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Catholic World News

Stories for November 2013

Released Monday, Nov. 4

100th anniversary of Sophia University in Tokyo CWN - November 4, 2013

Pope Francis sent Cardinal Raffaele Farina as his special envoy to the November 1 celebration of the first centenary of Sophia University in Tokyo. Cardinal Farina, now 80, served as Librarian of...

Largest massacre of Christians in Syrian conflict CWN - November 4, 2013

Rebel forces massacred 45 Christians in the west-central Syrian town of Sadad, according to Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh. Islamist rebels entered the town on October 21; a...

Priest murdered in Panama CWN - November 4, 2013

A Spanish priest who had ministered in Panama for two decades was murdered in front of a bishop’s residence, according to multiple media reports. Father Aníbal Gómez, 67, was “found bound with...

Mexican bishop warns against Halloween celebration CWN - November 4, 2013

The bishop of Aguascalientes, a central Mexican city of over 900,000, called upon Catholics to commemorate All Saints Day and All Souls Day rather than Halloween, according to El Sol del Centro, a...

Government denies kidnapped bishops are in Turkey CWN - November 4, 2013

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denied reports by the Grand Mufti of Syria and others that two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Syria in April are alive in Turkey. “These accusations are completely...

Vatican newspaper tribute to religious historian Romana Guarnieri CWN - November 4, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has published a tribute to Romana Guarnieri, a scholar of medieval spirituality, on the centenary of her birth. The tribute, written by Father Felice Accrocca, stated that...

Christian youth repel attack on famed Egyptian church CWN - November 4, 2013

Youth associated with the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to attack the Church of Our Lady of Zeitoun in Cairo on November 1, according to an AsiaNews report. “The group -- which came directly from...

Anglican leader hints at joint ‘surprises’ with Pope Francis CWN - November 4, 2013

The head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, said in an interview with Vatican Radio that “a few” Catholic-Anglican “surprises” may be forthcoming. “There are very...

Christ is our only hope, Pope reminds faithful CWN - November 4, 2013

“We can enter heaven only thanks to the blood of the Lamb, the blood of Christ,” Pope Francis reminded a congregation as he celebrated Mass at the Verano cemetery in Rome on November 1, the feast of...

Pope leads prayers for deceased bishops, cardinals, popes CWN - November 4, 2013

Pope Francis presided at a Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s basilica on November 4 for all the bishops who have died during the past year. In his homily the Pope remarked that the deceased prelates...

All Christians are called to be saints, Pope tells audience CWN - November 4, 2013

At his Angelus audience on November 1, Pope Francis said that the feast of All Saints is a reminder “that the end of our earthly existence is not death, but rather paradise!” The Pope reminded...

Court approves Kansas City diocese settlement in priest's child-porn lawsuit CWN - November 4, 2013

The Diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, will pay $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit against a priest who has been found guilty of child pornography. The lawsuit was brought by the parents of a young...

Cuba postpones dissidents' trials, new wave of arrests reported CWN - November 4, 2013

Authorities in Cuba have postponed the trials of 3 human-rights activists who were arrested just before Pope Benedict XVI visited the island nation last March. No explanation was given for the...

God always ready to welcome sinners, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - November 4, 2013

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 4, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, and the character of Zacchaeus, the tax collector. Zacchaeus was viewed by his neighbors as “a...

Irish Church leaders support removal of blasphemy law CWN - November 4, 2013

Christian leaders in Ireland have endorsed a proposal to a reference to remove the crime of blasphemy from the country’s constitution. The Irish Council of Churches and the Irish Inter-Church...

Portrait of a nun working to ransom hostages in Syria's civil war CWN - November 4, 2013

In Catholic World Report, Alessandra Nucci provides an account of a nun whose heroic daily routine involves entering the battle zones of Syria's civil war to seek the release of some of the...

Vatican debunks reports of female cardinals CWN - November 4, 2013

The Vatican has dismissed reports that Pope Francis could name women as cardinals. Following the October 31 announcement that the Pope would elevate new members of the College of Cardinals at a...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 5

Iran: 80-lash sentence meted out on Christians who consumed communion wine CWN - November 5, 2013

Two of the four Iranian evangelical Christians who were recently convicted on charges of consuming alcohol have received their 80-lash sentence. The four had consumed communion wine during a...

Christian evangelist murdered in Nepal CWN - November 5, 2013

A Christian who worked as an evangelist has been murdered in the largely Hindu nation of Nepal, according to multiple reports. The evangelist, identified as Debalal, rose in the middle of the...

Cardinal sees malnutrition, lack of education as ‘horrendous double helix’ CWN - November 5, 2013

In a November 4 address, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, spoke of “the situation, both tragic and scandalous, of millions of impoverished human...

Leading Orthodox official urges World Council of Churches to challenge secularism, radical Islam CWN - November 5, 2013

Addressing the World Council of Churches, the Russian Orthodox Church’s leading ecumenical official questioned the effectiveness of the ecumenical body and warned that Christians must face the...

USCCB urges Senate to oppose ENDA, says bill threatens religious liberty CWN - November 5, 2013

In a joint letter, three committee chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon US senators to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA). The bill,...

USCCB calls for support of Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act CWN - November 5, 2013

Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged members of Congress to support the Abortion Insurance...

Joint Orthodox-Catholic statement on violence against Christians in Middle East CWN - November 5, 2013

The North American Orthodox Catholic Theological Consultation has issued a joint statement entitled “The Plight of Churches in the Middle East – Revisited.” “The situation of many of the...

Syria: residence of papal nuncio hit by mortar fire CWN - November 5, 2013

The residence of the apostolic nuncio in Damascus, Syria, was hit with mortar fire on Tuesday morning, November 5. There were no casualties. A single explosive shell hit the 3rd floor of the...

Synod reform aims to enhance collegiality CWN - November 5, 2013

The Synod of Bishops will undergo changes so that it can be “a real and effective instrument of communion which through the collegiality called for by the Second Vatican Council is expressed and...

Vatican outlines plans for 'urgent' Synod discussion of family CWN - November 5, 2013

The Vatican has unveiled the preparatory document for the extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in October 2014 to discuss pastoral challenges for the family. At...

Chinese bishop who led 'underground' Church dies at 94 CWN - November 5, 2013

Bishop Peter Liu Guandong, who was once the primary leader of China’s “underground” Catholic Church, has died at the age of 94. Bishop Liu, the retired head of the Yixian diocese, was the key...

Ireland schedules 2015 referendum on same-sex marriage CWN - November 5, 2013

The Irish government plans a nationwide referendum on legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The vote will be scheduled early in 2015. Justice minister Alan Shatter introduced plans for the...

Vatican is not 'polling' Catholics on marriage, family CWN - November 5, 2013

It is “not true” that the Vatican is taking a poll to assess Catholics’ opinions on marriage issues in preparation for the 2014 Synod on the family, the Vatican press office has...

Heavenly banquet is by invitation only, Pope tells congregation CWN - November 5, 2013

Admission to the heavenly banquet is available to by invitation only, Pope Francis told his congregation at a morning Mass on November 5. Reflecting on the day’s Gospel (Lk 14:15-24), which told...

