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Stories for August 2014

Released Monday, Aug. 4

Strong USCCB support for Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Three bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have offered their “strong support” for the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. The bill,...

Pope reflects on Christ feeding the multitude

During his Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel from the Mass of the day (Mt. 14:13-21) and said that the passage offers “three messages”: compassion,...

Patriarch: Gaza a ‘factory of desperate people’

The blockade of the Gaza Strip, in force since 2007, has made the region a “factory of desperate people” and “extremists ready for anything,” according to the Latin Patriarch of...

Central African prelate hopeful about ceasefire

The Central African Republic’s leading prelate has expressed cautious optimism that a recent truce between Séléka and anti-Balaka forces will lead to peace. The Islamist Séléka forces held sway...

Pope commemorates St. Peter Faber’s feast

Pope Francis celebrated the feast of St. Peter Faber on August 1 by inviting a group of young Jesuit priests to join him for Mass, according to a brief Vatican Radio report. In December, the...

Canadian bishops’ conference marks World War I anniversary

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement commemorating the centenary of Canada’s entry into the World War I. “The horrors of war should never be...

French cardinal visits Iraq’s persecuted Christians

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, joined by two other French bishops, made a four-day trip to Iraq to meet with some of the nation’s persecuted Christians. “I will recite the Our Father in...

Cardinal Clancy dead at 90

Cardinal Edward Clancy, who served as Archbishop of Sydney from 1983 until 2001, died at a nursing home on August 3. The Little Sisters of the Poor cared for him for the last eight years of his...

Pope urges Scouts to follow Jesus, defend Christian values

Pope Francis has urged participants in a meeting of European Scouts to “go, have no fear, and serve” as they respond to Jesus’ call to follow him. An estimated 12,000 Scouts from 20 countries are...

‘In memory of a mother’

Pope Francis recently offered Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae for the repose of the soul of Natalia Di Giorgi Maovaz, the wife of an employee of the Vatican Museums. Maovaz drowned off the coast...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 5

$24M given to retired religious from national collection

The National Religious Retirement Office has granted $24 million to 424 religious communities to help pay for medication, nursing care, and other expenses associated with the care of retired...

Papal condolences following death of Australian cardinal

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to the Archdiocese of Sydney’s apostolic administrator following the death of Cardinal Edward Clancy, who governed the archdiocese from 1983 until...

Vatican newspaper decries surrogacy

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page article lamenting the practice of surrogacy. The article follows news that a Thai woman acted as a surrogate mother for an Australian couple and...

Pope lifts suspension of priest who served as Sandinista foreign minister

Pope Francis has agreed to lift the suspension of Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the Maryknoll priest who, in defiance of canon law, held political office, serving as Nicaragua’s foreign minister...

English cardinal commemorates World War I centenary

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster offered a Requiem Mass for the fallen of the First World War on August 4, the centenary of the United Kingdom’s entry into the war. “No one could have...

Bishop pledges to stay in Libya: ‘I cannot leave the few remaining Christians’

As rival militias battle for control of Libya, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli, Bishop Giovanni Martinelli, has pledged to remain in the North African nation “even if only one Christian...

All Orthodox in Ukraine should reunite with Moscow, says Russian Orthodox official

An official of the Moscow Patriarchate has called upon all adherents of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine to return to full communion with the Russian Orthodox Church. “Return from the schism is...

Islamic State advances in northern Iraq, Lebanon; Christians, others flee

Yazidis, Christians, and other minorities fled villages in northern Iraq after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) defeated Kurdish fighters. ISIL, which controls much of Syria and...

Sunday Mass attendance in Germany falls below 11%

Only 10.8% of Catholics in Germany now attend Sunday Mass, according to a report published by the German Bishops’ Conference. The Mass attendance rate was 22% in 1989. Nearly 179,000 Catholics...

Gunmen attack Nigerian parish

Gunmen belonging to the predominantly Muslim Fulani tribe attacked a Catholic parish in north-central Nigeria, according to a report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The attack, which took...

Prelate: ‘can we not do right by’ unaccompanied migrant children?

Writing in The Washington Post, the bishop who chairs the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration said that “if we sacrifice” unaccompanied migrant children “for...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 6

Speak to others about Christ, use freedom well, Pope tells youth

Pope Francis met with over 50,000 German altar servers in St. Peter’s Square on the evening of August 5. The theme of the servers’ pilgrimage was “freedom – it is lawful to do good” (Mt....

USCCB, CRS: speak with representatives about Holy Land, unaccompanied children

Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a joint initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, has asked Catholics to speak with their congressional...

Dublin prelate recalls anniversary of World War I

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin recalled the centenary of the beginning of World War I during Mass on August 3. “The young soldiers caught up in war were men and women of courage and valor...

Nuncio fears potential Russian persecution of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, the apostolic nuncio in Ukraine, said that civil unrest in the nation has led to a more serious Christian commitment on the part of...

Patriarch pleads for humanitarian assistance, political action on behalf of Iraq’s Christians

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church pleaded with the international community to offer humanitarian assistance to Iraq’s persecuted Christians and to take political action to restore peace to...

Nicaragua’s bishops warn of Sandinista human rights violations

The bishops of Nicaragua warned that “unjust detentions” and “unexplained disappearances” have taken place recently in some areas of the country. Gunmen attacked supporters of Nicaragua’s ruling...

El Salvador: priest arrested for helping drug gangs

El Salvador’s leading prelate has come to the defense of Father Antonio Rodriguez Tercero, a priest arrested on charges of smuggling drugs to prisoners and helping gang members extort others. The...

‘The lavish homes of American archbishops’

Ten of the nation’s archbishops live in residences appraised at $1 million or more, according to a CNN report. There are 33 archdioceses and two Eastern Catholic archeparchies in the United...

