama issues statement for Eid al-Adha

President Barack Obama has issued a statement on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the Muslim belief that Abraham was willing to sacrifice to God his son Ishmael (rather than Isaac, as...

Report: militant Hindu youth hound Christians in Indian village

Members of the militant Hindu youth organization Bajrang Dal have burned down a church in a village in India and are now threatening individual Christians there, according to World Watch Monitor, a...

Chaldean Catholic patriarch, Iraqi prime minister discuss plight of Christians

Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Baghdad-based Chaldean Catholic Church, met recently with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss the plight of Christians in Iraq. According to...

Amid persecution, Egypt’s Christians strive to preserve heritage

The Associated Press has published a lengthy wire story on the efforts of Egypt’s Christians to preserve their heritage “against formidable odds — whether decades of neglect, discrimination by the...

500 employees oppose end of abortion coverage at California Jesuit college

Five hundred employees of Santa Clara University have signed a petition opposing the Jesuit university’s recent decision to end insurance coverage of elective abortions, the Contra Costa Times...

Germany: local Catholics leaving Church over bishop’s spending

Some Catholics in Limburg, whose bishop is under fire for overspending, are formally renouncing their Church membership, according to an Agence France-Press wire story. 20 local Catholics left...

Pope meets Palestinian leader, pushes for new Israeli-Palestinian talks

Pope Francis met on October 17 with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and called for the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestine. A brief Vatican statement released after the...

Lenten Retreat for Roman Curia will be held outside Rome

In a break from Vatican tradition, Pope Francis has decided that the annual Lenten Retreat for the Roman Curia should be held outside Rome. In 2014 the Lenten Retreat which will be attended by...

Faith without prayer becomes ideology, Pope warns

Christians who do no pray risk descending into an ideological version of faith, Pope Francis warned a congregation at morning Mass on October 17. And when one becomes “a disciple of the ideology, he...

Peruvian cardinal fears CDF prefect is 'naive' about liberation theology

A Peruvian cardinal has suggested that the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) may be “naïve” in his attitude toward liberation theology. Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani...

Head of German bishops' conference meets with Pope; Limburg diocese on the agenda?

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the president of the German bishops’ conference, has met with Pope Francis to discuss the controversy surrounding spending in the Limburg diocese, Deutsche Welle...

Kansas City diocese opposes sale-tax boost

The Diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, is urging Catholics not to approve a ballot proposal that would raise sales taxes to subsidize medical research. Question One, which will be presented to...

Vatican sponsors relay race, cricket club

The Pontifical Council for Culture is strongly promoting participation in an October 20 “100-metre sprint for faith,” a relay race that will end in St. Peter’s Square during the Pope’s Sunday...

USCCB: pray, fast for families suffering from illness

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, October 18, “for members of our families and communities who suffer from...

Syria's Christians will endure despite mass exodus, patriarch proclaims

The leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has vowed that Syria’s Christian community will survive, despite the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Patriarch Gregory III Laham told BBC...

Released Friday, Oct. 18

US bishops welcome end of government shutdown, lament HHS mandate

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement welcoming the end of the federal government shutdown. “The shutdown has had a widespread impact on many people,...

Maryland’s bishops issue statement on immigration reform

The bishops of Maryland have issued a statement calling upon Congress to pass immigration reform legislation. The bishops’ “first and foremost” concern, they said in their October 16 statement,...

Persecution of Christians has intensified in 20 nations

Over the past two years, the persecution of Christians has worsened in 20 nations, according to a new report published by Aid to the Church in Need. “In the period under review, 2011–2013,...

Cardinal George lauds Catholic Campaign for Human Development

In a brief video posted on YouTube, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago lauded the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the US bishops’ controversial anti-poverty program. The Campaign, said...

Report: 50,000 Syrian Christians seek Russian citizenship, blast nations that back rebels

Sharply criticizing nations that support the Syrian rebels, 50,000 residents of historic Christian villages in Syria have applied for dual Russian citizenship, according to the Russian news agency...

Stephen Colbert headlines Al Smith Dinner

A year after President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appeared at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner in New York, comedian Stephen Colbert was the annual dinner’s keynote...

Pope praises renewed ICEL for liturgical translations

Pope Francis met on October 18 with the members of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and praised the group for having “contributed to the understanding of the faith, the...

