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Catholic World News

Stories for January 2014

Released Thursday, Jan. 2

Give thanks, ask God’s forgiveness, Pope says in year-end homily CWN - January 2, 2014

In his last homily of 2013, Pope Francis preached on the Christian vision of time and challenged Romans to become more active citizens. Citing St. John, Pope Francis told those present that we...

Pope: the faithful have always been devoted to the Mother of God CWN - January 2, 2014

In his first homily of 2014, Pope Francis recalled that “Mary has always been present in the hearts, the piety and above all the pilgrimage of faith of the Christian people.” The title “Mother of...

Pope Francis: efforts for peace and justice begin at home CWN - January 2, 2014

In his January 1 Angelus address, Pope Francis said that the same Holy Spirit who made the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary fruitful also inspires the efforts of peacemakers. Recalling the theme...

USCCB president urges President Obama to grant relief from HHS mandate fines CWN - January 2, 2014

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked President Barack Obama not to implement the fines imposed by the HHS mandate, which went into effect for many religious...

Priest murdered in California CWN - January 2, 2014

A priest of the Diocese of Santa Rosa was found murdered in his rectory when he failed to show up for Mass on January 1, according to multiple media reports. Ordained in 1990, Father Eric Freed...

USCCB committee chair: immigration reform creates economic win-win situation CWN - January 2, 2014

Writing for the blog of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration argued that “immigration reform is a win-win for both immigrant...

Supreme Court justice stays enforcement of HHS mandate CWN - January 2, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary stay of enforcement of the HHS mandate, granting a request with Catholic plaintiffs. Taking action just before the HHS mandate was due to...

6.6 million attended papal audiences, ceremonies in 2013 CWN - January 2, 2014

More than 6.6 million people attended Vatican liturgical ceremonies and audiences at which Pope Francis presided in 2013, the Vatican has announced. The prefecture of the papal household reported...

Released Friday, Jan. 3

Patriarch appeals for calm in Iraq CWN - January 3, 2014

Amid rising violence in Iraq, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church appealed for calm. “From a national, religious and moral prospective, we appeal to all parties in the nation, in these...

Ecumenical Patriarch stresses importance of family CWN - January 3, 2014

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople emphasized the importance of the family and the dignity of the unborn child in his Christmas encyclical letter. “The Lord assumed and sanctified all of...

Lutherans begin monthly climate fast CWN - January 3, 2014

The Lutheran World Federation – the Lutheran umbrella organization whose members include 142 Lutheran ecclesial bodies in 79 nations – has begun a monthly day of fasting for climate justice. The...

USCCB: pray, fast for those challenging the HHS mandate CWN - January 3, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 3, for the following intention: “that all those who are...

Russian Orthodox Church: repentance must precede baptism of babies born to surrogate mothers CWN - January 3, 2014

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has issued a statement on the baptism of infants born to surrogate mothers. After expressing sympathy for spouses struggling with infertility, the...

Human rights organization reports on imprisonment of religious believers CWN - January 3, 2014

A European human rights organization has issued a report on the imprisonment of religious believers in 24 nations. “The present list comprises hundreds of prisoners that were behind bars in 2013...

Philippine bishops’ president: ‘wake up, Catholic laity’ CWN - January 3, 2014

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines challenged laity to become less passive and make clear that the lay vocation and mission does not consist in liturgical...

Pope makes surprise visit to St. Mary Major CWN - January 3, 2014

Pope Francis made an unannounced visit to the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major on January 1 and prayed before the beloved image of the Virgin Salus Populi Romani. “The private visit, which was...

New Jersey: college president’s mansion to become bishop’s home CWN - January 3, 2014

The Diocese of Camden has purchased a former college president’s mansion as the home of its new bishop, who was installed in February. Rowan University sold the 7,000-square-ft. home to the...

Malaysia: protests planned outside churches on Sunday; priest burned in effigy CWN - January 3, 2014

Malaysia’s largest political party, the United Malays National Organization, has planned Sunday protests outside churches in Selangor, one of the nation’s 13 states, according to Malaysian media...

Pope calls for updated rules on ties between bishops, religious orders CWN - January 3, 2014

During a November 29 session with leaders of religious orders, Pope Francis called upon men and women religious to “wake up the world,” and said that existing Church rules governing the relations...

22 Church workers slain worldwide in 2013 CWN - January 3, 2014

In the year 2013, 22 Church workers were killed, the Fides news service reports. That total nearly doubles the toll of 13 pastoral workers who suffered violent deaths in 2012. In its annual...

Jesuits are restless to evangelize, Pope says in Mass at Jesuit church in Rome CWN - January 3, 2014

Celebrating Mass on January 3 at the Gesu, the Jesuit church in the heart of Rome, Pope Francis said that the Jesuit order is marked by a “restless” spirit—“a restlessness that is also apostolic, so...

Obama administration urges court to uphold HHS mandate against Little Sisters of the Poor CWN - January 3, 2014

The Obama administration has asked the US Supreme Court to deny an appeal by the Little Sisters of the Poor, and force the religious order to comply with the new federal mandate requiring insurance...

Italian cardinal decries propaganda campaign to redefine marriage CWN - January 3, 2014

In a strongly worded homily that he delivered on December 29, the feast of the Holy Family, the Archbishop of Bologna, Italy has decried the campaign to redefine marriage, saying that laws regarding...

Militant Islam threatens Nigeria first, then all Africa, Catholic bishop warns CWN - January 3, 2014

“If Nigeria falls to Islamic extremists, all of Africa will be at risk,” a Nigerian Catholic bishop has warned. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo,...

Suspect arrested in murder of California priest CWN - January 3, 2014

Police in California have made an arrest in connection with the New Year’s Eve murder of a Catholic priest. Father Eric Freed died after a “violent struggle” at his rectory, police disclosed,...

Released Monday, Jan. 6

Indonesian Christian politician: remove religion from national ID cards CWN - January 6, 2014

A prominent Christian politician in Indonesia has called for the removal of religion from national identification cards, according to a Jakarta Globe report. All Indonesians are required to...

Bishop urges international community: don’t destroy Syria CWN - January 6, 2014

As representatives of 30 nations and four organizations prepared for a January 22 conference on the Syrian conflict, a Syrian bishop urged the international community not to “destroy” the...

Kidnapped missionary priest released in Cameroon CWN - January 6, 2014

A kidnapped French missionary priest who assisted Nigerian refugees in Cameroon has been released following six weeks in captivity, Agence France-Presse reported. Boko Haram, the Islamist...

More court victories against HHS mandate CWN - January 6, 2014

In recent days, federal courts have issued injunctions barring enforcement of the HHS mandate, which compels most employers to offer insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and some...

US bishop to make solidarity visit to Middle East CWN - January 6, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, is making an...

Sharia will not be main source of law in new Tunisian constitution CWN - January 6, 2014

The parliament of Tunisia has decided not to make Sharia the main source of law in the nation’s new constitution, Agence France-Presse reported. The North African nation has taken an increasingly...

USCCB announces novena for life around Roe anniversary CWN - January 6, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that a novena for life will take place around the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. “On January 22, 2014 our nation...

Pope will visit Holy Land in May CWN - January 6, 2014

Pope Francis will visit to Holy Land in May 2014, making a 3-day visit that will include stops in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. The Pope’s trip will take place May 24 to 26....

Pope curbs use of title 'monsignor' CWN - January 6, 2014

Pope Francis has cut back severely on the use of the honorary title “monsignor” for Catholic priests. Shortly after his election, Pope Francis instructed the Secretariat of State to stop...

Vatican spokesman scolds journalists who report papal 'opening' on same-sex unions CWN - January 6, 2014

The Vatican press office has decried attempts by some Italian journalists to portray a comment by Pope Francis as an opening to approval of same-sex unions. In a November 29 address to religious...

God's love, light of truth seek out believers, Pope says at Epiphany CWN - January 6, 2014

Celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s basilica on the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Francis said that the Magi “teach us how to defend ourselves against the darkness that seeks to envelope our lives.” In...

Pope will help Rio pay debt from World Youth Day CWN - January 6, 2014

Pope Francis will contribute $5 million to pay off debts from the celebration of World Youth Day in Brazil last year. The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, which hosted the international event,...