Pope emphasizes importance of Beatitudes, Matthew 25 in following Christ

Following a respite during the month of July, Pope Francis has resumed his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to the Church. The Pontiff devoted his August 6 audience to the Church as...

Bishops move to counter black Mass in Oklahoma City

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City and Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma have moved to counter a Black Mass scheduled for September 21st. The Black Mass is slated to be performed at...

Released Thursday, Aug. 7

Pope Francis: families are called to stability, fruitfulness

In a message to the First Latin American Congress on the Pastoral Care of the Family, which is taking place in Panama from August 4-9, Pope Francis emphasized that the family is called to stability...

Cardinal opposes Nigerian health bill

Citing provisions that regulate organ transplantation, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to sign health legislation approved by the national assembly, according to...

Uganda: bishop opposes tax on private schools

Uganda’s finance minister has announced that private schools will no longer be granted tax-exempt status. “It is the government’s obligation to educate Ugandans, and private schools just come to...

Patriarch: aid preferable to visas for Iraqi Christian refugees

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has thanked France and Bahrain for their willingness to offer visas to Christians who left Mosul after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forced them...

French basilica desecrated

Two churches in Thonon-les-Bains, a city of 30,000 in eastern France, were desecrated on August 5, according to Le Messager, a newspaper based in Chablais. A man in his thirties entered St....

Pope welcomes opening of center for victims of exploitation

Pope Francis has written a brief message welcoming the opening of a center for adolescent victims of sexual exploitation in Posadas, a city of 340,000 in northern Argentina. “I want to greet and...

Mexico: bishop welcomes state medical care for migrants

A bishop in southern Mexico has welcomed the decision of the State of Tabasco to grant medical care to migrants from Central America for a three-month period. “It is necessary to share our...

East African bishops decry threats to family, ‘strongly condemn’ same-sex unions

At the conclusion of a recent meeting in Malawi, bishops from eight nations in East Africa denounced threats to family life. “The threat to the family in our region is now more real than ever...

Interview with Cardinal Pell on reform of Vatican finances

Cardinal George Pell, the new prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, discussed the reform of Vatican finances in a lengthy interview with Catholic News Service. “We're attempting to put into...

Released Friday, Aug. 8

‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians

Pope Francis has renewed his appeal to the Church to intercede for the persecuted Christians of Iraq. “The Holy Father is following with deep concern the dramatic news reports coming from...

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled their homes as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized several Christian towns in northern Iraq, including Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), the...

Conversions to Christianity on the rise in Egypt

The situation of Coptic Christians in Egypt has improved since the 2013 military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood, and conversions from Islam to Coptic Christianity are on the rise, according to...

Bishop: Gaza Catholics need aid ‘more than ever’

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem has told Aid to the Church in Need that Catholics in Gaza need prayer and assistance now “more than ever.” “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is...

Pope Francis praises Knights of Columbus for defending marriage, religious liberty

Pope Francis has praised the Knights of Columbus for its charitable works and for its defense of religious liberty, marriage, and family life. “His Holiness is grateful for the active role played...

US: August 17 special day of prayer for Iraq

Bishop Richard Pates, the chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked his brother bishops to designate August 17 as a...

Lebanon: bishops praise army’s fight against Islamic State

The bishops of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, have praised the Lebanese army’s efforts to repel the Islamic State of Iraq and the...

Attack on Pentecostals in India

Ten Hindu radicals attacked a home in which a Pentecostal minister was praying with a man and his family, according to an AsiaNews report. The radicals used iron bars as they assaulted those...

Released Monday, Aug. 11

Pope names, meets with special personal envoy to Iraq

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as his personal envoy to Iraq and its persecuted Christian population. Cardinal...

Pope Francis again decries situation in Iraq, urges prayer for peace

At the conclusion of his August 10 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis again lamented the situation in Iraq and renewed his appeal for prayers for peace in Iraq and Gaza. “The news reports...

Adore the Lord, says Pope Francis, as did the disciples on the boat

During his August 10 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading at Mass (Mt. 14:22-33), in which Peter walked on water. “The faithful and immediate response to the call...

Go forward with courage, Pope tells youth

Thirty thousand members of the Association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy gathered in Pisa for Mass on the morning of August 10. At the conclusion of the Mass, Pope Francis spoke with...

Chaldean patriarch: Obama’s actions in Iraq are insufficient

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, issued an update on the situation of the Church in Iraq on August 10 and criticized...

Patriarchate posts report on destruction in Gaza

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has published a report written by a Christian woman from Jerusalem who spent six days in Gaza as part of a medical team. “The destruction, the putrid smells--...

We are saved only in Jesus’ name, Pope tells Koreans

Pope Francis has sent a videomessage to Koreans as his August 13-18 apostolic journey to the East Asian nation approaches. Referring to martyrs whom he will beatify there, the Pope said that “he...

Papal condolences following Iranian plane crash

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has conveyed Pope Francis’s condolences following an airplane plane crash in Iran. “His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened by the...

Orthodox-Catholic tensions rising in Ukraine

Religious tensions are mounting in Ukraine, with the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow charging that Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholics are encouraging attacks on Orthodox priests. The Moscow...

Lebanese bishops back efforts against terrorism

Lebanon's Maronite Catholic bishops have issued a statement of support for their country's military in its campaign against Islamic terrorism. The Maronite bishops expressed "full confidence" in...

Religious sister working as nurse in Liberia dies of Ebola

A Catholic religious sister working in a hospital in Liberia has died of the Ebola virus, the Fides news service reports. Sister Pascaline Chantale, a native of Congo and member of the...

Survey finds support for American women's religious leadership

As the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) prepares for its annual convention, the Pew Research Center reports that most American Catholics express general satisfaction with the...

New attacks on Catholic churches in Nigeria

At least one person was killed and several injured in a new attack on a Catholic church in Nigeria on August 10, the Fides news service reports. Armed gunmen burst into a church in the Kaduna...