Bl. John Paul II never informed of accusations against Father Maciel, former secretary says CWN - November 5, 2013

The longtime private secretary to Blessed John Paul II has insisted that the former Pontiff knew “nothing, absolutely nothing,” about the misconduct of the late Father Marcial Maciel, the founder of...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 6

Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan; store destroyed CWN - November 6, 2013

Two Christians who own a fireworks store in a village near the northeastern Pakistani city of Wazirabad were accused of blasphemy after wedding guests discovered that their fireworks were wrapped in...

Mexico: bishop, reportedly targeted by organized crime, leads march for peace CWN - November 6, 2013

A bishop in the troubled southwestern Mexican state of Michoacán led several thousand Catholics in a march for peace, the Fides news agency reported. “We walked down the street to rekindle the...

South African priest brutally assaulted CWN - November 6, 2013

A priest in a small suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, was “severely beaten with a hand drill, strangled, locked in a room, and left for dead” by a thief, the Pretoria News reported. Father Craigh...

Syrian priest tells Islamists who destroyed his parish that they are betraying ‘true Islam’ CWN - November 6, 2013

Father Naaman Rawik, a Syrian priest now in Lebanon, has issued a statement to the members of the rebel Islamist militias who destroyed his parish. The statement was translated into French by the...

USCCB, other Catholic organizations offer 12 recommendations on farm bill CWN - November 6, 2013

In a joint letter to members of Congress, two committee chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined the leaders of Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the...

Tribute to priests who were awarded Medal of Honor CWN - November 6, 2013

In a recent blog post, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ director of media relations paid tribute to the five priests who have been awarded the Medal of Honor since the Civil...

CCHD awards 1st national grant to program for former prisoners CWN - November 6, 2013

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has awarded its first national grant to the National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul, according to a press release from the...

Vatican directs faithful not to host Medjugorje 'seers' CWN - November 6, 2013

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has instructed the Catholic faithful not to participate in events in which the "seers" of Medjugorje promise apparitions of the Virgin...

Pope speaks on sacraments, special charisms, and charity CWN - November 6, 2013

At his public audience on November 6, Pope Francis spoke about the spiritual goods that the members of the Church share: the sacraments, special charisms, and charity. The Church “makes” the...

Catholic Patriarch denounces Israeli demolition of church-owned building in Jerusalem CWN - November 6, 2013

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has strongly condemned the Israeli government’s demolition of a family home owned by the patriarchate. “This act is against the law, against...

Released Thursday, Nov. 7

USCCB immigration campaign announces ‘national call-in day’ to Congress CWN - November 7, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign has declared November 13 a “national call-in day to Congress.” The announcement states: The Feast Day of...

Illinois legislature approves same-sex marriage CWN - November 7, 2013

In a 61-54 vote, the Illinois House of Representatives altered the definition of marriage in the nation’s fifth-most populous state to include same-sex couples. Gov. Pat Quinn said he will sign the...

President Obama issues statement for Diwali CWN - November 7, 2013

President Barack Obama has issued a statement for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that commemorates the return of Rama, believed to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu, and the killing of the...

European bishops urge UN to protect Christians, other religious minorities CWN - November 7, 2013

In a recent statement, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) joined the Appeal of Conscience Foundation in calling upon the United Nations to “adopt a Resolution for the Protection of...

Ukrainian churches: remember victims of Stalinist famine-genocide CWN - November 7, 2013

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate recently issued a joint statement calling upon the faithful to commemorate the eightieth anniversary...

Chaldean patriarch: clergy should serve the faithful, monks should return to monasteries CWN - November 7, 2013

In a recent letter to the clergy and religious of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako emphasized the importance of prayer and service. “We have to be entirely and...

Coptic leader cancels anniversary celebration, citing handships for Egypt's Christians CWN - November 7, 2013

Pope Tawadros II has cancelled plans for a celebration marking the anniversary of his ascent to leadership in the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Egyptian prelate indicated that a celebration would...

Decriminalization of abortion would threaten national identity, say Angola's Catholic bishops CWN - November 7, 2013

Abortion is a threat to the cultural identity of Angola, the country’s bishops have said in a pastoral message. The statement from the Angolan bishops’ conference condemns abortion as gravely...

Italian cardinal says polluters should not receive Communion CWN - November 7, 2013

People who intentionally pollute the earth are guilty of grave sin and should not receive the Eucharist, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples has said. ''Those who pollute are not in the grace...

Colombia, guerrillas near accord to end bloody civil war CWN - November 7, 2013

The government of Colombia has reached an agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), clearing the way for a peace treaty that would end decades of civil war. Pressed by the...

Vatican, Chad sign diplomatic accord CWN - November 7, 2013

The Holy See has concluded a diplomatic accord with Chad, establishing the legal rights of the Church in the African country. The agreement was signed in Yamena, Chad on November 6 by Archbishop...

Pope chooses Beatitudes for World Youth Day themes CWN - November 7, 2013

Pope Francis has drawn on the Beatitudes to furnish themes for the World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations of the next 3 years. In 2014, the theme for the 39th WYD will be: “Blessed are the poor in...

Confirmed: Putin to meet with Pope Francis CWN - November 7, 2013

The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month. The meeting will take place on November 25, although details are not yet in place and...

USCCB: pray and fast on Friday for engaged couples CWN - November 7, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, November 8, for engaged couples, “that they may recognize the high...

Released Friday, Nov. 8

Syrian prelate denies report of new massacre of Christians CWN - November 8, 2013

A Syrian prelate has denied an Arabic-language web report that rebels massacred 70 Christians, including three priests, in Qamishli, a city of 185,000 in northeastern Syria. Apparently referring...

Iranian president says Iran, like Holy See, opposes terrorism CWN - November 8, 2013

Iran’s new president told Archbishop Leo Boccardi, the newly appointed apostolic nuncio to Iran, that Iran opposes terrorism and extremism, according to a report by Press TV, a division of Islamic...

Cardinal Dolan urges House to address immigration reform CWN - November 8, 2013

Describing immigration reform as “a matter of great moral urgency that cannot wait any longer for action,” the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the House of...

US Senate passes ENDA CWN - November 8, 2013

In a 64-32 vote, the United States Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA), which would ban workplace discrimination against homosexuals and transgendered persons. In a...

European court rules against Greek civil-union law CWN - November 8, 2013

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Greece’s civil union law violates the European Convention on Human Rights because the law does not provide for homosexual civil unions. “The...

Potential Muslim-Christian genocide feared in Central African Republic CWN - November 8, 2013

The United Nations’ special adviser on the prevention of genocide said recently that he feared the violence in the Central African Republic could spiral into genocide. “We are seeing armed groups...

Church tribunals, in dispensing justice, serve the cause of evangelization, Pope says CWN - November 8, 2013

In a November 8 address to members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest tribunal of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said that “the link between the Church who...

Vatican's UN spokesman: spare no effort to re-start Israeli-Palestinian talks CWN - November 8, 2013

Speaking on November 7 to a UN session in New York, the Vatican’s permanent observer said that international leaders should “spare no effort in facilitating negotiations between the Palestinians and...

Costa Rican president visits Pontiff CWN - November 8, 2013

Pope Francis met on November 8 with President Laura Chinchilla Miranda of Costa Rica, for a discussion that centered on Church-state relations. In talks with the Pontiff and later with Archbishop...