God's offer of grace is never closed, Pope tells Sunday audience CWN - January 6, 2014

“God is always present to raise up new men to purify the world from sin that ages and corrupts it,” Pope Francis assured his public audience on Sunday, January 5. The reality of the...

Spanish cardinal rumored to be Pope's choice to head commission on Vatican bank CWN - January 6, 2014

Pope Francis will name a Spanish prelate, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, to chair the commission of cardinals supervising the work of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR),...

Philadelphia cleric released after child-endangerment conviction is reversed CWN - January 6, 2014

Msgr. William Lynn, the Philadelphia archdiocesan official whose conviction on child-endangerment charges was overturned by a unanimous appeals court, has been released after 18 months in...

Egypt's president in rare visit to Coptic Orthodox leader CWN - January 6, 2014

Egyptian interim president, Adly Mansour, paid a rare visit to the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church on January 5. Mansour met with Coptic Pope Tawadros II at the cathedral of St. Mark in...

Benedict leaves Vatican to visit elder brother in Rome hospital CWN - January 6, 2014

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI made a rare trip outside the walls of the Vatican to visit his older brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, in a Roman hospital this past weekend. Msgr. Ratzinger was confined...

Former Swiss Guard member claims prelates made advances CWN - January 6, 2014

A former member of the Swiss Guard has claimed that he was the target of sexual advances made by a number of Vatican officials. Speaking under condition of anonymity, the former Guard told a...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 7

Father Enrique Pozzoli: the priest who most influenced Pope Francis’s family CWN - January 7, 2014

In 1990, Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio set down in writing his recollections of Father Enrique Pozzoli, a Salesian priest who died in 1961. The English edition of L’Osservatore Romano has published a...

Vatican cardinal explains why Pope Francis canonized St. Angela of Foligno CWN - January 7, 2014

In an interview published in L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints discussed why Pope Francis canonized St. Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) in October. St....

Miami archbishop: raise the minimum wage CWN - January 7, 2014

Writing in the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun-Sentinel, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and...

Dutch prelate suggests slain bishop could be patron saint of abuse victims CWN - January 7, 2014

A Dutch prelate has said that a missionary bishop slain in China in 1937 could be considered the patron saint of abuse victims, Agence France-Presse reported. Upon closing the diocesan phase of...

Pope views enactment of Nativity at Roman parish CWN - January 7, 2014

Pope Francis traveled to the north of Rome on Monday afternoon, January 6, to see a live Nativity scene enacted at the parish of St. Alphonsus Liguori. The Pope greeted each of the parishioners...

American priest expelled from Jesuit order CWN - January 7, 2014

An American priest, Father John Dear, has been expelled from the Jesuit order. Father Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Society of Jesus, informed Father Dear that he was being...

Noted journalist John Allen to leave National Catholic Reporter, join Boston Globe CWN - January 7, 2014

John Allen, the noted journalist who has covered the Vatican for years for the National Catholic Reporter, will be leaving that weekly paper to take a new post with the Boston Globe. Allen will...

Expert analyst certifies authenticity of 'Third Secret of Fatima' document CWN - January 7, 2014

A Portuguese expert has concluded that the document on which the famous Third Secret of Fatima is written is unquestionably authentic. Professor Maria José Azevedo Santos, a paleographer at...

Test the spirits, Pope urges faithful CWN - January 7, 2014

“Test the spirits to see if they really come from God, because many false prophets have come into the world,” Pope Francis urged the congregation at daily Mass on Tuesday, January 7. The Holy...

Pennsylvania official admits theft of $340,000 from diocese CWN - January 7, 2014

A former official of the Scranton, Pennsylvania diocese has entered a guilty plea on felony charges of stealing over $340,000 in church funds. Sharon Ann Warunek was dismissed from her post at...

Patriarch of Constantinople calls prelates to prepare for Pan-Orthodox Synod CWN - January 7, 2014

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has called together the patriarchs and metropolitans of the Orthodox world to prepare for a Pan-Orthodox Synod in 2015. The Ecumenical Patriarch,...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 8

Mexico: priest dies following beating; another priest missing CWN - January 8, 2014

The bishop of Ciudad Victoria, a northeastern Mexican city of 300,000, revealed that one of his priests has been missing since November 3, according to Milenio, one of the nation’s leading...

Christian leaders call for international intervention to end South Sudanese conflict CWN - January 8, 2014

Christian leaders in South Sudan – a largely Christian and animist nation that gained its independence from the Muslim nation of Sudan in 2011 – have called for international intervention to end a...

Kazakhstan: Christians fined for ‘extremist’ literature CWN - January 8, 2014

Two Protestants in Kazakhstan have been fined a month’s worth of wages for possessing “extremist” literature, the Forum 18 News Service reported. The majority of the books discussed Islam and the...

Report: up to 600,000 Christians have fled homes in Syria CWN - January 8, 2014

Up to 600,000 of Syria’s 2.2 million Christians have fled their homes and are now either refugees or internally displaced persons, according to Aid to the Church in Need. In all, 1.8 million...

Central African Republic: prelate distributes food as US envoy holds meeting CWN - January 8, 2014

Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the Central African Republic’s leading prelate, has played a key role in the distribution of food to a crowd of over 100,000 people who have fled their homes in the...

Christian village attacked in Nigeria; 30 dead CWN - January 8, 2014

Gunmen attacked a Christian village in central Nigeria on January 6, according to wire service reports. Daniel Dem, a local lawmaker, said that 30 people died in the attack. In addition, 40 homes...

2nd employee at Catholic school plans same-sex marriage; school CEO says she is welcome to stay CWN - January 8, 2014

A part-time employee of a Seattle-area Catholic school has announced that she is planning a same-sex wedding in August – and the school’s president and CEO says that she is “welcome” to stay,...

Learn and celebrate the day of your Baptism, Pope urges faithful CWN - January 8, 2014

At his public audience on January 8, the first general audience of the calendar year, Pope Francis inaugurated a new series of catechetical talks, devoted to the sacraments. Noting that the...

'Base communities' offer instrument for evangelization, Pope writes CWN - January 8, 2014

In a message to the 13th Inter-ecclesial Meeting of the Basic Ecclesial Communities, Pope Francis said that the small groups should show “a new evangelical impulse and the capacity to relate to the...

Former Irish president raps Church stand on homosexuality CWN - January 8, 2014

Ireland’s former president, Mary McAleese, has denounced the Catholic Church for condemning homosexual acts. “I don’t like my Church’s attitude to gay people,” McAleese said. “I don’t like ‘love...

Egypt's defense minister applauded by Coptic congregation CWN - January 8, 2014

The head of Egypt’s armed forces drew applause from a congregation of Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas in Cairo on January 7. Coptic Pope Tawadros II mentioned the name of defense...

Vatican astronomer: Galileo case was not science vs. religion CWN - January 8, 2014

In a discussion of the notorious trial of Galileo, a public spokesman for the Vatican Observatory has observed that Church officials were not seeking to suppress science, but rather trying—in a...

Thomas Melady, former US ambassador to Holy See, dies at 86 CWN - January 8, 2014

Thomas Melady, a former US ambassador to the Holy See, died in Washington on January 6 at the age of 86. Melady was named to the Vatican post by President George H. W. Bush in 1989; he served...

Released Thursday, Jan. 9

In South Sudanese conflict, priests save lives of ethnic opponents CWN - January 9, 2014

The South Sudanese conflict, which has claimed over 1,000 lives and displaced 200,000 people since December 14, has pitted members of two ethnic groups – the Dinka and the Nuer – against each other....

Bishop describes horror of Central African Republic conflict CWN - January 9, 2014

In a recent message marking the anniversary of the beginning of the Central African Republic conflict, Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia of Bossangoa, a city of 40,000, recounted the horrors that...

Archbishop warns: even ‘moderate’ rebels want to turn Syria into Islamist state CWN - January 9, 2014

A Syrian prelate warned that “moderate” rebel factions wish to turn the nation into an Islamist state. “Christians will be glad if the so-called revolution opens the path to democracy and...

Bangladesh: prelate fears ‘militant and radical Islamism’ as Christians beaten, bomb hits church CWN - January 9, 2014

Amid national unrest, Bangladesh’s leading prelate said that he fears the rise of “militant and radical Islamism.” The nation’s leading opposition party and its allied Islamist parties boycotted...

USCCB, Catholic Charities urge Senate to increase federal minimum wage CWN - January 9, 2014

Echoing comments he made in a recent newspaper column, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development called upon the Senate to...