Israeli premier to meet with Pontiff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Pope Francis next week during a visit to Italy, the Israeli government has announced. The Vatican has not formally confirmed the visit,...

Pollution threatens masterpieces of Sistine Chapel

Pollution is threatening the priceless frescoes by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the director of the Vatican Museums has reported. Antonio Paolucci told a news conference in...

Papal encouragement for conference on evangelization in Philippines

In a video message to the 1st Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization, Pope Francis said: “Let the Holy Spirit renew creation and bring forth justice and peace in the Philippines and in the...

Brazil: proposal would allow churches to decline same-sex marriages

A Brazilian legislative commission on human rights has recommended a measure ensuring that religious bodies would not be require to solemnize same-sex marriages. Since a court decision brought...

Cameroon's president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on October 18 with President Paul Biya of Cameroon. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the talks had centered on relations between the Holy See...

Vatican TV center celebrates 30 years

Pope Francis has written a message of support for the Vatican Television Center (CTV), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In his message to Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, the CTV director,...

Pope Francis speaks English for first time in public

Pope Francis spoke in English on October 18, for the first time in his pontificate, when he sent a video message to a conference on evangelization in the Philippines. The Pope, whose knowledge...

Released Monday, Oct. 21

Nicaragua: bishop brokering deal between foreign company, disgruntled workers

A Nicaraguan bishop is attempting to negotiate an agreement between a Canadian mining company and workers who assert they have not been compensated adequately, the Fides news service...

Bishop rues West’s view of Arab Spring, distinguishes jihadists, moderate Muslims

A Maronite bishop in Syria has criticized Western media coverage of the Arab Spring. “The problem of so many media is that they don’t really grasp real picture of the situation,” Bishop Elias...

Mexico: police officer murdered in front of bishop’s residence

A police officer was gunned down in a drive-by shooting outside the residence of Bishop José Isidro Guerrero Macías of Mexicali on October 17. Mexican news radio reported that the police officer...

Vatican newspaper: sociologist sees need for conversion from consumerism

Describing Zygmunt Bauman as “one of the most authoritative interpreters of the human condition in the present age,” L’Osservatore Romano has published a conversation with the Polish Jewish...

Hungarian martyr beatified

Stephen Sándor (1914-53), a Hungarian Salesian brother murdered by the postwar Communist regime, was beatified as a martyr in Budapest on October 19. “We respect in him the exceptional laborer...

3 dead in attack on Coptic church in Egypt

Three people, including an eight-year-old child, were murdered by a gunman who opened fire on worshippers leaving a Coptic church wedding, according to multiple media reports. The October 20...

Nun awarded prize for work against human trafficking

Sister Eugenia Bonetti, an Italian nun who has devoted the past two decades of her life to assisting victims of human trafficking, is one of 43 winners of the 2013 European Citizens’ Prize, an award...

Jewish-Catholic dialogue: respect religious freedom

The International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee met in Madrid from October 13 to 16 to discuss “Challenges for Religion in Contemporary Society.” The meeting, co-chaired by Cardinal Kurt...

Lutherans, Catholics should repent past enmity, work for future unity, Pope says

Pope Francis saluted the progress that has been made in Catholic-Lutheran ecumenical relations—“not only through theological dialogue but also by means of brotherly collaboration in many pastoral...

Spread flame of faith, Pope urges on Mission Sunday

The mission of the Church is “to spread throughout the world the flame of faith, which Jesus ignited in the world,” Pope Francis told his midday audience on October 20. “The method of the...

Obama administration targets Catholic teaching with HHS mandate, Washington lawsuit charges

In a lawsuit challenging the contraceptive mandate, the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, argues that the Obama administration has pursued a “conscious political strategy to marginalize and...

Greed is a destructive ideology, Pope tells congregation

“When a person is attached to money, he destroys himself, he destroys the family,” Pope Francis warned a congregation at morning Mass on October 21. Money is certainly useful, the Pontiff said,...

Pope meets with embattled German bishop to discuss diocesan spending

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany, met with Pope Francis on October 21. Bishop Tebartz-van Elst has been under pressure to resign because of complaints about his heavy...