Democracy supporters plan demonstrations against Hamas rule in Gaza CWN - November 8, 2013

Young people in the Gaza Strip are planning a mass demonstration against the “dictatorship of terror” under the Hamas government, the AsiaNews service reports. The leader of a new group known as...

Vatican publishes new edition of journal on Latin CWN - November 8, 2013

The Vatican has released a new issue of Latinitas, the quarterly journal designed to promote the understanding and use of the Latin language. Latinitas, published by the Pontifical Academy for...

Bribery subverts human dignity, Pope says in homily CWN - November 8, 2013

In his homily at a morning Mass on November 8, Pope Francis cautioned against taking “the shortcut, the most comfortable way to earn a living.” Commenting on the parable of the unjust steward,...

Is Pope Francis postponing a visit to his native Argentina? CWN - November 8, 2013

Pope Francis has no plans to visit his native Argentina before 2016, remarks Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister of L’Espresso-- who provides a theory as to why the Pontiff is postponing a trip...

Vatican plans first-ever display of relics of St. Peter CWN - November 8, 2013

The Vatican is planning an unprecedented public display of the relics of St. Peter, as the Year of Faith comes to a close. The display was announced by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president...

Released Monday, Nov. 11

German nun with ties to Indiana beatified CWN - November 11, 2013

Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel (1830-1905), foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, was beatified in Paderborn, Germany, on November 10. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of...

Iran: convert to Christianity released from prison CWN - November 11, 2013

Mostafa Bordbar, a Muslim convert to Christianity who was sentenced to ten years in prison in July, has been released, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a British organization that...

Pakistan: Christians forced to leave Karachi neighborhood CWN - November 11, 2013

Residents of a largely Christian neighborhood in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, have been driven out of their homes, according to The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper affiliated with The...

Kenya’s bishops denounce religious violence against Christians CWN - November 11, 2013

Following recent attacks on churches and the murder of two pastors, Kenya’s bishops denounced religious violence. “We are deeply concerned about the general state of insecurity across the...

Syrian bishop: Aleppo a ‘disfigured and exhausted city’ CWN - November 11, 2013

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo told the Fides news agency that the city, Syria’s largest, is “disfigured and exhausted.” “One can see the suffering in the eyes of its inhabitants,” said...

USCCB meeting begins; profiles of candidates to succeed Cardinal Dolan as president CWN - November 11, 2013

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

Cardinal assures traditionalists of Pope’s support for Extraordinary Form CWN - November 11, 2013

The former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy has told a traditionalist group that Pope Francis has no intention of restricting access to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin liturgy. “I...

Afterlife is not an afterthought, Pope tells Angelus audience CWN - November 11, 2013

“With Jesus, our pilgrimage goes beyond death toward life,” Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 10. Thus paradoxically, “death lies behind us, not ahead of us.” Commenting...

Pope urges prayers for Filipino storm victims, sends personal contribution to relief effort CWN - November 11, 2013

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to the people of the Philippines in the wake of a murderous typhoon, and followed up with a personal contribution of $150,000 to help relief...

Pope: corrupt gains should not be given to the Church CWN - November 11, 2013

In his homily at a morning Mass on November 11 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis said that people who obtain money dishonestly cannot wash away their sin by contributing to the...

Recognize the sick as a strength of the Church, Pope urges CWN - November 11, 2013

Care for the sick “is not a form of welfare or philanthropy, but rather the proclamation of the Gospel of charity,” Pope Francis said at a private audience on November 9. The Pope was speaking to...

Milan's Cardinal Scola pursues 'grassroots' ecumenism with Russian Orthodox Church CWN - November 11, 2013

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, who is in Moscow for a 3-day visit, told the AsiaNews service that ecumenical relations between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches must flourish “at the...

'Francis effect' drawing thousands of Catholics back to churches, survey suggests CWN - November 11, 2013

Catholic priests report that a “Francis effect” is boosting the size of congregations in Italy and Britain. Slightly over half (51%) of priests interviewed in a recent Italian survey reported a...

Italian Cardinal Bartolucci, long head of Sistine Chapel choir, dead at 96 CWN - November 11, 2013

Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, the longtime director of the Sistine Chapel choir, died on November 11 at the age of 96. A priest of the Florence archdiocese, Father Domenico Bartolucci held...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 12

Pope Francis lauds Cardinal Bertone, calls for solidarity in international diplomacy CWN - November 12, 2013

In a lengthy foreword to a newly published collection of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s writings, Pope Francis paid tribute to the man who served as Secretary of State from 2005 until October 15 of...

Church official sees war of ‘all against all’ in Syria CWN - November 12, 2013

The director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon has told the Fides news agency that growing divisions among Syrian rebel factions have led to a war of “all against all.” “Where will...

Prominent Muslim cleric demands that Indonesia’s Catholic schools hire Muslim teachers CWN - November 12, 2013

An official of the leading body of Muslim clerics in Indonesia demanded that Catholic schools hire Muslim teachers to teach Islam to Muslim students. A local leader of the Indonesian Ulema...

Chaldean patriarch: granting of asylum to Iraqi Christians ‘threatens our existence’ CWN - November 12, 2013

The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, met in extraordinary session on November 5 to discuss their upcoming meeting with Pope...

Apostolic nuncio calls on US bishops to hand on deposit of faith with holiness of life CWN - November 12, 2013

Addressing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at its annual fall meeting in Baltimore, the apostolic nuncio to the United States challenged his listeners to “give radical witness to...

Cardinal Dolan: concern for persecuted Christians must become greater priority CWN - November 12, 2013

In his last address as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York called upon his fellow bishops to make concern for persecuted Christians a...

Curial cardinal: progressive, traditionalist currents both view Vatican II as rupture CWN - November 12, 2013

In an essay published in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity wrote that “two extreme tendencies” – the progressive and the...

Archbishop Kurtz chosen to head US bishops' conference CWN - November 12, 2013

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, has been elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He succeeds Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who has concluded a...

Pope meets Russian Orthodox prelate; a prelude to visit by Putin? CWN - November 12, 2013

Pope Francis met on November 12 with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkkolamsk, the top ecumenical official of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Vatican did not issue any formal statement about the...

Gallup diocese becomes 9th to file for bankruptcy CWN - November 12, 2013

The Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico has become the 9th Catholic diocese in the US to file for protection under federal bankruptcy laws. Announcing plans to file a bankruptcy on November 12,...

Vatican releases massive compendium on inter-religious dialogue CWN - November 12, 2013

The Vatican has released a massive new volume on inter-religious dialogue, containing a collection of official documents from 1963 through 2013. The 2,100-page book, Il Dialogo Interreligioso...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 13

Damascus: children at Christian school killed by rebel fire; 2 churches hit CWN - November 13, 2013

Syrian rebels fired mortar shells at a Christian school and two churches in the Damascus area, killing five children and injuring 27 others, according to a Fides news agency report. An anonymous...

Nuncio reminds Mexican bishops: be pastors, not NGO directors CWN - November 13, 2013

Addressing the Mexican Episcopal Conference during its November meeting, the apostolic nuncio challenged the bishops in attendance to be pastors rather than act as if they were directors of an NGO...

Church leaders welcome defeat of Congo’s M23 rebels CWN - November 13, 2013

Catholic leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed a cease-fire that followed the defeat of the M23 militia in the eastern portion of the nation. “We are thankful to God that this...