Legionaries of Christ begin extraordinary general chapter; ‘the first stage of the new Legion’ CWN - January 9, 2014

Nearly four years after Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Velasio de Paolis as his special pontifical delegate to oversee the reform of the Legionaries of Christ, the community has begun an...

USCCB immigration campaign announces ‘national call-in day’ to Congress CWN - January 9, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants campaign announced that January 8 was a “national call-in day to Congress.” The announcement, which was made public on...

Spanish ruling party faces internal opposition on pro-life measure CWN - January 9, 2014

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is facing opposition within his own Popular Party (PP) over proposed legislation that would restore restrictions on legal abortion. Celia Villalobos, the...

North Korea, Somalia, Syria ranked as world's worst persecutors of Christians CWN - January 9, 2014

Persecution of Christians is most severe in North Korea, according to an annual international ranking by an Evangelical Protestant group. Somalia and Syria rank next on the list of most repressive...

Released Friday, Jan. 10

Prominent Malaysian priest may be charged with sedition in ‘Allah’ controversy CWN - January 10, 2014

Malaysian police have recommended that the editor of the nation’s Catholic newspaper be charged with sedition, according to a Malaysian Insider report. Selangor, one of the nation’s 13 states, is...

USCCB: pray, fast for victims of violence CWN - January 10, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 10, “for all victims of violence, that they may receive...

Leading Central African imam takes refuge in archbishop’s home CWN - January 10, 2014

The most prominent Muslim cleric in the Central African Republic is living in the leading Catholic prelate’s home as a refugee, according to multiple media reports. Archbishop Dieudonné...

Distinguishing capitalism from market economy, leading cardinal defends Pope’s economic comments CWN - January 10, 2014

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, a prominent German cardinal defended Pope Francis’s comments about the economy in his recent apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [The Joy of the Gospel]....

Russian Orthodox patriarch laments secularization of Christmas, atheism of the elites CWN - January 10, 2014

Downplaying the authentic religious meaning of Christmas is “a very dangerous tendency,” Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow said in an interview with a Russian television station. “This is a political...

Vatican declines extradition for papal nuncio accused of abuse CWN - January 10, 2014

The Vatican has refused a request from Polish prosecutors for the extradition of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Vatican diplomat who is under investigation for sexual abuse of children in the...

Faith assures victory over world, Pope tells congregation CWN - January 10, 2014

At a morning Mass at the Vatican on January 10, Pope Francis observed that faith can overcome all obstacles, and yet “the Church is full of defeated Christians who do not believe in...

Israeli-Palestinian tensions complicate planning for papal trip to Holy Land CWN - January 10, 2014

An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has warned that “problems of a political nature” must be resolved before Pope Francis travels to the Holy Land in May. Nemer Hammas, the Palestinian...

Pope thanks Vatican ushers, escorts for service CWN - January 10, 2014

Pope Francis met on January 14 with papal ushers and with “Gentlemen of His Holiness,” thanking them for their work in escorting visitors and dignitaries at the Vatican. The ushers, formally...

St. Louis, Chicago archdioceses to disclose names of accused priests CWN - January 10, 2014

A Missouri court has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Louis to release a list of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse. In a related development, the Archdiocese of Chicago is planning the...

Released Monday, Jan. 13

USCCB: reexamine aid to Mexican military CWN - January 13, 2014

The chairmen of two committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called upon Secretary of State John Kerry to reexamine the emphasis on military aid given to Mexico under the...

‘Impossible’ to build new churches in Indonesian province CWN - January 13, 2014

A government official in the Indonesian province of Aceh said that “it is impossible” for the increasing Christian population there to build new churches, according to Khabar Southeast Asia, a...

Panama’s bishops issue election statement CWN - January 13, 2014

The Episcopal Conference of Panama has issued a statement on the upcoming presidential election, which will take place in May. After citing Blessed John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope...

Prince Charles decries persecution of Mideast Christians CWN - January 13, 2014

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the Holy See drew attention to a recent speech in which Prince Charles lamented the persecution of Christians in the Middle...

Book publishing house owned by 12 German dioceses files for bankruptcy CWN - January 13, 2014

Weltbild, a German publishing and bookselling company owned by 12 dioceses and a Catholic welfare organization, has filed for bankruptcy, according to multiple wire service reports. The publisher...

Pope Francis names 19 new cardinals CWN - January 13, 2014

Following his Angelus address on January 12, Pope Francis announced the names of 19 prelates who will become cardinals in the consistory of February 22, the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the...

Vatican reveals investigation of former nuncio; denies refusing extradition CWN - January 13, 2014

A Vatican spokesman has denied a report that the Holy See refused to extradite a Vatican diplomat who has been accused of sexual abuse, and revealed that the Vatican is conducting its own criminal...

Pope discourages lavish celebration for new cardinals CWN - January 13, 2014

In a message to the 19 prelates who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals on February 22, Pope Francis has discouraged “any form of celebration contrary to the evangelical spirit of...

Pope baptizes 32 babies, stresses parents' role in fostering faith CWN - January 13, 2014

Pope Francis baptized 32 babies on Sunday, January 13, and told their parents: “You have the duty of transmitting faith to these children. It is the most beautiful inheritance you can offer...

Italian advocate for disabled children meets with Pontiff CWN - January 13, 2014

Pope Francis met with an Italian lawmaker on Saturday, January 11, to discuss the problems facing parents of seriously disabled children. Ileana Argentin, who is a disabled member of the Italian...

Coptic leader urges Egypt's Christians to vote in constitutional referendum CWN - January 13, 2014

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has encouraged Egypt’s Christians to participate in a constitution referendum this week, saying that a vote is “a duty and a responsibility.” Muslim religious...

Pope thanks donors who support Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical ties CWN - January 13, 2014

Pope Francis met on January 11 with members of the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration with the Orthodox and Oriental Churches, thanking them for their support for ecumenical work. The...

Cameroon, Holy See make new diplomatic pact CWN - January 13, 2014

The Vatican has reached a new diplomatic accord with Cameroon, governing the status of the Church in the African country. The agreement, establishing a framework for Church-state relations, was...

US Supreme Court rejects bid to uphold Arizona law limiting abortions CWN - January 13, 2014

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a defense of an Arizona law that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. By rejecting the state’s appeal, the high court let stand a...

Wire services see papal condemnation of abortion as gesture toward conservatives CWN - January 13, 2014

When Pope Francis condemned abortion in his address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, wire-service reports suggested that the Pope’s statement was a gesture toward disgruntled conservative...

Pope gives top priority to family life in 'State of the World' address CWN - January 13, 2014

In a January 13 address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, Pope Francis cited the words of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, saying that “the language of the family is a language of peace.” Pope...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 14

USCCB backs ‘No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act’ CWN - January 14, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has voiced support for the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act,” which has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Chris...

Bishops of Central African Republic urge: do not take revenge against Muslims CWN - January 14, 2014

As French and African peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic quell the influence of the Islamist Séléka movement, the nation’s bishops urged Christians not to take revenge on...

South Sudanese diocese begins 21 days of fasting for peace CWN - January 14, 2014

A South Sudanese bishop has declared 21 days of prayer and fasting for peace in his strife-torn nation, one of the world’s poorest, according to Anisa Radio, which is part of the Sudan Catholic...

Report: government threatens to revoke registration of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church CWN - January 14, 2014

The government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has threatened to terminate the registration that allows the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to operate legally in the Eastern European...

Street preacher arrested in Scotland after denouncing homosexuality CWN - January 14, 2014

Tony Miano, an American street preacher, has been arrested in Dundee, Scotland, on charges of “alleged breach of peace with ‘homophobic’ aggravation,” the British organization Christian Concern...

Kerry, at Vatican, discussed Middle East, Syria, health-care reform CWN - January 14, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Vatican on January 14, meeting with his counterpart, Archbishop Pietro Parolin. Kerry did not meet with Pope Francis. A brief Vatican statement...

Stockton will become 10th American diocese to file for bankruptcy CWN - January 14, 2014

The Diocese of Stockton, California, will file for bankruptcy this week. Bishop Stephen Blaire, who had warned the faithful in December that diocesan officials had found “no viable option.. other...