New US ambassador to Holy See presents credentials, begins blogging

Ken Hackett, the new US ambassador to the Holy See, presented his diplomatic credentials to Pope Francis on October 21. Hackett is the former director of Catholic Relief Services, the overseas...

Archbishop leaves board of Catholic university in Minnesota amid complaints on abuse policies

Archbishop Harry Flynn, the former head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, has resigned from the board of trustees of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, in the midst of a public...

Pontiff extols work of Vatican Museums: the beauty of faith

Pope Francis met on October 19 with the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, and thanked the group—which was celebrating its 30th anniversary—for supporting the cultural mission of the...

Seminar sponsored by European bishops says man-made climate change is 'irrefutable'

Academic experts and Church activists agreed on the “irrefutability” and “indisputability” of the evidence for man-made climate change, at a seminar co-sponsored by the Commission of the Episcopates...

India's Cardinal Gracias asks political leader to ensure equal treatment of Christians

At a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, the head of India’s ruling coalition, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai asked for equal treatment of all citizens, regardless of religious faith. Cardinal Gracias...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 22

Chaldean patriarchate again urges Catholics who have fled Iraq to return home

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has renewed its plea to Catholics who have fled Iraq to return home. “You are scattered on earth (even family are dispersed),” Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako...

Local Christians deplore indifference following Pakistani church bombing

Christians in Peshawar, a city of 3.6 million in northern Pakistan, are lamenting the indifference shown by civil leaders and the international community to the plight of victims of a September 22...

2 Christian pastors murdered in Kenya

Two Protestant pastors were murdered in Kenya during the October 19-20 weekend, Agence France-Press reported. Charles Matole was found shot in the head as he was “sitting on a chair with a Bible...

Nicaraguan bishop: Ortega government persecuting the Church

A Nicaraguan bishop has told the Fides news agency that the government of Daniel Ortega has undertaken a “devious persecution” of the Church. Ortega, a leader of the Marxist Sandinistas who...

Egypt: bishop criticizes Muslim Brotherhood following attack on church

A Latin-rite Catholic bishop in Egypt has criticized the Muslim Brotherhood following an October 20 attack on a Coptic Orthodox church in a Cairo suburb. The death toll in the attack has risen to...

Prelate: Central African Republic is a ‘tinderbox’

On the eve of testimony at the United Nations, the Central African Republic’s leading prelate said that the nation is a “tinderbox.” Members of Séléka, an Islamist rebel movement, seized power in...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to Hitchcock’s Vertigo

L’Osservatore Romano has published a tribute to Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film. Emilio Ranzato, who described the film as the “joy of surrealists of all times,” said that the film’s...

Hungary, Holy See amend concordat

The Holy See has signed a new agreement with the government of Hungary, modifying the concordat of 1997. The new agreement covers issues including religious education in public schools, the...

Southern Baptist leader plans less stress on political involvement, social issues

The new leader of the Southern Baptist Convention has indicated that he plans to take a less aggressive approach on social issues and political involvement. Rev. Russell Moore said that Southern...

Sri Lanka: Diocesan official charges government oppression of Tamil minority

The chairman of the justice-and-peace commission in the Diocese of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, has accused the country’s government of systematic violations of the rights of minority Tamils. Father S.V.B....

CDF confirms Church ban on Communion for divorced/remarried

In a lengthy statement published in L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has strongly affirmed the Church’s teaching that Catholics who are...

Illinois bishop bars organized prayers for same-sex marriage in cathedral

A plan to recite the Rosary for the cause of same-sex marriage is “blasphemous,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has said. Catholics lobbying for legal recognition of same-sex...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 23

Colombian bishop laments rebel attacks

As representatives of the Colombian government and rebels negotiate in Havana to end decades of conflict, a Colombian bishop deplored the effects of recent rebel attacks on his city. The...

Religious orders teach entrepreneurialism in Cuba

In a Communist nation in which 80% of workers are employed by the government and private education is officially banned, the Archdiocese of Havana, the Jesuits, and the Institute of the Brothers of...

Syrian rebels attack Christian suburb, historic town

Syrian rebels have renewed their attacks on Jaramana, a largely Christian suburb of Damascus, according to multiple news agency reports. In addition, the Saudi newspaper Arab News reported that...