Surge in kidnappings of Egypt’s Christians CWN - November 13, 2013

Abductions of Christians near Minya, a city in central Egypt, have surged in the months following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Nearly 100 area...

Vatican foreign minister renews call for diplomatic action on Syria CWN - November 13, 2013

The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States has again called upon the international community to seek a diplomatic solution to Syrian civil war. “Although in recent weeks there have been...

Cardinal urges Hondurans to ignore fears, cast ballots CWN - November 13, 2013

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa has urged Honduran voters to overcome their fears and cast ballots in the November 24 presidential election, L’Osservatore Romano...

Vatican newspaper: Pope’s Syria peace appeal may launch ‘real dialogue’ with Islam CWN - November 13, 2013

In an essay published in L’Osservatore Romano, Italian journalist Zouhir Louassini lauded How to Cure a Fanatic, a short work by Israeli writer Amos Oz, and said that Oz’s work can help one...

Confession continues the cleansing act of Baptism, Pope tells audience CWN - November 13, 2013

“Confession is not a torture chamber, it is a celebration of the day of Baptism,” Pope Francis told his weekly audience on Wednesday, November 13. The Pope devoted his catechetical talk to the...

Pope repeats pleas for peace in Syria, help for Philippines CWN - November 13, 2013

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on November 13, Pope Francis renewed his pleas for peace in Syria and for help for the people of the Philippines suffering from the ravages of...

Australian report rips Church handling of abuse CWN - November 13, 2013

A parliamentary inquiry in Victoria, Australia, has concluded with a scathing report that criticizes Catholic Church leaders for covering up clerical abuse. The report says that Catholic bishops...

Christians excluded from Syrian rebels' 'interim government' CWN - November 13, 2013

Syrian Christians have been systematically excluded from representation in an umbrella group representing rebel leaders, the Fides news service reports. The Syrian National Coalition, which has...

CDF prefect nixes German archdiocesan policy on Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics CWN - November 13, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has directed the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, to retract a policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive...

Warmer Rome-Moscow relations produce new talk of Pope- Patriarch 'summit meeting' CWN - November 13, 2013

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill expressed high hopes for the future of relations between Moscow and Rome after a November 12 meeting with Milan’s Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Russian primate...

Another US appeals court victory for employer challenging HHS verdict CWN - November 13, 2013

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals has given a victory to Grote Industries in a challenge to the HHS contraceptive mandate. The court ruled that Grote Industries, owned by the Grote family,...

SSPX disrupts service in Buenos Aires cathedral commemorating Kristallnacht CWN - November 13, 2013

Protesters from a Catholic traditionalist group disrupted an inter-faith service in Buenos Aires marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 12. The disrupters, who were affiliated with...

New Vatican Secretary of State to take office Saturday; surgical recovery complete CWN - November 13, 2013

Archbishop Piero Parolin, the new Secretary of State, will assume his new role on Saturday, November 16, the Vatican has announced. Archbishop Parolin had been expected to take up his new duties...

Released Thursday, Nov. 14

Senators urge president to intervene on behalf of US pastor imprisoned in Iran CWN - November 14, 2013

A group of 23 United States senators has asked President Barack Obama to intervene on behalf of Saeed Abedini, a US citizen who was born in Iran and was sentenced in January to eight years in an...

Cardinal Bertone’s support for European unification lauded CWN - November 14, 2013

A former president of the European Parliament took part in a press conference introducing a newly published collection of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s speeches and lauded the former Vatican Secretary...

Proposed ban on religious garb introduced in Quebec parliament CWN - November 14, 2013

Bernard Drainville, Quebec’s Minister Responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship, has formally introduced controversial legislation that would prevent “personnel members of...

US bishops pledge to resist ‘heavy burden’ of HHS mandate CWN - November 14, 2013

At the conclusion of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall meeting, the bishops of the United States issued a special message strongly confirming their opposition to the HHS...

Hawaii legalizes same-sex marriage CWN - November 14, 2013

Following votes of 30-19 in the state house and 19-4 in the state senate, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed legislation that makes Hawaii the fifteenth state to legalize same-sex marriage. “It is...

Missionary priest kidnapped in Cameroon CWN - November 14, 2013

A French missionary priest was kidnapped in Cameroon on November 13, the Fides news service reports. Father Georges Vandenbeusch, a Fidei Donum priest who has worked in the region for 3 years,...

Church group decries political killings in Haiti CWN - November 14, 2013

A Catholic Church group in Haiti has denounced “the distribution of weapons in popular areas for political reasons,” the Fides news service reports. Pointing to a list of 179 murders in recent...

Italian prosecutor fears organized-crime threat against Pontiff CWN - November 14, 2013

An Italian prosecutor has warned that organized-crime leaders may target Pope Francis for assassination. Nicola Gratteri, who has fought the ‘Ndrangheta crime syndicate in the Calabria region,...

Pope warns against curiosity, credulity for visionary apparitions CWN - November 14, 2013

During his homily at a weekday Mass on November 14, Pope Francis warned against the “spirit of curiosity,” in remarks directed at those who place their faith in extraordinary claims and in reported...

Pope visits Italian president CWN - November 14, 2013

On November 14, Pope Francis crossed Rome to visit Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, making the first state visit of his pontificate to the Quirinal Palace. Arriving in a simple Ford sedan,...

USCCB asks prayers, fasting for adoption CWN - November 14, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, November 15, that “birthparents placing their children with adoptive...

Released Friday, Nov. 15

Haitian bishops deplore rising political violence CWN - November 15, 2013

The Commission for Justice and Peace of the Haitian bishops’ conference issued a report on November 13 denouncing rising violence in the nation’s capital, Agence France-Presse reported. Between...

Missionary warns: Philippine typhoon orphans ripe for child trafficking CWN - November 15, 2013

Father Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary in the Philippines and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, warned that the children made orphans by Typhoon Haiyan are in danger of becoming victims of human...

Leading Nigerian prelate: ‘discover the African brand of Christianity,’ learn about Islam CWN - November 15, 2013

In a recent address to a diocesan synod, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria called upon Christians to “discover the African brand of Christianity and Islam” and learn about...

Hong Kong cardinal denounces Chinese government’s oppression of the Church CWN - November 15, 2013

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who served as bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009, has again deplored the Chinese government’s persecution of the Church. Citing the “dictatorship of the...

Jesuit superior general commemorates 200th anniversary of Society’s restoration CWN - November 15, 2013

The superior general of the Society of Jesus, the Church’s largest male religious institute, has issued a letter commemorating the upcoming bicentennial of the institute’s restoration by Pope Pius...

Pope Francis: prelate who stresses hermeneutic of continuity is best interpreter of Vatican II CWN - November 15, 2013

“The best hermeneutics of the Second Vatican Council” has been done by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Pope Francis said in a letter dated October 7 and released November 12. The Pontiff wrote the...

Illinois bishop plans exorcism ritual as Illinois recognizes same-sex marriage CWN - November 15, 2013

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has announced that he will conduct prayers of exorcism at the city’s cathedral on November 20, the date when Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign...

Catholic education leader defends support for Common Core, receipt of Gates funds CWN - November 15, 2013

The president of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) has defended his group’s support for the adoption of Common Core educational standards by Catholic schools, as well as the group’s...