Vatican UN envoy says military action justified to save Christians in Iraq

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in Geneva has said that “military action in this moment is probably necessary” to curb the slaughter of Christians in Iraq. Archbishop Silvani...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 12

Iraq: Chaldean patriarch meets with leading Shiite cleric

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church met with Iraq’s leading Shiite Muslim cleric, who expressed sympathy for the plight of Christians persecuted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the...

CRS report on situation in Gaza

Catholic Relief Services, the US bishops’ international relief and development agency, has published a report on the current humanitarian situation in Gaza. The report was posted on the website...

Church leaders in Ukraine welcomes sanctions against Russia, say Christians must defend their nation

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has again said that Christians have the duty to defend their nation. “For the first time in the post-[Second World] war years, people need to give...

Germany: some Christian refugees face threats from Muslims

Syrian and Iraqi Christians who have sought asylum in Germany have been faced threats from Muslims fellow residents at a Munich home for asylum seekers, according to a report from Bayerischer...

African cardinal emphasizes importance of women in Church

The leading prelate in Senegal has emphasized the importance of women in the life of the Church. “The role of women within the Christian community is as undeniable and important as that of a...

Strong Vatican condemnation of Islamic State

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has strongly condemned the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Sunni jihadist group that controls much of Syria and...

Spanish priest is Ebola victim; pressure mounts for use of experimental treatment

A Spanish priest has died of the Ebola virus, despite receiving a controversial experimental treatment. Father Miguel Pajares in Madrid on August 12. The missionary priest had contracted the...

Italian cardinal: 'truly effective' intervention needed to stop persecution in Iraq

The president of Italian bishops' conference has told an interviewer that "the tragedy of 100,000 Christians fleeing the north of Iraq will be a shock and a wake-up call for us all." Cardinal...

Muslim militants organize to set up Islamic state in Indonesian province

Islamic militants are aggressively recruiting support for an Islamic state in the Indonesian province of Aceh, the AsiaNews service reports. Thousands of Muslims have reportedly taken vows of...

Chinese 'underground' priest released after 8 years in prison

A Chinese priest of the “underground” Catholic Church has been freed after 8 years in prison, the AsiaNews service reports. Father Joseph Lu Genjun was arrested in 2006 while serving in the Hebei...

Pope's special envoy leaves for Iraq

Cardinal Fernando Filoni left Rome on August 12 to fly to Iraq, where he will serve as the personal representative of Pope Francis in a bid to end the slaughter of Christians by Islamic...

Mexican report: 45,000 children abducted for sex traffic, organ transplants

An estimate 45,000 children have been abducted and exploited by sexual predators and organ traffickers, the Fides news service reports. The Foundation for the Research of Missing and Abducted...

Nicaraguan Catholic questions reinstatement of unrepentant Sandinista priest

Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the Nicaraguan priest who once served in the country’s Sandinista government, has celebrated Mass once again after Pope Francis lifted his 29-year suspension from...

Quebec's radical priest-politician, Raymond Gravel, dead of cancer at 61

Father Raymond Gravel, a former homosexual prostitute who became a Catholic priest and later a controversial member of Canada’s parliament, died on August 11 at the age of 61. Father Gravel ran...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 13

Patriarch pleads with US, EU, Arab League: clear jihadists from the Nineveh plain

Stating that a “slow genocide” of Christians is taking place, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church pleaded with the United States, the European Union, and the Arab League to assist refugees and...

Bishop discusses situation of Church in Crimea

Five months after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the region’s leading Catholic prelate said that Catholics are not suffering persecution, though the situation is tenuous. “In Crimea the...

Pope remembers victims of Nazi massacre

Seven decades after Nazi forces shot 560 Italian villagers and refugees, including 130 children, Pope Francis remembered in the victims of the Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre. “The Pope invokes...

Nigerian prelates decry oil theft, pollution

Speaking at a recent roundtable discussion, two Nigerian bishops have called upon the nation’s government to address widespread oil theft and the subsequent pollution from illegal “artisanal” oil...

India: 50 villages attempt to deny entry to priests

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has issued a statement lamenting “sporadic events of violence against Christians in certain parts of India.” Referring to a state in southeastern India,...

Pope urges United Nations to act in Iraq

Pope Francis has urged the United Nations “to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities” in Iraq. “It is with a heavy and...

Prelate suspends sign of peace amid Ebola concerns

The archbishop of Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, has suspended the sign of peace amid concerns about the potential spread of the Ebola virus, the Abuja-based Premium Times reported. “Taking into...

Ukrainian Orthodox Church elects new leader in time of crisis

The bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow patriarchate have elected Metropolitan Onufry, as their primate, succeeding Metropolitan Vladimir, who died in July. Metropolitan Onufry had...

Oklahoma governor denounces planned Black Mass

Oklahoma’s Governor Mary Fallin has denounced plans to stage a “Black Mass” in Oklahoma City in September, but indicated that she will not intervene to stop the event. “This 'Black Mass' is a...

Chilean priest accused of stealing children for adoption

A Chilean priest has been charged with illegally taking newborn babies from their parents and arranging their adoption. There is credible evidence that Father Gerardo Joannon "actively...

Released Thursday, Aug. 14

US bishops’ Labor Day statement focuses on youth unemployment

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued its annual statement for Labor Day. Citing St. John XXIII, St. John Paul II, and Pope Francis, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the...

Pope Francis arrives in South Korea

Pope Francis arrived in Seoul on August 14. As is customary for a papal trip, during his 11-hour flight from Rome to Seoul, the Pope sent messages to the heads of state of each of the countries...

Vatican diplomat: international community must act in Iraq

A leading Vatican diplomat said that the international community must move beyond verbal condemnations and actively assist the persecuted Christians of northern Iraq. “I would say that we should...