Minnesota Church leaders ask court to extend deadline for disclosing names of accused priests CWN - January 14, 2014

Church leaders in Minnesota are asking a court to postpone the deadline for releasing lists of priests accused of sexual abuse, explaining that lawyers need the additional time to challenge the...

Quebec's proposed diversity law would aggravate divisions, says cardinal-elect CWN - January 14, 2014

Quebec’s Archbishop Gerald Lacroix has objected to proposed legislation that would bar public employees from wearing religious symbols in their workplaces. Archbishop Lacroix—who will be elevated...

Vatican conference issues call for immediate ceasefire in Syria CWN - January 14, 2014

Participants in a Vatican-sponsored conference on Syria have called for an immediate ceasefire there. The conference—headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council...

Protestant pastor murdered in India CWN - January 14, 2014

An Evangelical Protestant pastor has been slain by unidentified assailants in India’s state of Andhra Pradesh, in the latest of a series of acts of violence against that country’s Christian...

Harley motorcycle donated to Pope Francis will be auctioned CWN - January 14, 2014

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was donated to Pope Francis last year will be auctioned in February by the Bonham auction house in London. The Dyna Super Glide model was presented to Pope...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 15

US prelate visits Cuba CWN - January 15, 2014

A Chicago auxiliary bishop is visiting two Cuban dioceses to examine pastoral projects that have received funding from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “It is important that the...

Archbishop Cordileone backs State Marriage Defense Act CWN - January 15, 2014

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has expressed strong support...

Study: 24 nations have ‘very high’ government restrictions on religion CWN - January 15, 2014

The number of nations with “very high” government restrictions on religion rose from 20 in 2011 to 24 in 2012, according to a new study published by the Pew Research Center. Most of these nations...

Prelate discusses restrictions on Church in Tunisia CWN - January 15, 2014

In interview with the Fides news agency, Tunisia’s sole prelate discussed the challenges the Church faces in the officially Muslim state. In 1964, amid government threats to close every Catholic...

Archbishop Gomez calls for compassion, empathy in immigration debate CWN - January 15, 2014

In two recent talks to civic organizations, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles discussed the plight of immigrants who are present in the United States illegally. “I’m a pastor, not a...

Head of religious order analyzes surprise Philippine cardinal selection CWN - January 15, 2014

The superior general of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate has discussed Pope Francis’s surprise decision to name Oblate Archbishop Orlando Quevedo a cardinal. Archbishop Quevedo, 74, is the...

5 Catholic nonprofits win injunction against HHS mandate CWN - January 15, 2014

A federal district court has granted an injunction barring enforcement of the HHS mandate against five Catholic nonprofit organizations founded by philanthropist Tom Monaghan. The mandate compels...

New Mexico court declares constitutional right to assisted suicide CWN - January 15, 2014

Invoking the state constitution, a New Mexico judge has declared that the state’s residents have a right to physician-assisted suicide. “This court cannot envision a right more fundamental, more...

Pope overhauls commission of cardinals supervising Vatican bank CWN - January 15, 2014

Pope Francis has thoroughly overhauled the commission of 5 cardinals who supervise the work of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Vatican announced on January 15 that...

Pope-emeritus hosts 90th birthday celebration for elder brother CWN - January 15, 2014

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, celebrated his 90th birthday at the Vatican on January 15. After morning Mass at the Mater Ecclesiae residence, where the...

Ukraine Catholic leader: government threats will not intimidate Church CWN - January 15, 2014

The leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has vowed that his clergy will not be deterred by the government’s threat to revoke the registration of the Byzantine-rite body. The Ukrainian Catholic...

Every Christian must be a missionary, Pope tells Wednesday audience CWN - January 15, 2014

All baptized Catholics are ““missionary disciples, called to bring the Gospel to the world,” Pope Francis told his weekly public audience on January 15. Having begun a series of weekly talks on...

Jesuit-run university to host lecture by excommunicated, laicized priest CWN - January 15, 2014

The Jesuit-run University of Santa Clara has scheduled a lecture appearance by a former Maryknoll priest who has been expelled from his order, excommunicated, and laicized, the Cardinal Newman...

Released Thursday, Jan. 16

USCCB committee chair calls upon Congress to permit Syrian refugees to enter nation CWN - January 16, 2014

Noting that the number of Syrian refugees has risen from 550,000 in October 2012 to 2.3 million today, the chairman of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration urged the...

Cardinal encourages Catholics to take part in novena of prayer, penance for life CWN - January 16, 2014

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the United Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, encouraged Catholics to take part in a novena of prayer, penance, and...

Judge declares Oklahoma’s marriage amendment unconstitutional CWN - January 16, 2014

Oklahoma’s marriage amendment, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, is unconstitutional because it is “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens...

Christians not being targeted in Bangladesh violence, says prelate CWN - January 16, 2014

Bangladesh’s leading prelate said that “Christians are not being targeted by Islamic radicals” in post-election violence. Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka – who said that last week that he...

New Korean cardinal speaks of the evangelization of China, North Korea CWN - January 16, 2014

A South Korean prelate who will become a cardinal on February 22 spoke of the evangelization of North Korea and China in an interview with the Fides news ageny. “Through God’s call, I will pray...

Mixed signals from Ukrainian government to Church following threat to legal status CWN - January 16, 2014

The Ukrainian government has sent mixed signals to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church after it threatened to revoke the registration that allows the Eastern-rite body to operate legally. The...

UN panel grills Vatican officials on sex-abuse policies CWN - January 16, 2014

Vatican officials faced a “grueling” questioning on Church sex-abuse policies on January 16 when they appeared before a UN committee on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the...

God has prepared the harvest, Pope says in message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations CWN - January 16, 2014

In his annual message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reminds the faithful that God plants the seeds of vocations, and exhorts all Catholics to “listen to and follow Jesus,...

Vatican moving to cut costs of canonization process CWN - January 16, 2014

The Vatican has taken steps to limit the costs of a cause for canonization, giving bishops a list of the expenses they can expect to incur in promoting a candidate for sainthood. Cardinal Angelo...

Vatican document denies link between faith and violence CWN - January 16, 2014

Combating the common charge that religion is a cause of violence and warfare, the International Theological Commission has issued a document stressing that Christian belief is inherently...

Released Friday, Jan. 17

USCCB: pray, fast that we may serve poor while living out fullness of faith CWN - January 17, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 17, for the following intention: “that we can continue to serve...

Background: Pope Francis’s message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees CWN - January 17, 2014

On January 19, the Church observes the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a commemoration instituted by St. Pius X. Pope Francis’s message for the day, written in August and released the...

Background: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CWN - January 17, 2014

In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William O’Connell of...

Syrian Christian beheaded by jihadists CWN - January 17, 2014

Five armed jihadists beheaded a Syrian Christian after they observed that he was wearing a cross around his neck, according to the Fides news agency. Fides, the news service of the Congregation...

Egyptian voters approve new constitution backed by Coptic Christians CWN - January 17, 2014

An estimated 90% of Egyptian voters have approved a new constitution that had the support of the nation’s Coptic Christian community. The Muslim Brotherhood had called for a boycott of the...

Texas: student fundraising effort saves small Catholic college CWN - January 17, 2014

A student online fundraising effort raised $300,000 for the College of Saints John Fisher & Thomas More, ensuring its continued existence for another semester, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram...

Pope Francis laments Church scandals, harm caused by corrupt clergy CWN - January 17, 2014

At a Mass concelebrated with two cardinals, including Cardinal Roger Mahony, Pope Francis denounced the harm caused by clerical scandals. In its summary of the January 16 weekday Mass homily,...

400 priests laicized in 2 years under Benedict XVI, AP learns CWN - January 17, 2014

Nearly 400 Catholic priests were laicized in a 2-year period during the pontificate of Benedict XVI because of sexual abuse of children, according to a Vatican document obtained by the Associated...

Syrian Catholic prelate urges global prayer campaign for peace CWN - January 17, 2014

Syria’s leading Catholice prelate has called for “a global prayer campaign for peace in Syria, the Holy Land, the Arab world and the whole world.” Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham,...

Attorney General ignores Supreme Court instruction on Utah marriage law, Archbishop Cordileone charges CWN - January 17, 2014

The Attorney General of the United States acting against both law and Supreme Court precedent by authorizing federal recognition of same-sex marriages in Utah, charges the chairman of the US...