Jewish hospital decries bid to ban religious garb in Quebec CWN - November 15, 2013

The Jewish General Hospital in Montreal has announced that it would defy a proposed law to ban distinctively religious apparel in public institution in Quebec. Noting that the law would prohibit...

Pope, ailing with head cold, presides at bishop's ordination CWN - November 15, 2013

Suffering from a head cold, Pope Francis cancelled his audiences for Friday morning, November 15, but rallied to preside at the episcopal consecration of the new secretary of the Vatican City...

India: professor charged with blasphemy against Islam is acquitted CWN - November 15, 2013

A Christian professor in India who was accused of blasphemy against Islam and subsequently mutilated by Muslim extremists has been cleared of all charges. T. J. Joseph, a professor at Newman...

International aid, solidarity buoy spirits of storm survivors in Philippines CWN - November 15, 2013

The international outpouring of Catholic support for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and especially the expressions of solidarity from Pope Francis, have made Filipinos “proud to be Catholic,” a...

European bishops urge coordinated, humane EU policies on immigration CWN - November 15, 2013

The Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has called for European immigration policies that show “greater flexibility and a sensitivity to human needs.” After a...

Ugandan bishops lobbying for papal visit in 2014 to honor Ugandan martyrs CWN - November 15, 2013

The Catholic bishops of Uganda are pushing for a visit by Pope Francis to their nation in 2014, when they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the canonization of the Ugandan...

Pope's Repubblica interview removed from Vatican web site CWN - November 15, 2013

The text of a controversial interview with Pope Francis which appeared in the Italian daily La Repubblica has been removed from the Vatican’s web site. The interview, conducted by Repubblica’s...

French bishops acknowledge and decry 'spiritual abuse' in some ecclesial communities CWN - November 15, 2013

The president of the French bishops’ conference has issued a public response to calls for recognition of the “human damage” caused by ecclesial movements that were guilty of abusive...

In Argentina, future Pontiff was chief opponent of same-sex marriage, legislator recalls CWN - November 15, 2013

An Argentine lawmaker has recounted how the future Pope Francis led opposition to a proposal to recognize same-sex marriage while he was serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Lilliana Negre, a...

Released Monday, Nov. 18

Pope Francis recalls Paraguayan martyrs on 25th anniversary of canonization CWN - November 18, 2013

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, as his special envoy to the Mass that closed a national Paraguayan pilgrimage to venerate the...

Vatican newspaper: Pope Francis’s appearance, like St. Francis Xavier’s, gains hearing for the Gospel CWN - November 18, 2013

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Father Cristian Martini Grimaldi compared Pope Francis to St. Francis Xavier in his ability to adapt himself to the cultural situation in order to gain a hearing for...

English bishops issue statements on poverty, school admissions CWN - November 18, 2013

At their annual November meeting, the bishops of England and Wales issued brief statements on poverty and admissions to Catholic schools. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, apostolic nuncio to Great...

USCCB committee chairman speaks out against payday loans CWN - November 18, 2013

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, called upon the executive director of the...

Hong Kong cardinal: Holy See should be more supportive of underground Church in China CWN - November 18, 2013

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who served as bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009, called upon the Holy See to take a clearer stance in favor of faithful Catholic communities in China that are not...

Raiders attack Nigerian Christian villages CWN - November 18, 2013

Two largely Christian villages near the central Nigerian city of Jos have recently suffered attacks from Muslim raiders, according to a news service that reports on the persecution of...

Georgia bishops: don’t cut domestic, international food aid CWN - November 18, 2013

In an op-ed piece that appeared in the Savannah Morning News, Georgia’s bishops urged Congress not to enact funding cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as...

President Obama issues statement for Sikh festival CWN - November 18, 2013

President Barack Obama has issued a statement for the festival of the birth of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism. “This sacred time is an occasion to reflect on Guru Nanak’s timeless...

German bishop pays settlement to avoid prosecution for false testimony CWN - November 18, 2013

A German bishop has paid €20,000 ($27,000) to avoid prosecution for giving false testimony under oath. Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who in October was removed from his post as head of the...

Disfigured man 'felt only love' when embraced by Pope Francis CWN - November 18, 2013

The disfigured man who was embraced by Pope Francis in an iconic photograph said that I felt only love” during the encounter. Vinicio Riva, whose body is covered with tumors because...

Pope repeats Christ's caution against false messiahs CWN - November 18, 2013

Christians must not be “deceived by false messiahs” or fearful about the end of the world, Pope Francis told his midday audience on Sunday, November 17. Citing the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus...

Scottish priest who wrote of 'lavender mafia' is suspended; parishioners revolt CWN - November 18, 2013

A Scottish Catholic priest who wrote a book about homosexual influence in the clergy has been suspended from ministry, and in response his parishioners boycotted a Mass celebrated by the apostolic...

Pope dispenses 'medicinal' rosaries CWN - November 18, 2013

At his Angelus audience on Sunday, November 17, Pope Francis distributed 20,000 rosaries packed in small vials to resemble medicine. “It is a spiritual medicine called Misericordina,” the Pope...

New Secretary of State takes office CWN - November 18, 2013

Archbishop Pietro Parolin began his work as the Vatican’s new Secretary of State on November 18, in a debut that was delayed by surgery. Archbishop Parolin had been scheduled to take office on...

New papal document expands powers of Financial Intelligence Authority CWN - November 18, 2013

The Vatican has released a new motu proprio by Pope Francis expanding the powers of the Financial Information Authority (FIA). Established in 2010 by Pope Benedict, the FIA exercises supervisory...

Ernst & Young chosen to audit Vatican economic, administrative policies CWN - November 18, 2013

The Vatican has contracted with the accounting firm of Ernst & Young to perform an audit of Vatican economic activities and management practices. The London-based firm was selected to perform the...

Papal phone call comforts a traditionalist critic CWN - November 18, 2013

Pope Francis has placed a personal phone call to a traditionalist Catholic writer who had criticized the Pontiff, assuring the journalist that he knew his criticisms were motivated by love for the...

Release of apostolic exhortation will mark conclusion of Year of Faith CWN - November 18, 2013

More than 8 million pilgrims have visited the Vatican to pray at the tomb of St. Peter during the Year of Faith. At a November 18 press conference outlining plans for the final events of the Year...

Mission work is essence of the Church, Pope says CWN - November 18, 2013

Missionary outreach is “the paradigm of all pastoral action,” Pope Francis said in a video message to participants in a pilgrimage organized by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and other...

Chilean terrorists charged in bombing at Spanish basilica CWN - November 18, 2013

A Spanish court has charged 2 Chileans with the October bombing of the basilica of Our Lady of Pilar in Zaragoza. The two defendants, Monica Andrea Caballero Sepulveda and Francisco Javier...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 19

USCCB laments effects of potential federal budget cuts; ‘we can do better’ on foreign aid CWN - November 19, 2013

In a letter to the leaders of a House-Senate conference committee on the federal budget, Bishop Stephen Blaire and Bishop Richard Pates lamented the effects of potential decreases in spending on...

Muslim British cabinet member laments persecution of Christians CWN - November 19, 2013

In an address at Georgetown University, Sayeeda Warsi, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Faith and Communities and Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, lamented...

Curial congregation denies report it doesn’t pay property taxes CWN - November 19, 2013

The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has denied an Italian press report that it did not pay the Italian municipal property tax (IMU) on its revenue-generating assets. “It would be...