Cardinal: ecumenism did not begin with Vatican II

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Walter Kasper emphasized that while “institutional ecumenism” may have begun with the Second Vatican Council, “spiritual ecumenism” did not. The prelate,...

Europe’s Eastern Catholic bishops emphasize evangelization

At the conclusion of a four-day meeting in Slovakia, Europe’s Eastern Catholic bishops pledged to follow the example of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the apostles of the Slavs, and evangelize. “A...

Holy See’s representative at UN calls for ban on chemical, nuclear weapons

Addressing the United Nations’ First Committee, which discusses disarmament and international security, the Vatican's representative at the United Nations called for a ban on chemical and nuclear...

Bishop allowed to travel to Turkish Cyprus, worship at monastery

For the first time in 18 months, a bishop of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus has been allowed to worship in the portion of his diocese that lies in Turkish Cyprus. In 1974, Turkey invaded the...

Church, like Mary, must focus on Christ, Pope tells audience

“If the Church did not bring Jesus, she would be a lifeless church,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on October 23. Continuing his series of talks on the nature of the Catholic Church, the...

German bishop removed from diocese over heavy spending

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has been removed from his post as head of the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, after heated complaints about his heavy spending on a personal residence. The...

Amid abuse-policy complaints, Minnesota archdiocese puts capital campaign on hold

Stung by criticism over the handling of sex-abuse complaints, the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis has postponed the start of a major capital campaign. A diocesan spokesman said that plans...

Pope Benedict was surprised by dismissal of Vatican bank president

Pope Benedict XVI was taken by surprise when the president of the Vatican bank was fired, the former Pontiff’s personal secretary has disclosed. In an interview with the Italian daily Il...

Departure of ambassador offers new test of Obama administration's commitment to religious freedom

The resignation of Suzan Johnson Cook as US ambassador for religious freedom raises questions about the future of the American diplomatic efforts in that field, the Catholic News Agency notes. ...

Dozens of Catholic agencies join in coordinated drive to aid Syrian refugees

Since 2011, Catholic relief agencies have supplied $72 million to support efforts to help refugees in Syria, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum has announced. Dozens of Catholic agencies are working...

Pope encourages prison chaplains, laments that 'big fish' often escape punishment

Pope Francis met on October 23 with a group of Italian prison chaplains, and told them: “You are a sign of Christ’s closeness to those brothers in need of hope.” The Pope asked the chaplains to...

Baptism rates falling in US

Christian baptism rates are falling in the US, and the number of Catholic baptisms has dropped by more than 20% in the past 40 years. From over 1 million in 1970, the number of Catholic baptisms...

Released Thursday, Oct. 24

Guatemalan prelate rips Canadian mining companies

A Guatemalan bishop has offered strong criticism of the foreign mining companies, principally Canadian, that operate in the territory of his diocese. “We propose a radical reform that closes the...

Malaysia: prime minister, leading prelate discuss application of ‘Allah’ ruling

A Malaysian court’s recent ruling ordering a Catholic newspaper not to refer to God as “Allah” does not mean that the word’s use is banned in Bibles and in worship, Prime Minister Najib Razak said...

New US ambassador hopes to work with Holy See on peace, refugees, development

Kenneth Hackett, former CEO of Catholic Relief Services and the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, discussed his recent presentation of diplomatic credentials to Pope Francis and...

USCCB announces candidates to succeed Cardinal Dolan as conference president

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced the names of ten candidates who are in the running to succeed Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as conference president and...

Vatican cardinal speaks on genetically-modified food

Speaking in Iowa, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace called for dialogue between proponents and opponents of genetically-modified food, according to the Des Moines...

French high court: mayors must perform same-sex marriages

France’s highest constitutional court has ruled that mayors and other local civil officials must perform same-sex marriages, according to multiple media reports. “In view of the functions of a...

Cardinal Dolan: Wall Street Journal op-ed on immigration

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed on immigration, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York trumpeted diocesan efforts to assist immigrants and suggested that immigration reform would help...

Jewish human-rights group energized by meeting with Pope Francis

The head of a Jewish human-rights organization expressed enormous excitement after an October 24 meeting with Pope Francis. “Unbelievable, extraordinary, electrifying!” said Rabbi Marvin Heir,...