Private papers of Bl. John Paul II to appear in book form CWN - January 17, 2014

The private papers of Blessed John Paul II will be published in February in book form, despite the late Pontiff’s instructions that they should be burned. In his final testament, Pope John Paul...

Ecumenical witness is crucial in secularized world, Pope says CWN - January 17, 2014

Meeting on January 17 with an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church in Finland, Pope Francis said that ecumenical work is “a spiritual process, which is carried out in faithful obedience to...

Visiting bishops call for action to address 'man-made disaster' in Gaza Strip CWN - January 17, 2014

A delegation of Catholic bishops visiting the Holy Land has called for international action to address a humanitarian emergency in the Gaza Strip. The situation in the Gaza Strip is “a man-made...

Farm animals brought to St. Peter's Square for annual blessing CWN - January 17, 2014

In a traditional observance for the feast of St. Anthony Abbot, dozens of farm animals were brought to St. Peter’s Square on January 17, to receive a blessing from Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the...

Released Monday, Jan. 20

Diocese refiles suit against bankruptcy attorneys CWN - January 20, 2014

The Diocese of Spokane, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2004, has refiled its malpractice lawsuit against its former bankruptcy attorneys, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported. In 2012,...

President Obama, administration officials pay tribute to religious freedom CWN - January 20, 2014

Amid numerous lawsuits asserting that the Obama administration’s HHS mandate is an unconstitutional attack on religious freedom, President Barack Obama paid tribute to religious liberty in a...

USCCB committee chair recalls contribution of Catholic schools CWN - January 20, 2014

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Education, paid tribute to the nation’s Catholic schools in a brief statement issued...

Muslim British cabinet member rues persecution of Christians CWN - January 20, 2014

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Sayeeda Warsi, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Faith and Communities and Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, lamented the...

Oldest Benedictine convent in United States to close CWN - January 20, 2014

The members of the oldest Benedictine convent in the United States have decided to close their convent, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. St. Joseph Monastery in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, now...

French bishops issue statement against euthanasia CWN - January 20, 2014

Amid calls for the legalization of assisted suicide in France, the permanent council of the French episcopal conference has issued a statement against euthanasia. “‘Thou shalt not kill’ remains a...

Vatican's commission completes investigation on Medjugorje, submits report CWN - January 20, 2014

A special Vatican investigative commission has concluded its study of the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, and passed on its findings to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith....

Pope ready to open secret archives of Pius XII? CWN - January 20, 2014

Pope Francis is likely to open the Vatican’s secret archives covering the pontificate of Pius XII before proceeding with the cause for beatification of the wartime Pontiff, according to an...

Former Swiss Guard commander confirms 'gay lobby' at Vatican CWN - January 20, 2014

A former commandant of the Swiss Guard has confirmed the existence of an influential “gay lobby” within the Vatican. “I know from personal experience that the gay lobby exists,” Elmar Mäder, who...

Pope thanks Italian security officials at Vatican CWN - January 20, 2014

Pope Francis thanked the Italian security officers who serve at the Vatican for their “discreet but attentive” work during a private audience on January 20. The Pope told members of the...

Pope visits Roman parish, meets with refugees and homeless CWN - January 20, 2014

On Sunday, January 19, as the Catholic world observed the 100th World Day for Migrants, Pope Francis visited the parish of Sacro Cuore di Gesu, which operates a center housing 400...

Christ, the Lamb, offers a model for docile service, Pope tells audience CWN - January 20, 2014

“There is no other way of defeating evil and sin other than through love,” Pope Francis told the faithful at his midday audience on Sunday, January 19. Commenting on the day’s Gospel, in which...

Recognize broadcasting as public service, Pope encourages Italian state radio-TV officials CWN - January 20, 2014

Pope Francis met on January 18 with representatives of RAI, the Italian state broadcasting network, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The Pope hailed the collaboration between RAI and...

Doctrinal disputes among Orthodox leaders pose problems for ecumenical discussions CWN - January 20, 2014

The calendar year 2014 could furnish exciting new opportunities for ecumenical work with the Orthodox world, but progress may be impeded by disagreements between the world’s most powerful Orthodox...

Chairman of Commission of Cardinals speaks out CWN - January 20, 2014

In an unusually candid interview with a German newspaper, the chairman of the Commission of Cardinals advising Pope Francis has said that: The Commission will recommend the creation of a new...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 21

USCCB: remember workers when discussing Pacific free-trade agreement CWN - January 21, 2014

As the United States Congress discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that potentially involves 13 nations, the chairman of two committees of the United States Conference of...

Myanmar: prelate asks for return of confiscated land, schools CWN - January 21, 2014

The leading prelate in Myanmar (Burma) has asked the government to return Church land and schools that were confiscated by the military regime that ruled the nation from 1962 to 2011. The regime...

Prelate urges Malaysia’s Catholics to remain strong in face of opposition CWN - January 21, 2014

The apostolic administrator of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, has urged the nation’s Catholics to be courageous in the face of increasing opposition. Malaysian police have recommended that the...

Obama to meet with Pope Francis in March CWN - January 21, 2014

US President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27, the White House has announced. The January 21 announcement indicated that Obama would visit the Vatican during a...

Suspended Vatican official hit with new money-laundering charges CWN - January 21, 2014

A suspended Vatican official who is already on trial for alleged financial improprieties now faces new criminal charges of money-laundering. Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, who is living under house arrest...

Polish archives show KGB smear campaign against bishop who was Solidarity chaplain CWN - January 21, 2014

Newly released documents from the archives of Poland’s former Communist regime show that secret police conducted a campaign to destroy the reputation of the late Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk of...

Chicago archdiocese releases abuse documents CWN - January 21, 2014

The Chicago archdiocese, acting on a court order, has released thousands of internal documents involving the handling of sex-abuse complaints against priests. The documents illustrate a...

God chooses the small, Pope reminds weekday congregation CWN - January 21, 2014

God “always chooses those who are small” as his special instruments, Pope Francis told a congregation at morning Mass on January 21. “He chooses the weak and gentle to confuse the powerful people...

Ireland will re-open embassy at the Vatican CWN - January 21, 2014

The Irish government has announced plans to re-open its embassy at the Vatican, which was closed in 2011 at the peak of a diplomatic conflict between Dublin and the Holy See. In November 2011 the...

Cardinal Dolan: abortion advocates, not pro-lifers, are 'obsessed' CWN - January 21, 2014

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has responded forcefully to charges that the Catholic Church is engaged in a “war on women,” and reflected on the statement by Pope Francis that Catholics should...

Pope blesses lambs in traditional gesture for feast of St. Agnes CWN - January 21, 2014

Following an old Vatican tradition, Pope Francis marked the feast of St. Agnes on January 21 by blessing the lambs whose wool will be used for the palliums that are conferred upon new metropolitan...

Spanish cardinal-designate sparks outrage by saying homosexuality is 'defective' CWN - January 21, 2014

A Spanish prelate who will receive a cardinal’s red hat from Pope Francis next month has provoked an uproar by describing homosexuality as “a defective way of manifesting sexuality.” Archbishop...

Vatican conference encourages ministry to seafarers CWN - January 21, 2014

Greeting participants to a Vatican-sponsored conference on the Apostolate of the Sea, the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants said that seafarers and their families should be shown “the...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 22

Bishops pray for peace, harmony between Peru, Chile CWN - January 22, 2014

As the International Court of Justice prepares to render a decision in a maritime border dispute between Chile and Peru, bishops in both nations have called for prayers for peace and harmony, the...

Maronite patriarch denounces terrorist bombing CWN - January 22, 2014

The head of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, joined Lebanese politicians and the nation’s grand mufti in denouncing a terrorist car...

Oregon: bakery owners violated civil rights in refusing to make wedding cake for lesbian couple CWN - January 22, 2014

Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries has ruled that Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery near Portland, violated a non-discrimination law when its owner refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian...

Ukrainian Catholic leader pleads: ‘Stop the bloodshed’ CWN - January 22, 2014

Amid continued civil unrest in Ukraine, the head of the largest Eastern Catholic church has appealed for an end to violence, according to a Religious Information Service of Ukraine report. “With...

Russian Orthodox leader calls upon international community to work for religious freedom in Syria CWN - January 22, 2014

On the eve of the Geneva II Middle East peace conference, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church pleaded for peace in Syria and urged the nations taking part in the conference to protect the...