Christian refugees dying in Iraq

Christians who have fled their homes in the wake of the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are dying of hunger, thirst, and disease in refugee camps, the Catholic Herald...

Ghana’s bishops: screen travelers for Ebola

Ghana’s bishops have called upon the nation’s government to screen those entering the country for signs of the Ebola virus, the Catholic Information Service for Africa reported. Ghana is...

Pontifical council: 4,000 Iraqi families assisted since June

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has issued a brief statement on its recent charitable activities in Iraq. “Since June, programs have been in place to provide humanitarian assistance to the...

Report: 128 Christians killed in last year in Pakistan

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has published a brief report on violence against religious minorities in Pakistan. The report found that 430 members of religious...

Pope urges Koreans to build justice, spread faith

“Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice,” Pope Francis told an audience of political leaders in Seoul as he began a 5-day visit to South Korea. The Pope addressed the...

North Korea fires test missiles in show of force as Pope's plane approaches Seoul

North Korea launched three missiles into the Sea of Japan on August 14, in an unexpected display of military force on the morning of Pope Francis' arrival in South Korea. The missiles were fired...

Pope's small car is a message to Koreans

Pope Francis is riding in a tiny Kia Soul during his stay in Seoul, sending a message of frugality to a Korean society keenly conscious of economic status symbols. Upon arriving at Seoul's...

Delaware diocese paid $16 million in legal fees for bankruptcy

The Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, paid nearly $16 million in legal fees and other costs for the bankruptcy case it filed in 2009, the Associated Press reports. Most of the expenses for the...

Pope confirms plan to visit Philadelphia next year

Pope Francis has confirmed that he plans to visit Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families, NBC News reports. Aboard the papal flight to Korea on August 13, NBC...

New speculation on Irish cardinal's resignation

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Ireland, will celebrate his 75th birthday on August 16, and submit his resignation to the Vatican-- touching off a new round of speculation about the timing of his...

China blocks young Catholics from attending papal Mass; arrests feared

The Chinese government has blocked dozens of young Catholics from celebrating the Asia Youth Day ceremonies in Daejon, South Korea, the AsiaNews service reports. About 100 Chinese Catholics have...

Archbishop Sartain tells LCWR leaders he acts as 'brother and a friend'

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle identified himself as a “brother and a friend” as he addressed the annual meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). Archbishop...

Released Monday, Aug. 18

Pope calls upon Korea’s Catholics to combat materialism, serve God in freedom

On August 15, the second full day of his apostolic journey to South Korea, Pope Francis traveled from Seoul, the nation’s capital, to Daejeon, the nation’s 5th-largest city, where he celebrated Mass...

Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, Pope tells youth

On the evening of August 15, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from Daejeon, where he had celebrated Mass, to the Shrine of Solmoe, the birthplace of St. Andrew Kim Taegon. “Christ is knocking...

Follow the martyrs’ example of sacrifice and love, Pope tells 800,000 Koreans

On August 16, the third full day of his apostolic journey to South Korea, Pope Francis visited the Shrine of the Martyrs of Seo So mun before celebrating Mass for the beatification of Paul Yun...

Pope challenges religious to embrace poverty, laity to go beyond charitable assitance

Following the Mass of beatification of 124 martyrs in Seoul, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter on August 16 to Kkottongnae, where he visited a rehabilitation center for disabled people. At...

Be firmly grounded in the faith as you engage in dialogue, Pope tell Asia’s bishops

On August 17, the fourth full day of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to South Korea, the Pontiff traveled to the Shrine of Haemi, where he challenged Asia’s bishops to be grounded in a sense of...

Pope urges Asian youth to build a ‘holier, more missionary and humble Church’

At the closing Mass of the 6th Asian Youth Day in Haemi, Pope Francis called upon Asia’s Catholic youth to build a holier, more missionary and humble Church.” The Mass took place on the afternoon...

Theologian raps bishops as LCWR ends annual meeting

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) concluded its annual conference, enthusiastically applauding an address by Sister Elizabeth Johnson, who denounced the Vatican for issuing a...

Pope's envoy, Chaldean Patriarch beg international help for Iraqi Christians

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Pope’s personal envoy to Iraq, has joined with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako in an appeal for international intervention to stop the persecution of Christians...

New Orthodox leader voices support for 'unified Ukraine'

The newly installed leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate has called for preservation of “our single unified Ukraine.” Metropolitan Onufry, who was enthroned on August 17 as...

South Sudan: Catholic radio shut down by government

A Catholic radio station in South Sudan has been shut down, and its news editor arrested, the Fides news service reports. Radio Bakhita, operated by the Archdiocese of Juba, was shut down by the...

Sex-abuse plaintiffs charge New Mexico archdiocese assigned priests from local treatment center

Three men have brought suit against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, claiming that they were sexually abused after the archdiocese allowed priests who were known abusers to engage in parish...

With a plea for reunification, Pope ends Korean visit

Pope Francis concluded his 5-day visit to South Korea on August 18, celebrating a Mass for peace and reconciliation and calling for an end to the enmity between North and South that has caused...

Pope approves military action in Iraq, but not unilateral US bombing

Pope Francis said that military intervention to stop the slaughter of Christians in Iraq is warranted, but cautioned against unilateral action by the US, in a press conference as he returned from a...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 19

New report of Islamic State atrocities

At a press conference in Paris, the members of a family who recently left Mosul for France spoke of atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Tunisia Daily...

Russian patriarch: Ukrainian Catholics want to ‘eradicate Orthodoxy’

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has again alleged that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has undertaken a campaign of hatred against Orthodoxy-- prompting a sharp official response from...

St. Louis prelate issues letter on Ferguson violence

Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis has issued a letter on the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. The prelate, who said he “personally visited Ferguson...

Jewish-Catholic dialogue deplores persecution of Christians

The Jewish-Catholic dialogue sponsored by the National Council of Synagogues and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has...