Minnesota archbishop acknowledges crisis of confidence

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis told a Minnesota Public Radio audience that he realizes many people and even priests have “lost confidence” because of recent revelations about...

Pope reminds bishops: serve priests, the poor, non-Catholics

A bishop’s role is “always in service,” Pope Francis reminded two newly ordained archbishops at a Vatican ceremony on October 24. The Pope presided at the episcopal ordination of Archbishop...

USCCB: pray, fast that unborn will be welcomed

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, October 25, “for the protection of every unborn child-- that each one may...

Released Friday, Oct. 25

Iran: Protestants sentenced to 80 lashes for consuming communion wine

Four members of the evangelical Church of Iran have been sentenced to 80 lashes for consuming communion wine during a church service, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The UK-based...

Kenyan Christians: ‘we will not be intimidated’ following murders

Protestant leaders in Mombasa, Kenya’s second-largest city, vowed not to be intimidated following the murder of two pastors, the Catholic Information Service for Africa reported. “The Mombasa...

Report: police fled before attack on Coptic church

Police who were assigned to guard a Coptic church in Cairo fled before a recent attack, according to an AsiaNews report. “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous...

Ambassador Hackett: religious freedom of ‘paramount priority’ to Obama administration

Kenneth Hackett, the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See, has told the Catholic News Service that religious freedom is of “paramount priority” to the Obama administration. “We may...

Florida bishop leads thousands in march for immigration reform

Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg recently led a prayer vigil and march for immigration reform in Tampa. A local television station, Bay Area News 9, reported that thousands took part. “It...

Setback for organic food company in suit against HHS mandate

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to grant an injunction blocking enforcement of the HHS mandate against Eden Foods, an organic food company whose president, Michael Potter, is...

Families, not just individuals, have rights, Pope argues

“Taking care of the young and the elderly is the choice of civilization,” Pope Francis said in an October 25 address to the Pontifical Council for the Family. “Children and the elderly represent...

Egyptian extremists aim at civil war, not just at Christians, priest says

Attacks on Christians in Cairo are not caused by religious conflicts, the secretary of Egypt’s Coptic-Catholic Patriarchate told representatives of Aid to the Church in Need. Father Hani Bakhous...

North Dakota bishop's faithful warned of Hepatitis A risk

State health authorities in North Dakota have warned Catholics that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A through contact with Bishop John Folda of Fargo. Bishop Folda has disclosed that he...

New Vatican Secretary of State released from hospital

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the newly appointed Secretary of State, has been released from a hospital in Padua after a 10-day stay, the Vatican has announced. Archbishop Parolin was unable to...

Chinese authorities block internet access to bishop's pastoral message

A pastoral letter by a Chinese bishop who is under house arrest has been blocked from internet circulation by Chinese officials, the AsiaNews service reports. Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai...

Emigrants' deaths seen as 'wake-up call for Africa'

The tragic deaths of emigrants off the coast of Lampedusa is “a wake-up call for Africa,” a group of African Catholic bishops has said. Over 350 emigrants from the Horn of Africa, trying to reach...

Filipino cardinal sees challenge of bucking secular influences, supporting family life

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila told Vatican Radio that secularizing trends are having a powerful effect on society in the Philippines. The “traditional values that have kept families...

Vietnamese Catholic activists given 7-month jail sentences

Two lay Catholic activists, whose arrest by the Vietnamese government sparked a series of confrontations between civil officials and Catholic demonstrators in the Diocese of Vinh, have been...

Minnesota archdiocese to arrange independent audit of sex-abuse files

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, has announced plans to commission an independent audit of archdiocesan sex-abuse policies. The archbishop, who has acknowledged that...

President of Equatorial Guinea meets with Pope, signs new accord

Pope Francis met on October 25 with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. The conversation focused on the Church’s activities in the fields of education and social...

Released Monday, Oct. 28

100th anniversary of French archdiocese

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as his special envoy to the celebrations commemorating the centenary of the...

Report: Syrian rebels organize burning of Bibles, other Christian books

Members of a Syrian rebel faction, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, “have organized a book burning of Bibles and Christian books” in front of a Greek Catholic church, the Fides news service...

Dominican Republic: bishop laments court decision on citizenship of immigrant children

A bishop in the Dominican Republic lamented a high court decision that retroactively strips the children of illegal Haitian immigrants of their legal status as citizens if they were born in the...