Jerusalem patriarchate laments anti-Christian graffiti CWN - January 22, 2014

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem lamented the appearance of anti-Christian graffiti on the walls of a Catholic institution. “This is not the first time that graffiti ‘calling for the expulsion...

Scotland: high court overturns priest’s conviction CWN - January 22, 2014

The highest criminal court in Scotland has overturned the conviction of Father Mark Paterson, a Carmelite friar found guilty in 2006 of indecent assault. “The university’s Catholic Society...

Seattle Catholic school leader resigns amid same-sex marriage controversy CWN - January 22, 2014

Sister Mary Tracy, the president and CEO of a Seattle-area Catholic school, has resigned amid continued controversy over the dismissal of the school’s vice principal. In December, Mark Zmuda, the...

Faith gives perspective on financial problems, Pope tells world economic leaders CWN - January 22, 2014

In a message to the international leaders gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the 44th World Economic Forum, Pope Francis has urged that economic policy decisions should be made “taking into...

Bishop del Portillo, first prelate of Opus Dei, to be beatified in September CWN - January 22, 2014

Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, who succeeded St. Josemaria Escriva as the worldwide leader of Opus Dei, will be beatified on September 27 in Madrid. Having worked for years to establish Opus Dei as...

End the scandal of division among Christians, Pope pleads CWN - January 22, 2014

“There is no other word for it: the divisions between Christians are a scandal,” Pope Francis told his general audience on January 22. Breaking from his series of weekly talks on the sacraments...

Pro-life activists brave cold to join March for Life CWN - January 22, 2014

Tens of thousands of American pro-lifers joined in the March for Life in Washington on January 22, undeterred by bitter cold temperatures and a snowstorm earlier in the week that had complicated...

Vatican bank hopes to resume ties with Italian financial institutions CWN - January 22, 2014

The Vatican bank is hoping to resume normal cooperative agreements with Italian financial institutions, after implementing a series of reforms to address concerns about money-laundering. Italian...

Pope may visit Korea this year CWN - January 22, 2014

Pope Francis is considering a trip to South Korea this year, the Vatican has disclosed. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that a papal trip could...

Pope urges Geneva conference to find path to peace in Syria CWN - January 22, 2014

At the conclusion of his regular public audience on Wednesday, January 22, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Syria, directing his message to participants in the Geneva peace talks that...

Coptic Catholic bishops pleased with Egypt's new constitution CWN - January 22, 2014

Egypt’s Coptic Catholic bishops expressed their support for a new national constitution in interviews with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Bishops Kyrillos William Samaan of Assiut, Upper Egypt;...

Released Thursday, Jan. 23

President Obama reaffirms support for Roe v. Wade CWN - January 23, 2014

President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws protecting unborn human life. Since 1973, over 56.6 million...

3 cardinals write essays in Vatican newspaper CWN - January 23, 2014

The Italian-language daily edition of L’Osservatore Romano, which on a given day may publish an article by, or an interview with, an individual cardinal, published essays by three cardinals on...

Vatican Bank president discusses progress in combating money laundering CWN - January 23, 2014

Ernst von Freyberg, the president of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) since February, has told Vatican Radio that the bank has made significant progress in combating money...

Former sedevacantist nuns form new religious community in California CWN - January 23, 2014

A new women’s religious community, the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa, has taken root in northern California with the approval of Bishop Robert Vasa. The community, led by a formerly sedevacantist...

Vatican directs Buffalo bishop not to reduce historic church to profane use; diocese will appeal CWN - January 23, 2014

Siding with former parishioners, the Congregation for the Clergy has decreed that a historic Buffalo parish cannot be reduced to profane use. “In a decree dated Jan. 7, 2014, the Vatican...

Internet is 'gift from God,' Pope writes in message on social communications CWN - January 23, 2014

The media world needs “to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm,” Pope Francis writes in his message for the World Day of Social Communications. In his message the Pope says that...

Name members of 'gay lobby,' Vatican prelate challenges former Swiss Guard leader CWN - January 23, 2014

One of the Vatican’s most influential prelates has challenged the former commandant of the Swiss Guard to name any officials of the Roman Curia who are members of a “gay lobby.” Archbishop Angelo...

Syrian conflict cannot be resoled by arms, Vatican envoy says, urging ceasefire CWN - January 23, 2014

“There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis,” the Vatican’s delegate told an international peace conference in Geneva on January 23. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent...

4,000 incidents of anti-Christian violence in India last year CWN - January 23, 2014

More than 4,000 cases of anti-Christian violence occurred in India last year, according to a report received by the Fides news agency. The “report on persecution in 2013,” prepared cooperatively...

Religious leaders in Central African Republic say government has failed, international help needed CWN - January 23, 2014

The Archbishop of Bangui, in the Central African Republic, has joined with an influential Islamic leader in a plea for international intervention to end bloodshed in the country, saying that the...

Released Friday, Jan. 24

Typical new US religious: 37-year-old cradle Catholic who regularly takes part in Eucharistic adoration CWN - January 24, 2014

The typical religious who professed perpetual vows in 2013 is a 37-year-old cradle Catholic who has three or more siblings and who regularly prayed the Rosary and took part in Eucharistic adoration...

USCCB: pray, fast that we may assist women with unexpected pregnancies CWN - January 24, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 24, for the following intention: “may we accompany women facing...

Cardinal Dolan: support Ukrainian anti-government protestors CWN - January 24, 2014

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has expressed strong support for anti-government protestors in Ukraine. “Last August, I was honored to be part of the dedication of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic...

US military to permit more religious garb CWN - January 24, 2014

The United States military has amended its policies on the wearing of religious garb. “Religious garb that had previously been banned, including head coverings or pendants, is likely to be...

Caritas officials discuss how victims become trapped in human trafficking CWN - January 24, 2014

Officials from various national Caritas organizations discussed how victims of human trafficking become trapped in lives of slavery. Caritas is the Church’s official confederation of relief and...

Detroit priest sentenced on child pornography charges CWN - January 24, 2014

A priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison on child pornography charges, the Detroit News reported. Father Timothy Murray, 63, had been removed from...

Maryland bishops: raise the minimum wage CWN - January 24, 2014

The bishops of Maryland have called upon legislators to raise the state’s minimum wage. “As early as the late 19th century, Pope Leo XIII recognized the principle that workers should be paid a...

Pope may visit US next year CWN - January 24, 2014

Pope Francis may visit the US in 2015, writes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Citing unnamed Vatican officials, Allen reports that the Pope is exploring the possibility of a trip...

French President Hollande speaks with Pope on religious freedom, Syria, marriage CWN - January 24, 2014

French President Francois Hollande met with Pope Francis on January 24, for a talk that centered on religious freedom, but avoided questions about the French leader’s private life. Hollande—who...

Vatican, US mark 30th anniversary of full diplomatic relations CWN - January 24, 2014

As US diplomats celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations with the Holy See, the American ambassador spoke of “phenomenal” relations with the Holy See, but the Vatican’s top foreign-policy...

Think like pastors, Pope urges tribunal judges CWN - January 24, 2014

Speaking on January 24 to judges and other officials of the Roman Rota, Pope Francis urged them: “do not forget that you are pastors.” The Roman Rota, the Vatican’s top appellate court for...

Little Sisters of the Poor win Supreme Court injunction barring enforcement of HHS mandate CWN - January 24, 2014

The Little Sisters of the Poor have won an injunction, issued by the Supreme Court, that temporarily bars the Obama administration from enforcing the HHS contraceptive mandate against them. In a...

Released Monday, Jan. 27

Italian queen beatified CWN - January 27, 2014

Queen Maria Cristina of Savoy (1812-36), whose husband ruled the largest of the Italian kingdoms before national unification, was beatified in Naples on January 25. The daughter of King Victor...

Pope Francis drafting potential encyclical on ecology CWN - January 27, 2014

Pope Francis “has begun work on a draft text on the topic of ecology, which could become an encyclical,” according to a Vatican Radio report. Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See...

US bishops welcome Supreme Court decision on behalf of Little Sisters of the Poor CWN - January 27, 2014

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to extend an injunction barring enforcement of the HHS mandate against the Little...

Judge rules that lawsuit against Legion of Christ over bequest may proceed CWN - January 27, 2014

A federal judge has ruled that the family of a deceased Yale University professor may proceed with a lawsuit against the Legion of Christ. After joining Regnum Christi in 1997, James Boa-Teh Chu,...