Europe’s bishops prod UN Security Council on Iraq

In a joint letter to the United Nations Security Council, the president of each European nation’s episcopal conference deplored the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in...

Church in Malawi: no conflict between Pope, region’s bishops on homosexuality

The secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi stated that the East African bishops’ recent condemnation of same-sex unions is not “at variance with” Pope Francis’s remarks on...

Victory for Baptist college against HHS mandate

A federal district court judge has ruled that a Baptist college in Louisiana is exempt from the mandate to provide its employees to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives that also have an...

Pope mourns nephew's family, killed in auto crash

Pope Francis was “deeply pained,” the Vatican announced, when he was informed of an automobile accident in Argentina that caused the death of three relatives. Emanuel Bergoglio, the Pope’s...

Boko Haram terrorism becoming more worrisome, reports Nigerian prelate

Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos, Nigeria, says that the terrorist activities of Boko Haram are “becoming even more worrisome,” the Fides news service reports. Archbishop Martin spoke...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 20

Further action needed in Iraq, USCCB president tells President Obama

Citing remarks made by Pope Francis, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon President Barack Obama to do more to protect the persecuted religious...

Central African prelate urges government to act following massacre

Following a massacre committed by Islamist fighters in the Central African Republic, the nation’s leading prelate urged the government to take quick action. Speaking for “those who are displaced,...

Some Iraqi refugees ‘at great risk’ of death

Many Christian and Yazidi refugees in northern Iraq are at increasing risk of death from starvation, thirst, and exposure to the elements, the Assyrian International News Agency...

Ukraine: pro-Russian separatists occupy monastery

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Ukraine’s 5th-largest city, have seized the monastery of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, according to a report from the Religious...

Catholic radio station, shut down by South Sudan’s government, offers apology

Bakhita Radio, a South Sudanese Catholic radio network that was recently shut down by the government, has apologized for inaccurate reporting. After rebels attacked government forces, the station...

Many Philippine bishops back amendment against pork-barrel spending

At least 73 bishops in the Philippines have lent their support to a petition calling for a constitutional amendment against pork-barrel spending, according to a UCA News report. “I hope something...

Court upholds Tennessee’s marriage law

A Tennessee circuit court has upheld the state’s definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Judge Russell Simmons ruled that “Tennessee’s laws concerning same-sex marriage do not...

Pope reflects on apostolic journey to Korea

Pope Francis devoted his August 20 general audience to his recent apostolic journey to Korea, during which he beatified 124 martyrs and celebrated the closing Mass at the 6th Asian Youth...

Slain journalist's family comforted by parish priest in New Hampshire

A Catholic priest in Rochester, New Hampshire, visited the family of American journalist James Foley after Islamic militants posted a video that apparently showed his beheading. Father Paul...

Priest in Ferguson, Missouri tells Vatican Radio audience about simmering tensions

A Catholic parish priest in Ferguson, Missouri, spoke about the "long-time festering" of racial tensions in the town, during an interview with Vatican Radio. Father Arthur Cavitt, who works with...

Pope greets 'his' Argentine soccer team

Pope Francis enjoyed a light-hearted meeting on August 20 with members of the San Lorenzo soccer team from Buenos Aires, who were bringing the trophy they had won in this year’s Latin American...

Kurdish leader offers to arm Christian refugees

The president of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq has offered to provide arms for Christian volunteers, creating self-defense units to resist the Islamic State, the Fides news service...

Jewish leader: indifference to slaughter of Christians is 'obscene'

Saying that the lack of public response to the slaughter of Iraqi Christians is "obscene," the president of the World Jewish Congress argues: "Good people must join together and stop this revolting...

Oklahoma archbishop brings suit to stop Black Mass

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City has filed a lawsuit in an Oklahoma court to stop the Black Mass scheduled for the Oklahoma City Civic Center in September. The lawsuit argues that the...

Lebanese prelate would make common cause with Hezbollah against Islamic state

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has said that he is prepared to meet with the leader of the Hezbollah movement, in order to address the threats posed by the Islamic State to the security of...

LCWR ready to defy hierarchy, analyst finds

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) appears ready to raise the stakes in its conflict with the Vatican, observes Ann Carey in a Catholic World Report story on the LCWR’s annual...

Released Thursday, Aug. 21

American religious leaders welcome Gaza ceasefire

Nearly three dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in the United States issued a statement recently welcoming a ceasefire in the Gaza-Israel conflict. The ceasefire was subsequently broken...

Brief papal message to Hungary’s president

Pope Francis sent a brief message to President János Áder of Hungary on the occasion of the feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, the nation’s patron. “I am pleased to send cordial greetings to Your...

Patriarchs ask international community to protect Iraqi Christians

The heads of the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Maronite Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church met in Iraq’s Kurdistan region...

Kurdish forces retake 2 Christian villages; crosses restored to churches

Assisted by US airstrikes, forces of the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan have retaken the historically Christian towns of Tel Isqof (or Telskuf) and Batnaya from the Sunni jihadist...

Church is experiencing ‘a martyrdom’ in eastern Ukraine, says leading prelate

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said that his Eastern Catholic church is experiencing “a martyrdom” in two eastern Ukrainian cities in which...

‘Slaves no more’ will be theme for World Day of Peace

Pope Francis has announced that the theme for the 48th World Day of peace will be “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters.” “Being children of God gives all human beings equal dignity as...

Action urged against legislation curtailing religious freedom

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), which works closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on legislative matters, is calling upon pro-life citizens to...

Papal envoy: all should be concerned with Iraqi Christian refugees

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who traveled to Iraq last week as the personal representative of Pope Francis, said that the persecution of Christians and Yezidis by the Islamic State should be an urgent...

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga sends message of solidarity to Iraqi Christians

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the president of the charitable consortium Caritas International, has sent a message to Church leaders in Iraq, expressing solidarity with the Christians of the...