Jesuit missionary recalls Father Bergoglio’s leadership

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Father Cristian Martini Grimaldi, an Argentine Jesuit who has served for decades as a missionary in Japan, recalled the future Pope Francis’s leadership as...

Leading English prelate addresses Muslims

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster addressed the Muslim Council of Wales on the topic of “The Need for Spirituality in the Modern World.” After discussing the transcendence of God and the...

‘So help me God’ becomes optional in US Air Force Academy oath

The United States Air Force Academy has announced that the phrase “so help me God” at the conclusion of the Cadet Honor Oath is now optional. The oath, adopted in 1984, states, “We will not lie,...

2 Protestant colleges file suit against HHS mandate

Two Protestant colleges – Dordt College, a Christian Reformed college in Iowa, and Cornerstone University, a non-denominational Christian college in Michigan – have filed suit against the HHS...

Move away from ‘European’ Church, leading cardinal urges

Speaking in Texas, the chairman of the Commission of Cardinals advising Pope Francis said that the Church must serve only Jesus Christ, not its own organizational needs. “Even Jesus didn’t...

International agency upgrades Vatican’s financial rating

An international rating agency has upgraded the Vatican’s ranking for ethical economic dealings. The Brussels-based Standard Ethics agency moved the Vatican to an “EE” rating. The agency had...

Christian families light up society, Pope tells pilgrims

“Christian families are missionary families,” Pope Francis said in his homily on October 27, as he celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square to conclude a Pilgrimage for Families. The Pilgrimage,...

Cardinal Pell defends Pope against SSPX, foresees continued push for Curial reform

A traditionalist prelate’s complaint that Pope Francis is a “modernist” is “absolute rubbish,” says Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia. Responding to the charge by Bishop Bernard Fellay,...

Inter-religious peace conference recalls first Assisi meeting

Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders joined in a call for peace at Assisi, Italy, on October 27, commemorating the anniversary of the first inter-religious meeting at Assisi in 1986. Commenting...

Vatican message to Hindus calls for joint action against materialism

The Vatican has proposed a “culture of relationship” as a answer to materialism, in an annual message to the world’s Hindus. The Vatican message said that “the ability to foster respectful...

Vatican TV center: teamwork in service to the Church

The Vatican Television Center (CTV) has “come a long way” in its 30 years of existence, Pope Francis said during an October 28 meeting with CTV staff. The Pope congratulated the CTV workers on...

Burmese Nobel peace laureate visits Pope

Pope Francis met on October 28 with Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese political leader and 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Pope supported the Burmese activist’s quest for democracy during a...

Judge blocks enforcement of Texas law on abortion-safety provisions

A federal judge has ruled that a newly enacted law regulating abortion in the state of Texas violates the US Constitution, and blocked enforcement of the new legislation. Judge Lee Yeakel ruled...

Iraqi prelate challenges West to stand up for persecuted Christians

In a message to the Western world, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, has said that Christians who are free to practice their faith have obligations to their persecuted...

Pope Francis lauds 'Jesus of Nazareth' trilogy by Benedict XVI

Pope Francis paid tribute to his predecessor’s writing, and especially to his Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, as he announced the annual “Ratzinger Prizes” at a Vatican ceremony on October 26. Pope...

Georgetown law class to include work with abortion-advocacy organization

Law-school students at America’s oldest Catholic university will work with a pro-abortion advocacy group in Washington, according to a course description obtained by the Cardinal Newman...

Panama's president meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on October 26 with Panama’s President Alberto Martinelli Berrocal. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had centered on “various...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 29

Coptic bishop: no to Western military intervention

A Coptic Orthodox bishop said that Western military powers should not intervene in the region in order to come to the aid of persecuted Christians. “All attempts to invoke the intervention of the...

Attack on Protestant church in India

Five members of the militant Hindu youth organization Bajrang Dal have been arrested following an attack on an Assemblies of God church in Kalwa, a town located near Mumbai (Bombay), India’s largest...

‘Beleaguered Syrian Christians fear future’

The Associated Press has published a wire story summarizing the persecution of Christians by some Syrian rebel forces, including the kidnapping of bishops, attacks on Christian towns, and the...