Report: Boko Haram enslaving Nigerian Christian women, forcing them to convert CWN - November 19, 2013

The Nigerian Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is kidnapping Christian women, enslaving them as “brides,” and forcing them to convert to Islam, the Reuters news agency reported. “The...

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to late Doris Lessing CWN - November 19, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has published a tribute to Doris Lessing, the British writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007 and died on November 17. Writing in the Vatican newspaper, Giulia...

Pope Francis denounces ‘adolescent progressivism,’ calls Lord of the World prophetic CWN - November 19, 2013

During his homily at Mass on November 18, Pope Francis called the first chapter of the First Book of Maccabees “one of the saddest pages in the Bible” because “a great part of the people of God...

Without respect for the elderly, society has no future, Pope tells congregation CWN - November 19, 2013

A society that fails to treat elderly people with respect has no future because it is destroying its own memories, Pope Francis warned the congregation at a morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae...

New York Catholic school scrubs talk by homosexual-chastity advocate CWN - November 19, 2013

A Catholic high school in New York has indefinitely postponed a scheduled appearance by a priest representing Courage, the organization that encourages chastity for those who are attracted to...

Prosecutor in Dominican Republic concludes former nuncio abused 5 boys CWN - November 19, 2013

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have concluded that the former apostolic nuncio there, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, was guilty of molesting at least five boys. Archbishop Wesolowski was...

Restoration of Roman catacombs continues; virtual tours online CWN - November 19, 2013

At a November 19 press conference, Vatican officials updated reporters on the restoration of the catacombs of Priscilla and the excavation work in the basilica of San Silvestro. In a 5-year...

Inter-religious dialogue should promote 'intelligence of heart,' cardinal says CWN - November 19, 2013

Inter-religious dialogue should promote an “intelligence of heart” that respects the dignity of every person and the mystery of that person’s relationship with God, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said...

Vatican conference to focus of treatment of elderly with dementia CWN - November 19, 2013

The 28th international conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, to be held at the Vatican next week, will focus on care for the elderly, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s...

New York archdiocese planning new parish closings CWN - November 19, 2013

The Archdiocese of New York is planning a new round of parish closings, the Wall Street Journal reports. The archdiocese, which closed 27 parishes in 2007, now has 368 parishes. Church officials...

Chinese 'underground' priests arrested as Communist Party meeting approaches CWN - November 19, 2013

Two priests of China’s “underground” Catholic Church were arrested in October for organizing adult catechism classes and still remain in custody, the AsiaNews service reports. Father Tian Dalong...

Staff reductions likely for Roman Curia? CWN - November 19, 2013

Some Vatican officials expect a major reduction in the staff of the Roman Curia, with priests who are now serving on the Vatican staff being returned to their diocese, the Catholic News Agency (CNA)...

Archbishop of Canterbury invites ecumenical group, founded by Catholics, to live and pray at his residence CWN - November 19, 2013

The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited an ecumenical prayer group with Catholic roots to take up residence in Lambeth Palace. Four members of the Chemin Neuf community, which was established in...

Cuban cardinal seen poised to resign after over 30 years as head of Havana archdiocese CWN - November 19, 2013

Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino has resigned from his post as vice-president of the Cuban bishops’ conference, in a move that almost certainly points toward his imminent resignation as Archbishop of...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 20

Ghana’s bishops see urgent need for evangelization CWN - November 20, 2013

Despite “packed” churches, Ghana is in urgent need of a new evangelization, the nation’s bishops said in a November 15 statement. “The Christian faith reached the shores of Ghana over 500 years...

Amid military takeover of stores, Venezuela’s bishops lament corruption CWN - November 20, 2013

As Venezuela’s struggling economy becomes even weaker, the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference denounced “usury, corruption, and speculation.” The Associated Press reported that under the leadership...

Lebanese president: Christians should not rely on foreign powers, autocratic regimes CWN - November 20, 2013

President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon urged Christians not to seek protection in foreign powers, autocratic regimes, or alliances with other minorities, the Beirut-based Daily Star and the Fides news...

Vatican newspaper rues ‘psychological and social attack’ on childhood CWN - November 20, 2013

In commemoration of Children’s Day, which is celebrated in some places on November 20, L’Osservatore Romano has published an essay by an Italian neonatologist denouncing the “terrible psychological...

Cost of annual retirement care for US religious tops $1 billion CWN - November 20, 2013

The “total cost of care for senior women and men religious” topped $1.1 billion in 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated in a press release on the annual Retirement...

Catholic organizations sponsor fast for immigration reform CWN - November 20, 2013

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Franciscan Action Network, and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious have joined over two dozen...

Pope recommends Confession, identifies priests as 'servants of God's forgiveness' CWN - November 20, 2013

“God never tires of forgiving us,” Pope Francis told his weekly public audience on November 20. Recommending regular use of sacramental Confession, the Pope told his audience that he makes a...

Israeli premier urges Palestinians to 'end the stalemate,' plans to meet with Pontiff CWN - November 20, 2013

Israeli's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has challenged his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, to recognize the state of Israel, saying that a formal recognition would “put an end to the...

Pope asks prayers for cloistered religious on November 21, feast of Presentation CWN - November 20, 2013

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on November 20, Pope Francis ask for prayers for monks and nuns living in cloistered communities. November 21 is the feast of the Presentation,...

Ukrainian Catholic leader sees growth of 'bottom-up' ecumenism CWN - November 20, 2013

Ecumenism is growing “from the bottom up,” the leader of the world’s largest Eastern-rite Catholic Church said in an interview with Vatican Insider. Major Archbishop Svatoslav Shevchuk of the...

Church of England moves toward allowing female bishops CWN - November 20, 2013

The general synod of the Church of England has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposal to allow female bishops, just a year after a similar proposal fell just short of approval. If it gains...

Papal condolences for flood victims in Sardinia CWN - November 20, 2013

Pope Francis has sent his condolences and promised his prayers to the victims of flooding in Sardinia. In a telegram message to Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari, the president of the...

Former envoys protest plan to move US embassy to the Vatican CWN - November 20, 2013

Five former US ambassadors to the Holy See are objecting to a plan to relocate the embassy, reports John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Allen discloses that a contract has already been...

Released Thursday, Nov. 21

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to abstract expressionist New York School CWN - November 21, 2013

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to Jackson Pollock and other members of the New York School of abstract expressionist painters of the 1950s. Reviewing a Milan museum’s exhibition of works...

Turkish official wants Hagia Sophia to become mosque; Greece reacts sharply CWN - November 21, 2013

Bülent Arinç, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, said that the famed Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul should again become a mosque – prompting a sharp reaction from Greece’s foreign...

French official praises papal teaching on environment CWN - November 21, 2013

Nicholas Hulot, a French environmentalist who has served as President François Hollande’s “special envoy for the protection of the planet” since December, said that papal teaching on the environment...

Vatican message for World Fisheries Day CWN - November 21, 2013

The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has issued a message for World Fisheries Day, which is commemorated on November 21. “In recent years, the fishing...

South Sudan’s bishops rue corruption, tribalism CWN - November 21, 2013

The bishops of South Sudan have expressed concern about political corruption and ethnic tensions in the world’s newest nation. In 2011, South Sudan, which is largely Christian and animist, became...