Mideast conflicts show 'moral bankruptcy of modern warfare,' say African bishops

The bishops of southern Africa have issued a statement arguing that current conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Gaza show “the moral bankruptcy of modern warfare,” the Fides news service reports. The...

Islamic extremists target famed Buddhist temple in Indonesia

Islamic extremists in Indonesia are planning to destroy the Temple of Borobudur, an important Buddhist center that is classified as a World Heritage Site, the AsiaNews service reports. Indonesian...

Detroit's Cardinal Szoka dead at 86

Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the former Archbishop of Detroit, died on August 20 at the age of 86 at a hospital in Michigan. Born to Polish immigrants in 1927, Edmund Szoka was ordained to the...

Pennsylvania diocese wins federal injunction against contraceptive mandate

The Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, has won a federal court injunction against the enforcement of the contraceptive mandate in the federal health-care reform program. Federal Judge Arthur...

Cardinal Pell defends Vatican response to Australian sex-abuse commission

Cardinal George Pell has defended the Vatican’s decision to withhold some internal Church records requested by an Australian royal commission investigating sex-abuse complaints. The Australian...

Syro-Malabar Church changes policy on bishops' burial

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church has announced that, in a change of policy, it will no longer bury bishops in church sanctuaries. The Syro-Malabar Church, which claims nearly 6 million members in...

Pope will mark 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide

Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass next August to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, an Argentine cardinal has revealed. Speaking at the Armenian Cahtolic cathedral in Buenos...

Pope calls family of James Foley to offer prayers, sympathy

Pope Francis made a personal phone call to the family of James Foley, the American journalist who was murdered in Iraq, the Catholic News Service reports. Father Federico Lombardi, the director...

Oklahoma archdiocese successful in lawsuit to block Black Mass

A lawyer representing the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has announced victory in a lawsuit brought by the archdiocese to block a Black Mass that had beens scheduled for the city's civic center in...

Released Friday, Aug. 22

US dioceses to take up special collection for the Middle East

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked his brother bishops to take up a special collection for “humanitarian relief and pastoral support” for victims of violence...

Jerusalem patriarch calls for international intervention in Gaza

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has called for an international peacekeeping force in Gaza. Patriarch Fouad Twal told Vatican Radio that “for years, there was this inner fear that things would...

Pope’s special envoy returns from Iraq, testifies to ‘extraordinary faith’ of nation’s Christians

Calling upon the Church to express solidarity for Iraq’s persecuted Christians, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Pope Francis’s special envoy to the Middle Eastern nation, has returned to Rome and has...

Ukrainian Catholic leader blasts Russian Orthodox statements, says Church is being oppressed

In a letter to bishops and political leaders around the world, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that the Catholic Church is being oppressed in eastern Ukraine. “For nine...

Pakistan: rape an ‘instrument of power’ over Christian girls, says attorney

Following the rape of a 12-year-old Christian girl in Lahore, an attorney said that in Pakistan “rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and...

Papal encouragement for Work of Nazareth

Pope Francis met with members of the Work of Nazareth on the evening of August 20 and encouraged them to witness to Christ joyfully in the midst of their charitable activities. Founded in 1964,...

India: Christian women arrested on ‘forced conversion’ charges

Four Christian women who were distributing religious leaflets have been arrested on “forced conversion” charges in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. The four were subsequently...

Church leaders voice misgivings about ice-bucket challenge

Catholic school officials in Cincinnati and Chicago have advised principals not to cooperate with the “ice-bucket challenge,” an internet campaign that has raised over $40 million for research to...

Boko Haram changing strategy, aiming to control territory in Nigeria

More than 11,000 people have fled the town of Gwoza, in northeastern Nigeria, to escape the threat of a Boko Haram terrorist campaign, the Fides news service reports. In a change of strategy,...

Obama administration offers another 'accommodation' on contraceptive mandate

The Obama administration has again altered regulations governing the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act, in a bid to legal challenges. The new regulations, issued on August 22,...

Released Monday, Aug. 25

USCCB committee reaffirms commitment to dialogue with Muslims

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has strongly reaffirmed its commitment to engage in dialogue with Muslims. After citing texts...

Archbishop: new HHS mandate ‘accommodation’ will reduce religious freedom

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has offered an initial response to the Obama administration’s new interim final rules implementing the HHS...

Iraq: patriarch appeals to ‘conscience of the world,’ says US actions, Muslim leaders’ words not sufficient

Iraq’s leading prelate has issued a new statement on the plight of the nation’s Christians. “It has become obvious that Iraqi Christians along with other minorities have received a fatal blow at...

Papal message for Communion and Liberation gathering

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has signed a papal message to those attending the Communion and Liberation movement’s 35th Meeting for Friendship among Peoples. The...

Pope Francis: Jesus is more than a ‘teacher of wisdom’ or ‘model of justice’

During his August 24 Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis reflected upon St. Peter’s confession of faith, recounted in the Gospel of the day at Mass (Mt. 16:13-20). “The Lord has in mind the image of...

Pope calls for prayers for Ukraine

At the conclusion of his August 24 Angelus address, Pope Francis called for prayers for Ukraine. “My thoughts go in a particular way to the beloved land of Ukraine … to all its sons and...

Letter from Pope Francis read at slain journalist’s funeral Mass

James Foley, the American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012 and beheaded by forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in August 2014, was buried from a New Hampshire parish on...

Could laicized archbishop, former papal nuncio, be extradited to face abuse charges?

The case of a former Vatican envoy in the Dominican Republic, who has been laicized for molesting young boys, could test the Vatican’s determination to prosecute abusive clerics, a New York Times...

Violence in Iraq is not simply Islam vs. Christianity, says Vatican Secretary of State

It is an “oversimplification” to characterize the persecution of Iraqi Christians and Yezidis as a matter of Islam against Christianity, according to Cardinal Pietro Parolin. In an interview with...