Pope’s Twitter account has 10 million followers

The Pope’s Twitter account gained its ten millionth follower at 9:32 PM on October 26, according to L’Osservatore Romano. The account has steadily been gaining a million followers per month...

USCCB youth refugee materials updated to address gay, transgendered youth

Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS), a project of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services, has updated and expanded its training to workers in...

Vatican plans summit for Eastern Catholic churches

The Vatican has called a “summit meeting” for the leaders of the Eastern churches in communion with the Holy See, to take place in November. The meeting will take place at the Vatican on November...

Irish government looks to referendum on same-sex marriage, new law on gay adoption

Ireland’s deputy prime minister (Tánaiste) Eamon Gilmore had indicated that he anticipates a nationwide referendum on the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Gilmore, who has referred to...

Putin to meet with Pope Francis?

Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican late in November, according to rumors circulating in Rome. A spokesman for the Kremlin declined to comment on the rumors...

Syrian Islamic leader says kidnapped Orthodox bishops are alive and in Turkey

Two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in April by rebel forces in Syria are alive, and are now being held in Turkey, according to the Grand Mufti of Syria. Ahmad Hassoun Badreddin said that the...

Vatican monsignor, facing trial for money-laundering, released to house arrest

Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, the suspended Vatican official who faces money-laundering charges, has been granted a request for release from jail, and will await trial under house arrest. While granting...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 30

Mexican priests defy extortion effort

Threatening to kidnap priests’ relatives, criminal gangs have attempted to extort money from three priests in Aguascalientes and priests in at least seven other Mexican states, the Fides news agency...

Nicaraguan bishop laments clashes between government, rebels

Increasing conflict between the government of President Daniel Ortega and rebels has led some of the faithful to stay away from churches out of fear, the bishop of a northern Nicaraguan diocese told...

Nobel laureate, in Vatican newspaper, calls for major efforts to address climate change

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, a Mexican scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995 called upon the international community to devote “1% or perhaps 2% of global GDP” to addressing...

Curial cardinal pays tribute to Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth

Paying tribute to Pope Benedict’s three-volume work Jesus of Nazareth in a L’Osservatore Romano essay, Cardinal Angelo Amato said that developments in archeology, papyrology, and comparative...

Canada at ‘extremely serious’ moment in euthanasia debate

An organization cofounded by the Canadian bishops and the Knights of Columbus has issued a statement on euthanasia and assisted suicide. The Catholic Organization for Life and Family welcomed...

Curial official: over 3,000 religious leave consecrated life each year

The secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life said in an October 29 address that over 3,000 men and women religious leave the consecrated life...

Coptic Catholic official: church attacks do not point to Muslim-Christian conflict in Egypt

The secretary of the patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church has told Aid to the Church in Need that attacks on Christian churches in Egypt are not evidence of religious conflict between Muslims and...

Malaysian government prevents distribution of Catholic newspaper

Malaysia’s Ministry of Home Affairs confiscated over 2,000 copies of a Catholic newspaper and prevented the publication’s distribution in East Malaysia, according to multiple media reports. The...

Pope to appoint new cardinals at February 2014 consistory?

Pope Francis will call a consistory for February 2014 to name new cardinals, a Vatican news agency reports. The respected I-Media agency reports that the Pope will call a consistory for next...

At audience, Pope speaks on 'communion of the holy'

“God’s love burns away our sins,” Pope Francis told his general audience on October 30. Speaking to more than 80,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope continued his weekly...

Pope asks prayers for peace in Iraq

Pope Francis issued an appeal for prayers for peace in Iraq at the close of his regular weekly audience on Wednesday, October 30. The Pope disclosed that he was greeting a delegation of religious...

Indian court finds Hindus not guilty in attacks on Christians

A court in India’s Orissa state has acquitted 54 Hindu activists who were charged with setting fire to a Baptist church and the homes of 14 Christian families during the anti-Christian violence of...

Vatican unworried by reports of NSA monitoring cardinals' phones

An Italian magazine has reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the phone conversations of Vatican officials. But the director of the Vatican press office has told reporters...

Cardinal tempers homage to deceased rock star

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture acknowledged the death of rock star Lou Reed by quoting the chorus from Reed’s hit, “Perfect Day.” But Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi soon followed up...