Christians fleeing Iraq amid ‘surge of bloodshed’ CWN - November 21, 2013

Increasing numbers of Christians are emigrating from Iraq despite statements from the Chaldean Catholic patriarch exhorting them to stay. The “tenuous optimism after a brief improvement in...

Prelate criticizes legislators who cite Pope in justifying same-sex marriage CWN - November 21, 2013

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage lamented the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois and criticized...

Sex-abuse lawsuit names treatment facility as defendant CWN - November 21, 2013

A Minnesota attorney has filed a sex-abuse lawsuit against the St. Luke Institute in Maryland, charging that staff failed to provide warning that a priest who had been treated there might remain a...

Most Americans—and most Catholics—favor right to suicide in extreme cases, new poll says CWN - November 21, 2013

Most Americans, and most self-described Catholics, believe that individuals have a right to end their own lives when they are suffering from a painful and incurable illness, according to a Pew Forum...

Pope visits cloistered nuns for feast of Presentation CWN - November 21, 2013

Pope Francis traveled across Rome to the convent of Sant’Antonio Abate on November 21, to celebrate the feast of the Presentation with the cloistered religious there. At a solemn Vespers service,...

Pope ‘will not rest’ while Christians are endangered in Middle East CWN - November 21, 2013

“We must not resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians,” Pope Francis said as he met on November 21 with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern churches in...

Bishop performs exorcism rite as same-sex marriage comes to Illinois CWN - November 21, 2013

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, performed an exorcism ritual on November 20, as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation allowing for legal recognition of same-sex marriage....

USCCB issues final call for prayers, fasting for religious liberty CWN - November 21, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, November 22, that “the right to religious liberty may be honored and...

Obamacare channels new funds to Planned Parenthood CWN - November 21, 2013

The implementation of President Barack Obama’s new health-care plan has provided new streams of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the Heritage Foundation notes in a new study. The...

End funding for destructive embryo research, European bishops' group urges EU CWN - November 21, 2013

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has called upon the European Parliament to end government financing of research that involves the destruction of human...

Pending Irish legislation on assisted reproduction seen as attack on family CWN - November 21, 2013

New legislation that will allow provide access to in vitro fertilization for unmarried couples is “the most far-reaching attack on the natural rights of children this country has seen in a very long...

Released Friday, Nov. 22

Amid escalating violence, Mexican prelate urges people to remain indoors CWN - November 22, 2013

As citizen vigilantes in Morelia take up arms to defend themselves against drug cartels, the archbishop urged the people of the central Mexican city of 730,000 to “to take shelter and be careful...

Madagascar’s bishops lament corruption, gap between rich and poor, ‘gender theory’ CWN - November 22, 2013

As a December 20 runoff presidential election approaches, the bishops of Madagascar denounced corruption and the divide between the rich and the poor. Pointing out that “money exists but is not...

China tweaks 1-child policy CWN - November 22, 2013

The Communist Party of China’s Central Committee has “given the green light to couples wanting to have two children if one of them is an only child,” Xinhua, the nation’s official news agency,...

Vatican newspaper recalls Kennedy assassination CWN - November 22, 2013

In a L’Osservatore Romano article marking the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Father Robert Imbelli recalled Catholic life in the United States in the...

British court upholds ban on Christian radio ad CWN - November 22, 2013

The second-highest English court has upheld a regulatory agency’s decision to ban a proposed radio advertisement, according to a report by Huffington Post UK and the Press Association. The banned...

CDF official calls for ‘robust’ apologetics CWN - November 22, 2013

In a lecture delivered at Westminster Cathedral on November 19, the assistant secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called for “robust” apologetics in the face of...

Italian journalist admits inaccuracies in controversial papal interview CWN - November 22, 2013

The Italian journalist whose interview with Pope Francis caused an international sensation has revealed that he made up some of the answers that he attributed to the Pope. Eugenio Scalfari, the...

Turn to God for answers after typhoon, Pope urges Filipino pilgrims CWN - November 22, 2013

Pope Francis suggested that the people of the Philippines, ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, should ask God: “Why?” By turning to God with child-like simplicity, the Pope said, “you will attract toward...

Christianity could become extinct in Britain, says former Archbishop of Canterbury CWN - November 22, 2013

A former Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the Christian faith could be “a generation away from extinction” in England. Lord Carey, who was leader of the Church of England from 1991 to...

Dioceses win injunction against enforcement of Obamacare mandate CWN - November 22, 2013

The Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania, have won a federal court injunction to block the enforcement of the HHS contraceptive mandate. Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that the dioceses,...

Eastern Catholic leaders speak on migration, inter-religious dialogue CWN - November 22, 2013

The Congregation for Eastern Churches concluded its annual meeting in Rome on November 22, with a statement noting the “harmonious climate” that had prevailed in talks among the leaders of the...

Church social teachings help faithful avoid being 'slaves to money,' Pope says CWN - November 22, 2013

The social teachings of the Catholic Church help people to avoid the temptations toward “becoming slaves to money,” Pope Francis said in a video message to a conference on Catholic social doctrine,...

Pope meets with premier of Bosnia-Herzegovina CWN - November 22, 2013

Pope Francis met on November 22 with Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had revolved around...

New York mayor-elect includes clergy, but not Catholic priest, on transition team CWN - November 22, 2013

New York’s Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio has assembled a transition team that includes two Jewish rabbis, two Protestant ministers, and a Muslim imam, but no Catholic priests. Bill Donohue, the...

Papal reflections on rugby's lessons for life CWN - November 22, 2013

Meeting on November 22 with the national rugby teams of Italy and Argentina, Pope Francis reflected on the importance of running toward a goal—in life as in sports. The idea of running toward a...

Released Monday, Nov. 25

Southern African bishops decry threats to marriage, family CWN - November 25, 2013

At the conclusion of their triennial meeting, the bishops of nine southern African nations decried threats to marriage and family life, the Fides news agency reported. While the bishops of IMBISA...

Leading Nigerian prelate: ‘Pentecostal churches not a threat’ CWN - November 25, 2013

Nigeria’s leading prelate said during an address in Rome that “the existence of many Pentecostal churches is no impediment to the evangelization mission of the Catholic Church in Nigeria, and...

Nicaraguan bishops denounce Ortega regime’s proposal to change constitution CWN - November 25, 2013

The bishops of Nicaragua have denounced a plan by the nation’s ruling party to amend the constitution to allow presidents to serve an indefinite number of terms. President Daniel Ortega, a leader...

Melkite Patriarch: stop arming Islamist Syrian rebels CWN - November 25, 2013

The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has told the Fides news agency that “foreign forces must stop supporting and arming”...

Pope, other Christian leaders recall Ukrainian famine-genocide CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis and other religious leaders recalled the eightieth anniversary of the Holodomor (“extermination by hunger”), the Stalin-era famine in which an estimate 3.0-3.5 million Ukrainians...

Pope Francis echoes Pope Benedict, underlines continuity of Council of Trent, Vatican II CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis has embraced the ‘hermeneutic of reform’ that Pope Benedict XVI proposed as the key to interpreting the teachings of Vatican II. In a letter dated November 19 and released November...

Concluding Year of Faith, Pope hails Christ the King CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis marked the conclusion of the Year of Faith by celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square on November 24, the feast of Christ the King. The solemn Eucharistic celebration included four...