California government tells Catholic universities they must offer employees abortion coverage

In California, the administration of Governor Jerry Brown has informed officials at two Catholic universities that they are required to provide coverage for abortion in employees’ health-care...

Pope-emeritus Benedict celebrates Mass with former students

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated Mass with some of his former students on August 24, as the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis concluded its annual meeting. The Schuelerkreis is an informal seminar, in...

Cardinal George testing new anti-cancer drug

Cardinal Francis George is participating in the clinical trial of a new anti-cancer drug, the Chicago archdiocese has disclosed. Cardinal George disclosed earlier this year that he is...

Nigerian officials worry terrorists might disguise themselves as nuns

Government officials in Nigeria have raised an alarm about the possibility that terrorist bombers might disguise themselves as Catholic nuns. Following the theft of a number of nuns’ habits from...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 26

Ukraine: leading prelate honors ‘Heavenly Hundred’ protestors

Praying for “peace in our country, a victory over our enemies, and the strength of a fraternal union,” the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has blessed a monument to the “Heavenly...

$13,000 fine for NY farm owners who said no to lesbian wedding

A New York judge has imposed a $13,000 fine upon the owners of an Albany-area farm because they declined to rent their facilities to a lesbian couple who wished to get married there. LifeSiteNews...

Prelate ponders changes since Civil Rights movement

Reflecting on his own life and changes in American society since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta said that “as a bishop in the South today, I marvel at the...

Report: Christian refugees seek mass exodus from Iraq

Iraqi Christians refugees who have left their homes in the wake of the Islamic State’s advance are “are pressuring religious and political leaders to find a way for a rapid mass exodus out of Iraq,”...

Stolen consecrated Host returned to Oklahoma archdiocese

Following a legal decision, the organizers of a satanic ritual have returned a consecrated Host to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. “I am relieved that we have been able to secure the return of...

US priest has visited North Korea 51 times

An 81-year-old US missionary priest has visited North Korea 51 times since 1995, according a Catholic Herald report. Father Gerard Hammond, who serves as Maryknoll superior in South Korea, brings...

St. Louis archbishop: ‘dismantle systemic racism’

In the wake of violence in Ferguson, Missouri, that followed the shooting of Michael Brown, Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis called for the dismantling of “systemic racism.” “I pledge an...

Vatican official, Syrian prelate call for international force to block Islamic State

The Vatican’s chief representative at UN headquarters in Geneva has repeated the call of Pope Francis for international leaders to stop the persecution of Christians and Yezidis in Iraq, “though the...

Minnesota archbishop appoints judge to supervise sex-abuse response

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis has appointed a veteran jurist to supervise handling of sex-abuse complaints within the archdiocese. Judge Timothy O’Malley, who will become the...

School texts in India promote Hindu extremism, Jesuit charges

The Jesuit director of a human-rights center in India has charged that the state of Gujarat promotes anti-Christian ideologies in its schools, the Fides news service reports. Father Cedric...

Pope's special Iraq envoy heads next for Washington

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who visited Iraq earlier this month as the Pope’s special envoy to persecuted Christians there, will next travel to Washington, DC, to confer with the patriarchs of the...

Drowned immigrants in Mediterranean outnumber some war casualties, says Vatican paper

L’Osservatore Romano has compared the deaths of immigrants drowned in the Mediterranean sea to the carnage of war. The Vatican newspaper responded forcefully to news of “the latest massacre”---...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 27

Historic visit of 5 patriarchs to Iraq’s persecuted Christians: full text of remarks

The heads of the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Maronite Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church met in Iraq’s Kurdistan region...

Egypt: a year after attacks, Coptic Christians worship atop church ruins

A year after dozens of churches in Egypt were destroyed in a wave of anti-Christian violence, some Coptic Christians are still gathering to worship on top of church ruins. Despite the Egyptian...

Prelate: in establishing ordinariates, Pope Benedict did something concrete to restore Christian unity

In a recent article, the head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham said that Pope Benedict’s decision to establish ordinariates for Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion...

California diocese begins project to spread solar energy

The Diocese of Stockton has begun a project that encourages local Catholics to install solar panels. The diocese is encouraging Catholics to purchase panels from Sungevity, an Oakland-based...

Pope Francis emphasizes: parishes should not be places of gossip and division

Pope Francis devoted his August 27 general audience to two of the marks of the Church: her holiness and unity. The Church, he said, is “one because she has her origin in the Triune God, mystery...

Eastern Church leaders in summit, hoping to save Christian presence in Iraq, Syria

Eastern patriarchs are meeting in Lebanon to draft an appeal to the world on behalf of suffering Christians in Iraq and Syria. The meeting of the patriarchs is taking place in Bkerke, at the...

Dominican prosecutors interested in pursuing extradition of former nuncio

Following a Vatican announcement that Josef Wesolowski has lost his diplomatic immunity, prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have expressed interest in having the former papal nuncio extradited to...

German cardinal sees 'Francis effect' as passing trend

German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has told a German magazine that the "Pope Francis effect" is a popular phenomenon rather than a spiritual revival. "Were this a religious movement, the churches...

Russia, Moscow patriarchate spreading 'misinformation' about Ukraine, Catholic prelate charges

A Ukrainian Catholic bishop in England has charged that the Russian Orthodox Church is spreading misinformation about the role of the Eastern Catholic Church in Ukraine. Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, who...

Bahrain's king offers shelter to Christian refugees from Iraq

King Hamad Bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain has offered refuge to 200 Christian refugee families from Mosul, Iraq, the Zenit news agency reports. "This shows his generosity toward Christians,"...

Indian state discusses ban on sacramental wine

In India’s Kerela state, a proposal to ban alcoholic beverages has spawned a debate about the use of wine in the Catholic Mass. Vellappally Natesan, the general secretary of the Sree Narayana...