Archdiocese sues former insurance company CWN - January 27, 2014

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has filed suit against its former insurance company in an attempt to recover $2.6 million in legal fees related to allegations of clerical sexual abuse. “OneBeacon...

Zambian bishops strongly criticize government intimidation, repression CWN - January 27, 2014

Stating that “the political environment in Zambia today is characterized by manipulation, patronage and intimidation of perceived government opponents,” the nation’s bishops strongly criticized the...

Venezuelan cardinal laments closing of newspapers CWN - January 27, 2014

Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas, Venezuela’s leading prelate, lamented the closure of several newspapers amid a national shortage of newsprint. National Public Radio attributed the shortage to...

Pope: greater role for women in society, but preserve key role in family life CWN - January 27, 2014

Pope Francis expressed his support for “a more capillary and incisive female presence in the Church” during a January 25 audience with members of the Italian Women’s Center. In his address the...

No one excluded from Christ's invitation, Pope reminds Sunday audience CWN - January 27, 2014

Pope Francis told his midday audience on January 27 that “no one is excluded from God's salvation; on the contrary, God prefers to begin in the periphery, with those who are last in line, to reach...

Imitate Christ to restore Church unity, Pope urges ecumenical assembly CWN - January 27, 2014

As the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity came to a close, Pope Francis reminded an ecumenical congregation that "we may may not regard divisions in the Church as something...

Texas hospital ends life support for 'brain-dead' pregnant woman CWN - January 27, 2014

On January 26 a Texas hospital removed life-support systems from a pregnant woman who had been declared "brain dead" in November, ending a long legal battle over the life of the woman and her unborn...

Pope mourns Holocaust victims in letter to rabbi-friend CWN - January 27, 2014

Pope Francis has written a letter describing the Holocaust as a disgrace in human history. The letter was read aloud at a January 27 concert in Rome marking Holocaust Memorial Day. The Pope's...

Blood of Bl. John Paul II stolen from Italian church CWN - January 27, 2014

A reliquary containing the blood of Blessed John Paul II was stolen from a church in Italy on January 26. The reliquary, along with a crucifix, was found missing after a break-in at the little...

Vandals strike at New Jersey church CWN - January 27, 2014

Vandals seriously damaged several statues at Catholic parish churches in Vineland, New Jersey in incidents reported on January 23 and 24. The vandals apparently targeted the two churches on...

Finland's tiny Catholic community expanding, will open new parish CWN - January 27, 2014

Amid frequent reports that Catholic churches are being shut in Europe, the Diocese of Helsinki, Finland, has confirmed plans to open a new parish in Kuopio, the largest city in eastern...

8 candidates advance toward beatification CWN - January 27, 2014

The Vatican has issued a series of decrees advancing the causes of 8 candidates for beatification. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with the approval of Pope Francis, issued a decree...

Ukrainian protests aim to purge lingering totalitarian influence, bishop says CWN - January 27, 2014

Demonstrators who are challenging the Ukrainian government in Kiev are not only opposing a move away from the European community, but also battling to remove the lingering influence of the old...

Vatican announces early resignation of prominent Melkite archbishop in Israel CWN - January 27, 2014

In a surprise move, Pope Francis has accepted the early resignation of a prominent Melkite Catholic archbishop in Israel. The Vatican announced on January 27 that the Pontiff had accepted the...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 28

US bishops, CRS receive over $50M for aid to typhoon victims CWN - January 28, 2014

In the two months following Typhoon Haiyan, special collections undertaken by bishops in the United States have raised “$7.2 million for humanitarian relief and church rebuilding and $2.9 million...

Vatican official surveys developments in relations with Oriental Orthodox CWN - January 28, 2014

An official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has surveyed developments over the past year in relations with the Oriental Orthodox churches. These churches, which ceased to...

Ukrainian Catholic leader: anti-government protestors have strong support from the people CWN - January 28, 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that the protests that began in the Eastern European nation in November are not an ordinary political dispute between the governing party and the...

Prelate: Peru, Chile are example in resolving international disputes CWN - January 28, 2014

Chile and Peru are an example to the world in how to resolve international disputes, the president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference said after the International Court of Justice rendered a...

Syrian Orthodox archbishop: Christian increasingly being targeted by rebels CWN - January 28, 2014

A leading Syrian Orthodox archbishop told Fox News that Christians are increasingly coming under attack by Syrian rebel factions. “At the beginning of the Syrian crisis we didn’t have a real...

Gunmen attack Catholic parish in Nigeria, kill 22 CWN - January 28, 2014

Gunmen bombed and fired upon a Catholic parish in Borno State, which is located in northeastern Nigeria, and killed 22 worshippers, according to a Reuters news agency report. The gunmen also...

Legionaries, at chapter general, split on calls for complete reform CWN - January 28, 2014

The general chapter of the Legion of Christ, which is now taking place in Rome, has seen considerable disagreement about the degree of reform that is needed in the troubled order, John Allen of the...

Syrian prelate hopes refugees will remain in Middle East CWN - January 28, 2014

Syria’s leading Catholic prelate has voiced misgivings about refugee programs that are helping Christian families from Syria resettle in the West, saying that it is better if they remain in the...

Pope: be open to exultant 'prayer of praise' CWN - January 28, 2014

All Christians should be open to spontaneous, joyful, exultant prayer—the “prayer of praise”—Pope Francis said in his homily at a Mass on January 28. Reflecting on the day’s reading from the...

Stop Israeli construction of 'security wall' on Palestinian lands, bishops urge CWN - January 28, 2014

After a visit to the Holy Land, a group of Catholic bishops from the West has issued a call for international pressure to stop the construction of an Israeli “security wall” through Palestinian land...

Ousted German bishop was victim of liberal pressure, magazine article argues CWN - January 28, 2014

Writing in Crisis magazine, Marie Meaney argues that the removal of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from the Diocese of Limburg, Germany, was prompted primarily by the hostility of liberal...

New secretary for College of Cardinals CWN - January 28, 2014

Pope Francis has named the Brazilian Archbishop Ilson de Jesus Montanari, who is now serving as the secretary to the Congregation for Bishops, to double as secretary for the College of...

Nun, 2 other anti-nuclear activists fined for break-in at weapons facility CWN - January 28, 2014

Three anti-nuclear activists, including an elderly Catholic nun, have been ordered to pay $53,000 in damages after being convicted for breaking into and damaging a top-security government facility...

Precious manuscript, stolen from Turin archdiocese, recovered in Florida CWN - January 28, 2014

Law-enforcement officials in Florida have found a precious manuscript that was stolen in Italy 25 years ago, and will restore it to the Archdiocese of Turin. The manuscript, a richly illustrated...

Released Wednesday, Jan. 29

US bishops file brief in support of companies that object to HHS mandate CWN - January 29, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two family-owned...

Molotov cocktails thrown at parish in Malaysia CWN - January 29, 2014

After banners proclaiming, “Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah” were placed outside five Malaysian churches without the consent of the pastors, one of the churches was attacked with Molotov...

Canadian ambassador: Ukrainian government is targeting Catholics for persecution CWN - January 29, 2014

Canada’s ambassador for religious freedom told reporters that the government of Viktor Yanukovych is targeting the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church for persecution. The Globe and Mail reported...

European court rules that Irish government must compensate abuse victim CWN - January 29, 2014

Overturning a decision by the Supreme Court of Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Irish government failed to protect a woman from sexual abuse by a lay teacher nearly 40...

Vatican newspaper emphasizes actions to save Rome’s Jews during Holocaust CWN - January 29, 2014

L’Osservatore Romano published three articles in its January 29 edition recounting the actions of Rome’s priests and religious to save Jews during the Holocaust. Jewish historian Anna Foa...

Sri Lanka’s Christians protest Buddhist attacks on churches CWN - January 29, 2014

In the wake of two recent Buddhist attacks on Protestant churches, more than 2,000 Sri Lankan Christians joined in a protest in Colombo, the nation’s capital, to urge the government to do more to...

Vatican to issue medals for canonization of John XXIII, John Paul II CWN - January 29, 2014

The Vatican will issue special medals to commemorate the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. The medals, which will be issued March 3, will feature profiles of the two Pontiffs on...