Witness of faith is strongest in times of trial, Pope tells Vatican volunteers CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis held a private audience on November 24 to thank volunteers who had served at the Vatican during the Year of Faith, and told them that faith is “the “as it motivates the decisions and...

Preserve the first vigor of faith, Pope urges catechumens CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis met on November 23 with a group of over 500 catechumens, representing 47 different countries, who are preparing for reception into the Catholic Church. The ceremony—one of the final...

Italian bishops to elect own conference leaders under Pope's proposed reforms CWN - November 25, 2013

A plan by Pope Francis to allow the Italian bishops to select their own leaders has drawn praise from the current head of the episcopal conference—although the change could lead to his...

Scottish archbishop: disgraced cardinal will not return CWN - November 25, 2013

The new Archbishop of Edinburgh, Scotland, has told reporters that he does not expect further Vatican action against his predecessor, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned in disgrace earlier this...

Famed sermon by Ukrainian Catholic prelate is 'extremist' literature, Russia rules CWN - November 25, 2013

A famous sermon delivered in 1900 by a leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has been classified as “extremist” literature, the Forum 18 news service reports. The sermon entitled “The True...

Indian cardinal lauds 'small Christian communities' as evangelical option CWN - November 25, 2013

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India has praised the work of small Christian communities, suggesting that they may fulfill the vision of Pope Francis for a livelier evangelical spirit in the...

German bishop: allow Communion for divorced/remarried, despite Vatican disapproval CWN - November 25, 2013

A German bishop has said that the country’s episcopal conference will move forward with plans to allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, despite clear disapproval from the...

Survey finds no 'Francis effect' in US Catholic attendance figures CWN - November 25, 2013

There is no statistical evidence of a “Pope Francis effect” driving more people into the Catholic Church in the US, according to a survey by the Pew Forum. A Pew study conducted from March...

Ugandan prelate speaks about reported plot on his life CWN - November 25, 2013

Speaking out for the first time about a reported plot against his life, a Ugandan prelate has said that his opponents should send him their complaints rather than planning to kill...

Pope lauds Olympic ideal, frowns on exploitation of athletes CWN - November 25, 2013

Pope Francis paid tribute to the spirit of amateur athletic competition during a November 23 meeting with representatives of the Olympic committees of European nations. The spirit of friendly...

Dublin archbishop: Church was too slow to respond to abuse complaints CWN - November 25, 2013

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that Church leaders were “all too slow” to respond to complaints of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Speaking on the 10th anniversary of the office...

Paraguay's president meets with Pontiff CWN - November 25, 2013

Paraguay’s President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara met with Pope Francis on November 25, for a conversation that centered on Church-state relations, the fight against poverty and corruption, and human...

Putin visits Pope Francis; Syria tops agenda CWN - November 25, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on November 25. The quest for peace in Syria topped the agenda during their 35-minute conversation. A brief Vatican statement...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 26

Cardinal disputes report that Boko Haram is enslaving Christian women CWN - November 26, 2013

Without mentioning the Reuters news agency by name, Nigeria’s leading prelate has disputed a report that the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is enslaving Christian women as “brides” and...

Turkish Protestant pastor arrested CWN - November 26, 2013

A Turkish Protestant pastor has been arrested on charges of prostitution and human trafficking, according to multiple media reports. Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the...

Report: Islamist militants invade Syrian city, detain Christians CWN - November 26, 2013

Islamist militants attacked and occupied the predominantly Christian city of Deir Atiyah, destroyed its archeological museum, took hospital patients hostage, and have begun to detain Christians, the...

Canadian academic discusses rising anti-Catholicism CWN - November 26, 2013

In an op-ed piece that appeared in Canada’s most popular newspaper, a Canadian academic wrote that her ideas are increasingly being dismissed simply because she is Catholic. Margaret Somerville...

USCCB president welcomes court decision on HHS mandate CWN - November 26, 2013

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed a federal district court’s decision that blocked enforcement of the HHS mandate against two Pennsylvania dioceses and...

Up to 300,000 Christians have left Egypt CWN - November 26, 2013

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, said that up to 300,000 Christians have left the country since the Arab Spring uprising led to the resignation of President Hosni...

Pope Francis issues major document on evangelization (link to full text) CWN - November 26, 2013

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [Joy of the Gospel], one of the most important papal documents on evangelization of the past five decades. The...

US Supreme Court to hear challenges to contraceptive mandate CWN - November 26, 2013

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases challenging to the contraceptive mandate in the "Obamacare" health policy. In a conference on November 26, the justices decided to hear two cases...

Papal trip to Holy Land is set for next year, but dates still not fixed CWN - November 26, 2013

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem has said that Pope Francis definitely plans to visit the Holy Land, although a date has not been set. “It’s certainly that he will be coming, but...

Pope Francis gives us a blueprint for his pontificate [News analysis] CWN - November 26, 2013

[News Analysis by CWN Editor Phil Lawler] With his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis gives the world not only a guide to the “new evangelization” but also an outline of his...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 27

Asian prelate: culturally insensitive proselytism is leading to persecution CWN - November 27, 2013

An influential Asian prelate said that a culturally insensitive proselytism associated with Pentecostal sects and some Catholic movements is provoking opposition to Jesus Christ and his...

Vatican abuse prosecutor addresses questions on Bishop Finn, former apostolic nuncio CWN - November 27, 2013

In his first extended interview since becoming the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice in 2012, Father Robert Oliver addressed questions involving accountability for...

Colombian rebels ban celebration of Mass CWN - November 27, 2013

FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the Marxist rebel group that has fought the Colombian government for five decades, has limited access to the sacraments in the southwestern department...

Sudan: Christian, Muslim women face flogging for ‘indecent’ dress CWN - November 27, 2013

In enforcing sharia law, Sudanese authorities flog hundreds of Christian and Muslim women each year for “indecent or immoral dress,” said Robert George, chairman of the US Commission on...

USCCB awards nearly $950,000 to Church in Africa CWN - November 27, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has awarded $948,000 in grants to 38 projects. The subcommittee awarded $1.05 million in grants to 39...

4 Christian villages attacked in Nigeria; 37 dead CWN - November 27, 2013

Heavily armed raiders conducted nighttime attacks on four predominantly Christian villages in central Nigeria, leaving 37 dead, according to multiple media reports. News reports stated that the...

Church attacked in Algeria CWN - November 27, 2013

A Protestant church in southern Algeria has been attacked for the third time since 2010, according to World Watch Monitor, which reports on the persecution of Christians. “A group of people tried...

Pope encourages Ukrainian Catholics to work 'every day' for Church unity CWN - November 27, 2013

At the conclusion of his general audience on Wednesday, November 27, Pope Francis offered a special greeting to pilgrims from Ukraine, who were in Rome for the conclusion of the Year of...

South Korean priest's challenge to government draws angry reaction CWN - November 27, 2013

The Archbishop of Seoul, Korea, has appealed for calm, but defended the right of the Church to comment on public issues, after a priest’s complaints against the government prompted an angry reaction...

Death is not the end, Pope reminds audience CWN - November 27, 2013

As he nears the conclusion of a series of weekly talks on the Apostle’s Creed, Pope Francis devoted his public audience on November 27 to the resurrection of the body. Death is frightening, the...

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