Pope sends greetings to World Council of Churches, stresses joint action to help the poor

In a message to the 10th general assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Pope Francis expressed the hope that the meeting will “help to consolidate the commitment of all Christ's followers...

Solve world hunger by policies of inclusion, Vatican delegate tells UN

The problem of world hunger is caused not by an overall shortage of food but by economic and social structures that exclude the needy, the Vatican’s representative told a UN session on October 29....

Released Thursday, Oct. 31

Lebanon in negotiations to secure release of kidnapped bishops

The head of Lebanon’s national intelligence and security agency said that he is “indirectly in contact” with those who kidnapped the Greek and Syrian Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Syria, in...

Education leaders deplore effects of Arab Spring on Catholic schools

National leaders of Catholic schools in the Middle East and North Africa met recently in Jordan to discuss the effects of the Arab Spring on Christian education. The wave of demonstrations that...

Mexican bishops exhort government to intervene in Michoacán

The Mexican episcopal conference has issued a statement urging “federal, state, and municipal authorities” to take “prompt and effective action” against organized crime in the state of...

NSA says it does not ‘target the Vatican’

A spokeswoman for the US National Security Agency (NSA) said that the agency does not “target the Vatican,” the Reuters news service reported. “The National Security Agency does not target the...

Vatican newspaper highlights group’s ‘Christ-centered alternative to Halloween’

In its October 31 issue, L’Osservatore Romano drew attention to the efforts of a Philippine Catholic organization to establish a “Christ-centered alternative to Halloween.” “Today, there is a...

CDF prefect: contemplating Christ is answer to Reformation, post-Vatican II crises in the priesthood

Contemplating Jesus Christ the High Priest, crucified and risen, is the answer to various crises in the priesthood, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller said in a short essay published in L’Osservatore...

Confirmed: Pope to appoint new cardinals at February consistory

Pope Francis will appoint new cardinals at a consistory in February 2014, the Vatican has announced. Confirming reports that had circulated a day earlier, the Vatican press office revealed that...

USCCB asks prayers-- but not fasting-- on All Saints' Day

Breaking from a weekly request for fasting and prayer, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked the faithful to “honor all of the saints and continue to join in prayer for...

Chinese bishop under house arrest makes rare public appearance

Shanghai’s Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who has been under house arrest since July 2012, made a rare public appearance last week, the UCANews service reports. Bishop Ma attended a memorial service...

Vatican's high-tech security made eavesdropping impossible at conclave

Contrary to a widely circulated report, the US National Security Agency (NSA) could not have eavesdropped on the conclave that elected Pope Francis, a veteran Vatican journalist has...

Belgium to weigh euthanasia for children, dementia victims

Legislators in Belgium are considering a proposal to allow for euthanasia of children, with the consent of their parents. Belgium was the first country to legalize physician-assisted suicide, and...

Russia seeks role as protecter of Syrian Christians

A group of 50,000 Syrian Christians has petitioned for citizenship in Russia, and the government of President Vladimir Putin may grant their request. In a message to the Russian foreign-affairs...

South African bishops denounce public corruption

Corruption in government is tantamount to “theft from the poor,” the Catholic bishops of South Africa have said in a pastoral letter. The South African Bishops’ Conference (SABC) say that...

Pope says Mass at tomb of Bl. John Paul II

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on October 31 in the St. Sebastian chapel of St. Peter’s basilica, where Blessed John Paul II is buried. The Pope, who usually celebrates his morning Mass at the...

Vatican recognizes martyrdom of Romanian bishop, killed by Communists

The Vatican has recognized the martyrdom of a Romanian bishop who died under the country’s Communist regime. Bishop Anton Durcovici (1888-1951), who became Bishop of Iasi in 1948, was arrested...

Human trafficking rivals drug trade as world's most profitable criminal activity: Vatican official

At an October 31 press conference, introducing plans for a weekend seminar on human trafficking, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences said that human trafficking is “a shocking...

Papal praise for Italian charitable group

Pope Francis met on October 31 with members of the Circolo San Pietro, a charitable association of Italian men, and thanked them for their service to the poor. The Pontiff observed that care for...

Pope's prayer intentions for November 2013

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for November 2013. The Pope's general intention is: “That priests who experience difficulties may find comfort in their suffering,...

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