Do not ignore religious aspect of Boko Haram terrorism, says Nigerian cardinal CWN - January 29, 2014

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "The government has spent billions to purchase all kinds of gadgets. No matter the amount of money spent it cannot solve the problem of security", said His Eminence...

South African Catholic newspaper condemns anti-homosexual laws CWN - January 29, 2014

A Catholic newspaper in South Africa has published an editorial condemning “draconian legislation” against homosexuals in some African countries, the Fides news service reports. The Southern...

Policeman killed in new assault on Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt CWN - January 29, 2014

Islamic militants attacked a Coptic Orthodox church in Giza, Egypt on January 28, and a police officer who responded to the disturbance was killed by gunfire. Police arrested two men, both...

God's love reveals truth, Pope says in message to Pontifical Academies CWN - January 29, 2014

“Faith knows because it is tied to love, because love itself brings light.” Pope Francis made that point in his message of the 18th public session of the Pontifical Academies, held at the Vatican on...

Pope Francis denounces usury CWN - January 29, 2014

Pope Francis denounced usury as “a dramatic social ill” in his public remarks at the end of his general audience in January 29. As he does each week, the Pope acknowledged several different...

At audience, Pope highlights importance of Confirmation CWN - January 29, 2014

During his general public audience on January 29, Pope Francis reminded Catholic parents that their children should be confirmed. Continuing his series of weekly talks on the sacraments, the...

Released Thursday, Jan. 30

Holy See, Malta revise concordat on marriage CWN - January 30, 2014

Following the recent legalization of divorce in Malta, the Holy See and the Mediterranean island nation have amended their 1993 concordat. Under the previous terms of the concordat, the decisions...

Prelate urges Kerry to speak up for Palestinian Christians affected by Israeli security wall CWN - January 30, 2014

Following his return to the United States from a visit to the Holy Land, the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)...

House passes ‘No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act’ CWN - January 30, 2014

In a 227-188 vote, the US House of Representatives has passed the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. Expressing his support for the legislation, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of...

Coptic Catholic patriarch congratulates Egyptian military leader CWN - January 30, 2014

The head of the Coptic Catholic Church offered his congratulations to the head of the Egyptian armed forces following his promotion to field marshal. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who orchestrated the...

German cardinal criticized for remarks on Muslims CWN - January 30, 2014

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne told members of the Neocatechumenal Way that “I always say one of your families replaces three Muslim families” – prompting criticism from political and Muslim...

Vatican spokesman criticizes Rolling Stone article, defends Pope Benedict CWN - January 30, 2014

The director of the Holy See Press Office criticized the negative portrayal of Pope Benedict in a recent Rolling Stone cover story on Pope Francis. “Unfortunately, the article disqualifies...

Catholic Charities ‘encouraged,’ ‘heartened’ by president’s State of the Union address CWN - January 30, 2014

Catholic Charities USA has issued a statement welcoming President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. “Catholic Charities USA was encouraged by President Obama’s State of the Union...

Pope challenges Notre Dame to safeguard Catholic identity CWN - January 30, 2014

Pope Francis issued an unambiguous call for Catholic universities to support the teachings of the Church, in a January 30 meeting with directors of the University of Notre Dame. The Pope spoke of...

Impossible to be close to Christ but not the Church, Pope says CWN - January 30, 2014

In his homily at a morning Mass on January 30, Pope Francis recalled the remark of Pope Paul VI that it is absurd for a believer to say that he is close to Christ but distant from the Church. The...

Pope's choice to direct Financial Information Authority seen as reformer CWN - January 30, 2014

Pope Francis has named a new president for the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (FIA), in another step to establish a new team to supervise the Vatican’s financial affairs. Bishop...

Foundation preserves memories of Detroit's parochial schools CWN - January 30, 2014

A Michigan man has set up a non-profit foundation to preserve the history of Detroit’s parochial schools. The Detroit Catholic School Heritage Project is collecting photos, yearbooks, and other...

Indiana 'exorcism' story makes skeptics into believers CWN - January 30, 2014

Local police and state officials were convinced that a family in Gary, Indiana suffered from the effects of demonic possession, the Indianapolis Star reports. Latoya Ammons, a mother of 3...

Suspects arrested, but relic of Bl. John Paul II still missing CWN - January 30, 2014

Italian authorities have recovered a stolen reliquary that contained a relic of Blessed John Paul II, but the contents of the reliquary—a blood-soaked piece of the late Pontiff’s cassock—is still...

Released Friday, Jan. 31

USCCB: pray, fast that students be educated in the fullness of the faith CWN - January 31, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 31, for the following intention: “that we can continue to educate...

Man in same-sex marriage files complaint after Catholic school rescinds job offer CWN - January 31, 2014

A Massachusetts man who is civilly married to another man has filed a complaint with the state’s Commission Against Discrimination after a Catholic school rescinded its job offer. Matthew Barrett...

Report: thousands of Syrian refugees converting to Christianity CWN - January 31, 2014

Christian Aid Mission, a Protestant organization based in Virginia, is reporting that thousands of Syrian refugees are converting to Christianity in Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. “Literally...

Church official in Papua New Guinea warns against population control CWN - January 31, 2014

Noting that Papua New Guinea is the same size as Germany but has one tenth of its population, an official of the nation’s episcopal conference welcomed the country’s 3.1% annual population growth...

Wyoming diocese, college file suit against HHS mandate CWN - January 31, 2014

The Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming Catholic College, and other Catholic organizations in Wyoming have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the HHS mandate. “The mandate...

Irish prime minister apologizes to abuse victim following European court decision CWN - January 31, 2014

Following a European court ruling, Prime Minister Enda Kelly apologized to an abuse victim “for what happened to her” and “for the whole horrendous experience that she had to go through,” the...

2 years after storming of church, 4 Christians released from Iranian prisons CWN - January 31, 2014

Two years after Iranian police stormed an Assemblies of God church and temporarily detained all present, including children, the four church members who received prison sentences have all reportedly...

French chapel designed by famed modern architect vandalized CWN - January 31, 2014

The chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, a famous work of the twentieth-century architect Le Corbusier, was recently vandalized, according to French media reports. The only stained-glass...

Philippines: priest will not face ivory-smuggling charges CWN - January 31, 2014

Law-enforcement officials in the Philippines have dropped an investigation into a priest accused of illegal trafficking in ivory, saying that there is “no sufficient evidence” to justify the...

Vatican bank error threatened accounts of widows, pensioners CWN - January 31, 2014

One of the steps toward financial reform at the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), backfired when the bank accidentally threatened to close the accounts of retired lay Vatican...

Scotland: on appeal, Catholic adoption agency retains charitable status CWN - January 31, 2014

A Catholic adoption agency in Scotland has won an appeal to retain its charitable status, which was endangered when the agency declined to follow new regulations requiring equal treatment for...

Russian, Greek Orthodox leaders join in call for peace in Syria CWN - January 31, 2014

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Greek Orthodox Patriarch John Yazigi of Antioch have called for a peace agreement in Syria that would protect the “independence and territorial...

Vatican plans ‘due diligence’ at two hospitals CWN - January 31, 2014

The Vatican has announced plans to undertake a ‘due diligence’ review of management at two hospitals, in a bid to streamline administration and ensure efficiency. The review, recommended by the...

Helena, Montana diocese to enter bankruptcy CWN - January 31, 2014

The Diocese of Helena, Montana, will file for bankruptcy, after reaching settlements in two lawsuits brought by sex-abuse victims. The Helena diocese will be the 11th American diocese to seek...

Vatican outlines plans for Year of Consecrated Life CWN - January 31, 2014

At a press conference in Rome on January 31, Vatican officials outlined plans for the Year of Consecrated Life, which Pope Francis has declared for 2015. The special year, which was announced by...

Redouble evangelization to counter losses, Pope asks Austrian bishops CWN - January 31, 2014

Acknowledging a sharp decline in the number of Catholics in Austria, Pope Francis said that the trend “should not find us inactive, but should encourage our efforts for the new evangelization that...

CDF may take responsibility for Vatican office on protecting children CWN - January 31, 2014

A new Vatican office for the protection of children may be attached to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Pope Francis announced during a January 31 meeting with CDF...

Religious leaders broker peace accord in South Sudan CWN - January 31, 2014

Religious leaders in South Sudan have brokered an agreement to stop fighting between the government and the rebel Cobra Faction, the Fides news service reports. Under the accord, signed on...

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