Italian bishops' leader says Church should welcome 'unconventional couples' to sacraments

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference has said that the Church must make efforts to welcome “unconventional couples.” "Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also...

Released Thursday, Aug. 28

Franciscan leader: ‘the Middle East is in flames’

The priest who serves as Franciscan superior in the Holy Land and several Middle Eastern nations told an Italian audience that the Arab Spring has brought radical change to the region. “The...

Islamic State’s control of Syrian territory marked by crucifixions, amputations

A United Nations commission has documented human rights violations perpetrated in Syria by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant . The Sunni jihadist group, also known as ISIS, now controls...

Russian patriarch offers condolences to Pope Francis

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has sent condolences to Pope Francis following the death of his nephew’s family in an automobile crash. “Please accept my profound condolences over the...

Caritas Turkey financially ‘powerless’ in face of influx of Christian refugees

In a letter to Pope Francis, leaders of Caritas Turkey said that they are financially “powerless” to assist all of the refugees from neighboring Syria and Iraq. Although “we do not make a...

Pope meets with family of slain Catholic Pakistani official

Pope Francis met on August 27 with the mother and brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, who served as Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs from 2008 until his assassination in 2011. Bhatti was...

German bishops on Middle East: nations must act to prevent genocide

In a statement on the Middle East, the German Bishops’ Conference said that nations are obligated to act to prevent genocide. Deploring the persecution of Christians, the bishops said in their...

Pope Francis transfers Vatican cardinal to Spanish archdiocese

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments since 2008, as the new Archbishop of Valencia,...

Iraqi prelate holds US responsible for plight of Christians

The United States created the conditions that led to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate. “The US is indirectly responsible for what is...

Federal court decision decriminalizes polygamy in Utah

For the 2nd time in less than a year, a federal judge in Utah has struck down a key portion of the state’s law banning polygamy. Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that a portion of the marriage law that...

Brazilian bishops to host televised presidential debate

The Catholics bishops of Brazil have announced plans to host a debate among the country's presidential candidates. Seven presidential contenders, including incumbent Dilma Rousseff, are expected...

Australian PM says school chaplains should be religious, not social workers

The government of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to continue restricting a school-chaplaincy program to religious ministers, rather than expanding the program to include social...

Veteran US congressman enters Catholic Church

Congressman James Sensenbrenner, a Republican member of the US Congress who has served since 1979, has quietly entered the Catholic Church. Sensenbrenner, who had been Episcopalian, was received...

Poland interested in extraditing former papal nucnio

The Polish ambassador to the Holy See has said that his government may renew its effort to seek extradition for Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio who has been charged with molesting boys...

Hindu fundamentalists 'reconvert' Christians in Indian village

Hindu militants in India’s state of Uttar Pradesh have announced the “reconversion” of about 70 people who had embraced Christianity, the AsiaNews service reports. The Hindu militants denied that...

Released Friday, Aug. 29

Vatican prelate: world must act to defend, help Iraq’s Christians

Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, has told Vatican Radio that the world must act to defend Christians and...

Cuba’s patroness given place of honor in Vatican Gardens

Cuba’s bishops have given a replica of the image of Our Lady of Charity, the nation’s patroness, to Pope Francis, and the image has been accorded a place of honor in the Vatican Gardens, according...

Bishop distinguishes Syria’s Muslims from Saudi-backed militias

At a press conference in Italy, the apostolic vicar of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, said that 60% of Christians have left the city. Bishop George Abou Khazen, who ministers to Roman-rite...

28% of US parishes have more than $1M in revenue

Because of parish mergers in the Northeast and Midwest and larger parishes in the South and Southwest, 28% of parishes in the United States now have $1 million or more in revenue, according to a...

New abortion-suicide controversy in Ireland

In 2013, Ireland passed a law permitting abortion when the mother’s life is in danger from physical illness or suicide. A panel of doctors must first approve the abortion. In recent months, after...

Protestant church forced out of East Jerusalem building

Following repeated incidents of vandalism, harassment, and break-ins, an evangelical church in a Muslim neighborhood of East Jerusalem has been forced from its building, according to Morning Star...

SSPX priest celebrates Mass in Vatican basilica

A priest of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s basilica, with the approval of the “highest authority” of the Vatican basilica, the traditionalist group has...

Australian Catholic paper declines ads for McAleese speaking appearance

An Australian Catholic newspaper refused to carry advertisements for a speaking appearance by former Irish President Mary McAleese, citing her dissent from Church teaching on homosexuality and...

Pope meets missionary pastor of Gaza's Catholics

Pope Francis met on August 29 with an Argentine missionary priest who serves the tiny Catholic community in the Gaza Strip. Father Jorge Hernandez Zanni, an Incarnate Word missionary, told...

Outgoing Vatican prefect says he asked for appointment to Spanish archdiocese

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who has been named Archbishop of Valencia, Spain, after almost six years as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has said that he sought the...

Patriarchs challenge Islamic officials, world leaders to take action against terrorists

Describing the violence against Christians in Iraq and Syria as “attempted genocide,” a group of Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs has challenged Islamic officials and international leaders to take...

Legionary priest apologizes for comparing Maciel with St. Mary Magdalene

A spokesman for the Legionaries of Christ has apologized for a promotional brochure in which he compared the disgraced founder of the religious order, the late Father Marcial Maciel, to St. Mary...

Breakthrough close in treating heart disease with adult stem cells?

An Australian scientist whose work has drawn kudos from the Vatican may be close to a breakthrough in the treatment of congenital heart failure, using stem cells derived from adult tissues. Dr....

Nigerian archbishop shuns suggestions for security guards, despite terror threat

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, has said that despite the dangers posed by Boko Haram terrorism, he does not have, or want, a personal security detail. Acknowledging that he...

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